Thursday, August 11, 2005

Mega-Retro Gallery: Baltimore, 2002

Here are some video stills [note: video is now up] of my trip to Camden Yards for the game between us and the Birds on April 6th, 2002. I went with yankee-sometimes-fan Chan. I still don't know how I convinced him to go. This was 1. a year after the Nomo Nono; 2. the day after Lowe's near no-no; and 3. a few weeks before Lowe's actual no-no, a game I watched from the right field lower boxes.

The view out the motel window the night before. Fortunately, the snow stopped before the game the next day.

A bundled-up Chan heads toward Camden Yards.

Pedro, Pedro, Pedro! And Pedro.

John Burkett, Derek Lowe, and Rickey Henderson.

Dwight Evans.

Pedro and Nomar.

El Guapo waves to his adoring public.

And poses for their pictures.

Pedro with Lowe behind him.

Manny, with Hillenbrand and Pedro.


Rickey Henderson says it's okay to take a picture of Rickey Henderson, as long as Rickey Henderson approves of the final product. (David Cross reference.) (Hey, I said "cross-reference.")

Tony the Tiger.

Nomar smells the glove.


Trot in BP.

Nomar with Pedro on his shoulder.

Looks like baseball weather in this shot. But, no. 30 degrees.

Nomar asked someone he knew in the crowd, "What are you doing out here?" They said, "We came to see you."

Grady Size-Less. Lucchino on right.

Some dude sang the Cheers theme to Werner. Then he said, "I'm singing you the Cheers theme." It was an embarrassing moment for everyone around. Someone else correctly told Tom, "You're gonna bring us a championship!"

Close-up of his special tag.

Katie Couric.


This dweeb sat next to me. He was pretty amusing, but annoying.

George Will has sweet seats.

Remy, Werner, McDonough.

Nomar's classic swing.

Chan looks up the announcers.

Here, the dweeb revels in his joke about pretending all the hot chocolates in the vendor's tray belonged to him.

Red Sox win.

Final score.

On the way home, we got a shot of the twin beams of light, from Jersey.

I was also at Camden for the "thunder" game the following year with Pat. Look for those pics someday.

[Edit 10/3/05: Here's a closeup of the dweeb so I can use it as my profile pic]

Red Sox Nation Card Re-Dux Bed

To answer Peter's question about my stance on the Red Sox Nation Membership cards:

Here's the link to my initial response to "the card," from November 8, 20004.

Here's what I wrote about it the following day.

From December 4th, here's where it turned into discussing dirtdog's racism, long before the infamous picture appeared at his site.

This one here revisits the RSN ID topic on December 10th.

Scroll around the archives for November and December '04 for more on these topics, or visit your local library.

Bugger Off, You Bloody Sod

No, this isn't a post about Michael Kay or BostonDirtDogs.

It's about this, from an email I just got from the Red Sox:

"As a member of Red Sox Nation, you'll soon have the exclusive chance to own a piece of Fenway's 2004 Championship Sod."

This will be my first time buying grass.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Eat This, Kay


I love August. The way the crowd reacted to Bronson coming off the mound tonight said not only "We appreciate you," but also "These games are getting important." Maybe it's just because it's been a while since I'd seen a Sox game on an actual TV. But seeing the fans all excited on a summer night is just one of those things that makes you realize what this whole baseball thing is all about. Makes me think of Friday nights in the summer when I was little, when we'd get the TV-38 games on the CT affiliate, after some minor antenna adjusting on the roof. These summer baseball games will always be special, whether your team is going for their first title in 80 years, or their second in two.

That's what Michael Kay should have realized all those times when he said that winning the World Series would be the "worst thing to happen" to THOSE Red Sox fans. Tonight, when the ESPN announcers were telling the country how Sox fans have come out and packed Fenway every night this season, I started thinking of Kay (his team has 18 consecutive sellouts!) and his ass-ery. I went on a little rant to Chan. It went something like this: Michael Kay should stand atop a mountain, apologize to all of New England, then commit hare kare, and roll down the hill, into the city of Boston, apologizing while rolling in his final moments. Actually, choking himself to death might be more appropriate. "Then, and only then," I told Chan, "would I forgive him."

