Saturday, March 29, 2008

Seating Situation

With 120,000 seats, you can't expect every seat to be good. But when you're playing baseball in an oval, most seats are gonna stink. I've charted out basically the only "good" seats for tonight's game at the LA Coliseum (which I've written out in a super LA! style.) Along the first base line you're gold. And in left, you're really close to the action. But the upper regions of the stadium don't hang over the lower parts. It's just one steady ascent from field to top of seating bowl. So even in those areas, if you're high up, you're extra-far from the field. And then if you're on the third base side, even the front row is nowhere near the field. And forget about the far side of the oval out beyond right field. You might as well watch it on TV. Of course, if I were out there, I'd take any ticket to this game and bring binoculars if necessary (probable.)

Trolley Weekend Continues

We lost last night. Got to hear some of the game. Good to hear Dave O'Brien back with Joe. They were pretty impressed by Bartolo Colon, and pointed out that his walk to the dugout took 25 seconds, possibly the slowest in history.

Tonight at 10:10 (on NESN), we play the Dodgers again at the LA Coliseum, in front of one of the biggest crowds to ever witness a baseball game. I won't be announcing this one, but I'll either do next Tuesday's late game or Wednesday's afternoon in Oakland.

Friday, March 28, 2008


I was wondering if maybe Drew went down for a while if they'd just go ahead and put Jacoby in right and keep Coco in center. Ellsbury has only played right field in one major league game, but something tells me he could catch, pitch, manage, sell pretzels, whatever you need.

In tonight's exhibition game in LA, with Drew out, they're doing just that. Coco in center, Lsbury in R.

When I heard about the DH controversy this weekend, I wondered, Will Torre agree to help the Red Sox by allowing the DH? And if so, will Hank protest the season (and the '09 one--punitive damages, here!)? Then I thought, wait, it's not Joe Torre's call. But then I heard tonight that "Joe Torre agreed" to let the Sox have a DH. So it was his call and he made it. Either he's doing his best to piss off Chief Hanker, which would make sense, or he just knows AL teams need their, uh, DH practice, and is being nice. Or maybe he just wants another hitter in his lineup.


Sox at Trolley Dodgers, 10:40 PM, on radio*

*game does not count in standings

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Jerry Smith

That's my name. But mine's spelled differently. The odds of a famous "Jere Smith" are slim (although there's an artist from Seattle with my name who does the kind of stuff people might think I'd do anyway, as well as a thoroughbred trainer with my name, who, like me, shares a name with his father. Interestingly, my dad Jere Smith's brother, son of my grandfather Jere Smith, has also spent his life around horses.)

So if I want to hear my name on TV and pretend they're talking about me, I have to settle for people named "Jerry Smith." There was the famous football player who died of AIDS. And there's a golfer, a judge, and an activist author.

But finally there's a Jerry Smith in the sports world in my era. This one plays basketball for Louisville. He's playing right now. Do you know how surreal it is to hear Dick Enberg say that YOU are "so fundamentally sound"? Hey! Just now, "steal by Jere Smith!" (In my mind, it was spelled like that.) This is awesome. My friend Mike alerted me to this dude last year, but this is the first time I'm seeing him in action for an extended period of time. I hope he goes pro. It's funny, there are other Smiths in this game, so they have to specify and say the full name every time.

I just keep thinking of that Simpsons where Homer's watching TV and a new series with a main character named Homer Simpson comes on. I think this is one of my lifelong dreams. Do any of you share a name with a famous person? Can you give me any advice on what to expect in this crazy new world?

Kwiz Gaffke

Who's this?

(Note: This was originally called Kwiz Dickman, until I realized I already used that name. Emerson Dickman wore both number 16 and number 19.)

Update, 4/1/08, 8:30 PM: Matty finally gets it. It was Carlos Quintana. Here's the full picture:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I think the next game I will "announce" will be either the Saturday night exhibition game, the U.S. opener on Tuesday night, or Wednesday afternoon. I'll let you know. Maybe I'll even take calls mid-game.

In the meantime, I was just cracking myself up watching the classic Remy and Don video I made in Cleveland. See it again for the first time.

Sox AM Losers

Well, apparently if you wake up right at 6 AM twice in a row, the same result does not occur. We lose, 5-1, in a game in which we struck out 13 times. Wow, the game just ended and now both teams are lined up on the baselines for a "goodbye" to the fans.

Now we fly back to the states for three exhibition games in LA against Joe Torre's Dodgers this weekend, before resuming the regular season in Oakland.

(NESN's graphic says "Red Sox Loose" the game. Ouch.)

