Friday, March 31, 2006

'Tery Time

I work right next to a sprawling cemetery. It's a very peaceful place, with a few interesting headstones.

Do you think that the engraver made a mistake here? "The name's PARRY, not Perry, you idiot! P-A-R-R-Y!" I mean, once it's done, how can you fix it? I guess you chisel the correct name underneath. Maybe they gave the headstone to the Parrys for free in lieu of this.

I really like this stone. Let the record show that I want something like this if I kick the bucket any time soon. It's beautiful, and when the sun catches certain parts, it really sparkles. This poor woman was only 30 when she died.

Cemetery rhymes:

I call the area where these headstones are: "Simpson's Row":

I checked for a "John" on this one. No luck.

I bet this one had a "Who's on First?" back story with the engraver:

"So, are you done with the Graves'?"
"Which graves?"
"The Graves'!"
"I heard you, wise guy. Which graves?"
"What do you mean? There's only one Graves stone."
"I've got a whole lot of gravestones, I tell ya!"

This is an interesting phenomenon:

Either these people are the living dead or someone just forgot to bury them. I doubt anyone born in 1830 is still kicking around.

Enjoy the weather today, everyone. It's supposed to kick ass. At lunchtime, we're going to finish the wiffle ball game we started last summer. I forget the score, but Cub and I were losing bad.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

BALCO: The Dead Horse

So, the steroid investigation begins. A little late, don't you think? I heard a sound bite of Selig today and he said the word (or rather, the acronym) BALCO as if he had never in his life heard of such a word and it was difficult to get out. He said it like his batteries were running down or something.

Mitchell is supposedly a good friend of Selig's. Sort of reminds me of this. Anyway, it smells. And what do you suppose is going to happen if "evidence" is gleaned? It's a little hard to enforce punishment when the so-called serious investigation starts years after the alleged use. Doesn't it seem like it's more for show than anything else?

On the other hand, I guess it's better than nothing. I suppose I would complain more if Bonds' steroid use went completely unacknowledged forever.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Jackie Mitchell: Batting Helmets Off

The coolest thing about Jackie Mitchell (of early minor league team The Chattanooga Lookouts) is that she not only struck out Babe Ruth, but also Lou Gehrig during an exhibition game against the Yankees in 1931 (back to back). From Exploratorium's Science of Baseball:

Manager Bert Niehoff started the game with Clyde Barfoot, but after Barfoot gave up a double and a single, the manager signaled for Jackie Mitchell. The rookie southpaw took the mound wearing a baggy white uniform that had been custom-made by the Spalding Company. The first batter she faced was Babe Ruth.

Jackie only had one pitch, a wicked, dropping curve ball. Ruth took ball one, and then swung at -- and missed -- the next two pitches. Jackie's fourth pitch caught the corner of the plate, the umpire called it a strike, and Babe Ruth "kicked the dirt, called the umpire a few dirty names, gave his bat a wild heave, and stomped out to the Yank's dugout."

The next batter was Lou Gehrig. He stepped up to the plate and swung at the first sinker -- strike one! He swung twice more, hitting nothing but air. Jackie Mitchell had fanned the "Sultan of Swat" AND the "Iron Horse," back-to-back.

[Note: Mitchell was the 2nd woman, behind Lizzie Arlington, to sign a minor league contract.]

A few days after the exhibition game, Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis voided Jackie Mitchell's contract, claiming that baseball was "too strenuous" for a woman.

At the age of 23, she retired and went to work in her father's optometry office, although she continued to play with local teams from time to time.

[Another Note: My next installment will be dedicated to Lizzie Murphy, as previously promised. I just got so excited about the strike outs, I had to move Mitchell up.]

Something's Brewing at Fenway

In an unprecedented move, Theo Epstein has traded himself to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for infielder Jeff Cirillo, adding another level of insurance at 3rd base. "His career batting average is .306. He'll mainly be used as a backup 3rd baseman, but Cirillo can DH or play any defensive infield position. His power and versatility really tip the scales in the Sox's favor going into the '06 season. This is the edge that we were hoping for," Theo humbly told reporters today.

"He's been toying around with the idea of trading concession employees with other clubs, even parking attendants. And some of the proposed trades would have really improved the organization as a whole. But, this! This was a stroke of pure genius!" Lucchino said of Theo's latest move. Owner John Henry was not available for comment.

