Saturday, December 25, 2004

The Employees Who Stole Christmas

My next quiz was going to be: Predict when the stockings come down off of the Monster. Well I just just checked the "View From My Office," to see the last 48 hours transpire at Fenway in five minute intervals. On Thursday, at 9:45 AM, they start to come down. By 12:45 PM (yes, it took THREE hours (?)) all the stockings are gone. Just in time for Christmas. I kind of felt like I was watching the Grinch in action. I thought I'd see a bleary-eyed, footy PJs-wearing Manny Ramirez emerge from the door in the wall, awakened by the commotion, only to see his stockings being snatched by Grinches who, unlike the real Grinch, work in daylight and take their sweet time. Then one of them would climb down the ladder, tell little Manny Coo Koo that he's taking the stockings to a repair shop on Lansdowne Street, and give him a bottle of Poland Spring water, which Manny puts in his back pocket as he walks back into the wall and goes to sleep. Maybe somebody could photoshop that in or something.

So I'll have to think of something else for the quiz.

[If you're reading this after 12:45 PM on Christmas Day, you don't get to see the stocking removal, as instacam only shows the last 48 hours.]

Friday, December 24, 2004

Conan Stuff

Please read Conan O'Brien's article on why the Red Sox won the World Series.

While you're at it, read Conan's speech to the Harvard Class of 2000, for lines like "I especially miss Harvard Square - it's so unique. No where else in the world will you find a man with a turban wearing a Red Sox jacket and working in a lesbian bookstore" and more. What a funny man.

Hey, does anyone else feel like any Christmas present they may get might not be that great at this point? I mean, what do you get for the fan who has everything? We'll find out, I guess.

Merry X-treme Mas to all who celebrate it. Remember to keep the PRESENTS in Christmas. Jesus gets enough attention already.

An Actual "C"

So the question is: Will Jason Varitek jerseys "with the 'C'" cost more than regular Tek jerseys?

Just a suggestion: Simply buy a regular jersey, and draw a "C" on it with a Sharpie.

While trying to figure out whether Yaz or Rice actually had a "C" on their jerseys when they were captain (I don't remember ever seeing a "C"), I came across the answer to one of my favorite mysteries of all-time:

"In 1986 the Red Sox road jersey had a peculiar lettering with BO on one side of the buttons, and STON on the other. In 1987 Rawlings undertook to manufacture all MLB uniforms, with their name on one sleeve. The Red Sox and (I believe) the Tigers and Yankees chose to not to use Rawlings for their home uniforms (the BoSox stayed with Wilson) but used Rawlings on the road. These had the more symmetrical BOS || TON lettering. However, some players, such as Clemens and Rice, disliked the fit of the Rawlings jerseys and continued to wear 'last years model' during 87."

That's from David Nevard of the Buffalo Head Society, in a letter he wrote to Mark Okkonen, who wrote a book about baseball uniforms in 1991.

Pat & I have always been intrigued by this. How could some players have had a diferent uniform from other players on their team, we thought. We would joke that they made a few with just BO on the left by mistake, and gave them to some guys, hoping they wouldn't notice, rather than wasting jerseys. But then again, I've always said that it's not going to be symmetrical either way. Because on a men's button down shirt, there's the overlap section. So when you've got an even number of letters, unless you cut third one in half, or leave a space on the overlap (easy when you've got a space to work with--'RED [space] SOX' on the home jerseys), the word can't be centered.

Congratulations, Jation.

So I was driving around, listening to FM radio, sifting through one Xmas song after the next, and I noticed that on Christmas Eve, the only commercial stations that play anything other than Xmas songs are the classic rock stations. So I'd flip around, and hear: Xmas song, Xmas song, Xmas song, Xmas song, Radar Love, Xmas song, Xmas song, Bad Moon Rising, Xmas song, Xmas song.......

I also think that George Michael could buy a Varitek jersey with the royalties he's made from his song "Last Christmas" being on the radio about a million times today alone. Note: I'm assuming that's the name of the song. My fact checkers are off for the holidays.

And, no, the "Jation" wasn't a mistake.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Theo Puts The O in '05

That master of the deadpan delivery, and best catcher in the league, Jason Varitek, has re-signed with the Red Sox. (I still don't know what makes a deal official, but they're saying it on the New York sports stations as if it's definite.)

Anyway, this is key. For all of you who are sad about all the ring-wearers who have had to go before even receiving said rings, think about this:

C Tek
1B Millar or Mxxxxxz
2B Bellhorn
3B Mueller
LF Manny
CF Johnny
RF Trot
DH Ortiz

Only the shortstop is different from last season, and he's an improvement, AND he'll be the only one we'll have this year, as opposed to a bunch of 'em last year (remember Cesar Crespo?).

So there's plenty of consistency going on with this team. And all these guys effing rule, and have the "never have to pay for ____ in ____ ever again" tag already. I STILL love this team.

