Saturday, May 28, 2005

Big Stein: The Interview

When asked if he likes being called "The Boss," he says, "Yeah, I like it," without a hint of sarcasm.

I see in him two sides. There's the side that loves being in charge and being this iconic figure. That side feels guilty about that, though. And there's the self-deprecating side, that not only says that he doesn't deserve accolades, but that no one does.

The interview seemed like therapy, with the all-knowing, all-powerful Kay the perfect therapist. Yet it almost seemed like they weren't in the same room. I get the feeling there was a lot of editing.

Remember in that movie Fletch when Fletch interviews the old man, claiming his name is Harry S Truman? It was kind of like that.

George says you have to have the "right materials" to win. I later figured out that by "materials" he meant "people."

He would sometimes look directly at the camera, which is always scary for the home viewer.

About George's two suspensions from baseball: Kay mentioned it in a segment where he was by himself, but only asked George what it was like to be suspended. No questions about what actually happened. I expected that, I guess.

While he talked about the '76 and '81 teams, it occured to me that you hardly ever see highlights from those two World Series'. Gee, I wonder why.

George calls everybody "a great man, a great yankee, a great competitor."

They talked about Seinfeld, which George said he liked, because if you can't poke fun at yourself, you're not much of a man. That was a big theme of his. Being a man. But at certain points he was very much like the Seinfeld character.

He'd repeat Kay's exact words a lot. Which gave me the impression he was lying. (And/or senile.)

He called Don Mattingly a "hometown boy." That phrase means you played in your hometown, not that you simply have a hometown.

I noticed Kay didn't ask, "How come the yankees were always crappy when you got directly involved?"

About Paul O'Neill's temper, he said, in his best schoolgirl voice, "I liked it when he'd hit the coo-ooler."

The quotes from other people about George looked like the things you see after someone dies. Which I think was done on purpose. Because he's on the doorstep.

"It's important for this country to be supreme." Okay, mein fuhrer. This is what I was talking about in my last post, about the God Bless America thing.

"I love chow mein," he said, when asked his favorite food. Kay had plenty of time for fluff since he left out all the stuff we watched for 90 minutes to hear!

But one fluff question led to something interesting. When asked his favorite TV show, he said, "Mary Tyler Moore, no two ways about it." (Laughing at things old people say is just so fun.) But, anyway, his reasoning was that all the actors went on to do different things, but "elsewhere didn't do as well." Wow. He should think about that when he takes players from other teams who are really good, and brings them to where they totally don't fit in, and then don't win.

"It's just a little man, and he's struggling," he said when asked why he likes Donkey Kong so much. Oh, wait, that was Juliette Lewis. I'm watching Conan O'Brien right now.

Uh, so, he loves turtlenecks. I'm glad to be the opposite of George any chance I can get, and this is an easy one. I HATE turtlenecks. Not just for their ridiculous look, but also because I don't like the feel of something on my neck, strangling me. Ironically, I also don't like when my T-shirt neck hole is too loose. So it has to be just perfect.

They finally got to the 2004 ALCS, which I was hoping would be a big cry-fest, but they didn't even really get into it. He just said that we're his biggest rival, etc, etc, and it was tough to lose, that he wishes he could have a do-over of Game 7, ("If, if, if": the new yankee motto) and that they'd be back this year. Bla bla bla.

Can't believe I watched that whole crappy show.

The dual evil of Kay and Steinbrenner in one room was probably a hazard to society. I actually feel that Kay is more evil than George, if that's possible. He's not real. He has no soul. Steinbrenner sold his soul, but Kay was born of soulless machines.

This review was unneccesary. But I was taking notes the whole time, and I didn't want them to go to waste.

Just saw a commercial for the contest to win the yankee edition Ford Mustang. With championship logo!, they say. Champions of what, I wonder. This thing is ugly. A fucking pinstriped car. I should enter my name. I could do some fun stuff with that car. Imagine watching that thing going over a cliff and exploding in flames.

