Friday, July 27, 2007

Radio Daze

My girlfriend and I were in Providence earlier this summer. We walked into a candy store, and while perusing the oversized Millhouse Pez dispensers, we heard a deejay's voice coming from the stereo. "That was the Arctic Monkeys with...." I expected the usual banter from her, which we've all grown so used to: "It's __ degrees in [town you're in], we got that wacky beach festival down at [local venue where people all go to get wasted] comin' up..."

But no. This is the age of satellite radio. Modern technology can be fun and helpful and great and whatnot, but what I really fear, as we become a "global community," is the complete loss of local identity. This woman wasn't "with us" in Providence, she was in New York City, and her voice was being heard all over the world. How utterly depressing.

Everywhere is becoming the same as everywhere else. I don't need to tell you about strip-mall America. (On this theme, thanks to those who made comments about the movie Idiocracy. We actually rented it last night and watched it once the Sox were up big (the second time). And I thought it was good. Lots of great moments, great commentary on today's America (Judge could've set it in 2050 instead of 2505), and good to see some classic characters, like Milton, Michael Bolton, and an older, larger "Bob" from Bottle Rocket, who I'm sure was brought in by Luke Wilson.)

But getting back to radio, I'm about to kick it "glory days"-style, so you can stop reading here if you don't want to go down Memory Ave.

I was recently talking to someone who brought up how he'd pull in all these other cities on his AM radio. Having grown up fighting to get 1080-WTIC out of Hartford through layers of static, I also knew of the vast landscape that is (soon to be "was," I guess) AM radio. I picked up games from almost every team east of the Mississippi. Here's the rundown, from memory, then I'll look up anything I have trouble with, and fill in at the end.

The AL East:

1. Boston Red Sox. The classic WTIC-AM 1080 Hartford. For over 50 years now, they've played every Sox game that isn't on during a weekday afternoon, a UConn football game, or the Greater Hartford Open golf tournament. (Because you know everyone loves to tune into golf on the radio.) Was hard to get much of the time, due to either the hills of the Waterbury, CT area (which my dad always called "the mountains of Meriden,"--then again, he was from Meriden) being between me and Hartford OR Steinbrenner messing with the airwaves in his lifelong quest to keep any mention of the Red Sox out of Fairfield County, Connecticut. (read the first answer in this FAQ.)

Evetually we got the Sox in Danbury on WLAD-AM 800. But after a few years, they gave up and switched to carrying the Yanks. But even from the town next to Danbury, I sometimes got the Hartford station even clearer. If you fine-tuned hard enough, you could also hear the Sox on 1240 and 1420, one being out of Old Saybrook, I think 1420. I also picked up WPRO 630 out of Providence once while driving on 1st Avenue in Manhattan. I always used to marvel at the Red Sox yearbook's list of stations that carried the games. We'd come up with possible jingles for the stations in Bath, Maine, or whatever. But the above are the stations I could get from Ridgefield, CT. (The last few seasons have seen the addition of New Haven and Greenwich stations as well.)

2. New York Yankees aka Dunbar. WABC 770. But this was never needed, as literally every Yankee game played in my lifetime up until a few months ago was available on my TV set. The Ridgefield radio station (ha!), WREF 850 (it started in 1985-- REF=Ridgefield Eighty Five) picked up the Yanks at one point, as did WLAD, mentioned above. I know they also have a vast network of stations, including one in Worcester! TJ by that station.

3. Baltimore Orioles. Do you know how many O's games I listened to growing up? Way more than someone who never tried to listen to them should have. They were on WBAL 1090. Which, despite the fact that it was four times farther from me than Hartford was, came in about four times clearer. Jon Miller, loud and clear, almost every night. Sometimes it would cycle in and out. Two minutes of Castiglione, then faaade over to Miller for an Oriole batter or two, then baaaack to the Sox game. I'd let that happen when I was sick of sitting there finely tuning or if I was doing homework or something.

4. Cleveland Indians. Just to the other side of the O's was the Indians broadcast on WWWE 1100. They called it 3WE. Thinking back, if there were any Indians fans in Fairfield County, they had the same problem as I did: the Orioles game interfering with their own.

5. Toronto Blue Jays. I think I used to pull them in, too. And I think it even might have been 1070 AM. If so, what a crazy baseball corridor that was 1070, 1080, 1090, and 1100, each with an AL East team.

