Saturday, February 26, 2005

Baseball: Making Driving Fun

Much like Lascivious Penis, I mean Randy Johnson, I like driving my car. (In his fifteen-minute-long-yawn of an interview yesterday, that was one of the things he said he enjoys: "I love to drive my car...but I'm no Emerson Fittipaldi..." he said in a boring, droning, monotone voice.) So yeah, I like driving, too. Unlike Randy, it's not on my hobby list, but it's my favorite way to travel, and my favorite place to listen to music or the radio. I'm not a "car guy," though. I don't know why it goes, I just know it does go. And I can put my stuff in there. Lately, driving has been better than ever, because: I'm a Red Sox fan, with Red Sox memoribilia visible on my car, and most other drivers around here are yankee fans. So, for example, the other day, driving down to Chan's place in southern Westchester Conty, NY, I'd pass yankee fans, and just laugh my head off at them. Then I'd get in front of them, and give the three fingers up, followed by the hand-in-shape-of-zero. i.e. "You had a three-zero lead. Three-zero!" I watched one guy explain what I was doing to his wife (mistress, probably) while pointing at the tiny Red Sox helmet behind my back windshield.

It's great to see one of those yankee decals on cars now, because it's like they've got a tattoo of their ex-girlfriend's name: They don't want it there now, but it's there, pointing them out. "LOSER IN CAR! LOSER IN CAR!"

This one girl-woman was in front of me on the beautiful Route 34 here in CT, with a yankee decal on one side of her truck's back windshield, and some car-racing number on the other side (let me guess, the dude who always wins?). The thing about 34 is, you can speed all you want, but the lights and slow people in the left lane (when it is two lanes) aren't gonna let you pull ahead too far. So I started by doing the over-the-top-visual-laughter thing at her. Then she'd speed off, pissed, but by the next light, there I was right behind her again, laughing my ass off. (I had my Sox hat on, so she knew what was up.)

I just can't wait until I see Randy Johnson on the highway.

As you can guess, even if the yankees win every World Series from '05 until the end of time, I'll be cherishing and taking full advantage of this time now. But don't worry, the yankees aren't ever going to win again. On thee on placeth thiseth curse, or something....

Friday, February 25, 2005


I thought Dirt Dog's pic of the Mariano "For Losers" billboard was great.

But then, Dirt Dog turned to Dirt Bag as usual. First he posted the thoughts of his "corespondent" in Arizona, which said that Nomar is an "ungrateful bastard" for not accepting a ring from a team he wasn't even on when they won the World Series, and for doing charity events for the team he's currently on. Yeah, what a bastard. Charity for someone else, pssh. Who knows if any of this stuff is true, by the way. But if it is, well, he has the right to not accept the ring, and if he had taken it, surely Dirt Dog would say how selfish Nomar is, and how HE deserves the ring more than Nomar does. Oh wait, HE DID. Then, a little while after suggesting this, he added a line that starts with the word "Seriously," and suggests auctioning off the ring to benefit the various Red Sox charities. In other words, he was totally kidding about wanting the ring himself...yeah, right.

Actually, now I'm noticing he's added a fourth charity: The Lance Armstrong Foundation. I guess he's trying to appeal to every conformist American who has a yellow wristband (but also a gas-guzzling SUV, and who knows what other toys and wine-of-the-month-club memberships, the money from which could've gone toward really curing something), to cover up his original idea of keeping the ring for himself.

He also says he was the only person on the internet who supported the Nomar trade. Maybe the only one on his own site.

Then he just gets ridiculous (he'll eat up all your crackers and your licorice): "But Sox Still Keep Nomar on 2005 Calendar" is the headline, followed by a pic of the JULY '04 edition of the JF Turner 2005 Red Sox calendar. Go to Amazon, and see the current edition of the calendar, which I've had since January, and which has Ortiz on the cover where Nomar was in the old edition. It does have Lowe and Kapler, but these guys at least lasted the season. I guess Amazon's still trying to get rid of the first run of these calendars. Even if you do get it, it's only one more month with an "old" player, and the dates, people, are still correct. Print out a picture of Edgar Renteria and slap it over Nomar if you have this version of the calendar. Or, just get the current version. Everything will be fine.

And why act like it was the Red Sox' decision who to put on the calendar? It's not released by the team.

