Saturday, August 28, 2004

Random Stuff/Maine Caves

80. Percentage of yankeee fans who've already figured out where they're going to hide when their team doesn't make the playoffs.

Another cheesy win for them tonight. Always-arrogant Michael Kay couldn't even muster up any fake enthusiasm when announcing that the yanks had won. Not even his pinstriped goggles could hide Gordon's struggles in the eighth and ninth.

Things yankee "fans" have said to me lately (really):

"I don't know what team Don Mattingly played for." Alright, this came from an eleven year old kid. Mattingly retired nine years ago. I don't expect the kid to remember seeing him play at age one, but if you're gonna call yourself a yankee fan, you better damn well know what team Don friggin' Mattingly played for. It's not like we're talking about Don Slaught here.

Here's another good one:

Lady at work: "Doc Gooden's been pitching excellent."
Me (racking my brain): "For what team, now?"
Lady: "For the yankees." Me: "Doc Gooden?"Lady: "Yes."
Me: "Doc Gooden??" (extra question mark indicates further bewilderment)
Lady: "Am I getting the name right?"
Me (after long pause): "El Duque?"
Lady: "Ah, yes, El Duque. That's right."

Most knowledgeable fans in baseball, on the ball as usual. And it's funny how they still think that when they bring up the fact that the Red Sox haven't won the World Series since 1918 (except for one guy in NYC who saw my hat and shouted "1919!" at me), they're the first person to bring it up. Like they were rifling through old newspapers and came up with this amazing fact: "Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I've done some extensive research and I've concluded that your team hasn't won in a long time. So what do you think about that?"

So yankee fans, if you're gonna comment on my site, try using your brain for a couple of minutes, give me some kind of argument as to why you feel your yankee team is better than my team right now. "1918" doesn't count as an argument. The point is, your ALL-STAR team is only five up on us.

If you don't care about highway trivia, stop reading now.

Okay, we weeded out a few people there.

So when I was in Maine last weekend, I couldn't help notice that the state has caved in when it comes to renumbering highway exit numbers to match the mile markers. This trend has taken place all over the country. But my state, Connecticut, as well as New York, Mass, and RI, (I think) has remained stubborn, choosing to stick with the sequential, or "classic," exit-numbering style. Is this because in the northeast, we're such drivers by nature, that we refuse to let our good old exit numbers be crazily renumbered? Then you'd know exactly how far you've gone and how far away the next exit is. What fun is that? And the days of exits 6 and 13 being skipped over on eastbound 84 would be over. And exits 26 and 27 being in reverse order on westbound 84? Gone. Replaced by a robotic, perfectly measured system of numbers that would go way too high. Probably easier for the government to track us that way. Might as well change it to Interstate 1984!
I drive into Pennsylvania, and I'm at exit 376!
Listen Mr. Bush, this will NOT happen in my state! I live at exit 5. And, granted, I'm about five miles from the state border, so maybe I'd still be at Exit 5. But that'd be a tainted 5!

Okay, I've gone and toweled off, but I'm okay now. Maybe we are a little stubborn around here. My real theory is that there are just so many highways and exits around here, that the renumbering would take forever. It's a lot easier to just drive across South Dakota on their one highway with spray paint and some stencils. You could probably do it in a day, and no one would notice or care. But you do a survey around here, and I guarantee nobody wants their sacred exit number changed.

The magic number is down to 41 with our win. Manny better be okay for Saturday's game because I'm going to it.

Note: I wrote this late Friday night/early Saturday, but the whole internet seemed to be down so I'm now posting this at 10:45 AM Saturday. I'd like to add that last night I had a dream that I was looking at the cover of Joe Castiglione's book, and there was a picture of he and Troup' in a crowd of people, and they were the only ones looking at the camera. And they looked like old, pudgy, curly haired men with bulging eyes and crazy smiles on their faces. It was scary.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

More Of My Usual Jibba-Jabba

Former overrated yankee and current yankee announcer (every fifty games or so) Joe Girardi had a real winner of a stat tonight: The yankees are 24-3 when Quantrill, Gordon, and Rivera pitch in the same game.

Okay, proverbial class, can anyone tell me why that stat is completely misleading, meaningless, and nearly as overrated as Girardi himself?

That's right, because that's their whole plan for a win, is to have what's his name pitch the 7th, and bla bla bla pitch the eighth, and the legend Mariano yadda yadda yadda the save. So when they can get those three into a game, it means evrything has gone according to plan, and chances are, they're going to win.

So that stat is like saying, "The yankees are undefeated when they hold the other team scoreless. Amazing. Only the yanks. Wow."

I can just hear Francesa tomorrow repeating that stat on the air tomorrow in that stupid accent of his. And by the time some overnight schmuck on the third-rated sports station is saying it, every yankee fan will know it by heart, not having a clue that it really means absolutely nothing.

The more I think about it, the more ridiculous it gets. I was gonna stop there, but now I'm thinking, If Mariano comes in the game, it means (95 percent of the time) that the yankees are winning and need three more outs to end the game. So you could probably say, "When Mariano and ANY two other pitchers pitch in a game, the yankees are, you know, whatever and three." The total number of losses will be roughly the number of Mariano's blown saves, so it will always be an "amazing" winning percentage.

Anyway, the stupid yankees lost tonight, thanks to Gordon's 6th blown save.

And we won big in Toronto, and now we go home for ten. I'm psyched to be going up there for Varitek's return, and Pedro on Saturday.

