Saturday, March 12, 2005

These Are Old Blues

A few months ago, BS Memorial put up a link to this site, which is a database of every baseball team's uniform from every year.

I've been on that site ever since, without sleeping or eating.

I got to thinking about my favorite kind of uniform from my youth, a true relic, the light blue road uniform. So bad, it's good. So many teams had them. It's almost inexplicable that this would catch on, especially with teams that didn't even have blue as one of their team colors. The Cardinals? They're the Redbirds. But for some reason, it just seems right to imagine The Wizard of Oz in that light blue zoot suit, flipping through the air.

The other big thing from the seventies and eighties was the pullover top (instead of button-down), with the stripes on the sleeves, and around the waist on the pants, where a belt should be.

Thanks to this trend, in my baseball playing career, I literally never got to wear a button-down jersey. How F'd up is that? Peter Brady got to wear one in, like, '71. And all the kids probably wear 'em now. But my generation got totally screwed. Little League, Babe Ruth, Pony-Colt, High School... I always had the double-knit pullover with the V-neck and the stripes around the sleeves.

I found out that the Pirates started this trend along with their unveiling of Three Rivers Stadium in '70. By '78, every team but the Dodgers and yanks (who fear change) had worn a uniform without buttons. (Of course, way back, they also didn't have buttons, but I'm talking about the modern era here.)

The Reds, Cubs, and Cards still wore pullovers as late as '92-- Coincidentally, the year I started my final year of organized baseball.

But back to the blues:

The height of bluism was around 1980. Every team that ever wore the road blues were wearing them in 1980. This was the year I turned five, right around when I'd fully grasped the concept of baseball. By '81, I'd collected every sticker of the inaugural Topps Sticker Book, so I was definitely aware by '80. Before that, actually. So my initial look at baseball uniforms involved lots of blue.

The blue teams were: In the AL, Kansas City (73-82), Milwaukee (70-84)(70 was their first year. The Seattle Pilots, their precursor, in their one year, 69, wore a brighter blue road uni), Minnesota (73-86), Seattle (77-84), Texas (76-82), and Toronto (77-88); and in the NL, Atlanta (80-86), Chicago (76-81), Montreal (69-91) (69 was their first year), Philadelphia (73-88), and St. Louis (73-84).

Can you believe the Expos wore that crap for 23 years?!

Note: The blue usually corresponded with the pullover uniforms. A rarity was to have the blue with buttons. The Brewers of 70 and 71 had blue with buttons, (so did the 69 Pilots), as did the Rangers of 81 and 82. (The Rangers messed with me on this research project, as apparently, in some years, they wore uniforms with buttons that went, like, a third of the way down the chest. I don't remember these.)

There were also, of course, zippered uniforms. The Phillies had these for a while in the eighties, and were the last team to incorporate this shitty feature.

Then you've got all the crazy alternate jerseys that teams wore. Go to that site and look around.

It's also weird how the uniform changes mirrored society. I always liked the disco era's clothes that everyone makes fun of, if for no other reason than it was, like, the one time that mainstream society ever tried to look any different at all. If you look at a timeline of, say, the "average man"'s clothes over the last century, you'll see:

Suit and tie, suit and tie, suit and tie, suit and tie, crazy-ass colorful polyester leisure suit with bell bottoms, glitter, gold chains, and an afro, suit and tie, suit and tie, suit and tie...

That's why I love movies from that era. It doesn't have to be good, it just has to have people wearing those clothes and not even realizing it because, at the time, they were totally blending in and normal. And when society nowadays does do something different, it's always a retro-version of some other trend. But the seventies, those people just went ape-shit on the clothes, out of nowhere. And then people said, Uh-oh, we'd better fall right back into line, quick. Even people with metal through their faces now, they still wear normal clothes when they're at work. Or at least not as weird as the seventies. For the most part.

That's my whittled-way-down post on uniforms. This is one of those "separate blog" categories. Perfect example of why: I didn't even get to the Red Sox uniforms here.

