Saturday, October 10, 2009

Advice For Red Sox Fans Who Think They Can't Get Tickets

Don't you wish sometimes that you could just call up and get tickets to a game at Fenway Park? Too bad all the games are sold out, especially playoff games....

Wrong! Game 4 tickets are still going for above face on the scalper sites, including the one the Red Sox are in cahoots with, yet you can call the Red Sox' automated line right now, choose your section, and get seats. For a playoff game at Fenway Park. It's like this all year. I keep tryin' to tell ya.... yet all I hear is how "you can't get tickets." At this point I feel like there are probably some people who don't even realize there's any other way to get tickets besides going to the scalper sites. Terrible.

Oh and if you're going to the game tomorrow, you must read this very important bulletin.

Hey, where was "Rally Monday" this year?


That game earlier tonight was so vomit-inducing, I knew nothing in our game could make me sicker. So it was just kind of a numb game--at least it wasn't a walkoff. We gotta win two at home and go back out there and win another if we wanna move on. Hopefully in a few days we're Going Back to Cali on a high.

I will welcome tomorrow's day off from baseball.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Being VERY Careful What I Wish For

I don't know whose team plane I want to crash more, the Yankees' or the Twins'.

ALDS Game One: Don't Go To Bed Pissed At Your Team

First of all, Orsillo? I knew he'd be doing a division series again, and I hadn't seen any of the Rockies/Balboas series, and knowing they couldn't possibly have him do our series, I figured he was doing that one. But there he was. Terrible job. Not a fan of having an announcer of one of the teams involved in a series. Imagine if they had Michael Kay doing the Yankees series? And on top of it, it makes it feel less like the playoffs, for me anyway. Why in the world would they do this?

And I've heard Tito lie through his teeth a few times now, about the Beckett in game two thing. This team told me repeatedly that the most important thing was "lining up the pitching." Instead of sweeping the Twins and being at home right now, we're in LA down 1-0 because we thought it was more important to start "lining up the pitching" IN AUGUST, yet getting Beckett to go in game one was just totally impossible. Don't think that means I didn't want Lester going in game one, and yes, I realize this is Tito's way of not having to publicly say Beckett doesn't deserve to pitch the first game, but why lie to everybody? (or, how can you fuck something up so badly when you gave yourself a month to plan it as your number one priority?)

Peter Brady did a fine job for them tonight. Lester gave up the one big hit, and that was it.

I can see making a mistake on occasion, but how that ump could make those calls when they were so least they didn't cost us, except for making Lester throw more pitches. But I have to look at the reasons why the plays were close: In both situations, it was, Guy makes great play to get ball, fine. Guy settles down instead of rushing, realizing he has time to make a good throw, fine. Guy lazily throws to fist from heels making ball go off to the throwing-arm side! Not fine! Youk did a great job bailing Gonzalez and Lowell out, but, of course, the ump missed both calls. Throws anywhere near the target and we wouldn't be talking about it.

In the eighth, man on second, Crotch-man and Jacoby give me ground outs to third. Terrible. And earlier, when it was 3-0, after the hit by Dustin, the four pitch walk to Vic-E Mart, and then three more balls, Youk has to give me more than a very weak inning-ending groundout to third.

TBS mostly did a good job, except for getting a little too "artsy" worrying about runners on base, and showing one pitch from high in the right field upper deck. And with that weird play where they came back from commercial since it turned out the inning wasn't really over, and when it did end, the commercials were then all effed up, making me wonder if the game was ever coming back...

Beckett for us, Weaver spinning the wheel of fish for them tomorrow night. Sunday's game's at noon, and Monday, hopefully necessary, will be a night game.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


This is for anyone who lives in Los Angeles (or Chicago or anywhere else with multiple teams in the same sport). Do you like one LA team and hate the other? Or do you just root for the city? My whole life I've been hearing about how people like either one team or the other. Yet having grown up in the New York metro area, I've learned this is total bullshit, at least when it comes to New York. Of course there are plenty of people who are like that (I liked two NY teams growing up and I HATED the city's other team in that sport, as did all my firends who liked NY teams). But there's an entire faction of fans who just "root for New York." Which is about as gutsy as picking two horses in a race and then bragging that you "picked the winner" when one of them wins, ignoring the fact that everyone else picked only one horse. And it's even worse considering they also take credit for the successes of nine total teams in the four major sports (and conveniently ignoring the failures of the losers) while most fans have three or four.

