Saturday, March 19, 2005

Old-Stat Geek Stuff

Last quiz answer: Part 1: Sox radio network was called Campbell's Sports Network. Part 2: Sox radio announcers always tell you the name of the park and city the game's being played in before throwing to commercial specifically for a pitching change. i.e. "We have a pitching change, this game coming to you from Skydome in Toronto." I'll never forget Bob Starr in his first season going to commercial for a pitching change, and just saying, "We'll be right back" or something, and Castiglione waiting a second and then jumping in with the park name and town.

No one attempted to answer this quiz.

This next thing could be a quiz, but I'll just say it in non-quiz trivia form.

The Red Sox and yanks have only finished last and second to last two times in history. In '66, the yanks were last, the Sox 2nd to last. The '25 Sox finished last, with the yanks second to last. Had the '66 Sox and '25 yanks each won just one more game, the two teams never would've finished last and second to last. And it looks like they never will again at this rate.

This made me wonder, why did the 1925 yankees finish in last place? The '23 yanks won the World Series, the '24 yanks finished two games out of first. Then the mystery '25 team finished 28.5 games out of first, before going back to the World Series the next year. How did this happen? They had mainly the same players the whole time. Am I missing something here?

My other quiz would have been "Name the nine teams who've played in the A.L. East since it's inception in 1969." But it's so easy to look something like that up. I'd have gotten this wrong. I'd have thought 8: The "classic" seven (us, yanks, O's, Jays, Indians, Tigers, and Brewers), plus the Devil Rays. But the Washington Senators were in there from '69-'71. I just never think of them as being a team that existed during divisional play.

I was finding all this info on Retrosheet, while trying to come to the bottom of the Radatz/Mantle strikeout stat. Which will be the focus of tomorrow's post. Along with other stuff. Keep in mind, though, whenever I give a preview of a future post, it never happens when I say it's going to. So look for me to not do that Radatz post tomorrow. But we can all hope.

Smarch Smadness

I got to listen to the beginning of the yankees game tonight. My first Sterling listen of the year. And my first time hearing Suzyn Waldman as full-time yankee announcer. I've said it before about that traitor--she's above average as a talk radio call-in show host, but when it comes to commentary, she just can't cut it. Train her as they may, she just doesn't have the announcing gene.

It was quite interesting to listen to the tone of their voices. I've listened to Sterling for many years, and maybe I'm imagining things, but he seems like he's still reeling from the worst collapse in baseball history. There's a certain deadness in the booth, at a time of year when usually the opposite tone is apparent. And with Waldman's horrible tongue-tripping, blatant misuse of words and phrases, and god-awful timing added to Sterling's uncharacteristic solemn demeanor, it's just not a good listen. Every line Sterling says sounds to me like, "The charade is over. I give up." And every one of Waldman's sounds kind of like my announcing of a freshman football game on Tiger TV (Public Access channel 22) when I was fifteen years old.

But things got beter for the listener when Randy Johnson gave up a single, double, and triple to the first three batters of the game. He gave up four runs over three innings. I can't wait til his failures count.

Great job by Bucknell, UW-Milwaukee, and especially Vermont in the NCAA tourney. The first two days of March Proverbial Madness are two of my favorite days of the year. Upsets rule. I picked Vermont on my illegal--I mean, All American office pool, mainly because I heard their coach interviewed on Mike & the Mad Dog this week. The guy was so funny, I had to root for his team. And I decided I'd pick them, regardless of who they were playing or what their seed was. And it paid off. I'm still waiting for the year when one of these 13 seeds actually wins the whole thing.

I overheard the dude who runs our pool at work say he had Pittsburgh going a long way. And since he's a Syracuse fan who's from Kansas, I'm guessing he's ripped up his sheet by now, as all three of those teams hve bowed out in the first round. Tough. He's also a Mets fan. But he seems relatively happy besides all that...

Also, I'm gold for both the RSN Roof Deck and Monster Seats Ticket Opportunities. So Tuesday and Thursday of next week will be my last two visits to the virtual waiting room until next year. I'll miss you, VWR. And by that I mean I won't miss you at all. In fact, you'll be erased from my memory until next season. Hopefully I get randomly selected in at least one of these drawings, as I've never sat in either area. I have been to the Monster seats on the Fenway tour, and I've had dreams where I was on that roof--long before there were seats there. But never for a real game/in real life.