Also note that in a few days, we've gone from "We've got no pitching" to having more than 5 starters to choose from. And we've got a Wade and Clement. Maybe these two will win with us, instead of going to the yanks and winning, like the last Wade and Clement...uh, or ClemenS...did.

Theo rules.

By The Time I Get To Arizona

I got the new le tigre album. I like it--except for the cover of the Pointer Sisters' "I'm So Excited." There was no need for that. The day after I got the album, I was flipping through the radio, and came across the Pointer Sisters' "Neutron Dance"...while driving on the same stretch of road as I'd been on when I heard the le tigre cover exactly 24 hours before. These and other coincidences can be found at, I don't know, wherever.

In other nonsense news, the ever-eager Danny knew that Bill Lee signed his '71 bubblegum card "William Frances Lee." I kind of gave that one away by talking about baseball cards on eBay.

Two (2) of my friends are moving to Arizona. I asked them what day they're leaving, and they said, "Christmas morning." That made me laugh. People (who celebrate Xmas), on TV anyway, usually reserve "Christmas morning" for tradition, i.e. it's a day where you usually do the same thing year after year. What I'm getting at is that I've heard of a few different things that people do on Christmas morn, but I've never heard "moving to Arizona" as one.

"Yep, the kids usually rush downstairs around 5 AM. We all open our presents, then load the U-Haul and proceed to relocate 3000 miles. Just the way we do Christmas at our house."

So as they're about to head across this finely grated nation, I hear on the news that there seems to be a snowstorm covering, well, the whole thing. What are the odds? You drive across the country and you get a country-wide snowstorm.

I was wearing my Marzipan shirt today, and while cashing my paycheck, one of the bankers said, "Happy Decemberween!" I felt like I was part of a secret society. No idea what I'm talking about? You gotta check the secret link...the seeeee-cret link...

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Breaking News


An ARSFIPT source, who resides next to the dumpster behind the Danbury Barnes & Noble, claimed, between swigs of bourbon, that the deal is virtually done. "The Stox are holdin' out fer a draft pick, though," the source said Wednesday, "but they'll prolly just [unintelligible] teams."

Shhhh. Don't say anything. I'm trying to see if will hire me.

Was I seeing things over at Did the Silva Surfa actually make fun of ESPN for claiming the Randy Johnson trade was done, when he himself has had the Big Unit's picture up with a yankee hat on for weeks as well, with a headline confirming that the deal is done? Yes he did. He's now claiming we're going to sign Wade Miller. So I figure the odds on that are about 25 to 1. Although you gotta figure he's due. But I said that about Troy O'Leary when he was at the plate a lot, too.

Days after I wrote about yankee announcer/Steinbrenner girlfriend Suzyn Waldman, she was on the FAN today hosting a Hot Stove show. A Sox fan called up and said, "How can you go from being a Red Sox fan to being a yankee fan?" She got all flustered, it was great. Keep callin' her out, Sox fans. She also noted that on the show she did yesterday (I think she's on all week), they talked about this "for a half an hour." Yes! How is the screener letting these calls through? Along with co-host Howie Rose, she tried to defend herself. She said how she had a season ticket at Fenway since she was three, and how she's known Johnny Pesky since she was six. (She was screaming at this point.) That just made the caller ask his question again: So how can you go from that to being a yankee fan? She said how she's not a yankee "fan," it's just her job, etc., etc. Then she said, "If I was from Kansas City and came to work for the yankees, I guarantee you no one would say anything to me." And Rose couldn't resist saying, "That's because nobody cares about Kansas City around here." (i.e. "Duh, Suzyn, the Red Sox and yankees are kind of rivals!) She gave up the fight at that point. Until tomorrow, I hope.

The point is, once again, she wouldn't say, "I did it for the money, okay!?" even though we all know that has to be the reason. I think the guy actually had a legit question: "How could you?" Granted, he was pullin' her chain, but I seriously would like to know her answer. Because we fans don't know what it's like to be offered a job by our rival. Maybe some of us would do the same thing. I mean, I can say to you right now that I wouldn't work for the New York yankees for any amount of money, and I believe myself. But what if an offer was actually on the table?

I puked the other night. All night. Got a "bug," I guess. Oh, how cute, a bug. I was just a little cuddly bug in a rug, as my insides were uncontrollably torn out of me over and over. This is one reason why I don't drink. If there's a chance of hurling, I'm not participating. I'd rather be a yankee fan than throw up. Speaking of that, did you know that the Spanish verb "arrojar" means "to vomit?" So the "I" form would be "arrojo." That's right, former Red Sox pitcher Rolando Arrojo's last name meant "I throw up." If you were a Sox fan when he pitched, I don't need to tell you why that's so very fitting.

Today I heard the press conference of Dirtdog's favorite Phillie, Carl Pavano. He said, "Who doesn't dream of playing for the New York yankees?" He's right, I guess--only most of us call it a "nightmare."

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Tedious Research Reveals...

