Saturday, May 22, 2004

Doesn't Seem To Be A Shadow In The City

My favorite days are here...really hot and steamy with late day thunderstorms.

The magic number is down to 121, I can't wait til it gets to double digits.

Saw Magnetic Fields play in NYC last night, they were funny and good. Only saw one Sox fan in the city, but I'm going back today, hopefully the Saturday crowd will have more 'B's on their hats. Also, I've been really busy with sock puppets.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

These Are The Good Times...Or Something

What a great inning I saw in the yankees-Angels game last night. I turned on the game at about midnight; the game was scoreless going to the eighth. Kenny Lofton started the inning with a walk, doing his customary "bat throw down" almost before ball four crossed the plate. (Note: This move makes me--and I'm sure some yankee fans a well--want to strangle Kenny Lofton.)

So Lofton's the go ahead run at first, and Jeter attempts to bunt him over. However, Lofton must not know this, because he's running on the pitch, with his head down. Jeter gets the bunt down, the pitcher throws to first to retire the cheater. The replay shows that had Lofton been aware of the sacrifice attempt, he probably could've gone all the way to third on the play, since no one was covering third, and Lofton was already at second as the throw was going to first. So either Lofton or Jeter missed a sign, but disaster was avoided as the sacrifice worked out. But the point is they should've had Lofton on third, either by him going all the way there on the play, or getting a steal, and then being sacrificed to third.

So then A-Rod's up, and I guess the yanks decided to try to make up for the blunder. Lofton breaks for third. And is thrown out easily.

A-Rod proceeds to swing and miss on the next two pitches for a strikeout, ending the inning.

Oh, and then in the ninth, you may have heard that Posada was called out at home, but actualy got his foot in ahead of the tag. But what you may not have heard, is that the reason he got on base was that he "pretended" to get hit on the leg by a bouncing pitch.

Later, a shot of Posada at second base between pitches showed him pointing to his foot, and then laughing his butt off with the fielder he was standing next to. There was never any question that ball missed him. It was an acting job all the way.

But then, in the bottom of the ninth, the Angels got the leadoff man and winning run on base on a single. This little dude, who they were showing in the dugout before the hit, warmimg up his legs and jumping up and down, comes in to pinch run. This guy was so psyched to be in the game, ready to run. I don't need to tell you that he got picked off...
And without a pitch being thrown, either. Two pickoff attempts, and on the third, he was so toast that he just stopped when the ball was thrown to first, and thenstarted running to second.

I turned the game off there, and wouldn't you know it, I missed "The Amazing Mr. Quantrill" lose the game in the eleventh. That's two rough outings lately for the untouchable one. Things are looking down in yankee-land.

Roy-AL With Cheese

[the fiance described below is long gone. We broke up--never did tie that knot. That was years ago. Just to clarify. --Jere, 2008]

On one of the rare occasions where I was in a bar a year or so ago, I was standing there talking to Pat, and over his shoulder I saw my fiance's ex-boyfriend walking across the bar. I say to Pat, "There goes Lys' ex-boyfriend." Pat turns to look, having been previously unfamiliar with the fact that this person used to date my fiance. Then, in a move that simultaneously dismisses the ex and boosts my ego, Pat inspects the guy for about two seconds, and says "Who, Captain Cheese??"

Now ever since the Red Sox acquired Alan Embree, I've noticed something kind of disturbing. He looks like my fiance's ex-boyfriend. (With a giant hunk of chew in his cheek)

Okay, so to wrap it up, you probably know that Alan Embree throws the baseball about a hundred miles per hour. Which, in baseball lingo, is often referred to as, that's right, throwing "cheese."

So... naturally, I will now be referring to Alan Embree as "Captain Cheese."

I just heard how he wants to be called "Everyday Embree." But come on, which is better, Everday Embree, or Captain CHEESE?"

Alan Embree: Captain Cheese.

Monday, May 17, 2004

I Wish I Hadn't Noticed This...

At work I have my Red Sox schedule up on my cubicle wall. Every day I write in a "W" or "L," and some other secret codes to show who started each game, and what the magic number is after each game. I wanted to have a way to be able to add up the total wins and losses at any given moment. You know, in case someone calls me at work and asks me the Red Sox' record.

So in the space to the right of each week, I write the team's record for that week, so I can just add the columns up to get the total record.

Here's the disturbing trend I've noticed thanks to this unorthodox weekly record-keeping:

There have been six weeks completed this season so far (plus one game this week). Including this week's 0-1 record so far, the Red Sox weekly record has gotten worse every week for the last five weeks. Doesn't seem possible, does it? But it's true:

Week 1: 3-3/.500
Week 2: 3-1/.750
Week 3: 5-2/.714
Week 4: 4-2/.666
Week 5: 4-3/.571
Week 6: 3-4/.429
Week 7: 0-1/.000

Weird. I feel like Susan Reynolds. I totally feel good about the team, though. I'm just sayin', it's kinda odd. The streak ends this week, though.

So I went to the store for some chips and sal--what? Oh, Susan Reynolds?...You don't know her? Really? Well, maybe you'll know soon, we'll see. Let's just say she knows more than you about baseball statistics of the ridiculous kind. Probably.

Three French Toast, Two Turtle Necks...

"I witnessed Kevin Youkilis' Major League debut and saw his first Major League hit--a home run!"... is what I would be saying right now, had I stayed in Toronto for one more game. Instead, I left Saturday morning, after seeing Thursday and Friday's games at the Skydome.

