Saturday, January 19, 2008

More Lee Action

So horrible that that's the way it was back then. And still today in many places.

Other things I learned from Bill:

Roger Clemens had a homer-sexual relationship with Dave Stewart. (The pitcher, not the guy from the Eurythmics.)

It's better to play baseball than to have a fantasy team and be sedentary.

People spend too much time with their fists closed, and not enough time with them open.

"You shouldn't convict Pete Rose for betting on should convict him for not betting on baseball."

Don't give up. Don't hang your head. You will fail. But keep trying.

Darrell Johnson, manager of the '75 Sox, "slept with his clothes on more than anybody--even John McNamara." He didn't even show up to several games that year until after they were over--coach Don Bryant ran the show.

The reason he signs his autograph with the word "Earth" comes from being called Spaceman so much.

Saying "I am a socialist" in a Knights of Columbus won't get you kicked out. On this night, anyway.

He also told one of my favorite, though disappointing, stories of all time, which I remember him telling on TV when I was little: In game two of the '75 World Series, during the rain delay, Johnny Bench said, to a television audience of millions, that when play resumed, he'd look for a slider down and away from Lee, and take it to right field. So everyone knew. Except Lee. Had anybody told him, he wouldn't have thrown that pitch. But he did. Bench doubled to right, knocking Lee out of the game, and starting the Reds' ninth inning rally that would win the game. Of course, as Lee points out, the manager shouldn't have let him sit through a rain delay and stay in the game, having just thrown eight innings.

Oh, another funny thing from that night: When Gedman was signing my ball, he saw what Lee wrote on there and asked "did you ask him to write that on there?"

My pics and description of the night are here.

Oh, and it's that time of year again. You know exactly what I'm talkin' about. The Canadian Blog Awards. Joy of Sox looks to defend his crown as best sports blog. Vote for Joy here. Round one ends Monday so get your vote in and get him to the finals. Thank you. Looks like it's one vote per round, but we Americans know a little about rigged elections, so if you can find a way to vote multiple times, go for it. At the very least, you can vote from different computers.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Oil Can, The Ged Man, And The Space Man

We drove down to Windsor Locks in my home state of Connecticut (albeit the northern, Chicago-accented portion) tonight to see possibly my three favorite Red Sox of all-time. I'm a follower in the Rich Gedman cult, as evidenced by the fact that the collage above, around my blog logo, consists entirely of Gedman cards. I bat and politick lefty, so I'm an admirer of Bill "Don't Call Me Spaceman" Lee--I'm possibly his biggest fan who doesn't do drugs. And I live and breathe, so I love Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd.

So when I heard that those three guys were specifically appearing at a dinner within, say, eight--no, ten hours of where I live (in this case 1.5 hours), I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity. And I owe it all to John Quinn, who tipped me off to the gathering. Please read his blog, the Mighty Quinn Media Machine, daily. My mom and dad drove up from the Havens for the event, too.

First we were allowed to go up and get a group photo taken. My mom said "Viva Cuba" to Lee, who thought about it a stoned second and replied, "'Yankee go home,' they say as you round third." (Lee loves Cubans, and says they love us, which you know if you've read his books or seen Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey. He only said that because it's a play on--eh, forget it. Anyway, I gotta get to Cuba....)

Then we each went up individually for autographs. I went to Lee and gave him my ball and told him I was a fan, and that I have similar views to his on things like the Yankees and the Bush administration. Having said that, I told him to write whatever he wanted on the ball. He produced this:

How cool is that? That was my first time meeting Lee. Then I went to the Can, and asked him to add his name to the ball. He was friendly as usual. I'd met him before, at Autograph Alley at Fenway, and told him I felt he was screwed out of starting the '86 All-Star Game. He said, "damn straight."

Then it was on the holy grail, Rich Gedman. I asked for him to add his name to my ball, but I also brought out the heavy artillery. The classic pic of me with him in the background from 1989. (Full gallery from game here.) He signed it for me, but not before turning to Can, showing him the pic, and reminiscing about Randy Kutcher. (This was my second time meeting Geddy--the first was at historic Waconah Park.)