Back to 5 out in the loss column, and the magic number is all the way down to 43.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

NESN Update

Still no NESN here in Fairfield County. That blank channel turned out to be jewelry-tv or something in the day, and still the New Jersey news station at night. And NECN, I just discovered is partly owned by Comcast, that must be why we have that. If only Comcast would buy part of NESN, maybe that's my key to seeing this channel.

Monday, August 23, 2004

This Is 2004, Everybody

Today, Jeter was believeing the media hype. Or was it the other way around?

Either way, both said the same thing: The yanks always have a slump this time of year. It's nothing to worry about.

Well, they've had really good pitching since this whole fake-dynasty started, until this year. So don't be so sure about this one, Jeter.

Then Francesa brought up that increasingly meaningless stat that the yanks have never blown more than a six game lead in any season. Yeah, I'm sure the Red Sox will hear that and just give up. "Hey, it's never been done, so it can't be done."

And while I'm talkin' about that arrogant SOB, I just want to point out a mistake he made today. (Because it's my nature. And he deserves it.)

He took a call from Hot Springs, Arkansas. He called the town "Home of the Ak-Sar-Ben."

Having gone to school in Nebraska (read Nebraska backwards), I'm aware that Ak-Sar-Ben is the name of the coliseum in Omaha, Nebraska (where I saw Nirvana in '93), as well as the name of a famous race track in Omaha, now a parking lot. I'd think that Francesa is referring to the track, not the coliseum, since he's a huge racing guy. But why did he think it was in Hot Springs, Arkansas? It's got some similar letters, but come on. And the caller hadn't been patched through, it sounded like, so he didn't even hear this huge mistake. (Also, Francesa pronounced it completely wrong, but maybe the coliseum is pronounced differently than the track was--the coliseum is "eggs-ARE-bin")

Not a big deal to some, alright, most, but the way he said it suggested he knew exactly what he was talkin' about.

And just for equal time, I have to say I was pissed at Sox announcer Jerry Trupiano the other night for claiming it was Nebraska who got 5 downs to beat Missouri way back when, when it was really those prostitute-hirin' thugs at Colorado.

Just Getting This Out Of The Way

You may know that one of my biggest pet peeves is when Derek Jeter gets face-time on a broadcast for doing nothing more than clapping for something he didn't even do, while standing outside the dugout.

But this was taken to a new level the other day.

You know how on SportsCenter highlights they always end with one final slo-mo shot? Well after that last yankee win (how long ago was that? help me out yankee fans), SportsCenter opted to use a "clapping Jeter" shot as their slow motion wrap up. What the hell is that? The only reason I can think of to do that is if the sportscaster was making fun of how they always show Jeter clapping, and they wanted to show it as a gag.

Terrible job, ESPN.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Welcome To The Blog That Still Hasn't Talked Wildcard

I was on a mini-vaction in the great state of Maine this weekend. Man, is it nice to be in a place where everybody wears a Sox hat. Old or young, male or female, white or... white (sadly), everybody's down with the Old Towne Team, as a "real" writer might call them. I hope you northern New Englanders appreciate what you've got. Now I'm back in bandwagon yankee fan land. But I don't expect to see many "NY"'s tomorrow. Well, actually I do, because those fools just don't pay attention.

So on August 7th, I said we just needed to cut the then 10 1/2 game lead down to six, since we've got six to play vs. NY. And even though it was still 10 1/2 about a week ago, it's now down to 5 1/2. So we're already a little ahead of schedule.

Somebody commented anonymously (i.e. they're a yankee fan) three days ago saying, "Red Sox 8 1/2 back. What else is there to say?" Well, there's a lot. The yanks are doing just what they should've been doing all along--losing because their pitching just isn't that good. And today, the Angels finished them off in the ninth so easily with just a one-run lead, I didn't even have time to get nervous. And the Sox are finally playing just about to their potential, as I've been repeatedly requesting of them. So now it's a little scary for these yankee fans. How key is a dual weekend sweep? Them swept at home, and us sweeping on the road at that!

I love this team. I love that these are the guys I get to root for. And overcoming Manny's little slip tonight was something other Sox teams wouldn't have done.

In "me getting to see my team" news, there's been somewhat of a development. I returned from Maine to find a slight change in my cable lineup. We used to have "RNN"--Regional News Network. The region they covered was New Jersey. Remember, I live in Connecticut. Well, that ridiculousness is apparently over, as Comcast has given us NECN--New England Cable News. Okay, a step in the right direction. It's like they finally realized we actually are in New England. I've also noticed that the channel next to it is a black screen, and Outdoor Life Network has been axed. Could this station be reserved for NESN, home of the Sox? I hope to all that is holy that it is. In the meantime, though, with NECN, I have a station which seems to have a sports report every ten minutes, including mega-Sox highlights. The reporter even referred to the Sox as the "good guys."

So many things are coming up Milhouse, but there's still a ways to go.

Errata: In my last post, I asked if Charley Steiner had any last words before his execution. I meant to ask what he wanted for his last meal, as is the tradition. Well, actually, they do ask about last words, too. Maybe. I don't know, either way, the man needs to be taken down for his crimes to humanity. Speaking of that, Jon Sterling today, in describing the beauty of yankee Stadium, made it sound like the players were playing a game in heaven, unapologetically, about a thousand times. It was a most pathetic display. I almost blew chunks. But he had to do what he could to make up for the yankees' ugly play.

The magic number to beat the yanks is plummeting, and now stands at 46.

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