Saturday, March 07, 2009

In Depth Review Of Saturday

Red Sox lose, Canada almost beats USA, and do remember Freaky Freezies? Those silvery mittens that had a secret image on them that only appeared when you went out in the cold? I think they use that same technology on those beer bottles.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Okay, I'm going with the "videos on weekends for people who can't watch videos at work" theory. At least for this weekend. In June of 2005, I saw the Sox play at Philly's new ballpark. I posted video stills at the time (and later, the Millar/Mirabelli butt-grabbing video). But here's some footage I shot of Bronson Arroyo signing autographs. For eight minutes. He's a fan favorite for a reason. [I must warn you: that one Creed song plays for much of this video. While I'm sure Bronson was thinking, "what a perfect soundtrack to this autograph session," I was barfing where everybody barfed back in '05, in my mouth. Not that others were barfing in my know what I meant, roll tape!]

A funny video of outtakes from photo day is here. After a crappy commercial, because, you know, there aren't nearly enough commercials on the page the video is on in the first place.

Old Games On DVD

I'm always wondering about TV-38 games, since NESN only shows old games that they broadcast. The other day, I noticed something in the "A-to-Z Guide" on that said you can "request a video copy of a game," with nothing more specific than that. I wrote to the e-mail address shown, and 10 short days later, they wrote back:

"We are permitted to sell DVD copies of games for $100 each. We have most games from 1986-2008."

Do I get a tote bag with my donation?'s good to know the TV-38 games probably exist, unless "most games" just comes from the fact that over that whole period, "most" of the games have been shown on NESN. I guess I'll write back and ask...

...about these $100 games that I, or no one else, will ever buy. Think about $25, Red Sox!

Red Sox vs. Marlins on Gameday Audio right now. Marlins feed = Geffner. If anything crazy happens, I'll update below.

2:00: Daeges dong has us up 2-zip. Beckett went three, no runs allowed.

2:57: Okajima didn't do so well. Marlins tied it at two. But Bailey knocked in two with a double, and Lowrie knocked in another with a double of his own. 5-2 Sox after 5.

3:15: Gameday Audio goes kerflooey. Either that or Geffner shorted out. There's just a god-awful buzzing tone. But it's still 5-2 from what I understand...

3:58: Sox win 5-3. Mills with two perfect innings to close Florida out.


Wow, there were some scary moments there! But I got my Sox-Mets Citi Field tix!

They were supposed to go on sale at 10, and I actually got through by phone at 9:50, but when the woman came on, it was still short of 10, so I couldn't buy yet. At 10:05, I'm sittin' there looking at a lot of dead windows. The countdown clock would reach 1 and then they would stop. Finally at 10:10, as if they opened up the flood gates, all my windows started loading. One popped immediately, but when I selected my tix, it said "user not hosted" or something. Seeing that other windows had popped, I took a risk that maybe it doesn't work if you have multiples open. (Remember, this is a foreign ticketing system.) So I closed all my windows except another one of the open ones, selected tickets there, and I was in.

There were still more scary moments when after attempting to move on to each new page, there would be a long delay. I even risked everything by "continue (ing) to shop," going for both games. But I got them. Hope you got in, too.

[Update, 10:50 (WHN-)AM: The games are now sold out. I only went back there to copy and paste this line I remembered from last night when I was going through my pre-ticketing ritual:

"These games will be played on Friday, April 3 at 6:10 p.m. and Saturday, April 4 at 1:10 p.m., respectively..."

So game one is Friday and game two is Saturday?? I was sure they'd play game two first! See what I'm saying, with the misuse of "respectively"? It would only be necessary if they said "these games will be played on April 3rd and 4th, at 6:10 and 1:10 respectively."]

The Mystery Of George Wright

I was doing some research for some weird thing or another, and I came across a mid-eighties Texas Ranger named George Wright. He was their "center fielder of the future," but quickly disappeared. I was collecting cards years before his career started, and was still collecting years after. Yet I can't remember this guy. Just looked up his cards on ebay, and none looked familiar to me.