5 1/2 up.

Terrible Job

Fuck the umpires comin' straight from the underground.

You have to get robots at some point, because these absolutely brainless men are ruining the game. No, actually, you don't need a brain to make the correct call in that situation. If ball hits wall and bounces off, it's not a home run. If ball hits above wall, by the laws of physics, ball can't bounce back cleanly. That's what that all that rattling and delay was before the ball came down. What creature on earth can't distinguish between one thing and the other? Possibly my old neighbor's dog, Bridget, who would bolt down the hill if you made a throwing motion, even if you had nothing in your hand. But anyone else should be able to.

Terrible job, baseball. Get robots.

But the question is: Where was Kapstein? Probably a late-arriver tonight.

[Edit: My request of Manny to "take him to the Pike" was just granted. Essentially.]

[Edit: Screwed by Bush again! Didn't get to see the replay of that crazy hop fielded by Millar due to ESPN's interview with the Bushes.]

[Edit: Drink-- Kapstein is in the house...with the red shirt! Looking like more good luck for the team so far tonight. Also, terrible job by me for calling this post "Terrible Job." I'm in a much better mood now than when I was when I wrote that. Also, NESN people, are you getting Bush, Sr. interviews, too? And Bar? Same long-winded Ted Williams stories?]

Five Games Up

yanks lose.

In my comments, I'd accused Uribe of trying to throw the game. In the top of the tenth, he tripled off Mariano, and scored the game- and series-winning run. Good job, Uribe. I was with ya all along. (But that slide into home was a little weak.)

I love when the yanks lose this type of game. They pitched well enough to win, and surely the whole crowd thought they had the game locked up when they went to the bottom of the ninth, tied, with A-Rod, Matsui, and Giambi coming up. Instead, they lose, and are 5 back. Gold.

Aaron Rowand did such a great job in center field in this series. I give him credit for being a fearless, actually-try-to-win-style yankee opponent.

One last Murcer Oklahoman moment for today: Top of the tenth, White Sox attempt a squeeze play. Guy fouls the ball at the plate on the bunt attempt. Sox manager Guillen gets mad, takes gum out of mouth and throws it on ground. Murcer is befuddled as to why he would be mad. Wonders if it's because someone missed a sign. Uh, Bobby, maybe he was mad because a possible game-winning play didn't work? And that once you show the squeeze, you don't get another chance? Maybe?

Also, Pavano's out for the year. Proctor goes tomorrow for the yanks.

The Vegas of the Midwest (Branson) goes for us against the Gambler/Camera Kicker tonight.

Really Stupid Gimmick

The Rowand-Nixon side-by-side just came up. Only took Yes an hour and a half. They terriblejobfully chose a pic of a clean shaven Nixon, ruining the whole thing. Leave it to the Hell, No network. Or maybe that was their compromise so Murcer wouldn't feel bad.

There have been more blimp shots in this series than there are in a Fox post-season series. They also have a camera on top of a hotel in Manhattan for still more "anything but the game" shots. It is cool to look for my building, though.

The Stadium has a new feature. You know that trailer-park sign they have up on the outside there, that tells the name of the next opponent? Well, they've added a little countdown to it. It now says "RSG," with a number below it. Kaat explained that it stands for "Remaining Stadium Games." So, I guess they have assumed that the yanks won't make the post-season for the next four years. (And I can make fun of that because they made fun of our "Last Game of the Century" thing on the tickets for the last regular season game of 1999. And because I would anyway.) Kay tried to turn it into "Regular Season Games." But then wouldn't it be RSGR, or RSGL? Either way, terrible job.

I like to think that Game 7 last year will turn out to be the last ever post-season game ever at that dump.

