Saturday, December 24, 2005

Stirring My Ass Off

From my blog, 6/25/05: "I can't wait to hear what yankee fans say when, next off-season, the yanks go courting the symbol of everything they despise, Johhny Damon. And then what they say when he turns them down."

I was half right. I'm still sick over this, having to look around on the subway to see Johnny in a yankee uniform on the back of every newspaper. People talk about how it's the Red Sox' own damn fault. But I just can't feel for someone because they were offered only millions and millions of dollars to play a game every day where they're loved by legions of people and can opt to have slightly longer hair if that's what they want.

If the yanks were some poor team who put this huge offer on the table, knowing it would make or break them, I could see Johnny thinking that he was respected by them more than he was by the Sox. But they can afford to make a mistake. Only someone totally corrupted by an agent couldn't see that. But WTFWJDD? Sell the soul, of course.

My mom had asked me for that picture I had of Johnny (the one that used to be my profile pic), enlarged to poster-size, for Christmas. I did it for her, but had yet to trim it down and frame it when I heard the news. So, today, I made the "presentation," with everyone already knowing what the gift would be, groaning as my mom unrolled it. She's still trying to decide whether to go the burn route or give it to my cousin, the yankee fan, and say, "Here, cut it and frame it yourself."

It was funny hearing my mom explain to my four-year old nephew why we're all talking about burning/destroying the man in the picture.

Merry Christmas to everybody who's into that. Remember what Christmas is all about though: Tracking down long-haired, bearded men and crucifying the shit out of their disloyal asses. (Maybe that's why the yanks like to shave their stolen property right away.)

Oh wait, Easter's the crucifying, Christmas is the birth. Whatever. It's all bullshit.

Friday, December 23, 2005


What a week it's been. Gumby has been staying with Chan and I, in from California. So he's seen a lot, between the Johnny Damon saga, and going to museums with Chan while I'm at work, and seeing a Christmas-type rock 'n' roll show with various artists (including Andrew WK, who was the reason I chose that show), all while having to walk everywhere due to the subway strike, which just ended this morning. My feet and legs are still hurting from all the walking we've done this week. It's funny, my first thought is always "Walk to Times Square? Are you out of your mind?" But then you just bundle up and start walking and have a good conversation with your friends and before you know it, you've walked 50 blocks.

We went to an Italian place last night that had a bocce court right in the dining room. Due to the strike, Gumby and I were able to get right on the court (pictured, like, 40 years ago) after our meal. We played for hours while the other diners and their kids watched. Chan was the judge. One of the waiters taught us the "real" rules, which was cool.

To wrap up the work week, just now, on my way home from work, I couldn't help but notice a ratty, disgusting man make some loud animal noise right into a woman's ear unashamedly as she walked past him towards me. She kept right on going. Then as I passed the guy, I heard him mutter something about "Boston." He stumbled right up beside me as I walked and then drunkenly asked me something about Christmas. I ignored that and turned down my street, as this happened right at the corner. He kept walking but said "You fuckin' little bitch, you don't belong in New York." I looked back for a moment, but coward that he was, he never made eye contact the entire time. Since I was so close to home, I did think that maybe I could go inside and ask "Gumby, you wanna come out here for a minute," and had Gumby help me toss the guy into the East River. But, alas, I figured someone else will do it eventually. I hope it's the next woman he opens his mouth to, actually.

Because there's no excuse for that. About what he said to me, though, hey, it's understandable. How can you not feel for fans of a team who haven't won in so long, who have to go out and steal players from the superior teams in a lame attempt to become a true winner? They have every right to be mad at the fans of the superior Boston Red Sox. I don't know how they deal with year after year of choking and choking and choking again. Must be that Puritan sense of defeatism. New York winters are cold and lonely, a perfect representation of a fan base so used to losing, it's become part of their character. Drunk, sexist cowards who sleep in the fucking sewer.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Some People

Bob Ryan just doesn't get it. This article starts by telling Sox fans to give Johnny a standing O next season, prefacing it with the dreaded "show some class."

His reasoning seems to be: There was nothing unfair about what happened. (Yeah. So?) He was a really good player for the Red Sox. (Yeah. So?) Does he really think people are going to read his article and say, "Oh yeah...he was a good player. He did play by the rules. I'll cheer him as a member of the other team! I'll even cheer for his team to beat ours!"

Then he tries to compare this to Manny getting here the same way as Johnny left. As if Manny had been the star of the yankees before coming to the Red Sox.

