Saturday, February 07, 2009

Gee Oh Ell Dee

It's 12:11 PM. And I've already got the confirmation e-mail. Gold! 4 seats, Yankee game I wanted, 12 bucks apiece, dead center, aisle seats, A-Rod does roids, what a day!

Proof A-Rod Cheated

This story says Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003.

So can we please stop hoping and praying this guy will break the all-time home run record so a "non-cheater" can hold the record? Thank you. (Common sense note: you shouldn't have been rooting for this guy in the first place!)


If you're thinking that you're shut out for Opening Day/Yanks games because you weren't chosen in the random drawing, read this entire press release. And even if you think you don't need to read it, I'm just sayin', there's been a change from how it was in previous years.

Meanwhile, we golden children who were chosen will be sweating through breakfast, hoping the waitress isn't slow and that there isn't a traffic jam that prevents us from getting back to our computers by noon.

Thanks to the people who came out to Scituate last night. It was a cozy crowd, but as usual the store-owner had a stack of books for us to sign for people who couldn't make it. I have to say, it's a lot easier to speak in front of a crowd when you've already talked with everyone there beforehand...maybe that's Tony Robbins' secret. Or Matt Foley's.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Free Stuff

First 25 people to buy a book tonight get a free bar of Big Poppy soap compliments of Kim's soap company.

7:00 tonight, Front Street Bookshop, Scituate, MA. I guess a lot of places open their doors in town on the first Friday night of the month, so, there's that, too.

Try Cyn's place for Truck Day pics--she should have them up eventually. You'll notice she's on that silly radio station's site now, so don't click any of the links there. Just read her stuff and leave. Thanks.

Varitek deal done.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Too Easy

Tickets for the opening series, lots of different sections, side-by-side seats, available now. Other April games, too. You'll get the "high volume" message, but just keep clicking "continue." Obviously, Opening Day excluded here, as that's lottery only. But again, I'm not talkin' about single or obstructed view seats (though those are still available for almost every game all season.)

Please check out my interview with Tony Malinosky, the oldest living former major leaguer.

And also, tomorrow night (Friday) at 7, I'll be at Front Street books in Scituate, MA. Come get a book signed!

Oh yeah, and a day after I read a huge article on Truck Day around the majors that was the lead headline on every team's site, the geniuses at Extra Bases come out with the line, "we're not certain if Truck Day is unique to New England...." Not certain? Look it up! Got the internet over there at the Globe?

My Interview With Tony Malinosky, The Oldest Living Former Major League Baseball Player

Two weeks ago, Billy Werber, then the oldest living Major League Baseball player, died at 100. I wondered who became the "new" oldest. Using, I found out it was Tony Malinosky, who played during one season in the 1930s. This was confirmed in a few articles about Werber, though they only gave Malinosky a brief mention. I decided to track down Tony for an interview.

Tony Malinosky is 99 years old. He lives in Oxnard, California, far from his birthplace of Collinsville, Illinois, and even farther from Brooklyn, New York, where he proudly wore a Dodgers uniform in 1937 as a 27-year old infielder.

He didn't set any records in the 35 games he appeared in over 70 years ago, but now he's number one. And though he's "not excited" about being the oldest living person to have played in the majors, he's well aware of his title. A fan in San Antonio called him to break the news--the first of many congratulatory calls.

Tony grew up a Yankee fan, but it was the Pittsburgh Pirates who first gave him a contract, in 1933. After his all-star 1936 season with the Louisville Colonels, the Brooklyn Dodgers purchased his contract, and soon he was down in Clearwater, Florida, preparing for the '37 campaign. His manager at Louisville, Burleigh Grimes, had become the Dodgers' skipper. One of the first moves "Old Stubblebeard" made was to get Malinosky to be his shortstop.

Tony's time with the big club lasted until August. He was traded to St. Louis but never played big league ball again, due to an injury he suffered in a game against Cincinnati. But he played with minor league clubs across the country. "Birmingham, Louisville, Houston, Sacramento, Little Rock, and Tulsa were some of the places I played," Tony told me.