Murcer On The Moron Express

Bobby Murcer proves that he's the dumbest announcer in the league nearly every game. Last night, when the guy jumped onto the screen, he said, "In all my years, I've never seen that." The other announcers just didn't say anything, to save him the embarrassment. Surely at least Kay must have remembered at least one of the TWO times this has happened at the Stadium in the last twenty years.

Today, Kay started talking about how Aaron Rowand looks like Trot Nixon, with his dirty hat and similar facial features. I have had this opinion for a while. It's just an opinion that Kay and I share (bells and sirens go off), and there's no right or wrong here, but still, come on, Rowand is at least vaguely reminiscent of Trot. So after Kay said that, Murcer said, "I don't know if Rowand would go along with that...Nixon?" I got the strong feeling Murcer was thinking of Otis Nixon. Or maybe Richard. I'd say "Look for a side-by-side comparison of the two players later in the game," but again, they try to avoid embarrassing the Oklahoman.

yanks lead 1-0 right now. Thanks to an error, of course.

From The Inbox

"Quote of the day (yesterday).
George Steinbrenner: I am very disappointed that my manager left that left-hander in too long. (The "left-hander" being Captain Cheese whose name Steinie doesn't know or has deemed too worthless to be identified.)

Has Anyone Done This One Yet?

Aaron Small/Wallace

And here's a link to the story of the fan falling on to the screen tonight. It also confirms the date of the game that I went to, August 23rd, 1989, where the same thing happened. Was against the Red Sox. Makes sense.

Steppin' Into the Buffer Zone

If you get the games on, you know about the buffer zone. In other words, you're watching the game, and everything's fine (yeah, right, the screen is 1-inch squared, and all you see is a still-frame most of the time), and then all of a sudden, the picture freezes AND the sound cuts out, and you see "Buffering....16%". So you have to wait until the game is fully buffered. Tonight, I got buffered right during the double over Johnny's head in the tenth. It was paused with the ball hovering over Johnny's head for like five seconds, which made it extra-frustrating when the ball landed behind him.

Then, on Bill Mueller's single, I couldn't really tell what was going on, but I knew something had happened, so I made a sudden move toward the computer, knocking the fork out of my bowl of Jim Calhoun. (Actually, it was Vietnamese food with a name like that. I told Chan what it was called, and he said, "What, Jim Calhoun?" So we'll just call it that.) Anyway, I figured out what happened, and then looked down at my Calhoun. The fork was still there, but the handle side was inside the bowl. So something crazy must have happened with that. I mean, who knows how many times it flipped in the air before landing back in the bowl. (We do know that it was an odd number, though.)

Good job tonight, Edgar. You always know to whip a bag of Jax cheese doodles out of your pocket for me when I'm holding you over the edge of a cliff.

I like when our division lead starts with "f." I think we're gonna start moving toward "s" as opposed to back toward "t."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Good Old Cheese!

Cheese gives up key homer to give ChiSox 2-0 lead, only to have A-Rod homer in the bottom of the ninth. Would have been game-tying homer. Instead, 2-1, yankees lose. Leave runners at first and third. Gold. Was also funny to see the Embree-Everett matchup.

Also, a dude jumped from the upper deck onto the screen at yankee Stadium tonight. I was at a game where this happened when I was a kid. Only we'd gone home, as was my dad's tradition, to beat traffic, so we didn't see it. In both cases, probably a drunk dude. Although this kid tonight looked dazed and confused up there. He walked up to the mezzanine, where cops grabbed his upper-deck-fallin-from-ass.

Now I gotta sweat through another tight one, as we're tied 7-7 in the eighth, thanks to Remlinger and the umps.

Redshirt/Fresh Man Update

I just heard on NESN that Kenny Rogers will be reinstated after serving 13 days of his 20 suspension. An arbitrator ruled that the punishment was too harsh.

Maybe if someone in that arbitrator's office went up to him or her and grabbed their arbitrating tool, threw it on the ground and kicked it, he or she would realize how necessary this punishment was.