Also, I have to give credit to the Cubs PR department. For their giveaway days, instead of the usual keychains and mini bats, they're giving away autographed baseballs and official jerseys to 500 or 1,000 winners on certain days. Actually, I guess it's not that good if you're one of the 40,000 people who doesn't win. Terrible job, Cubs PR department. Your tricks almost worked on me.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Fun With Misprints


Cincinnati 6 10 2
NY Yankees 3 90 10

Tough when you get almost a hundred base hits in a game and can't get more than three runs across. But hey, you make ten miscues in the field, you're not gonna win anyway.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


So the Citgo sign is fully repaired. Kinda sad about the doorman missing the buzzing sound, since they're using LEDs now. See it go, as Joe Carter once said. I'd also like to say that the gas at Citgo stations pumps about twice as fast as every other station. So for two reasons, it is the only gas company I like.

Dana LeVangie has not been invited back to the Red Sox coaching staff. I guess this is kind of old news, but since the team never officially (as far as I can tell) announced he wouldn't be coming back, only mentioning who would be coming back, I guess I just assumed he'd always be around. Also, the naming of Bill Hasselman as the new bullpen coach was a dead giveaway, but again, I wasn't putting two and proverbial two together. Dana is a local guy, and definitely deserved the ring he got. You may know him from the scenes of Millar predicting the Sox would come back to win the ALCS during BP of Game 4. Having usually sat near the Red Sox bullpens for the most part over the last few years, in every city I've seen them play, I got to know the pre-game routine of Dana. Pat and I became big fans. As big as you can be of a bullpen coach, I guess. Hopefully they invite him to the ring ceremony.

In 1993, I saw Nirvana play live. The Breeders also played that night. Even though I was a huge Nirvana fan, I was slightly more psyched to see The Breeders, because they were the newer band, and I figured Nirvana would be around for a long, long time, and I'd get to see them plenty, so my psyched-ed-ness for them would be spread out over the years. What I'm getting at is, when I saw former Red Sox great Dick Radatz at "Autograph Alley," I thought, He's in the area, I'll always have plenty of chances to get his autograph. Unfortunately, Radatz died yesterday due to a fall in his home. I'm glad he got to see the Sox win the World Series. A fond farewell to the man who struck out Mickey Mantle 44 times in the 66 times he faced him. Or 47 out of 63, or 12 out of 16, depending on where you look. Does anyone know the official statistic?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Red Hot

(The first ever) Two-Part Quiz: What was the name of the Red Sox' radio network in the eighties? (Like, instead of "...on the WEEI Red Sox Radio Network," what did Coleman and/or Castiglione USED to say?) AND What do Red Sox radio announcers tell us before going to a commercial break for a pitching change?

Today, I flipped on 630 AM, the Providence station, to see if I can still get it, and not only was it coming in (baaarely), but Castiglione was just wrapping up the game. Manny and Ortiz went back-to-back, and Mueller, Vasquez, and Hyzdu also were on dong-patrol in a win over the Cards. I put on 1080 Hartford just in case, but of course, they weren't carrying the game. Anything on weekday afternoons, especially in ST, is off-limits for the station that brags of their "over 50 years" of carrying the Sox. And god forbid an effing UConn game is on. They'd miss a Red Sox playoff game for a UConn press conference.

When I wrote the word "Cards," I thought of the old headline "Jack Of Cards Turns Dodgers Blue," from when Jack Clark beat the Dodgers in the '85 playoffs with a home run--which reminded me of one time when I was at yankee Stadium, there was this lady standing next to me before a game, desperately trying to get Jack Clark's attention. I think he was on the Sox at the time. This lady was holding a thick-ass book with the words "JACK CLARK" in rhinestones on the cover. To be that crazy over Jack Clark, wow. I don't even know which word to italicize in that sentence.

Apparently, after sliding around in dirt all month, Johnny Damon forgot to wash his crotch. Or forgot to properly dry off.

Finally, even though Bullshit Memorial already brought up how the movie Heat is out on DVD, here's what I was gonna say about it.

