Saturday, December 01, 2007

Timlin Scratch Fever

Mike Timlin will be back with the Sox next year, it appears. Sweet. Love having him on my baseball team. (In my political action committee, not so much.) In 2012 the Red Sox will celebrate Fenway Park and Mike Timlin each turning one hundred years old. And maybe Mike can celebrate his new contract by letting some deer go free this season. Come on, Mike, you've proven your dominance over their species, as long as you're the one with the gun. Let it go!

I had read recently that Theo said he's "moving the ball forward" with one of the dudes--I kind of figured he meant Timlin. That Theo, he really likes to move spheres in a forward direction. Now let's make Gagne that zero-dollar offer, get him signed by somebody else, and move on.

Straight Seize

Evel Knievel is dead. If you're really young, all you need to know is he was the type of icon only a pre-internet world could produce. And he tried to jump canyons on a motorcycle and stuff. So....

Went to the C's game on Thursday with Kim. I've always hated the Knicks, so I actually had someone to root for. Above, Renaldo Balkman. Can you believe there's a guy with a name so close to that of former NBA star Rolando Blackmon?

It was a TNT game, which, I think, is why this guy was putting a camera or something up there.

Artsy (or so I'll have you believe) shot of Stephon Marbury. He got booed whenever he touched the ball. The opposite of Scalabrine, who was cheered wildly by the overabundance of teenage, white-boy suburb-hoodlums in the crowd whenever he touched it.

A tattoo on some guy's leg. A Celtic, I think.

Up in our balcony seats now. We'd earlier walked past this dude, who I immediately figured must be that Frank guy, the Yankee fan who calls EEI or whatever. A Yankee jacket that said "WEEI #1" among other ridiculous slogans gave him away. Then I look down and the jackass is on the court. Terrible.

The back-biter himself, Marv Albert.

Garnett on the bench. I love my zoom. I just think this shot is a hundred times cooler when you remember that it was taken from just about as far away as you can get from the subject without leaving the building. Below is what it looks like when I zoomed out.

Okay, back to captions below pictures, starting with the next one:

Shaughnessey was there. I've seen Bob Ryan in this seat, so it must be the Globe seat.

This dude dove into the crowd, and is now climbing back onto the court.

KG, Doc, and the ref do a choreographed dance. One of the best things about Celtics games is Gino. They show this old American Bandstand footage on the scoreboard, and this one ultra-70s dude has a shirt on that just says "GINO." It's incredible. Everyone goes nuts whenever Gino appears. Never gets old, I tells ya. The "noise meter" did, back around the time Gino originally did his dance.

The KG veteran shoots. So, this game was awesome. I figured the Knicks would have trouble scoring. I predicted they'd score less than 15 points in the first quarter. They got 16. But they got exactly 15 in the second. They topped themselves yet again in the third--a whopping ten points. I really wanted to see them go down by 50. Finally, the Celts did it. Then I wanted 60, but it wasn't to be. It was 48 with 26 seconds left. The Celts had the ball, and just dribbled out the 24-second clock, which was a classy move. But screw class, they should've taken a final shot and gone for the 50-point win! Instead, the Knicks took one final shot at the buzzer, and it fell from like 30 feet way, making it a mere 45-point difference, and saving the Knicks from setting some records they didn't want to set.

Big Baby, up in the air.

Pierce is big on this move: the stand really far away from everyone else while free throws are being attempted.

I got a close-up of Rondo's upside-down headband.

This woman was impressive. At halftime, she rolled out onto the court, balanced bowls on the top of her foot, and kicked them up in the air, catching him on her head. She'd add more bowls each time, and ended up with a pretty big stack.

That Boston building that's always on the opening of the local news, from the parking garage.