I'll Miss Ya

Do any former Sox players have anything nice to say on their way out of town? Sheesh!

Good luck in Kansas City, Gonzo.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sucker Puncher Defends Himself. Kind of.

From The Boston Globe:

''What do you mean, 'regret'?" Tavarez said when asked if he was sorry he hit Gathright with a blow to the jaw in the eighth inning of a 12-11 win over the Devil Rays, adding another line to the rap sheet of scrums between these clubs. ''I wish I don't have to [throw a punch], because I'm not here to fight, you know. Little things happen in baseball, you know. No big deal."

Nice guy.

That would be like knocking someone in the knees with a Louisville f'n slugger if they didn't agree with your proposal in a meeting or something. In your defense, you say something like: "Wish I didn't have to do things like that, but it's no big deal." Excuse me, Tavarez, but where is it written that you have to hit someone in the jaw during a game? I'm really disappointed in his behavior, and so early on, too. And if you're Tito, what on earth do you file that under?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Graffy A Go-Go?

The Sox are "waiving goodbye" to Graf. Not sure who will be "waiving back," if anyone. Poor Gonzo. I did like that guy. If another team picks him up, then my Kaplar prediction would have been way off. Gabe has to be completely rehabbed and official to be canned and that could take some time. But don't you worry, it will happen. His name will remain on the Wheel! Of! Mis! Fortune!

In other Sox news, a recent acquisition was made. Hee-Seop Choi will now be joining seasoned vet Snow and my boy, Youk, in the competition for 1B. He's supposed to have some decent plate discipline, which is welcome news, as it balances all the warnings we've had over Pena's anxiousness. It will certainly be interesting to see how all this pans out.

I see that we managed a little squeak-by win against Tampa Bay this afternoon. Sweet.

So, I've been busy doing more research for my newest series, "Great Woman in Baseball History." My next tribute will be to Lizzie Murphy. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Black. White

I grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts. It's a fairly economically depressed city in the Commonwealth, but it is the one of the most densely populated cities in the state with nearly 95,000 residents. According to Wikipedia:

"the racial makeup of the city is 78.86% White, 4.39% African American, 0.62% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 9.51% from other races, and 5.92% from two or more races. 10.21% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The ethnic makeup of the city is 38.6% Portuguese, 9.1% French, 8.0% Cape Verdean, 7.9% Irish, 7.3% English, and 7.1% Puerto Rican."

Economically, 17.3% of the population lives below the poverty level. The average family income is almost $25,000 less than the median income of families in the United States (which is somewhere near $50K) . The point is, it's also poor. As a white kid, I was lucky to have been exposed to different cultures and other things non-white. But even in little New Bedford, there was a ton of racism and segregation. Looking back, I sincerely wish that our public school leaders could have been more vocal about tolerance and bringing issues such as racism, sexism, and homophobia to the forefront. Maybe they do this now, but in the late 1980's, it wasn't discussed. And I suspect that many of you who attended public school had a similar experience.

Black. White is the brainchild of Ice Cube, who needs no introduction. He recognized the need to ignite discussion amongst the races about these issues. Whites have grown embarrassingly complacent of the racial divides due to years and years of systematic racism. It permeates every aspect of our society, economically and socially, And white people, because of their "white privilege," are not only desensitized to the power of racism, but, in most of their day-to-day lives, are completely unaware of it. How can you possibly empathize with non-white struggles if you have no clue what it feels like to be anything but white? Ice Cube decided to give whites a peek at it. He decided simultaneously to bring the white experience to a black family.

Both families are made up of a father and mother figure and one teenage child. Each family is middleclass and well-educated. On the surface, the only thing that separates them is skin color. When they "trade races" (miraculously transformed by makeup artists), they begin to see - for a very short while - what it might feel like to be a different color. Of course, we all know that to truly appreciate someone else's experience, you would have to spend a lifetime in their skin. Our experiences are accumulated over years, not a few hours here or there. But the thing is, the show is getting people talking. And that's important.

