Saturday, April 02, 2005

Rdgfld Plyhs

Tonight I went to the Ridgefield Playhouse with Chan to see writers/monolougists David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell. Or so we, and everyone else, thought. But Sarah Vowell wasn't there. There was no mention of her. Terrible job, Ridgefield Playhouse.(Saw a Sox hat up in the balcony before the show. Double-pointed up at him. He waved back. Chan rolled his eyes.)

But I have to say, David Sedaris did a pretty good job of making up for it. That dude is hilarious. I recommend buying one of his books.

My shoes have holes in the soles and it's flooding outside. A bad combo. But a good country song, probably.

Jackson Brown As Billy Mueller

Hi, I'm Bill Mueller.

Over at Empyreal Environs, there's a nice thing about Bill Mueller. It's time the "other" Bill Mueller gets his due. Click here for the "other" Bill Mueller's site.

I know on Father's Day, I always used to get a bat painted on my face, with its head slightly off center, and hang out with my dad Bill Mueller and my sister, who'd both have unpainted faces, on the edge of a cliff. Didn't you?

Pope Dead, Sox Alive

He missed April Fool's Day by a day. Would have been kind of an ironic victory for Pagans. Oh, well.

In 1979, the year I turned four, the Pope visited New York. I remember each television station switching over to Pope coverage, one by one. At one point, Gilligan's Island was the last show standing. I could live with that. But Gilligan ended, and Get Smart came on. I like the theme song, but wasn't a fan of the show. At all. Thanks a lot, Popey. Taking away kids' shows like that. It was "me, me, me" with that dude...

Also, this officially closes the book on a bet I had with my friend Bruce: Who will die first, Reagan or the Pope. I've long since lost, of course. But our new bet is heating up (Who will have a baby first, Spears or Aguilera) as Britney may be pregnant. I'm hoping not, as i picked Aggie.

It's only a dollar, these bets, so it's no big deal.

[For details on the title of this post, check the internet or ask a friend. It's from '78.]

I'm Talkin' Bout A Glassa Beer

Whenever my friend Drew Blood goes to Amsterdam, I naturally ask him to bring me back a receipt for a glass of beer from a movie theater. He has just returned, once again without my receipt. But he did give me this interesting fact about soccer stadiums over there:

"i saw this at the ajax/psv eindhoven soccer game i went to, they put psv fans in one section, caged in, with military on both sides of the section to prevent a riot, and they had to take a special train and walk though a tube from the train station, to get into the arena to their seats.

im thinking this could give baseball games more atmosphere, because a yank fan can never insult you at a game, to your face anyway."

Very interesting...

Thanks to all two of you who gave me sign ideas for Sunday night, they were both great. But I'm going with "2004 ALCS: A Ruthian Collapse."

So look for it behind the Ruth monument before the game starts, if they do send a camera out there.

Tonight, Chan and I go to see Sarah Vowell and David Sedaris speak. I like both, but mainly Vowell, who, unfortunately may end up being most known for being the voice of the daughter in The Incredibles. I liked the movie and all, but she's done so much great writing and should be known for that first. You may have also seen her as a guest on Conan O'Brien's show. She's been on there quite a bit.

How sweet is it to see the pitching matchup for Sunday up on Seeing that, you know that it is time.

Weird how the yankee starter is known for beating the yankees, and the Red Sox starter is known for being a yankee. Don't disappoint us, big number 3.

Friday, April 01, 2005

They'll Never Learn

Mike Francesa: "The yanks will win the World Series."

(Then he goes on to say that there's no team you can guarantee will win 85 games in the National League. But the yanks winning it all--apparently that's pre-determined.)

The great thing was that after Mad Dog countered Mike's prediction with a Red Sox-Giants World Series, it wasn't followed by Francesa chuckling.

Kay: The Red Sox will win 102 or 103 games. But the yanks will win 108. And: "I don't see any possible way the yankees can not win the AL East...Six or seven players would have to get hurt."