Even more curious is that I have no recollection of a crazy game he was a part of in June 1986. Charlie Hough had a no-hitter going against the Angels, with one out in the bottom of the ninth, up by a run. Wright had replaced Gary Ward in left field for defensive purposes at the start of the inning. Jack Howell hit a fly ball down the left field line. Wright ran all the way over to the line for it, but he ran too far. He reached back, but the ball fell to earth, just fair. Howell was on third base with the tying run. But getting the next two batters would save the game and the no-hitter. Birthday boy Wally Joyner came up, though, and with two strikes on him, lined a single to center, ending the no-hitter, and tying the game. But it gets weirder. A Hough knuckler got away from the catcher, allowing Joyner to go to third, before Doug DeCinces struck out for the second out. Reggie Jackson was intentionally walked. Then on a 3-2 pitch, George Hendrick swung and missed. That should have sent the game to extra innings...but the catcher missed it, too. Joyner, of course, was off with the pitch, and seeing it get by the catcher, kept right on going around third. Hough forgot to cover the plate. The catcher raced toward the plate with the ball, but Joyner beat him to it, and the game was over. Angels 2, Rangers 1.

George Wright wouldn't play any more games for Texas. Two days later he was sent to the Expos "as part of a conditional deal." (The player to be named later was never named.) He played out the rest of '86 with the Expos and their triple-A team. The following March, he broke his foot, and never played in the majors again. Before the '88 season, the Expos sent him to, well, Baseball Reference says, "Sent from the Montreal Expos to ??? in an unknown transaction." It's kind of fitting that they triple the uncertainty. He ended up on with the Giants, who then traded him to the White Sox, but he saw no action with either team. Wikipedia says he spent some time in the Japanese League as late as 1993.

After looking all that up, I then found out that Wright was also part of another crazy play that I do remember. It was the month before the blown no-hitter--remember when Steve Lyons and Marty Barrett both slid into second at the same time? And then both ended up scoring when the throw from the outfield went into the dugout to end the game? George Wright threw that ball. I don't know how I don't remember this guy.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

A-Rod Saga Number Something, Part Something

The Yanks have a lot of very expensive seats still for sale at Eau de Toilette. I think that's the reason Cashman's saying that A-Rod might just play the season injured and get the surgery he needs at the end. He wasn't about to come out and say, "Yes, this news from A-Rod's brother is true, he'll get surgery right now, and when you're in your 25,000-dollar seat on Opening Day, he won't be there."

Whatever they decided works for me. If he gets the surgery now, he'll miss a good chunk of season and be back right when the pressure's on. If they have him play hurt, he may shit the bed all year long, affecting their offense. Whatever he does, well, I'm sure he'll do it with lying, severe self-esteem problems, and an awkward smirk. And newly invented relatives.


The good news is they just released a lot of side-by-side bleacher seats, mainly late/early season. I also saw some side-by-side infield grandstand. Too bad almost all the weekend games have come off the board entirely, but they could go back up.

The bad news is Charlie Zink's 7th inning against Puerto Rico just now: Single, wild pitch, hit by pitch, walk, walk, single, walk. 4 runs, all earned, in 0 innings pitched. 9-5 PR, bottom 7.

Update, 3:36: Sox lose 9-5. Pap, HuJo, and Bard didn't give up any runs in their outings. Wilkerson had a dong.

Update to the GN side of things: Terible Job-a Chamberlain did even worse than Zink today. No outs recorded, five runs given up against team Canada.

Sked Notes

The Red Sox schedule is now showing the Futures doubleheader--August 8th (as was first reported in this press release...that I wrote). It says the Portland game is at 6:00, and the Pawtucket game is at 6:05. Unless Portland's playing a four-minute game, they have this wrong. I checked Portland's site--they say they're playing that day at 6:00. I checked the PawSox site--they say they're playing at 6:05.

What they've done in the past is have game one start at noon, then game two after a short break. I don't know where they're getting this weird 6/6:05 info, or why all three sites are using it. Maybe it'll be like Lollapalooza, with bases laid out in center field facing toward the infield. One game plays a half inning, then the other game plays one, on the other infield. It would be cool to see a home run go up into the press box, or over the roof.

I see they're doing ads on the schedule again--they've already done one in March for a video game release.

Now that the Sox are partnered with JetBlue, they're putting the little plane icon on every game, as the Yanks have done with Continental in the past.

Chris Carter is 3 for 3 today, and Papelbon pitched a perfect inning against three tough hitters. Buchholz and Bowden did not fare nearly as well.

Nice Rick Burleson interview here.

Aprod To Miss His Month?

Mr. April may be getting the ol' Eddie Van Halen special--hip surgery. If so, A-Rod would be out ten weeks and miss his favorite month to rack up the meaningless home runs.

Good news for the rest of the AL East if this is true--just as long as he's back in the lineup by October.

Looks like we might have to wait until June to shake our Tic Tacs at him.