Moving on to commercial criticism:

1. You know how politicians have started saying "I'm _______ and I approve this message"? Well, that's lame enough. But recently I've noticed a John McCain ad where you see him sitting there, the whole time, talking to the camera. From this, were I to, for some reason, wonder whether or not he approves what's coming out of his own mouth, I'd be sure that he did. Because he's saying it. Yet he still feels the need to add the "approval disclaimer" at the end. What the hell? Does he think we're watching him speak and thinking, "John McCain would never approve of this!"?

2. Can someone please tell the car companies that we just want to drive the cars, not have sex with them? AJM's wife, maybe you could talk to somebody at ad-makin' HQ?

3. When you're trying to figure out who to kill when watching a commercial, do you usually go with the actor who says the offending line? Or the owner of the corporation being advertised? Maybe the director of the ad? The writer? Whatever the case, someone needs to die. Because of this line, from the latest Taco Bell travesty: "Whatcha eatin' on?" I don't know what's worse, though, that line, or the acting by the other 18-35 year old boob in the ad. There's such a "Roman Empire" feel to some of these ads. By that I mean they're trying to convey that we as Americans have it so easy, and are so complacent, that we're completely oblivious to some impending doom. If my theory is correct, I'll bid you all adieu now, as the internet will be the first thing to go. But if some of us survive, check me out on whatever pirate internet arises from the chaos. Alias: The Beekeeper.

Friday, November 30, 2007


There's nothing funnier in life (except for a bunch of much funnier stuff) than the titles the Red Sox come up with for their Sox Pax. The deal is, you get four games, and they usually come up with a name that reflects the theme of those games. The pack with four Sunday games is always the "Sunday Best" pack. You get the idea. Nothing too cutting edge. You don't wanna go out and call one the "Death by Stereo" pack or whatever, because that might scare grandma and grandpa.

What's really funny, though, is how some packs have no theme, so they pick a named based on one game of the four. I mean, sure, "Cactus Pack" would be an appropriate name for a pack of four games against Arizona. You only get one Arizona game in the "Cactus Pack," though. But I guess since it's the highlight game, the whole pack suffers. Still, I'm sure there's at least one doofus who'll say, "Guess what, kids, we'll be going to four cactus-themed games at Fenway Park this year!"

This year, there's a pack featuring the Tigers, Angels, Brewers, and Yankees. What would you call it? The Boomer Pack? Me neither. But they did. I couldn't figure it out. I asked e-buddy savethejellyfish about it. He said it's because George "Boomer" Scott played for the Brewers as well as the Sox. But if you're gonna name a pack after one former Sox player who also played on one of the other teams, why Scott? I don't know if I believe that's why they called it that. But what other reason could there be? Any ideas?

Add It To My Awesome Stuff List

I can now say I've witnessed the Knicks trail a game by FIFTY POINTS.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Bi(r)d

Every month there's a sports memorabilia auction at a certain website. And every month I go to it and watch the prices on everything I want skyrocket out of my range. Formula for figuring out Jere's range: [(What he can afford) x (5) + (bonus irrational overspending fee of 25 more dollars)].

But not tonight! I am now the proud owner of a Mark "The Bird" Fidrych autographed baseball. As well as one from Angel Berroa and Rich Harden. Or Dan Haren. One of those two. The other balls came with the Fidrych one. I'd pay, mmmm, 30 bucks for a Bird ball. 25-30. I got this one, plus those other two, for 11 dollars. Sweet. (We'll see how much they charge for shipping. And I noticed on the Tiger Stadium auction there was a "buyer's premium" of, like, 28 percent. I gotta figure my grand total is no more than 20 bucks, and that's still a good deal.)

[Update, the next day: Got my invoice. 15 percent buyer's premium, plus eight bucks shipping and insurance. Total: $20.65. Close enough.]


Guy in South Carolina tries to deposit million dollar bill. Problem was, there's never been a million dollar bill. I wonder if this guy thought he was gonna pull it off, imagining himself stopping at McDonald's on the way home and getting, like, as many cheeseburgers as he wants.

