Friday, July 16, 2010

Tynan's Stink Still On Fenway Field

The key: Up 3-2 in the 5th, Doobie Bront-thers catches a liner right back to him. Tries to double the guy off second but the throw goes into center field. (A-Gon woulda had it.) Would have ended the inning. Instead, Cabrera comes in, walk loads the bases, another ties the game, and a grand dong makes it 7-3. We lose 8-4.

Bengie Molina needed a triple for the cycle...and actually got one. Don and Rem never even brought up the possibility that it could have been an error, which was odd since Patterson went back, stuck up his glove, and had the ball bounce off it. But whatever.

What was with the weirdness behind the plate? Not that dancing boy in the crowd, the screen dangling over the fence. Something's askew.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dick Street All Around

Can't say much about tonight's game because I only hear the last five minutes of it. But I have to say, I did some great Castig-reading over those last few batters. By that I mean you can usually tell by the tone of Joe's voice roughly how far ahead or behind the Sox are. Using that and getting some clues from what he was saying (like the fact that he said we had two on without noting where the tying/go-ahead run is), I came up with a guess of 7-1 Texas. Turns out it was 7-2, and that's how it ended. I understand Wake doodied the duvet giving up 6 in the first. Take that out and we win 2-1...would be one lame way of looking at a crappy night...

The reason I missed nearly the whole game is that I was busy missing nearly all of Planes, Trains, & Automobiles since some drunk was ruining it for everybody. The Providence outdoor movie schedule is great, but every week there's some shithead messing it all up. The last two weeks it's been "drunk, white trash tough guy." He talks and talks and annoys people around him until someone politely asks him to be quiet--and that's their first mistake. Because then he starts trying to intimidate them into fighting him. This man is the ultimate coward, and does what they all do: Big show, no results. He's also either off his meds, or drunk, completely screwed up in the head, or a combination of the three. Oh and when he's not yelling at people around him, he's yelling at the battered wife he drags along with him. (The irony this week was that we were watching a movie about a guy that annoys you non-stop.) So what should we do? It's gonna keep happening. I want to tell a cop but they're never around. You....make the call!

SS Twinnow

They found the remains of an old ship in the ditch at the World Trade Center site. I guess it was part of the fill they used when they extended Manhattan a long time ago...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The ZaBruner Film

Kim was going through her old ticket stubs and mentioned she'd been at Fenway on May 9th, 2004. I love that my blog acts as a diary, and I can go back to any date in the last six years and see what I was doing. I checked for 5/9/04, and was not at that game.

BUT....I noticed a post I did around that time about Tom Brunansky's famous 1990 division-clinching catch, which will always be one of my favorite moments in Red Sox history. I had noted that I read about a guy named Mike Donovan who filmed the play from the stands, getting definitive proof that Bruno really did catch the ball, and that I couldn't find anything else about this video that was never circulated after its one showing on the news.

Well, I just now searched "Mike Donovan Brunansky," and what popped up, but a YouTube video from January 2010 showing the old news broadcast with the super-secret angle! The sports guy even says how this angle may become the "benchmark video for years to come"! From what I can tell, this is a 20-year old mystery finally--officially--solved. And I guess it was true: somebody made the call not to ever show this angle again, leaving us all to wonder. But now it's been uncovered. (It's a bit grainy in YouTube form, but it certainly looks like a catch, and the anchor has no doubt either. It's also cool to see how the ump gets leveled, and Ozzie Guillen, who hit the ball, starts to go nuts, as does our first baseman Carlos Quintanta.)

[Note: I just checked the links to the video and I see a few places linked it, but it only has 348 views, so it's not like this was huge news. But it should be, and I'm happy to help it along. Oh, and the person who uploaded it: Mike Donovan himself! Makes sense--what are the odds anybody else was taping the news that night AND kept it all these years. I only know one other person who would do something that weird....]

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Old Saybrook! There, I said it. Every year I talk about my favorite All-Star Game memory. This year, I'll go ahead and tell it again. No twist...just the same story. Again. Here we go:

My family used to go to Old Saybrook, on the Connecticut shore, for a few days each summer. My grandpa's cottage was there, and when we'd arrive, he'd have hidden bags of half-dollars around the yard for my me and my sister to find. It was the type of place where you parked your car on the grass, you showered in a stall outside, and you had to say "blue" if you accidentally said "red"*. The little TV was out on the back porch, and unlike our big TV at home, it got TV-38 out of Boston. It was always summer at that cottage.

But there wasn't quite enough room to sleep four more people, so we'd always get a room at the Heritage Motor Inn, just up the street on the Post Road. In the 80s, this place had all the amenities the 70s could offer. I can still smell the AstroTurf. Or was that the stale soda at the bottom of the Coke machine? Or the newsprint as we'd read the Red Sox boxscore in the paper by the pool. Ah, that's what it was--I love the smell of chlorine in the morning....

