Saturday, April 03, 2010

This Whole Season Thing

I really wonder sometimes if what the "fans think" is just what the "media says the fans think." I read that "at the first sign of a slump," fans will be calling for the benching of David Ortiz. Yet if I ask any actual humans, I feel like they would say, in such a situation, "oh crap, Papi may be in slump. Those happen. Good thing he's David Ortiz."

Then I read about "concerns" with the offense. Yet if I take a glance at the lineup, I see that it's really good, and even if it wasn't, well, we've got the best pitching in the league anyway.

Then I read that the Red Sox are somehow trying to "fool" us by saying that pitching and defense are most important, since that's what they concentrated on in the offseason. This whole concept seems odd to me in so many ways. Didn't it kind of hit us all like a ton of bricks in 2004 (if not way before) that pitching and defense IS what it takes to win? Before that I was still stuck in that "let's just hit home runs" mode, but I learned that if you have solid starters, and if your defense makes all the plays, you win. The Yanks got Teixeira last year and won it all. Not because he can hit, but because every throw to first by Jeter and A-Rod had the accuracy of that tennis ball shooter from American Gladiators, and Teixeira picked them all. But oh wait, I don't need to be defending pitching/defense anyway, because our offense IS good! I just don't get it.

Obviously we don't have Manny anymore (but if you're gonna complain about that, remember how you drove him out of town for literally no reason), but there's no shortage of "thumpers," despite what talk show callers say. Those people for seem reason "forget" many of the players on our team.

I look at this team and I see three aces in the rotation. One of the best closers in the league. A lineup that's strong all the way down. I'm pretty sure regular people see this too.

The one thing that bothers me is when the team tells me that all you have to do is make the playoffs, and then you've got a 1 in 8 chance of winning it all. This tells me that they really don't care about winning the division. I understand every team that makes it needs to win 11 games. And I understand staying healthy and lining up your rotation and all that crap, but it seems to me that if you just play to win all year, you go into the playoffs with momentum and you keep winning. And home field advantage does matter, so you try to get it. I would prefer we win the division by 10 games, but it seems like we need to root for other teams to be battling us so that we play to win every night. I heard Theo today say something about soon having a young team and going from there. That's great. But this year we have as good a chance to win the World Series as any other team. So win it with this team. Then win it again with next year's guys next year. Thank you.

Friday, April 02, 2010

48 Hours

Thanks to AJM for this link.

HH was on today. One more fake game in DC tomorrow, then it's Opening Dight.

Changes to the MLB sites, including new screen-covering drop-down menus.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Ultimate Pen

Red Sox playing their second-to-last Florida game. Lackey's keeping that spring ERA under two....

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This Generation's "VCR Quarterback"?

Have you heard about Histurround? It's basically this dude in Wisconsin (or Idaho, for some reason I've always gotten those two confused) who has somehow taken that crazy "surround"-style Matrix camera technology and applied it to historical events. And it seems to concentrate on sports at least for now. My favorite one is the Willie Mays catch. We've all seen it from that one angle so many times, it's cool to see it from the sides, the back, etc. Here's the "back view":

I love the shadows! I guess if an event took place in a well-documented venue, it's (relatively) easy to do this. He's got all these screen shots up, and I'm pretty sure he's got these in video form (I can't seem to play the vids on my stupid PC), but even the stills are cool. Just go and root around over there:


Hey, using this technology, we may be able to find out who shot JFK!

Flood Videos

When we first decided to move to the Providence area, we randomly came across this area called Pawtuxet Village. And while the houses there cost a million billion dollars, we ended up fairly close to it anyway, a little bit north in Providence. I never would have thought that that little river that runs under the bridge there would be the top story on the national news. But here we are--above is the normally calm river spilling out into the cove at liquid death-defying speed. Shot by me around noon today.

Here it is looking straight out from the middle of the bridge:

Compare that to the flat, calm river seen on Street Views:

View Larger Map

Here's a side view of the rapids:

Now looking off the other side of the bridge, you can see in this photo (taken by someone else) that it's normally a serene waterfall, with a little island with a tree on it. Even in vids from the last few days you can at least see that tree. But today, when I got there, it was gone, and that lil' waterfall is just part of the raging rapids:

All the people on the bridge taking pics are causing the traffic to back up there. I was one of the few people who thought to go all the way around to the other side of the cove to get a view of the bridge with the water coming out from underneath, and everybody along the top. Looks like a pretty solid bridge. We should be good. That river got to over 20 feet! (Flood stage is 9 feet.)

95 Under Water

Video here.

I'm still trying to figure out a way to get to work. It's like a maze, trying to get from one place to another when many of the routes are blocked.

Both Ways

Red Sox fans who were kids at the time were universally pissed that the team never allowed Greg Harris to switch-pitch, even though he always came ready with that nutty biSoxual glove.