The man's name was Alexander Smith. I was just thinking yesterday how no famous person has ever had the same name as me. Like that time when there was that cop show, and the cool cop's name turned out to be Homer Simpson. If this guy's first name had been Jere (or more realistically, Jerry), people might be calling me "the million dollar man" or "Fakey McGee" right now. There are two other Jere Smiths that I know of from the internet. A thoroughbred trainer and an artist who makes the type of stuff someone could easily think I made. I'd guess at least one person I went to elementary school has found that site and thought it was me.

Bleacher Spirit

A little more than a week until we who pay attention start buying '08 Red Sox tickets. I'm still waiting to hear from the team about renewing my 10-game plan. I'd like to know which games those are, so I don't buy a game I already have. I know I've renewed earlier than this in past years. They're kind of leaving us in the dark. Anyone know anything? I've read rumors of 20-game plans, and how 10-game plan holders who've complained about seat location in the past got first dibs on those. Too bad I like my seats. Ah well, 20 games is a little too dick for my plasma.

I thought maybe they were waiting for something having to do with the fact that all the bleacher seats have been ripped out. (The red, uh, chair, is still there--see pic. Got it from someone on a message board, don't know who to credit.) So the seat in front of me won't have teeth marks in it anymore. I missed my chance to buy a pair of the ones they just took out. But if anyone who bought some got one with teeth marks, you know who sat behind it, ten times each year. I'm wondering if the seats will be positioned exactly as they were before. Hopefully my seats still exist--they are at the end of a row. One way to improve getting in and out of the bleachers would be to connect the top right to that new stairway that's behind grandstand section one. That wouldn't be too hard, and you wouldn't lose any seats.

I'd like to get the Sox Pax (singular) with Opening Day in it. For the second time in my life, I have a reason to specifically want to be there for the opener. Hey, if you get a SP with Opening Day in it, and I can only get a different one, wanna trade? We'll talk.

You know how the current ownership always sells stuff and people don't like it or whatever? Like seats and pieces of turf and bricks and autographed jock straps? Well, I thought you should know that they took out those temporary "party boxes" that were put up for the 1999 All-Star Game, and carted them the dump. No attempt to cut them up and sell them for $99 per square foot. But I'm sure none of the criticizers will commend them for just throwing this stuff away. I still don't see the harm in that stuff, anyway. I'd love to get a piece of Fenway, and I'm glad these people know to offer it up. Terrible job that the prices are so high, but still, the stuff gets sold, the team gets the money, they do the right things with it, and we win the World Series. Twice. That's kinda what I was hoping for all along.

The Charlie Brown Christmas special was on tonight. My girlfriend thought it was too early. I say, it's on, what are you gonna do, not watch? So I watched. I've got a question. You know how the point of the show is how Christmas is commercialized and phony? And they go to the Christmas tree place and they're all aluminum and colorful? Well, I appreciate what they're going for, of course. But as long as I've been alive, the standard Christmas tree has pretty much been an actual tree. Everybody goes and picks one out and straps it to the hood and then decorates it. Sure, some people have the plastic kind for whatever reason, but even those usually look like real trees anyway. I checked the end of the show, and I see it was made in 1965. Was there a crazy aluminum-tree trend back then? I mean, Schultz acted like it was a pretty big deal. I wonder what was up with this. Maybe people were putting pink trees in their jet-set, prefab, psychedelic swingin' lounges. Whatever the case, my favorite line in that show is when that uppity girl is gettin' all in Pigpen's grill, and she's all, Look at yourself, you're an effin' mess. And the Pen's like, "on the contrary, I didn't think I looked that good." That's such an "FU" to everybody who ever spent a little too much time on their personal appearance.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bang Your Head

Kevin DuBrow is dead! Don't know what happened yet. This dude was the singer of Quiet Riot, who are best known for their Slade cover, "Cum on Feel the Noize."