Now let's do a little test. How would it sound, Kay and Kay followers, if I heard your predictions and in my most serious, journalistic voice, said, "As long as they've got that 'NY' on their chest, you know they'll just blow it in the end."


"It's really the attitude of the people of the Bronx. Since 2001, losing is just ingrained in their lifestyle. In fact, I think they like it. It has to do with the long, cold winters there, and the Puritan work ethic."

Sounds pretty stupid, huh? Like, stupid enough to get a newspaper writer fired, right?

If They Should Bar Wars

Y'all are gonna kill me. I'm 29 years old, from the United States, and I've never seen Star Wars.

Summer, 1977. I'm almost two years old, my sister is almost five. Mom and dad take us to see the movie that everybody's talking about. Probably with plans to stop at Baskin Robbins afterwards. We get to theater, and the movie begins. Darth Vader appears on the screen. I look at his helmet/mask and say, "Volkswagen!" My sister, however, is frightened. We are forced to leave the theater.

So it's Jene's fault.

The two sequels followed, everybody saw 'em and had the lunch boxes, but I had no interest.

So when these newer (older) films started coming out, I decided I was going to watch the whole series in order. I remember them saying that a new one would come out every three years. I was 24 at the time. So I told my friends, when I'm 30, the third one will come out, and I'll watch it, then rent four through six.

So it's here, people. I'm turning 30 this year, and I'm going to go ahead with the plan. But since I only saw Episode I in the theater, and skipped II, I'll just rent the five others, watch the first two, go to the third in the theater, then come home and watch the last (original) three.

Oh, and this will all happen in one day.

Brian has already confirmed that he will join me, although I think it might be better if I have friends join me in shifts. I also need to eat at some point, though Brian says popcorn is a good meal sometimes.

I wonder if it's doable. I will find out in May.

And if you're still stuck on "he's never seen friggin' Star Wars," well, I mean, I've obviously come across it on TV over the years, and seen some parts, but never the whole thing. Not even close. Also, that story is just how my mom tells it, so if you say that Darth Vader didn't even appear until the end of the movie or something, well, blame my mom. And I almost feel like at one point somebody rented it with me so I could finally see it, but if that happened, I don't have any memories of the movie. And I definitely didn't see Empire or Jedi.

Jesus Tap Dancing Christ!





The power of the internet and the kindness of people, I tell you. I recently put out a joking request for someone to give me Opening Day tickets. "Joking" meaning I thought I had no chance. Long-time commenter Sam replied, telling me (and everybody else, jeez, man. Heh heh.) of someone who had an extra.

Here is a link to Sam's Devil Rays site on Most Valuable Network. Please go there.

From Sam, I was directed to Dave, computer genius of AllBaseball/Most Valuable Network. I proposed a trade: A lot of other tickets for the Opening Day ticket. I thought I'd get a reply saying, "Sure, throw in $100000000 dollars and you've got yourself a deal." Instead, Dave passed my offer over to Evan, who you all know as FIREBRAND OF THE A.L., which has long been his page on Most Valuable Network.

Evan runs MVN, and has recently acquired, and now Most Valuable Network and are together.

The point is, Evan was kind enough to accept my offer. He had an extra and was willing to trade me. Please go to his site. Stay there for extended periods of time. Tell all your friends. Send him donations. Gold bars are accepted. Again, that's Home of the dude who got me in to the F'n Ring Ceremony and Flag Raising! Against the motherhumping, choking yankees for Satan's sake!

So, talk about gold, I'm in for both Opening Days.

Wow, Most Valuable Network, like the Shitty Beatles and Bad Jack, turned out to be "not just a clever name."

Three of its members showed their value (of most-ness) to this Red Sox fan. Thank you all.