I heard an interview with Randy Johnson today. What a boring, stick-up-his-ass piece of shit. The perfect guy to be on the yanks, as he's just totally hateable anyway. His answer to "What's something yankee fans might find out from seeing you for an entire season?" was "That injury can happen at any time." Fine, then. Get innjured. What a bore. He noted that if you see him on a day when he's not pitching, you'll see a different side of him, different than the no-nonsense (read: no personality) Randy. Well you're not pitching today! So lighten up, asshead! The big city is gonna eat this guy proverbially alive.

As for Joanna Newsom on Kimmel last night: Wow, talk about nervous. I was nervous for her, and I think my nervousness transported across time and space to her, and that's what cost her. (And I make fun of Dirt Dog for saying stupid things...) But yeah, she could barely get the words out, she was so scared, it seemed. (Try playing a harp, let alone playing one AND singing to millions.) I guess the thought of literally millions of people watching you can have that effect. I can see how that performance would make people shy away, but you just have to be in the Newsom zone, and hear the album, or see her in a small place (where she's much more comfortable, as I have witnessed). And once you're in, you're, uh, in. Beautiful album. Just keep playing it till you start crying, then you know you're in. (Those camera people got a once in a lifetime opportunity to get shots through harp strings.)

It was bizarre to see her in that setting. You've got Jeff Gordon and Pat O'Brien as the other guests, and then she plays a really slow song to ADD America, then the house band immediately goes into a funk song, then a really loud David Spade commercial comes on... Not the right setting for the lady. And then they teased me with another song, which got cut off during the first verse, as the show ended (and of course, cut to one of those show-closing, wacky, animated production company logos (Fart Dog Productions! Arf!, something like that) to kill the mood again.

Dirt Of The Day

"Nobody's honking, nobody gives a shit." Click here to see this dude ride his bike throught the Holland Tunnel. I found out about these Neistat Brothers because I thought I saw someone I knew on the news, sitting next to a guy named Casey Neistat. The guy I thought I knew actually turned out to be the guy who rode through the tunnel. The reason this Neistat guy was on the news was because they were interviewing him about how Apple rips everybody off by sending them back a different iPod then the one they sent in to have repaired--causing them to lose all of their music. I just got an iBook, and I am noticing some of the good old problems I had when I had an Apple years ago. I mean, it's definitely cool, but overall, anybody selling you a computer, or just about anything else for that matter, is ultimately just trying to do whatever it takes to get money--and then more money--out of you.


The news was full of Sox and ex-Sox tonight. Lots of Schilling throwing and complaining about how he didn't feel that good. And almost every station showed Pedro riding a tractor-type vehicle around the infield in Port St. Lucie. Also, a commercial was being filmed there, so Derek Lowe was there in his Dodgers uni. A reporter asked Derek about how Pedro will do this season--while Pedro was driving that thing around. Derek was like "I guarantee he's never mowed a lawn in his life. He's gonna run over a teammate." They showed him nearly taking out Carlos Beltran. Also Len Berman of Channel 4 asked Doug Maeiouandsometimesy about "the ball," and Doug said next year he'll flip the Mets' World Series winning ball right to Omar "My arms are made of waves" Minaya.

I also found out that the 11 dollar Hall of Fame game tix I got are selling for up to $150 on eBay. I guess I was right in thinking they just might be in some serious demand. The park is definitely tiny. And I'm still trying to figure out where my seats are, considering they supposedly have walking traffic in front of them. Naturally, I'm hoping this means "front row," and I don't see any other walkways in the stands. All I know is I'm on the third base side.

Now, (one of) the moment(s) I've been waiting for for a month: I'm off to watch Joanna Newsom on TV.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Golden Ring/Twisted String

Rings will be given out on Opening Day.

I never gave the answer to that quiz...The home plate logo had "AMAT" and a baseball inside it: "He (, she, or it) loves baseball." "What's that? Oh, it's Latin, isn't it?"--Max Fisher

I've been thinking about how these baseball hero types of ours really gain a mythological appeal, especially in the off-season. It's like these magical giants who have brought us so much joy have been hibernating in far away places that we'll never see. And now we see Ortiz and Manny and Damon smiling, laughing, and walking around again. Granted, we've seen plenty of highlights while they been away, but those are the moments that have already been etched in stone. You rarely if at all see, say, Manny Ramirez physically do anything in the off-season. But now they're back, and the possibilities are endless. I can't wait to see what happens.

