Saturday, July 09, 2005


Chan vs. Me, Central Park Wiffle Ball League, Game 1.

Rules: Anything you swing at is an out or a hit. Foul, miss, don't reach little stick between home and mound, or pitcher fields cleanly on fly or ground before ball stops, it's an out. Grounder past pitcher, single. Liner past pitcher, double. Over pitcher's head, home run. Five run limit per inning except the ninth. Three outs per inning.

After setting the Chan squad down in the top of the first, I came out swinging, scoring four quick runs. After another single, I asked Chan if five was the absolute limit, or if all runs counted on a homer. He went with the latter. A costly decision. I proceeded to load the bases before walloping a grand salami, giving me an eight to nothing lead.

It was much of the same the rest of the afternoon. After a key five run eighth off a tired-armed Chan, the game was all but over. (This is the point where the "no limit ninth" rule was instated.)

In the ninth, I struck out the first two Chans. His final hitter hit a sky-high popup, which I had to go back on, Willie Mays-style. I made a very difficult one-handed catch to seal the victory.

An interesting moment came when an older Russian couple walked by, holding some type of racquets. The woman was so excited to see some form of baseball. Chan started saying to her, "Here comes the strikeout pitch!" And she was seemingly rooting for Chan for some reason. She was yelling out things I didn't understand. At one point, it sounded like she said "I'll kill you on your birthday!"

On our way home, we walked by a garbage can on the corner of 96th & Lex, the contents of which were on fire. No one did anything. I guess that's a bad sign. All we hear nowadays is to do something when you see a suspicious package. If no one reacts to an actual fire right on the street, I don't think anyone will do anything if they see a bag sitting on the ground.

Just watched A-Rod end the game with the tying run at third, after sweating out a Wickman ninth.

Digging Their Own Hole

In case you missed it, "EvilEmpire26" made this comment here recently:

"Look you Red Sox Idiot,you're biggest lead was 6.5 and it's now down to 3.5, your bullpen is in shambles, and your only decent pitcher is Clement. Schilling can't even get out AAA hitters. See you after the break."

I'll let you make fun of this one yourself. There's so many directions you can go with it. Get creative!

All right, I'll start it for you: When are they going to figure out the whole "'your' vs.' you're'" thing?

Chan & I just got back from the bizarro world that is the west side, where we saw Batman Begins. Good stuff. No product placement. And a line that sums up my attitude about people. Sometimes. "I'm not going to kill you...but I don't have to save you."

But since we saw the midnight showing, and it's 3:42, that's all the description you're getting. Go to BSM for an in depth review.

Johnny goes for 57 in mid to late August.

Friday, July 08, 2005

I Bent My Wookie, Part Two

How come there's no patch to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the '75 AL Champs? That gives me an idea. I think I'll make a patch commemorating the 30th anniversary of my birth.

Today, I replaced my bent key at the place with the bent sign. Actually, Chan may have been kidding about that, I didn't look too closely at the sign. Anyway, when Kim read my key story, she said she couldn't wait for part two. I worried that "part two" would consist of nothing more than "I got a new key." Fortunately, though, there is an actual part two.

As I got to my apartment, ready to open the doors with my new key for the first time, I noticed yet another mystery woman coming up behind me. I opened the first door smoothly, as she came in behind me. As I opened door number two, I attempted yet another introduction. This woman was very nice. I told her I just moved in, and she asked me when that was. I said "Have you met my roommate Markus? Tall, Asian fellow?" She said no, and commented that "No one sees anyone in this building," implying she thought this was abnormal, like I do.

So, terrible job, yesterday lady. Great job, today lady. My faith in humanity is mildly restored.

Hopefully tonight's baseball game will feature nine innings and nine Red Sox starters.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

An Anti-Key Night

Despite Jhonny Peralta hitting a hmoe rnu against the yanks, this night gets ZERO Jhonny Peralta's Dgo's.

First, the yanks won, getting key runs on A-Rod and Giambi homers, neither of which were hit far enough to reach the (same) guy in the front row of the short porch in right.