Carmen, the white mom, appears to be going through the beginnings of "perception changing" now. Although, she's still viewing things through a narcissistic lens. And until she is able to stop asking why a certain attitude or belief doesn't fit into her system, she won't change radically. Bruno, her live-in boyfriend, seems to be a lost cause. He was convinced from the beginning that the playing field was even and that racism was a myth and he is constantly out to find examples to prove his point. In other words, the experience is lost on him. Rose, the teenage daughter, seems to be the most thoughtful and willing to put herself in vulnerable places. By enrolling in an African American teen poetry class in her makeup, she is exposed to an intimacy that she was not ready for. And this experience taught her a lot about honesty (she eventually tells everyone that she is white) and the importance of listening. And respect.

Renee didn't even need to be in white makeup to get a dose of blantant racsim. While in a drinking establishment where Brian, her husband, is tending bar (as a white man), she decided to inquire about the racial makeup of the patrons to one of the customers. Yowzers, I have never seen a more definitive example of "I'm not a racist, but I really am." This takes place a lot between whites (the old, "Hey, I can be honest with you about my racist views because your white and you'll totally get it, right?") and it is is commonly referred to as "white bonding." The dude ends up explaining to Renee that it's typically a white bar, but black people are welcome if (there are conditions, of course, unlike for whites) they are willing to assimulate. You know, they can't wear their baggy pants and start talking "all dumb." He said more and I think I was just too shocked to really remember much, except his last sentence, which was, "but I'm not a prejudiced person." Classic. In white makeup, Renee was also exposed to a person who revealed that their mom had taught them to wash their hands after shaking hands with a black person. The teenage son, Nick (in makeup), witnessed a white kid use the "n" word. He later reveals that he is, in fact, black.

During one scene, Carmen and Bruno attended a church service with Renee and Brian. Carmen and Bruno were made up, so they decided to "get into" all the gospel singing. It's so embarrassing to watch. They got up and started throwing their arms up and clapping and singing and "amen"-ing in ways that they thought they were supposed to. All the while, Renee and Brian were sitting down, watching them in shock.

Empy has previously pointed out that it would be interesting if the show expanded so that other races could participate. I agree. I really hope it lasts longer than a season. And I also hope that it isn't tossed into the novelty pile.

Friday, March 24, 2006


May 6th - May 7th

If you are interested and somewhat local, I am officially participating in the Somerville Open Studios this year. Here's my 411.

The map isn't available yet, but I understand that an interactive one will be in place shortly (as a back up to the printed version). They have a great site and it looks like there are a lot of really exciting participants this year. I love the 02145!

Morrison's Parting Words

Adam fell to the floor after losing the game last night. He was obviously weeping. It's the sort of thing that just rips your heart out. But, Affialo came to his emotional rescue, so to speak. From the Associated Press:

Hollins and Afflalo went to help up Morrison, who was spread on the floor at midcourt. Few then came to hug the crying Morrison.

"That's just a sign of a great program and great people," Morrison said. "They had enough guts as a man in their moment of victory to pick another man up off the floor. That's more than basketball and I would thank them if I could."

What a guy.

Adam Stern

My friend Dan and I had dinner last night and we were discussing Stern's impressive performance of late. Dan seems to think that this is making him sweeter trade bait for Front Office. And it totally makes sense. How many games do you think Coco is going to be sitting out? I doubt Stern's going to be playing in the majors much, and if the tinkering of the team continues, Stern could be on the outs. Again, this would be another loss of great talent for the Sox. So, in honor of this theory, I've added Adam Stern to the Wheel of Misfortune.

The Zags Are Out

Major suckage. Losing by 2 stupid points to UCLA. I didn't stay up to watch the end. When I went to bed, Gonzaga had a substantial lead. I thought I was safe and I'd wake up and it would be like Christmas, with Gonzaga advancing. Not so. Seeing pictures of Morrison crying makes me want to cry.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Duke Blows It

LSU knocks Duke out. Wow, what a huge victory: 62 - 54. I love an underdog win, even though I picked Duke to advance to the Elite Eight.

A Bit of a Recap

Among all the other reasons to dislike Sheffield, add liar to the list. I wish these guys would simply admit it. In the long run, I think it works in their favor. Giambi had a rough patch after coming clean, and as much as I can't stand that lizard-faced bastard, I respect him for being honest. The downside to that is people are going to constantly scrutinize your physique. And if you excel, your past steroid use will come into question. It stinks, but at least you don't go down in baseball history as a liar and a cheater. Just a cheater.

Anyway, I caught the lion's share of the game last night and I have to say that I was very impressed with Pena's plate production. Additionally, Stern came up with not one, but two homers. He did Jere proud. Stern's bat is really hot right now. I wonder if this is going to give him any major league playing time early into the season. Probably not, but at least we know that he'll get plenty of at bats in Pawtucket.

