Saturday, January 08, 2005

Stat Of The Year

Number of .300 hitters on the Red Sox in 2004: Three.

Number of .300 hitters on the yankees' "Murderer's (Cai-) Row" of 2004: Zero.

Too bad I can't call them that any more. Now I guess it's "Muwdewew's Wo(-mack)."

Actually, one hitter on the yanks hit .429 in 7 at bats last year, the since-traded Dioneer Navarro. And John Lieber went one for three. Non-qualifiers for the Sox were Nomar and Trot in limited action with the club. Also note that the Red Sox won the World Series, while the yankees definitely did not.

Balls, Halls, and Michael Kay

I haven't really been following the Minky ball situation. All I know is, I went to this poll on, and it gave us three choices on what should happen to "the ball." None of those choices had Doug keeping the ball. So, for that, terrible job to all the media for messing with this guy. He was the guy who had the ball the moment the Red Sox won the World Series. Who else should have it? I don't understand. He can do whatever he wants with it, it's his. MLB never made a rule that says "everything's ours, and we can take it from you whenever we want." It's like in Ghostbusters. When Venkman, Stanz, and Igon got thrown out of NYU, staffers startes taking equipment literally off of their backs. This is because the university owned the equipment, it was on loan. But baseball players, as far as I can tell, have always been allowed to do what they want with game balls. Ridgefield Little League never even asked me to give back by game balls (which, of course, I still have). That victory over Community Center in the third place game was made possible by my three strong innings on the hill, that's my ball, and whether I want to donate it to the Little League Hall of Fame is my business!

About Doug's hard-to-spell/say last name: Everybody's got a nickname for this guy, while I've either (looked it up and then) spelled it correctly, or gone with the very basic "Minky" as above. The reason for this is that I do have a nickname for him, but not only doesn't it make sense, but I don't know how to spell it, either. I went to school with this kid, whose last name is pronounced "Small-a-wits," from kindergarten through high school. In fact, our mothers were apparently in labor at the same time at Danbury's luxurious "Danbury Hospital." Despite our pre-birth connection, I never really ran in the same circles with this dude, but we were always friendly with each other. Anyway, his name was spelled with that "-wicz" (approximately) ending. So when I heard of Doug M., back in his Twins days, naturally, or not, I made the connection between him and my oddly-spelled, three syllable, hard-to-pronounce last name havin' former schoolmate. So I'd always tease my other friend, a lifelong Twins fan, and say, "How is your team winning the division with 'Small-a-wits' playin' first base?"

So that's what I've always called the Red Sox platoon first baseman. But again, I don't have a spelling on that, and unless you went to Ridgefield public schools and are roughly the same age as me, you wouldn't know who the hell I was talking about. I also remember some joke I had with my Twins fan friend about a David Ortiz jersey, back in David's pre-amazing days in Minnesota. And now I actually have a David Ortiz T-shirt.

I love it when I go to, and I see a really huge add for some MLB product which shows a picture of the pile of Red Sox in mid-postseason celebration. This is killing those yankee fans. I can't wait to go into their house (now our cottage down south) on Opening Day. Johnny against Johnson, top of the first. Do you think Steinbrenner has ordered a fastball high and inside to the symbol of the Red Sox' "anti-yankee style" for the first pitch his team will have thrown since we celebrated on their field?

The other day, ESPN radio had a Michael Kay marathon. I don't need to tell you how I feel about that. The day after, he kept saying how he felt he could've gone on for three more hours. Great, Michael. He's gotta realize that even his most die-hard fan would draw the line at the EIGHT HOUR mark.

Anyway, now Kay is on from 4-7, which, if nothing else, gives me a chance to call him up and get into arguments with him. I'll let you know when I plan to call so you can listen to it. I'll make up a fake town and let you in on it so you'll know it's me when you hear Kay say, "Jere from Suckling Pig, you're up next..." I'll choose something more realistic, though.