Now the Yanks have a candidate for the elusive switch-pitcher role. Interesting article about it here, including some rules regarding switch-hitters facing switch-pitchers. (They do mention Harris, and how this guy remembers seeing him switch-pitch--not for the Red Sox, of course--when he was little.)

Did you hear? The New York State Thruway (meaning I-95) is closed, man! 295 is a canal, too. I'm supposed to be at work in five minutes. Hmmmmm....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Water Everywhere

I went to get some floodin' pics (even though told me not to go "sight-seeing"), but the traffic was all backed up. A few hours later I watched the CBS Evening News, and the exact spot I was trying to get to was the top story!

So instead I got some shots of a local Little League field. Here's one.

Five days till Opening Nayght. The fun thing about having the Yankees introduced at Fenway is not only being able to boo the players, but the traveling secretary, assistant massage therapist, etc.....

I wonder if my work will close again tomorrow. They're saying the flood water might actually go over I-95.

Tricks DO Score Points

Last night, Kim, my dad, and I took my niece Emily to the Harlem Globetrotters at URI. And I took horrible pics and video. I had fun, but I really botched the whole recording aspect. To try to "fix" the problem of weird lighting at indoor arenas, I put my camera on some setting that made all my pics come out weird. And as a bonus, I forgot I'd changed my video mode to the crappier setting a few days before and forgot to switch it back. So I'll just give you one vid and a tiny amount of pics.

These are some kids playing before the game/show started. I honestly don't know why, but we were given a seat upgrade when we arrived. So we had this sweet view, right behind what would be the Washington Generals' bench.

Splashing their web site around everywhere. Right away we noticed that the sound system at the Ryan Center (this is where I saw the Steven Wright show on Halloween last year) is horrible if you're sitting down low. It's like the subway announcements. This really took away from the fun, since the whole show the Globetrotters are mic'd up and talking. So it was like seeing the circus without hearing the ringmaster. Still cool, but missing something. (And I don't support circuses anymore, but I needed an analogy.)

Here's Emily getting her ball autographed by the Generals' coach. Here's the thing about seeing a Globetrotters game: You go in thinking, Hey, maybe I'll root for the ultimate underdog, the Washington Generals! But you quickly realize that the point of the whole thing is that the 'trotters are the good and the Generals are the evil. They slapped a Yankees jacket on the Washington coach right away, to make us hate him. So suddenly you're on the side of 'trotters, as they taunt, tease, and mock the Washington squad. That coach did a great job of playing the role, though. And he actually came up to Emily's seat and talked to her, so she decided later to go right down and get his autograph (while he was on the bench!).

Here, a baseball game breaks out among the Globetrotters. I like to imagine the Generals as a real team, just disgusted and exasperated at the antics of the 'trotters, like, "how is this not a delay of game?? Come on!! Am I crazy? Am I crazy??"

The signature sign-off of the Globetrotters. They did all the classic bits I saw them do when I was about 12. You know what they are. It's definitely fun to see these guys. And to see basketball from down that low is amazing. These guys aren't even NBA material and they're playing entirely above the rim, dunking like it's a Nerf ball on a toy hoop.

Here's video of the ball-juggling dude. I love all the tricks and stuff. My "talent" is that I can spin a ball (or anything else) on my finger indefinitely. So I like to see people who make a living out of stuff like that. When I was a young teen, I showed a certain family member my ball-spinning abilities, and was told, "tricks don't score points." But they totally do. They totally do.

P.S. The Generals lost.


Work was rained out today! I had to take a long-cut and still almost didn't make it, but I drove through a lil' lake and got to work at 9:53. At 9:55, they said they were gonna close the building at 10:00. So I had a seven-minute workday. There was pretty much only one road out that wasn't closed, and fortunately it led toward 95 so I was able to get home.

They're actually talking about "life-threatening flooding." I've never seen it like this, where even the woods is under water, with trees sprouting up from lakes. Rivers on the sides of the highway, giant pools on lawns, dogs and cats living together!

This new day off will give me time to post pics from last night at the event I went to which for some reason I'm keeping a secret.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Toldja There's Better Stuff To Complain About...

Okay, so the Globe has reported the Fenway improvements that I told you about earlier today. And here's their gigantic error: They say that 12,000 wooden grandstand seats have been refurbished with springbacks this offseason. So very, very wrong. Last year, as we real people all know, they started with the springbacks when they did the infield seats. Infield loge and field boxes got new seats with cushions, infield grandstand got refurbished with springbacks. It was announced in last year's improvements, and I mentioned it after going to my first game last year, with some of my commenters talking about the springback chairs. This year, they did the same drill with left field, and next year they'll do right field. The Globe is telling you that this year, they went in and did the entire grandstand--all 12,000 seats.

"Don't lose your S, Jere, they just read the press release wrong." Not the point, tough guy. The point is, the writer proved that he didn't go to Fenway Park last year. Or at least completely avoided the infield grandstand, which is very hard to do, unless you just hang out in the press box the whole game (but at almost every game I'll see press box-level-types walk right from the field up the grandstand to get upstairs--Castiglione, Lucchino, the visiting announcers, NESN people, reporters, etc.). It also proves that every prick who read that and threw in their comment about how shitty Fenway is didn't go there in the past year and doesn't pay attention to things real fans probably wouldn't miss.