I love Heat, I think it's underrated. I saw it on 1/3/96. I remember that because my ticket stub stayed in the pocket of this ridiculous brown fake leather jacket--that my dad got in the sixties--I used to wear for years after I saw the film. And every time I'd try to pull something out of that pocket, there it was: "HEAT 1/3/96". Then when my friends and I watched it on video (it was a two-taper), one of my friends brought a girlfriend to the little gathering that took place at my (parents') place. Another one of my friends was farting horribly. He kept making excuses such as, "I was petting a dog earlier today, and the dog smell is still on my hands." Needless to say, none of us ever saw that girl again.

But about the actual movie, I've always had this theory as to why it's so underrated. DeNiro's character has this motto that he lives by: "Never get too attached to something you know you can't run away from when you see the heat comin' around the corner." Alright, that was actually just what I remember it to have been. Here's the actual quote, from some movie site: "Never have anything in your life that you can't walk out on in thirty seconds flat, if you spot the heat coming around the corner."

Do you see what I'm getting at? Not exactly the type of catch phrase you can put on a movie poster. Unless you use the back. It's no "I'll be back," or "Yo, Adrian." Hell, even "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water" is, like, only half as long. And the DeNiro character tells this to a younger dude (played by Jim Morrison/Batman), like he's supposed to remember it. You're only gonna confuse the kid with this long, drawn out logic. He's gonna feel the heat coming, and have to stop to take the note cards he's written the phrase on out of his pocket! Cuz' he ain't rememberin' that crap!

I always mock this phrase with my own special versions, such as, "Listen son, Never, ever, ever get too close to something that you, your immediate family, or affiliates of the entity that is you, can't walk or run away from in a pre-determined and agreed upon amount of time based on your relative position inversely proportional to the "heat"--which will come into play in a moment--when you see, hear, smell, or feel the aforementioned heat rounding a nearby street corner, headed in your general vicinity (without the express written consent of the office of the commissioner.)"

"And don't forget it!"

Remember, I can only make fun of it because I'm such a fan of the movie. Chan got the DVD, and I'll soon be borrowing it and watching with commentary. I could watch the grass grow if it had commentary.

Then I got to thinking, maybe there's just something about "heat" in general which makes crisp, concise phrases about it impossible to concoct. Example: Joanna Newsom has a lyric that goes: "Never draw too close to the heat that you forget that you must eat." I mean, clearly, she could've at least shortened that last part to "...that you forget TO eat." And it still would've fit into the song! Somethin' about that heat, I tell you.

But if you haven't seen the movie, I recommend it. I'm not even big on, like, guns and shooting and violence and whatnot, but the gunfight in the streets in that movie is just awesome. This scene was blamed by Jesus-types for the real life shootout some dudes had with cops on the street a few years later. But I say, even if those guys saw the movie and purposely did that because they saw it on a movie screen, well, that's still, like, only .00000001 % of the movie's viewers imitating the movie. If that was the percentage of Heat's viewers who didn't shoot up the streets of their town, well, yeah, go ahead and blame the movie. But these dudes would've done that anyway, probably because their parents were too busy smoking reefer and leaving the gun drawer unlocked, when they should've been teaching their kids not to kill other people, or at the very least, the alphabet. But that's just me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

"The New Phone Books Are Here!"

Got my 10th-Human Plan tickets today! I knew the tickets had the trophy on them, but with my strips of five, I get to see our new friend in an array of poses: One with regular lighting, one with a tint of purple light, one where Troph' is tipped toward us (as if to say, "You like what you see? Huh?") showing the inside of its base, bathed in purple light, one with the uniform and hat, and another with uni and hat positioned slightly different. Ly.

More important are those two games against the yanks.

I'm am just achin' for this now.

Clay F'n Achin'!

On Steve "Far From Sterling" Silva's site today, he said that Duke Castiglione (son of Sox announcer Joe, and New York TV sports guy) sent him an email saying he'd be sending the Oversized Dog a bottle opener that plays his dad's World Series-ending call. (Click here to watch his recreation of said call from the Sox' Trophy trip to the New Haven Green.)

Now why do I get the feeling that Duke read Senor Perro's scathing review (scathing in my mind, being a huge Castig fan) of Joe's call, and in a razzing fashion, sent him a keychain which played the call?