6. Detroit Tigers. I could usually barely get 760 WJR out of Detroit, but not without the Yanks on 770 drowning most of it out.

7. Milwaukee Brewers. Can't say I remember ever getting the Brew Crew.

And that's your AL East. Or should I say, my AL East, from the early 70s til the mid-90s.

NL East:

1. New York Mets. WHN 1050, which became WFAN, and later took over WNBC's 660 spot, where it still is today, still playing the Mets. Again, never needed to listen to Bob Murphy, as the Mets were also always on TV where I lived.

2. Pittsburgh Pirates. KDKA. Can't remember the number. I'll never forget getting it in for the first time, and thinking it was some west coast station. But no, there is a station in an east coast that starts with a "K."

3. Philadelphia Phillies. I vaguely remember getting a Philly station, maybe 1300 or 1400.

4. Chicago Cubs, Montreal Expos, St. Louis Cardinals. Never got any of these, although maybe I got some Montreal action occasionally. And I know KMOX had a strong signal, but I think it pointed west of of St. Louis. I never picked it up in CT.

As for the west teams in both leagues: I got the Chicago White Sox, but can't remember the station. And I got the Cincinnati Reds somewhere around 850. The only other team anywhere near me would've been the Braves, but nothing there (although all their stupid games were on TV, too, on TBS-Superstation.)

Okay, that was all from memory. Here are some updates and corrections: 1420 is still there, in Old Saybrook. It's WLIS. WWWE is now WTAM. They changed in 1996. I was right on 1070 for the Jays--it's CHOK. Not the call letters you want if you're a sports team. (You wouldn't want people to think it's a Yankees station.) Was right about the Tigers, but they moved in 2000 to WXYT. Looks like the Brewers have been on 620 for a long time. I'd say I never got that one in. KDKA is 1020, and carried the Pirates for over 50 years, but stopped last season. I guess the Philly station is 1210 WPHT. Was way off on the number. Also way off on the Reds number. It was 700 WLW.


It really stinks when you've got an eight-run lead with two outs in the fifth, and you don't get the win. Too bad for Gabbo, but the key thing is, the team held on to win the game, 14-9. The Wily Mo homer took the score from 9-5 to 12-5, and since the Indians ended up scoring nine, he gets my PotG award. His first, I'm pretty sure. (With his 4 for 5 night, he's just six points shy of Lugo's .225 BA.)

How 'bout them Royals? Finally they come through for us, pounding No Dice. We're back to 7.5 games up.

Tomorrow, at, well, who knows what time, really, the Yanks will finish their suspended game with the O's. The little schedules on the teams' sites have been messed up since that game was interrupted. First it gave the Yanks an 8-6 "W" and the O's a 6-8 "L". Now it just shows that game's "result" as "SUSP" on both sites. Then they show a 7:05 game--the regularly scheduled game. I guess the world will tune in to the O's or Yanks channel around 5 or so, and just sit there until baseball begins.

In the completion of the suspended game, A-Rod could hit his 493rd homer (he had 492 when that game started), which would make his most recent homer the 500th of his career. Could, mind you. Odds are he gets one at bat in that game, since it's already the eighth inning. I mean, it's not like the slim chance of this happening warrants an entire article...or does it?!

Great job, sir. You're bankin' on an all-or-nothin' at bat by A-Rod. Should he do anything but hit a home run, you've written the most irrelevant article of all time. Also, nice job on the last paragraph:

"Rodriguez entered Thursday the Major Leagues with 35 home runs and 102 RBIs..."

I've got a proposal for an article: "Yanks Could Win 2004 ALCS If Time Travel Is Invented And Brian Cashman Goes Back To The 60s And Keeps Dave Roberts' Parents From Kissing At The Fish Under The Sea Dance."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

You Be The...

A quick plug for a movie I haven't seen yet. That article, about Mike Judge's film Idiocracy, came out almost a year ago. But because of the way the movie got swept under the rug, I'm sure many of you--even Beavis/Office Space fans--haven't heard of it.

I actually saw the DVD a while back, while living in New York, at the Virgin Store or whatever it's called, in Union Square. I said, Wait a minute, what's this now? How have I not heard of this?? The article answers those questions. I'd planned on buying the DVD, but forgot, until just now, when I was reading a little about the great Mike Judge. So I've got to see it. In the meantime, see it yourself. It'll be good. Has to be.