So that article was from the Metro section, but then someone on Extra Bases, the Globe's Red Sox "blog," went and repeated the info, proving HE didn't go to Fenway last season either. ("The 12,000 blue wooden seats at Fenway Park have new springs to help them retract" is his opening line.)

It's interesting that the Metro reporter came up with the "12,000 seats" number. As you can see in this pic I took from the '84 scorebook, there are around that many total grandstand seats. (Down from nearly 15,000 a few years earlier, as seen in this pic I took from The Ballpark, a book from a few years earlier.) So he knew the total number of grandstand seats--he just thought all of them were just redone in '10, instead of them being done in three sections from '09-'11. Which he should have known from: reading last year's press release, reading this year's press release, and going to the fucking ballpark.

To me this is like if they'd added four more Monster Seats the year after they debuted, and the headline was "Red Sox put seats on Green Monster."

Also, I understand that you can be a "real fan" and not know about this stuff--like if you lived in Canada or something. All I'm saying is, if you're a news reporter IN Boston, and you're the one who reports on Fenway Park, you should be someone who goes to Fenway Park, preferably as a fan at least sometimes so you can see what it's really like for people who go there.

But regardless of that whole deal, if they had just read the release carefully, they would have known what's going on without even having gone to Fenway last year.

Thank You, Red Sox!!!!!

I can buy a hot dog at Fenway Park again! I've been a vegetarian for ten years, and every year I read about the ballpark improvements...and every year they mention the new food items, none of which help me out. Until this year!!!!! Halle-friggin'-lujah! VEGGIE DOGS (and burgers) at Fenway!

It also seems like they did a nice job with that area behind home plate at the back of the grandstand. The women's room line there is horrible, so it's good they revamped and moved the bathrooms out to where those ramps are atop Gate D. And they added a brick oven, so we'll see if that improves the pizza. And as we knew, all the LF seats are now consistent with the infield seats, complete with lower cross-aisle.

(Yet every day we hear sports radio hosts mocking Fenway and how shitty and cramped and horrible it is. Lighten the hell up! There's plenty of other stuff to complain field camera positioning, incorrect logo usage, incorrect usage of the term "walk-off," etc. etc.)

Adrenalin Opening Day

If you've ever sat outside at for four hours at night in April in Boston, you know what it's like to "do things that aren't fun." So once I knew Opening Day would be Opening Night and that I'd be there, I started rooting for a minimum 70-degree day to ensure night would be manageable. Currently, it's actually looking good. Sunday is the golden day of the next 10 in 02215-ville, coming in at 74 degrees. Even if that day only ends up being 60, I'll take it. It'll still be in the 40s at night, but that's better than 20s. Right about now it's time to forget about our communal disgust over Opening Day not being in the daytime, and start getting psyched for the first game of the season. I hope they do that thing where the players come through the crowd again, as I wasn't there for it last year.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pava No, Peg

Fun to pound Pavano, spring training or otherwise. HH wasn't as crappy as his early innings.

Game's on NESN Monday night. I won't be watching because I'll be at a fun-type event which hopefully I'll have pics of shortly after.

Technical Newz 'n' Notez: My February archive only shows back to the 19th. All the other months are fine. I can see all my posts, but no one else can see Feb. 1-18. Boooo Blogger..... I may have to switch my archives so that they show individual weeks. But then that section will be a mile long. I dunnnnooooo.

Logo Nogo

I've never seen anything like this in sports. When a team changes their logo, it's announced usually to some degree of fanfare, and then that new logo replaces the old one. Sometimes the old one is brought back years later if the team wants to go back to it, or it's brought back for some kind of retro-day or something. Granted, there's a grace period where you might see the old logo, but when a team logo changes, it's changed.

With the Red Sox, though, they changed the logo, changing the old blue "BOSTON" to a red version, in the same font as "RED SOX" below, and tweaked the positioning of the baseball stitching behind the socks. There was a press conference and everything, announcing that and the changing of the road uniforms and the addition of alternate hats. We all saw it.

Yet some people are sticking with that old logo. I've brought up many examples of this, and even noticed channel 10 here in Providence using it the other day.

But today, just now, I was watching the Red Sox game on NESN. They put up a graphic on the screen advertising tickets for April and May games. AND THEY USED THE OLD LOGO! What's going on here? The network that the team owns can't get this right? Over a year after the logo was changed? Was the new logo just a suggestion? Are they gonna accidentally wear the old road uniform on occasion? Do a Google search for "red sox logo" and it's as if they never changed it. I can't even believe that, let alone NESN getting it wrong.

Sox On TV

Sox vs. Twins, 1:05. I've been watching for two minutes and Clay is already way too concerned with the baserunner....

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