Friday, May 19, 2006

An Open Letter To People Who Write Open Letters

"To whom it may concern,

Terrible job.



That aside, I'll still write one:

"Dear New York Metropolitans Baseball Club,

Seriously. Sweep them. No messing around. Bobby Valentine is gone. So is Timo Perez. No excuses. Sweep. If I see the highlights on the scoreboard down in Philly tonight and the dude says, 'Three key Mets errors opened the door to a four-run yankee ninth, which tied the game before an inexplicable throw to the wrong base by Carlos Delgado allowed Johnny Damon to score the winning run while Derek Jeter celebrated from the dugout as if he actually contributed to the play,' I'm gonna be pissed.

Your biggest fan, when you play the yanks,


Note: I just checked real quick, and I kid you not, Jeremi "fa sol la ti D'oh!" Gonzalez is starting for them tonight. Maybe 2 out of 3 then.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Son Of Hud

Wiffle ball was out due to the rain, so Chan and I headed down to the Union Square area for some burritos. By the time I got down there, the rain was done, leading to some awesome cloud/sky/sunset action. Here's the sun hitting the Empire State Building. Usually it's kind of bland. It's cool to see it actually glowing. Click to enlarge.

Here's another shot of the ESB starting to light up green in the background of Union Square. A disturbing incident occurred here. A (psycho) dude was staring at me as I walked by him, from about twenty feet away. Out of nowhere, he shouts "Fuck you, Jew!" I was kind of shocked, and not just because I'm not Jewish anyway. Then he says "don't fuck with me." Uh...okay, how is walking through a park "fucking with the crazy guy"? Anyway, for a guy giving the "tough guy" routine, he sure was walking away pretty fast. He finally yelled some other gibberish about Pfizer wanting to use me to something something. Then he disappeared into the crowd. I can't even imagine the childhood that guy must have had. Either way, TERRIBLE job by him. I hope a Jewish dude knocks his teeth out.

We're a few days away from "Manhattanhenge," one of the two days each year when the sun lines up with the cross streets, resulting in shadows taller than souls. Got a hint of it tonight, but mainly got a sweet yellow to orange to purple to pink to red sunset. We decided to walk toward the Hudson to get some shots. This is looking down 14th Street.

Looking south along the Hudson at lower Manhattan.

A pier. Out on the pier, a marching band was practicing. It's tough to see them. Maybe shine a flashlight at your screen or something. Background: Jersey. Tomorrow I'll put the "Jere S" in New Jersey as I drive through it on the way to Philly for Sox-Phils. Below: two more shots of the same thing, pulling back more each time. The crazy sky is the key here. And the marching band, if you could see them. (Not pictured is the rugby field we came across, where the dude from Sox Fan in Hell played once. He showed a pic of it here. I could have looked for him among the practicing rugbiers (rugbians?), but I don't know what he looks like. They were practicing a play where one dude inbounds the ball to another guy who is lifted up by two other guys. He catches it way up in the air, tosses it down to a dude at ground level who then fires to yet another guy cutting across. They had it mastered, but I wonder how hard it becomes when the other team is involved, and is trying to kick the crap out of you. It's like when me and Pat mastered the "flea-flicker" with a Nerf football...but there were no defenders. And also not pictured is the trapeze school, also along the Hudson. The women there were also practicing after dark,--there's a lighted indoor tent--flipping around all crazy, too crazy for my camera to catch in non-blurred form.)

Nice Day

Do you know who these people are: Kevin Reese, Ron Villone, Kelly Stinnett?

If you said "men who played for the 200 million dollar payroll New York yankees today," you're right. With Melky and Bubba out there also, and Erickson and Jaret joining Villone on the hill today, we're talking pride, power, pinstripes, baby.

It's official. Damon just struck out to end it. Rangers 6, Mr. Dunbar 2.

Tonight it's me against Chan in Wiffle Ball in Central Park, with my co-worker Jennie possibly joining one of the two squads. (I think she's a perfect fit for the New York Chans. They need the help; the Jeres are fine.)


Robinson Ca...NO Peg.

But since no one will get that yet (until ENP catches on), feel free to use Robinson Canoblauch. The guy is having his troubles in the field. 4-2 Texas now in the eighth, as the Texas walk-machine contibutes to a yankee "rally."