So Kay was talking to Goose Gossage the day after the Hall-of-Fame selection was made. I liked how, after Kay was ignoring Jim Rice, Goose specifically brought up Jim, saying he was one of the toughest hitters he'd ever faced. So for Gossage saying kind words about a favorite Sox player of mine, I won't mention how he wouldn't even be considered for the Hall had he not played in New York, had a cool nickname, had a big menacing fu manchu, etc. Whoops. Uhhh, actually, I will say this about Gossage. There used to be a batting cage/mini golf course in Danbury when I was little (which stood, overgrowing and a good fifteen years removed from being in service, until last year, when they built a car showroom there--and I never took a picture of it. Damn.). The batting cage had four machines. The one for little kids, the 60 MPH, the 75 MPH, and "The Goose." I never dared face the Goose.

Kay also interviewed Boggs. It was ego-fest '05. Much like his hitting style, Boggs speaks in a completely selfish tone. The conversation was essentially:

Boggs: "I was awesome. I did this. I did that. I could've done anything I wanted to. I'm so friggin' amazing. God, was I good. I love killing innocent elephants and lions. I'd like to specifically NOT mention the support of my teammates. I am god."

Kay: "I know what it's like, Wade."

Boggs also did something that is my main pet peeve in baseball player interviews. He referred to "your Joe DiMaggio's, your Mike Schmidt's, your George Brett's..." Uggggghhh. There's only one of each! What the hell are you talking about? Who are the other George Brett's? Is Tony Gwynn a George Brett? I think he'd be pissed about that. I imagine a picture of George Brett and eight other guys who were similar to him, and under each guy would be the words "George Brett." And the title would be "Baseball's George Bretts."

"I Think It Can Hear You, Ray"

My sister and I went down to NYC and saw Bill Murray interviewed by Lynn Hirschberg. It was at a CUNY auditorium, and we had front row seats, thanks to a Xmas present from our mom.

He also took some questions. It was great. He's hilarious just to look at. Here's some quotes I remember:

"If you can write, you must write. If you can do comedy, you must do comedy."

That was in reference to doing what you do best, instead of trying to get some "serious" job. Nice. I've been inspired by the master directly.

"Comedy is king."

There he was saying that while dramas win awards, his favorite movies are comedies. Another one I agree with. I hate feeling ashamed that I'd rather watch What About Bob? than some serious or artsy movie. Not that those types of movie can't be good, too. But if I were stranded on a desert island, I'd hope to get rescued so I could make a comedy about my experience.

About The Life Aquatic, he said, essentially, that he thinks it's an amazing movie, and that it will take ten or fifteen years before it's fully appreciated. He gave it some really high praise, and also noted that it took him until the third time he saw it to realize how great it was. That's a good sign for the two people I know who've only seen it once, and weren't as into it as they were the previous Wes Anderson movies. (Whereas I've stubbornly put it at number one of all time where it will be staying, I predict, until the next Wes Anderson movie comes out. Or the nexxt Christopher Guest movie.) Murray also said that he likes Anderson a lot, he works hard, and is a nice guy, too.

He basically gave a summary of his life, and his career, too. The interviewer wasn't that good, but we all knew it was the Murray show, so she didn't even have to be there.

I've noticed with Q & A's, of the audience members who ask questions, there's always one really intelligent person, one "retarded/psycho/#1 fan/all of the above"-type person, and a whole bunch of people asking really thought-, point-, and meaningless questions, who seem to really not know the answer, even though all of us quiet people do. Either that, or they ask the celebrity their opinion on a broad subject. In fact, Murray ripped the interviewer herself tonight for something like that. She asked him, "Is it true that you think women are funnier than men?" Bill replied, "That's like asking, [with mock enthusiasm,] 'Which do you like better, DAY...or NIGHT??'" Then he rolled his eyes.