Granted, some people do the "favorite in each league" thing. Again, lots of Sox fans including myself had Mets sympathies, some, like my girlfriend, have Philly sympathies, but none of us when asked our favorite team would say "well I have two..." And none of us would go parading around in a World Series champs t-shirt if that team won. In fact, it's only been harder for me to hope the Mets do well because of the fact that so many supposed Yankee fans really root for both. ('86 made it hard enough in the years following that.)

And the thing is, it's always Yankee people. It's never someone saying, "I root for all the New York teams, except for the Yankees." Because that's what someone who becomes a Yankee fan is: someone who only wants the glory and looks for every possible way to get it, even if it means some other team gives it to you. Someone who knows that no matter what happens, they can always claim the most wins, even if they have no recollection of any of them.

I've been hearing a lot of this type of Yankee fan lately. One woman called the FAN and bragged about her decades of loyalty to the Yankees--except for one period. I'll give you one guess. It's funny, I always talk about how I grew up around mostly Yankee fans--except in 1986, when they were all Met fans. Funny to hear someone come right out and admit it, though. And then I heard a guy call in to a Boston station and casually throw into his Yankee talk that he's "3-0 in the AFC and NFC." Dude. If you truly were a fan of one of the two teams, you wouldn't be happy about BOTH doing well, you'd be happy about yours doing well, and pissed about your supposed rival doing equally well. Terrible job.

So, LA, Chicago, Bay Area, do you come across these dirtbags, too? Or do you all truly love your team and hate your cross-town rival?

Note to NY people: Don't try to tell me I'm wrong about this HUGE chunk of NY fans--they make freakin' half Mets, half Yanks jerseys for god's sake.

And another thing! Don't gimme this crap: "hey, people can like two teams if they want, who cares..." Fine, why don't I just root for all 30 teams? The point is, you can root for as many as you want, but don't go taking credit unless you've picked (or were given) ONE.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


That Chip Caray sure enjoys the Yankees, eh?

New record in Gratuitous Jeter Shots (GTS) tonight. Home run by someone else, Jeter not invloved. Cut to shot of Jeter in dugout before actual home run-hitter finishes rounding bases. Okay, fine. That's normal--mandatory, in fact. We all need to know what Jeter thinks because that's the most important thing. We get that. But then...replay of Jeter reaction shot! And I thought that would be as far as they could go. Until! As inning ends and we go to break...replay of replay of Jeter reaction shot! And THAT became what I thought would be the farthest they'd go. Until!! Coming back from break at beginning of next half inning...



...replay of replay of replay of Jeter reaction shot!!!!

(If anyone didn't see the game and thinks I'm kidding, check out the replay on, or ask a Yankee fan who watched the game from somewhere other than those first few rows of empty seats.) (And on that last one, they actually had been showing a live shot of Jeter telling a teammate to "watch!" the replay on the big board of the play he had just made, and instead of cutting to that for us to see, they cut to his previous dugout reaction. Even Derek himself had been calling for a different replay!) We are so close to having a split screen with the live game on one side and Jeter in the dugout on the other...

I have to say, though, as much as I make fun of Yankee fans, it was very classy of them to chant "MVP" at Joe Mauer as he crouched behind the plate--and with their captain Derek Jeter at bat right next to him at that! That's just above and beyond. A hat tip to you, Jankee Junta.

Man, me and that Twins starter were pissed, knowing that that team is beatable. Get 'em next time, kid. If not, we'll take care of 'em.

Why were Darling and Caray saying that CC had "electric stuff" after that shitty start he had? Granted, he did turn out to have a good performance, but it appears they would have said it was amazing regardless. It was bad enough to have Caray and his blatant rooting on every ball the Yankees hit--even saying "base..." as in "base hit" a little too early on a ball that ended up being caught easily--but Ron Darling overcompensating for the fact that we all know he grew up a Sox fan and played for the Mets made it even worse.

As well as O-Cab did at the plate early on, I feel like his fielding cost us the game. The throw to the plate--he had the guy if the ball's anywhere near on target. The throw to second on the double play ball cost that poor kid an inning-ending double play. And getting to that ball in the hole but making a weak jump-throw was borderline but I feel he could have made the play. And pretty soon, the Twins had lost their lead.