While with the Dodgers, Malinosky shared a clubhouse with two future Hall of Famers, Waite Hoyt and Heinie Manush. He called them "very good players--intense competitors." He also faced a few legends, including Dizzy Dean. But the toughest pitcher he hit against, he says, was longtime Giant and 253-game winner, Carl Hubbell.

Before his baseball career, Tony attended Whittier College in California. Richard Nixon was a classmate. I asked Tony if he knew the future president. "Yes, I knew him, [but] I only saw him one time after he became president." Not too many people can claim to be colleagues with presidents or Hall of Famers. Tony can--with both.

After baseball, Tony was drafted into the Army. He saw action in Europe in World War II, serving with the ETO, and was in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he worked for North American Aviation, building fighter planes. He and his wife Viola ("Vi") then owned and operated a trailer park in Twentynine Palms, California for 16 years. After selling it, they spent two years traveling all over the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In 1977, they settled at southern California's Oxnard Shores Mobile Home Park, where Tony still resides. Vi, his wife of 64 years, passed away ten years ago today.

He doesn't root for any particular team now, though he still follows the Dodgers. Sadly, his baseball buddies are all gone. "Leo Nonnenkamp was the last one of my true baseball friends to go." Leo, also known as Red, lived in Little Rock and played outfield for the Red Sox in the late 1930s. He died in 2000.

Tony's shining baseball moment? "Being a big leaguer and being able to play with and against the greatest baseball players." He also confirmed for me that Ebbets Field was as wonderful as I've heard it to be.

Tony Malinosky turns 100 on October 5th. The final day of baseball's regular season is Sunday, October 4th, and the Los Angeles Dodgers play at home that day. I can't think of a better time for the team to invite Tony down from Oxnard for a special celebration. How about it, Dodgers? I'll even send you the 100 candles myself.

Tony can be reached at the Oxnard Shores Mobile Home Park, 5540 W 5th St. #60, Oxnard, CA 93035. Tony's niece Beth graciously assisted with this interview.

Photo by George Burke.

[It should be noted that Emilio Navarro, age 103, is currently the oldest living player from the Negro Leagues.]

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


When I entered the Yanks/Monster/Roof Deck drawing, I secretly hoped I'd win the Yanks one. I've never had Roof Deck interest, and I seem to win Monster every year (usually as a second-chance winner), so I've done that a lot--besides, I can go up there before every game with a 15-dollar RSN membership, which I'll probably do.

Anyway, the Yanks drawing was first, and I just got me email today. I won! It's for ONE Yankee game OR Opening Day. Hmmmmm....I have two Yankee games already through my 10-game plan. Then again, Opening Day has never specifically appealed to me in any year other than one following a championship. Those were the two times I "OD'd." I always get the second game of the year as part of my plan anyway, so what's the difference? I can wait one day. But then again, I've already got the two other Yankee games. We'll see. Hopefully someone I know also wins and we can do both. My mom's been very lucky lately.

Good luck to everybody....

A-Rod Pissed About Something Or Other

I don't know if this is true or not, but anything that makes A-Rod sad makes me happy.

(Just ignore the fact that the headline spells his name wrong. Come on, you can't expect people who are paid to do this stuff and who have access to editors and proofreaders to spell a major celebrity's name right.)


Outside our house a few minutes ago:

The average winter snowfall for this area is 30-something inches. We've passed it already this winter.

This is going to sound like some kind of practical joke set-up or something, but I was watching the Caribbean Series, and at one point, the Dominican Republic's manager went out to the mound, and it was Jose Offerman. I looked it up, and apparently he's a player-manager. I'm having trouble believing that someone said to this man, "we want you on our team," let alone "and we want you in charge of it." But that's what happened, and the team has been successful.

Have you noticed they've changed the post-monologue format on late-night talk shows? They used to have the host do the monologue, then he'd introduce the band, who would play the host over to the desk. Now the host introduces the band, and says "we'll be right back," while the band plays into a commercial break. I noticed it on Conan and Dave, and I checked Leno just to see, and sure enough, he does it, too. This is like when they moved the position of the contestant interview on Jeopardy!!