Afternoon Ball

Dunbar down 4-0 in the seventh. Some crazy play by Cano led to two Texas runs. Stupid Gameday did a terrible job of describing the action. Update: I just remembered Pat's at the game, so I called him up. Translation of play: Cano bobbles grounder with second and third, then makes ill-advised throw home, wild, both runs score. Gameday actually called it, and I quote: a "catching error" on Cano. But now they've corrected that. Still, I need to go down there and straighten those people out. Get a person who's watched baseball their whole life to do this stuff, please.

Note: the injury reptile has chomped the yanks again, with Bubba leaving the game with a leg injury. No idea how serious this is yet.


I found this on a site called
Downright disturbing. And since I just gave, you know, that fast-food chain, free advertising, well, I don't need to tell you not to eat there, as you'll probably never shake this image, and therefore will never go again.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The New Allante

Stupid National League-style baseball. You can't take the bat out of Nixon's hands in that situation. At least I got to see the play, unlike some others that were missed while Comcast Sports Net was showing close-ups of faces in the crowd. Terrible job.

Two awful losses tonight. Both 4-1, went to 4-3, and ended that way.

Now I'm watching Boston Sports Tonight, on Fox Sports New York on Manhattan's Time Warner cable. Yes, it's true. It's actually just called Sports Tonight. But the feed comes from FSN New England. There's no doubt which teams they're covering. This is one show you'll never hear me complain about. I don't care if the hosts are bad, the commercials are annoying, whatever. Just knowing I get to see it in New York City and that a New York station gave the big F You to Steinbrenner is enough for me. I just watched an interview with Coco and Kapler. Sweet.

Okay, now to the important stuff. Sick of "terrible job"? Looking for that next big thing? No need to ask you cousin from California, I've got it for you right here. It comes with a story, of course:

The year is, I don't know, 1998-ish. My friends and I are sitting around at my parents' house. Yeah, I was still living at home when I was 23, but so were all of them, and some still are. All right, that doesn't make it better. Anyway, at halftime of whatever bowl game we were watching, my friend Jim says, "Hey, Smitty, you got any Simpsons episodes on tape?" "Uh, yeah, I have a lot." But I wasn't too keen on watching an entire random Simpsons episode at halftime, especially since it's on so often in syndication anyway. So I kind of talked him out of the idea. In the meantime, as Americans usually do, we ended up just talking about The Simpsons. He was telling us of an underrated line he liked. It was from an episode in which someone on the show is watching Married With Children. On the Groehning-drawn version, Peggy says, "Al, let's have sex." The "studio audience" "woo"s it up, like they so often did on the actual show. Al responds, "Eh, no Peg," to the delight of the crowd. He then turns to his left and flushes a toilet sitting next to the couch, sending the audience over the edge. In other words, the Simpsons writers were mocking the bawdy- and toilet-humor of it's station's other big show.

We laughed mildly, since none of us remembered this scene, and, well, he probably described it about as badly as I just did.

Later that day, or maybe even later that halftime, we're switching around (Whoever it was, it wasn't Chan. I remember Jim once seeing Chan with the remote and saying, "Someone make that remote leave Chan's hands right now," dead serious-like.) and, of course, we come across a Simpsons episode. After a few seconds, Jim yells out, "I think this is the episode! This is 'no Peg'!"

The rest of us were suddenly riveted. Imagine having something hyped up and then seeing that thing appear before you within minutes!

It was the "Homer in space" episode. We got to see the line. Much laughter ensued. Jim laughed along, the proud poppa of a line he spawned. He knew we were hooked. Had that episode not aired that day, it may have been forgotten.

When do you use the line? Any time a "no" answer is called for. Duh. But it works especially well when no really means no.

Chan: You thinkin' about becoming a yankee fan?

Me: Eh, NO Peg.

I said this line for years. My friend Jim has been saying it for nearly ten. We would appreciate your help in making it go nationwide. My goal in life is for that line to come back to me. Even if I just overhear it somewhere, my life will be complete. Well, more complete. Er. Ish. Am I making sense?


NO Peg.

Panda Watch

It appears Extra Innings is choosing networks by series, at least for Red Sox games. For this series we're getting the Orioles' feed. They put up the graphic showing the Red Sox defense. I immediately noticed that our first basemen was listed as "Millar." O's color man Buck Martinez starting reading off the names. "Lowell at third, Gonzalez at short, on the right side, Loretta...and Millar...Doug Mirabelli behind the plate..."

I can hear the producer now:

"For the last time, anything you write on those graphics, Martinez will read!"

Also, remember that commercial from over the holidays with the family in the mall who makes plans to call each other, but then realize that none of them have cell phones? It's back on the Orioles' network. Which is ridiculous considering the Christmas decorations, the picture of a candy cane on the screen of the phone, and the fact that the voiceover says "This holiday season..." You can always count on Comcast to cut corners. I'm so glad I don't have to deal with them anymore.