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Awards Keep Rollin' In

In 2004 I racked up my first Sportsman of the Year Award AND my first Person of the Year Award. My past awards include a ribbon for "2nd Place" at field day in fifth grade at Ridgebury Elementary School, and the Pete Rose Award for Best Hustle, on the Rotary Little League team in 1986.

As I've hinted at before, I will not be accepting Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year Award, given to all Red Sox fans, because while there are plenty of female Sox fans, SI insisted on calling the Award "SportsMEN of the Year."

ABC's People of the Year Award was given to "bloggers." In winning this award, I'd like to thank Al Gore for inventing the internet. Without him, none of this could be possible. I'd also like to thank my loyal readers, who support my anti-Michael Kay stance, and don't turn me over to the police when I speak of killing him. Also, thanks to the man upstairs, Rich Gedman (assuming his bedroom is on an upper floor, and he's in it now, as it's 1:30 in the GD morning on the east coast).

Moving on, I have a lamp by my bed, with the turny knob that clicks on and off. But it only goes on or off on the second click. So, the pattern goes: Click. On. Click. On. Click. Off. Click Off. Do you have that kind? No, you've probably got an eLamp or an iLamp that turns on when you tell it to with your mind. Well, I've got the old kind. So, I thought to myself, Hey, it'd be easier to turn the light on in the morning if I do one extra click once the light is off the night before, because I'd only be one turn away from having the light go on. So I woke up the next morning, turned the knob just once, saving the time of that second turn, and the light was on. But then I thought, Well, now I should do another click, so when I go to turn it off again, I'll only be one turn away then, too.

So, after all that, I'm still clicking twice every time. All I ended up doing was one extra turn, to get me into the new pattern. There's got to be a metaphor for life in there somewhere.

This is why I win awards.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Ticket Mess

Didn't I just say that you never know when you're gonna get scammed by these internet ticket sites? Sure enough, Chan, who bought our Opening Day tickets, got an email from the site saying, "Sorry, those were spring training tickets." Okaaaay....

Fortunately, he can get his money back. Man, I knew that 60 price tag for lower deck at yanke Stadium was too good to be true, considering the cheapest bleacher seats are going for about 85 each. So we'll probably dig a little deeper and get some of those.

But these ticket scalpers are horible. I went back to that site, and they're STILL selling the spring training tickets for 60, calling them "Home Game 1." I'm not going to say the name of the site, because I don't want to advertise for those rip-off artists.

The deal is this: The first three games of the year will be played between April 3rd and April 7th, according to, but no dates are set yet. All these ticket "agencies" are selling tickets for the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th, saying each day is yankees vs. Red Sox. So much like with a "shake" in Springfield, you don't know what you're gettin'. I called this one place, and asked the guy about this. It was like I was the first person to realize that they're selling five sets of tickets to three games. Later, I checked their site again, and they had changed it, because of me, to say "Home Game 1, 2, and 3," instead of "Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday." That's when I decided to spring for the 60 dollar seats, because at that point, they were being called "Home Game 1" instead of "Monday," which could've meant Game 1 OR 2, depending on ESPN, I guess. So, through Chan, we got 'em, or thought we had 'em, until the guy wrote Chan saying that these "Home Game 1" tickets, formerly known as "Monday" tickets, were actually tickets to a spring training game. (Which makes no sense either, because spring training will be over at that point.)

The weird thing was, the guy was nice on the phone, saying he didn't want to sell me tix to Opening Day, when he couldn't guarantee they were for Opening Day. And now he's offering Chan his $ back, but still, terrible job by all these stupid criminals. Maybe I'll go the eBay route.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Jet City Shortstop

It's true. Any hope of keeping Pokey on board is gone, as he has signed with Seattle. I had a feeling he was gone yesterday, when I got an email from The Souvenir Store, offering discounted merch. Along with a hundred different cheap Nomar T-shirts were a couple of Pokey ones. Now it's official. I'm sure he'll like it out there. Take the underground tour, Pokey. And I'd recommend getting a house in West Seattle. But don't go into the "UFO Museum" on Broadway, it's pretty much a scam, and the guy in there is sketchy.