Hey, Bob, your mom just divorced your dad and married the guy across the street--the one who used to molest you when you were little. But give credit where it's due. Give her a big hug. She always put food on the table for you, and she legitimately went through the divorce process and then had a nice legal wedding with Mr. Dunbar. She played by the rules. So show some fucking class when she and the new mister come over and have sex in your room.

Also, I had this fantasy that the yankee brass would end up wining and/or dining Damon here in NYC. And I'd find out where they were going and me and a hundred other Sox fans would go and hold up signs outside the window, telling him much we love him and want him to stay. And Johnny would give us all a wink over Cashman's turned back, letting us know he's just messing with the yanks. Then he'd sign with the Sox and we'd all live H.E.A.

It's just so disappointing how it went down. He didn't even see if the Sox could give him a better offer. (Note: any Red Sox offer would include clearance to grow hair on any part of the body if that's what one wanted, and fans who all already treat him like a god instead of ones who won't want him anyway because he stands against everything they represent.) It was just, "You wanna play for us?" "'Kay."

Very sad.

Note to homophobes: Go two paragraphs up for me talking about Damon winking at me! Gimme what you got! You may even impress some other homophobes and you could arrange to not hang out with them. Ever.

Damon Fallout

So many things to discuss.

I guess I should start by saying thanks to everyone for giving their opinions.

I wanted to say this anyway, but Andrew brought it up, so I'll use his comments as a basis to address it: (BSM brought this up on his blog, too) About the reaction to this from the fan's point of view versus the business point of view-- I don't think this is some kind of horrible thing for the team. I realize Damon is older now, and like I said in my original post, essentially, the yanks didn't pick up any pitching with this move, and their lineup didn't need any help anyway.

I am pissed off on the emotional side. And when I heard that news, as you could see, I was very emotional. Not much of me even cared to think about the business point of view. All I was thinking was that Johnny Damon had a choice to sign with any team, and he chose the one that I hate more than almost anything in the world. One that won't allow him to do what he wants (hair/beard-wise). One that he knows is hated by the people who really, really loved him as a player and as a person.

When I heard the news, the last thing I thought of was "Oh no, what will we do for center field?" I just thought, "What an asshole."

I don't think there's any good vs. evil stuff going on. But no matter how hard I could have tried, there would've been no way for me avoid becoming emotionally attached to that man, with everything we all went through in 2004.

The last thing anyone wants to hear is another sports vs. girl-/boyfriend comparison. But I think I have one that no one's brought up. Sometimes you fall in love with what a person does, instead of who they are. Did you ever find out that someone liked you, and then all of a sudden you start liking them because of it? And before you know it, you think you're in love with a person who you hadn't even thought twice about before you heard they had interest in you. They didn't suddenly change into a better person. They just did something that was appealing to you. Johnny Damon didn't catch our eye right away. We fell in love with the symbol he became. Turns out he's the type of dude who would turn his back on people showering him with love and admiration and go right to their enemy, without a second thought. So, for me, I'm heartbroken, regardless of stats or payrolls or anything else.

It is weird, though, how people who read mine and Andrew's blog might have thought, "I know, I know, Jere will try to see the bright side in the fact that the Red Sox superstar leadoff man is gone, and Andrew will declare the '06 season dead." (Well, maybe not exactly in this case since Andrew has been predicting the decline of Damon, so let's just say, "casual" readers of our two blogs.) But they got the opposite. Also, Andrew, when you say you want the team to not do things the yanks way, there's another side to that--when the business side is outweighing the fan side, isn't that the yanks way, only in terms of fans as opposed to management? As in, yankee fans would rather get the best possible players even if they were child molesters, whereas we'd rather have guys with personality than robots?

You know what I mean? Why can we simply say "it's a business" when something bad happens, but then celebrate and cry tears of joy and go put flowers on our grandparents' grave when something good happens? Nobody at the World Series victory parade told me to calm down because it's just a business. If you allow me to cry tears of joy when my team wins, shouldn't you allow me to cry tears of pain when my favorite player betrays all of us? It's all in our minds, anyway. I felt like something really wonderful happened when we won the World Series, even though it was actually a bunch of men playing with pieces of wood. And I feel like Johnny Damon pulled my heart out of my chest when he decided to play for our rival, even though he's really just getting his paycheck signed by a different organization and wearing a different uniform to work.

