Sunday, March 06, 2005


I was at my parents' place for much of the weekend, where NESN is allowed, making a(very) short film on my new iBook about the Red Sox which, hopefully, will appear on this website, and watching two Red Sox pre-season games.

I LOVE hearing the beginning of the telecast: "Tonight, it's the World Champion Boston Red Sox versus..." Every game, please. Every game.

Last night it was a comeback win over the Reds. After watching the Sox pound the hell out of Eric Milton in the first inning, and then make about three errors in the field, I didn't see much, because like I said, I was making a movie.

But today's game got my full attention. Home whites in spring training! Between that, the fans in their Florida clothes, and Long Island Sound out the window, my body was fooled into thinking it was summer. And almost all the starters played. Jason's got that "C" on his uni. Weird to see. All winter I've been having visions of Chopper hitting a home run in a Red Sox uniform. His first time up he flied deep to left. His second time up, my dreams came true. Edgar's gonna be fun to watch, I think. And Petagine looked really good. I'd been wondering about the pronunciation of his name. I'm familiar with the Spanish language, so I thought it would be "Pay-ta-HEE-nay." I asked my dad, who's pretty much fluent, and he said the same thing, although he said it seemed like an uncommonly spelled name. But I've been thinking people were gonna call him "PET-a-zheen." Well, Remy and Orsillo, who were laughing it up the whole time--Orsillo trying to explain TiVo was awesome--were saying "Pet-a-GEE-nee" (with a hard G as in Gedman). So I don't know what to think. Except that he's making this team. But there's still a whole month to go.

Kim pitched a little. Sigh. Needless to say the bases became loaded, and eventually he was out of there. Our starter, Jeremi Gonzalez, wasn't so great in two innings of work.

I like Shawn Wooten. If for no other reason than his name sounds like Wu-Tang AND he wears number 36. As in Wu-Tang's "36 Chambers" Album. This can't be a coincidence. Surely I'm not the first to notice this, am I?

So in my house, he's called Shawn "Enter The" Woo-Ten.

The key play in the game was when Todd Pratt hit a line drive that looked ticketed for the gap in left center (alright, at least to the outfield), and young Hanley at shortstop leaped up, caught it, ran over to second to double the guy off there, and then threw to Youk at first for a TRIPLE PLAY. It's rare to get a moment so exciting in a spring training game. I think the only other time I witnessed (radio counts as witnessing) a triple play live (Little League doesn't count) was in the mid-eighties. I remember Jim Rice, the Twins, and standing outside trying to see Haley's Comet were all involved. Also, there may have been two in one game. It was definitely the Twins. I'll have to check retrosheet on this one.

If you go to, they're showing games free this week, and the Sox game from today is still on there as I write this. Go there, move the scroll thing to about 2/3rds of the way through the game, and see the triple play. It was in the top of the sixth. You can hear the Phillies announcers credit Renteria with Hanley's feat, even though they themselves announced he was in the game at the start of the inning. Then watch the Sox in the dugout during the between-innings break, as there are no commercials, and then hear the announcers come back and apologize for their mistake.

Another really crazy thing about that triple play: NESN had Tom Werner in the booth that inning. He talked about the Sox bringing the trophy to Walter Reed, and the poignant moments they had there. And about how Theo made some great moves this off-season. Everything was just going so slow and smooth, nobody out, two on; it seemed like Werner could have talked all day, and it looked like he might have to. And that would've been cool, because he's pretty comfortable with Remy and Orsillo, and he was telling some pretty interesting stories. What a nice, lazy Florida aftern---ONE OUT! TWO OUT! THREE OUT! Inning over! On one play. End of interview.

They also showed Thome and Lofton telling their memories of being teammates with Manny. Thome's story was pretty funny: "You notice that your shorts or something would be missing, and you'd look up and he'd be wearing 'em."

Terrible job by the people who run that park in Ft. Myers--playing YMCA while the field was being raked between innings, and "Da da da dut da daaaa....Charge!" Maybe some yankee fans snuck into the, uh, music-playin' area. "Sweet Caroline" was played during a pitching change, and "Dirty Water" was played in the sixth inning, after the triple play. Incorrect, people.

