Friday, March 03, 2006

Monster/Mid-Day Update

Did you know that there was a "second-chance" drawing for Monster Seats today? I only did because I was selected for it. And I nabbed some for the last game of the year. Standing room, as I just can't be spending $130 for a seat I'll end up sitting in anyway if somebody doesn't show up, or if some baby pukes, and its whole family has to go home. So I spend the $25 and take my chances. Ba-by puke! Ba-by puke!

Schilling's pitching today against the Boston College Intramural Soccer team or whatever. The good news is, according to the box score, the most he could have given up through four is 0 runs on 1 hit. But I'm sure he's already out of the game. Also, Kevin Youkilis has been up for like fifteen minutes, and the Sox lead 2-0, and that's all I can figure out from the scoreboard. [Update to the update: Schill did go the full four, and now it's 6-0 us. Now batting for BC: the Dean of Admissions, Cookie O'Puss.]

Mr. Dunbar just gave up a couple dongs in the third against Philly. Either Jaret Wright or Jorge De Paula was guilty. Or maybe one each. They're down 4-2.

["Serious" writing update: Wow. Sitting at work, trying to follow a Red Sox game on the computer. My mind is suddenly overflowing with visions of being outside at night in short sleeves. I'm going to get a rude awakening when I step outside later. But, for now, in my cube, it's July, around dusk, and I am walking through the city, in shorts. Chan complaining about how it's too hot in my left ear, and Chan complaining how baseball games are too long in my right. But I am feeling utter bliss, ice cream melting down my hand, sweat dripping from under my hat, as the game moves into its third hour. Let's play two. Chan, I'll tell you the score later. And you still won't care.]

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Watching Baseball On A Winter's Night

Tony Pena is the yanks' first base coach. I can't believe that. I'm very disappointed in Tony.

They just showed how Posada's average drops about 10 points every year and mentioned that he's not getting any younger. That makes me smile.

I've been avoiding my old friend Michael "Backwards" Kay's radio show for most of the offseason. To hear him on TV now is just nauseating. He's already in mid-season form. Good for a player, but not for an announcer, as the last thing you want to hear during a game on March 2nd is a guy screaming his head off because Bernie Williams scored on a single.

Jeter just looked old, tired, and weak on a strikeout. A sign of things to come, we hope.

So many shots of Damon in pinstripes. I'm switching over to Superman. I'll tune in later for that Myers inning.

yankees Lose

It's been almost five months since I heard those words. How sweet they are, even after an exhibition game.

The comical line of the day:

Mike Myers
IP: 1, H: 4, ER: 3. Blown Save. Loss.

A bright start.

Tonight it's Diminutive Papi starting for the Sox. Yes, in an actual baseball game! I'll be watching the yanks' replay on HN, to see my first baseball of 2006.

Hey, also, if an audio post appears at some point on my blog, the corresponding line will be: "Name the movie and the character." I'm trying to do an audio quiz, but apparently it's lost in the ether. It could pop up at any time. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I'm On The Hunt I'm After You: The Game 6 Review

First of all, my new profile pic is of "the twins," Fenway Park's most intriguing ticket-takers. Check them out next time you enter at Gate A. (Or the gate at the other end of Yawkey Way. Sometimes they'll switch it up on ya.) Me and Pat will often try to enter the park so that each of us has our ticket scanned by a different twin.

Tonight, I was out "a-huntin' for chick bloggers," at the "press screening" of the forthcoming movie Game 6 down at 48th and 7th. I bagged one named Rebecca. Here she thinks she's getting away:

But I'm an expert hunter. I hunt them down "all over the city," remember. I caught her. I'm no slouch*:

After I said, "I'm Jere...I'm a blogger, too," she told me that I was "A F'EN Loser!!!" Then she sat next to me at the movie.

I also made another big score when I successfully hunted down dude blogger Brooklyn Sox Fan at the same event. It was good to talk with him, he definitely knows his Sox.