So, to sum up, the "good of the team" Jere isn't pissed, but that side of me is totally buried under my emotional side, which I didn't want to hide in my original post, even though it meant letting yankee fans think they've one-upped us again. (Which that one commenter wrote, saying he didn't think it was that good a deal for the yanks until he saw how pissed I was about it. To that guy, I say, terrible job, any perceived one-upping can never hurt us anywhere near as much as it did pre-2004.)

Other stuff:

Nick: About your comment "And while some of the people here are taking the high road, most are blasting [Damon]. It would be like me trashing Bernie Williams for not accepting arbitration." Do I really need to explain what's so utterly wrong that is? Well, I like 'splainin', so I will: Imagine if Bernie Williams brought your team its first championship in 86 years, beating a team who tormented your team the whole time along the way. And then he chose to just up and play for that other team a year later. Us bashing Johnny for switching sides and a yankee fan bashing Bernie for not accepting arbitration are two totally unrelated things. No comparison.

To everyone who brought up other dudes who do seem to care, nice job. Of course I love Timmy Wakefield and Trot as much as Ortiz. Then again, am I just being fooled? By all of this?

BSM--Why do I get all the yankee spammers? Maybe it's the word "pinstripe" in my blog title. Or maybe it's the way I say the word "yankees" probably more often than most yankee bloggers do. Do those really exist? I never read them. Did they really talk about me on "Bronx Banter?" Tell me what they're saying, because the day I go to a website called "Bronx Banter" is the day Chan learns to fly upside down. (And yes I know Cossette used to talk about that site and it's probably got really great poetic writing about how mystical and aura-fied the yankees are, but I'm just not gonna check into it.)

Pat--I knew you'd be there to back me up on the Steinbrenner dying thing. I'm sure my dad is, too, but I don't know if he's figured out the commenting thing yet.

Offended people--Don't worry, I'm not gonna really bomb any towns over this. And to call me classless and insipid (did somebody say Ssips Orange?), stating your opinion as fact, while not even leaving your name, well, there's a word for that, too. Maybe Mott's Apple.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

F This/Where Have You Gone, Bill Lee?

Remember when Sonny told Calogero that Mickey Mantle didn't give a shit about him?

I feel like Calogero felt when he heard that.

None of these shithead macho jocks cares about anything except the money that's waved under their noses. David Ortiz aside, of course. What's the point in rooting for any of these people? What if Steinbrenner said he's changing the yankees logo to an Old English red "B"? Would yankee fans still root for the yankees? Why should I choose a side in a game where all the sides are the same?

I'm not even worried about the yankee lineup being yet another (eyes rolling completely back in head) "murderer's row." Their pitching still isn't that good. As long as they don't win the World Series, I'll be happy. And all the old, crew-cutted, buttoned-down, robot Johnny Damons won't get them that this year. I just feel sick because the face of the Red Sox is on the yankees.

In the meantime, I authorize any and all garbage-throwing. Go on the field and mess up the game when Johnny's out in center field. It doesn't matter anymore. Go on the field and tackle his sorry ass. During a play, when he's concentrating on the ball.

I at least had respect for my yankee fan friends, even though for some reason, they decided in the last few years to still root for that team. But now, and this means you Chan, I don't consider you a human being with a soul if you can still root for the yankees. No matter how good a person I know you are.

The Red Sox-yankees rivalry is just a Fox TV show anyway.

I hope that in twenty years I can still like the Red Sox and maybe share that with my kids, and tell them about the days when people didn't just haphazardly play for one team and then that team's rival.

Until then, I'll just be happy with as few yankee fake-ass championships as possible. Hey, guys, I just started a baseball league and my team is the only team in the league who's allowed to have players with legs. I win! I am a champion! I am a better person than all the rest.

You know what I can't wait for? (besides Damon breaking his fucking leg) When George Steinbrenner finally dies. I can't wait to see all the crying full-of-shit yankee fans and go up to them and say "Too bad Steinbrenner's fucking dead." And they'll probably tell me I'm Osama bin Laden or something.

Speaking of terrorism...well, I don't want to get arrested, so I'll stop there.

Cuban baseball, people. A league where loyalty means something.

Burn in hell, Johnny. Say hi to Thurman Munson while you're down there.

Quiz Iota Man Some Money

The answer to the last quiz: Rich Gedman and Jason Varitek share the Red Sox record for most times appearing in the Opening Day starting lineup at catcher with six. (Gedman 1983-86, 88-89, Varitek 2000-05) I'm kind of hoping Jason gets a minor cold and doesn't start game one this season, but enters the game in the bottom of the first, and is then totally healthy for the rest of the year.

