Saturday, May 26, 2007


1:25 AM eastern. Game over. 10-6 win. My girlfriend lucks out big time. She goes to bed with a 4-0 lead, saying, I feel comfortable about this win. When she gets up tomorrow, she'll see the 10-6 score and grab herself a pressure-free win. Meanwhile, I watched it go to 5-4 Texas, and had to sweat it out.

Dice seemed sweaty tonight, too. Very sick. Yet he kept pitching. Enough for the win. And the 'pen did a great job tonight.

Yanks also play a 10-6 game, but lose. We're 10.5 up again.

Did you know there are 15 ways to say "waste a pitch" in Japanese, and Dice doesn't know any of them?

I love this headline. That article also mentions what Big Stein said about his guys today.

Friday, May 25, 2007


Hazel Mae just said that Roger Clemens, in 1996, was the first "true pitcher" to get a base hit for the Red Sox since 1972 or something. I've always remembered looking at the stats one year and seeing that pitcher Tim Lollar once "led" the Sox in hitting with one hit in one at bat. So, fear not, I looked it up. It was 1986. Lollar got a hit. Maybe Hazel meant a pitcher who was pitching at the time in the game. Lollar was only a pitcher, but he was a pinch hitter when he got his hit. If that's not what they meant, terrible job. Either way, Lollar needed to get some credit there.

While doing this research, I learned Tim Lollar's real first name is William. Funny, as that's also Roger Clemens' real first name.

Gedman Family Update

Rich's kid, Michael Gedman, isn't having a very good year as a freshman at Syracuse, NY's LeMoyne College. (The stats they keep for that school are incredible--with play by play of each game and extensive records. For example, the young Gedman is tied for third in sacrifice bunts allowed as a pitcher. (He mainly plays first base, though.)) He's only hitting .118. But come on, he's only a freshman. Give it time, and he'll be the next, uh, Gedman.

His number is 34. I was hoping he'd wear 10. LeMoyne plays in the MAAC conference (for baseball only), and has since 1990. I never knew this, despite my dad being a Fairfield alum. Through him I follow MAAC basketball a little bit, but I never knew about the Gedmanification of the baseball sector. So it looks like LeMoyne is in the second round, and will face Manhattan.

The young Michael will play for the Sanford Mainers this summer, after LeMoyne's season is over. Look for him in your town. He'll be in my old one, to face the Danbury Westerners on June 11th.

In elder Gedman news, Rich's Can-Am team, the Worcester Tornadoes, lost the first game of its season north of the border. Sounds like they really got the shaft. Among other things,

Gedman wanted his team to arrive here on Wednesday, but the Capitales refused to pay for the extra night’s stay –– the league makes Quebec pay for opponents’ accommodations on game days –– even though they own the visitors’ hotel.

Freakin' Capitales, man.

Stats Don't Lie

Since 1975*, games the Red Sox played at Texas on the 25th of the month for the first time that season**:

5/25/85: L
5/25/86: W
4/25/87: L
7/25/88: W
8/25/93: L
4/25/00: W
8/25/01: L (game lasted over 6.5 hours)

I'd say we're due for a win tonight.

*I started from '75, since the previous 25th game was in '74, and that's where the back-and-forth streak ends, when working backwards. And we didn't play at Texas after that until '85.

**Meaning if we played at Texas again on a 25th in the same season, that one doesn't count. (Clearly done to keep the back-and-forth in tact.)

Sittin' On 23...

Wow, one quiz left. I hadn't checked the "prize chart" in a while, and I was actually thinking there were prizes for the top three finishers. But it's actually the top two. Plus one person gets my mom's book, but that's not necessarily for the third place person.

So, AJM has clinched a prize, as he currently leads with 24.85 points. Kara's in second with 21.82. She can still get first, but she can also be knocked out of second, as savethejellys has 18.23, and as you all know, a total of 5 points are split up and awarded for each quiz.

Nice battle brewin' for fourth: Matty has 12.9, Amy 10.8, JS 9.6, and BSM 7.9. So a full fiver from BSM would tie him with Matty for fourth.