Sox at Grinning Savages, 7-ish.

Friendly Fire

Girls have more friends than boys. You know what I'm talkin' about? Maybe this is a stereotype, but it seems like every female I know considers every person they've ever met to be their "friend." Know a woman long enough, and you'll hear about "my friend Matt," "my friend Josh," and "my friend Christina/Kristina." You'll learn about the four Kevins, the eight Steves, and amazingly, at least one Ian. (You'll also note they've got these crazy things called "friends of the opposite sex," which most of us dudes have only dabbled in.) When the friend-count gets high enough, I always start to wonder what their criteria is. You can only have so many people you really know. (See Dunbar's Number--ha! Dunbar!)

How do you determine who's a "friend" as opposed to people who are just, as my friend Pat once said, "in the filing cabinet of dudes I've met"? For me, you have to be someone I've actually spent a lot of time with on purpose ("at work" doesn't count!) for me to call you "my friend." No offense to some guy I give a nod to in an elevator and never see again--I'm sure he's a great guy. But a "friend"?

To me, a person who introduced himself to me at a party in 1998 and maybe exchanged email addresses with me just to be nice is just that: "a person I met once." To a woman, he's "my friend Rob." Welcome to the club, Rob. The "friends of hers named Rob" club, because you're definitely not the only Rob.

Recently, my girlfriend mentioned one of her "friends," and I broached the hell out of this subject. I finally got it out of her that this "friend" was someone she knew a little bit and hadn't seen in a decade--and I think she even said they had a fight and they hadn't seen each other since! "Friend" status, for that? I don't know.... Also, "friend" implies "current friend." Once you "break up," you at least have to call that person an "ex-friend."

While we were talking about this, I used this example: "Is Jessica Bennett my friend? We used to carpool--to nursery school. After that, her family must've moved, because I haven't seen her since. Sure, we were carpoolin' buddies. We had some good times together, playing in the sandbox and making pictures out of glitter and glue. We even had some bad times--me getting her a Magilla Gorilla-related gift for her birthday that went, uh, underappreciated. But if I'm listing friends, Jessica Bennett is not making the cut."

This story gets Jere-fied when, the next night, my girlfriend and I go to see Evan Almighty. Standing in line in front of us at the theater is, no, not Jessica Bennett, but, incredibly, the third person in my nursery school carpool, Leigha Cuniberti,* who went to school with me through high school. A friend of mine? Let's see, we had the carpool thing in '79; I swam in her pool a few times while her family was on vacation because my sister was feeding their cats; haven't seen her in 14 years....nice girl, but I'm gonna say no. But had I had the nerve to say anything to her and introduce her to my girlfriend, you can bet she'd be my girlfriend's friend right now.

*Since I didn't verify that it was Leigha, well, it might not have been her. If it was, though, I think this was an amazing coincidence, especially since, during the Bennett coversation, we'd talked about what it would be like if I suddenly ran into her, and if I'd introduce her as my "friend." I just Googled Leigha's name, though, and I'm happy to report that as of 2004, she's listed, at least on this page about a 5-mile run, as living in Boston. Her family was always into running, and her dad's a Sox fan, and with that unique name, it's gotta be her. (206th out of over 900 in that race. Nice work, my fr-- uh, my person I carpooled with and whose pool I swam in and who graduated with me but who I haven't seen since except for maybe at that movie theater. Hmmm, maybe "friend" is easier....)

Just As Close

Great call by McCarty after the game. After Pedroia nearly got hit in the head, he should've expected a pitch away. ("...but watch out for 'in your ear'.") Instead, since he was all pissed, he tried to pull the outside pitch, and did, grounding out instead of going to right field with it.

Man, a 1-0 loss is frustrating, but even more so when you have a runner thrown out at home by a foot who would've been safe had he not slowed down between third and home because he didn't know the throw was coming home.

I think Coco saw the fielder do that little pump fake, and figured he'd decided not to throw home. Or something. Really a shame considering the job Beckett did.