If that wasn't the case, and El Duque de Castiglione just happens to be a dirt dog reader, and sent DD the keychain as a gift, well, that makes me feel totally left out--If only the Castiglione family could be sitting around their fireplace, chatting about the Red Sox, sharing their love for one another, while spinning yarns of broadcast booths past and present--and saying how great A Red Sox Fan In Pinstripe Territory is to the Castigliones, wishing they could read about their own antics in each and every post, but humbly accepting that ARSFIPT has to spend some time writing about other things, like bashing Michael Kay.

But no, Dirt Dog gets ALL the readers because people want--well, whatever it is he provides that everybody seems to love so much.

But again, I'm guessing the first scenario is what really happened.

Thanks for reading, Castigliones all! If only in my mind. (E-mail me and I'll tell you where to send that bottle opener (the ultra-deluxe pro-Castiglione, anti-dirt dog model with kung-fu grip, please))

Sunday, March 13, 2005

(More On) The Movie

So about the movie... It is kind of sad how it turned out to be lots of guys who left the team: Pedro and Lowe, Pokey and Roberts, Cabrera. It was such a short song, a lot of guys I had footage of missed the cut, like Stankonia, Werner with the trophy, Arroyo, Youk, Embree, and Timlin. (And Wally.) But while at the parade, a lot of guys were on the other side of the boats. So we didn't even see Theo, Manny, Johnny, Trot, Foulke, or Millar. But it worked out, because I got to see those guys who left one last time, and as for the ones I missed, I can catch them all at next year's parade. And maybe I can make an alternate version of the movie with the guys who didn't appear in this one. But I'd have to keep the classic Pedro and Derek scene in that middle part.

The credit at the end says, "Pink Moon by Nick Drake, All footage (including moon) by Jere Smith" (who may or not be me depending on whether or not you are from the estate of the late Nick Drake. Keep in mind, I'm, I mean, Jere's, not making any money off of this, Mr. or Mrs. Drake.) Too bad I made that credit too small, but there's no changing it now. Unless, again, I make another version or a part 2.

The out-of-place blips of noise you may hear during the movie are the fault of either your computer or your own ears. They are not there because after I fixed the problem, I forgot to hit "save" one last time before uploading the movie to the internet, which took a long damn time.

Also, in case you didn't know, the eclipsed moon turned a pinkish color on the night of the Sox winning the World Series. I don't know if you can tell that from the movie.



Click here to see my Red Sox movie. Meaning look below this sentence:

The ubiquitous Chan and I went to NYC yesterday. A cool moment: Some standard-issue punk girls were headed toward us on the street. (Not the Avril Levigne-type teenage girls with "Punk Rules!" T-shirts and too much eye shadow, more like actual freaks, college-aged.) They had the studded belts and fishnets and and dirty clothes and whatnot. One wore a backwards hat. As we passed, I, of course, had to check to see if, on an outside chance, it was a Sox hat. (You know me and the Sox hat hunting, saw about eight yesterday.) But I thought to myself, Well, even if it is a Sox hat, it's probably just random, but it would still be cool. So I turn my head as she walks by to get a glimpse of the hat, and to my surprise: "Red Sox 2004 World Champions." I was so excited. Chan was not. Even if she was omly wearing it to piss off the millions of yankee fans around her, hey, isn't that what it's all about anyway? It's just cool that at the very least, she's aware of what's going on. Punks and baseball: together since, I don't know, the Ramones put that baseball bat in their logo.

We also each took credit for a celebrity sighting. Chan got Crispin "Get your damn hands off her" Glover. I scored Bill Walton. Quite a pair, huh? (They were not together, heh heh.) Glover was being filmed and interviewed by some dude as they walked along the east side of Washington Square Park. As we passed them, Glover was showing the camera his license. The guy said, "You got a real surfer dude persona goin' there." Glover gigglingly agreed. He's a real wacko, that Crispin. Chan refused my offer of 100 dollars to yell out "Hello McFly!" (Note: I would not have paid. Also, terrible job by me, since Glover probably gets that one all the time.)

As for Walton, Chan said "Hey Bill!" as he rushed by. He said "Hel-lo!" Chan was quite disappointed with his choice of greeting for Mr. Walton.

Ironically, after seeing Glover, we tried to figure out who would be the next celebrity we'd see. We decided it would be another Glover. Which pretty much limited us to Danny Glover. So when it turned out to be Walton, I said, Glover was in Back to the Future with Michael J. Fox, who played basketball in Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf, Too, and Walton is a basketball player. So it all made perfect sense.


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