Today I also got my hotel rooms for my luxurious Cleveland vacation. 38 bucks for one, 8 miles from the proverbial Jake. And for after the second game, I picked a town roughly 2 hours east of Cleveland, to get a head start on the drive home, which turned out to be Brookville, PA, and that cost me about 40 also. Those and the six dollar tickets make it a pretty cheap trip. (Gas will be free because I make my own gasoline behind my shed.) (No, I don't.) But still cheaper than a trip to Florida. And I get to see games that count. And maybe I'll check out the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame. But maybe not, since it seems to be universally thought of as "stupid."

Then, at the end of that week in June, I go to Philly, wrapping up my week in places where people are a little bit weird and I can't figure out why.

Pennsylvania's just, I don't know, not normal. They play by their own uncool rules. In all the other eastern states, you've got roads like Route 7 , Route 1 along the coast, Route 9 up in Mass. In "PA" everything's, like, "Rte. 498," "Rte. 5921," "Rte. 958675." And you can go from the Atlantic Ocean to Amish country to the Midwest without ever leaving the state. And everyone sounds like Larry Lucchino. What's going on there?

Speaking of Red Sox road trips, there's a little thing up in the Red Sox Nation members only area saying, "Can't get tickets to Opening Day at Fenway? Go see the Sox in Toronto for the Jays' home opener." And there's a link to the Blue Jays website. Interesting development. How often do you see a team admit that their games are all sold out, and tell people to go see a game at another stadium!? I think it's cool that they encourage people to go support the Sox elsewhere. (Although we certainly don't need any encouragement in that department.) As for me going to Toronto, well, after going last year, and seeing what a dump that place is, and being hassled at the border because Bush ignored memos telling him to watch out for people flying planes into buildings leading to a terrorist attack, leading to tighter security, I don't think I'll be going there again soon. I like Canada, kind of, just not the Skydome part, and the coming back across the border part.

And check out
this anti-yankee fun.

I have no idea about your quiz, so I found out the 2-triple-play game was July 17, 1990:

RED SOX 4TH: Boggs walked; Jody Reed doubled to right [Boggs to
third]; Quintana walked; Brunansky grounded into a triple play
(third to third to second to first) [Jody Reed out at third,
Quintana out at second]; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Twins 0, Red Sox

RED SOX 8TH: Naehring doubled to left; Boggs walked; Jody Reed
grounded into a triple play (third to third to second to first)
[Naehring out at third, Boggs out at second]; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 0
LOB. Twins 0, Red Sox 1.

As for Pennsylvania: there's Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and everything is between is Pennsyltucky.
Seriously, you have trouble at the Candian border? I cross it at least twice a year (the quickest route from home in MA to school in MI goes through Canada) and it's never been a hassle. And that's with what must surely seem like a packed carful of potential bombs and illegal fruits and things.
Oh right, the around the horn triplet-killings. Since Haley's Comet was '86, I think, that had to be something else. But I remember having the radio outside, and I could barely hear it, and I told everyone, "I think Jim Rice hit into a triple play."

About the border: The first time I went Canada, pre-9/11, we got some static going TO Canada, because I was with Chan, and he's Asian, they took him in and talked to him for fifteen minutes, but that was it. Coming back, they were like, "What are you a Sox fan? Heh heh, everything's fine! C'mon in, bring the Asian guy!"

But last year, I went solo, had no trouble going up, but coming back, the guy was a prick. He just blurts out, "Citizenship!" I thought he meant "Do you have citizenship here in the U.S.?" (which my CT plates might have clued him in on) So I said "Yes." And he's all "Not 'yes'! What's your citizenship?" So I say "U.S." Then he has me pop the trunk, ans stupid me had just found a blond wig a few days before, and thought it might come in handy for Halloween or something, and tossed it in my trunk, which was full of junk, including a six foot cardboard cutout of Arnold Schwarzenegger from that movie where he's trying to get that Christmas Toy. So the guy asks me about the wig, thinking I was using it as a disguise. He eventually let me go, but not by saying "You can go," but by kind of giving this look that said, "You're weird, I guess you can go." So I said, "Can I go?" And he says nothing, just kind of motions with his shoulders. I wanted to peel out of there and flip him off out the window as I drove to freedom.

He gave me some shit about other stuff I don't remember.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States