TJ on the missed sign, with Tek on first. There was another play recently where Tek was up and someone missed a sign and it also cost us. Not his fault necessarily, but we gotta work on those signs. In the inning that happened in tonight, we had that miscue costing us an out, and then Lugo got thrown out. So that's two baserunners out on the basepaths in the eighth, meaning we should have, at the very least, had Manny and Youk get a chance in the ninth.

Good to see Lowell and Lugo get the night off. That four-month offseason, the built-in off days, and the three-day All Star break that happened two weeks ago ARE NOT ENOUGH! Hey, maybe if we rest the whole team the rest of this decade, we can win it all in 2010!

Meanwhile, the Royals continue to shit the bed against the Yanks.

I predict a huge trade at the deadline for someone. Why? Because everyone's saying with certainty that there won't be one.

Almost had a 1979 Bristol Red Sox autographed ball, featuring Gedman. But the price went too high. This isn't ebay, this is Hunt Auctions. They had a 1,000-lot auction that went down tonight. I got nothing. Everything else I wanted also went too high.

Some stuff about the preview for the latest "Bronx is Burning" episode (which I watched that night while NESN went out--review: "Eh," as usual).

They got the top of the Fenway bleachers right. That high green wall and that auxiliary scoreboard, which I think was still there in '78. A lot of this series takes place at Fenway. It's funny how they just paint stuff in Fenway green to imply Fenway, for the clubhouse, dugout, etc.

Not such a good job with this one. Clearly Fenway today, with the glass-enclosed areas on the roof. And that crowd--terrible job! I like how they did those little cut-outs in the 2-D crowd for the aisles. Ridiculous.

Do I need to tell you what's wrong with this shot? So, basically, I've seen much of parts one and three, with no plans of watching four through eight, unless NESN goes black again.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Some B-Ball Out By The School

"In 2007, the International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame will host a special New England Basketball history exhibit. The exhibit will encompass memorabilia and other items which reflect the history and tradition of New England basketball. A special component of the exhibit will be the sale of "Our Game: A Story of New England Basketball" by acclaimed author, Bill Reynolds. "Our Game" is being published by Hall of Fame Press, a new entity of the Institute for International Sport."

Hall of Fame Press is publishing the book I'm writing with my mom. While visiting with the fine folks at the Institute for International Sport yesterday in Rhode Island, I took a peek at the above-described exhibit. Really fun hoops memorabilia there. This post is by no means a comprehensive photo gallery, but I snapped some interesting stuff. Check it out in person if you're in the Kingston, Rhode Island area. See the links above for more details. In the first shot--that's gotta be a peach basket. Click these to enlarge.

The 1921 URI men's team. URI was Rhode Island State College back then. Love those socks, and the "RI" logo.

The blurb below this picture says how it's still a tradition at Providence College for fans to gather for practice, as they're doing here in the 20s. Check out the knee pads, too.

More great socks, more knee pads, and the full year on the uniform. (I'd guess these weren't what they wore in games.) You can also see the "P" for Providence on their shorts.

A URI warm-up from 1991, with the centennial patch.

Women in action, with the classic short shorts of the 70s/80s.

This really shows the knee pads that were so common back in the day. And it appears this team didn't wear socks at all.

Somerville representin'.

You don't see the horizontally-striped shorts much nowadays. And this team's socks are clearly not part of the uniform. I think they just wore whatever socks they had. In another action photo which I didn't get a good shot of, this team (I see "H-W" on two of the balls, so it must be Hamilton-Wenham high school in Mass., still home of the Generals today) is playing another team with a wild, horizontal swath across their shorts. You'll just have to go to the museum to check that out...


7 innings, no runs for Dice. 6 innings, 4 runs for Wang. Flyouts beat groundouts, 8-6, for Wang, which is not what he wants. Both teams get wins, but we continue to have the better starting and relief pitching.

Gotta love a 1-0 win. Starter, 7 innings, nothin'. Jeemer and Pap, 1 shutout inning each. Perfect. Too bad our NESN and some other cable stations went black in the top of the ninth. Fortunately, I had Castiglione at the ready, and he talked us through the last three outs.

We're the only team in baseball with more than 60 wins, and the only one with less than 40 losses.