And while that was going on, ESPN lost the feed of the Sox game right at the most important moment of the game, and by the time I got onto the internet, I found out that Trot was getting picked off second to end the top of the fifth, making the game official. So I naturally blame ESPN for the loss. The six freakin' inning bullshit loss. Talk about Steinbrenner using secret weather altering devices, how obvious can he make it? At least we got to see a little of the NESN feed during the next inning, since ESPN's feed was done for the night. (Fairfield County--and everyone else--gets NESN! If only for an inning...)

I've also noticed that umpires are not even trying to get calls right any more. Time for robots, MLB.

Terrible night.

I got some food earlier, and when I got back to my building, a woman was at the door, holding bags, fumbling for her keys. I waited for her to get the door open, and after she did, she said "I'll let you get the next one." (You have to unlock two separate doors to get in.) So as I moved my key toward the door, of course worried that this woman I've never met was thinking that I'm some random person trying to sneak into the building to rob and murder her, I noticed that the key was BENT. It must have bent in the lock the last time I entered the building. So I kind of gave this puzzled look, now sure that she thinks I'm a phony, and said, "I would if this key wasn't bent..." I tried to press it against the wall to unbend it, with no success. She told me, as if I were twelve, "I think you need to go to the key guy." As she opened the second door for me, I introduced myself to my new neighbor. She unenthusiastically told me her name. As I walked up the stairs, I said "At least this key (meaning my apartment key) isn't bent." She didn't reply. Suddenly I was under a great deal of pressure to open my door before she could get away, to prove I really lived there. I fumbled with the lock for a few seconds, furiously praying to the key gods to make the damn thing work. I finally got it open as the woman was walking away down the hall. I tried to make as much noise as I could, so she'd know the door actually opened. I don't even think she cared at that point. Why am I so bad at meeting new neighbors? I'm just trying to be friendly, but they always seem to look at me like I'm from another planet. Maybe it's because I don't look like a fucking instant message window.

Anyway, I told Chan what happened, and when we were talking about me getting a new key, he gave me some advice. He said, "You might not want to go to the place on the next block. Because you know how their sign is in the shape of a key? Well, it's bent..."

Double Debut

A Red Sox player and a yankee player making their major league debuts, on the same night, at exactly the same time, in the same position. (Adam Stern for us, Melky Cabrera for them.)

First time ever?

Red Man

Adam Stern has been called up. This is extra-exciting for me, since he went to my school, the University of Nebraska.

Here he is as a Cornhusker:

He's from Canada, and per his interview on RSN.Net, he only followed hockey a little bit, and that baseball was always his game. Good for him. Here he is as a Canadian Olympian:

And here he is this past spring training:

He's the third Husker to play for the Sox, following two native Nebraskans, Kip Gross and Buddy Hunter.

[Edit, more than 7 years later, 3/8/13: Sorry those pics are gone. This was from back when I'd just link to a pic online instead of grabbing it first and then posting. Doesn't look like I was crediting the sources, either, myyy mistake. In fact, this wasn't too long after I discovered how to post pics at all. For more on Adam Stern, check out these posts. Thanks.]

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Live Via Something

Yo, Generation D, how come Chan and I can talk to our friend Gumby, who's in Texas, video-conference style, like we're on the bridge of the Starship Freakin' Enterprise, but I can't listen to the Red Sox game without the feed cutting out every two seconds?

Terrible job, leave-work-at-noon-hipster-internet-company-workers.

Anyway, in the pic above, you can see me in the little box on our TV, on the left, barely, and half of Chan's face, followed by Gumby on the big screen, in Texas, and then Chan, again, in the room with me. It's so weird, this video-conferencing. All I do is pick up things in the room and put them in front of the camera (which you can see atop the television). So Gumby basically sees us, then the bobble-head Mr. T doll, then us again, then a Wiffle bat which I've written "Chan" on, and it goes on and on like that. Chan says it looks like some kind of mating ritual, and that if we were really in the same room, I wouldn't be waving toys in Gumby's face.

But it's definitely cool that we can see his place which we've never been to, and Miami Vice versa.

Great job by Matty tonight. Almost made it all the way. Good job, Captain Cheese, getting that last out, as a member of what will hopefully be the short-lived "Committee '05."