The Red Sox have a team in the Sally League this year called the Capital City Bombers. I wonder if they play on 4th Street & D. Did you know that Columbia, South Carolina (Capital City) has had minor league teams called the Commies and the Reds? As well as the Gamecocks and Comers. I tried to figure out that last one, and I'm thinkin' it refers to "All-Comers" meets, which, according to the internet oracle, seem to be popular at colleges in the south and midwest. And upstate New York.

In Quiz news, a person who goes by the name of PizzaBagel and my real-life friend Jen knew Pee-Wee's dog's name was Speck. They both get a point. Next quiz: How did Bill Lee autograph his 1971 Topps baseball card?

You know what isn't talked about enough? How the yankees played their home games at Shea Stadium in '74 & '75. I don't expect the girl who takes my order at Subway to bring it up out of the blue or anything, but I just never see footage or pictures of that. I'd love to see a big-sideburned Red Sox-yankees game at Shea on ESPN Classic. I tried looking for pics of baseball cards which might show American League players in Flushing from that time, and I came across a 1975 Jim Rice card where he's at Shea. This means the picture was taken in '74. Since Rice's first ever game was August 19th of that year, the pic had to be taken in the final yankee away series of the year. Which, thanks to retrosheet, was September 24th and 25th, 1974. There must have been a rain out on the 23rd, necessitating a doubleheader on the 24th, game 2 of which Jim Ed batted 5th and went 1 for 4 with a double off of Larry Gura. Also note that the Sox were in the midst of a nineteen game stretch where they played SIX extra inning games at the time. Ain't retrosheet grizzand?

So... oh yeah, isn't it weird that Rice and Evans had played regular season games at Shea before playing in the World Series games in '86?

After further review, that set the Rice card is from, SSPC, is one I'd never heard of. They had just a picture on the front, with no words, and were around in 1975 and 1976. So this card may be from '76, there seems to be some confusion. It would make sense, as the card I linked to, judging by the daylight and shadows, looks like it was taken in BP before a mid-summer day game, not a late September twi-night doubleheader after a rainy night. Then again, he's got long sleeves on. I'm stumped. Also, maybe SSPC came out at the end of the year, so their 1975 set would feature players FROM 1975, as opposed to the major companies, who release their set the following year. But either way, it turns out this set is good for seeing AL players at Shea, since A. Topps took a lot of pics for cards in spring training in those years, and B. Lots of baseball card pics are taken in NY anyway. (See the Mariners or Blue Jays page of the 1981 Topps Sticker Book.) It's okay, I know you're not going to.

I also noticed that SSPC had a Willie Mays card in '75 and '76, according to whoever put them on eBay, and his career ended in '73. Weird. Did he coach for the Mets after he stopped playing? Is SSPC a hoax?

I think Arrested Development might be giving David Cross' character more to do: The preview for next week's episode involved only him.

That's all I got.

No, wait. About's his WFAN interview from right after his press conference. This should link you right to it, you won't have to search the FAN site. Please listen to the whole thing if you haven't heard it, or if you've only seen the out-of-context quotes from it on the Muddy Mastiff's site.

You'll hear Pedro say how much he respects the Boston fans, how he doesn't care that Schill was ahead of him, how he isn't given special treatment, etc. I think he did a great job dealing with Mike & the Mad Dog being kind of stern in their style, and asking about all the bullcrap, almost hoping he'll admit to it. He defended himself well, saying how the media is just looking for ratings and to sell papers.

I think Theo did a great job reacting to what Pedro said about him, which, again, when taken out of context, seems like Pedro was snarling and yelling and foaming at the mouth. Kind of familiar, right, like when uninformed yankee fans blindly call Pedro a punk or a headhunter or whatever.

I think Pedro does deserve respect. For going out and pitching beautifully while all people would say about him was how he's about to break down, or he doesn't have it anymore, or he takes extra vacation time. So maybe after hearing so much about Schilling, he finally defended himself saying how he's just as good as Schilling. And of course, it sounds like he's "taking shots," but I don't know, who'll be better in four years anyway, Pedro at 37 or Schilling at 42? But in that initail interview, you can hear how he said he respected Curt.

That said, it must be hard for a superstar to understand why a team wouldn't bend over backwards for him. But as we know, the Sox are trying to squeeze every dime out of what they have, and giving a guy with health problems a long term contract was just to much of a risk.

So to sum up, I see where both sides are coming from.

I wish Pedro the best, and I, like Mike and the Mad Dog, will go see him pitch at Shea, maybe with a "Thank You, Pedro" sign or something. I think he'll see quite few Sox fans at Shea this year.

And I'm happy with everything Theo has done, and I trust him. We know he grew up a fan, so unless he was a dirtdog-style fan, he probably would've loved to have Pedro stay. Even if Pedro wins the next four Cy Youngs, we just can't be mad at Theo, because he did what he had to do.

How's that for positive thinking?

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

My Photo
Location: Rhode Island, United States