Impossible Quiz Answer

The answer is:

Only fans of the Giants, Blue Jays, yankees, and A's can say: "My team won the World Series twice within one 365-day period."

The Red Sox of 1915 and 1916 won twice within 366 days, because of the leap year, so we missed the cut. Same with the '75-'76 Reds.

You had no chance. Sorry.

I'm gonna go ahead and assume I'm the only person to ever tink of this.

And I'm pissed that Petagine is injured. I was looking forward to seeing him make a go at it at Grover Cleveland. I mean at spring training.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


From the Chicago Tribune:

"The report quoted Garciaparra as telling a fan in Arizona, 'I don't want it. They can keep it.' As it turned out, the story apparently was a hoax planted on a fan Web site called The rumor made its way onto talk radio in New England and into some Boston newspapers.

Garciaparra had told the Tribune on Feb. 25 he appreciated the Red Sox's gesture and he was looking forward to receiving a World Series ring. So he was upset with the idea that someone was trying to impugn his reputation and no one had bothered to check it out before repeating it.

'They were putting it out like I was bitter," Garciaparra said. "They found out later it was a hoax.'"

Full story here. Registration required. Stuff we already knew, but I'm glad they're specifically placing blame where it needs to be. Although he does get publicity out of this, which is what he wants anyway.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Randy, Baby

I just realized that my dad's mother and his daughter are both nurses. (That's my nana and my sister to you and me, kids. Between them, they've been alive for all six Red Sx championships, by the way.)

Moving on, after all this Dirt Dog blasting lately, I thought I'd pull a Sinead O'Connor today and "fight the real enemy." (Michael Kay.)

The other day, he had this idea for a show topic: "Who would you pick right now to start a game if winning or losing that game means that you live or die?"

First, terrible job by ESPN radio for telling the listener what to talk about. It seems like on every show on that station there's some dumb question that everybody's supposed to answer. They try to be all hip to the needs of today's youth, saying that the listener is king or whatever, but, hey, at least the (cheesy-in-other-ways) FAN lets you talk about what you want. Mind you, if you disagree with Francesa, you'll be hung up on. It's weird, I despise both methods of talk radio: The old school dinosaur and the "trying too hard to be hip and get the 18-30 demographic." Like Matt "Guitar" Murphy said about the food served in the various Chicagoland prisons, "They're all pretty bad."

So the Backwards Kay, obviously trying to get a "buzz" going for Randy Johnson, selected the Big Prick as his "life or death pitcher." (And does it a tone that says, "I defy you to question this correct choice.") His co-host/producer guy went with Schilling. Kay started saying, condescendingly, "Well, he could very well be number two, but..."

At one point, a caller suggested Pedro, and Kay did his usual, "But what if the game were against the yankees? He just can't beat the yankees." Which still baffles me-- that people say this. Game 7 of '03, I guess, just doesn't count. This was the game where he outpitched Roger Clemens (who, of course, was brought up in the discussion, without mention of this game, until another caller brought up Mussina, saying how he bailed out Roger) by about 5000 times. And Game 3 of '99 doesn't count, where Pedro, again, outpitched Roger, going seven innngs, giving up zero runs. (After his no-hit relief performance vs. Cleveland.) Then there was the seventeen strikeout game against the yanks. Then there was the other duel with Roger where Pedro gave up nothing and Trot hit the homer to win it. I know this game actually happened, Michael, because I was there. And you were too, up in your sound proof booth so you couldn't hear half of yankee Stadium chanting "Pedro" (in the positive way). So don't tell me he can't beat the yankees. In fact, Pedro is the perfect candidate for the life-or-death choice, as that's just the type of pitcher he is. Somebody who wants the ball in the key game.

So after they came back from a break, the other dude had Randy's post-season stats for Michael: 7-8, 3.08. Kay was like, "Oh, I didn't realize his record was that bad." Then they gave Schill's postseason line: 8-2, 2.0 f'n 6.