The lineup is now:

Opening Day at Stadium, first two games at Fenway, Hall Of Fame Game and RF roof seats in May, Reds first regular season series game at Fenway and a Pirates game in June, 2 @Cleveland and 1 @ Philly also in June for a five out of eight games stretch, yanks and a field box game vs Minny in July, Monster seats in August, yanks on Oct 1, and a playoff game (if we make it) as part of the 10 game plan. Plus some other games. This is gonna be sweet. I can finally relax for a few days before the season starts. I have the exact tickets I want.

And in the weird coincidences category, you know how I've said I always wanted to be in the background of a famous picture? (If you're the person I was talking to in real life last night, at least you do, if no one else remembers from this blog.) Well, while I was talking to Evan about our trade tonight, he told me he knows a dude who is in the background of Fisk's HR, and has a framed picture of it. Awesome. I think it's funny how I hear that, and get so envious of the person, when I could just look in the foreground of the picture, and see the person who actually has the fame and fortune. The person who the picture is intended to be of. It's like, "Yeah, Fisk rules, but who's the guy with the mustard stain?..."

I'd like to also thank the baseball gods, who, one day in mid-October 2004, came down and said to me, "Dude, we've decided to just go ahead and give you everything you've ever wanted."

But of course, to all the great human beings who were really responsible, thank you first and foremost.

And as I just changed the time and DATE of this post, because it passed midnight, I realized it's April Fools' Day. So if you were wondering, this is not Fool's Gold. This is gold. I am really going to Opening Day.

Also, if anyone has a ticket for my friend me.

Hey, I'm on a roll, why not give it a shot?

Thursday, March 31, 2005


The 2001 playoffs were really rough for me. Everybody had jumped on the yankee bandwagon as usual, but as a bonus, even some yankee-haters fell for: "Not rooting for the yanks means not rooting for America."

World Series time rolls around, and it's the fifth time out of the last six years that I had to peek through my fingers at the TV, praying to every deity I can invent that some team, any team, can beat these despicable yankees for once.

Game 4, yanks down two games to one, down two runs, down to their final out, when a little man named Kim gives up a game-tying homerun, sending fake yankee fans into delerium, and sending me to pray to the one god I was trying to avoid--the porcelain one.

Then, to cap off the evening, Kim gives up the game-winning HR in extra innings, tying the series.

The next night, Game 5, I was in a bar in some town in New York state, down near that Greenwich, CT area to watch my ex's band play. I knew the game was unavoidable, another night of "out-of-the-corner-of-my-eye" watching, at least until the D-Backs had the game in hand.

So this other band is playing, and we're all stuck there, because my ex's band didn't get paid til the end of the night. This other band was called Bad Jack. And no, it wasn't just a clever name. The singer was holding a flute. I said, "They are NOT going to play a Jethro Tull song." But, of course, they did. The singer also bragged, "You may know my brother, Dave Attell, from Insomniac."

Anyway, they're playing, the game is getting toward the late innings, and it actually looked like the D-backs would go up 3-2, going home to Arizona. I go right to the TV, amongst all these yankee fans, ready to celebrate. But with the game on the line, who do they bring in? The same friggin' guy. Kim. Same deal, up two, two outs in the ninth, and he does it a-freakin-gain. Tie game, and the yanks go on to win.

When he gave up that third two-out game-blowing homer in two nights, I stormed out of that bar and walked for what felt like miles off into the darkness, into some unknown scary neighborhood. But I had a half decade's worth of baseball rage to protect me from any hooligans.

When I finally walked back to the bar, I just waited in the car til my ex came out. I didn't wanna go back in that bar, partly because I didn't know what kind of damage I did to the door on my way out.


So then the Red Sox traded Shea for him. The man I'd never forgive, even though his teammates bailed him out of the '01 series. But if it wasn't for him, there would have been a lot less near heart attacks.

I didn't understand it. This guy is known for blowing big games to the yanks. Repeatedly. And we're trading for him?

I never did forgive him. I gave him plenty of chances, but I just didn't see anything good coming from this guy. I can think of five Red Sox fan friends (3 internet, 2 real life), whose opinions I respect greatly, and who always were glad that we had this guy. But I just never saw it.