From my friend Jen, in response to my Army Day query:

"Army day is the same as Flag Day was the "birthday" of the Army. Then it was June 10th now it is the 14th."

She's also going crazy trying to figure out why 302 doesn't belong. So I'm finally going to tell her, and you. Okay, we know all three numbers are distances to the fences at Fenway. 302 doesn't belong because it's not painted on the fence. (Probably because you wouldn't be able to see it from home plate, since that part of the wall faces out toward center field.) So nobody got that one. Except for the person who said he didn't smoke weed, although I now realize they may have been being sarcastic.

Unit-ed We Come Up With More Bad Puns

Looks like the yanks have the aging mulleted one. Normally I'd be rooting for a broken leg in these situations. But I actually hope they all stay perfectly healthy, and still lose. I want chaos in the yankee clubhouse, or Steinbrenner getting way too involved and screwing things up, that kind of stuff, as long as that two hundred fifty million gets them squat in the end.

When George finds out that the Mets got Beltran (which seems to be a strong possibility), he may flip out. How sweet would that be? It was assumed as fact that the yanks would get Beltran this off-season. And now their little brother team might swoop in.

I'm looking forward to a great year, with the Sox taking an early lead, then, backed with the knowledge that they are the defending champs, actually hold that lead and go on to a nice repeat. Either that or just get the wild card, and watch the yanks fold with Kevin Brown and Jaret Wright blowing huge games in October.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Cuz I Hide That Dirty Water

Remember how I was saying that the fact that the yanks played their home games at Shea Stadium in '74-'75 is rarely ever brought up? Well my sister got me this little booklet called "1975 Remember When..." in honor of my year of birth. It has news and facts and ads from '75; they make one for every year, you know the ones I mean.

In it, I found the following:

"Playing in Shea Stadium while Yankee Stadium was being renovated, the New York Yankees marked Army Day with a pre-game ceremony. The 21-gun salute destroyed part of the stadium's fence and set fire to another portion."


Has anyone ever heard of this? I've seen the footage of Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey in '79 a thousand times, so why not this fiery destruction? I'm really starting to think Steinbrenner has burned all the footage of the yanks playing at Shea. He's trying to pretend it never happened. Kind of like how the city of Danbury, CT refuses to admit that there's a river running through it. If you drive around the city, you'd never know of the existence of the Still River. But walk around downtown and peer over the huge concrete walls and you'll see it. But look quick, before the cops catch you acknowledging the existence of it. I call it the "Red-headed Stepchild River."

So where was I? Ah, yes, the yanks at Shea. I'm starting to think it never happened at all...

And what the hell is "Army Day?"

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Hole In The Wall

You know you're at a good concert when you literally get pushed through a wall...

I went to a punk show last night in the basement of a house in Southbury, Connecticut. Southbury: The crown jewel of Exit 15. The first thing I saw was that Ted Williams "Moxie" ad. Then I saw a Red Sox Number One Foam Finger. So I knew I was in a friendly household. The dad is a huge fan, and allows his son to have crazy punk bands play in his basement. So it was cool. A bunch of my friends from the old days were there. The old days meaning a few years ago, when my old band, The Pac-Men, used to play and make all the kids dance and go nuts. At the end of last night, these people were telling me how this show reminded them of the old Pac-Men shows. So that was good to hear. But more importantly, these bands last night just ruled, and the hundred or so people packed into this tiny basement turned into a mass of energy, just running amok as one the whole time.