No, that wasn't a double exclamation point. That was the one that's in the game show's name, and then the normal one.

I just saw Blog-oy-a-vich on Letterman. He makes this point: people that are lying hide out, whereas he's going on every single show one by one saying he's telling the truth, because (according to him) he's innocent. And Dave tells him, "the more I see a guy saying 'I'm innocent,' the more I feel he's guilty." So which is it? When those Petersons (Scott and Drew) were sitting around not doing anything while everyone was searching for their missing wives, people said, "if he was innocent, he'd be right out there on TV saying 'come on, let's find my wife, I want her back!' He's clearly guilty!" Well, here's the opposite. The guy is repeatedly staring us in the face saying, "I'm innocent." So what's the call?

Eventually somebody's gonna accuse me of something I didn't do. I need to know the exact percentage of innocence-proclaiming I need to do. What, like, 40%? 35-40?

Wicked Lester's all alone in Fort Myers. Here's Sid talking in front of the "old" Red Sox logo:

Tomorrow, my interview with a former big-leaguer.

Friday, come see my mom and I in Scituate, Mass., at 7 PM, at Front Street Books. It's my mom's birthday, so bring her a present! (Preferably, 20 bucks, in which case you'll receive a copy of the book in return.)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Red Sox Get Brad Wilkerson

Brad Wilkerson was the first player to bat in a Washington Nationals uniform. He singled. He also would've been the last Expo to bat, but Endy Chavez replaced him in the eighth inning of their last game, and ended the game at the plate.

I always look this stuff up on the stat sites, only to find out that I could've just looked up a profile of the guy, because it probably mentions this. (And my proof that I researched it myself on retrosheet/Baseball Ref./Almanac is that if the bio says something like, "he got the first hit as a National, and then tripped over first base, putting him on the disabled list," then I would've put that in, but I didn't, because that's not in the boxscore.)

Anyway, we got the guy, supposedly, but it's not official yet.

Stage 1: Anger

Baseball Toaster is toast. And I am pissed. The Toaster was a little network of blogs that included a daily visit of mine, Cardboard Gods. And all of a sudden, the guy who runs the whole thing announces that it's over and that we should have seen the end coming! I didn't! He even says that the "largest part of our engine" is leaving--and he's not even talking about Cardboard Gods! I don't see how any of their other blogs could be better than that one.

I just don't get why they have to end it. A couple of blogs get picked up by bigger sites, so that's it? Suck it up, man, and get some new writers! This is total bullcrap. Cardboard Gods is the lever-thing that toasts the bread within the Toaster! You've still got that one, and some other ones, and if you need more, I know plenty of bloggers who would be happy to be a part of the site.

At the very least, I wish the people over there were as pissed as I am. Instead, it's like, "oh, we knew this was coming, and oh well, see ya later." The readers did not know this was coming!

You know what, though? Cardboard Gods will live on, and it'll be independent again, which can't be a bad thing.

Way To Save Those Syringes, Brian!

Clemens' DNA found. Nice.

Mets Stuff

Michael Leggett has been shooting some nice videos (with commentary) of the Mets' old and new parks. Check them out over at his blog.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Groundhog Day!

To celebrate possibly my favorite movie of all-time, here's a "where are they now" about the cast of Groundhog Day, from the Daily News.

Oh, and this Friday (which happens to be Truck Day) at 7 PM, my co-author and I will be at the Front Street bookshop in Scituate, Mass., for a reading/signing of Dirty Water: A Red Sox Mystery. See you there.

Last Warning

The Comet roller coaster at the old Lincoln Park amusement park site. For more info, check out this tribute site. Below, more pics a guy who looks just like me took on Saturday. Click to enlarge:

So that's it. The big area in front of the coaster looks like a frozen pond, but it was just ice-covered cement. It did feel a little scary walking on ice which cracked under each step, though. At one point we were breaking both the "don't walk on thin ice" AND "don't stand under a decomposing structure" rules at the same time!

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Know what this is? More pics of it soon.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States