Friday, January 06, 2006

Opposite Of T.J.

When I think of new red Sox player J.T. Snow, I think, "Oh, Mr. Dunbar's prospect down at Columbus." Then I realize that was quite some time ago, and that he's 38 years old. But, hey, there's still hope he lives up to that potential I heard so much about 15 years ago.

Also, there's finally an article up at about Red Sox and American legend Jim Rice being on the Hall of Fame ballot. (Every MLB site has already had their yearly article on their former player who's on the ballot--even the Rick Aguilera article has appeared on already.) This has to be the year for Jim Ed. For those of you who pray to a deity, please put a prayer in for Jim Rice. Face it, your prayers about winning the lottery aren't coming true, so use one for a good cause. No, the ultimate cause. Giving Jim Rice the credit he is due.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Manny Stays!

Manny says he's staying in Boston.

Awesome. I hope this isn't another story like Theo or the miner guys, but it is straight from Manny's mouth to ESPN Deportes.

Now watch we'll find out that the translator got it wrong, and Manny actually said, "I definitely am being traded."

I hope not.

I love Manny.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

One For The Books (That Are Kept By Andrew)

Here's a customer service story that will surely make you have some sort of reaction and whatnot.

I only have one credit card. I've had it for over a decade. It originally was my dad's, but he gave it to me while I was in college. We have the same name, so, technically, the card has really always been his, but I'm the only one who uses it, pays it off, etc.

Whenever I have to call the card company, they have to verify that I'm who I say I am. (Which I'm not, because I'm really my dad in this case.) First they ask me for the last four digits of my social security number, to which I give them my number, which is incorrect, because they have my dad's number on file. I've never bothered to change this because when they hear the wrong answer, they consistently move on to question number two: My (dad's) mother's maiden name. This answer I know, so I give it to them, and I become my dad, and am therefore authorized to make any number of crucial decisions regarding my (dad's) card.

A month or so ago, while talking to my credit card company, I was talked into buying into some plan where I would receive my credit score, which I've been trying to obtain for years, usually to be given a readout that shows me living at a combination of two past addresses, and having a birthdate a year off from my real one. And no credit score listed. So I figured I'd give it another shot, for ten bucks, using a service which I would have to cancel myself to avoid being charged the ten bucks month after month.

So after a month of receiving absolutely nothing, I called up the service to cancel.

The woman who answered the phone was cool with that, but just needed to verify that I was the cardholder. I gave her my card number. She then asked for the last four digits of my SSN. Uh-oh. I gave her mine, knowing that this wouldn't be what she had in front of her. She told me my number was incorrect. "The number they have isn't right. They usually just ask me for my mother's maiden name," I said, playing dumb about the dad thing.

"Well, let me get someone from your card company on the line to verify this."

Fair enough.

After a short wait, I find myself in the clothed kind of three-way. The woman from my card company begins the usual routine: "Can I have the last four digits of your SSN, please." I give her the incorrect numbers. She pleasantly says, "That's not what I have here. Can I get your mother's maiden name?" I give her the correct name. Problem solved?

No. Little Miss Dunbar at the credit score service place, listening in on the official business of me and the card company lady, chimes in. "Can you verify his social security number, too?"

Pure evil. My card lady over here has just confirmed me as officially being me, er, my dad, and the other lady thinks she can overrule this decision. And my card lady agrees with her!

The good lady is now asking me for my SSN again, with Nosy Nancy looking over her shoulder.

I end up explaining the whole situation, to which the card company lady is not pleased. "You can't just turn a card over to someone else like a car lease." Whatever. BS. I've never had a problem in ten freakin' years. I know at this moment that I'm just going to call my dad, ask him what his number is, and just continue pretending to be him, with no skin removed from his back. F those people.

So I called my parents, got my mom, and she gave me my dad's SSN.

Here's the best part: I call back the credit score people, hoping to all that is holy that I get a different operator. I do. I tell this one, a nice Jamaican woman, that I'd like to cancel the service. She asks for my name and card number. I give them to her. She then surprises me with: "Okay, it's cancelled."

"But I don't need to verify..." I start to ask.

"Nope, we just need your card number."

And that was that. I'll continue using my card as I always have.

How is it that one company can have two employees, one who needs to go out of her way to have a credit card company confirm someone's existence, and then decide that that's still not good enough for her, and one who'll gladly cancel their own service, just trusting that you are who you say you are?

Which do you appreciate more, Chan asked me when I told him this story. The Jamaican lady, because she was nice about it. I guess. I don't know. Way to mess up a perfectly good story, Chan.