So there we were at the Heritage on a July night in 1983. I was 7 years old. Five days earlier I was at Yankee Stadium with my dad and two T-ball buddies and their dads. We saw the Red Sox lose a slugfest from the upper deck that night. Three days later, Independence Day, my friend's older brother was at the Stadium and saw a no-hitter. I listened from home as Dave Righetti shut down the Sox. That's how the first half ended. So we wouldn't see any Red Sox games on our vacation, but we were just in time for the All-Star Game.

Grandpa's TV required an earpiece at night*, so that wasn't really an option for watching the event. So my dad and I walked from the Heritage's coveted Room 12 (there were only 12 rooms, #12 was a double) over to the where Si (Cy?), the owner, lived, with hopes that he'd let us watch his TV. The S-man (C-man?) delivered.

We were excited to be watching Jim Rice--but also Fred Lynn, who was no longer with the Red Sox, but was a favorite of mine for years even at that point. I was calling him Fred Lynnstone by age 3. And I have it on tape. Freddy came up with the bases loaded in the third. No one had ever hit a grand slam in an All-Star game before, but Lynn did it that night in Chicago, and at the Heritage Motor Inn. Our American Leaguers also broke a record that night, scoring 13 runs. And on top of it all, we beat the NL for the first time since 1971 (when Reggie was hitting transformers, not yet stirring drinks), four years before I was born.

And there it is, my favorite All-Star memory. Hope you're enjoying the game, from whichever motor inn you're in.

*things are a little different when you've got an autistic relative around

Postscript: NL wins tonight in a kind of boring game. Hughes gets the loss and A-Rod doesn't play, so those are some bright spots. The one play where something actually happened, I missed, because some asshole set off a cherry bomb on our street. That's what Kim said it was--I thought it was a nuclear bomb, it scared the crap out of me. When we came back to the TV, all these NL guys were crossing the plate. Oh well.

In The News

A article about Steinbrenner with me in it.

Don't you love how my other nemesis is in there too, saying how Red Sox fans secretly wished George was on our side?? That guy gets more out of touch every day...

Ding Dong

Goddamn you George Steinbrenner, you had to go and die while I'm at work!

Now by the time I write the obit I should have prepared years ago, the news cycle will have moved on to Lady Gaga's latest antics.

I will say this, though: Last year's championship counts as their bullshit "win one more for George" title. No more! You can't squeeze two out of this! Last year was the meal! That's it! George is getting very upset!

Monday, July 12, 2010

HR Derby--Updating Below

8:44: The home run derby--in the back yard, on the moon, in a video game, wherever--is humanity's finest invention. So here we go:

Okay, the first two dudes shat the sheets. Then the guy whose name is actually Corey Hart hit a million. I love that Nick Swisher Sour has to follow that. Say what you will about the guy's personality, but I'll take a slug or sloth who doesn't want to play for the New York Yankees over anybody who does. That's the ultimate flaw. So as I write, he has 4 dongs with one ball left...and he's done. Hopefully he doesn't make round 2.

8:47: Holliday, then Papi after these messages. Oh, so ESPN is really pretty bad with the production. They're of course doing the artsy thing and showing different angles instead of just letting us see what happens. Gimme the classic shot from center field. That's what we're all used to, and we can tell if a ball is going out or not from that angle, not one from inside the batter's cup or whatever.

8:50: Holliday up. Man, Berman gets worse every year, sometimes he's just mumbling or it's dead air as he tries to figure out what to say.... Holliday not doing so well, 5 outs, 1 dong....6 outs....

8:52: Matt's down to his last out, come on, gotta keep Swish out of the next round! Up to 3, needs one more, has 4 now! And there's 5, to pass Swisher. Gold. And he finishes with 5. "And that was a BIG little run he had there." - Berman. Papi up next. Great, another ad. So ONE guy batted between commercials. Terrible job.

9:00: Wow, so ESPN films Papi entering the field all ceremoniously and whatnot but DOESN'T SHOW IT. We just hear that it happened. First dong for Papi, hitting off Tony Pena.

9:02: Ha, Pedroia filming Papi with his Flip maybe. Papi on fire, 3 dongs, 1 out. Hitting line drives...4 outs, 4 dongs.

9:05: Joe Morgan just said Babe Ruth wasn't called Babe yet when he played in Boston. Good god. Anyway, 5 dongs, 5 outs for Papi. He's almost in round 2 I think.

9:06: 6 dongs, I think that clinches round 2. Right? He's hitting all these wicked low liners, fortunately a bunch went out. Now he hits a high fly that goes out. He's in, why aren't they confirming? He's ahead of 4 guys if I'm scoring correctly!