My girlfriend had Lee write "Yankees Suck" on a mini-bat, and also got the two other guys' autographs on there, too. Then we all ate a mildly delicious buffet-style dinner and waited to hear the three dudes speak. I couldn't wait to hear Lee, and he was really on tonight. Then again, he always is. After the "host" talked for a few minutes in the "talk about myself and when I ask the guests of honor questions, don't bother to even give them the microphone" style, Lee was handed a mic. And that host did not speak for the rest of the night. Lee just took over. The scene above was right at the beginning, and it was mainly him cracking himself and everyone else up from that point on.

He touched on lots of topics, often making the Can and Rich want to hide under the table. Geddy and Boyd did get some very eloquent speeches in, though, in between Lee rants. Gedman was the perfect straight man to those two. But it was basically the Bill Lee show. And that was fine with me.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I had complained about the recent lack of goodies/acknowledgment from the Red Sox for my years of being a (1/8) season ticket holder. But now I've been given a chance to get my Japan package deal for 500 dollars off the five thousand dollar price tag. So....

The schedule:

Tonight, I see Ged-man, Oil Can, and the Space Man down in CT. Soon after that: Pics from the event.

After that: Another research project about a certain mythical home run.

After that: Another blog about certain stuff will be revealed. (Hint: minutiae.)

After that: The start of an ongoing series about a certain group of ballplayers.

When this will all happen, as well as the order they appear in, subject to how busy/lazy I am.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What's Really Important

This guy got a bid! All that work he did, I'm glad at least one person out there decided they wanted it. Why he'd be willing to give it all up for a measly 10 bucks, I don't know. No family to pass it on to?

In a similar story, this person scored the games in a more traditional fashion.

In me news, I just scored a team-autographed game ball from Rick Wise's one-hitter in 1976. Nice job by me.

Hank the Yank

Yanks in Santana hunt. Yanks out of Santana hunt. Yanks will never sign A-Rod. Yanks sign A-Rod. What is the deal with Bocephus, aka "George W" Steinbrenner? You'd think whoever took over from George would want to somehow stabilize the organization. Instead, he's here, he's there, he's Big Bank Hank, he's everywhere.

Just how we like it.

A Bit Of Trash

You know Trash? Not the stuff, the record store. As in Trash American Style in Danbury, CT. If you're from CT you know it. Anyway, terribly, they got screwed out of their lease after decades on Mill Plain Road (also home of such 'Jere's childhood' hotspots as "the 7-Eleven" and "Rollerland" and the "Mini Golf course which also had a batting cage which featured 'the Goose' (paragraph 7)" and the "world's tiniest Subway location" and "the other Duchess Diner" and "the Ethan Allen Inn where I used to go to baseball card shows" and "the Windmill Diner" and "Brown Video--the first video store we ever went to in like '84" and "the old location of Ultimate Video" and "that one baseball card shop." What a road it was!).

It's really too bad because Trash was more than a record store, it was a gathering place. I am proud to say I played in two bands that played shows in the store, and met a lot of great people because of the place. And much of my record/cd collection came from Trash. All people around there can do now is wait for it to reappear in a new location.

In the meantime, Malcolm Tent, spiritual co-leader of Trash, is still doing his radio show, which you can listen to on the web at It's on Tuesday's, 2-4 PM, but he's doing a special show to night at 10 PM. Tune in! (click at the top right of their page where it says Live Stream.) He's always fun to listen to, and he will turn you on to some music you've never heard before.

There's a documentary coming out about the death of the independent record store, which will feature Trash. Here are the Trash clips:

Monday, January 14, 2008

Easler Mistake

I just watched a segment on Jim Rice on one of the Red Sox shows on NESN. Good stuff. Always good to watch old Jim Rice highlights to bring you right back to childhood.


Key mistake. One of the shots of Jim Rice was Mike Easler. All of a sudden, there's the Hit Man, taking a swing in the batting cage. I thought, Okay, they're about to bring up the fact that Easler was a friend of Jim Ed's, and maybe the fact that they were both Red Sox hitting coaches after they retired. But no. They simply found a clip of a black man with a mustache, in the '80s, in a Red Sox uniform, and assumed it was Jim Rice.

Let's pretend the two men look enough alike so that you could mistake one for the other. Fine. But how is it that no one who worked on the piece noticed that in one clip, Jim Rice is batting left-handed...


And wearing number seven?!

And it's not like it was a half-second clip, it was a slow-motion shot of a swing.

Terrible job, NE-eFC,CT-SN.*

Here's a shot of our chain-linked fence. Notice some of the holes are almost completely filled. How does that happen?
A pic I messed with--Prudential Building over generically-named convenience store. With snow. And weird sky. If this had been in focus, I tell ya...