Wells and Arroyo got 6 games each for their non-assaulting-a-cameraman infractions. They had to miss a start, Rogers has to miss two. So ridiculous.

This ruling comes at a time when Texas is playing the Red Sox. Surprise, surprise. So Rogers will start tomorrow at Fenway. Now, instead of facing CJ Wilson, with a 10.23 ERA, we get the guy with the second-best ERA in the league. I wonder how much money took the train from Steinbrenner's office to this arbitrator's, with a stop at Bob Watson's place?

Cruz, Jr. just got traded to the Trolley Dodgers for a PTBNL.

Red Sox look for another red shirt win tonight. Not the team, the fans. Or fan. Meaning Drinkwater. Meaning Kapstein. Last night J-Kap had a red button-down shirt on. And even though he put the classic blue windbreaker over it later in the game, he took it off again toward the end, and is currently wearing the red shirt--no windbreaker--right now, in the second inning. I think the red shirt is good luck.

The Newest Sock

Best caption wins a date with Chan.

Mike Remlinger photo courtesy, who probably stole it from somewhere else anyway.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Slap 2: A New Interference

If I ever see A-Rod on the street, I WILL go against my non-violent ways, and punch him in the mouth, and continue pummeling him indefinitely. That guy makes me so mad. I'll always love Jason Varitek for giving that guy what he deserved.

If you don't know why I'm bringing this up now, it's because tonight, A-Rod pulled off the sequel to "The Slap." Only in this instance of blatant cheating, the incorrect call was made, and was NOT overturned.

Shephanie was on first, and A-Rod flied deep to right. The ChiSock player made a jumping catch at the wall, and fired in toward first to try to double Shef off. A-Rod had rounded first, and was directly in the path of the throw from right field to first base. He was casually walking toward the dugout, but still, mind you, watching the play. Just before the ball reached the spot where he was, he raised his arms in an attempt to look like he was surprised that a ball was there. The ball bounced off of him, allowing Shef to get back to first. Actually, the "arms up" motion (the ball was down by his feet, so a jump might have been better, in terms of pretending to get out of the way) was right around when the ball glanced off of him, not before. He basically let the ball hit him, like Reggie Jackson in the World Series, and THEN raised the arms.

You should have seen the look on his face. Well, just watch SportsCenter, you'll see it. That guy is the reason that humans thought up a place called hell. I can sleep well at night knowing that he'll end up there if it exists.

In the Reggie Jackson incident, at least Tommy Lasorda went nuts arguing the non-call. But the White Sox, they just don't give a crap. All they know is how to beat up on Central teams and then lose in the first round of the playoffs.

In other White Sox not craing news, at one point, some dude hit a grounder to Jeter. Pissed that he'd done so, he decided to not run right away and show his anger. Of course, Jeter ended up bobbling the ball, but still got the guy by a step. Without the hesitation, he would have been safe. The yankee announcers never mentioed that aspect of the play, only that Jeter's "strong arm" saved him an error. I asked Chan how they can live with themselves, but Chan just doesn't understand. In fact, he said that he's scared of me when we watch baseball.

There was also a pretty bad call on a bunt, where the ump, afraid to have a knife thrown at him for making a call the yankee fans didn't like, called the White Sock, I think Podcast-nik or whatever, out, when he was really safe. They would have had two on, and clearly gone on to win, had the correct call been made.

Also, I didn't realize Contreras and Duque were pitching in this series. I probably wouldn't have predicted 2 wins for Chicago if I'd known that. But it could still happen.

And Michael Kay should say how Jeter catching a pop up with one hand (and actually dropping it when exchanging the ball to his hand) is a bad influence on Little Leaguers. TJ, K.

But you know what? I'm happy. The Red Sox had a good win. I like when we score eleven runs. Miller gave up ten hits, though. When I found out that was his season-high, I thought, "He can give up ten hits in his sleep!" But I guess he just usually gets pulled before that. Oh well, he'll come around again. We're gold for an AL East crown. Next time I eat at an Italian restaurant, I'm ordering the Petagine Graffanino.