Speaking of that stiff, I got an email from yankee insider, because I keep my enemies close and whatnot, and there was this message from Randy Johnson. Now I know these guys aren't paid (primarily) to speak. The audio message I got from Theo for joining Red Sx Nation wasn't exactly eloquent, but Jesus, Randy gave you the feeling like, well, let me play out the scene as I amagine it:

MLB Guy: "Hey, Randy, great to have you here! Here's what you'll be saying, (hands RJ a piece of paper) and can I get you some water or...."

Randy Johnson: "Listen, bitch, get ready to record 'cuz I'm only doin' this once. Understand?"

MLBG: Fine, Randy. Whenever you're ready.

[records message]

RJ: I'm out.

MLBG: Mr. Johnson, that "dot" between "yankees" and "com" is not the end of a sentence, we really need you to do that part agai--

RJ: [from beyond door which he's already slammed] Edit it, motherfucker!

MLBG: What a dick.

I wish I could figure out a way to link to this little speech. I guess I could always tape it, then audio-blog the tape of it. The prick would probably sue me, though. It really cracked me up when he said " any ticketmaster location, or at yankees. [Pause] Dot com, ..." There's so much editing in that twenty second speech, it's ridiculous.

I really think Randy's gonna have problems in New York. You can tell every time you hear him interviewed. He's already bringing up how he knows that the media's gonna be analyzing his every move. He's trying to act like he doesn't mind, but you can just tell by his tone that it's not gonna be long before he just blows his stack at one of these reporters. I don't even know if he'll make it through spring training. Somebody's gonna ask him some stupid question that no Diamondback writer ever thought to ask, and Johnson's gonna lose it. And it's gonna be a downward spiral, with Steinbrenner getting involved, and Torre being embarassed by non-classy yankee acts. And when it happens, like James Caan's "Mr. Henry" character in Bottle Rocket, I'm gonna be front and center, laughin' my fuckin' head off.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Inevitable

Ding Dong, the Bitch is DeaD.

Well, not quite yet, but what I (and all the other people with brains in their heads) have been saying for a long time, which is that BostonDirtDogs aka Steve Silva is full of crap, is finally "out there." To the point where an ESPN announcer actually said that whoever came up with the Nomar ring lie should be fired. Go here for a link to the link to the link, etc. to the Boston Sports Media Watch stories on this.

So who knows, maybe D-Squared gets forced to pack it in, or at least to start telling the truth. (In the mean time, we're getting dark, blurry pictures of people we don't care about in Ft. Myers.)

It's funny how it got to the point where, when BDD quoted "Jessica," his "Correspondent in AZ," probably 90% of his readers assumed it was made up. At least I hope it was that many. When I read the original Nomar ring story (now PROVED to be a hoax), I put "correspondent" in quotes, like I am now, and said "Who knows if this is true," here on this blog. Just like I say about almost every other "story" on Dirt Dogs. In fact, I once gave Dirt Dog a "scoop,"* and he put what I wrote to him up on the site, and didn't verify anything. (I could have made the whole thing up.) So it's his tradition, I guess. I'm really glad he's finally seeing some pressure.

Another thing I forgot to mention during my last ripping session of Mr. Dog was how he gave a plug to "the best" yanks-Sox rivalry book, which was written by Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post, adding the fact that Vaccaro used BDD's headlines throughout his book. I thought, Hey, what are the odds?--After DD repeatedly gave links to New York Post stories, we find out that a Post reporter was writing a book that used DD's headlines (and surely paying for the rights).

I always wondered why he'd link to articles from a tabloid paper which, if you've ever seen Weekend Update or ANY talk show monologue, you know is the laughing stock of all the newspapers in New York, if not nationwide. (I always did like "Wonderword," though.) So now we know.