*New England--except Fairfield County, Connecticut--Sports Network


The cool kind of snow falls on New England!
Click these to enlarge. Talk about Sta-Puft!

And, from the birthday boy, Michael Leggett, a shot of Citi Field going up in Flushing:

By the way, on the way home from my New Year's NYC trip, we got a god look at the new Adidas--er, Yankee Stadium, and it's really coming along. You can really see the old-Yankee Stadium look taking shape. Way better than the '76 model.

I Spent Way Too Much Time On This

I was thinking about seeing the Red Sox in Cincinnati this season, and I noticed the $7 bleacher seats are going for $22 for that series. So I did some research. It's not like I didn't know other teams charge more to see us and the Yanks, but I decided to check up on all the clubs. Here are the "premium" opponents of the 16 teams the Red Sox play on the road in '08, along with the range of price increases per ticket. (I also included the hip names teams use besides "premium" where applicable.)

Baltimore: Red Sox, and I assume Yanks and maybe others--no actual list I can find for these "Prime" games, 25%-89% increase.

Chicago White Sox: Red Sox, Yanks, Cubs, Op. Day, July 4th, and one other random game ("premier" games), 27%-82% increase.

Cincinnati: Red Sox and D'backs ("premier" games), 22%-214% increase. ("Select" games, Cleveland & Cubs, have lesser increases.)

Cleveland: Red Sox, Yanks, and other non-team specific games, increase up to 25%.

Detroit: No premium games, but free Red Sox or Yanks game w/ third or half season ticket plan.

Houston: Red Sox and Yanks, 28%-143% increase. (And no $1 seats available for these games.) Red Sox/Yanks tix only available through lottery.

Kansas City: Red Sox, Yanks, Cardinals, 19%-55.5% increase. (4% increase for the 230 dollar seats.)

LA Angels: "Tier 2" games: Red Sox, Yanks, Dodgers, July 4th, and Opening Day. Up to a 50% increase.

Minnesota: Red Sox, Yankees, and Brewers, 10%-71% increase.

New York Yankees: Can only get "premium games" (Red Sox/Mets/Final Game) tix through lottery. And no group sales for these games.

Oakland: Red Sox, Yanks, and Giants, 11%-17% increase. These teams also considered "marquee opponents" in ticket packs, along with Angels and Phillies.

Philadelphia: Premium games are all games Memorial Day to Labor Day, but Red Sox and Opening Day tix available only through lottery.

Seattle: Red Sox, Yanks, and Opening Day have $3 charge added, equaling a 4%-43% increase.

Tampa Bay: Red Sox, Yanks, and Cubs ("prime" games), 28.5%-73% increase.

Texas: Red Sox, Yanks, Opening Day, and four other single games ("premier" games), 7%-67% increase.

Toronto: "Super premium games"--Red Sox and can't tell who else, roughy 10% increase.

So, you'll notice that every team we play that has premium games, which is nearly every one, puts us in that category. And you'll pay a lot more to see us.

Some notes: Have you ever looked at the Devil Rays' ticket prices? I think I just figured out why no one goes to the games. Okay, the other reason why no one goes. The "home plate club" seats cost $210. That goes up to $272 for a Sox game if you buy the day of the game. Day-of-game, prime game tickets then go down to 152, 117, 72, 57, 47, 40, 40.... That's right, we're down to the eighth-highest level, and you're still paying forty dollars. For a Devil Rays game. And remember, Rays fans, if you don't buy until the day of the game, you'll always pay two dollars extra! Give those poor people a break, Rays organization. You already took the cool part of the team name (Devil) away from them!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

This Is Birdland

Camden Yards scoreboard getting redone.

Our very own Janet Marie Smith is in on the project.

Kwiz Seeds

The opposing team's first baseman in the game in which this Dwight Evans curtain call occurred hit his first major league home run (in the city he was born in) off of what pitcher? (Non-clue: This pitcher faced a man who shared his nickname in his first career home game and in his last career away game. They were the only two major leaguers who went by this name* to face each other in the last 125 years.)

[Bill Belknap photo]

*meaning it was a nickname, but it was the name they went by, as in Dizzy Dean or Pee Wee Reese

Update, 2/2/08: I found this Globe pic, and I think it's from the same day. I'm even picking out some of the same crowd faces.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

My Photo
Location: Rhode Island, United States