New quiz: What actor appeared in two different Vacation movies, playing a different character each time?

Swung On And Missed

This is so weird. The buses and subways aren't running due to the strike. This office is so empty. Everybody just stayed home. One dude here said it took 2 hours to drive six blocks.

This is kinda cool.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Chavez Arroyo

Get it, because "arroyo" is a synonym of "ravine," and the Dodgers have a lot of ex-Red Sox, and Arroyo is a name that makes one think of Red Sox, and, and...

No winner on that last quiz. Time will be up soon. That question again: What Red Sox record does Rich Gedman share with Jason Varitek?


I went to middle school with this kid who once came in to English class with blood all over his Wordly Wise book. When asked about it, he said his sister whacked him over the head with it. I think he later changed the story to one where he killed a mosquito with the book. God, I hated Wordly Wise.

Another time, in Mrs. Crowley's Science class, where the phrase "shut up" was forbidden, this same kid and I got into a little war of words in which he came out with "You're gay!" For some reason, I replied to this not with "No I'm not!" (but hey, it was 6th grade, who knew what would lie ahead?), but with "So are you!" Without missing a beat, the kid quipped, "Then maybe we should get together some time." This lightened the mood, and ended what could have escalated into a real yelling match.

These are the only two things I remember about this kid. He moved away and didn't go to high school with the rest of us.

The other day, while messing around over at the Internet Movie Database, I came across his name. Apparently, he's in the movies now. A lot of movies. Ridgefield, CT doesn't come up in his bio. It says he was born in Boston (plausible) and graduated high school in 1993 (my year), albeit in Plano, TX. There's a picture, and, if I had to make a life or death decision, I'd say it's him.

Also, he has a fairly unique name.

Are you ready?

T.J. Thyne.

Look him up. And if you run into him, tell him Jere said "TJ."

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Nomar's A Dodger

Nomar didn't sign with the yanks. We can all breathe a little easier.

D Squared

I just wanted to take a few moments to discuss Dunkin' Donuts. Growing up in the county that's the home of the yankees, Mets, and Red Sox (i.e. the part of New England--CT, RI, MA, NH, VT, ME--that's also part of the "tri-state area"--the parts of CT, NY, and NJ that are in the New York City TV market. Don't ask me what I have in common with people from northern Maine or central New Jersey, lifestyle-wise, but by default I was grouped in with both), I saw the "time to make the donuts" guy every day on my TV screen. Dunkin' Donuts was just another store. (Although, back then, it was a donut shop, as opposed to a caffeine dealer.) There are currently nine in the CT town I lived in for the last five years, before I moved to NYC. And even the town I grew up in, Ridgefield, CT, eventually got one, despite the town's laws which aren't very kind to chain stores with their (god forbid) colorful signage. That town could use some color, if you know what I mean.

Lately, I've come to realize that a lot of Bostonians seem to think that Dunkin' Donuts is a Boston thing. They even have a nickname for it: "Dunkies." (I'm still in shock over this. Like when I found out people from crazy-land, aka Pennsylvania, call 7-Eleven "Sev's." Ugggghhh.)

I realize that Dunkin' Donuts was indeed born in the Boston area. If Bostonians really want to claim it for their own, I guess they have that right. I'm just saying, it seems like more of a northeast thing to me, as opposed to just a Boston thing.

If you go to their website, and type in my zip code here in NYC, and set the store locator range to 15 miles, you'll find there are 283 "Dunkies" (are you really serious about that nickname? Do you just do it around me as some kind of prank?). There's one on my block. There's one on the next block, too.

Type in Fenway Park's zip code, and there are only 253 of them within its 15-mile radius.

I guess I'm just trying to stop the fighting between the cities, since I have connections to both. We should save it for the baseball diamond. Not likely, though, since both Bostonians and New Yorkers are stubborn. In fact, I'm twice as stubborn for having grown up in between. I still call Sports Guy "Boston Sports Guy," so I understand if you Bostonians want to keep thinking Dunkin' Donuts exists nowhere else but Boston. But if you really loved it, you'd set it free.

After all, you'll always have Store 24.

And rotaries.

And pedestrian crossing signals that never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever say "Walk"...

Cop Out

"After thoughtful deliberations with my family, I am announcing my decision to withdraw from the World Baseball Classic," [Alex] Rodriguez told the [New York Post]. "When faced with the decision to choose between my country, the United States of America, and my Dominican heritage, I decided I will not dishonor either."

Dishonor either, that is, by shitting the bed on its behalf with the entire world watching.

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