Interesting situation tonight, the exact one that was hypothetically brought up at Joy of Sox before the season. With Pap essentially only able to go an inning at a time, do you go with him in the eighth, with a one-run lead and the tougher hitters coming up? In other words, worry about the now, then worry about next inning. My theory was that despite that this method seems to make sense, it came from the fact that we used to not be able to trust many relievers other than Jon. But now that we've got the Mighty Oak, we just go with him in the 8th automatically in that situation. It's interesting, and still debatable, how this should be handled. I'm fine with the way we do it now, but should "closer" be a defined role, or should your best go when the situation calls for him, instead of saving him for a "close situation" that may never come? I still say until there's a league-wide revolution, no closer is gonna want to come in at a point that's not the end. But that revolution has to start somewhere. Then again, I think the closer role is cool, and none of those guys would want to not get that final out, so we might as well keep Pap in that "role." Yet, ironically enough, Jeemer gets the Player of the Game, for getting the tougher outs. Albeit not the final outs. Eh, whatever. We win, either way.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lester Bangs Tribe's Drum. Slowly.

Excellent job by Jon Lester tonight. As we thought, and as NESN noted a million times, no nerves visible. Getting out of the bases loaded, one out situation was hog. (I'm just inventin' new words at this point.) The only runs he gave up were on the Little Grady homer, which I blame myself for. He'd just given up a bloop hit, Orsillo was talking about the big lead at the time, and my mind went to the fact that Grady hadn't been hitting Sox pitching lately and was probably psyched to see someone new out there. So I saw a home run in my mind. And it happened. I take full blame.

Timlin continues his goodness, and MDCops was back to form.

McCarty tonight--said "struggling" when he could've said "scuffling." I should've known a genius like him would come through for me. Dave also described a moment from his career, and I knew that unlike most ex-players, he'd probably actually have the facts straight. He said it was Nolan Ryan's last home game, and he knocked him out with a two-run double. He was exactly right. He also sounds like Nikki Sixx a little bit, I just realized.

This delay thing is still affecting my enjoyment of NESN games. It's the centerfield camera that's in real time, while all the others are a split second behind. (Don and Rem's audio are in real time all the time.) You can really tell on the audio, like when there's a Red Sox chant, or that drum is beating in Cleveland. You'll hear two quick beats in a row or a word repeated right when they switch back to the centerfield camera for a pitch. You can also tell visually when the pitcher will be shown from another angle starting his wind-up. When they switch to the centerfield cam, his arm repeats its previous split-second. I guess it doesn't bother enough people for them to scrap this idea. They must do it so after a line drive, we don't miss the ball getting through the infield. We get to see the swing, then they switch cameras, then we see the ball pretty much coming off the bat. Which is fine unless we're hearing Orsillo making the call before we see what happens! Like in Curt's near no-no, when you heard him say "Into right field" before the ball was past the second baseman.

Rem and Don agreed that we haven't seen a squeeze play from the Sox this season. We did it on July 4th, when Cora safety squeezed home Coco. Maybe they meant suicide squeeze.

On Lester's walk to the mound--they stayed with it instead of going to commercial. People in the crowd, including the many Sox fans, had just started to catch on and stand and cheer...when NESN made the call to indeed cut to commercial. Too bad about that.

On Saturday, during the Fox game, they showed someone with a sign that said something like "The Sox and Fox, a perfect team." I remember thinking how cheesy and phony it seemed, even for your average "wants to get on TV" fan. Something wasn't right about it. Tonight, NESN showed a kid with a great sign that had his message (something about driving out there to see Nixon), and below it, the words "Mandatory Rem & DO Plug." They started joking about how sometimes people will make great signs but they'll just be missing a little something (meaning the plug.) Then they said "at least we don't plant signs like some networks...over the weekend." I wonder if they meant that sign I saw on Fox on Saturday....

Everybody's going crazy about how Drew would've had at least a productive out with his grounder to first that was a DP, had Manny been running, getting a double instead of a single, before JD came up. Okay, Manny didn't run full speed the whole time. But did Drew think he was on second, and hit it to the right side on purpose? Come on. Just because the guy in front of you is on first when he should be on second, you still have to hit in whatever the situation is, not what it could've been.

Odalis Perez actually did better against the Yanks than he did against us. But the Royals didn't score enough. It was 4-2 Yanks going to the ninth, but KC gave up 5 in the inning, with two errors helping out. So they'll stay 7.5 out.

Lester's player of the game, of course. Pic from when I saw his first-ever game last year.