I get a similar feel from musicians, too. For example, I've been listening to my favorite elfin harp player (as in an elf-like person who plays a harp, not a person who plays a tiny harp--that would be a harmonica player) a lot lately. Her name is Joanna Newsom. When you listen to a song or an album repeatedly for days or weeks or months, the music becomes a part of you, in a weird way. But even though you may feel an attachment to the artist herself as well as her music, she has long since moved on from where she was when she recorded that music. And when you haven't seen any footage or pictures of the artist since you started listening to their music, they really do become a type of mythical creature. You're living with their creation, living vicariously through it, and commanding them to tell you a story in song form whenever you feel like it. You listen to their work to get to know who you think they are. But they are far from you.

So with a newer artist like Joanna Newsom, I've seen the few pictures of her that are available online, and on the album cover. (I saw her play live, but it was before I'd heard any of her music. My first impression after seeing her: What the hell unknown country is she from? Answer: San Francisco.) But that's it. All I can do is let my impresion of her continue to grow and evolve inside my brain.

Until this Thursday, when she will be playing live on, of all crappy shows, the Jimmy Kimmel Live show. I am psyched. It's like spring training. Like, here comes this person I know so well, but don't really know at all. And I haven't seen her physically doing anything in a long time, so it will be a thrill. The visuals from my mind when I hear the music mixing with an actual moving picture of the artist on a screen at this moment. (Alright, taped from a few hours before--but, like Cheers, in front of a live studio audience.)

And reading that back to myself, yes, it sounds like I am stalking this woman. I am not. I've read that Dave Eggers wrote an article (can't find a link) about Joanna, not knowing what she looked like, and wished that for once, a woman who makes beautiful music could be physically ugly. That would be cool. I remember when Lilith Fair was happening, saying to myself, This should be called Sarah McLachlan's No Fat Chicks Fest. To have a festival that's supposed to showcase the talents of females only include women who fit the American male-imposed stereotype of what an attractive woman should look like defeats the purpose. My point is, I'd be enthralled by this Joanna Newsom even if she was a man. And there would still be beauty there because of the music. And then I thought, Wait, my friend Wingate makes good music, but I'm still not attracted to him. That's when the phrase "My penis makes you beautiful" jumped into my head. Someone needs to write a book with that title. Again, Thurday night, ABC, roughly 12:30 (I think), Jimmy Kimmel Live, Joanna Newsom. Space alien from San Fran. Beautiful harp music. Voice like your inner child. Key: Hear the word harp, don't think classical music. I wouldn't do that to you.

Speaking of people who could be called J-New, I've been trying to figure out who started that trend--the [first letter of first name followed by first syllable or three letters of last name] style nickname. (A-Rod, J-Lo, D-Lew.) And saying J-New in my head made me realize that there really was a J-New: The basketball player Johnny Newman. That had to be the early nineties. And the Nebraska football team had Johnny Mitchell, who called himself J-Mitch. My family went to Florida on vacation for New Year's '91-'92, and the team was staying at our hotel in Miami. I'll never forget seeing the hulking Mitchell walk right past me witha black "J-MITCH" hat on. So help me out, here. Who was the first person to use that nickname device? (This is not an official quiz.)

Random thought of the day: It hit me today that the first baby born on the Moon will inevitably be named Adam or Eve. I'd like to go on record as being the first earthling to be "Anti-first-Moon-baby-being-called-Adam-or-Eve." To the Moon with futuristic unoriginality.

Got my Phillies ticket this morning. Yes, ticket. I think I got the last one available for the whole series. Got up at 6 A(F'n)M, hit the button to buy tickets repeatedly until 6:24, when I got through. Checked Saturday, no tix left, not even singles. Sunday, same deal. Friday, one ticket, last section of upper deck. Tried to get another single, none left. Looks like I'm goin' to Philly on my own. I'm thinking about hitting up Cleveland earlier that week (Tribe tix on sale March 5), and I'm going to Fenway for one game in each of the series' before those two road series', so it will be quite a two week stretch for me. Summer is here, Lord Channington.

Did I just say "hitting up Cleveland?" (Also not an official quiz.)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Tues, 2/22 (Twos)

This, I must say, is awesome. Look what I wrote on this blog about A-Rod before last season, on March 28th, 2004:

"My (#2) goal for this season is to see that guy get what he deserves. Physically, psychologically, whatever, I'll take it any way I can get it. I just want to see frustration on his face all the time, and I know I'll be seeing that face ALL the time. He'll get his...." "...I wanna witness up close the moment when he realizes: 'Not everyone in the whole world loves me. But I'm A-Rod. A-Rod, dammit!' He's gonna cry all the way home and retire after the season. Ha!"