Pap's pitching was pretty solid. The big stinker of the night was Riske, who nailed Jeter in the kidney (which was somehow "retaliation" for a Myers hit batter) and Sturtze finished off the battle by plucking Lowell. Are we adults or what? We're intentionally hitting batters in a spring training game? I'll tell you something - I don't like Riske. I think he's trying to channel Bellhorn or something with his hair which just further pisses me off. He's trouble down the road. And he's not very impressive a pitcher.

Timlin struck Damon out, which I thought was sort of amusing. I wonder what Johnny was thinking on his way back to the dugout. Overall the Yankees were pretty productive. They got that chain reaction Yankee thing going for a little while. But, in the end, they just squeaked by with a 1 run lead. Bernie Williams was on fire, while Giambi got on base because of a wild pitch. Were Jeter's parents there? Anyone? They should do a reality show called, "We're Jeter's Parents."

While on the subject of parents, I would like to personally thank Johnny Damon for thoroughly disgusting my mother by donning his new uniform. Way to go, trader.

Speaking of reality shows, I missed Black.White last night because of (a) the game and (b) going to a certain dinner with a certain published author and her husband (jealous, anyone?). I'm going to check to see if they are airing the episode again before next Wednesday. And I haven't forgotten about that post. Special thanks to Empy for sharing her feelings on the show and, as always, for the accuracy of her perception. Empy indeed rocks.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

And While I'm Feeling Cynical

I wonder if Ortiz is going to get anything extra for being a mentor to Pena. Probably not, but it would be cool if his agent went to Theo and was like, "Hey, this isn't free. No more discount. Pony up the bucks now if you want Papi to give Wily Mo lessons." I mean, if Pena doesn't perform as expected, is David going to get his ass chewed out over this? That would be fucking classic. Say Pena starts to strike out every 2nd at bat vs. every 3rd. Theo calls a meeting with Tito and Papa Jack then turns to Ortiz and points in the direction of the conference room saying, "and you, too, buddy."

A New Perspective

If players continue to be moved and shuffled around like songs on an iPod, then I'm taking my fandom in the opposite direction. I think I'm going to make a game out of this. I'm going to call it:

Think: Costanza. Ya wanna get nuts? Let's get nuts!

My next pick for the chopping block is Gabe Kaplar. But not yet. They're going to wait until he's totally rehabbed and back on the roster. Since everyone else seems to have a back up and the pressure is going to be on Tito to give Pena as much playing time as possible (so they can prove their theory about him, even though he'll probably strike out like crazy and frustrate the hell out of us), Gabe is going to struggle for opportunities to play. That's when it will be determined that he's useless for the Sox and he'll be sent away along with his brownie cookie recipe. So, there you go. Kaplar is the next Red Sox casualty. Who do YOU think will be the next to go? I should make up a chart or something. Like the chopping block bracket. We could have a contest, with prizes and everything!

Oh, and don't worry, I am totally able to separate the satirical business of baseball from the game of baseball. Satirical business is the ugly side of the game. But it's a business like any other, so please forgive me for needing to indulge.

Wheel of "See You Later"? Wheel of "Sorry, Please Pack it Up"? Still working on a title.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Will He (Wily) Become the Next (Mo) Vaughn?

Now that this thing is done, and I have no control over the trade, and for various reasons I still need convincing (re: the necessity of the trade), I have no choice but to begin the rooting process.

Firstly, the title of this post was really more about being able to use "Wily" and "Mo" together and less about whether or not I think that he will, in fact, become the next Mo Vaughn. Would be great if he did, though.

What I think Theo sees in Pena is exactly what he saw in Ortiz. I haven't done the comparisons yet (Ortiz's numbers before he came on board with the Red Sox), but I would guess that he had more consistent contact. I think that Theo really, REALLY feels that Pena can be coached to be more patient at the plate. And he's hoping that the Red Sox will be the fortunate recipients of Pena's best, healthiest, and most powerful years. I hope that this is the case. One thing that would really be great, insurance-wise, is having another Papi threat in the line up. Papi-light, but an offensive terror none-the-less.