9:08: Papi getting the Gatorade break from R. Soriano. Down to last ball...and he's done. For now...

9:12: Will Ferrell on, has a Bobby Grich patch on his suit jacket! Sweeeet. Hanley's up.

9:17: I think Hanley's going to round two. I was more paying attention to Ferrell, and the way Morgan, Berman, and Bobby V were doing a terrible job setting him up/listening to him.

9:27: Papi interviewed, says he does the HR Derby for the fans--yeah! I hate when guys are invited but don't go! Just get up there and swing, it's fun, assholes! So Cabrera just got in, so it's him, Papi, Hart, and Hanley in round 2.

9:36: Papi leads off round two to give the fourth-place dude a rest since he just hit. Papi adding to the total with 2 quick dongs.... make it 3 and just one out...4...5, still one out, he's hitting bombs while not even getting all of it sometimes....he's up to 14, make it 15....16, 8 in each round, still only 2 outs here...

9:40: Up to 17...Haha, Papi asks how many outs he has, then asks how many more outs he gets! He's got 9 dongs, 5 outs in this round, 17 dongs total as they add round 1 and two. Gets the Gatorade, he really does look a little tired...yet another giant dong, and another! And another for 20! 21, still 2 outs left.... Gold ball time... too bad they show a close-up of his body so there's no way we can tell where the ball went. But it's his last out. 21 total in round 1 &2. Nice.

10:00: Cabrera out. Hanley down to last out with 17. Unless he gets 4 straight, Papi's in the finals. There's 1....there's 2....there's 3...and he fuckin' does it. And now an out. So if Hart passes 21, Papi and Hanley have a swing-off to see who plays him in the finals.

10:08: Hart needs 8 to tie. One out, 2 out...3 out...4 out, no dongs. 5 out....6 out...7 out...1.5 hours between at bats they just said...8 outs, no dongs. Two more and it's an Ortiz/Ramirez final, each going in with 21 dongs anyway! 9 outs! DONE! No dongs in round 2, and Hart surrenders. Papi. Hanley. For all the whatevers.

10:17: Papi up first. Starts off with a dong.

10:18: Another big dong. And another. And a 4th in a row to start. Finally an out.

10:20: Two more Dongs, he's in a groove. Another shot. 7. Pedroia's lovin' it. Make it 8. Now his second out. And the roundly Gatorade break... now his third out, still at 8 dongs. Out #4.

10:23: Another out. Gotta get the rhythm back. But another out. 8 HR, 6 outs. The break came too early this round, broke his rhythm instead of getting him back into it. And now he wraps one around the would-be Pesky Pole! But now his 7th out. Now his 10th dong!, because ESPN shows just the ball on a fucking split screen to boot.

10:26: Gold ball. He's at 10. He goes mega-yard. 11, and now he's done. Hanley has the tools/talent to top that, but will he do it....?????

10:33: Hanley up. Out #1. I hate that they play music during the action. And I can't believe I haven't mentioned that till now. Out #2. Dong #1. Out #3. Out #4. Dr. Charles shown with Selig and Aaron. Dong #2 off the rockpile. Dong #3. Dong #4. Out #5.

10:36: 4 dongs, 5 outs, he needs 11 to tie. OUT #6! Papi out there to towel him off. Southern Cal crowd still thinks they're watching a tennis match. Then again, no one can hear you when the PA is blasting shit. Okay, 7th out! Still just 4 dongs. And that's the 8th out!

10:37: 5th dong, still 8 outs. Needs 6 more to tie. 9th out!!!!! One more and one of our own wins the Home Run Derby! OUT!! We win!!!!!!!!

10:38: Papi, you kicked ass. And your dong-hitting both here and in the regular season has surprised....NO ONE! (Except for a few dolts in the media who control the thoughts of many.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

51 Wins At The Break

Closing the first half with a series win is a lot better than losing 6 of 7, which is what it would have been if we'd lost today.

Pretty basic win--Dice (2 runs), Bard, Pap. Thank Gedman we finally broke through with dongs by DMC and Papi. 3-2 us, and we head to the break for some much-needed rest.


Bob Sheppard dead at 99. I heard that dude's voice many times going to the second-oldest Yankee Stadium, but I was shocked when I heard it at Fenway Park once in the late-80s at a Yanks-Sox game. I have confirmed through news searches that he did do "guest announcing" at Fenway--but I also read that Jon Miller once did the PA at Fenway, imitating both Sherm Feller and Sheppard. I wanna say I'm sure it was the real Sheppard I heard that day, so...I will. I see one article that has him there on 7/17/87, a game Oil Can Boyd pitched against Oakland. But I feel like my game was '88 or '89, and I know, okay, I'm pretty sure it was with the Yanks in town. Anyway, for some reason that didn't make me mad like the Ronan Tynan thing did....

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