One more thing. About a week and a half ago, I was listening to Michael Backwards Kay, and he was saying how A-Rod had MVP numbers. A guy called up saying how Ortiz and Manny's numbers were comparable. Kay laughed at this and gave it one of those "I don't have the numbers in front of me, but TRUST me, their numbers are nowhere near A-Rod's." Which he followed up with "Manny Ramirez didn't start playing well until June 12th." Now, obviously the caller didn't realize that Manny's average was below his usual, although he's got "The Rod" in HR and RBI. (But, in Kay's world, Jeter could have a bad month, and it's "Wow, what a great job he did DESPITE that bad month," whereas if Manny hits .300 this year, all he'll talk about his how he didn't hit the whole season.)

So my point is, it's a week and a half after Kay laughed this guy off the air. Look at the numbers now:


.318 BA
21 HR
68 RBI
.576 SLG


.313 BA
21 HR
73 RBI
.592 SLG

The fact that it was close enough so that Ortiz could catch A-Rod in that short time (and still before the All-Star break, so let's not start handing out awards) is enough for Kay to be fired, you know, if I was his boss. Not to mention his "No, you don't understand, A-Rod's putting up MVP numbers" attitude to this caller. Terrible job as usual, Kay.

America Has Spoken

Jeter is officially not an All-Star. The old Diff'rent Strokes theory worked in our favor here. Jeter and Matsui both were in that vote for the final spot, making yankee fans divide their votes, much like when Willis ran in the beauty contest against a bunch or females. Willis' idea was that the girls of the class would divide their vote among the ladies, while all the dudes would vote for him. The funny thing is that I've mentioned this on this blog before.

It really is interesting, though. Because a lot of players get in based on reputation. So there's no excuse for Jeter. People have simply realized that he's not that great a ballplayer. If I want stats, I'll take David Ortiz, if I want fundamentals, give me Lou Merloni. There's just no room for Derek Jeter in today's world. Poor, poor Derek.

Schilling News

Looks like Schilling will pitch out of the toaster. I mean the pen.

I just hope I get to see him on the 16th against the yanks.

How sweet is this gonna be, getting him back? We've already got our biggest lead of the season, at 3 1/2 games. I think we're gold.

Weird Things About Life

I have hundreds of T-shirts. Many don't fit, and plenty of others haven't been worn in years. But I can't let go of them. At one point I went through and videotaped a whole stack of them. The plan was to get rid of them once I got a shot of each one. And I still don't remember actually getting rid of those.

I'm finally trying to part with a lot of junk I don't really need, now that I live in New York City and space is limited. (Although I've filled my parents' attic to just about capacity.) The other day, I went through a huge box of shirts, and decided to part with a good chunk of them.

Yesterday, I walked to the thrift store (a block and a half away) to donate my shirts. There was a hand-written sign on the door that said that donation hours ended at 3 PM. I looked at my watch: 3:44. So I headed home, planning on coming back the next day before three.

Today was that next day. I walked over with my big garbage bag o' tees at around noon. I looked on the door again, just to make sure I was within the special donation window of time. There was a new sign. This one was made up nice with a computer and printed out in full color. It listed each day's donation times, which were all identical except for Saturday's. The *new* weekday donation ending time? 4 PM.

This really struck me as a weird, cosmic moment. Had I gone yesterday at the time I went today, I could've given them the bag then. And had I gone today at the time I went yesterday, I still could've given them the bag. And in either case, that would've been only one trip to the thrift store. Also in either case, I wouldn't have ever known about the sign and time changes. What are the odds that my two lifetime trips to this store occur on back-to-back days, which happen to be the last day of the 3:00 regime and the first day of the 4:00?

Anyway, I handed in my bag and left.

Step Two is watching for my old shirts to appear on the bums of my neighborhood.

It's posts like these that make me realize just how much is missing out by not putting me on their Feedster. Maybe if I put more pictures of black guys getting kicked by white racists I can get back on there.

Warming Up In The Toaster

While in the bleachers at Fenway on Saturday, we noticed that the Red Sox had a pitcher warming up in the bullpen. But we couldn't tell who it was, because he was throwing from the rubber closer to the crowd, which hid him from much of the fans in the bleachers.