Also, Vaccaro has been on Michael Kay's show, I think. If not him, someone from the Post--Kevin Kernan, maybe. The point is, the only other place I heard about the other Nomar slander story--"Nomar Named"--besides on BDD, was on the Michael Kay show. (It was later that same day, and I heard Kay say that Nomar's name was in Canseco's book, and I got scared: "Oh no, DD was actually right about this!" Glad he wasn't. Oh wait, he didn't imply Nomar was on steroids. My mistake.) Which just proves how many different shows and writers use this bullshit rumor site to get their news. (There was another time when one of Kay's cronies brought up a topic that was taken right off of Dirt Dogs, I wish I could remember what it was.) And these are all New York people, so obviously DD has a lot of (unwarranted) influence.

So...I guess my post about blue uniforms will have to wait.

Happy birthday, Dad. Happy half-birthday, me.

*the "scoop": It was January 2004. I heard on Mike & the Mad Dog that A-Rod and Jeter would be filming a Super Bowl commercial. Mike said that they wanted to "keep it quiet." (Which telling everyone in the tri-state area kind of negates.) So I wrote to Dirt Dog, not having fully realized what he stood for yet, asking him if he'd heard about this. He said he hadn't. The next morning, up on his site was a little blurb saying to watch for an A-Rod/Jeter Super Bowl ad. I really could've made that up, but he just went ahead and put it on there. Then we all saw the stupid commercial where they're playing baseball in the house. (Maybe Jeter talked A-Rod into going to the yanks and switching to third base that day.) The only other communication I had with DD was whe I wrote him a long e-mail about "yankees Suck," and he replied, "Will respond in full later." He never did.

Monday, March 07, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Castiglione Is Back

I listened to my first Castiglione/Trupiano action tonight over Gameday Audio. There's a commercial for Giant Glass where Castig does a fake home run call, much like last year's version (with Trup), only this year the call is: "Back by the Giant Glass Foul Pole...."

Do you think they're going to put the Giant Glass logo on the left field foul pole? That'd be weak. Drinkwater's going too far. Speaking of "The Drink," I noticed yesterday that he was there in the seats behind the plate--and so was the Jerry Springer-looking guy--just like at Fenway. I didn't know he went to ST games, too. And there was a huge Giant Glass sign right below him on the wall. The guy covers a lot of territory with that big wallet of his.

Giambi got some "steroids" chants. Nice. Keep the psychological stuff goin' everybody. He did hit a home run. Didn't count, though.

All the usual coming-back-from-commercial-songs are back on EEI--"Feel the Pain" by Dinosaur Jr, "Drown" by Smashing Pumpkins, that Cornershop song. I missed the pre-game, which must have a new intro, complete with '04 World Series and playoff calls galore. There's a pretty nice audio montage if you call 877-REDSOX9, and get put on hold.

Speaking of that number, I don't think BDD ever clarified himself when he claimed there was a "magic number" to call for one of those ticket oppportunities. I still say he just wasn't aware of the fact that the Sox clearly gave out that number and the exact time to call it. Also, more evidence today on SoSH that Nomar never said that crap about the ring. BDD is so full of poo.

Speaking of magic numbers, I was debating whether or not to do the "Magic Number to clinch the division over the yanks," like I did last year. I've decided not to. What made me decide was that there's a site called "Boston Blood Sox," and they've got the Magic Number up already (163). So I'll pass that torch. Not like I'm the first to think of doing that for the entire season, but I'm just sayin'.

Speaking of sayin', I'm going to attempt an audio blog. Look for it above this post, I guess.

This is the first paragraph in the last four not to begin with the word "Speaking."