About this miner story. Horrible. That people lost lives, and that other people made assumptions about the most important thing of all, and turned out to be exactly wrong.

That said, why was everyone so excited about the fact that 12 out of 13 people made it out in the first place. Isn't that rubbing it in to the family of the one guy who'd died. Church bells? "It's a miracle"? How about, "We're sorry that one dude died."?

It's almost like "god," if there is one, was getting back at all those celebrating people by saying "Whoops, my bad, all your guys died, it was the dead guy who actually made it. So go congratulate his family. Go ring the church bells for him."

But they didn't do that. They got all pissed.

I feel so bad for that guy who survived, who survived a horrible ordeal, barely escaping with his life, only to emerge to a crazed mob, instead of a bunch of people celebrating the fact that he lived. It's like they're saying to him, "We were happy when you were dead and everyone else was alive. But now all we have is you.

Granted, it's not their fault, all they did was believe what they were told. Although maybe not celebrating until you actually see your family member alive is the way to go.

And what if the original word was "8 alive, 5 dead"? What's the call, too many dead for church bells? And then if those numbers turned out to be backwards, still pissed?

What's the cutoff, percentage-wise? 316 of 1100 people died in that scene described by Quint in Jaws, and he didn't seem very happy about it.

To make this post even longer, Chan and I just watched #1 USC get beat. Terrible job by that USC QB at the end. I call him Curtis Pig-skin-ic. Kinda looks like Leskanic.

And don't forget to check out MAJ.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

What's Done Is Dunbar

A comment I got today:

"As a yankee fan i check out your blog from time to time to see your take on what's going on in redsox nation because i respect your knowledge of the sox. Unfortunately, you talk about the yanks 60% of the time. Get a life and worry about the team you love. It is pathetic that you live vicariously through your hatred of the yanks rather than your love of the sox. i love the yanks and have for 24 years, and i'm not one of those yankee fans you talk about all the time. i spent the 1980's in little league loving a team that sucked. That's ok though the yanks give me as much joy as they do you misery."

First, I'd like to thank this particular anonymous commenter for using, for the most part, proper punctuation, grammar, and spelling, and for refraining from use of exclamation points and caps. And I'm glad that he or she doesn't consider him- or herself a "bad" yankee fan.

I know I don't need to explain myself. But I want to. Even if I am repeating myself. It is a somewhat unique situation, and maybe explaining it will help some of my new readers understand where I'm coming from.

Upon exiting the womb, I was immediately taught to love the Red Sox and hate the yankees. (Note, the Mr. Dunbar nickname won't be used in this post, for purposes of clarity. It will start up again in the next post.) Growing up in bottom-left Connecticut, though, it was hard to follow my favorite team. Had the Sox not been such an important part of both sides of my family's history, I may have taken the easy way out, and become a yankee fan. That way, I could have seen my team on TV every night, and as a bonus, bragged about all those championships. But it really had nothing to do with any of that. I was a Red Sox fan and I was going to have to deal with it.

I watched the yankees growing up. Every night, they played against my "other" favorite team. It was fun to root against them, just like it is now. We'd get an occasional Red Sox game, on Channel 30, which would pick up Channel 38's telecasts on Fridays and Sundays. Outside of those, the Game of the Week, and the rare post-season appearance, the only times I saw the Red Sox were when I went to a game, or when they played the yanks.

So I've always paid close attention to the yankees. But I assure you, every time they were on our TV, we had the Red Sox on 1080 WTIC-AM radio out of Hartford at the same time.

Most all my friends were yankee fans. Basically any kid in my elementary school picked the yanks, regardless of whether they knew anything about baseball. (Except for that Mets craze in '86.) Then, as I got older, and people actually did know the game, there was Mike, Jim, Jon, Chris, Gumby, our friend Chan, all yankee fans, and me and Pat, the only actual true Red Sox fans in the entire high school.

I took a lot of crap. Most of the time from people who couldn't pick Mickey Mantle out of a lineup consisting of three Chinese women and Mickey Mantle, let alone tell the difference between Don Mattingly and Don Slaught.

You see, part of our hatred of the yankees comes from the people who latch onto them, instantaneously changing themselves from "some dude" into "a champion." And a "classy" one at that. If you are currently a yankee fan for any other reason than that, I tip my cap to you, as I do to my dear friends. Except for Gumby, who just started liking them in '96. And Jon, who's a Twins fan when the yanks aren't winning. And Chris, who just couldn't bear to be on the wrong side of four championships in five years. See where I'm going with this? It's hard to find a yankee fan who isn't just somebody who happened to be a yankee fan all along.