Game 6 is what it is, and doesn't try to be more than that. Keaton does what he can with the lead role. But that role is just another Sox fan who "loves to lose." I don't get it. To me, despite what Michael Kay thinks, it's not that we loved losing, it's that we loved (and still love) the Red Sox despite their losing. That's the special thing about us and Cubs and White Sox fans. That we did what Dunbar fans could never do: Deal with long periods of losing. How many Dunbar fans simply switch to the Mets when necessary? And that's after only a couple of years of losing. And again, I'm not saying all, but a lot. Which takes me back to Game 6. Brooklyn Sox Fan and I agreed that this movie would have been better had the game it was centered around was the Bucky Fucking Dent game. There was something so odd about that whole '86 Series, where the opponent was the New York team that we didn't mind in the first place. Dunbar fans didn't know what to do. My yankee-fan friend Mike always said he rooted for the Red Sox in that series, because the Mets had taken over New York, and therefore become an enemy of Mr. Dunbar. But the parents of his generation probably gritted their teeth and rooted for the newfangled Mets, becuase they were playing the Red Sox. (Remember, I'm talking about the true yankee fans who didn't just jump on the Mets around August that year.)

So to have made it a real Sox-yanks heartbreaking moment would have been more fitting. In fact, that game wasn't even mentioned, and the yanks themselves were only mentioned a few times. The only specific events in Red Sox history Keaton's character mentions are the "Pesky holds the ball" game, which he seems to dwell on quite a bit (their point was that it was essentially his earliest memory), and also didn't involve the yanks, as well as the final weekend of '49. The Dent game was more of a classic "here we go again" Red Sox moment, which would've worked better with the character. He was a little too depressed going into game six. Even having the play be on the day of game seven might have worked better, because it was only at that point that most Sox fans were in "we know what's gonna happen now"-mode.

The basic plot is that this Sox fan living in New York is dreading going to the opening of his own play, since a psycho critic who ruins careers will be there. But it's also the night of game 6, so he also has the option of watching that instead.

The little catch phrase of the movie is "This could be it." It's a line in his play, but also the theme of the night, of course, as the Sox are one strike away. In fact, Vin Scully says that line, only it's not really him. They had someone overdub the line between actual Scully lines from the NBC telecast. Besides that, though, the technical baseball stuff was all pretty accurate. In fact, my reported Gedman gaffe from the trailer was actually Greenwell (who would soon after become my favorite player). So I was wrong there. Keaton was rightfully reacting to Greenwell's pinch strikeout after Clemens was removed. (Although it did sound like he said "And we've got Davis on the bench." He was probably saying "Baylor.") Hey, they both had that left-handed helicopter swing, both taught by Hriniak, using the Lau method, and in my defense, I was watching a tiny trailer on a computer screen.

Speaking of Gedman, he was in the movie a lot. Getting mentions from Scully, having his uniform in the locker room shown, and of course, shown a lot on replays of the wild pitch.

The movie has a nice little ending. Robert Downey does a pretty good job. I guess. As does Catherine O'Hara, but she seems to be in only one scene. Lilith has as much air time as she does. The 80s-punk daughter is a bigger role than either of them.

See it on DVD.

Also, my blog turned two years old yesterday and I totally forgot. Oh well.

*If you're totally confused about this hunting talk, read the comments on this post. I'm not a hunter. I do not hunt living beings. Only Gedman autograph bargains.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Robotic Operating Buddies

As you may know, I am an opponent of the bostondirtdogs site for many reasons. I have tried to pull a "just don't look" on it for the last few seasons, and have done a pretty good job ignoring it here, no matter how mad it makes me, when I do go there. Actually, the only reason to go there that I can detect is to find something to be mad at. It's mainly just a news source now, linking to articles that are readily available at or at the parent site,, only with pretty pictures and huge text.

But occasionally, the dude running the site will throw in some ridiculous thing, like his recent headline about the Red Sox having lost their personality. This was based on a fairly innocent article by Jayson Stark which basically brought up both sides of the argument.

I just wonder why dirtdog wouldn't either ignore this article or come to the defense of his own team. It would be one thing if the organization was getting robot-like players, and we all saw it, and were accusing them of trying to be more like Mr. Dunbar. But that's just so far from what's going on. Yes, we lost a few outspoken dudes, but to suggest that this team has "no personality" is pretty ridiculous.

I know, dirtdog's headline was in the form of a question. But the picture he chose of a bunch of robots suggests he feels that is what the team is like. Ironic, isn't it? Isn't that what dirtdog has wanted all along? A team of white, straight-laced, short-haired American males?