I've been reading Singapore Sox Fan a lot lately. And thinking about how good it is. There's something Bambino'sCursey about it. It's like Daryl is everything Cossette SHOULD have been. The writing is good, but not overdramatic, and the info seems to be mostly what I'm interested in. Not in the same way that Bullshit Memorial, besides his great Sox stuff, just nails everything about other things in life that I like, like movies and music, but more in a "strictly stuff I care about that relates to the Sox" kind of way. He's like a poor person's Cossette, which, from me, is a compliment, because I think poor people are cooler than rich people. So in my mind, rich people are the poor people's poor people. (--In the language of other people, who think rich people are cooler.) So...I guess, to me, and in my language, Rich people are the rich people's poor people. And SSF is BC without all that high-falutin' (which to me would be low-falutin') stuff about philosophy and literature. Which, don't get me wrong, can definitely be cool, but just not when you do it in a pretentious way. I'm not anti-intellectual or anything, I just think, I don't know, I've even lost myself here. Plus, SSF does have other stuff besides the Sox. So what am I talking about? Just go there, it's good.

A few weeks back on the Al Franken show, I heard a great thing about how Bill O'Reilly thought Barbara Boxer said the word "troops" when she actually said "truth." (Franken played the original tape, it's clearly "truth.") This led O'Reilly to rip into two different people, because he thought they were wrong, when in reality, he was wrong. The guy who Franken was talking about this with, whose name I didn't catch, made a great point: O'Reilly told the person he was talking to about this that when Boxer said the thing about "the troops" (which she never said), she crossed the line. In other words, the moment she crossed the line in O'Reilly's mind was when O'Reilly misquoted her. Read the whole story here. If nothing else, please scroll to the last paragraph where Bill is totally ripping this caller for not having her facts straight, when he was the one who was wrong.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


I was at my parents' place for much of the weekend, where NESN is allowed, making a(very) short film on my new iBook about the Red Sox which, hopefully, will appear on this website, and watching two Red Sox pre-season games.

I LOVE hearing the beginning of the telecast: "Tonight, it's the World Champion Boston Red Sox versus..." Every game, please. Every game.

Last night it was a comeback win over the Reds. After watching the Sox pound the hell out of Eric Milton in the first inning, and then make about three errors in the field, I didn't see much, because like I said, I was making a movie.

But today's game got my full attention. Home whites in spring training! Between that, the fans in their Florida clothes, and Long Island Sound out the window, my body was fooled into thinking it was summer. And almost all the starters played. Jason's got that "C" on his uni. Weird to see. All winter I've been having visions of Chopper hitting a home run in a Red Sox uniform. His first time up he flied deep to left. His second time up, my dreams came true. Edgar's gonna be fun to watch, I think. And Petagine looked really good. I'd been wondering about the pronunciation of his name. I'm familiar with the Spanish language, so I thought it would be "Pay-ta-HEE-nay." I asked my dad, who's pretty much fluent, and he said the same thing, although he said it seemed like an uncommonly spelled name. But I've been thinking people were gonna call him "PET-a-zheen." Well, Remy and Orsillo, who were laughing it up the whole time--Orsillo trying to explain TiVo was awesome--were saying "Pet-a-GEE-nee" (with a hard G as in Gedman). So I don't know what to think. Except that he's making this team. But there's still a whole month to go.

Kim pitched a little. Sigh. Needless to say the bases became loaded, and eventually he was out of there. Our starter, Jeremi Gonzalez, wasn't so great in two innings of work.

I like Shawn Wooten. If for no other reason than his name sounds like Wu-Tang AND he wears number 36. As in Wu-Tang's "36 Chambers" Album. This can't be a coincidence. Surely I'm not the first to notice this, am I?

So in my house, he's called Shawn "Enter The" Woo-Ten.

The key play in the game was when Todd Pratt hit a line drive that looked ticketed for the gap in left center (alright, at least to the outfield), and young Hanley at shortstop leaped up, caught it, ran over to second to double the guy off there, and then threw to Youk at first for a TRIPLE PLAY. It's rare to get a moment so exciting in a spring training game. I think the only other time I witnessed (radio counts as witnessing) a triple play live (Little League doesn't count) was in the mid-eighties. I remember Jim Rice, the Twins, and standing outside trying to see Haley's Comet were all involved. Also, there may have been two in one game. It was definitely the Twins. I'll have to check retrosheet on this one.