I do worry about the strike outs, though. He's really going to have to work hard to bring that number way, way down. Or balance that out with serious muscle upon making contact. And when I say serious, I mean base-clearing serious. Otherwise, you might as well just suit me up. My 133-pound frame won't give you lots of power, but I can strike out like nobody's business. And I'd be a total bargain. 50 grand/year. Oh, that's right, women aren't allowed to play.

Speaking of female baseball players, here's name worth celebrating - Toni Stone. She played in the Negro League from 1949-1954. She appeared in 50 games in 1953, and hit .243. Remember, this was on an all male team, playing against all male teams in the Negro League.


Photo courtesy The Buck O'Neil Collection, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

(Marcenia Lyle Alberga)
Second Base

San Francisco Sea Lions, 1949
New Orleans Creoles, 1949-1952
Indianapolis Clowns, 1953
Kansas City Monarchs, 1954

(Excerpt 1) Toni Stone may be one of the best ballplayers that you've never heard of.

(Excerpt 2) Toni Stone's most memorable baseball moment came when she played against the legendary Satchel Paige in 1953. "He was so good," she remembered, "That he'd ask batters where they wanted it, just so they'd have a chance. He'd ask, 'You want it high? You want it low? You want it right in the middle? Just say.' People still couldn't get a hit against him. So I get up there and he says, 'Hey, T, how do you like it?' And I said, 'It doesn't matter, just don't hurt me.' When he wound up--he had these big old feet--all you could see was his shoe. I stood there shaking, but I got a hit. Right out over second base. Happiest moment in my life."

I think I'm going to do a little ode to an exceptional woman baseball player from time to time.

NCAA Tournie

By some miraculous twist of fate, I am in the lead at the office for the Men's NCAA tournament. I had a pretty good 1st round (23 of my picks advanced, 9 did not). So far, nine of my teams are still in contention. Seven are out. Gonzaga all the way!

Something very disturbing occured to me. Adam Morrison not only resembles Jack Black (at least in my view), but also ( ... oh this is just horrible ... ) Kevin Federline. *big, long, blood-curdling scream*

Discount Now Obsolete

I guess this marks the official end of the home town discount. I can't imagine that any player would be willing to take it now. I used to think that agents were greedy jackasses. This is a perfect example of why they exist. To protect well-intentioned people like Bronson.

You'll be missed here, B. At least you'll get to play with Hatteberg. And Herb and Les Nessman and Venus Flytrap and Andy ...

I leave you will a shot I took of Arroyo in the pen. It was a game I went to with my mom this past summah.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Arroyo has been traded to the Reds for outfielder Wily Mo Pena. Poor guy. No more late nights in the Northeastern dormatory. No more Hot Stove concerts. And no more quality starts. I had a feeling his going against his agent's advice was going to turn around and bite him in the arse. That's what you get for wanting to be on this team so badly. Traded.

I'm sure someone (dirtdog, perhaps, as he is always good at throwing people under the bus on their way out of town) is going to talk about how fucking brilliant this move is by front office and how meaningless Bronson really was, but right now I'm just going to mentally tip my hat to the guy and say "thanks for all you've done."

Friday, March 17, 2006

A Treat for You Kiddies

Here's a shot of Jason reading our book to some kids down in Florida. I still can't believe it. It's so surreal to me.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Morrison pulls it off at the end of the 2nd. Whew!

Quick lookalike:

Adam Morrison


Jack Black


Ever have this stuff? It's not as hard to drink as barium, but it get high marks in the vile category. Supposed to be great for your immune system, though.

I really want to puke.


Incidentally, I am all in for Gonzaga. I just finished entering my office March Maddness pool. Those of you who know me personally, understand why I selected Gonzaga. For those of you who don't know me, I can't reveal it. Fear of stalkers and identity theft prohibit me.

The Commish

In this photo, I really thought that Manny was actually Johnny. The angle, the new hair, the beard. Wacky. It was one of those double-take type of moments. Well, it really couldn't have been Damon, anyway, since he's having shoulder problems. This is what happens when you fly too close to the sun, my boy. It's just a matter of time before the inflata-boob wife leaves you and makes off with your cash. As Cosmo Castorini says in Moonstruck, "She'll have your eyes open for you, my friend."

Congratulations to Francona on the contract extension. I love watching Tito go ape shit during games. The crazy rocking back and forth, the enormous wad of big league chew in his mouth. Classic skipper. Glad to have you for a few more seasons.