And it's a shame, too. Because when I played Little League, I too was a short, submarine-style pitcher from either Korea or Connecticut. I could relate. And I was happy to have diversity on the Red Sox. I rooted for him. And I did see him pitch fairly well in Pittsburgh in '03. But overall, I never felt good about him.

Fortunately, I don't have to worry about him anymore.

And MICHAEL MYERS is back. He should be watch those signs from JASON V. OR HE'S gonna be in trouble. And if Fred Sanchez was still here, he could join the FREDDY CREW. GERlinda is Chan's sister's name, by the way.

Sorry. I did that because no one can fire me.

Forecast for Sunday in the Bronx: Windy, rain mixed with snow. Highs in the upper 40s and lows in the low 40s.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Kids Are Far From All Right

A big "terrible job" to everyone involved with the "Let's shake hands" project at that school in Massachusetts.

This one really made me ill, and I've been thinking about how to describe my feelings about it.

I laughed so hard when I heard that some yankee fans at the school were afraid to wear their yankee hats to school. Talk about the skies parting and the sweetest gifts of heaven pouring down on the earth.

They dished it out, for more than a little while, and now they will be taking it. And if you're a yankee fan parent of a young child, you better damn well explain the Red Sox-yankees thing to them before you send them to school. Especially if you are living in Massachusetts. Sit them down and tell them about all that you and your kind have said and done to the Red Sox fans. Let them know that you, and they, are now being paid back in full. If they feel this is too much for them, then just tell them to wear a different hat. In fact, it's good that the yankee fan parents have to see their children teased, as a form of punishment for what they, the adults, have done.

As a Red Sox fan growing up in the "New York area" section of New England, I put up with all of it, for my whole life, and always wore the Sox hat, no matter how "threatened" I felt. Even at yankee Stadium. (Pictures with evidence to follow.)

I was once at the Stadium as a fairly young kid. After a yankee home run, a drunken man walked down the aisle, stood in front of me, and said, "yankees, baby!" Then he proceeded to pour the entire contents of his beer cup down his throat in celebration. (This image is a contributing factor to why I don't drink.)

But this is the beauty part: The guy later came back, after my dad had told him to get the hell away from his son, and calmly whispered in my ear, "This is what this rivalry's all about, you know. If your team was winning I'd expect the same from you."

That's awesome! That's what I'm talking about. You tease the other side, which gives them the right to tease you back, if and when their turn ever comes.

Now some of us choose to taunt in different ways than others. I prefer not to go up to little kids and yell drunkenly in their faces.

In fact, in "real life," I don't do it to people at all. All right, maybe behind their backs, and from the safety of my car, but in general, I'm more the "Sit by the river long enough and the bodies of your enemies will float by" type.

That's a Chinese proverb. I read it at work today. And I'm glad it did, as it gives a little bit of classin'-up to this piece. (As does calling it a "piece" as opposed to a "thing.")

My point is, when I do tease yankee fans, it's about their team. Granted, if they have a dumb haircut, or ridiculous orange shoes or something, the human animal in me is naturally going to giggle a little harder. Which is dangerous, as I've seen what a lifetime of the other person's (my own) team's losing can do to people (yankee fans). It made many of them believe that they are truly superior beings. I don't ever want to reach that point. I don't want to become what I have despised for so long.

These parents are completely missing the point. Their intentions may be good--I agree, we do need to teach peace and understanding and tolerance. Especially to the impressionable youth. But trying to tell their favorite baseball teams to be nice to each other on the field? Come on. How about teaching the kids themselves to shake hands? I never got hurt over baseball loyalties because I was taught non-violence as a kid, but also because almost all my friends were yankee fans. You tease your friends. About their team, not their skin color or their accent. The kids who make fun of other kids for that stuff are pricks, anyway. Having that kid's favorite baseball team shake hands with the teasee's team isn't going to solve anything.