Whenever I hear the name DuBrow, I think of a very specific thing. It was Nikki Sixx, in an old rockumentary, which I believe was called "Metal-mentary," talking about the early '80s, saying, "Quiet Riot was defunct, but there was DuBrow." (Quiet Riot was called "DuBrow" for a while.) I don't know why that always stuck with me. It was just the way he was so serious about it.

By the way, in the above article, the New York Times, as of right now, says guitarist Randy Rhoads died in a "traffic accident." If by that they mean he was in a plane that tried to fly really close to a tour bus and then crashed into a house, then they'd be right.

Sox, Trolley Dodgers To Roam Coliseum a.d. IV Kal. April

Which, in your crazy modern MySpeak, means the Red Sox will play an exhibition game against the Dodgers at the L.A. Coliseum on March 29th.

This earlier article says it will be a three-game series, with games one and three at Dodger Stadium, and game two at the home of the 1975 Super Bowl...of Motocross.

I wonder if the field will look like this (note huge screen guarding left field short porch):


Cha-Ching Men, Wang

Let's get right to the part where I stand arm-in-arm with Sam Horn. Tonight, Kim and I went to the Wang Theatre for the premiere of the 2007 World Series Film. As you can see, neither Sam nor I dressed up for the event.

We got there for the red carpet walk. We were in a weird spot as far as getting pictures goes. Too dark for when people were in front of us, and too far away from the bright area, which is shown above, and where people were walking away from us.

We saw Magadan, Tito, the Dropkick Murphys. None of those shots came out, but above you see Curt with his family.

And I had to seriously brighten this shot of Lucchino.

We finally just decided to go inside and wait. I figured we'd go right to our seats and sit there. But we ended up with a better view of the celebrated guests coming into the lobby. Above, Curt in the middle with a hundred people taking his picture.

Glen Geffner with Dr. Charles Steinberg, who, I found out when we got home, is leaving the Red Sox! He'll become a Dodger, but says he'll still see to it that Neil Diamond sings Sweet Caroline on Opening Day next season.....

After the lobby, you enter a grand room with chandeliers and tuxedos and balconies and people named Muffy and everything. They put a bunch of Red Sox and World Series stuff around the room. You can see Terry Francona, with a light shining on him, across the room in the balcony.

Here, Tito, now closer to us, eats wangs-in-a-blanket or whatever. While standing in this spot, Joanna, aka Empy, walks right by. So we chatted with her for a while. (You'll probably see this same shot of Tito at her blog, only better. I have to say, this whole night proved challenging to the budding photographer. Just odd lighting all around. I did my best.)

They put the Chan in chandelier. At this point, we headed into the actual theater part o the place. I got my tickets right when they went on sale, but I checked yesterday to see how many seats were left. It seemed like a lot were. Sure enough, there were a lot of empty seats in the balcony, where we were. But it is a huge theater. Still, we were able to move closer once the film started.

Looking to the left.

And looking up.

Geffner and Roche hosted, and started by introducing a bunch of old-time Sox. I assumed Gedman would be included, as he's local and always seems to be at these events. Unfortunately, though, all these guys just stood up at their seats, and from the balcony, we saw nothing. In fact, as the players were called up to the stage, they must've done their wave-and-bow in front of it, out of our view. By the time we got a glimpse of anybody, they were climbing up on the stage as if their turn in the spotlight was over. It was kind of weird. Here's Curt Schilling on the mic. (Oh, and I was right, Geddy was introduced, and the idiot next to me booed. Part of the reason we moved was because this guy kept talking, including seeing Manny in his suit in the movie and going "what?!"--giving away the fact that he missed this when it happened--and yelling out "he must've stole it!" And then the guy gets up to leave, probably for the bathroom, in an event that lasted an hour, meaning we were the only ones who had to get up and miss part of the thing in the entire balcony. But ask anyone who knows me, these jerks are attracted to me in crowds like mammals to air.)

They came up one by one. Curt brought up the '04 trophy, and Lucchino brought the '07. Above, left to right, it's Manny Delcarmen, Magadan, Curt, Geffner, Tito, Roche.