Lucky 7

Another one of these deals where there are new seats released, but only for one game. RF Roof Deck SRO, for July 7th. These are the ones on the Bud Deck with that bar, not the new SRO behind the RF Roof boxes. (It even says "Bud Deck" on the ticketing page, which is weird to me, as is seeing "Coke Deck." So if you don't see the word "Bud," those tix are gone.) I'm not grabbing these, but I figured I'd let you know if you're a fan of that Roof Deck. There seem to be exactly two available. Weird that any of these went on sale at all, considering the sale for winners of the RF Roof lottery is this coming Saturday. Maybe it's some kind of test sale or something....

Sox vs. Puerto Rico today.

Non-Virtual Fans To Welcome Nomar Back In '09

I have tickets to three A's games this year, so it looks like I'll be seeing Nomar, whose player tee I still wear to this day. This is going to be another one of those deals where as his return approaches, any media people who don't like Nomar will come out and make it seem like there's some uncertainty about how he'll be received at Fenway. Nomar was one of the most popular Red Sox of all-time, and he's not wearing pinstripes. I can't think of a reason why Sox fans wouldn't give him a standing ovation. But if the media wants it to be a debate, they have the power to make it one, to the point where some people start believing it.

But here's the key--the people who get brainwashed aren't the ones who go to the park. So we're okay. I still feel like there's a huge chunk of Red Sox fans who don't follow the team beyond watching the games. And that's okay! The people with kids, the people who are above a certain age, kids up to a certain age--they just aren't sitting around on the Web. If they are, they're probably watching the latest viral video or canceling one social networking site account so they can join whatever one's popular this week.

In other words, these people just see how the players play, and how they act at the park when they're at a game. All the crap spewed by media misses these people, so if they do things like telling us we all hate, for example, Pedro, it's not gonna work because the fans at the game love Pedro. The Internet crowd seems to think they're 100% of the audience, but I feel like they're only a small portion of people who follow the Sox.

I am trying to be more like those people, in that I've been slowly boycotting different sports sites and stations. I'm always going to follow my team, and seek out info on them using the Web, but I don't need the opinions of media people who are the furthest thing from me as a fan. I feel a lot healthier this way. There are certain sites you'd probably guess I check daily that have been off my radar screen for years. Try it. If you want.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


After waiting all fall and winter, the Mets will finally put the exhibition games against the Red Sox on sale--this Friday. The regular season for them goes on sale Sunday the 15th, so I'll go for the Dodger tix then. As for the Sox games, tickets are discounted, ranging from 6 to 50 bucks each. Very nice.

Manny Still A Trolley Dodger

So Manny's finally signed. I'll have to get some Mets-Dodgers tickets for one of their games in July.

Part two of interview on Hartford Examiner is up. Click here.

Smiths Of Baseball: "Broadway" Smith (Alexander Benjamin Smith)

6. "Broadway" Smith. (1897-1906)

It's a toss-up between Broadway and Phenomenal for coolest nickname for a Smith--but Broadway wins because Phenomenal was born with a different last name.

Alexander Smith was born in the 1870s in New York City. A Jewish ballplayer, rare at the time, he broke into the majors as a catcher for Brooklyn in 1897. He hit .300 in 66 games that year, and while that would be the most he'd play in any season, he was still playing in the majors as late as 1906, and kept playing semipro ball for another decade after that.

Most of his life was spent in New York, either on the ballfield, at the racetrack, or enjoying the nightlife. And that's how a guy at the turn of the last century came to be called "Broadway," well before Joe did.

Briefly, he was a member of the first World Champions, the 1903 Boston American League squad, now known as the Red Sox. And after playing only 11 games for the Cubs in 1904, and missing all of the 1905 season (he seemed to be plagued with arm injuries), he signed with the New York Giants in 1906, but not before nearly killing a young boy with a line drive during a March tryout in Memphis.

In 1907, there was more controversy. A Washington Post article said: "'Broadway Alec' Smith, well known in sporting circles the country over, in future will not be permitted to visit race tracks under the control of the Jockey Club." The New York Times, referring to him as "Broadway Alex," added that the Saratoga Racing Committee decided that Smith's "acquaintance with and influence over certain jockeys was detrimental to the interests of racing." Broadway claimed innocence, saying he only spent time with jockeys for billiards, bowling, and occasional "surf bathing." He had again trained with the Giants that spring, and had quit the team after winning a bundle at the track and deciding to make that his full-time job.

