Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Futures Game Is Today

I'm up in Boston for the Futures Doubleheader. Tonight, I didn't see the game because I was at Neil Hamburger at Middle East. Neil was on his game tonight. The crowd was full of Hamburger die-hards. Way better than the NYC crowd last year. Morgan Murphy opened, and she was pretty funny. Steven Wright-y, kind of. But younger and more female. Another opener was James Kochalka Superstar. This dude was really funny. Songs about monkeys and robots and made out of lyrics his 3-year old came up with, like "Cocaine" and "My Penis is Hot."

I heard the Red Sox didn't have as much fun as I did. Terrible job. Gotta score to win. Just now, though, I got to watch, on Gameday, the Yanks lose in the bottom of the ninth, which is always fun.

Friday, August 25, 2006


I'd been thinking about this lately, but now that David Ortiz has admitted to having had a rapid heartbeat during last weekend's Yankee series, and went to the hospital for it, I have to get it out there:

Red Sox-Yankees series' are my period.

Seriously, it's the same thing. Leading up to them, my face breaks out like that of a fourteen-year old. I get canker sores. My body aches. I get anxious, along with everybody's favorite twins, moody and irritable. The thought of Derek Jeter is a cramp that won't go away. Except for maybe bloating, I basically get PMS. I call it "PYS," though.

And then the series happens. Sometimes it's long, sometimes it's short. Sometimes it's not half bad, and sometimes it's horrible. But either way, it's a relief when it's over.

Last weekend, it was the heaviest of flows (Yank-struation. Man-struation?), and lasted the maximum five games.

I'm okay now, but PYS should set in again in about two weeks. One more period, and then maybe another bonus one in the playoffs, and then I'm okay for another six months. If you only you ladies got six months off every year, right?

It's a horrible thing, and I have to deal with it. But it means I have blossomed into a mature baseball fan. I have the power to pass my fandom on to the next generation. I am baseball fan, hear me roar.

Who says the rivalry is dead? (Answer: Andrew. Check out his guest article on a Yankee blog about it. It's interesting. I obviously don't agree that the rivalry is dead. I think it's changed. But there are plenty of things Andrew says that make sense, and that I agree with in the article. That's probably a whole other post I'd have to do to give my opinions on everything he brought up. Whether you agree with all, some, or none of what he says, it's a well thought out piece and gives you things to think about. But, like I said, I can provide physical evidence that the rivalry is very strong in this one. I don't get acne before Royals series'.)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Newsom Pics (& Neko) (& Sox Stuff)

Above: Looking across a park at McCarren Pool, Brooklyn. That brick arch behind the Clark Kent-style goalpost is the entrance to the gigantic old pool, now used for outdoor concerts. Click here for my last trip to the pool. And click each picture to Large Marge-ify.

Tonight I was there for Joanna Newsom. Here she is just after taking the stage, preparing to play. I got to the pool at 5:30 and began the usual long wait for Chan. Chan has never arrived on time to any event of any type for as long as I've known him (fifteen years). It's weird, because it doesn't fit with his personality. He's just, for no apparent reason, consistently late.

While I was waiting, a guy with a huge wall of hair walked in. I stared at the hair for a while; he really had it sticking straight up. It looked like the hairdo they gave Eddie Murphy when he played Buckwheat. But, hey, this is hipster-heaven. Fortunately, I wasn't totally paralzyed by the hair, because when I finally looked away at the guy accompanying hair-boy, I discovered it was Jimmy Fallon. I always liked Fallon on SNL, and my take on his Red Sox movie was that he wanted to show the craziness of Red Sox culture, regardless of any of the crappiness that ended up in the film, and that's fine with me. You can't make a movie about a Yankee fan, because nobody would care. I don't mind people taking good-natured shots at Red Sox fans and Bostonians, like he did with the "No-mahhh/Yer retahded/You ahh" skit. I just loved that the Red Sox were mentioned on SNL all the time because of that skit.

I watched them walk to the backstage (side pool) area, and say hi to Martha Wainwright. I was glad to find out she was playing first, because the rain started to fall, and although it would've been cool to see Joanna in the rain, it wouldn't have been a fun ride home afterward. And I knew it was a passing shower, so this meant I'd see Newsom rain-free. So Wainwright played, and Chan arrived in the middle of it. I wasn't really into Martha.