1-0 us after 4.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It's Not A Motorcycle, Baby, It's A Chopper

If I was Butch, and I'd been asked casually by my girlfriend, Fabienne, how my day was, and she meant "how were the baseball games tonight," I would have said, "this has been without a doubt the single weirdest day of my entire life." Or something like that.

When it's 10-1 anti-yanks, and 4-0 Sox, not even a little bit of your subconscious says, "I hope teams hold on." But before I knew it, the yanks were ahead, and we were behind. Then both good teams grabbed one-run leads and held them late.

Papelbon came through.

The Rangers' dude did not.

The good news is that Mo didn't either. And the yanks' pitching continues to prove that they aren't going far in the playoffs.

We're still in first place, and we need to worry about our own schedule. But that doesn't mean I can't barf up a tonsil or two and/or call for the public execution of Buck Showalter and the entire Texas Rangers pitching staff.

I'm eating dinner now, at 11:55 PM. There was just no time with these two games going on. I thought about going over to Taco Bell for some bean burritos, but I didn't have any Rangers pitchers to walk me over there. So I made a veggie burger. Now I'm going to bed. It's best to just forget about the Dunbar side of this day. I wish the Sox game had ended after theirs. For more about the games, check out this thread we were doing over at Cyn's blog, in the comments. I go by my email address over there, Two2067, and that dude bloodyank78 who comments here goes by "Umair." I don't know if he knows he was arguing with me...

Errin' Large

Can everyone who compared Aaron Small to The freakin' Natural last season please issue a public apology? You don't have to do anything official, just stand up, right now, wherever you are, and say it to everyone around. Open the window and yell toward the street if you're at home. Don't worry about the people around you. They'll know.

Seriously, what an insult to the movie that was. Roy Hobbs was a star on the rise who got fucking shot, (by a gun, people, not by Leo the Luck Angel's arrow) only to return sixteen years later and take a plodding team to a pennant in miraculous fashion.

Aaron Small stunk for ten years (no, he never struck out The Whammer at a carnival), joined the team with the highest payroll and won ten games with one of the best lineups in baseball behind him, giving up nearly a hit an inning, to help his team barely tie the division--one in which the team they tied made the post-season anyway--before losing in the first round of the playoffs.

Terrible comparison. Only in The Bronx.

Say It Ain't So,...Tanyon

From the Daily News: "If Sturtze does get surgery - and it will be up to the 35-year-old to decide - his season will be over. Even if he doesn't go under the knife, he may not pitch again until next season."

Please pitch again and soon, Sturtzey! We all love to see you out there.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Always With The Orioles

ESPN cut away from tonight's Red Sox-O's game every time Barry Bonds came up in the Giants game. I guess they've been doing this for quite some time, what with Bonds shittin' on 713. If they're going to do that, fine. But do they really need to cut to two dudes in the studio after each non-homer so they can discuss the at bat? While my game is going on? Terrible job.

Fortunately I was able to switch over to the O's station, which was on my Extra Innings tonight.

Wily Mo--the center fielder, not that other dude who was playing right earlier in the year--seems to be making some contact, and going the other way. I hope he can keep this up. His motivation should be the fact that if he does good, he can continue to laugh and joke around with Ortiz and the dugout.

Everybody and their left grandmother was trying to jinx the win streak over the O's, but it didn't work. We're in sole pazzesh of first, since the Rangers broke their losing streak against Mr. Dunbar.

Since I live within three or so miles of a baseball stadium for the first time in my life, I can now experience the cool effect of seeing the rain on live TV, and then looking outside and watching that same rain start. During the rain delay, Hell No showed a special on the 1996 World Series in which Jon Sterling, the narrator, acted like the '96 yanks saved Earth from three powerful supervillains that were cast off their own planet years earlier, only to arrive here and try to enslave the human race. And I got that impression from only thirty seconds of the show, before switching away. The buzz for Dunbar fans was exterminated when the game quickly resumed, and their team was finished off easily.

Today, I finally admitted I have a sinus infection and got an antibiotic. I think I've had an SI for about twelve years. We'll see if this medicine works. It's cool to walk to the doctor.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Blunt Non-Force

I've been hearing this song a lot lately. The one where the guy says "you're beautiful" over and over again. At first I was sure it was the latest in the long line of wussified hits from critically acclaimed but actual peopleally loathed Five For Fighting. And I was curious to learn what the song was about, other than some person who was beautiful. Surely there had to be more to it. You can't get rich with two words, right? The next time it came on, I gritted my teeth and paid close attention to the lyrics...