Did you hear about the first base coach who was killed by a line drive in a minor league game last night? It was Mike Coolbaugh, who played briefly in the majors. His brother Scott played in the late-80s, early-90s. I had his card. Please be careful if you have box seats near home plate at baseball games. Especially if you're bringing kids with you. Yesterday proved that line drives can be fatal. And that was a guy paying full attention who was farther from the plate than some seats are.

Speaking of first base coaches, tonight it's the battle of teams whose first base coaches are named Luis and played middle infield for the Red Sox. Alicea vs. Rivera. Alicea played briefly with Scott Coolbaugh, even appearing back to back in the starting lineup in this game in 1994, exactly 13 years before Mike's death.

Getting Well

On the night Jon Lester makes his return from his bout with cancer, it's a good time to think of those who are sick and and yet to go through the hardest part of their ordeal. Kaylee is a 16-year old who blogs about the Red Sox. I've had her blog linked for a long time over in the links section. She recently revealed that the reason she hadn't been blogging as much is because she'll be having open-heart surgery next month. At 16. So keep her in your thoughts, if that's your thing, and ask for good things for her from the "big man upstairs," if you're Arnold Jackson. And check out her blog. She's done a great job keeping her sense of humor right where it always is, despite what she knows she'll have to face soon. Nice job, Kaylee. You'll be back on the hill pitching against the Indians soon.

Now back to Lester. I think this kid is gonna be fine. We remember the guts he showed last year, and if you don't think he has guts, look at the fact that last year he was diagnosed with cancer and he's fucking pitching tonight.

You can't put a number on that. I know all the fantasy people are in a bit of a panic right now about Jon, and they'd kill me for saying something as preposterous as that--that it matters what's inside the human being behind those stats. Funny, because those are the people who probably never played baseball. The type who would've gone right up to me in Little League and said, You can't get this guy out, he's hitting .750 vs. 10-year old righties at Fitzgerald Field. And then I'd say, Does that take into consideration that this kid killed my family and I've waited five years to exact my revenge? It's like a Quint vs. Hooper thing. Hooper was the scientist, and sure, he knew about sharks. And sure, we even grew to like him a little bit. And he did play "Little League," meaning he once had a little shark eat his little boat when he was a little kid. But Quint--this dude was the man. He's got a thousand shark jaws on his wall, all done without the help of that scientific equipment Hooper bought. (With inherited money.) And we all remember, when they were out at sea, when Quint said it was a shark, and Hooper tried to tell Quint his business, and was proven wrong, and couldn't admit it.

But Jere, didn't Quint die in the end? Yeah, but while Hooper survived by swimming away, Quint died with his boots on, going right into the shark's mouth.

Lester goes nose to nose with the shark tonight.

Speaking of people who confuse fantasy with reality, I noticed recently that every time I clicked a link that took me to RotoWorld, their little opinion-blurb about that player would be dead wrong. So I started going back through all their old blurbs. I found something interesting. Not only are they wrong all the time, but it seems a lot of fantasy people have been basically reading RotoWorld and repeating it. So this is where these people get these silly ideas, I thought. So, you'll be happy to know that the site says this about Lester:

"The Red Sox would then have to decide whether to keep him in the rotation or send him down and go with Kason Gabbard as a fifth starter. We're guessing they'll choose the latter. Lester hasn't been sharp enough for Pawtucket to suggest that he's ready to be a big asset for Boston."

Fine. AAA numbers are everything, right? Pithing in the bigs after coming back from cancer mean nothing? This is the guy we've been banking on to be our fifth starter for quite some time. And they say he's ready now. That's why he's up. This kid's gonna be all right. The thing is, he could do really well, and the fantasy people will find some stat that says he's no good, and don't take him for your fake team or whatever. The rest of us will look at him with our eyes, as well as his numbers, to judge. (And if he ends up out of the rotation, it'll only be because Gabbo is doing that good right now.)