F the yanks.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Game 1 Recap

I have this theory called "never take Wake out." I know sometimes the knuckler just isn't working, and he really needs to come out. But in general, when you've got a guy who can pitch indefinitely, even if he's only kind of effective, keep him in. Why put into motion a series of events that ends with a lot of tired relievers (who also aren't as good as a Wakefield at his most mediocre)?

And they bring in Alan "El Capitan del Queso" Embree? Sheffield hardly took the bat off his shoulders against Wakefield. He even said this after the game: "I have no clue how to hit a knuckle ball."

Dale Sveum with a classic performance tonight. First he doesn't send the runner on Matsui, who made a two-hop, up the line throw home (described as "perfect" by Murcer). Then on the next two plays, he DOES send the runner, getting both tagged out by a total of twenty feet. By the way, they're really spinning this Matsui center field thing, making it sound like he's an All-Star quality center fielder on defense.

Jorge Posada tried to elbow Mark Bellhorn for no reason. The Hell, No cameras showed the replay a hundred times, begging the announcers to admit that it happened. They didn't bite. Did Remy and Orsillo mention this? How could they not have? Then when Damon was thrown out at the plate, Posada did another little cheap shot.

Before Dumbo Tynan's God Bless America, Bob Shepard gave his usual speech about the moment of silence for the people who died defending "our" way of life. (Uh, MY way of life differs from yours, which is what this country is all about.) But when did they add "bow your heads in prayer"? What the shit? Church and state, beotch. You can't make me pray. I'm surprised they don't have him say, "And now, bow your heads and pray to our lord Jesus for our fighting white men who died defending America so you can take up all the box seats that you just give to your secretary's brother-in-law who couldn't care less about baseball because you made a fortune bilking good people out of their money..." You get the picture.

The end of the game was the classic example of A. the ump being influenced by the crowd, calling a third strike on an outside pitch to hear the crowd roar, and B. the home team's network not showing a replay, using the excuse of, "Well, the games's over, there's no time for that."

Overall, this loss wasn't too horrible. We'll stop leaving runners on eventually. We hit the Unit pretty good.

This whole thing about the yanks going from last place to second place in May, man, I've been listening to these announcers, and it's really quite an accomplishment. It totally makes up for blowing a three-nothing lead in the playoffs to the team that their fans' whole lives were based opon being superior to. Totally. In fact, this makes that not even have happened any more.

Now I'm watching the Steinbrenner interview. I didn't realize it was 90 friggin' minutes. I will review it in my next post.

Mid-Game 1 Notes

Not since Ted Simmons taught all the kids on The Baseball Bunch to be switch hitters because HE was a switch hitter have I seen such a pathetic display of narcissism combined with willingness to conform:

Jorge Posada is now imitating the stance of his hitting coach, former yankee almost-great Don Mattingly. He's got the whole pre-swing routine down. Terrible job.

I really hope this is strictly used against the knuckle ball, and not Posada's new stance in general.

Note: You're probably saying, "But what about the time when that kid in 'The Bad News Bears: Breaking Training' imitated Luis Tiant on the mound?"

Well, duh, that was before The Baseball Bunch aired, and Tiant didn't personally teach the kid the motion. At least not that I can remember.

I just recently got cable again, so the crappiness of the "Hell, No" announcers is all coming back to me now. The worst is when they'll say something, then a replay is shown that proves them wrong, but they don't admit they were wrong, and sometimes even reiterate their claim, even though the whole world just watched as it was proven to be false.

Don't you love when Sheffield watches three pitches, all of which are called balls despite looking like strikes, and then the next pitch is a called strike and he complains to the umpire like he's just been put in jail for a crime he didn't commit?

And isn't it fun to watch and listen to the crowd reactions at yankee Stadium? Clearly, unquestionably, without a doubt, the least knowledgeable fans in sports. Funny how people always get that one backwards.