This season, NESN will be showing highlights from the past to celebrate 25 years of Red Sox baseball. The clip they showed in this game was a Dewey Evans sliding catch in '84, complete with original cheesy graphics and music. Really cool. I can't wait to see more of these.

Oh, and Aardsma took over Don Aase's spot on the Red Sox' all-time alphabetical roster today. Didn't do too bad, either.

Great footage of Manny shown on NESN talking like Cora is his agent. Manny rules. Nine dongs away....

4-1 A's In The Sixth

Still down 4-0. Harden's done really well. I have an autographed ball of his. I want the value of it to plummet soon....

I've got the perfect nickname for Jon Lester. I'm giving up on "Sid" and will now call him "Wicked Lester." Anybody? The band Paul and Gene were in before they changed it to KISS? And Lester pitches in Boston, where "wicked" has been said from the beginning of time until today? I think I'm a genius, but I just told Kim, who's a huge Kiss fan--an authentic "wicked" sayer from Mass.--and she didn't get it! If she didn't not too many will. But I'm goin' with it. Wicked Lester.

Manny dong as I type! 491! And we cut it to 4-1.

They just had an interview with a kid in the crowd whose school in Worcester was on a Japan trip. The woman asked, "How did you get tickets to the game??" Kid says, "My dad got 'em online from an A's season ticket holder." Look, fans of other teams, if you don't want Red Sox fans to outnumber your own fans, STOP SELLING US YOUR TICKETS. I know it's not you, it's your brethren and sistren. You, personally, other team fan, are highly intelligent and loyal and quite good-looking.

4-0 Them In Fourth

Emil Nomel made up for yesterday's screw-up with a big dong off Lester, and it's 4-0 Athleticos. I think this is gonna be the year of the comeback, though. So...the Coaster is ready to fly!

"Nice Goin', Boys, You're Playin' Yesterday's Tape"

Well it's Opening Day...again...and that must mean we're coming to you from Tokyo, Japan...

I'll be at JoS again for this one. With normal stuff here, too, of course.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Opener

After the Red Sox' first 101 Opening Days, their record in the first game was 50 wins, 50 losses, and 1 tie. We'd gone 1-5 since then, but we took a step back toward the .500 mark with a win this morning in Japan. Here are our opening day records by decade. (Am I supposed to be capitalizing "opening day?" Eh, I'll just do it when I feel like it.)

1900s: 4-5
10s: 5-4-1
20s: 3-7
30s: 5-5
40s: 6-4
50s: 5-5
60s: 5-5
70s: 6-4
80s: 2-8 (including Boyd's start in '85--the "Can Opener"!)
90s: 8-2
2000s: 3-6

Despite our extreme even-Steven-ness of the '30s through the '70s, we did lose six in a row from '58-'63, and win five straight from '67-'71. We're 14-19 in my lifetime. Total: 52-55-1. The last time we played an opening game in front of less than 20,000 fans was 1967, when eight thousand showed up at Fenway. Days later, we played in Yankee Stadium's opening day, to an equally weak crowd of 14,000. (Billy Rohr's one-hitter.)

Okay, back to this year. It's so key that we got this win. We clinch not having that horrible feeling of having gone all the way over there only to come home empty-handed (on top of the injuries/jet lag/long-term issues that will always happen on a trip like this.)

I still can't believe Jacoby wasn't hitting leadoff before Drew was scratched. But after? That's when you move Youk down to sixth and put Ellsbury at the top. Instead, Tito puts Moss in and moved Jacoby down even farther. I really felt like this was gonna cost us the game, being down one run in the ninth. Fortunately, Moss himself got the key dong to tie it up. (Didn't he also hit a two-out, game-tying homer in a spring training game a few weeks ago?) Anyway, for Tito to suggest that there would be any kind of pressure or risk to batting Ellsbury leadoff is preposterous. Kim and I, this morning, were trying to come up with the real reason. We came up with something to the effect of "the mafia is pissed about Indian casinos taking their potential wagered money so they're strong-arming Tito into keeping the Native American down." And I'd be okay with starting Coco now and then. But if you're gonna go Jacoby, bat him first.

Dice looked great...after he looked shitty. As long as he's showing signs, I think he'll be gold. Remember, he'd still be a week away from opening day in a normal season.

Incredibly, last night we discovered our alarm clock broke. Fortunately, Kim remembered that the backup (my alarm clock that I got in middle school) was sitting nearby. I grabbed the old standby and we were all set. I woke up and flipped on the TV to hear that song--"be kind to our web-footed friends...." or whatever it really is--playing very quietly on the field. No announcers or anything. Totally bizarre.

