Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bookworm

Kim and I drove for 2.5 hours on inexplicably un-plowed streets so I could sign some books today. That Providence to Hartford trip is pretty crappy even without snow. Growing up in Western Connecticut, it didn't mean much to me (if I even realized it) that there was no interstate connection between the capital of my state and the capital of the neighboring one. But now that I'm in Providence, and I go to Hartford occasionally, I kinda wish we had something better than what exists now, part of which is named after the act of killing oneself.

Route 84 was supposed to extend out to here from Hartford, but they killed the project. Read all about it here.

Anyway, we still had a great time, my mom and I meeting some nice folks--we always meet people who are either related to us or know someone on my mom's side of the family since that's her home turf. Got to hang out with my friend Brian, and I also met a fellow commenter from the great Cardboard Gods site.

Friday, December 19, 2008

First Outside Inside Last

What did John Henry mean by "not a factor"? Jon Heyman says it just means the Sox are not a factor in the bidding war, not that we're not a factor in getting Teixeira--which is what a lot of people are assuming.

In other words, we told Boras our offer, he grinned a black-toothed grin and said, Well, there are other offers that are higher, and we said, "Screw you, guy, we're going home. Let us know if he accepts our offer."

I love that they're standing up to Boras. Some people try to defend him, but then, some people defend Steinbrenner.

We've got a kwiz going on...

My Two Pals

[Reminder: My mom and I will be signing copies of Dirty Water tomorrow, Saturday, from 11 to 1 at the Bookworm in West Hartford, CT.]

Jeter's "spontaneous" farewell speech won some bullcrap contest as moment of the year. In case you missed it, here's what I heard:



Last night I told you I watched John Quinn on TV in the 2004 World Series Film, which was playing on the MLB Channel's preview. It was on again just now, so this time I was ready with my camera. (Of course, I own the thing and could just pause it on the spot--but it was more fun to snap at random. I think I got a pretty good shot of him (in Sox home jersey).) Take a look:



2004 Moment of the year?

Soda Jerks And Ca-Cos

You may have noticed on the front page of redsox.com, this picture of Jon "Sid" "Wicked" Lester:

Did you notice it? The Coke sign. It's entirely lit up. Yet only ca-Co appears lit up in the picture. Remember last April, I wrote about how my camera seemed to be only picking up the lights in the middle four letters of the sign, even though my eyes were telling me that all the lights in the sign appeared uniform? It was in this post, interestingly just below a picture of Lester. Here was the pic I posted then:


See it? The lights of "co-Ca" appear brighter than the lights of the other letters. Now I know that this happens to cameras other than mine.

Please note: I know some of you may be thinking, "No, some of the lights are on and some are off, I can clearly tell in that night shot." But that's wrong. The sign does not flash on and off, nor does it ever have some lights on and some off at the same time. To the human eye, it appears entirely on when it's dark out or entirely off in the light. But clearly some of those lights are slightly different, and they're specifically in the ca-Co, even going behind the loop of the L and reappearing on the other side. Weird.

Yeah, I'm Still Up

It's 2 AM. You morning people missed it. This was like that night when the people trapped in the mine were rescued and then un-rescued again. Basically, the media made up a bunch of shit to the point where they all believed it had to be true, only to find out otherwise and then have to write about the "shocking twist" which is only a twist if you believed the errors they printed in the first place. At this point I'm just doing news searches to look at the stories from before Henry called the deal off. (Or whatever he's doing--I do wonder why he'd come right out and say "we're out" at a time like this.) MLB.com had this up:

"Agent Scott Boras and the Boston hierarchy are holed up in a secret location, hammering out the final details of the contract that will swear in Mark Teixeira as a citizen of Red Sox Nation, according to a Boston television report." Whoops!

Sean McAdam had the usual 11 PM Herald article up, but quickly had to change it. I'll post most of the original article in comments.

As soon as the initial WCBV report came out, Gammons and Co. on ESPN came right out saying that the Red Sox were "making strides" toward getting Kiedis. I wonder if these guys just sit there waiting for someone else to say something (usually coming from an "unnamed source" or "someone close to the situation") and then just say, "Yeah, that's true, yup. Sure." And when they're not doing that, they're going against the first report--while using the same "unnamed sources."

So we'll see what happens tomorrow.

In the meantime, I've been watching the 2004 MLB World Series movie on the preview of the MLB Channel. Saw my buddy John Quinn giving a really serious "let's go Red Sox"--he was at the Riviera in NYC on the night of Game 4 of the World Series. It's funny--the way they edit it makes it seem like you're watching people at a Boston bar in between clips of WS games. But we know it's the ol' Riv. I was there for Game 6 of that year's ALCS, and would've loved to have gone back for the clinching World Series game, but remember, it's not like we KNEW they'd win in game four. Had I known it would definitely happen, I would've gone down there that night.