Jason Varitek just hit a home run off of Randy. Jason Varitek is my baseball idol. That guy just knows what to do. Handling the pitching staff, getting clutch hits, hustling every time. If ever there was a perfect specimen of a "captain," it's him. If I ever have a kid, I'm naming it Varitek Smith. Boy or girl.

The WB

"W.B. Mason presents yankees Encore"?

What the shit?

I thought "Who But" was loyal to the Red Sox.

Never trust a corporation.

I know there are plenty of companies that sponsor both teams, but for some reason (maybe because I'd never heard of the company before its ad was put on the Green Monster) I figured W.B. Mason was Red Sox only.

Johnny almost hit Randy Johnson with a huge piece of broken lumber to start the game. Almost made up for that bird he killed. Would have been funny to see the Unit explode like the bird did.

Red Stalkings

Since this is the first time in my life that the Red Sox came to my town to play, I naturally went down to their hotel to get some pictures of my favorite players in dress shirts.

It felt a little weird.

In case you forgot whether grown, semi-retarded men who sell autographed material for a living are cool or not, let me refresh your memory. They're not.

These guys are as pathetic as they are repulsive. I almost felt like I couldn't walk around the corner, for fear that they'd follow me, thinking I had some secret info. After a while, some teenage girl Damon fan-types arrived, so I didn't feel like a total asshole. Wow, how often do you hear me make that statement?

I guessed the Sox would be leaving the hotel around three, and I turned out to be right. Within ten minutes, they started coming out. I shot video of some players walking from hotel to hired car: Tek, Mueller, and Millar. Then from hotel to bus: Johnny, Trot, Foulke, Bellhorn, Arroyo, Mirabelli. They all fortunately ignored the autograph-men, siging none of their dirty merchandise. Wait a minute. I just realized I saw only the white guys. Weird. I hope these guys aren't splitting into race-oriented cliques.

Anyway, I'm not gonna post any video stills, it doesn't feel right. If you're a huge fan of any of the above guys, e-mail me if you really want to see a candid shot of your player of choice, and I'll make you up a nice still frame.

Wakefield tonight vs. the Chokers, who have caught up to us way too early, instead of pacing themselves.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Take The 12:48 T' Witch City

Well I was going to say that the Sox will win tonight, since they're 3-0 on Thursdays so far this year. The good news, as I write this, is that at least there are still eight innings left in this game to make up the six-run deficit.

And then I just watched as the yanks scored on an error, as is their tradition.

God damn.

It's May, remember.

Red Sox blogs of note: I already told you about Witch City Sox Girl. But please also check out Twitch 124, done by another Boston area woman with good taste, and 12 Eight, a blog by a Sox fan dude in Canada who likes Bill Murray.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Even More Cooperstown

Dale Sveum takes a cut. He would single on the next pitch:

For female Sam. El Carne (Also, look at everyone's head as they watch the ball. But Ortiz, like Norm on that Cheers episode where they go to the other bar with all the TVs, says, "Try moving just your eyes."):

Johnny took two right handed swings in the HR derby:

Johnny playing catch with the crowd. (He was throwing to the girl in the light blue shirt on the left, who ended up falling pretty hard trying to catch this ball):

Varitek samples a stool.

Cropping for the sake of cropping:

More Cooperstown Action

Tek does the dual-windmill:

Hanley and Papi:

Papi and Johnny:

For Empy:

Happy Bellhorn/Serious Bronson:

First base coach Lynn Jones asks "What the hell are you doing" to third base coach Johnny Damon, who replies, "How the hell should I know?"

More to come.


If I hear one more person tell me that their big, clumsy dog "thinks he's a puppy," I'm gonna puke in their face.

Yes, I figured out what that "think puppy" note meant.

You know what else makes me want to puke? Baseball. Can we please go into yankee Stadium ahead of them in the standings?

And Widescreen Wednesday pisses me off, too. I always seem to visit NESN, I mean, my parents, who have NESN, on Wednesdays. I'm sure the widescreen thing is great if you have a big TV, but on this one, I just can't see the ball.