I caught the game in five different ways. TV first, then on the shower radio, then in the car radio, then on the MLB Gamecast at work, then on the TV in the break room. We heard the Moss dong just as we arrived at work. Then I sweated out Okajima's ninth on Gamecast. Then I willed Manny to hit a double, and he did, to give us the lead. Then it was down to the break room to watch the bottom of the tenth on TV. The cleaning crew were all down there. This dude Nelson got pissed when Emil "Retentive Baseball Player" Brown made the huge baserunning mistake. He's a Sox fan, but he likes "good baseball." The rest of us were just psyched the guy messed up. Two hits later, the A's should have had it won. Instead, Pap finally gets the third out, and we win. Thank you Emil Brown. I've known one other Emil. This Connecticut scenester who called himself Emil Nomel. (Read it backwards.) But he pronounced it "AY-muhl," which is how I pronounce Brown's name, to make the above nickname make sense. Wow, 11:00, I've got to get to bed--6 AM game again tomorrow.

The Manny-500 Contest Is Underway

There are 39 contestants in the Manny's 500th Dong contest. Click here or the link on the right for the list of dates people chose.

The earliest guess is April 11th (It's also the only Yankee game guess.). That's gonna be tough, but if Tex gets this right, she should be highly praised. I think we all hope she's right. The next earliest guess is Leggett's April 20th, though, so Tex wins if it happens any time up to the 15th.

On the other end, Rob has the latest date, the "one dollar!" bid, if you will. The next latest is June 17th--cousin Kara--so Rob's got late June through the end of time covered, while Kara gets a nice chunk of mid-late June.

24 of the 29 game dates in May are taken, as that's the most popular month to choose. If Manny misses some time for any reason, Rob probably walks away with this thing.

The date I've had stuck in my head is May 4th. That day, I have a single ticket. However, it turns out something else came up and I can't go. So I'm hoping he doesn't hit it that day. If he's got 499 going into that day, I may just have to change plans if you know what I'm sayin'...

Good luck, everybody. One game down, zero Manny homers. Anybody wanna guess the date of Brandon Moss' 500th?

The Sox AM Winners...

as a certain president might say.

I got to watch the end here at work with a bunch of dudes from the cleaning crew. First place! More on this game later...

Bad News For The Athletics

And 10 billion Red Sox fans turn on the TV and say, "the A's came, too??"

After the world's fastest introductions, we're ready to play ball! A's fans, you up? It's 3 AM in California...

Monday, March 24, 2008

"You Knew I Was Waiting For Midnight!"

Game one is only negative 9 hours old, and I already have my first disagreement with Tito. He's batting Ellsbury 7th.

Here's his reasoning:

You put a young player a little bit at risk when you put him right at the top of the lineup early on.

No, you put the team at risk when you don't put the best leadoff guy in the leadoff spot. If this is our biggest problem, though, it's gonna be a fun year.

Okay, game one on our quest to repeat for the first time since 1916, 6 AM tomorrow. Same deal Wednesday, and then it's back to the pre-season. Can't wait to see the game at the LA Coliseum next weekend.

Last time I got up at 6 to watch a game, it was right when I started this blog, four years ago. Yanks-Devil Rays. (That's right, Devil Rays owner, I said Devil Rays. Devil Devil Devil Devil!) I got to tell all the Yankee fans at work (I was in Danbury, CT then) about the games, as they had just gotten up at the normal time, figuring they'd just wait until October to start paying attention.

I'm psyched for the game, but not for the wakey-wakey. Fortunately we have a TV in the bedroom.

Hey, Opening Day, the day the yearly set of "new" people come by. I haven't done an "About This Blog" since last Opening Day, so you'll just have to check that out if you're curious, new people.

The Gr'08 Space Coaster is ready for liftoff!!!!! Get on board!

Mr. E (Not Jose Offerman)

My mom and I are almost done writing our book, which will be out this summer. Details on the exact date to follow. It will be called Dirty Water: A Red Sox Mystery. (Click here to see my mom's back catalog.)

I've been down here in CT this weekend, working with her on finishing it up. It's cool to work together and get writing tips from a master. If you're ever gonna co-write something with someone, make sure you can get together in reality and not just over the internet or phone. That's my advice....