Not that I need to show you something like this to prove my point, but, maybe it will help some of you who have bought into the robot accusation (and you'll see my boy Adam Stern, the star of the show!). The Red Sox Have been so over the top personality-wise lately that it may seem like a more boring squad, but try think in relative terms. Besides, any group of dudes who playa game for a living together by default is going to have some type of wacky atmosphere. You'd have to go out of your way to make a team devoid of personality. Like George Steinbrenner has. You know, maybe that's the "genius" of George. To be able put together something so boring, so despicable together, year after year, takes a special kind of guy.

It also pisses me off how dirtdog can put the big picture up with the "holes" in center field and at shortstop, then watch as the team takes care of it, and everyone starts to get excited for the season, and all of a sudden it's "Oh, well, fine, but they're boring." Which, as I said, I'd think would make Mr. Boring himself jump for joy.

About the article in question: Let's look at how stupid Johnny Damon is, from his quotes.

"Asked if any other group could have climbed out of that 0-3 ALCS canyon against the Yankees, Damon replied: 'No chance. No chance. No chance.'"

Lot of confidence you've got in the '06 yanks, huh, John?

"As Damon watched Bernie Williams stroll past him in his new home, he observed, pointedly: 'If you do well here, they're going to keep you here.' But in Boston, he said, 'They let you walk when it's time to walk.'"

Long, frustrated sigh that you give someone who just doesn't get it. I'll let a smart person, Jed Hoyer, answer that (from the same article):

"'You have to find a balance,' Hoyer said, 'between hanging onto a guy who helped you win the World Series and setting up the Red Sox to have success in the future. ... Decisions have to be made. We have a budget. And we have to make decisions about 2008 and 2009, not just about 2006. If you always make decisions for the short term, the long term won't be pretty.'"

I like how he said "we have a budget." What Johnny doesn't realize is that it wasn't that the yanks had the most respect for him, it was that they just had more money to wast--I mean, spend.

And then we have what the article uses as its pull-quote: "The Idiots ... that's gone," said Damon... "That carefree attitude -- it's gone. And it's a shame."

Just remember this: Johnny doesn't know shit about the '06 Red Sox because he's not there. Maybe some dudes are even more likely to be loose and funny or whatever now that some of the really loud guys are gone. And, oh, wait a minute. Johnny, think about the situation. You've left a team because you feel like it isn't care-free enough for your liking? Look at where you are now, asshole! What a dick. The more he spouts off about the Red Sox--you know, when he's not thanking Red Sox fans in the paper and crying about how much he misses Boston--the more boos he's going to hear. I almost feel like A-Rod paid Boras to convince Johnny to go to New York so that there'd be another player who both Red Sox fans and yankee fans hate on the yanks. So A-Rod won't have to cry himself to sleep anymore.

F the yanks. I think their 2006 failure may be the second most enjoyable ever for us humans.

What's Wrong With This Ad?

You don't have to be "just some dude" to make a huge mistake in your marketing of a product. Who's, or should I say, "whose" in charge over there?

For whatever reason, this stuff just boggles my mind. Mistakes happen, but sometimes they absolutely shouldn't happen. ESPN and Burger King are run by two of the biggest corporations in the world. You're telling me they allow six-word ads to go public without all six words being correct? This is the type of thing where you could hire one person, and they could take a quick check, and then stamp it as "mistake-free." I'm still trying to figure out how the 1981 Topps Sticker Album got out with a picture of George Brett batting right-handed on the cover. (I know exactly what you're saying: "Jere, they had to airbrush the team logos and insignia out of the photo. Without lettering, they couldn't tell if the photo was reversed or not." Well, my answer to that is "Not one person at the Topps Chewing Gum Company, makers of baseball cards for decades, knew that George Brett was a left-handed hitter, when I, at age five, did?")

Maybe this generation is just too busy putting cool Buzzcocks and Devo tunes into their ads to worry about something like rudimentary punctuation. Makes sense. Most of it still hasn't grasped "pass on the left."