Last night, I had the pleasure of sitting in a historic commission meeting. You see, the Salem property is going up for sale soon, and in order to get it "ready," four windows need to be replaced on the top floor. No big deal, right? Well, it is a big deal if you live in a historic district and your 1775 home is registered. I have never experienced anything like this in my life. I attended with my contractor who lugged not one, not two, but three sample windows up to the third level of the building (where the meeting was held) plus a sample of the sill. The windows that we were hoping to replace the existing ones with were identical-looking from the street level, but much more energy efficient. We were fourth on the agenda, which translates to waiting two long and anxiety-ridden hours before it was our turn. The first few people were really scrutinized. Everything was put under a microscope. What were their motivations to replace their front door or widen their entranceway by four inches? Polaroid pictures were passed around and studied. Architectural plans were rolled out. Considerations were made. Some people walked away happy. Others, not so much. I fall into the latter category. Even though the case was pretty straightforward, a motion was made to explore window restoration rather than replacement. And this motion was unanimously voted on by everyone on the board. At various points in each case, one of the board members asks all the attendees if they have any questions or commentary. As if the environment wasn't intense enough, a man in a three piece suit showed up and sat in the back, taking in every detail of each case. When asked if we had anything to add, he stood up like some kind of prosecutor, explaining that the board should be looking at things from a different perspective. I sort of guessed that he was a resident in the historic district and wanted to make sure that he, too, was doing his part to preserve the integrity of the homes. In other words: He was there for his own amusement. This really stunned me since every second of the two point five hours of the meeting, I was sick with panic. So, long story, short (too late), I have to call the window restoration person.

One other quick note - I have become obsessed with the new reality show Black.White. I will devote an entire post to this soon, as I have a lot to say about it. For now, I will just say that I think it's one of the most important television shows to air in a long time.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Seal Hunt Protest

I got an email from the Animal Rescue League notifying me of a seal hunt protest tomorrow in front of the Canadian Embassy between 12 and 1 (Copley Square @ Dartmouth and Boylston Streets). Evidently, the Canadians kill over 300,000 seals annually. Disgraceful. If I can sneak out of work, I will probably go.

Not cool, Canada.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Monday Night Drivel

First of all, will you look at this adorable cat?

I've had him for 13 years or so and he still makes kitty faces. His name: Obi Wan. He's not much of a Jedi Master, though. At 15 pouinds, he's more like Jabba the Hut. He's been with me through thick and thin. We've moved everywhere from Nashville (where he was born) to south Jersey to Boston to Philadelphia and back to Boston. He's never lied to me, never cheated on me (at least to my knowledge, though I used to suspect that, occasionally, he snuck out of my apartment back in the mid-nineties to hang around with my elderly downstairs neighbor and pretended to be his cat), and never kept secrets from me. He's been nothing but loving and loyal the entire time I've had the pleasure of knowing him. He still sleeps at my feet, all these years later. As cats go, he's a perfect 10.

Switching gears - if I had a Red Sox crystal ball, the first thing I think I might want to know is whether or not Foulke is going to have it this year. I'm pretty sure that Papelbon would like to know the answer to this, as well. I may even make a special appointment with Madame Ruby to discuss the outcome. I'll let you know if I can get penciled in before the official season starts. She was right about Ramirez, after all. I haven't been super impressed with Pap's work in the Grapefruit League, but Spring Training is just that. Training. An opportunity to get actual pitching experience and adjust. I am really rallying behind him. I know he wants a spot in the starting rotation, and I'm sure he would excel in this role, but if Foulke craps out, I hope they groom him for closing. He could be our Mariano. Speaking of - I know I've complained about this before, in my old blog, I think. But I hate the fact that every time I hear "Enter Sandman" on the radio, I am reminded of The Skull aka Rivera. I really liked that tune. And, they play "Welcome to the Jungle" a lot during games, particularly if the game is close and they've got runners in scoring position. What? Yankee Stadium is the only place that opposing teams should feel intimidated? Jerks.

And Clemens, here's a message to you - you're either in or your out. None of this "I can change my mind this summer" baloney. What do you think this is? A game of horseshoes? You're almost retired? You bore me, already.

Friday, March 10, 2006

No Canada?