Some of the bands were from Canada, and they had a little entourage with them. I noticed these Canadian kids doing these hand claps while watching these bands, along with this little hip shaking dance. It reminded me of when I went to SkyDome in Toronto, and wathced everyone do this choreographed dance to some special Blue Jays song that was played during the 7th inning stretch. There are plenty of "punk dances," but we Americans have just basically combined them all into one dance called "go nuts." So it was funny to see the more organized Canadian vs. chaotic USA style of Music-enjoying.

So I was standing against the wall, right up front, the whole night. Ceiling tiles were falling, people were flying through the air, and the dad didn't seem to mind, as he'd peer in to the basement with a blank stare every once in a while. At one point, the entire crowd surged into me, and I felt my entire midsection just go backwards...creating a two-foot high back/ass print in the sheet rock. Had I been standing in front of a stud, I might well have been crushed. But the wall just gave way, cushioning my body nicely. "I broke the wall," I bragged to my friends. This was the first wall I'd broken since my car slid on some ice and went right into the brick facade of a local record store. The guy who owns that very store was there last night, videotaping the bands. When the show finally came to a close (the last band played for an hour, we just refused to let them stop, because nobody wanted the night to end), I went over to this dude and told him to keep the camera rolling, so I could have him get on film the new "seat" I'd created in the wall.

What do you expect, though, when you go to see a band called "Fucked Up"?

"Pipe Dreams, Dad"

I have a cousin who tells me that she's good friends with the wife of Brian Johnson, singer of AC/F'n/DC. She lives near where the Johnsons live in Florida, and has partied with them at the mansion that metal bought.

Now that's cool enough right there. But I just read that Brian Johnson attended Johnny Damon's wedding in Orlando.

So what I'm getting at is, am I gonna get to hang out with Johnny Dmaon or what? I need to get down to Florida and see that cousin. Here's how I envision the scenario:

Ding dong. [door opens]

Cousin: "Oh hey cuz, welcome to sunny Florida, come on in."

Me: "Hey, thanks for having me. Where are Brian Johnson and World Champion Boston Red Sox star Johnny Damon?"

Cousin: "They're jamming in the air-conditioned studio on some AC/DC classics. In fact, they need another guitarist, and they specifically asked for 'that awesome blogging cousin from Connecticut'. So go right in. Oh, and there are plenty of those Jax cheese doodles you like, but this is a kind that they make for celebrities that don't leave that orange residue on your fingers."

"Thanks, cuz."

(Isn't it great how the fact the Red Sox are World Champions is the only REAL thing in this fantasy?)

Now about overpriced tickets:

Despite all my bragging about how I always know when yankee tickets go on sale before yankee fans do, I missed that day this year. I swear I was keeping track of when tickets for all the relevant teams went on sale, i.e. the teams that play somewhat near me who also play the Red Sox. But somehow the yanks fooled me this year. They had no mention of single game tickets on their site for so long, and then all of a sudden, they were on sale. I looked to see how long they'd been on sale without me knowing. Four days. Screwed. I tried for opening day, nothing. All other Sox games at the Stadium: single seats only. Crap. So I started looking on the internet sclaper sites, and to make a long story short, I ended up with a pretty sweet deal. 60 bucks a pop for Opening Day, NOT in the bleachers, so I can walk around the whole park at least. I'm psyched. yankee Stadium is now our house, it's gonna so fun to be there this year.

With my ten-game plan at Fenway, I've also got the second game of the year against the yanks, and a game in the final series of the year against the yanks, plus playoff "consideration." So things are shaping up nicely. I just hope the internet tix I got for Opening Day in the Bronx actually are for Opening Day; you never know when you're gonna get scammed.

So everyone google "yankee tickets," look around on the ripoff sites, and buy up all the Sox games at the stadium, we need to continue our infiltration. You're not gonna find 'em for 60, I don't think, at least for Opening Day, I really lucked out on that price, but good luck with all your ticket finding activities, legal or otherwise.

Also, if you want to take a Baltimore road trip, O's tix went on sale a few weeks ago, go to the Orioles site for those, there are still some left for Sox games.

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