Update: It's fixed:

Monday, February 27, 2006

I Feel So Special

I have received an e-mail from an on-line ticket broker, alerting me that tickets to sold out Red Sox games are currently available. But there's something about the e-mail that makes me feel like they're talking only to me, the Red Sox fan. Maybe it's the big, bright picture of Fenway Park without any seats on top of the Green Monster. Or maybe it's the little accompanying "news story" featuring a shot of Manny Ramirez with short hair.

Either way, I've checked their prices, and I can get a ticket to a weekday afternoon game against Tampa Bay for only $165. Hey, so what if it's only a spring training game.

It's just so funny to see how--oh, you can stop using your inner sarcasm voice now--to see how people who make a living selling things at inflated prices will try to make you feel like you're getting a sweet deal on a legit product from someone who is completely knowledgeable about it. I'm always checking for tickets to sold-out games, so I see a lot of this stuff. Like the guy selling Red Sox tickets on ebay recently, who used big, colorful text, in-depth descriptions of the Red Sox and Fenway Park, and pictures of the view from the seats. But he titled his product "Red Sox tickets, center field, behind Damon!" And they weren't for a game against the yankees.

Who's going to think this guy is a fan of the team? My point is, if you don't know crap about your product, don't pretend to know everything. Because you're going to make a mistake, and it might be a major one. You have to realize that the people shopping for your product are the ones who actually do know about it. You're not going to get minor mistakes past them, let alone a major one like telling a Red Sox fan to buy your tickets, because with your tickets, they'll get to look at Johnny Damon all game, when a month earlier, he signed with the rival club in a move that even non-baseball fans heard about.

There's a lot of other funny salesman crap, like the use of exclamation points. "Row 1!" Yeah, of the grandstand. "Best seats you can get!" I can't get the fifty other ones currently up for auction listed directly above and below yours which are ten times closer to the field and not behind a pole? And the agencies are just as bad. They sell tickets to every single team's events in all different sports. There's just no way they could get all the facts straight about every team. For that, there would have to be some sort of worldwide, integrated network of millions of resources and references that would have to be available right in your own home. A virtual "web" of information at everyone's fingertips. That'll be the day.

Funny how the more sources of knowledge become available to Americans, the stupider we get. Someday a real rain...nah.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sterns, And Foster

From "In the offseason, he should become a comedian, have his own tour -- 'The Adam Stern Comedy Show,'" Cora said. "He's fun and fun to be around. And he has an energy that not only rubs off on veterans, but the whole team, and I think people appreciate that."

Stern rules. And not just because he's from the comedy capital of the world (Canada), went to the same college as me, and put his arm around me when I asked to get a photo taken with him. Well, all right, mainly because of all that. But, still, he did get a bad wrap simply because he was the guy who panicking Red Sox fans thought would be the starting center fielder because the team just didn't have the capability to get a major league-caliber player for that spot (?)

But they obviously have a lot of faith in this dude, and I'm psyched just to see him in a Red Sox uniform again.

On the other end of the Stern spectrum, I've been seeing the Howard Stern billboards for a while now, and I'm not down with him using the "black power"-like fist logo. To compare being able to say the "f" word (and making all your listeners pay extra for it) to an entire people's centuries-old plight isn't cool. I always thought Stern had a good sense of humor in general, but I've never been able to support his show. People have told me that there's more to it than the crazy stuff you see on the TV version. But when that stuff is "butthole bingo" or something, it doesn't make me want to even try the radio version. It just seems like lowest common denominator stuff. If he is a "genius," it's only as a salesman, not as a creative-type. In my opinion. He sees what sells and just goes with it, no matter who it's hurting. (I'm talking about the self-esteem of women in America.)

Went to the Meadowlands tonight. I forgot about how ridiculous NBA games are. They play some type of music or drumbeat literally on every possession of the game. I'm all for playing music in the arena and having a party-like atmosphere, but during the game itself? I would think some of the players would be distracted. Even if you like the song playing, what if you start dribbling to the beat, and mess up the whole play. It's hard to set a tempo when the PA system is doing it for you.

I guess it's an indoor sport thing.