I can't find any more on the racing incident, but Broadway was still making it into the New York Times in 1910, listed in the billiards results--referred to here as "Broadway Alec."

The big baseball sites (Retrosheet, Baseball Reference, etc.) currently refer to him as Aleck. However, most of the articles from a hundred years ago call him Alec or Alex. His New York Times obituary, which mentions racing and his friendship with manager John McGraw, is titled, "Broadway Alex Smith Dead." (He died at his home...on Broadway.) So where does "Aleck" come from? I have found articles talking about a golfer from the same era named "Aleck Smith." I really wonder if this is where it came from. My thought is that he was mainly referred to as Broadway Alex. But there are enough instances of "Alec" to make one wonder. How the current sites decided on "Aleck" is anyone's guess.

Two team photos featuring Broadway, including the smaller one shown here, can be found here. A bio with another pic (which is where the larger shot at the top of this post comes from) can be found here, with credit to Frank Russo of The Deadball Era.

The Oswego Daily Palladium, July 10th, 1919, said this in Broadway's obituary:

"An athletic heart was given as the cause of his death, brought on by strenuous activity on the ball field in almost every State in the Union. He was born in New York forty-six years ago." The technical cause of death was his chronic myocarditis. And my math tells me he would've been born in 1873, though it's listed everywhere as 1871. Either way, he died too young.

This note in the Oswego Daily Times from 6/6/6 (June 6th, 1906) really says it all about Broadway:

Previous Smiths: #5, #4, #3, #2 & #1.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Kwiz 15 Minutes

Current Kwiz standings here. Only a few more left in the season.

Okay, sticking with the uniform number theme, what number did Yaz wear in Red Sox camp in spring training 1960? (It wasn't 8.)

Update, 3/10: AJM got it. 45. In a show about the Red Sox (I forget what it's called but it goes through the team's greatest players and it's shown on MLB Network sometimes), Yaz is shown in 1960 spring training with Ted Williams coaching him. He's got #45 on his back. I took a pic of the TV, but it's pretty hard to tell from my shot. I did some research, and came across an article which mentions it, titled "Ted Says Yastrzemski Is 'Cinch to Make It'." You have to pay for the article, which I didn't, but the first line is "One of the most repeated questions among visitors to Scottsdale Stadium is: "Who's that number 45?""

Actually, I'll just post it. On the show you can really tell it's 45. (And that it's Yaz.)

Finally, Some Kelly Pics

Kelly of Sitting Still has been down in Florida, and has finally got some pics up at her MLBlog. Click here.

Also, A-Rod, don't feel bad, Daryl Strawberry also said he was stupid at age 24-26. So.... (By the way, don't you just love it that A-Rod came up with those ages which don't match the timeframe he said he took 'roids, and they stuck? Again, he turned 24 in July of '99, and he said he used from '01 to '03.)

25 A's, No-Cab

The two shortstop halves of the storied 2004 season are now together, as Nomar and O-Cab have both signed with Oakland. Would be cool to see them turn a DP together, but Nomar will play first/third, with Cabrera at short.

Interview (And Sox-Reds, Yanks-USA)

Here's part one of the interview my mom and I did with John Valeri, Hartford Book Examiner.

Lester facing the Reds right now. 0-0 after one.

Update, 2:57: Sox down 4-2 after five, but Lester and Okajima had strong outings. Awesome David Lee Roth sampler-thing here, thanks to Joy of Sox. Team USA playing the Yanks--MLBNet picking up the Yes feed, so, terribly, the world is stuck with Michael Kay. 6-1 USA in the sixth. And Kevin Cash is catching for the Yanks. Pedroia up for the states--weird to see him in this uniform--and he goes down swinging on a really bad swing. I'm updating down the page today. (Updating posts are always awkward no matter how you write them....)

3:21: Wes Littleton gave up a grand slam to Jonny Gomes. 9-2 Reds. Lowrie has a double for us. USA now up 6-4 over the Yanks.

3:45: McAnulty and Carter went back to back. 9-5 Reds in the 8th. Tazawa and Delcarmen pitched scoreless innings. Yanks stills down 6-4 in the 9th to USA. Youk knocked in two earlier.

3:50: Other Sox update: Bay walked twice and scored in Canada's game against the Jays. He was replaced in center field by non other than Adam Stern, who has struck out in both of his at bats. Papi has a run-scoring single in three at bats for the DR, who are kicking some Marlin tail. Old friend Lenny DiNardo has thrown a scoreless frame for Italy, who trails the Nats 6-5.