So I had the idea that whenever only one pitcher is warming up out there, i.e. "single-barrelled action," he should be forced to use the outer-mound, so we can all see who he is. Much like in a toaster, when you're only toasting one piece of bread, you have to put it in the "One Slice" slot. Hey, I wonder what happens when you put one slice into the other, or "beta" slot. I'll try that later.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

80s Peter Gammons Says:

"Me and my mustache agree, Manny can't hit anymore!"

Terrible job, Pete.

I am so glad Keith Foulke wasn't around tonight. And look at Timlin, steppin' in and gettin' the job done. I've always respected Timlin's confident "I'm the man, and everybody knows it," veteran attitude. And that 1.73 ERA makes me forget about his homophobic, W-lovin, animal-killin'....well, no it doesn't. I'm just saying I like Mike Timlin the baseball player. Closing games is the type of thing that he can hadle with his ego tied behind his psyche.

I watched the second episode of Stella tonight. Those guys crack me up. The concept of the show is that these three dudes are suit-wearing adults who go through life in their apartment as children would. Only with extra-wacky results. So you can see why I'm a fan. And I haven't seen a good three-man comedy team since me, Pat, and our other friend Mike performed and filmed "The Gonzalez Brothers," (at age thirteen) which tracked the adventures of Sunny, Moony, and Starry Gonzalez through my family room. Until Mike had to go home.

Funny, I just saw most of that movie "Thirteen" on HBO, and those girls seem to have a slightly different lifestyle than we did. Where are the sweatpants? The Gonzalez Brothers did NOT wear thongs, my friend. Nor did we cut our arms with scissors, get our tongues pierced, or double team the older boys. Terrible job, today's youth. Get your heads in the game.

In commenting news, in case you didn't know, Blogger sends me every comment you readers make in my email. I noticed that over this weekend, I didn't get any. I chalked it up to the holiday. Today, I was commenting on my own blog, and noticed lots of comments on the blog itself, made this weekend and right through to earlier today. For some reason, either Blogger stopped sending them to me, or my AOL thinks they're spam now. (And there I was wondering why Edmund didn't care about the Drinkwater thing!) So, just so you know, I just now read all your comments from the last few days and responded to a few. I really should respond to more, though, anyway. I'll get on that. Are any of you other Blogger bloggers having this problem?

GRAND (Slam) MA(nny) MOSES!

Don't you love Manny's new patented style of home run hitting?

He swings, and the ball goes up in the air, seemingly headed for the right fielder's glove. Manny watches the ball, before walking toward first, creating the illusion that it's a fly out. Then said fielder keeps going farther and farther back. The ball just clears the wall as Manny celebrates, and everyone in the park's jaw drops. Also, it's always a grand slam. It's kind of like a legitimate version of Jeter's trick, because instead of dropping it in in front of the right fielder, Manny drops it over the wall behind the right fielder.

I love that Manny is closing in on a yankee-held record. Lou Gehrig leads all major leaguers with 23 grand slams, and Manny now has 20. Side note: I live across the street from Gehrig's birthplace. There's a plaque on th building. Wouldn't it be funny if I put a little line next to his plaque, with a "23" next to that, and then drew three more lines below it, numbering each one, and putting a big picture of Manny next to the twenty? And then I could move Manny up the ladder as he gets closer to the record. And I'd write "Grand Slam Chart" above it all.

I love seeing yankee-held records fall. Since Johnny's got a 21 game hitting streak, it's a good time to bring this up. All my life, I've hoped for someone to outdo that 56 game hitting streak. My fantasy was always that somebody like Milt Cuyler breaks it, going 1 for 4 every game, 57 times in a row.

Some people out there might read this and give me some crap like, "A true baseball fan would want the record to stay intact." Well, a true Red Sox fan would want any person in the world to break that (bullshit-) record as soon as is humanly possible, provided they're NOT wearing a yankee uniform. Ted Williams had a better batting average over those same 56 games anyway.

If Johnny broke it, though, it woud be even sweeter than if a Brook Fordyce-type did.

Robots Don't Die

I can't call my credit card company without them trying to get me to buy something I don't want. All I wanted was to know the amount I owe on my last bill, since I lost it. But still, before the woman could tell me the amount, she was forced to ask me if I wanted to pay even more money for something I didn't even ask about:

"Do you have roadside assistance?"