Do they want the games to end in a tie, too? You can't do that. There are good and bad things about sports. One good thing is that it teaches competition. If tempers flare, it just means the competition is healthier. These players aren't reaching for their guns after the game. (There have been more school shootings in the last week than baseball shootings in the last, I don't know, hundred years.) If you take society's example of competition, which is sports, and subtract the competition, than there's nothing left to use to teach kids about the "real life" competition that they soon will be dealing with. Why take that away?

Another thing these parents are overlooking is that fact that we already are in an era where players are very friendly to each other. If they've ever been to a game and have watched the players during batting practice, or seen a guy meet up with an opposing fielder when he reaches base and laughs and jokes with him, they should know this.

I think it's just a publicity stunt. Or a yankee fan parent on the verge of suicide, desperately trying to regain his superiority, or at the very least, equality.

Now, when I say suicide, it makes me think of how the two sets of fans really have let their teams' ultimate results affect them as people. Only an 86 year run like the one that just ended can affect peoples' real lives the way it has.

I'll close, naturally, with a pop culture analogy.

After the Yankees treated the other teams like crap in The Bad News Bears, they gave a half-hearted apology to the Bears after edging them in the championship game. Now, the kids from this modern day school would probably accept the apology and shake hands. (And maybe even asking if they could share 1st place! Yeah!) Oh, how far we have come from the line the Bears countered with in the movie, almost 30 (holy crap!) years ago:

"Hey, Yankees! You can take your apology and your trophy and shove it straight up your ass!"

They Sting So Terribly

In case you missed it: Bees!

I live for this!


"Kevin's great," Francona said. "But I wouldn't want 12 of him."

From a New York Times article on Kevin Millar.

And Terry Stankonia was interviewed by Mike & the Mad Dog today.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Stare It In The Face

I heard a some of the dreaded Michael Kay's show today. He was talking about Tony LaRussa. At the end of his rant, Kay said that he couldn't believe how Tony and the Cardinals "rolled over and played dead" agianst the Sox in the World Series.

Now I'm a non-violent person. But if I ever see that guy, he better pray somebody holds me back.

I've heard him say things like, "The Cardinals bats didn't show up. And it's not like the Red Sox had a Hall-Of-Fame staff out there." And that was bad enough. But it at least it implied the Sox outhit the Cards. To just say that the whole Cardinal team, who, in my opinion, (that's a key phrase, Kay, think about using it) would've kicked the crap out of the limping yankees, didn't even try, is the type of thing that might get someone else fired.

I was thinking about Kay, and all his lies and his misleading of the audience. At least now, maybe, just maybe, some neutral people who used to buy his crap about the yanks mystical dominance of the Red Sox will now see things differently, and realize he's full of shit.

But knowing that that man cries himself to sleep every night makes me feel good, and I don't need to let his crazy thoughts get to me any more.

F K.

I don't think I mentioned that Chan and I ended up shelling out 75 a piece for yankee Stadium Opening Day tix. They're left field bleachers. Those are good because A. They're not the right field bleachers, 2. They're near the Sox bullpen, and III. They're right behind the monuments. You know ESPN will be talking about the death of the curse as much as they talked about the curse itself in past years. So I'm thinkin' that at some point before the game, a camera crew does that tired routine of walking through the outfield wall door, and showing the Ruth monument. Watch for me right behind it, leaning over the rail of the bleachers, with some kind of sign. Suggestions are welcome.

By the way, what are the yanks gonna do for a ceremony? Some kind of runner-up thing? Famous yanks who almost won from the past? Mattingly's already there. All I know is, when they announce the Red Sox players' names, it's gonna be a raucous scene. I don't think any yankee fans will even have the energy to override our cheers.