More Chip fun! What about when Swisher caught a fly ball in very shallow right field and then threw home, as the guy on third held. Was it me or did TBS do the "that play came directly from heaven and the only thing that can do it justice is complete silence from the booth" thing? The throw wasn't even that good! The guy probably woulda been safe anyway! Also, they seemed to think that Joba entering the game would be one of the all-time great moments featuring an all-time legend, instead of what it was: a meaningless moment featuring a nobody. Yet they actually made us watch his entire trip from bullpen to mound before going to commercial. But not before Caray said "here comes Joba" in full growl--the type of thing you'd reserve for a Jeter pop-up home run early in game one of an ALDS...oh wait...

And what about when Chip suggested that Girardi may have brought in Rivera because it would be fitting for him to pitch the last inning of the first playoff game at the new Yankee Stadium. Yeah, and I'm sure he's gonna lead off Yogi Berra in game two...I mean, you just have to...

Hey, I've got an idea! Why don't they keep old Jeter dugout reaction shots at the ready--that way, When Jeter himself gets one up into the jetstream, they can cut to a shot of him reacting to himself from the dugout!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Season Finally Over

When I decided to go see the new Michael Moore movie at 6:30 tonight, I knew I wouldn't be seeing any of that Twins-Tigers play-in game. As Kim and I drove home, we listened for the 9:40 update--more than four and a half hours after the game started--and heard my old pal Steve Somers asking when the game would end. We got home and flipped on the TV to find out it had just ended. Twins win. And have only a few hours to get to New York. I hope all the talk show hosts who boldly stated that there is NO ADVANTAGE to winning the division are paying attention to the Yanks getting to play at home against a team with no pitchers left and who played a 12-inning game the night before while the Red Sox had to fly across the country.

That's not to say I don't think the Twins can win. Even though the Tigers were better suited to beat the Yanks, the Twins are the team with momentum. Maybe they can spin some Metrosexualdome Magic. They never seemed to beat the Yanks with Santana, maybe they'' finally do it without him.

Playoffs start to-effin'-morrow! For the Yanks and Twins anyway. Remember, people, when media folks say they're rooting for the Yanks to make the ALCS so they can play us, they're doing that because they like RATINGS. It doesn't mean you can't root as hard against the Yanks in the first round as you would if the Sox weren't in the playoffs at all. I sure will be. If we do have to play them, fine, nobody's scared of them, but I'm not gonna sit there and root for them for any reason.

Hope you all had the same good fortune ticket-wise as I did today....

Oh, right, the movie! It ruled. I recommend it.

A Gold Day In Goldsville

If the Red Sox make it to the ALCS, I'll be at game 3, 4, and 5 at Fenway to watch them battle the Tigers or Twins. (Or possibly Yankees.) All face value tickets as per the tradition. All it took was a little luck, a little skill, and a little pre-planning by buying a 10-game plan five years ago. I tried to get really good seats for a change for one game, but even just two minutes into the sale, the only seats they had together were in the bleachers. But it was low-row bleachers, so it all works out, as long as it doesn't snow.

Now we just gotta beat the Angels.

How About This?

Drew-haters aren't allowed to say he doesn't try hard enough, but Drew-lovers aren't allowed to mention the (completely irrelevant) "sweetness" of his swing!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Playoff Gold

Am I looking past the ALDS? Eh...NO, Peg. But they put the ALCS tickets on sale before the ALDS even begins. And I'm looking gold so far. My mom has continued her streak of winning seemingly every ticket lottery she enters, so we've got a game there. My 10-Game Plan through the team gives me a guaranteed chance to buy a playoff ticket every year, and this year it was home game 3 of the ALDS--which won't be happening, so they gave me an ALCS game, which I just bought now. So we're looking at a minimum of two of the three ALCS games, all at face value, albeit with much more expensive faces anyway. Golden Girls.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Going to an arena rock show is always interesting, but when that arena lives inside a casino, it becomes a whole different experience. And when the band you're seeing is KISS, the whole thing turns into a gallery of society's oddest entities: Old man with cigar spinning slots next to heavy metal secretary. Twenty-something cologne-doused lothario next to fifty-year old dude in clown make-up, skin-tight spiky leather suit and boots. The Gamblers and The Mullets, all crowded together, as concert-goers are forced to squeeze in between slot machines waiting for the arena doors to open, sucking them into a whole different world of overpriced concessions and souvenirs.