Now attempting to post more Cooperstown pics. If they're not above this post, wait a few minutes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


I'm going to post a bunch of stills from my Cooperstown video here. So this would be the teaser, I guess. Someone had asked Johnny to wave, so he struck a weird wave pose and held it. For better resolution, move way back from your screen.

Terrible job by Captain Cheese tonight. This was one of those frustrating losses we've all experienced so many times, but we never get used to.

Female Sam, get those Tigers back on track for tomorrow. Come on. Tell 'em. That Quantrill's a real ass, isn't he?

I looked in my pocket for a scrap of paper I'd written an idea on earlier today. The paper says, "think puppy." When I wrote that, I told myself, "You fool, you'll never remember what this means." I was right.

And to think doesn't link this site.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Doubleday Field, May 23rd, 2005

The 6 AM wake-up got me to Cooperstown, New York, at a little before ten, where my mom and I waited at one of the trolley lots with about forty people, two of whom were Tiger fans. I knew then what I'd suspected for a long time: Doubleday Field was gonna be Fenway Park in the Empire State.

My mom surprised me by borrowing from my dad the official road jersey with World Series patch that we all chipped in to get him for Christamas. So she was really outclassing me in the style department.

We got to the Hall of Fame around 10 AM, with me getting in free with the membership I bought just to be able to buy tickets to this game. So, at mom's request, I left her in the line to go upstairs to the trophy, so I could get a good spot on line, and then she could join me without having to wait. When I got up there it was total anarchy. No line. Just a mass of worshippers. When mom arrived up in the trophy room, she told me that a staff member had told everyone that the trophy had already been taken away to the parade, which started at noon. So she told this guy--a lying yankee fan--that she was only there for the trophy, and could she go get her son so she could leave. This got her in for free, and she found me waiting upstairs--right by the trophy. We jammed our way close to it and took each other's pic with it. (I've seen the old girl four times now, but hadn't had my pic taken with it yet.) (The trophy, not my mom.)

Then we walked around, saw the 2004 World Series display, bloody sock and all, and as we passed back through the trophy room, we noticed a line had formed, and it was a mile long. So we just made it in time as it turned out.

At the front door on our way out were my cousin's husband and son, right where we planned to meet up. I gave my other tickets to them. (note: both yankee fans). We went to a diner, where we were forgotten about by the waitress. To the point where, when we tried to order off of the breakfast menu she'd left us with, they had stopped serving breakfast. So we had lunch.

Then we stepped outside and watched the worst parade you'll ever see. A bunch of yahoos, and then finally four trolleys full of players for like ten seconds. And the ubiquitous Johnny Pesky, along with Bobby Doerr and Dom DiMaggio, in a car.

Interesting that the trolleys took the players right to Doubleday Field, as the mass of people pretty much walked along side them. It's kind of weird having all the players and fans arrive together at the field as one.

Our seats were front row, right by third base, in this cozy 10,000-ish seat park. I was told they'd be obstructed by walking traffic, but they weren't at all. Pretty sweet deal for an eleven dollar ticket.

We were on the Red Sox side, so we had great views of everybody warming up down the third base line.

The home run derby started at 1:00.

Payton went three for ten. Then Johnny got maybe six; he had a nice rythym for a while. Then Ortiz came up. And that's when houses started being attacked by baseballs. The park is right in the village, so it's surrounded by trees and houses with people out on the roofs. Papi was tattooing houses. Eight out of ten. A great show.

Then three Tigers didn't beat Ortiz.

All right, female Sam, it was, I don't know, The Meat or whatever, maybe Tims, and I really forget their third dude. It wasn't Nook. Darrell Evans? Matt Nokes? Chet Lemon?

They interviewed David on the field after his performance, as they did with a bunch of players throughout the day, and we could hear it over the PA.

