Wednesday, July 11, 2007

All-Star Game '07

How am I supposed to tell what color the players are??

When I was little, we used to watch the introduction of the starting lineups at the All-Star Game, carefully noting how the white guys, after doffing their caps, put them back on front to back, while the black guys put them on back to front. This year, nobody doffed! That is, except for one Dodger, who, in the face of Giant-fan boos, held his hat high in the air. Other than him, it was a hand wave or a brim-touch. Between this and the non-stirrup style, I don't know how much longer I can watch this sport for....

A guy on the local pre-game show said "There's nothing New Yorkers hate more than happy baseball fans in Boston." Why can't they just say "Yankee fans"? There are plenty of New Yorkers who love to see happy baseball fans in Boston: 1. The Red Sox fans who live there. 2. The Mets fans who live there. 3. The non-baseball fans there. Those three groups cover about 80 percent of the city. Remember, Bostonians, some of the biggest Yankee-haters are the folks who are surrounded by the interlocking arachnid.

Is it just me or did Chris Isaak switch the words "fight" and "night" in the national anthem? And with Paula Cole doing "God Bless America," I'm wondering if some promises weren't made in the nineties:

Giants' president: "Okay, is Fallout Boy or whoever ready?"

Chris Isaak: "Uh, hold on a second. You told me 10 years ago that if you ever got an All-Star game in this town, I'd sing the anthem! I've got a contract!"

Prez: "Shit. Boys, he's got a contract. There's nothing we can do."

Prez's assistant: "Well, what about 'God Bless America'?"

Paula Cole: "Oh, boys...."

All: "Shit."

Papi did his usual jog down to first in the first inning, yet, on a play in which the second baseman literally could've beaten Papi to the bag, the first baseman dropped the throw. Thought that was kinda funny.

Ol' Jimmy Timmy McCarver had never heard the term "busking" until tonight. I admit, I was in a bad and I never hear of it until around 2000, I think. But J.T.'s much older than me--he gets a T.J. for that one. (Then again, I didn't know McCarver's first name was really James until tonight.)

It was cool to see the first All-Star inside-the-park homer tonight. Reminds me of when I saw the first All-Star grand slam, by Fred Lynn, in 1983. If you've been reading this blog for less than a year, here's the story of one of my favorite baseball memories: I was seven years old, and my family was staying, as usual, at the Heritage Motor Inn in Old Saybrook, CT. Our room either didn't have a TV, or didn't get the station that the All-Star Game was airing on. So my dad took us to the main house, where the owner, Si, and his wife lived. Dad asked if we could watch the game with him. Si (whose name may have been spelled C-Y, but, as a kid I always pictured it as S-I) said yes, and we got to see our beloved Fred Lynn hit the first ever ASG grand slam, in an AL rout, the league's first win of my lifetime. (Wasn't Fred Lynn on the Angels at that point, Jere? Yes, but Fred Lynn will always be a Red Sox.)

As I write this sentence, the AL closes the door, despite K-Rod nearly choking. If we get to the World Series, Game 1 will be at Fenway.

As the second half begins, I'm dreaming of October playoff nights. That time is so fun when your team's in it. The Red Sox' last win in the post-season? October 27th, 2004. We need to end that little (*snicker*) drought. So we better get in, and get some (read: 11) wins.

The anti-gun people who always have the huge ads on the Pike right behind the Monster have a new ad up. It's written in ransom note-style, like the banner of this blog: "We have your president and Congress -- NRA" Nice. I like it. Guns are the "pitchers batting" of real life.

Fred Lynn might have always remained a Red Sox if it wasn't for "Leisure Suit Jerry" Kapstein, the Scott Boras of the Three's Company Era. Yeah, I know, I've beaten that drum before.

They really need to just eliminate the All-Star Game at this point; interleague play makes it completely irrelevent. And it becomes a total farce when, on one hand, they have the game count for WS homefield advantage, while LaRussa decides not to have Pujols, the best hitter in the NL, bat with the tying and winning runs in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth.
Why were you staying at the Heritage Motor Inn in Old Saybrook?
So the Second Amendment- not really your thing?
Just confirming that Chris Isaak did in fact switch "fight" and "night' around in the National Anthem.
AJM: I think we're all aware of what a big joke the ASG is now. Still, at some point, the game actually happens and it does resemble what it once was enough so that I can actually just enjoy it for what it is, pretending I'm seven years old again, etc. I mean, I had complained about the game enough leading up to last night, right? About the Kap'n, still no leeway on the whole "now a part of Sox, won World Series with team" thing? And what about the whole thing about the Sox not sending out the contracts in time or whatever? Did Kapstein hold the mailwoman hostage that day? If you've got pics of this, please send along. (You know, I have this funny mental image of me explaining to Kapstein your point of view, and him saying "he's just jealous of the seat. They're ALL jealous of the seat!!!")

