Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Darkest Depths

That snow turned out to be key, because I decided to go into work late, giving me time to sit home pressing redial all morning, trying for the Hall Of Fame Game tickets. (Which, by the way, I might have forgotten all about, thanks to my crazy snow drive last night, had I not seen the comment about it from Empyreal Environs right before I went to bed at 3:00 AM. So thanks, Empy.)

So after an hour of redialing, I got through to the Hall of Fame. And I was put on hold. It was a scary hold, because after they played a message that said "your call will be taken in the order it was received," they gave you dead silence. Some would probably prefer this to "The Girl From Ipanema," but I started getting nervous, like maybe, I thought, I'd been hung up on. So as I sat listening to the sounds of silence, I started getting pissed at the Hall. Jim Rice continually gets left out, and now, having missed out on getting tickets (I feared), I'm stuck with this forty dollar membership, which allows me to go to the events of Hall of Fame Weekend for free during the year when the dreaded Wade Boggs is being inducted! And then...the operator. Praise Tony who Armas in heaven.

The woman warned me that the only seats left were "obstructed view," meaning obstructed by walkway traffic, as opposed to a pole. "Listen here," I wanted to say, "you're talking to a Red Sox fan. I know all about Obstructed View. I served with Obstructed View. Your park's seats, ma'am, are no Obstructed View."

The seats are on the third base, or Red Sox, side of the field. I'm guessing most of the crowd will be Sox fans, though. Should be cool. And I hear Ken Coleman may get into the Hall, so that place might not be so bad after all. I've been there twice. Once in the late eighties ('ish). Greenwell homered off Henke the night my family and Pat stayed at a hotel up there. Then I went a few years ago during Fisk's year. Cool little village.

I saw Christo's "The Gates" in Central Park yesterday. That article pretty much sums up the experience. You definitely notice every piece of orange clothing as people walk past you. "Oh, that's the exact orange!" "That's a little off." And it was cool when one gate's fabric would be blowing way up in the air, and every other one would be still at the same time. After last night's snowstorm, the park was probably beautiful today, like a big pile of melted creamsicles. These people with sticks with a tennis ball on the end would walk around to fix any peices of fabric that got caught up. It reminded me of Bob Barker's Plinko stick. It was also cool to look at the sun through the fabric. I mean, not "winning the World Series" cool, but cool. And like I said, thriteen (13) Sox hats spotted in the city. At one point, we were in a car with people that met up with us in the city, "helping" them find parking, which took two hours, and there was a girl with a Sox hat walking one way on the left sidewalk, and a kid with a Sox hat walking the oter on the right sidewalk. With me in a car with my Sox hat in between. Chan gets annoyed when I yell out the window at these people. We are truly New York's team....

We went to the top of Belvedere Castle in the middle of the park, and I shot some video. Down below was the vast expanse of Central Park and it's baseball fields. I told Chan my story about this area, which I will tell you now.

July 1988. My dad's Peace Corps reunion. New York City. I was twelve years old. There was a big softball game. I played second base, the default position for someone athletic enough to play infield, but with no arm whatsoever. Bottom of the ninth, my team's in the field. Tying run is on. Don'tremember how many outs, but for drama's sake, let's say two. Ground ball to me. With Buckner's error still fresh in the mind of everybody, the ball shoots through my legs. It's okay, I thought, we can still hold the lead and win this thing. As I turn around, I watch as the ball goes right throug the legs of the woman out in right field. Here comes the tying run....and...here...comes...the...winning...run.

Other than that, I had fun at that reunion. All the kids stayed up late one night in the Hotel Empire as the adults were out doing adult things on the town. It was the first time I'd ever heard the word "overtired." And the first time I'd ever played the game bullshit. And I had a crush on this one girl, and here was the Don Juan, Jr. move I used on her: We were playing "slap the red," and I put all the red cards on the top of the deck, so I would just slap every time right away, like a young A-Rod, without even looking at each card. She finally strted laughing and said, "Hey, you did that on purpose!" Oh yes. Yes I did. Pretty impressive, huh? Can I get you another apple juice?

What was I talking about?

Oh right, the story. This older woman near me heard the softball error story and felt so bad for me. "What a memory," she said, before relaying the story to her husband.

In Dirt Dog news, more of the same nonsense lately. Look at this little blurb about Pedro:

"Boston Dirt Dogs has learned that former Red Sox diva Pedro Martinez showed up late to the first New York Mets spring workout."

Now look at what the Daily News' Adam Rubin said about this:

"...the new ace arriv[ed] late for his scheduled 8:30 a.m. news conference (but in time for Willie Randolph's 9 a.m. address to pitchers and catchers)..."

I've heard this reporter on the FAN twice lately. He seems honest, a little timid, even. And more importantly, HE WAS THERE.