Oh, and I just found this article saying a certain airline will be the Red Sox' official airline--meaning they'll have all these deals for Sox fans. They'll have a sale for cheap flights from Boston to other AL cities for travel between: January and February. Great! I'll be sure to tour those empty stadiums.... another weird thin gin that article is how they refer to the Red Sox as "the champs." I'm all for that nickname, but I tend to only use it when we actually are the champs.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Guess Not

John Henry supposedly emailed a bunch of media people saying the Red Sox are OUT. No Teixeira.

Considering the source, though, this could be a prank email from anybody. If it is true, we'll see soon why they decided to just walk away. Could be just a threat to mess with that pig Boras.

News That Really Purports To Be News...

Sox in Texas finalizing Teixeira deal?

Unfortunately, John Henry's plane (N611JW) is no longer track-able. Come on, John, lift the ban. Make it fun!

Update, 9:26 PM: Depending on what I read, they're either inches from wrapping up a deal or days away from one.

Update, 2:15 AM: Obviously, the above link to the original WCBV story now has the news of Henry saying we're "not a factor," so for you early-to-bed types, here's essentially what you missed:


Tender-ish, Liking Care

The writer of this Sporting News article claims that sometimes Red Sox fans care "too much." In the same article he talks about playing in Boston being a special thing, and that it's the best place to play--with the "caring too much" and the intense media coverage being the beauty of it. But why couldn't he have just said "care a whole lot"? Why is a guy whose job it is to write about men chasing a ball around saying that someone else cares too much about sports? What's the perfect care level? Should I go to 5% less games? Set my sights on second place? Clap a few times less per home run? Cut this unpaid blog entry by a few lines?

I don't think it's right to tell people what they should care about or how much they should care about it. It's everybody's choice. Or in some cases, it's just in their blood.

[Unrelated update: Trot Nixon signs minor league deal with Brewers.]

ge0r9ia

If you want to see the Sox play in Atlanta in '09, you'll have to sign up for the chance to buy tickets at their website. (It's also for Braves-Yanks tix--note at the top of the page they spell it "Yankess." I've made that mistake myself sometimes, but I'm not a multi-million dollar corporation that could easily hire a 16-year old kid to do a two-second check on basic spelling. Also, most any computer program will put a red line under any word that's spelled funny so you can quickly see the mistake and fix it.) Good luck!

Pitch/Catch

Thursday, February 12th, pitchers and catcher report to Ft. Myers. That makes Truck Day approximately February 7th. Just a reminder for ya. It's getting close. Depending on how you look at it....


Citi Games Update

I was beginning to wonder if the Sox' April preseason games at Citi Field (Shea-New) were going to happen--the Mets haven't made an announcement, and neither team lists the games on their schedule. (The games have been for sale on scalper sites for a long time, though.) So I called the Mets' ticket office, and asked not if but when those games would go on sale. The guy said it would be March-ish, as opposed to "what games?", so there you have it.

But just now I saw that the Mets have put out a press release. (Note that it says tickets will be released in the "weeks ahead." Whenever they're released, I plan on getting some.) So, do you think they were waiting for my call? "Quick, announce it, they know already!"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kwiz Nein!


What movie character wore a shirt with this logo on it? I will tell you that the movie came out between 1969 and 1994. And to get this out of the way, it's not Cheech. Or Chong. (Note: this isn't the exact shirt, but it is the exact logo--I believe the character had it on a yellow shirt in the film.) (Photo courtesy some ebay seller--and I only found it because I saw it in the movie and searched for the logo; I'm not in the market for weed shirts....)

Putting The Q In Fatigue

Just when I was about to write another anti-media post, I see this article about Rocco Baldelli. It's in all caps and contains several spelling/grammar/spacing mistakes. Even if this guy (a sportscaster for 25 years) just isn't a good writer, you'd think they would have a proofreader or an editor or something.

Also, Joe Thurston is gone. Cardinals signed him. My dream match-up of Joe Thurston and J.P. Howell has even less of a chance of happening now.

Futures At Fenway 2009 Info Announced (By Me!)

by Jere Smith, RSF/PT

Fenway Park will once again be looking into its crystal ball in 2009. On Saturday, August 8th, four teams of future stars will take the 97-year old diamond in a single-admission doubleheader with fan-friendly prices in the fourth annual "Futures at Fenway" event.

The action starts at noon with the Red Sox' double-A team, the Portland Sea Dogs, taking on their Eastern League rivals, the Bowie (Md.) BaySox. Following a brief intermission, the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox will take on the Norfolk Tides in an International League battle.

Both opposing teams are affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles.