"We can offer it to you for a special trial-period, so you'd be covered in case you ever break down and get stranded on the road...."

That's when I decided to try and end it, hoping that if I tell her that I don't have a car, which will be true very soon, she'd skip the rest of the inevitable "Are you sure"-type questions:

"That's okay, I just sold my car anyway."

"It's free for the first thirty days, are you sure you don't want to sign up?"

At that point, I should have said, "Yes. Yes, I will take it. Maybe after the thirty days, I'll love it so much, just knowing that it's there, you know, since, like I said, I don't even have a car, that I'll sign up for a full year. And every month when I pay my bill, I'll kneel down and thank Jesus Christ, my personal fucking lord and savior that this was offered to me, so that if I ever do buy a car again, I'll already have it, and in the meantime, maybe it'll come in handy if I'm ever walking alongside the interstate, and I lose my shoes or run out of food."

I think I'm giving up on humanity. Or robotity, or whatever species I belong to.

Foul-Strikeout-Error Stinks

Thanks for ruining my evening, Keith Foulke.

My mom has always wanted to watch the Macy's New York fireworks show. But nobody ever wanted to go with her. Since I live in New York now, I asked her to come down for it. So she and my dad trained it in, and we headed over to the East River. (My dad was convinced that the yanks had lost, but didn't hear the end of the game. We asked a guy with an O's hat, and he told us the bad news. But at least that kept the O's at least 2 1/2 back.)

We got to the FDR Drive, which runs along the East River. They close off about forty blocks of it for people to stand and watch. Fortunately, we chose a spot where the people in front of us stayed sitting, so we got to sit the whole time. And one of the barges was right in front of us, so we had a perfect view. I normally don't get too excited about actual fireworks--I like being outside at night in the summertime with a bunch of people, but as far as the actual display, well, it's always the same thing. But this show is different. I really felt like I was in the sky among these bombs. I guess it's good to be really close. We actually had ash raining down on us. And loud as an emmer-effer, I tell you.

Oh, and earlier, Chan and I went down to Battery Park, where Steven Malkmus and Yo La Tengo played. I only got to see a few minutes of Malkmus, and Yo La Tengo was about to start, but I really had to get out of there to go meet my parents at Grand Central.

But while we were down there, we looked out at the Statue of Liberty. The whole scene looked so much different than when I'd go there on field trips as a kid. Back then, the corroded woman looked like she was way out in the middle of a huge ocean. Now she just looks like a building on the other side of a lake.

We also checked out Ground Zero, where I hadn't been since early November of 2001. Back then, the smell was the worst I'd ever experienced. Now it's breathable. Although Chan said he read it will take another year for the air quality to get back to normal. They've built a lot of stairwells and platforms in the hole, for future train stations, but that's it. They've also built a new Building 7. It's now a tall, thin, mirrored-window-type building.

When we got back up to my apartment, Chan, who went separately to the fireworks, was already home, and said excitedly, "You're just in time!" I thought, great, the Red Sox are about to win. (The game was on ESPN.) I saw Foulke on the mound, crapping his pants, and the score was tied. Chan filled us in on what had just happened, and from there we watched Foulke give up nothing but a walk, a HBP, and the winning hit. Terrible job, country boy. And after such a frustrating loss yesterday, too.

Side note: Good job by our four All-Star starters. They all deserve it.

Foul. K. E.

Name another player whose name is made up entirely of baseball terms and abbreviations.

How about Emil Batch (BA, TC, H) (batting average, total chances, hit).

For a bigger challenge, name one who pitches worse than Mr. I Don't Like Danzig.

That reminds me, while waiting the two hours for the fireworks tonight, my dad and I played this game: I name a Red Sox player whose last name starts with "A," he names one for "B," etc. We went through the alphabet three times, with my Daryl Irvine answer wowing the crowd that lives inside my head. Of course, Irvine was "I" every time, as no other Sox player ever had a last name that started with "I."

While watching Conan, I just saw an ad for Kevin Millar on Carson Daly tonight. No offense, Kevin, but I'm going to bed.