And I was quite offended. This dude is obviously trying to cash in by taking a situation we've all been in, adding some pretty guitar, and over-dramatizing it by about a thousand percent.

The singer tells us his sad tale about seeing a girl on train, flirting with her for, like, a second, and having to face the reality that they'll never live happily ever after.

Dude. Seriously. Get over it, and get over yourself. I think everyone has experienced this moment. You're single, you're out in public somewhere, somebody smiles at you, and you get these delusions of grandeur. You might even think about that person later that day. But then you move on with your life.

At this point, I wanted to see the full set of lyrics. I found out that it wasn't even Five For Fighting, but a British bloke who used to be in the army named James Blunt. At that moment, I suddenly had a newfound respect for Five For Fighting, just because they didn't write this song. (And, fittingly, much like the memory of the eye-batting of some random girl, that respect was gone the next morning.) Read the lyrics here.

Blunt has some nerve.

She was with another man.

Okay, that's reason number one to just forget about it. Reason number two would be that even if she wasn't with another man (hey, dick, he's "the" man; if anyone's "another" man, it's your sorry ass), well, bad news, buddy, but you're not the only guy she flirted with. Not that week, not that day, hell, not even on that train ride. Trust me.

I saw your face in a crowded place/ And I don't know what to do/ 'Cause I'll never be with you.

Do he expect us to believe that he "doesn't know what to do"? Come on, man. I imagine the following scene taking place later in the day of the incident:

"James, I came right over. I heard you were in a real bind! What is it? How can I help?"

"Well, a girl looked at me earlier. I really don't know what to do about this, mate."

"I came down here for this? A girl looked at you? James, I'm sorry, but this is the fourth time this week. I have patients depending on me. They need their medication. I'm going back to the hospital, and if you call again, James--are you even listening?--I will not answer my phone. Understand?"

Let's move on.

And I don't think that I'll see her again/ But we shared a moment that will last till the end.

Son of a bitch. The end? Of time? This man must be stopped. Dude, get help and soon.

She could see from my face that I was/ Flying high

You don't know that. Again, it's just some lady glancing at you, possibly by accident, standing with her boyfriend.

Then there's the infamous chorus:

You're beautiful/ You're beautiful/ You're beautiful/ it's true.

Is that all you got? What's with the "it's true"? Was your other option "You're beautiful, you're beautiful, you're beautiful...just kiddin'!"? You've already reiterated the fact that she's beautiful twice, and then you feel the need to clarify that what you're saying is indeed the truth?

Look, buddy, my friend Brian once wrote the lyric We'll eat you alive/ and we won't leave nothin' left/ and we're not gonna stop/ until you're all dead. You wrote You're beautiful/ it's true. Yet, for some reason, you're gonna be the one to get a million dollars out of the deal. You might as well just walk over to Brian's house and hand him that money.

But it's time to face the truth/ I will never be with you.

Okay, I'll give him that--he eventually admits it. But after how long? He obviously thought about this girl for years, maybe decades. He loses with me either way, because even if the whole story, complete with final truth-facing, only lasts as long as the song does, well, the whiny, tearful singing style would then officially become bullshit.

What puts it over the edge that this guy is a big phony who's trying to make money by making Americans relate to him are the following facts:

1. He changed his name from Blount to Blunt. Terrible job. This is like when this kid I went to first grade with, whose last name was "Gay," came into class one day claiming that he mom remarried, and that his new name was "Gaines." Well, not quite, but I've always wanted to tell that story on this blog. But still, "Americanizing" one's name is for pricks.

2. He says "subway" in the song. Isn't it the "tube" in England? I guarantee his agent, Nigel, told him to change it before everybody thinks he saw the girl standing on a toothpaste tube. "Subway"=$$$! (British people: You're not offended by "Nigel," right? All British music industry people are named Nigel, you have to admit. And we just don't have any Nigels over here, so we laugh every time we hear it anyway.)

3. He changed "fucking high" to "flying high" for the radio version. Again, terrible job. Why don't you just say you're a yankee fan just so you can get into, I don't know, some place where Red Sox fans aren't allowed.

4. Kurt Cobain already did the "start the verse, then stop short before restarting" thing ("Polly said...") that Blunt starts the song with. And until you actually put the gun in your mouth and pull the trigger (hint hint), no one's going to believe you're really depressed about this crap. Oh, right, except for all of idiot America.

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