Well, Canada is close to elimination. Their survival depends upon a loss from the USA today (USA Today!). From

The Canadians needed to defeat Mexico to win a spot outright or at least lose by two runs or less in order to escape a three-way tiebreaker with the U.S. and Mexico and win one of the top two positions in Pool B.

Instead, they got their asses handed to them by Mexico. At least Stern shined with his inside the park homer on Wednesday, as well as some good defensive moves overall. This bodes well for we Sox fans. The Dominican Republic are 2-0. I'm pretty sure that we all saw that one coming. Korea swept through their division, and Puerto Rico has an impressive ERA of 1.00. They are going to duke it out with Cuba tomorrow. Oh, and I guess Andruw Jones couldn't carry the Netherlands. They lost both of their first games.

In case any of you are interested, David Sedaris is performing at Symphony Hall on May 3rd as part of their celebrity series. Tickets are still available. I've read all of his books and I've listened to him on NPR (he sometimes reads his stories on This American Life), but I've never seen him live and I hear he is side-splittingly funny.

You know, on my drive in to work today, I got to thinking about cassette tapes. Mainly, their versatility and durability. I love CDs and I thoroughly enjoy making mixed CDs, but I miss creating medleys. I used to really enjoy making music montages on cassette. Recording snippets from different songs on theme. Is there any way to do this on CD, and I'm just a bonehead who can't figure it out?

I guess I'll go see Game 6 soon. I think I've been avoiding it because I didn't want to feel "let down" or disappointed going into the season. I have heard a lot of positive feedback (Rebecca and Jere went to a showing in NYC together a week or so ago. They've both reviewed it on their respective sites). Game 6, though, will have to get in line behind the new Chapelle movie. Kerry and I are planning on seeing it tonight after sufficiently stuffing ourselves with nachos.

The Red Sox board the Pennsylvania Express starting today -- they play the Phillies at 1:05, and then tomorrow they take on the Pirates (Ahoy, Howard!), which will be broadcast on NESN (also 1:05 PM).

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Former Sox Give It Back

Oof! Derek Lowe and Hanley Ramirez have both given the Sox a good dose of "how ya like me now?" The Dodgers beat the Red Sox today (6-4) and we all know what happened yesterday (Hanley was, what, 3 for 3? Ugh.). Actually, I'm glad that Derek is still firing off the nutty sinkers. He needed a dignity boost, what with the Sox letting him go, followed by the "stuff" in his personal life. All I can still say about Derek now is - I wish the best for him. His big game pitching will always outshine his crappo starts. At least in my book.

Meanwhile, David Wells is still talking smack about Selig. Some things never change, especially the predictability of Boomer's yapper.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Boring Bonds

Is anyone else beat down by the Bonds steroid scandal? I am officially at the point of not caring. Barry Bonds is not my favorite person and from the evidence that I've been subjected to through articles and interviews and news reports, it looks as though Bonds was a frequent user. So, I wasn't stunned to find out that there's a new book coming out riddled with attempts to prove Barry's guilt. It appears that the authors were on a mission to take him all the way downtown with this one. It's all business. I just think it's tragic. Bonds was a phenomenal player without the drugs. He was probably even a future hall of famer. It's just too bad that a man blessed with such ability needed to pull an Icarus. Like Steinbrenner, but in his own way. And if he was indeed as heavy a user as they say, his body will pay the price. I hope it was worth it to him.

In Red Sox news, today's game was a total pooper. 12-1, Marlins. Wowzers. I didn't think that the Marlins had any players left after this winter. Who knew?

The current Spring Training record for the Sox, even though it's totally meaningless: 5W, 4L.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Johnny B Sad

I guess Johnny is still sad about his departure terms with the Sox. I think he's trying his best to overcome the heaviness in his heart.

I've created a little movie in Johnny's honor. Take a look-see! (Give it a good minute to download. It just takes a bit.)

Disclaimer: I've sort of, kind of purloined some images for this movie, but I'm not profiting from it. If anyone's panties get in a bunch, please email the complaint department.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Oscar the Grouch

I watched the end of the Oscars last night. The program just doesn't have enough to engage me from beginning to end. Unless I was at an Oscar Party and me and all the guests could make fun of the actors and their silly costumes and projected self importance. I think I could be more respectful of the Oscars if there weren't already so many darned awards ceremonies for the same movies. The Golden Globes, the People's Choice, etc. Once upon a time, the red carpet was a really special thing. I see it all the time now. And the pre- and post- award ceremonies are overdone and predictable, at best.