JS: Good question. My parents, being lifelong Connecticut (ers?) (ans?), each had parents who had the regular house in the middle of the stats, and a tiny cottage "down the shore" on Long Island Sound. My mom's parents' beach town was Old Saybrook. Some nights we'd stay at Grampa's cottage on visits, but on many visits, it was better to stay at the motel up the street. This was for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being the adult autistic uncle in the cottage who couldn't handle hearing the number 4, let alone the sounds of a family OF 4 whooping it up and leaving beach toys and towels all over HIS house. (Also, the bathing facilities included an outdoor shower--even the Heritage could top those ammenities.) I'm still fond of the ol' Heritage, with its Brady Bunch backyard AstroTurf.

Anonymous: I said Brady Bunch, not Brady Bill! Don't shoot!

Kara: Can you believe that ??? GLad you caught it, too.
NOT all New Yorkers are fans of the team with the "Expropriated For Profit" Symbol of the NYPD Honor Legion, also known as the Arachnid:

It's so sterotypical & I'm INSULTED by that line of thought;

The NY Part of Red Sox Nation is insulted, as are Mets Fans;

Jackboot Rudy Giuliani, is in part, responsible for cultivating that image.
Good call. And good call on Jackboot.
"And what about the whole thing about the Sox not sending out the contracts in time or whatever? Did Kapstein hold the mailwoman hostage that day?"

That was Fisk, not Lynn, and I obviously don't blame Kapstein for the late contract fiasco. Haywood Sullivan was a cheapskate moron who hurt the Sox in several ways during his ownership days...particularly when his scrub son, who didn't belong in the major leagues, was made the backup catcher in '86...forcing Gedman to have to catch too many innings that year.

But I do blame Leisure Suit Larry for having Lynn, Fisk and Burleson holdout at the beginning of the '76 season, one of the reasons that the Sox didn't repeat as AL champs. Bottom line is that Kapstein worked directly against the interests of the Boston Red Sox for the better part of a decade, and probably played some role in the Sox not winning the World Series in that time frame. And what did he actually do to help win in 2004? As far as I can tell, he's just another of Lucchino's yes men.
He seniorially advised/baseballically projected!

Kapstein was the agent to a lot of players, so wouldn't that also make those players' teams have the same issues with him back then?
His clients back in the late 70's were predominantly Sox, A's, and Oriole players, and between the '76 Lynn/Burleson/Fisk holdout and the ultimate departure of those guys in '80/'81, I think it's fair to say that he had the most negative impact on the Sox.

But I just did a little googling, and I found out that apparently he did a ton of work helping the homeless in San Diego in the late '90's, so I guess I can soften my stance on him a little bit.
I dunno AJM, I don't recall the homeless of San Diego doing much to help us win the Series...

jf/Jere: I loved the image of Kap'n ranting about "the seat." I've made the joke to my wife and my father that it'd be funny to see Jerry in non-Fenway situations where he isn't in the best seat. Like at the opera or something, as he's led to the fourth row, yelling "I'm Jerry Fuckin' Kapstein!!! I only do the first row!" He probably volunteers to be moved to the emergency row when he flies, just to feel (falsely) vitally important to the success of the flight...
The funniest to me was when he "threw his hat" in the GM ring when Theo had left. That was hilarious.

That said- AJM's right, but you can hardly blame him. It's not so much that he was "operating at odds w/ Sox interests" as he was in his client's interest. I don't really hold that against him- I'd hold it 100% against Sullivan, who was a bumbling jackass for all ages.

Guns are the "pitchers batting" of real life.

I dare you to make less sense.
"The funniest to me "

You and Gammons both.

I don't like pitchers batting in 2007. I don't like guns.
Oh, I agree that Kapstein was just acting as a businessman to serve and benefit his clients, just as Boras does today, and there's nothing wrong with that. And yes, the fact that Haywood Sullivan was undercapitalized, cheap, and dumb was the bigger factor in the downfall of those late 70's Sox teams. But my interest, then and now (especially then, as a kid who learned about heartbreak the hard way in '78) was in the Red Sox winning ballgames and championships, and Kapstein's interests were in direct conflict w/that. That's why I can't just view him now as some nice old benevolent part of the Sox Family sitting behind the plate every night.

As an aside, Marvin Miller never cared for Kapstein or his tactics.
Mom here.
Jere--the ONLY bathing facility at the Old Saybrook cottage was the outdoor shower. And by the time you came along, Grandpa had added WALLS. Grandma made him do that when we were all sitting around by the shower one evening(don't ask), and Grandpa got under it and bumped his head on the showerhead which was five feet above the ground (don't ask). So he dashed inside into the kitchen, dumped ketchup on his head and came out casually mentioning that his head hurt from the bump. Auntie Palma screamed so loud causing all kinds of fits from Uncle Tyler that Grandma insisted we have walls built around the shower. Amazing the decisions that come from having a kid with autism.

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