But not before I tell you that I saw like a hundred Red Sox hats in Manhattan today, and not a bandwagoner among them. And, also, somebody hopped the water plug on our street tonight. I wanted to go run through the "sprinkler," but some guy turned it off before I could. However, it was interesting to watch as every driver who went by slowed down as they went through this jet of water, to get a nice little wash. Even a cop did this. Not "Let me see what's going on with this hydrant," but "Let me get a free car wash!"

Speaking of lines from DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince's "Summertime" ("hoppin' the water plug, just for old time's sake"), the other day I said that I'd heard that in Philly, "a place called the Plateau is where everybody go." Thanks to the commenter from Philly for your info, and hopefully now you know what I was talking about. Sorry for the confusion.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Mystery Solved

Well, the "Sippy-cup" nickname for the former Drinkwater may not last, as Remy and Orsillo solved the mystery today.

They started talking about how it's some dude's birthday. A dude whose face is pretty well-known from him sitting behind the plate. I knew then that the mystery was about to be solved. "Happy birthday to Jeremy Kapstein, Senior Advisor/Baseball Projects," they said, as the face of the man I used to call Drinkwater was shown on the screen.

Jeremy Kapstein.

Thanks for playing, everyone.

Fenway Park, July 2nd, 2005

Our seats were upper bleacher, just in front of the center field scoreboard. We could see replays if we craned our necks, but as Pat pointed out, from the extreme angle, the pixelation made the players look like Atari baseball players.

Here's a shot that really captures our four personas perfectly. The back of my newly mostly-shaven head, and the weird hole that's forming at the top of my hat. The sun shining down on Kim's head. Pat keeping score of the game. Rebecca taking our picture. It's all there:

Theo and Schill were standing there talking for a long time. In this position:

Here, Kim and Reb (and me) wait not-so-patiently for Theo to turn around. The one time he did, Rebecca got a call on her cell phone, which turned out to be a wrong number. And she makes fun of me for not having one...

I finally got this shot of them as they walked into the dugout.

Here's Tek and Billy. This also shows you what a beautiful evening it was. And you can see Damon's kid on the far left:

The usual Johnny autograph-signing shot. Some total ass next to me threw a Skoal tin on top of the dugout for Johnny to sign. Johnny said, "I ain't signin' that." Good job, Johnny.

C-Tek just always has to be in that catching position:

Abe was called up before the game. Abe! I've seen this guy just about every time he's been at Fenway: His start last year, a game where they handed out minor league awards, the ring ceremony, and last night.

Here's the moment after Wells threw the ball toward the ump, after being ejected. (Out in the bleachers, we had no idea why he was tossed.) You can see the ball boy retrieving the ball in the outfield:

Here's Manny in his home run trot, with David scoring ahead of him. Lots of hugging and celebrating during and after this key home run. Ortiz was even hugging the fans. I love these guys. What a team.

Teaser: Tito Tossed

Tonight I was at Fenway, with, in alphabetical order by middle name, Pat, Kim*, and Reb.*

It's late, so here's a teaser pic, with corresponding lead-up story:

I find the best way to get pics at an event is to bring my video camera. That way I can find the exact moment I want, and pause it there. Then I post the perfect, unblurred still frame. But sometimes, like tonight, I just bring a digital camera. My mom's digital camera. Borrowing your mom's digital camera--that's kind of like playing your grandpa's Playstation 2. But, hey, she's got one, and she lets me borrow it, so...anyway, this camera, like every other one, it seems, is pretty lame in that when you snap a picture, it waits almost a full second before it actually captures an image. So you look at the screen, see the bear eating the boy scout, snap a picture, and all you end up with is a shot of the bear wiping its mouth.

During the game, Kim clued me in on a secret called "Hold the button down halfway, and at the moment you want to take a picture, press it down all the way." Within moments of her telling me this precious info, Tito started arguing with an umpire. Since Wells had been ejected earlier, I had a feeling Tito was gonna go, too. I thought, What a great opportunity to get a shot of a manager being ejected. So I quickly got my camera into "Kim mode": button halfway down. The ump started to wind up for the heave-ho, and I pressed down hard. Here's what I got:

A little blurry. But all things considered, I like the shot. You can see the ump's hook in the air, and his legs in toss-out position. The blurriness just, uh, adds to the chaos of the moment.

More on the game, and more pics tomorrow.

*Don't know their middle name, defaulted to first name.

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