The other day, when the yankee game came on the radio, I realized something awesome. I call it "stare it in the face." I realized that hearing the yankee song, hearing the highlights of old Sterling calls, and hearing all the pomp and mystiquerstances, I just listen and laugh. So I guess the visual connotation is a misnomer. Or something. You get the point. I don't have to turn the sound down anymore. I stare it in the face. I saw the Bucky Dent corked HR the other day, and I just smiled with thoughts of '04. All their old victories just fade away. I used to turn away, but in my head, the bad memories would still be there. Now I stare 'em in the face, and they all turn to dust.

Red Sox baseball: It's Fan- yankeesF'nchoke justiceisserved asitturnsoutyou'reNOTabetterpersonthanme -tastic

April 3rd: I'm there with confidence
April 11th: Someone please give me tickets

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The 2-1-2

I was recently told about a new Sox bar in NYC called Boston (212). This letter to the editor, from today's New York Daily News, sums it up:

"Loved your article in the Sunday Daily News about best sports bar. I saw where you mentioned The Riviera as the best Red Sox bar in NYC. There is another one — it's called Boston (212) on 28th and Madison (downstairs in the restaurant Scopa) that is an all Boston bar! Everything Red Sox, Pats, BC, you name it. And the best part is there's no Yankees fans! Place has great food and specials, too.
Gary Croke, New York City"

Will be good to have two solid places now.

I didn't know about Kapler's wife's abusive relationship with her old boyfriend until just now. Here is the article.

Gamblin' On A Saturday Afternoon

The Sox were shut down by the mighty Devil Rays today in about 2 hours. But at least... at least, hmmm, at least the season is a week away. One week!!!!!!!!!!!! And I rarely use multiple exclamation points.

My dad made a few bucks today because a Louisville basketball player missed a shot at the end of their game vs. West Virginia. Nothing extraordinary about that, unless you consider that the shot was a dunk attempt. Here's the full story:

I was gonna go to the casino with a friend of mine, but this friend understandably couldn't go due to a family issue. So I just chilled at my parents' house, where I'd stopped on my way to the casino. My dad, who'd planned on giving me some money to gamble (for him), took that money and put it on West Virginia, getting 8 1/2 points, against Louisville.

So we sat and rooted for the underdog. WV actually had a twenty point lead in the first half. In other words, Louisville would have had to outscore them by 29 points the rest of the way for my dad to not cover the spread and lose the bet.

When it was 77-77 with seconds to play, he was guaranteed a win--unless it went to OT. It did go to OT.

Louisville ended up going up by seven points with under a minute to play. A barnburner--if only to the gamblers. As the clock ticked under 30 seconds, Louisville tried for a coffin-nailing jam. Imagine all the people who had bet on Louisville, having seen their team cut a 28 1/2 point deficit to a half point deficit, watching as their guy was about to slam one home for the 1 1/2 point comeback victory. And the guy frigging misses it.

Louisville did get the rebound off the botched slam, but held the ball, and fortunately for my dad, West Virginia elected not to foul, and the clock ran out.

This gave me a great idea.

The Oddsmakers Classic Sports Network.

They could show old football and basketball games that went down to the wire (when the point spread is factored in). The video would be the same, but the new announcers would announce the game as if one team actually had those extra points that Vegas had assigned at the time. They'd start off the game with a graphic on the screen showing, let's say, "Falcons 0, 49ers 0." Then the announcer would say, "...and let's put up 6 1/2 for Atlanta" *ding.* And it would say "Falcons 6.5, 49ers 0," and then the game would start. Maybe a smaller graphic could show the "real" score.

Then they'd start announcing the game as if the Vegas score were the true score. And act like they're stumped as to why the players "seemingly keep forgetting the score!"

Think of the possibilities. There must be hundreds of games that came down to the wire point spread-wise that people don't even know about. They could have a "Meaningless Field Goal Weekend." And commercials that say, "Tune in tonight at 7, and watch the fantastic finish from 1985, as Moses Malone goes in for an uncontested dunk at the buzzer to beat the Sonics by a half point!" And you'd see Moses sadly walk off the court as the Sonics inexplicably celebrate the last-second "loss."

There was something like this on SNL in the eighties, now that I think about it.

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