So, in the words of Jerry Seinfeld in an SNL skit, "Who ya gonna believe, your pimply-faced kid or Elijah the Prophet?"

Speaking of SNL and Seinfeld, click on either for an archival site of each show. I had no idea I could find every script of every Seinfeld on one web site. Shoulda known.

In other Pedro news, I know everybody's gonna finally find out about the fun, wacky, nice Pedro now that he's in New York. (As opposed to the media-invented head-hunting, evil "diva" Pedro.) In fact, it's already started. I just heard a talk show host talking to a reporter in Florida, saying "What's going on, we actually saw Pedro signing autographs! Who iiiiis this guy?" It's just stupid how some things never even become known to most people until New York finds out about them and tells everybody. Don't get me wrong, I love New York. And not in a cheesy "post 9-11," "We Are All New Yorkers," George W. Bullshit kind of way. I mean I have always loved the city for many reasons. It's the place to F'n be; it just happens to be the home of the most evil team in the history of the world, right up there with Hitler's Third Reich All-Stars. The point is, look back to last spring training, that shot of Perdo sitting on the grass with those little kids. And a million other examples of this fan-friendly, amazing baseball player, who always got a bad rap.

And just a little more pro-Pedro action (from Singapore Sox Fan):

"here's Pedro on Curt: 'I don't have anything bad to say about Curt Schilling. I can only wish Curt good health, for God to bless him all the time and to give him everything he wants,' said Martinez. 'I don't have anything bad to say about any of my ex-teammates or anyone in Boston. I just wish God blesses them all and gives them everything they want. I'm going to miss the town and miss the tradition in Boston but I have a new life.' Pedro's always noted his love of the town of Boston (even his slams on going to the Mets were directed at the front office, not at the town or the fans), so this is pretty much par for the course."

Final note, I swear: The Mets are going all yankees on us now, employing a no facial hair (except moustaches--all the hip players have moustaches) policy. I guess they're going for that classy look. Chokey, but classy.

OK, yeah, but did you click the link on BDD? The Dirt Dog missed a shot at some killer anti-Pedro material.

Pedro's at ST, and some guy yells out, "Who's your daddy?"

And Pedro grabs his crotch.

Somehow I don't think Pedro is gonna be all fuzzy-wuzzy teddy bear now that he's in the big NYC. Maybe that's just me, though ...
Hey Jere,

This is a comment for one of your "Sams" not sure which one though.

Sam-Just wanted you to review the NCAA polls. At last check: BC 3rd Duke 7th (or 10th depending on the poll). I'll give you the NC ranking of 2nd for the time being. But it is only a matter of time.


Yes, I check the polls the day they come out, which is Tuesday. I also check the RPI ratings, which usually come out on the same day as the poll.

BC is 5th in RPI, with a strength-of-schedule of 58. UNC is 8th with a SOS of 42. Duke is 6th with a SOS of 4.

But the RPI can be fooled. Look at the Pac10, which ranks 2nd in RPI among all conferences. But the Pac10 has played very few big games this year & has won even fewer. I can think of one good win: Washington beat ... somebody. Somebody from the Big12 maybe? Or Gonzaga? I don't remember. It doesn't matter. Anyway, I don't think anyone actually considers the Pac10 to be the second best conference in the country (or anything close to it).

But the numbers say so because the RPI can be fooled. It's 50% based on winning percentages. And the Pac10 has a good winning percentage BECAUSE it didn't play many big games. It beat up on a bunch of chumps & patsies.

Inflated winning percentages are nice, but the Pac10 won't be sending any men's teams to the Final Four.

BC took the same route. Maine, New Hampshire, Holy Cross, Duquesne, Kent State, and a double overtime thriller with perennial powerhouse Yale. And all of those games were played AT Boston College. Nice scheduling, Al Skinner. You had a lot of confidence in your boys before the season, didn't you?

I'm not impressed. And not only that, but BC has also played a relatively soft Big East schedule, so their/your record is doubly deceptive right now.

BTW, Jared Dudley is an absolute bastard.
Say what you will...but a win's a win, and we have won enough for the AP and other pollsters to recognize our talents. Must you make personal digs at players though. It is such a low blow, and he is much younger than you I presume.
If by "much younger" you mean "probably about year or so," then yes, Jared Dudley IS in fact much younger than I am.

Oh, one more thing that I forgot to mention yesterday. It's bad enough that Skinner scheduled the likes of Holy Cross, New Hampshire, Yale, Maine, and Kent State for you this season, but it's even worse that many of those contests were so close. Boston U. and Kent State, the boys eked out some quality wins there. Not good. But overtime with Holy Cross and double OT with Yale? That's bad.

I'll give you this much, though: your boy Craig Smith is a beast down low. By college basketball standards, he's a man among boys.

Anywho, how 'bout them boys from Philly? How 'bout them Villanova Wildcats?

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