Didn't House of Pain once rap about "indoor sports"? I think so. But they definitely said:

Holy diver
I'm a survivor
Feeling like DeNiro
In Taxi Driver
With Jodi Foster
And Harvey Keitel
Looks like I'm walkin'
Through a livin' hell

Speaking of House of Pain, at the game they also have to play a song related to the play, like HoP and Van Halen's "Jump" on jump balls. Come on, people. There was also a "battle of the church choirs" at halftime. After the on-court emcee mistakenly gave the over-the-top intro to the wrong choir, he went back to the mike and correct himself, and then we watched one upbeat choir that was pretty cool, followed by another that was so slow and old and bad, not only did people boo them, but the lights came on to try to make them stop. That was before their mikes were cut. Totally embarrassing. The dude who plays Tony Soprano was at the game as well. And it only cost $9 for a round-trip, twelve minute bus ride from the Port Authority.

Tune in next time to see if I mention Taxi Driver for the third post in a row.


It looks like I really will be following through with my plan of seeing two Major League Baseball games in two different cities on the same day. I was up at the crack of nine today for the Mets' internet ticket sale, and although I didn't get through in time to get $9 seats for April 17th's 7:10 PM game, I was able to get some higher-priced ones. Oh well, better seats for me. Right behind the plate, mezzanine.

Earlier, I'd lucked into Fenway seats for the 11:05 AM game on the same day. So, on that day, I will attempt something that probably hasn't been done too many times in human history. I still have to figure out the transportation issue, though.

It was easy for me to get up early on a Sunday because I wasn't sleeping very well last night. You see, I have a Jere cold. A Jere cold is when you literally have to blow your nose at a constant rate for a few days. Last night, Chan and I went to see Nellie McKay again, and I was just dying, waiting for each song to end so I could blow my nose while everyone clapped. Then, of course, I always turn into Peter Brady and think "fever, sore throat, weakness in bones...I must have...bubonic plague!" But, alas, it's just a Jere cold. More annoying than anything else.

Nellie was good as usual. This time we saw her at the Allen Room, which is part of the Time Warner Center. It's a really sweet room, because behind the performer is a huge picture window that overlooks Travis Bickle hot-spot Columbus Circle and Central Park.

I like performers who joke around between songs and can mess up a song and say "Oh, crap, I messed that up," and laugh about it, turning a potentially uncomfortable moment into what seems like part of the show. She also has a little trivia quiz portion of the show (I know, a human after my own trivial heart, right?) and runs out to the winner to give them their prize, which is usually a paperback book or something. She's also a feminist and a vegan and an animal-rights-type person, with a sense of humor, which is necessary (although it shouldn't be) to get messages like those across. It was kind of weird hearing her talk about the mistreatment of carriage horses while seeing them behind her out the window down on Central Park South. And then walking past dozens of them on your way home, you do realize what a horrible life it must be for those animals.

Oh, and the songs are good, too. It was just her and a piano this time. No band. I think I like her better solo.

On our way to the show, I got my David Ortiz Dominicana T-shirt, and the woman behind the counter told me that "a lot of people have been buying this."

I will wear it tonight to the Nets game. I got free tickets from a nice client at work. I grew up rooting for the Nets, and I can assure you, I was the only one. I knew them from the days of Orlando Woolridge, Sugar Ray Richardson, and Otis Birdsong, right through my personal favorite Chris Morris and Reggie Theus and Purvis Short with his rainbow jumpers, to Joe Barry Carroll (Joe Barely Cares), to Sam "picked ahead of Jordan" Bowie and Tate George, to Drazen Petrovic, who was tragically killed in a car accident, to Derrick "DC" or "crybaby" Coleman, to Sam Cassell, to Yinka Dare, Ed O'Bannon, and Kenny Anderson, and right up to Stephon Marbury and Keith Van Horn and Kerry Kittles. From the classic red, white and blue jerseys to the tie-dyed to the gray weird-sleeved ones. From the "Nets are Jammin'" to "Jump on the Power Train" during the Willis Reed-coached era. But, a few years ago, they joined forces with the yanks, joined the Yes Network, and, well, they became harder to root for at that point. Was a perfect excuse for me to stop following the NBA. (Although watching games in person is fun for me.)

Ironically, Chan is a fan of the current Nets, as he's been looking for a team to follow since Jordan retired. So, when these tickets were offered, I took them, for Chan, since he's gotten me so many free tickets from his more corporate, season ticket-y job.

I will bring plenty of Kleenex.

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