After that we've got Mel, the third of three of my cousins on the board, with 4.6. Then, rounding out the 1 or more point-club, it's redsock, who jumped into the mix on the penultimate quiz, with 1.5, Ryan with 1.3 (how's that possible? Hmmm, maybe he should get the book...), and fellow Quizmaster Mighty Quinn with 1.1.

Everyone else has exactly 0.1 points: Sanfransoxfan, Witch City, Lance, My mom, Future, Michael Leggett, Dan, Novy, and pweezil.

In dead last as usual, it's Yankee fan Nick Smith, with 0.0 points. You know what, I think I'm gonna take away a point from Nick, citing the terrible job he committed by saying he'd get every quiz right, and never actually getting any points. This way "everyone else" will be tied for second to last, with 0.0, and Nick will be dead last, with -1.0. Congratulations, anyone reading this. You beat Nick Smith.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

'06-'07 Quiz XXIII

What significance does the phrase "no, no, no" have in Red Sox history?

Two quizzes left! Standings here.

The Usual

Thanks to Pamela for sharing her experience Monday night at Yankee Stadium.

If you haven't signed yet, click here for the petition to end crappy interleague play.

The Baby

3:13 AM, and I'm finally done with this thing.

I saw the original movie on Uniwatch today, and I got this idea, and took lots of hours to see it to its completion. Hope you like it!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Yanks Win "Their World Series"

We're way up, and we don't have to see the disgusting Yankees for nine days. Our skeds are similar until then, so I'm hoping we're as far ahead as we are now when we face them next weekend.


E-mark your I-calendars! Or whatever it is you do to make note of awesome things happening on upcoming dates. The Pist are back. For a few shows, anyway. You may know that Brian, the singer of my old band, The Pac-Men, was the drummer for The Pist back when they actually existed in the 90s. He and the three other members of the "classic" Pist lineup will be playing your town this summer. If you live in one of these three towns: New London, CT--June 30 & July 1. Pittsburgh or thereabouts--July 14. Cambridge, MA--September 8.

Giambi Continues Classy Ways

I'm hoping all the people who think of Jason Giambi as the one "winner" in the steroids scandal because he was "man enough" to "apologize," and let him completely off the hook while villifying Barry Bonds, just because he's closer to a big record than anyone else, will admit that they're totally wrong.

(Lupica feels the same way.)

[Update: Someone, as recently as yesterday, wrote a glowing piece on the classy Giambi. "Oh, thank you for being so great, Jason! Can I touch your slicked back hair, Jason? Can we sit in a hottub together, apologizing to each other all night?" (quotes may be slightly exaggerated)]

While we're talking about travesties, Joy linked to an article the other day by a slug named Walace Matthews. It will infuriate you too much to read it, I promise, so I will link to it here at Fire Joe Morgan. The boldface is the real article (I'm serious, this is not a joke), and the non-bold is FJM's responses, which are exactly what I would have said.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dub Dij

The Dominican Short-haired Pointer got a birthday win tonight, much like Al Spalding did on his 21st birthday in 1871.

Yankee Stadium's empty seats almost were treated to a comeback tonight, but they ended up keeping their blue armrests at their sides, as Pap struck out Classy McYouCan'tTeachThat looking to end the game.

I was about to start writing about the horseshit play by A-Rod, when TC and Eck brought it up just now on the postgame. Eck was saying how the play was no big deal, and he had no problem with it, nor did he have a problem with the famous slap play. Eck, get your head out of your ass! Here's my take: Terrible job! A-Rod will be getting drilled next time up! To think, the idiots on EEI were recently talking about how in a few years we'll all be rooting for A-Rod to break the home run record because he's never done drugs or whatever. I wouldn't root for that bush league SOB to save my own life.

This wasn't a slide into second, attempting to break up a double play. That would be part of baseball. When you do that, you're trying to affect the fielder so that he can't complete the DP. You have the right to the baseline, and in that case, the fielder is usually in it. Hence, if you end up bowling him over, it's okay. That's why fielders try to get the hell out of the way or even jump, to be able to make that throw without getting taken out. You'll notice that when a baserunner goes too far out of the baseline, proving that they're strictly trying to go after the fielder, as opposed to staying in the baseline he has the right to, the ump will call him out. That's called interference. In this case, A-Rod was already on the bag, realized Pedroia hadn't thrown yet, and threw an elbow at him! And connected!