Lucchino with the trophy. Before the film started, Roche told us there'd be a part at the end that Matt Damon, the narrator, threw in that "won't be on the DVD." Sweet. The movie was great. I had steady goosebumps, which is rare in real life. After this loooong season, it was good to just sit back and watch the whole thing go by, wrapped up nicely, knowing it would end in jubilation. Toward the end, I got my camera ready to film this secret Matt Damon part. Unfortunately, it came with no warning. So you may never see it. But I can tell you what it was, and it was awesome. He gave a few facts, wrapping the whole thing up by saying the Red Sox won the division for the first time in 12 years "leaving an empire in its wake," won the AL in amazing fashion again, and became the first team to win two championships in the 21st century. To that he added, "suck on it, New York." Of course, I started taping after this, in case there was more stuff like that, but no. There was just a segment showing what went to Cooperstown, and then it was over. But I love how Matt did that. I hope somebody taped it.

Now in the lobby again, and it's "wait for Gedman" time. First we saw Sam Horn, and Kim was nice enough to get my pic with him. He was really nice about it, and I shook his hand. I started spotting players, including Bob Montgomery, who was the Red Sox TV color man when I was growing up. He also was the last to wear number 10 before Geddy, a fact I reminded him of at Autograph Alley in 2004. I can assure you he did NOT care. (Kim, after I took that pic of him: "I hope that's his daughter." Well, either it is or he's showing that girl the "inner hard shell" of his "cap" right now. Sorry, uniform-trivia joke. Which makes no sense.)

And this is that dude from the Murphys. The tall one. I think.

Horn hung around for a while. Got another candid one of him. Also saw the big dog--the nickname I've given to that main autograph hound who's always hanging around the players' lot, and all these events. Earlier this year I noted that he kind of cleaned himself up. Tonight, he was back to the "sweats and mussed hair, and I don't mean stylishly mussed, I mean drunk and/or slept til 6 PM mussed" look. While waiting for Gedman, we also spotted Kelly and Cyn! So there were five of us Red Sox blogger types, in a big room with Sam Horn and stuff. Those two and Empy were in the lower section, and they made me feel better by not only saying they thought of me when they heard Gedman's name (yes!), but said they don't even think he stood up when his name was called. So I didn't really miss him. But I do feel like while I was getting the Monty shot, he may have walked out right past me. Either that or he snuck out early. It's a shame, because my confidence was ridin' high after having approached Sam Horn, so I really think I could've gotten my pic taken with Rich.

One last funny (to me) story. Okay, these last few years going to games, I've seen the rise of this one security dude on Yawkey Way. He's a young dude with really blue eyes. I call him Young Blue Eyes. He used to help out at Gate A. Now he's basically in charge of Gate A, telling the younger kids where to put the turnstiles and stuff. You've probably seen this guy, if not there, then behind Tina Cervasio when she does the in-game updates from Canvas Alley. He's the guy sitting behind her discouraging fans from waving in the background. Now, at one point, I realized that the guy who walks on stilts on Yawkey Way looks a lot like Young Blue Eyes. I kept telling people, whenever Tina would come on TV, "see that security guy behind her? He's GOT to be the brother of that stilts guy, look at him!" Stay with me now. Tonight, as everyone was clearing out, a young couple asked me if I had a pen. I was wearing Large Marge (my large jacket made by "Schott," get it?), so I knew I had a pocket full of 'em. I gave them one, knowing they were looking for a Sam Horn autograph, as Sam was still right near us. As we're about to leave, I realize they've still got the pen. I look over, and they're turning toward me to give it back, and the guy is showing me a sign he's made that says "WE HAVE YOUR CAMERA," which they're holding up, since they found a camera someone had lost. Seemed like a wacky dude. I'm about to turn away when I realize I recognize this guy. It's Young Blue Eyes! So I say, "Hey, I recognize you from Yawkey Way." He shakes my hand, introduces himself to us, and says, "Yeah, I'm usually a little taller," just as Kim is saying, "yeah, we see you peering out from behind Tina Cervasio." Everyone's doing the friendly laugh as we walk away. It quickly hits me. Taller. That's not the security guy, it's the stilts guy! So we'd both separately recognized him as the wrong guy, yet both said things that COULD apply to him anyway! Especially the Yawkey Way line, as that's his exclusive territory in pre-games. Isn't that weird? And it all makes sense, because stilts guy is totally wacky, while YBE is all business. Are those guys twins or what? Does anyone know?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Before Cask