Here's where I get a little EddieVeddor/Michael Stipe (forgive me, please). I just can't help but think that the people who truly deserve recognition in this country go without it, at least on this scale. I'm talking about doctors, nurses, garbage men/women, hotel maids, educators, and civil rights activists. The list goes on.

Don't get me wrong, I love film. I enjoy the whole "being transported" to another time and another place. I appreciate convincing performances that force us to alter our perspectives. But, often times, you can get the same experiences from reading a powerful book or going to see a phenomenal art exhibit, or talking to an "ordinary" person about their "ordinary" life. Everyone has a story. Maybe we ought to start tuning into the stories of our friends and families and coworkers. At least you can interact with a story-teller. You can peel away the layers of their stories and appreciate their histories and make striking or subtle connections to your own story.

I guess what I would ultimately like to see is "The Ordinary People Awards" where a fireman who rescued a new born baby is up for the same award as an animal rights investigator who shut down a huge and despicable puppy farm. It should be national and televised the same way as the Oscars. Regular folks can waltz down the carpet in their Old Navy dresses or whatever the heck they please. Instead of asking questions about their outfits, the reporters can ask them about their latest humanitarian efforts or how their flights were.

I don't know. I guess I'm just tired of doling out enormous praise to people who study lines and - oh, excuse me - understand "the fine art and craft of acting." (Even the schleps behind the scenes who are lucky enough to win for something always get cut off by the orchestra or whatever. Ever notice that? It's like, if your name isn't on a marquee, you don't matter. Regardless of all your hard work.)

In baseball news, I guess Flaherty had a pooper of a time catching Wake. It is still undecided who is going to do this on a regular basis. Whoever it is, there's going to be the usual knuckler adjustment period. It could very well wind up being Flaherty. Still undetermined.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Oh, Canada

As a way to try to "get into" the WBC, I've decided to select a team to root for. I'm going with Canada, for no other reason but the fact that I am 75% French-Canadian. Ok, one other reason: People are either indifferent or hateful toward the Canadians. I figure, me and Mike Myers will be the only ones cheering for this team. This, as well as the Netherlands team (Andruw Jones being the only major help, there) are true underdogs.

This will give me a whole new appreciation for Adam Stern. Hey, I also get to rally behind Matt (I'd rather take the) Stairs.

Still, this is all really weird.

Window Dressing

Same site, but a few changes. I wanted to liven things up a little going into the new season. The new profile pic is a combination of two of my favorite things: Betty Boop and the Red Sox. I think it's sort of funny to see these two together since clearly, Boop was drawn and raised in NYC.

Friday News Flash

Bad News:

• We lost the spring training opener to the Twins.

• Papelbon took it good in the shin yesterday. Also, he gave up 2 earned runs, 4 hits and a walk in less than 2 innings. Ouchie. He doesn't strike me as the kind of guy to get rattled and lose the "eye of the tiger" over this, though.

Good News:

• Coco Crisp went 3 for 3, including an "almost" homer. He looked great at the plate.

• It's only an exhibition game. I wouldn't be any more happy if we had won.

Just News:

Our stars are heading off to play in the World Baseball Classic today. I'm just not into it. I sort of see the point, I guess, but it's too close to the regular season and I worry about injuries. I watched a little of the Japan vs. China game this morning. Mainly for Ichiro. Hopefully, the Classic will shine light on international players that we wouldn't otherwise have an opportunity to enjoy. Otherwise, it's just kind of shuffling the same players around and having them compete against eachother. It doesn't light my fire. I'd like to see the DR vs Venezuela game (3/7). Bobby Abreu, Anibel Sanchez, A-Gon (that one's a stretch), and I-Can't-Believe-Manny-Robbed-Me-of-a-Homer Miguel Cairo vs. Papi, Colon, Pedro, Soriano, Tejada, Pujols, Guerrero. I'm pretty sure that the DR team is going to kick serious ass. Their matchups seem really unbalanced. They play Italy (Piazza, DiNardo and no Rocco Baldelli) on the 9th and Australia (Huber, Moss) on the 10th.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Out of Control

You know it's bad when Manny's arrival to camp actually makes headlines on Yahoo! news.

He got in less than 4 hours ago and already you can download wallpaper celebrating this "event."

And people wonder why Manny wants out of Boston.