Something so incredible happened the other day. It was Wednesday, and I had put aside the whole day to work on the book, knowing I'd be meeting up with my mom this weekend. The main plot surrounds something very serious happening at Fenway Park. At one point, Remy and Orsillo have to announce the "serious" news on the air during a game. (Don't worry, I'm not giving anything away. I'd have to be really stupid to ruin my own book for you.) So, I get up on Wednesday thinking, I'll write all day, and the Red Sox game is on TV, but it's only spring training, so I can have it on mute. I can't let myself get caught up in it. Must write book. One of the things I'm writing is the scene I described above, from the point of view of the "blogger" character in our book. So that day I'm fine-tuning this fake blog entry about Don and Jerry being all serious and talking about non-baseball stuff. I even mention how "it's so weird" to hear them talking about "real" news instead of just the ballgame.

Then it gets close to game time and I do a quick internet check and see "Red Sox may boycott Japan trip." Then NESN comes on, and there are Don and Jerry, and what are they doing? Not talking about that day's meaningless game against the Blue Jays, but talking about this "real life" incident. And as the telecast goes on, with no players on the field and the game in jeopardy, they're throwing it down to the dugout for live reports on the "situation," even joking about how they always wanted to do something like this. Remy said he was hoping a storm would come up so he could say to the field reporter, "get inside, be safe now!"

So there I was, fixated on Remy and Orsillo dealing with a serious situation, when I was supposed to be writing a fictional story of what Remy and Orsillo would do were they forced to deal with a serious situation.

Usually, when I say "that's ironic," some smartass tells me why what I'm saying is not exactly ironic. But this is it, right? Come on.

Adding to the irony (or not), I got to learn what they're really like in that situation. So now I can put that stuff in the book. It's now a precedented situation. You can't say "they'd never say that...."

I'd also like to point out that our book is a story of an alternate universe 2007. Not the real 2007. Everything that happens could have happened in 2007. So when you read the book, don't think, Hey, the Red Sox didn't play that team after that team! Believe me, I am going over everything so closely and making sure that it all could have happened the way we have it happening. Like, the gates are gonna open at the right time and the players will wear white at home and gray on the road, but if we need to have the team have a day off on a day when they didn't *really* have one, to make our storyline work, we are at liberty to do so. But we wouldn't have the team have two scheduled days off in a row or bat first at home because that wouldn't happen in baseball.

But it's still fiction. We can have Dice-K pitch a no-hitter in 2007 in this book just like we can have a tornado interrupt a game if we wanted to. It's all stuff that could happen.

It's like when Gary Larson drew the cartoon of the female mosquito and the male mosquito having a conversation after the male got home from "work," biting people all day. He got scores of letters saying, "Your cartoon is wrong, the female mosquito does the biting, not the male!" Larson noted the fact that these mosquitos wore clothes and spoke English was perfectly fine with these people.

However, if you are "that type" of person, and you need to vent about all the things you find in our book that don't go exactly like they did in the real 2007, go ahead and email me. I am one of your kind and I can sympathize. But remember, if you're gonna be mad over the Red Sox schedule being a little off, you have to be equally mad at the dead body that wasn't really there either. And really, why are you getting mad at the plot of a mystery book?

Last day to get into the Manny contest! The winner gets a signed copy of our book. One day and five hours til Opening Pitch!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I knew ahead of time we'd be in the car on the way to CT during the on-sale of the Futures at Fenway doubleheader. Figuring we could always get tix later, since these games don't sell out too fast, I just kind of half-heartedly asked Kim to call the ticket office around 10, to see if she could get through. She did on the first try, and scored us four pretty sweet seats. It'll be fun to go again. We went in '06, but last year the team terribly scheduled it on a Camden Yards weekend, so we couldn't go, as we were in Balty. So maybe this'll be an "every other year" tradition for us.

We were going to CT for my dad and niece's birthday co-party. As I told you on one of my audio presentations, I got my dad the 1981 Topps Baseball Sticker Album. It was the inaugural edition, and he and I collected the stickers that year. I was only five years old, but even then I was shocked that they'd let the album go out to the public with a reversed picture of George Brett on the cover. (He's shown batting right-handed.) Anyway, I got us each a new album, and the deal I got came with four boxes of stickers. 100 packs each, four stickers per pack. There are about 250 different stickers, and we've got 1600. So we each should be able to complete the set, as we did 27 years ago. The cool thing about those stickers is that they had just a picture on the front. So we've been opening packs and quizzing each other. Some guys, I just see the stance or pose and I know instantly who they are. I spotted Butch Hobson in my dad's hand from just his forehead and hair. Other guys, I have to think a minute. It's rare I don't know a guy. Alvis Woods and Miguel Dilone stumped me. But I'll pull a Rafael Landestoy or a Sixto Lezcano outta my ass. I'm also noticing the stickers don't stick very well 27 years later...

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