That would be like if there was a man on second who stays put on a grounder up the middle that the shortstop fields, and then as the guy's about to throw, the runner on second punches him. If you want, you can stand on the bag stock still (and risk a ball in the ear), but you can't go out of your way to make contact with the guy. That was horseshit. It was almost exactly like the slap play.

Moving on: Good to move them 10.5 back again. They needed a sweep, and now that that's out of reach, I don't think they'll even show up tomorrow. But even if they do, we're 9.5 up leaving the Bronx. I'm voting for 11.5, though.

In TV commercial news, they're mostly annoying. But also, have you noticed Uncle Leo in the new Domino's spot? And that girl in the Civic ad, the one that starts "my Civic is the perfect size for me," is the same one who appeared in the old McD's ad, where she says, "a girlfriend is like coffee," or some stupid crap like that. Okay, now I have to walk like a zombie to Empire Today to get five new carpets. 800-588....

Beware Of Dog (Her, Not Him)

Mad Dog ruined Suzyn's life. Awesome.

End Interleague Play

Sign the petition here. Pass this on...

Thanks, Joy of Sox, via Laura. Or vise versa.

Cooking Tips

Run really hot water on and into a glass for a while. Get it nice and hot. Then immediately fill the glass with really cold water, and drink it. It'll feel like you're in the Caribbean. Try it. Tell your friends I invented this. Also, you booze people will probably want to try this with booze or whatever.

Tavarez tries to give us a double-digit lead again tonight at the soon-to-be-demolished big barfyard in the Bronx.

Not A Big Fan

Earlier today I said I'd talk more about WEEI being a horrible radio station. I've been meaning to do this for a while, but what a perfect time to do it this is. Not only because they spent much of today talking about basketball with a Red Sox-Yankees series about to start, but because tonight, NESN viewers got a taste of WFAN's Chris "Mad Dog" Russo.

Having grown up in the New York area, I'm very familiar with sports radio. It all started with WFAN in the late-80s, when I was a teenager. Mike & the Mad Dog started doing their show when I started high school, and are still on today. No matter what I was doing in the 90s, an afternoon drive always included at least a few minutes of "Fatso and Froot Loops," as Imus used to call them. And I spent many dateless (weren't they all?) overnights in high school listening to the then unknown Steve Sommers.

In the early days, our sports radio jokes usually involved imitating "Vinny from Queens" who'd call in to suggest that the Yankees trade Don Slaught for Ken Griffey, Jr. Brilliant. You still get calls like this today, though not as often. It might be from someone who insists on telling the host that he or she is a "first time/long time," which doesn't mean it's the first time in a long time that they've called, but that they're a first-time caller despite being a long-time listener.

We'd also make fun of the voices and quirks of Mike & the Mad Dog, but only because this was all we knew. There was only one "sports radio." We never had anything to compare it to. It wasn't until later in life, after hearing imitators in other cities, that I realized what a well-oiled machine the FAN is.

To make it very simple, here's a comparison.

WFAN: A quality sports-talk radio station.

Every other sports-talk station I've ever heard: A Simpsons-style parody of a radio station. (Or, the two morning hosts in Groundhog Day.)

The one station I've heard a lot of besides the FAN is WEEI in Boston. Now that I'm here, I'm hearing it even more. It's almost impossible for me. There are so many basic rules that exist on the FAN that these other stations don't even think of, apparently. Prime example: If a caller starts out by saying something absolutely ludicrous, immediately disconnect them and move on to someone who actually has something to say. EEI will let a caller talk, then respond, and then let them talk again! Fine if it's an intelligent person. Not fine if they're drunk! The screeners should take the blame, but the hosts seem to love to talk to these people, so they should share it. Sometimes EEI will cut someone off, after a painfully long time, but they'll do it with the "explosion" sound effect, normally reserved for lowest common denominator radio. But that makes sense because that's exactly what they are. It's a sound effects lollapalooza! Yee haw!