Didn't our parent tell us "your friends in high school won't be the same friends you have as an adult"? They didn't count on the internet. I can't shake these mofos!

So, one of my HS friends and his fiance came up this weekend to see his alma mater beat Miami for the first time since the Flutie game. (In other college football news, another Mass. team beats the Bronx team. Nice.) Anyway, we met up Friday night near Fenway. When he drove past the Cask 'n' Flagon, he noticed it had been redone, as he hadn't been to the area in a few years, so he called us to change our meeting place. It would be my first time at the Cask ever.

My review: Well, I hate bars, and I don't drink, so it doesn't really matter. But as far as the look of the place, I liked it. Lots of space, and, of course, Red Sox stuff all over the place. Too stinkin' loud, though. Why do these places--supposedly spots to hang out with friends--feel the need to play music at levels such that you have to scream across the table to have a conversation? Anyway, it's always cool to be near Fenway, but it's such a different feeling without a game going on. Driving down Yawkey Way, parking under the Monster Seats--these are things you can't do on game day.

It either should or should not be noted that my friend described above is a Yankee fan.

Kwiz Oglivie

Take a look at the 2008 Red Sox schedule. (Not the one I drew, the real one.) What is the team scheduled to do for the first time in team history?

Note: In strike-shortened seasons, this has happened, but wasn't scheduled to happen. Also, this has happened a few times against NL teams since interleague play started, but this year will be the first-ever time it happens against another American League team. The next clue will be the other team involved....

(Also, this has nothing to do with the Japan series or the A's.)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Big Day

In 2008, the Red Sox should break the Indians' record of 455 consecutive sellouts. It would happen in our 68th home game of the season, as we're currently at 388. That's Wednesday, September 3rd vs. Baltimore. The next home game after that is Monday, September 8th against the Devil Rays. So, if there's one rain-out before September 3rd that leads to a doubleheader after the 8th, the record would be broken on my birthday. That would be sweet. Remember these dates when you're buying tickets. My 10-game plan is a Mon/Wed/Sat, so I might already have tickets to one or both of these games. I should find out soon.

I gotta figure they have some kind of ceremony when the record is broken. Hey! Since WE are responsible for this record, how about, let's say....all tickets to that game will be free, as will all food and drink. Until the streak ends. Remy, make it happen!

If it happens, one thing would be for sure. This dude will be proven very, very wrong. These three articles have people talking about how the record will never be broken. That's the funniest thing about humanity to me. When people act like they know what's going to happen. (Of course, if we somehow don't break the record, you can laugh at me....) I love how that one guy made the claim in September '06. That's an "eternity" of about two whole years. TJ. (Over the next few years, enough people will say A-Rod "will" break the all-time home run record that some casual fans may think he IS the record-holder. Speaking of Aprod, when is that Canseco book coming out with the dirt on A-Rod? That should be fun.)

But back to attendance figures--I found an old Globe article in which Steinberg talks about what's considered a sellout. (If more tickets--standing room included--are sold than number of total seats, it's a sellout.) Another interesting thing from that article is what's considered "obstructed view." I know I've had tickets that weren't marked obstructed view, yet when I sat down, I discovered key portions of the field were "missing." Turns out the rule is, if you can't see the pitcher and the catcher, you're in an official "obstructed view" seat. Of course, they don't even discount these anymore, which is kind of unfair, I think.

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