In addition to a bunch of mascots and stuff, kids will get to do stuff, and, well, you know the drill. Look, I'm not the media, I'm just a blogger who figured this stuff out by looking at the minor league team's schedules. It doesn't take a genius: The PawSox physical one mentions it by name, and Portland's ticketing page leaves off that game, even though it's listed as a home game on their sked. And you know the Lowell Spinners ain't involved because they've got Pet Dish Night on that date. So...anyway, in case you were wondering when this thing would take place this upcoming season, it looks like August 8th. Family friendly prices will be all low and stuff and available from the usual sources. And the event's logo will surely be sullied by a big corporate logo--it was Filene's Basement last season. I wonder if Lucchino specifically planned this to have the Orioles' teams involved to show his old team some proverbial love.

Newspapers, feel free to "pick up" this story, just make sure you give credit to the "fanboy" in his "parents' basement" who "doesn't know anything." Oh, and can somebody update the Futures at Fenway Wikipedia page? Too lazy.

More On The New Toilet Shadiness

Isn't this just like in Jaws when the coroner changes the report after feeling pressure from the mayor? "And you'll stand by that?"

Also, check out these great 1960s Fenway photos by "some guy on the internet."

It's snowing right now in Providence. Nice.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CT/NY/Fenway/Junk Pics

On I-95, headed to NY via CT last Friday. Click all to enlarge. Yes, I took this while driving, and unfortunately, the best shot was the one with the corporate logos visible and a truck in front of the sunset. But the signs actually look pretty cool at dusk.

Sun setting on Long Island Sound.

Pink December sky through a beach volleyball net.

Moon over the Sound.

The next day, in NYC, after having just successfully scored my Sox Pack, we're in a diner, and I spot the Ghostbusters logo upside down in a window across the street. Surprisingly, this was the only picture I snapped in NYC--we were too busy having fun, etc.

Now back in CT, another great sunset on Sunday night.

Monday: I'm at Fenway for the junk sale--I parked on Yawkey Way, at, basically, Fenway's front door. So easy to find parking there when there's no game going on, the main reason being that the street is open to cars. Notice all the championship banners are down.

Outside view of the new right field roof box construction. You can tell there's gonna be a new billboard--I wonder what corporation will get the naming rights. I wish some trillionaire would just spend the money on one of these things and say, "no sign, please, we're rich enough." In other words, rich people should pay to keep Fenway from getting even more littered with ads. Oh, and you can also see that the retired numbers are down for cleaning or whatever.

The new House of Blues on Lansdowne--they're really moving on this now.

Looking at the first base dugout/stands/field through the center field gate, through the entrance to the Bleacher Bar on Lansdowne.

Terribly, I didn't even look at the construction or the field when I was at the "Yard Sale," even though I could have. I was too busy filling my bag, and then I saw the entrance to the room with the non-free stuff, and I went in there and soon I was carrying a speaker in one hand and a bag of bricks in the other and had no chance to go back and get pics. But here's Kenmore Square on my way out. After all that construction, it's finally starting to look normal again--check out the grassy median and the new road surface.

Back home with my junk, the top of the Fenway speaker--check out the older and newer paint. Running across it is the severed cord.

The inside of the speaker. That company still exists, though if you look at their address on G-Maps Street Views, it's just residential houses. I think they got bought out by a White Plains company, so maybe the Michigan factory is gone now....

The speaker in our dining room, in front of Whisker City. Over a lifetime of cat ownership, I can say that Whisker City is the best product I've ever had, in terms of preventing them from scratching up wood/furniture. It doesn't solve the problem completely, but the cats do actually notice it, unlike some ideas (like the infamous "Kitty Condo").

The tape job on the handle of Joe McEwing's bat.

That weird bolt mark on one of the Fenway bricks.


Here's an ebay auction with a good cause. It's done by the Sox fan in NC whose house was vandalized with weird Yankee-markings.

Dirty Water Branching Out

One of the things I was a little disappointed about was how the two big book chains, Borders and Barnes & Noble, were considering our book to be "local." Borders took a while just to order the book (the company's having problems, so we're told), and now that they have it, they actually classify it as "local" and it's pretty much going only to their New England stores. As for B&N, they ordered the book quickly and do not officially classify it as local, but it has only been going to their New England stores (including Fairfield County--woohoo!). There was one other B&N that carried it initially--the one in Union Station, in Washington, DC. After being excited to see that, it hit me when I looked at the store's address: "Massachusetts Avenue." They'd sent the book out to every store with one of the New England states' names in its address, accidentally including that one....

But wait! Today, B&N placed a big order with our distributor--after all, we are #14,667 or something on their website's sales rank, not bad for "local." So I started typing in zip codes (anyone can do this at both Borders and B&N's websites; just go to the Dirty Water page and type in a zip code) again, starting with the DC area. There was that DC store again, but, also Bel Air, Maryland! That's no mistake! I kept searching: Falls River, Virginia had it! So did Sarasota, Florida!