Here's another thing about EEI I can't take. Note: the first time I heard this, I figured it was a one-off gag, only to realize later it's basically the theme song of one of their shows. (The "Big Show," I think.) They have an announcer talking over music, telling you what's on the show, interspered with clips of people saying things. Unfunny things. Just little clips. For a long time. "The Red Sox are playing like a minor league team, they should be tried as minors." Ah, ha ha ha ha. Hilarious. I just came up with that on the spot, yet if I called in with it, it would be repeated at the top of every hour, which seems to be how often they play the theme. And after hearing about the "Weiner Whiner Line" for years, I finally heard it the other day. Just what I suspected: More unfunny one-liners from average people, whom I am certain do not have the job title "comedian." Even worse, the hosts sit there laughing their asses off at these completely unfunny rants.

Now, I know there are different shows with different attitudes. I guess what I'm describing is mainly this "Big" show. But I've also heard a lot of Dale and Holley. While they seem a little more down to earth, there's still this high school A/V club/public access show feel. It's like, "Oh, he's speaking clearly and concisely. This should be good. Nope. Stupid." And then they'll go on and on about the sound effects that they, too, can't seem to live without.

I'm singling out EEI because it's the second-most listened to sports station by me. Actually, I also caught a lot of New York's ESPN radio, which I also despised. They, and I'm sure all the other Fox and ESPN radio stations across the country, try to do the "we're young and hip and we let YOU be in control" thing. Which translates to: More stupid people and more sound effects. So, this isn't a Boston/New York thing. It's an FAN/everyone else thing.

And don't get me started on the travesty that is "Planet Mikey." Only way I can explain that one: somebody's blackmailing somebody. Mob most likely involved.

And that brings me to tonight. Tom and Eck were doing the pre-game, and all of a sudden they bring in, live on the phone, the Mad Dog. I've never been so happy to hear that man's voice. After a day of Dale and Holley and the Big-Show fart-noise-fest, I was treated to someone actually talking Red Sox vs. Yankees. Non-stop. Intelligently. No sound effects. They'd ask a question, he'd give a smooth, steady stream of facts and opinions. You'd think that'd be the norm for a professional journalist. Instead, it was a treat. (The fact that Doggy wants the Yanks to lose as much as we all do is always a bonus. That's another great thing about the FAN--besides Mad Dog's partner, most of their hosts are anti-Yankees.)

While the Dog barked, to the amusement of Tom and Eck, I sat there saying, Please say "terrible job"! You may have noticed I say the "TJ" phrase a lot--that's a Mad Dogism. He didn't say it, but he did call Mike Myers "terrible." And he threw in another one of his catch phrases, "spotty."

So, basically, I'm just putting in my vote for the FAN as the only listenable sports station I've ever come across. A few weeks ago, I heard some EEI hosts mocking Mike & the Mad Dog, doing imitations, etc. I was a little offended. I can make fun of their voices, because that's my home station, but these guys, whose entire careers are probably owed to those two men? Terrible job.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Buzzers & Whistles

Message to the dreadful* WEEI:

Red Sox-Yanks tonight. Stop talking about basketball.

*Much more on that soon.

Nichols Gets Some Work Done

I finally tallied up the quiz results from last year! (scroll down below current standings) We stopped with eight to play, but it turns out AJM was leading (as he is now), with Ryan M second and JS third. Sorry nobody got any prizes....

But remember, two quizzes left in the current season (even though we've clearly gone past the official endpoint--the start of baseball season)--and prizes will be awarded.


Still waiting for the Yanks to apologize to us for cheating in that '03 ALCS...

'06-'07 Quiz XXII

What Red Sox player struck out five times in a game twice, twelve years apart?

[Update after quiz was correctly answered: Thanks to Empy for the inspiration for this question. And check the current quiz standings here.]

Fun Weekend All Around

Saturday morning, the FAN's Richard Neer said that the Red Sox have the pitching, but aren't a strong hitting team. I guess I'll just keep linking to the actual stats until people figure it out.