So I obtained my #1 goal (seeing the Sox win the World Series, but you knew that), and except for A-Rod actually retiring, I obtained my #2 goal as well. (But there's still time for him to retire before the season starts. But I don't want him to get off that easy.)

This whole A-Rod thing is just so great. What a time to be a Sox fan. Yesterday, our beloved Johnny chimed in with, "I enjoy taking my kids to school and trying to shake them at 7:45 in the morning, saying, `Get up, you've got school.'" That guy cracks me up.

And as you know, no yankees are defending A-Rod, either, which, to me, is as good as saying, "He deserves that kind of treatment, what can I say?" It's like when your girlfriend stops saying I love you when you're leaving the house: She might as well be saying "Bye! I definitely don't love you any more! Have a great day!" And everything SlapCon82 does just puts him deeper into his own personal hell. I seriously think A-Rod might get a mystery illness right before the yanks head up to Fenway in April. He could refer to the "yankee mystery illness" handbook to come up with one.

And on Bullshit Memorial, check out the article about Bronson's memories of A-Rod in high school. Incredible. I love how this guy is totally being exposed as the universe's all-time biggest A-hole. (You have to scroll down to find that article, but enjoy BS's spring training pictures and hi-larious captions while you scroll.)

Now, yankee fans (at least the ones who call radio stations) are getting pretty pissed about the Sox taking (totally rational and well-deserved) shots at A-Rod. They're coming out with a lot of pathetic "They're sore winners" talk. Again, they start to talk, and should realize, "Whoops, I'm talking. Sorry," and shut their fucking mouths, what with the Boston Red Sox having come back to beat them in the ALCS after trailing late in Game Four, AND being down three games to none, and then going on to win the World Series. But some people just can't control what's oozing out of their pie holes.

This one guy actually gave this stance (I'm paraphrasing, but we all know my memory rules. Except in a school setting on test day.):

"They won, so they can talk, but, you know, look at these teams, they need to back up their words. They won once, but let's see them win it again. That's all I'm sayin', let's see them win it again."

Screeeeeeeeeeeeeechh. (That would be the sound of loud brakes, as the baseball world comes to a stop, and the baseball gods explain to this guy exactly why his brain has magically changed places with his colon. So I give the floor to you, baseball gods.)

BGs: Sir, please stand. Okay, what was your favorite chant, up until last October 27th? That's right, it was "1918." And you know why you were saying that, right? Right, because the Red Sox hadn't won since then. But now they have won again. They are the reigning champions. You following? No? Well, you see, your brilliant little chant was not, I repeat, WAS NOT the following: "You haven't won since--clap, clap, clap clap clap--1918--clap, clap, clap clap clap--so in order to shut us up--clap, clap, clap clap clap--you have to win again--clap, clap, clap clap clap--but wait there's more--clap, clap, clap clap clap--after you win once--clap, clap, clap clap clap--you have to win again--clap, clap, clap clap clap--the following year--clap, clap, clap clap clap--in order for us to stop--clap, clap, clap clap clap--making fun of your drought--clap, clap, clap clap--even though it would--clap, clap, clap clap clap--actually be over at that point--clap, clap, clap clap clap--terrible job by us--clap, clap, clap clap clap." Get it now? Good. Now back to shoveling shit! Ah ah ah, no hands, please.

Thank you baseball gods. They really know how to make a point, huh?

Tomorrow morning, 6 AM, Phillies tickets on sale. Sox-Phils in Philly, June '05.

And check out more Spring Training pics at this dude's site.

Just saw some spring training footage on the Connecticut news. (Of the two CT stations that talked about baseball on their news tonight, one did just Sox, the other did Sox THEN yanks. Moivng in the right direction...) So good to see actual moving pictures of our guys in the sun. Found out Manny had been in Brazil for the last month. Did everyone know that? I must of missed something. Also heard Pedro say to a reporter, about Piazza, that Mike's his teammate now and "I'd blow your head off for him." Whoa, ginga. Channel 4's Bruce Beck then said that he asked Pedro about the line and Pedro said he was just kidding. So just know that before Dirt Dog comes out with: "Diva Shoots And Kills Reporter With Gun, Unprovoked."

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

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.

Monday, February 21, 2005


Saw "The Gates" with Chan in Central Park today. Counted 13 Red Sox hats in NYC, Chan can vouch. Snowstorm started as we left city. Whiteout conditions. Went 20 MPH on 684. Terrible job by forecasters who said snow wouldn't start til 1 AM. Glad I didn't die on way home. More details later. Now 2:40 AM, Happy Birthday Kurt. Two 20 05.

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