The only other time I'd seen KISS was at the same place in 2000. Back then, Mohegan Sun was about five times smaller. It had just opened up concert hall, which was more like a trailer in the parking lot. The place has since become a massive shopping mall with poker tables. The concert then was billed as "The Last Kiss." Nine years later, here they were in full make-up again, with "Alive 35," though they clearly strayed from the tracklist of the original Alive album. Only Paul and Gene represented the original group's membership, but if you've got them (and Kim says if you merely have Gene), you've got KISS. (Though I am a big fan of the often overlooked Catman and Space Ace characters.)

After making the terrible decision to go inside and sit through the god-awful Buckcherry, we watched the KISS curtain come down, and the 70s rock began over the PA to prepare for the hottest band in the southeast Connecticut woods. Stooges' TV Eye, Ramones' Chinese Rock...and Queen's Fat Bottomed Girls, which, even as a recording, made Buckcherry's silly Crazy Bitch tune seem like a children's puppet show.

Finally, KISS appeared, backed by fifty TV monitors which acted as one long TV screen. And, of course, their traditional name in lights. Seeing the big logo in person makes you realize that a couple of generations' worth of childhoods haven't died yet. I wonder what Chaim Witz or Stanley Eisen would have thought if you'd told them Wicked Lester would be playing to millions 40 years later...or what my sister would have thought in 1979 at age 7 if you'd told her that she'd get a chance to see this band she loves three decades later as a mother of four. (She's seeing them for the first time later on this tour.)

Kim and I think Paul Stanley is hilarious. Our friend Brian gave us a cd consisting solely of his pre-song introductions. We've even suggested making Paul's birthday "National Talk Like Paul Stanley day." I remember at the 2000 show when he greeted us with "Hello Uncasville and surrounding areas!" So I anxiously awaited what he'd say this time. And he remembered that 2000 show, saying, "last time we were here it was a tent!" For every bit of banter, Kim and I turned to each other and busted out laughing.

The band did all the classics (even referring as one of their new songs as a "classic"--who else would do that?). Other than Strutter and Dr. Love, they pretty much played every one of their songs that you've heard of. And all the theatrics:

Gene still breathes fire, spits blood, and flies to the rafters to play I Love it Loud. (After which, Paul does his wimpy sea-level isolation, reminding me of Diane Wiest in The Birdcage weeping, "Can't anyone like me best?" But Paul ended up getting hoisted up and out to the back of the audience, right below us, to do another tune.)

Ace (or a reasonable facsimile) still shoots his guitar like a cannon, sending lights plummeting to the stage.

Flames still shoot up, instantly warming our faces from hundreds of feet away.

Smoke still fills the stage after Hotter Than Hell.

Peter (meaning Eric Singer) still does a solo while his kit slowly spins around.

Confetti still shoots out over the crowd for four straight minutes during Rock and Roll All Nite.

And Paul still dances around and shakes his butt, still trying to figure out why he sleeps with so many women being a gay man.

It was great to hear all their songs live, but I loved that they played Lick It Up. (Paul's intro for it, during their extended encore, was simply "1983!" and I knew what was coming.) That to me is the most underrated KISS song, and by far my favorite from the non-makeup era. They somehow worked "Won't Get Fooled Again" into it, which was weird. The only other non-original material they did was 2000 Man and the first few chords of Stairway to Heaven in a joke that clearly fell flat. Anyway, if you've never seen the video for Lick It Up, watch it right now. You won't see people drinking booze out of big squares anywhere else.

Funny moment when Paul talked about the bad news you always hear when you turn on the TV or radio, or pick up a newspaper. At which point, a quarter of the audience thought, "what's a TV, what's a radio, and what's a newspaper?" (This led to the fact that you can somehow stop this bad news if you...commit to rocking and rolling all night and partying every day.)

I Can Make A Hat

If anyone was paying attention to the 0-13 game, they stopped when the first team finished the circuit, ending the contest. But I kept on keeping track, and now, with one game left, 18 teams have finished up, 10 are one total away, and two are two away. So it looks like less than 2/3s of the teams will end up having scored every run total between 0 and 13. (That is, if I didn't miss any.) It was a good study in...something. I'll be watching closely tomorrow to see if anyone sneaks in on the final day.

But normal people will be watching the Tigers and Twins, tied going into the final day. Should they remain tied after Sunday, they'll play a one-game playoff on Monday. Only it won't be Monday, it'll be Tuesday, because the Vikings are using the stadium on Monday. I can't believe MLB didn't have something in place to prevent something like this from happening. And what if it had been the National Origami Convention? Would that have taken precedence of the playoff game?

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