We won the Braves series, losing only a game pitched by someone who's hardly pitched in the bigs before. Whereas the Yanks only win of the weekend was the game pitched by a guy making his debut. I didn't get to see the first two Met wins, only the loss tonight, where the Mets had a chance to go for the kill, but instead couldn't figure out Tyler Clippard, and allowed an easy fly ball to drop in with two outs, giving the Yanks the lead, and allowing Jeter to come up and hit a homer to extend the lead. Maybe the Mets only turn to minor leaguers against the Yanks while I'm watching. Must be it. Oh, and ESPN would like the world to know that on A-Rod's home run tonight, Derek Jeter did approve, and showed that approval by standing atop the dugout steps, clapping. Again, you can't teach this kind of leadership. This just proves that Lord Jeter did indeed create our beloved universe. May he bathe us in golden light for eternity. (Or take credit when someone else does!) I don't think I've detested a human as much as I do that little prick since this kid named Macrae, who, in 6th grade, after I handed out candy canes to the entire class as per the teacher's request, claimed that I "skipped him." When the teacher made me give him another cane, he looked at me and smiled, knowing he'd gotten away with it. It was intangibles like that that made Macrae an all-star son-of-a-bitch.

I was in NYC this weekend, and I got to meet my girlfriend's friends from across the proverbial pond. We suprised them with tickets to see their countrymate Ricky Gervais at Madison Square Garden. Gervais was fun, and a little bit, uh, controversial, I guess. It was almost like he was seeing how far he could push, saying things as if he were one of his characters. Don't get me wrong, I was laughing my ass off. But I started to think about the similarities between he and Dice Clay (who I always hated), how he's saying kind of insensitive things, but it's in character so it's all right. And no sooner did I think that than did Ricky start analyzing nursery rhymes. But even that was funny, since it was Ricky Gervais after all.

David Bowie introduced him, but not before singing that song he did on Extras. Then Ricky did an hour and a half. A few people actually heckled him, but he took it in stride, turning the tables on them nicely. This was his first U.S. stand-up show, and I think he succeeded. I was waiting for a joke that ended with the "big applause," which he never seemed to get to, unfortunately. Until about an hour in, that is, at which point he walked off in triumph. But obviously the crowd loved him, as they asked him back. He did an encore plus a final joke.

My favorite routine was when he claimed to have taken care of an autistic child for a day, and as soon as the kid's mom was out of sight, Ricky brought him to the casino, hoping for some black jack success, a la Rain Man. Turned out the kid couldn't even count.

Before the show, as we were all running through the rain towards the Garden entrance with minutes to spare, I saw the familiar face of Will Arnett go by. You may remember I met him once before, with his wife Amy Poehler. At the time, I couldn't think of his name. I asked for Amy's autograph, using her name, but then sheepishly asked for "both your autographs." I think he was pissed that I clearly didn't know his name. (I may have tried to fake that I knew his name all along in my original blog entry about this...) So in this five-second window, I saw my chance for redemption. I yelled out his name proudly, and he glanced back, but kept walking. At which point I shouted "Arrested Development needs to come back!" Look, I'm lucky I said something that coherent. But that moment just made us all the more excited to go inside and watch Ricky Gervais.

After the show, as we passed a bar, I thought I saw something on a TV that said the Red Sox had won both games of that day's doubleheader. I was wrong, as we split, thanks to another impressive Dice performance, but with the Yanks' loss that day, we gained a half game anyway. After both teams won today (Gabbo! Gabbo! Gabbo!), we're up 10.5 on them. Baltimore's percentage points ahead of them. Now we go to Dunbar Stadium, and according to Jon Miller, it's the opposite of a month ago, when the Red Sox went in with our pitching set up perfectly, and the Yanks had theirs in disarray. Uh...Wrong! Wrong! ERAs of our three scheduled starters for this series: 2.41, 3.57, 5.59. Theirs: 2.83, 4.54, 5.64. So, like, I'd say we're in pretty good shape. We're in the awesome position of knowing that if we take one of three, we leave The Bronx 9.5 games up.

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