Whether they're doing some selective distribution, or whether those individual store owners took note of our book and special-ordered it, this is good news. You'd think this book wouldn't be "local" anyway--my mom and co-author is an internationally-published author ten times over, and the Red Sox have rabid fans across the globe. But I guess having a small publisher means it takes people a little longer to realize its awesomeness. Thanks to all the bloggers who gave us reviews, and you, my readers, for buying it, showing those chains that you demand DW!

Of course, the key is that B&N and Borders (and Amazon) sell the book online. So wherever you are, you can get it without leaving your house. But it's nice to know the physical book is starting to make appearances outside New England, at least in the chain stores. It's always been available at independent bookstores across the country, and we hope you'll shop the little guy/girl first.

Anyway, the celebration of the birth of Eckersley (Ecks-mas) is almost here, as is the celebration of my friend Chan (Chan-nukah), so place your order now!

Dirty Water: A Red Sox Mystery on Amazon / Borders / Barnes & Noble / (book blog)

Moon Circles

Weird shot of the moon I took a few nights ago. I'll post some more pics from the last few days later today.

Update, 2:21 AM: Check the comments for my take on the latest on Kiedis (Teixeira)--but also note that the new player jerseys are now available at the Yawkey Way Store. Do you see any Mike Lowell ones? Neither do I. Neither does Kiedis. (The MLB.com shop still only has the blank back jerseys for sale.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shoegazers

In the wake of the "Shoe-Fly" incident, news reporters have been informing us that in the middle east, it's an insult to throw your shoes at someone. I don't know about you, but I kinda figured this out. It's not like we come from a country where we're constantly tossing footwear at loved ones as a sign of respect. The only time we as Americans throw anything at someone we like is at concerts. But even then, it still might be some asshole trying to pelt the lead singer.

Bush joins at least NOFX (left) and Jane's Addiction (below, 2:30 mark) as people who've had shoes thrown their way.


Get Yourself Down To The Triple Rock...

Go to Fenway right now! If you want lots and lots of junk, that is. It's day two of the "Yard Sale." Goes until 7 PM tonight. I just came back from there and got some great stuff. I'll make a video and add it to this post soon.

Okay, here it is:



It was funny seeing how all the stuff was marked down. Prices crossed out left and right. I feel bad for anybody who bought stuff at much higher prices over the weekend--of course, they also had the first shot at the best stuff. One cool thing they did was put a whole bunch of game-used jerseys in bags and put them on sale for 75 bucks each. But you couldn't see into the bags, so you don't know what player you're getting. I almost wanted to wait around until they dropped the price again, but I took off with my bat and my bag and my speaker. Oh, and it was a warm, windy day--good for line-standin'. The whole thing took place inside Gate E. And I got a free spot right on Yawkey Way. It's such a different story parking-wise when it's not a game day.

And if I didn't make it clear above, anyone can go. You don't need to win the opportunity.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

GroSSery

Kim and I were on Myrtle Ave. in Brooklyn yesterday, and we laughed when we saw this. Yes, it's "A-Rod Grocery." While trying to find the spot on G-maps, I noticed this, just down the street. Tejada's Grocery! How'd we miss that?

(I didn't use the street view on the first one since it's night and you really can't read the sign. A-Rod choked when it came to getting lit signage. Isn't that weird, though? Night street views?)

I should point out that the reason we were there was to stop by Kim's friend's flower/garden shop, "Root, Stock & Quade." If you live in NYC, check out the website and if you need that kind of thing, you can know you'll be supporting a Red Sox fan!

Still great seats available, by the way. You can get four together, front row of the bleachers, for 10/1. For the hell of it, I checked one of the slimeball scalper sites, and seats 15 rows behind those are going for 140 dollars each. The cheapest bleacher seats on there are over 40 bucks. And with those sites, the fees are even worse than the Red Sox charge. That's pretty crazy, that somebody is gonna buy those 140s. Around 600 dollars for something worth about 100, which can be had at face value right now for anyone paying attention.

Sept/Oct On Sale Now

[Update: The October theory works--just added 4 together in the bleachers for one of those games. The first time I went in I had no VWR--this time it took ten minutes.]

As I suggested they might, the Sox have put September/October on sale. And as I said when I saw the schedule when it came out months ago, that first October weekend is key, because I guarantee plenty of people will think the last September game is the last game of the season. Since each month is its own page, people might not even click on "OCT." So that should leave extras for us.

Just now I added a few more upper bleacher singles--got that same seat (top right corner, last seat up, last seat over) to a different game! And I got a seat that borders the back wall in dead center, not a bad deal for 12 bucks each plus fees. And I didn't even have to wait in the VWR--just went right in.

So, yeah, I'll be there a lot the final weekend, and in April/May/Sept in general. Hey, if you buy every single game individually, are you a season ticket holder?

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