4:00: Wagner 2-run dong for us. 9-7, bottom 8.

4:15: Sox cut it to 9-8. Yanks lose 6-5.

4:27: Sox lose, 9-8.


One industry I'm rooting against in "these troubled times" is the ticket agencies. I'm wondering if this really could be the end of them. Here's how I see their Armageddon going down:

Right now, people buy tickets, and sell them through the agencies. Agencies keep their cut, and charge huge fees. They make out even if people are buying tickets for less than face value, because of the money they get out of it. Basically, the way it works is: People are buying tickets strictly so they can sell them, meaning in a popular market, those people make a huge score, but in a non-popular one they don't--however, the agency wins either way. But the less popular all the markets become, the less people will buy from the team in order to sell through the agency. And the less people do that, the better the chance the real fan can get tickets through the team at face value. And while Oklahoma City Thunder fans are fine with buying a 25-dollar seat for three dollars from an agency, I think we'd all be better off if they'd just die and all seats were available for face value, which, by the way, would drop as demand drops.

We'll see how it goes with Fenway this year. You can't judge it by initial ticket sales, because the people buying are the agencies and the people who buy strictly to sell to agencies. If nobody pays the big bucks for those seats from the agencies, people will have to drop their prices, and eventually will stop buying (knowing they can't make a profit), and the pool of people buying tickets will shrink, meaning a much easier chance at getting face value from the team, and therefore, poof, no more agencies. People will be at the games, I'm sure. The agency sellers can always drop their prices as games approach. It's not that people can't afford to go to Sox games, it's that they can't afford to pay the prices that agencies and greedy fans are charging.

We've got a Kwiz unanswered. [Update--and within an hour, it's solved by Ryan. Nice job.]

Hey, in this Lowrie/Lugo thing, can't we just split the difference? Nomah! Okay, maybe not, but if he does retire, I hope he comes and works for the Sox in some way. Even if it's "west coast project advisor" or something.

Remember how Duchovny was at the bookstore during our New Haven signing? The guy that interviewed for Hartford Examiner got a pic. Check it out here, and stay tuned to his site for that interview.

As promised, here's a shot of the scene in the driveway this morning:

Sox-Reds, 1:05 Tuesday.

Monday, March 02, 2009


3:25: Sox lose, 5-3.

3:17: Woohoo! The O's announcer just made me very happy. He asked a trivia question and phrased it this way: "Who are the five players to have won a ROY and MVP within their first two seasons?" Perfect! Including Lynn and Ichiro into the category. (Of course, it's the three others who took two years to do it who should consider themselves lucky to be included in the club, but meanwhile we had to campaign to get Ichiro and Lynn "included" after Pedroia won MVP.) But you've heard me talk about that enough.... Orioles two-run dong by Donnie Murphy makes it 5-3, end 8th.

3:09: Lots of backups in for Boston. O's announcers joking about it as if it's the first spring training game they've ever done. 3-3 after 7.5.

3:04: Tied after 7. Have you ever seen snow that looks like rice? I haven't. Until today. These flake are like little rods. So weird.

2:57: Orioles radio station now airing an interview during the game. You can do that on TV, but on the radio, it means we miss the game. Do it between innings! Now it's over, and of course they come back to tell us we missed a home run. Ochoa tied it up, 3-3. Stretch time in Ft. Lauderdale.

2:52: 3-1 them after 6. Green with another hit to lead off the sixth!

2:48: 3-1 O's after 5.5.

2:37: Losing 3-1 after five. Bard just threw a perfect fifth. Masterson started, gave up no runs in two innings. Nick Green has knocked in our run--he's 6 for 12 on the spring so far.

Got about a foot of snow here in Providence. My car looked like Gumby, because the wind had blown the snow on the rook over to one side. Pics later. Red Sox playing Orioles, updates above.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

No Blood On The Streets Of Fort Myers

No injuries in today's game--that's always a win in spring training. Beckett and Papelbon pitched well in a 2-1 win over the Twins.

We had a nice crowd in New Haven today. Signed a bunch of books, including one for Jim Calhoun. (He wasn't there himself--someone was getting the book for him.) We also heard that David Duchovny was in the store while we were doing our reading. Too bad he didn't come see us. His loss. Thanks to everyone who came out. We'll have more events in April and beyond.

Photo by Kim, who also gave out free Big Poppy soaps to all who bought a book, as per tradition.

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