Then the game started, and the fun really began. Johnny was just chillin' out in center, laughin' it up with the fans in the bleachers. (Remember, it was 90% Sox fans.) As he came out for the bottom of the second, he had a catch with the crowd. He'd just throw it in, and whoever caught it would throw it back. I was sitting there wondering if my yankee fan companions were thinking, "Wow, baseball can be fun!"

The starters left the game following the second, except for Youkilis, who played a lot of innings at first.

But then I noticed Trot Nixon went to coach third. And Dale Sveum got in the batter's box. And Dale laced the ball! A base hit. Dale Sveum finally gets a rousing cheer from Red Sox Nation. Amazing.

The next inning, Johnny Damon comes out to coach third. And in the inning after that, too. At one point, a guy got on first. A minor-leaguer, like the rest of the team at that point. Of course the crowd is all telling Johnny to send the guy. So Johnny starts making motions at the kid: Points at first, moves arms to the left, points at second. He does this over and over again, trying to get the kid to steal, but he isn't budging. Then there's a ground ball that the batter beats out, and the kid tries to go from second to third on the play, and gets tagged out without even sliding, ending Johnny's career as a third base coach.

Then Willie Mota came in the game to play center. The center field crowd adopted him as their new favorite. He gets a hit, and they cheer him more. He comes back out to center, the cheers get louder. They chant "Mota." Then in the eighth, he gets up as the tying run. The bleachers are serenading him, and I swear to Gedman, the guy hits a home run, right to center field. He would've been the MVP had the Thigh-gers not won it in the bottom of the ninth on a walk-off homer. Or maybe Hanley Ramirez, who also played well, and had at least two hits and an RBI.

I also got to watch Manny Delcarmen warm up, which was cool.

So Manny and Ramirez were there, but Manny Ramirez was not. Neither was Schilling, but a good percentage of the team were there. I guess a bunch of pitchers weren't there, now that I think about it. I didn't see Clement, Miller, Foulke, or Embree, but maybe they just stayed in the dugout.

Bill Haselman also got an at bat in the game. And Ino Guerrero got two at bats. And if you're a minor league type, you would've been in heaven.

Anibal Sanchez was the starting pitcher. He pitched for a long time, maybe six innings. Maybe more. Maybe less. A lot, though. He pitched really well. A few little mistakes, but I liked what I saw.

And other minor league dudes were: pitcher Juan Perez, catcher Jim Buckley, (I didn't see Shoppach), Christian Lara, Bryan Pritz got an at bat, maybe Mike Lockwood (I'm checking the minor league rosters and seeing which names I remember), and I think Dustin Kelly who, like David Wells, was wearing number three.

I'll have to check my video for more names and anything else I forgot. It was cool to tape game action legally. And I pretty much got the whole home run derby.

Then my cousin's kid got to run the bases after the game, along with a thousand other kids, and high five Doerr, DiMaggio, and Robin Roberts. He's following in my footsteps on Roberts, as I went to his baseball camp at West Point when I was little, and also got to meet this HoFer. I still have that autograph somewhere.

It was a very happy scene, watching the kids run around the bases. Any creatures who don't have cell phones and are completely excited about something as simple as getting a chance to run on dirt are okay with me. It was a fitting ending to a special day. There's only one game during each regular season that doesn't count in the standings, and only two teams get to play in it (and are brought to the field via parade). I consider myself lucky to have seen it, especially since my team was playing in it, and as the defending World Champions to boot. It was all about having fun and playing ball. What baseball should be. Why Manny would miss this, I have no idea. Probably injury-related or something. But I'll never forget it. Neither will the three people I went with.

Empy from Empy's Place was at this game as well, (Happy Birthday, Empy!) out in the really fun outfield seats. See her blog for more. I'm guessing she'll have pics, and so will I. Soon. Can't say when yet. Busy. Keep checking back.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Terrible Job Alert

Okay, I told Chan how I was "blown away" by the ending of Return of the Jedi, where I saw the ghost of Anakin appear, looking exactly like the actor from the new movies. And he told me how stupid I was, and that this was a new thing added to the special edition DVD. So it was the same actor.