My first thought upon arriving at the stadium on Thursday at around four o'clock was: Is the game cancelled?

Skydome is a big ugly hunk of concrete in the middle of an otherwise good-looking city. It looks more like a big bus station...that buses don't go to anymore.

After walking halfway around the stadium, I finally saw some human beings: a few Sox fans and some scalpers. Like most scalpers, this one guy, who I'd say was the head of a big scalping ring, made you feel like you're stupid to do anything besides give him your money. He reminded me of Easy Andy, the character in Taxi Driver who Travis Bickle buys his guns from. In the movie, Andy does a stellar job of selling specific guns to Bickle. After Bickle decides to buy basically all of them, Andy adds up the prices, collects the money, and then starts asking if Bickle needs drugs as well. Or a car. "I can getcha a brand new Cadillac!"

This guy wanted to set me up with "amazing" seats for the whole weekend.

So I went to the ticket office.

It's weird how in Canada, you can pay for anything with U.S. dollars, but they give you your change in Canadian currency. So you have to play the game of: I have to get enough Canadian money so I'll have exactly enough to buy what I need before I leave Canada. I ended up with a pocket full of one and two dollar coins. (I don't think they have bills lower than five.)

The CN Tower is right next to the dome, it was cool to crane my neck and stare at it.

Once inside the dome, I couldn't help but notice that I was in yankee Stadium with a lid.

From the urine-smelling concrete, to the blue seats, to the scoreboard and PA frills, (does it fulfill these people spiritually to yell "Charge!" when commanded to do so by a horn sound-effect twenty times a night?) to the chants of "1918" and "Boston Sucks," to the guy with the Blue Jays shirt and yankee hat, this place was yankee friggin' stadium.

Oh, and the souvenir store at the stadium had about, I'd say, 80% Blue Jays apparel, 2% other team apparel, and 18% yankee gear. There was a whole wall of yankee shirts. Toronto's other team, I guess. I think I know who those people root for in October.

There were also tv commercials on the scoreboard between innnings, when they weren't doing the minor league staple, "Man in the Stands," who asked people trivia questions for prizes, etc. And they had these dancers who would dance on top of the dugout, and the Blue Jay mascot was also a trained dancer. It was very bizarre seeing these men doing really professional Britney Spears moves on the dugout.

They also have their own 7th inning stretch song, complete with special dance, which everyone seems to know, in the way most Americans freakishly break into the chicken dance as soon as the song starts at weddings.

The funny thing was, when there weren't sound effects blaring, you could hear a pin drop, as the crowd of 5,000 (they said 20,000) sat silently, waiting for a hockey game to break out.

As the Jays took the field, the loudest fireworks I ever heard in my life went off about 100 feet above my head, scaring the living crap out of me--and everyody else. The guy behind me said he knows it's coming every time, but every time he jumps out of his shoes.

I got seats in the 500 level for the first game. The ushers wouldn't let anyone stray out toward the thousands of empty seats down the baselines. And then when I tried to go down lower, I was shocked to find that the access to the lower decks were blocked off. You either could take the "Exit To Street," or stay in your seat.

They did have veggie dogs there, though. That and the cheap ticket prices were some of the few positives.

The second day, I was watching TV and it said the temperature would be 26 degrees. I couldn't figure out how warm that was, until finally they showed a map off all of North America, with the high temperature for the major cities. So I looked at Miami: 27 degrees. LA: 28 degrees. Okay, so it's gonna be hot. And it was.

But the roof was closed that night. The night before it was open, and in the upper deck, I was freezing by the ninth inning. Go figure.

For the second game, I sat in the lowest deck, in right center field. I brought my video camera, and got some nice shots of Damon, Manny, and Millar in the outfield, and during BP I filmed Pedro jogging with his headphones on, and the rest of the team.

I got a ball in BP, too. Daubach hit one over my head in right field. I turned, and the ball was rolling around. I hopped two rows of seats, and as I retrieved the ball, I heard an older Spanish-speaking woman saying, "Owww." Knowing the ball must've hit her, I grabbed it and gave it to her. She was kind of flustered, and rubbing her hand. I kept saying, "Are you okay?" but I don't think she spoke English. When BP ended, I waved to her and she mouthed the words "thank you" to me. And as I was leaving the area, her son came running after me and gave me the ball. I said, "Are you sure?" He didn't speak English either, but pushed the ball at me. So I took it and attempted to thank him, and he ran off. I had written about a similar situation that happened to one of my yankee fan friends in the eighties. (see my March 16th post) I think this makes up for that one.

I got to see a loss and a win, and I decided I'd just get up and go home on Saturday, because if I stayed for the game, the eight hour trip might have me driving til very late, and in the rain. Had I known Youkilis was playing his first game, I probably would've stayed. Oh well, I got to hear the whole game on the radio driving home, and the yankee game went like five hours, so that took up a good chunk of the trip. And the Sox won and the yanks lost in awesome fashion. (Although Michael Kay's intro for the following day's game was all about the yanks home run hitting, and their "virtual murderer's row."--and, oh yeah, they lost. I've talked about this before--even in losing, the yankees always win. Whatever.)

Canada's cool and all, but it's nice to be home. To quote Lisa Simpson, while in France, from tonight's Simpons episode, "America has it's grandeur, and it's folly. But most of all, it's where all our stuff is."

The magic number sits at 126.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

My Photo
Location: Rhode Island, United States