If you go to, they're showing games free this week, and the Sox game from today is still on there as I write this. Go there, move the scroll thing to about 2/3rds of the way through the game, and see the triple play. It was in the top of the sixth. You can hear the Phillies announcers credit Renteria with Hanley's feat, even though they themselves announced he was in the game at the start of the inning. Then watch the Sox in the dugout during the between-innings break, as there are no commercials, and then hear the announcers come back and apologize for their mistake.

Another really crazy thing about that triple play: NESN had Tom Werner in the booth that inning. He talked about the Sox bringing the trophy to Walter Reed, and the poignant moments they had there. And about how Theo made some great moves this off-season. Everything was just going so slow and smooth, nobody out, two on; it seemed like Werner could have talked all day, and it looked like he might have to. And that would've been cool, because he's pretty comfortable with Remy and Orsillo, and he was telling some pretty interesting stories. What a nice, lazy Florida aftern---ONE OUT! TWO OUT! THREE OUT! Inning over! On one play. End of interview.

They also showed Thome and Lofton telling their memories of being teammates with Manny. Thome's story was pretty funny: "You notice that your shorts or something would be missing, and you'd look up and he'd be wearing 'em."

Terrible job by the people who run that park in Ft. Myers--playing YMCA while the field was being raked between innings, and "Da da da dut da daaaa....Charge!" Maybe some yankee fans snuck into the, uh, music-playin' area. "Sweet Caroline" was played during a pitching change, and "Dirty Water" was played in the sixth inning, after the triple play. Incorrect, people.

Today I also got my hotel rooms for my luxurious Cleveland vacation. 38 bucks for one, 8 miles from the proverbial Jake. And for after the second game, I picked a town roughly 2 hours east of Cleveland, to get a head start on the drive home, which turned out to be Brookville, PA, and that cost me about 40 also. Those and the six dollar tickets make it a pretty cheap trip. (Gas will be free because I make my own gasoline behind my shed.) (No, I don't.) But still cheaper than a trip to Florida. And I get to see games that count. And maybe I'll check out the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame. But maybe not, since it seems to be universally thought of as "stupid."

Then, at the end of that week in June, I go to Philly, wrapping up my week in places where people are a little bit weird and I can't figure out why.

Pennsylvania's just, I don't know, not normal. They play by their own uncool rules. In all the other eastern states, you've got roads like Route 7 , Route 1 along the coast, Route 9 up in Mass. In "PA" everything's, like, "Rte. 498," "Rte. 5921," "Rte. 958675." And you can go from the Atlantic Ocean to Amish country to the Midwest without ever leaving the state. And everyone sounds like Larry Lucchino. What's going on there?

Speaking of Red Sox road trips, there's a little thing up in the Red Sox Nation members only area saying, "Can't get tickets to Opening Day at Fenway? Go see the Sox in Toronto for the Jays' home opener." And there's a link to the Blue Jays website. Interesting development. How often do you see a team admit that their games are all sold out, and tell people to go see a game at another stadium!? I think it's cool that they encourage people to go support the Sox elsewhere. (Although we certainly don't need any encouragement in that department.) As for me going to Toronto, well, after going last year, and seeing what a dump that place is, and being hassled at the border because Bush ignored memos telling him to watch out for people flying planes into buildings leading to a terrorist attack, leading to tighter security, I don't think I'll be going there again soon. I like Canada, kind of, just not the Skydome part, and the coming back across the border part.

And check out
this anti-yankee fun.

Quiz # ______

Really hard quiz:

Only fans of the Blue Jays, Giants, yankees, and A's can say what?

Hint: It has to do with winning the World Series. And the thing these teams have done has happened a total of eleven times. (yanks 6 times, A's 3 times--once while in Philly, twice while in Oakland, Giants once (while in New York), and Jays once.

It has to be what I'm thinking of. So the answer "My team is either the Blue Jays, Giants, yankees or A's" would be incorrect.

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