From New York magazine:

"I had asked Sheffield if he would pull a Jeter and go three rows deep after a ball. 'That’s not happening. I tore up my shoulder, I tore up a knee. I’m not doing that again,' Sheffield told me, cringing as if remembering walls past. 'If I get close to the wall, this is what I do.' He closed his gunslinger eyes and reached out an imaginary glove. 'If it’s there, it’s there.'"

Here's the full article.

That Quick-Thinkin' Chan

Chan and I were sitting on 92nd Street, waiting for some laundry to dry, when we saw a man pushing a heavy cart. Chan asked me what I thought was in there. Seeing black streaks along the side of this industrial-looking cart, I said, "Looks like tar or something." Without hesitation, Chan said, "Tar-ible job."

Miller lives a life of danger against the airborne Rangers tonight.

yanks vs. a quality team for a change. I predict the ChiSox win two out of three. Even though they'll have the third game in hand, but will end up losing due to a combination of dumb yankee luck, bad umpiring, and some young White Sock being scared of large stadiums and loud noises.

Things I'm Getting Tired Of On Blogs

1. Self-deprecation. When you tell me some lame story about your cat or your weekend trip to the cracker factory, you don't need to sarcastically preface it with, "I know you're dying to know this..." We all talk about stuff that's not very interesting on the surface, but I should hope you're trying to make it entertaining. For example, right now it's 1:30 AM, and the All in the Family theme just came on. The guide said Three's Company was up next, so hearing it kind of disappointed me. Not because I don't like AitF, but because I was really expecting TC, and therefore was getting pumped up for a half hour of double entendre, prat-falls, and fourth wall-breaking*. (*Because I know that TV Land is currently showing Roper-era TC episodes.) Now, I could've made that a separate blog entry, consisting entirely of "Supposed to be Three's, got Family instead." That would indeed be boring. But saying something like, "I know you REALLY care about this, but..." before it wouldn't make it any less boring. So my advice to you, blogging person, is to just try and be your charming self, and be creative while describing your boring situation. Besides, you wouldn't have put it on your blog if you didn't think there was some entertainment value to it.

2. Post titles that tell me that you couldn't think of a title. Just think of one. Please. Something is better than nothing. Well, not always, but it's always better than "I Couldn't Think Of A Title."

3. A picture of you with the trophy. Just show me the trophy. I'll make my own picture of you in my mind.

4. Ads for ticket agencies who buy up all the good tickets and sell them for a hundred times their face value. If people want tickets, they'll find these places. Unless they don't know about Google.

5. Stats I don't know the meaning of. I know you're smart. You're calculating statistics and working on a computer, for god's sake. But I'm just saying, if you're already referring to a stat by its abbreviation, and you haven't even told us what its name is, let alone how it relates to whether or not the guy in question is any good at baseball, well, that's just not gonna do me any good.

6. Jokes by serious bloggers./Serious stuff by joke bloggers.

7. Stuff about the Tigers. (Just kidding, Sam.)

8. Unnecessary parenthetical notes. The person being made fun of knows who they are. No need to specify that you didn't mean any harm. Quit being so sensitive, Jere...I mean, random blogger.

9. Referring to yourself in the third person. Terrible job, me.

10. Minute-by-minute recaps of your thoughts over the span of an entire baseball game. Actually, maybe these are funny, but I've never read past the first inning on any of them. To those of you who do this whose blogs I enjoy, I'm really sorry. I just don't have that kind of patience. I can barely make it through my own posts. Just know that I'm still reading the rest of your stuff.

11. Descriptions of you hanging out with other bloggers.

12. Triple-digit comment amounts, when my blog has zero.

13. Referring to yourself as a nerd and implying that what you do is something no one else would do, due to your nerdery. Trust me, we're all nerds. The only people who don't consider themselves nerds are people who wouldn't understand why someone would call him- or herself a nerd. And those people don't read blogs, anyway. It's not like the star of your high school football team is sitting in a mansion having his butler read your blog to him, thinking to himself, "What a nerd!...Oh, wait, they did ADMIT that they're a nerd, so it's okay. I won't find them and beat them up, then."