I hand it to you, too, if you're a yankee fan who lived through the eighties, like our commenter, but seriously, come on. You know you always had the history to fall back on. And the Mets. (Also note that during the 80s the yanks had a better record than any other team in the league. Some drought.)

If your team hadn't won in decades, and you lived in the area of your team's rival, who beat you over and over again through the years, in heart-wrenching fashion, or even if you lived in your own team's city, for that matter, wouldn't you unashamedly "hate" your rival? I don't understand what's wrong with this. Don't tell me how much I should care about which teams. If I want to be a San Diego Padres fan and write about how much I hate the old Seattle Pilots, 60, or even 100 per cent of the time, that's my right and if you don't like it, just don't read it. Or, tell me why you wouldn't do that, but not why I shouldn't. How would you like if I told you that you shouldn't root for a team that has an unfair advantage over all the other teams since their payroll is astronomical?

I've just always lived near New York, now living directly in it, by choice. So the yanks have always been rather unavoidable.

I know there are Red Sox fans, too, who think I worry about the yanks too much.* Again, this is their opinion and I'm not going to suddenly change because A. I can't; and B. I wouldn't want to if I could.

But especially now, I don't see how we couldn't think about the yanks. This is the team that we fight with from the offseason through the fall every year. It's a well-known fact that the two front offices base much of their moves on the other's. Of course I, as a die-hard Red Sox fan, am going to keep tabs on the team that my team is constantly battling. I promise you, if the pennant race comes down to the Red Sox and Orioles this season, I'll be talking a lot about the Orioles.

But I also promise you that regardless of where the yankees are in the standings, I'll still talk smack about them because I hate them and I am really, really proud of that. Hating the yankees is the finest thing a person can do, I think. You know, sports-wise. Along with hating Notre Dame, and any other team with a thousand championships and a faux-classy past.

It's like heroin. I could take heroin, and all my problems would magically disappear. Or I could face those problems. I choose B. (Old English-style.) Mr. Dunbar: Opiate of them asses. (You didn't really think I could leave ol' Dunbag out of this, did you?)

Another thing I've noticed is that a lot of yankee fans don't realize that everybody else hates their team. I mean, there's a play called "Damn Yankees" for god's sake. I remember going to Wrigley Field while on vacation in Chicago with my friend Mike, the lifelong yankee fan. We were on the el platform, when a Cubs fan gave Mike shit about his yanks jersey. Mike turned to the rest of us and said, "What does he care about the yanks? There's no rivalry there." My eyes rolled. "Dude, if you're not a yankee fan, you hate the yankees."

All of this is why I just want to say to the commenter, "You just don't get it."

Which would have been much shorter.

Finally, his last line shows the fact that yankee fans truly have erased 2004 from their memories. This line: "That's ok though the yanks give me as much joy as they do you misery." What? This was a comment on a post where I talked about how happy I am that yanks haven't won in five years. There was misery, but there isn't right now. I'm psyched about my team this year, and confident that the yanks will not win it all for a sixth consecutive year.

Hope this helped.

*I'm still confused about the whole anti-"yankees suck" movement. Bostondirtdogs and other Boston media-types feel we should "show some class" and not chant this. Let me get this straight: Between getting wasted off the ten beers we just guzzled, annoying everyone around us in the process, and yelling lewd comments about the boobs of every female that walks by, Red Sox fans should not show how much we don't like the rival team? Because that wouldn't be classy? Is that correct?

Monday, January 02, 2006

'Bar None

The best thing about it being "2006" is that we're now six calendar years from the last time Mr. Dunbar won the World Series.

You could've gotten some nice odds on this happening back in 2000.

Dunny is currently enduring his fourth-longest drought in his history. '03-'22 is the granddaddy of them all, followed by the one I hold dearest to my heart, '79-'95. Then comes the classic '63-'76 drought. It'll take another decade of non-winning to see this current drought move up on the list. But stranger things have happened.

Speaking of that, the key to this drought is how Dunbarians can't give us the whole "you should worry about your own team" line, because their current drought, as they've surely forgotten, is longer than ours.

I've been hearing a lot about how the Blue Jays should challenge the Red Sox for second place in the A.L. East in 2006. I think they may challenge for second, but it will be Mr. Dunbar they'll be challenging. Remember the last time everyone thought we'd drop to third place? It was summer, 2004.

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

My Photo
Location: Rhode Island, United States