And I have to say this every time I make fun of that fantasy faction: I love stats. Always have. It's one of the main things I love about baseball, and one of the things that makes it so much more fun to follow than any other game. When the games are over, you can spend even more time looking at boxscores than you did watching the games. And I was in fantasy leagues, starting when I was about 12. I found the ad in the back of The Sporting News and joined, then having packets come every week in the mail with all the updates on the teams and everything. People kept saying "I'll trade you Mattingly for Greenwell." But I wouldn't budge. This was my achilles heel in those leagues--I wouldn't pick any Yankees. Also, I refused to talk on the phone with strange men. I later started basketball and football leagues with my friends in high school, while the other kids were, I don't know, having sex or something, and I've always invented teams and uniforms and played all the dice games ever made, and invented plenty of my own. But after all that, when you're talking about real teams and the real humans on them, you have to realize that there's so much more to it than just numbers. You can't make Coco Crisp get a hit every time, simply by using my cousin Kara's dice rolling method of putting the dice in your palm with "1" facing up, and letting it slowly roll down to the floor, consistently producing a "6". I don't know, I'm down with the concept of "fantasy," but I think it should be kept separate from reality. The perfect example is Wily Mo. This guy, to fantasy people, is, like, the best there ever was. In fantasy leagues, women in black veils are shooting this guy in hotel rooms after he struck out the Whammer on three pitches. Yet I look at him and I see a flailing, bumbling, albeit lovable, fool.

Sheep Guy

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I Better Not Hear "Jon Lester Scuffled With Cancer"

Weekend scuffle alert: Thom Brennaman said it yesterday, and Orsillo today said the "White Sox bullpen is scuffling as a group." Hey, that one's almost correct--if you mean they're fighting with each other! One more thing about Fox--TJ cutting away from our game entirely so we could see Bonds, even though he was two homers away from tying the record. That's like missing an entire day's work to make your phone call to court to see if you've been taken off the jury duty list.

I was disappointed today when Tina introduced a sound-byte from Jim "How can I live the rest of my life, knowing I could of been with Marisa" Thome. She told us that Thome has a "different perspective" on Manny Ramirez. That perspective? That the stories about Manny are overblown and that he's a really hard worker. So why wouldn't Tina lead in with something more along the lines of "Jim Thome knows what we in Boston already know about Manny:"?

Sox win, and take three out of four from the Caucasian Sox. On to Cleveland, where Jon Lester will start tomorrow night! I think most people just think of him as "that cancer guy," forgetting about awesome he is on the mound. A real spine of steel, like Papelbon.

Crappy job by the D-Rays these last two days, but at least they got one win in the series. How can you give up 10 runs in an inning, and give up eleven runs aside from those? We know the Yanks can score, especially against the Rays. But they've got serious pitching issues. I'm not going to ignore that like many people will. Yanks starters over the last 4 games, in which the team won three games: 20.3 IP, 15 ER. As the modern humans say, "no worries" for us.

I've only become a regular reader of UniWatch in the last few months (TJ by me), but while going through the archives, I found this. Awesome. Please click on the link of Rudy in Little League.

Droppin' Gs

I've always noticed that Boston-accent people drop the "g" in "-ing" words. But I couldn't quite pin down exactly when they did it, and how it was different from when anyone else did it. I kept telling my girlfriend (who's from around here, and has a hint of an accent) that "her people" dropped their "g"s, and she'd tell me I was crazy, citing Southerners and Midwesterners with their drawls who also do it. And she'd occasionally point out times when I'd do it. But I knew there was something specific about Boston "g" dropping, I just had to figure out what it was.

Finally, it hit me. What's really unique about Boston-ish people is the dropping of the "g" in "-ing" nouns. Think about it. Curt Shillin'. Nobody says that. Except Boston people. "It's only the third innin', Schillin's pitchin', and I gotta get to a weddin'!" (Like I said, any of us might say "pitchin'," but it's the three nouns in the sentence that are Boston-only.)

I have pretty much proven my point to my girlfriend at this point, although I don't know just how convinced she is. But we've definitely listened to a lot of sports radio together, with me pointing out all the "-in'"s.

Feel free to add to this or debate it or whatever. Remember, Boston people, I only joke about the Boston accent because I love it so much, and I feel that having lots of family who talk like that, and being a Sox fan, and being from New England (albeit the accent-free zone), give me the right to do so. I assure you, if I hear anyone else making fun of it, I kick them out of my house. Also, I am grouping all of northern New England together here, which I'm sure you'll be wicked offended by. So if you're from Concord and you don't drop your "g"s and you know that the people of Manchester do, or whatever, again, feel free to add to the discussion.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States