14. Lists. Come on, just admit you couldn't think of anything else to do. Besides, lists are so 'earlier this year.' Terrible job.

Please note that I feel it's okay to bring these things up because I'm guilty of doing all of them. Except number 10. Also note that Three's Company did come on AFTER All in the Family, so I'm getting my fill. I know you were DYING to know that! Oh, one thing I do like on blogs is when the person brings a joke back around at the end. That's comedy gold.

Sunday, August 07, 2005


If you needed any proof that the yankees are the luckiest team of all-time, I hope you saw the Matsui play from today's game. The yanks were up 6-0 with one out and the bases loaded in the eighth. Gordon had just come in to replace a struggling Sturtze. Natasha Hinske hit a fly ball, which Matsui caught in fairly shallow left field. Everyone prepared for a throw to the plate, as Hillenbrand was tagging up at third. Everyone except Matsui, that is. Thinking he'd just caught the third out of the inning, Hideki started jogging toward the infield. While his teammates yelled and waved their arms, Matsui just kept jogging, looking over toward the crowd, even pointing at which fan he wanted to give the ball to. At this point, Hillenbrand had scored easily. After what seemed like an eternity, Matsui, a second away from flipping the ball to a fan, noticed what everyone else in the park already knew. He quickly fired to third, as the runner at second decided to give it a shot. He was out, as Michael Kay made the call ("And it works out for the yanks!") and A-Rod gave a fist-pump ("We have achieved greatness, we are truly a superior team.")

If he had just gone one more second without hearing what I'm sure were really loud screams, he would've flipped that ball to the fan, and, since I'd watched Shannon Stewart actually do this in the Red Sox game a few minutes earlier, I guess the ump would have given everyone two bases (I don't remember how the ump's ruled Trot's gaffe). Or, had Hideki's snap throw not been right to the bag, the guy would have been safe at third. Either way, the Jays would've had a chance for more runs. Instead, the inning was over, and they went to the ninth trailing by five.

At least, for the second time in three days, they had to bring in Mariano when they really didn't want to. Then again, we had to bring in Schill today, in a game in which we had a seven run lead with two outs and no one on in the ninth.

But it was good to score eleven in a lineup that didn't feature Tek, Damon, Mueller, or, of course, Trot. And Manny's finally well into the 280s now. And yes, it is possible to hold all 100 Scrabble tiles in one hand. Just load it up slowly.

Walley World, Next Three Exits

Now at ARSFIPT, you'll get the same employee discount we give to our employees! Jesus Tapdancin' Christ, if I see one more of those commercials, Chan's TV is gonna suffer some injuries.

Well, after tonight's game, I wasn't exactly "having so much god damn fun that I was whistling Zippity Do Da out my asshole," to paraphrase Clark Griswold. We've got to stop with the errors already. That's a game we should win. At least Randy was on the mound for the yanks. Funny how their good pitchers lose and their triple-A pitchers win. Overall, even if that trend completely reverses, they'll still be where they are now. Hey, if they go 50-4 the rest of the way, they'll hit Michael Kay's predicted total of 108 wins. Good luck with that, Mike. But stranger things have happened. (Right there in the Bronx, as I recall!)

Today a man sitting at an outdoor table at a semi-shmancy restaurant yelled "Boston sucks" at me after I walked past him. Without hesitation, I turned around and yelled "choke" even louder, while giving the international symbol for "I've got a three game lead but....I....can't....breathe!" The weird thing is, he laughed, and actually explained to the others at his table, who were facing the other way, what I had done, mimicking my motion. "He did the choke thing, heh heh." This was on my block, so from that incident, I went right into my apartment and watched that guy's team lose, while he was busy paying twenty bucks for a pasta with pesto.

Or whatever.

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