Terrible job, Chan, for providing me with versions of the first three Star Wars movies that were altered.

And terrible job, Lucas empire, for altering the classics.

I think I'm gonna put out a special edition DVD of Still, We Believe, where the Red Sox beat the yanks, and Jessamy and that pessimist dude kiss on the field.

So I guess I need to throw a new party, using only the true, unedited Star Wars movies.

Great job by Clement today. Thanks for winning, Red Sox, on the rare day I get to see you on TV.

Tomorrow, I get up at 6 AM to drive to Cooperstown for the Hall of Fame Game. Will take video and post some stills here eventually.

Star Wars Aftermath

As I kind of expected, only Brian joined me and Chan for the Star Wars all-day party.

I started Episode II at 9:AM. I thought Anikan looked and talked like Theo Epstein. Which was upsetting since I knew he'd turn into Vader. (Despite never having seen Episodes III-VI, I knew some things. Like "I am your father." Chan pointed out that not knowing that would've been like taping a game and planning to watch it thirty years later, while avoiding seeing the result the whole time.) But then in Episode III, the Theo-looking actor had a look on his face that reminded me of A-Rod. So you could see him go from Theo to A-Rod to Steinbrenner (Darth Vader). You know what's weird? I was Darth Vader for Halloween when I was like five, despite not having seen Star Wars.

We finished up Episode II at noon, and had to immediately head out to 86th Street to see Episode III, which started at 12:45. So my lunch plans were shot. This party was destined to run behind schedule, mind you.

Saw the III, and it ruled. I was so psyched that I'd then get to continue the story with three more movies.

Then we went to a pizza place, where the Mets-yanks game was on. It was right at the point where the Mets pitcher got the double off Randy Johnson. It was great. Everybody in the place was rooting for the Mets. Even construction workers were coming in from outside to root against the yanks. It was the New York I dream of.

Then we watched Star Wars. I wasn't totally impressed. I think the digital remastering killed it for me. Like, if it had looked all old, it would've been better. Because it had no chance of looking as good as the 21st century movies anyway. Also, the light saber battles were so much slower than in the previous aka future episodes.

Then there was the couch fiasco. We tried to get a huge couch from my dad's van, which I'm borrowing, upstairs to the apartment. It wouldn't fit through the door. So we just put it on the sidewalk, sat on it, and tried to sell it to people walking by. People were interested, but not enough. Eventually we just left it out there. We watched from the window as two people hauled it away while we were watching The Empire Strikes Back.

But before that, we went out to get more food. The girl at the health food store asked us if we were doing anything cool. I told her that what we were doing is probably not considered cool. She said she had also never seen the original movies, until her brother forced her to watch all three in a row. So she knew where I was coming from. Then we went to a pizza place, and I noticed the Red Sox were on TV. TBS! I forgot about that option, probably because I only recently got cable again, and because I expected to just miss the game due to the party. So during Empire, I made us switch over to the game for the bottom of the ninth, to see the near comeback win.

Empire was really good. Better than Episode IV I thought. I got to see the Weird Al song "Yoda" come to life. Then Brian and Chan were done, and I watched Jedi. Actually, I had to stop it in the middle to go to bed. I got up this morning and finished it. I like how the last episode of each threesome ended with going back and forth between two fights. And dude, Yoda friggin' dies? What the shit? It was really awesome how at the end, you see the ghost of Anakin, and he looked just like the actor from Episode II and III. I was blown away by that. That's one of the things I got to experience that most people didn't.

I think it worked out this way. Obviously, there's advantages to seeing it in the IV, V, VI, I, II, III order. But it was a fun experience for me. And it was the true order.

Now I get to relax and watch the Sox on TV for a change, thanks to TBS. The Braves' announcer just said that when you look at Fenway Park, it really reminds you of "one of those video games." And he was serious.

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