Chan and I moved up toward the stage in preparation for Newsom. I told him about Fallon being there. Then I noticed Jimmy and the living-hair were standing right next to us. I tried to candidly take his picture. But I was zoomed all the way in when I shot from the hip. So I got a shot of sky and another of someone's back, possibly not even Jimmy's. Terrible job by me.

Above: More Joanna.

Then I saw this dude Toby Goodshank in the crowd who I've seen play wacky tunes back in CT and in NY. I didn't say hi. I doubt he would have remembered me anyway. But right next to him was another dude I recognized. I couldn't quite place him. But when I loudly told Chan I saw this celebrity (below, blurry, in white shirt in front of Port-a-potty, facing left, can you tell who it is? Answer at end of post.)...

the guy's girlfriend started saying "where? where?" And I was trying to point him out to her. Meanwhile I know I've seen this guy and recently. I never figured it out. Maybe he was at the last pool show.

Joanna played, and it was good. Since she's got a new album coming out, she played a lot of new tunes. I only got to hear three old ones. But she did a great job. I can't even imagine playing a harp, let alone singing at the same time. She was as elfin and childlike as she was a few years ago. And the new "stuff"--as music fans call music--was good. I'm guessing I will like the new album. It's funny how you hear laughing and crying when Joanna plays. People who know the tunes will cry like babies--she played "Sadie," one of the saddest songs I've ever heard, which may or may not be about her dog dying, but who knows what other symbolism I'm missing--and people who've never heard her will blurt out a laugh when they hear a quirky line or when her voice takes a word on the Tilt-a-whirl. I laughed at the "beetle shell" line the first hundred times I played the cd.

I was pretty focused on Newsom, but I also noticed Fallon at the side of the stage. I think Ben Stiller may have been up there, too. But I can't verify that one. It was dark by then. The reason it was a celebrity-fest, I'm guessing, was the headliner, Neko Case. She sings in New Pornographers sometimes, which I like. And apparently she's going to be the "next big thing." But I was there for Joanna (who I thought was gonna be the NBT--guess not). We stayed for a couple of Neko's songs, but they were all coutrified and, how you say, not good. To me. Chan was just fine with us leaving early. A bunch of people were still coming in as we left. We walked to the subway listening to Neko talk about 12-year old girls and their fantasies of unicorns while humping their dolls. Terrible job.

Answer to mystery celeb above: Mike Myers. Maybe ex-SNLers get into the pool shows free? Or did they just hear the buzz about Neko?

Hey, I actually did some cropping. It was fun. Usually I don't do it with my Sox pix because it would take forever, and I already spend too much time on those galleries as it is.

About tonight, the Yanks have lost. We are up 2-1, Papelbon is in, needing four outs. Beckett actually did awesome--but left with a blister.

I'm getting the Angels' channel tonight. They had a great shot of Papi dribbling a beach ball in the dugout and goofing around.

Pap just got an out to Pap-country. That's deep left-center. Doesn't he always get at least one fly ball out there?

Now here's another ball that bounces off one Angel to another, for a DP. A similar play happened before. Killer. On the last one though, I flipped to the Yanks and Bernie was retired on a pinball play at that same moment.

Pap gets another out to Pap-country after a Vlad leadoff hit. Two more outs, Jon. Strikeout of Juan Rivera. One more, buddy. K! We win. Two actual victories in succession. Gold.

You CAN Fire Me

"Remember: things certainly look bleak now, but we really have no idea how the season will end. We may think we do, but we don't. (And you may think they'll fold, and they might, but that doesn't mean you knew. It simply means your expectation matched one of the myriad outcomes.)"

This is what I'm talkin' about. This isn't from some crazy person like myself. This was written by Joy of Sox a few days ago. (In his own comments section, not in a post.)

And shortly after I wrote a "you never know"-type comment over at WCSG, I read, on Joy of Sox, something that Mirabelli said, which was very similar to my comment. I'm glad Doug and I are on the same wavelength.

My point is that all of a sudden, these guys we throw out there, who we know have talent, could start playing the way they should be playing. If that happens, I want to watch it happen. If it doesn't, well, it was my choice to give up a small percentage of my life to the Boston Red Sox. Oh well. Nobody (except my parents and their parents and their parents, originally) forced me to do that. It's fun. Head-into-wall-slamming, heart-attacking, palm-sweating, Steinbrenner voodoo doll-strangling fun? Yes. But fun nonetheless.

Besides, how would you rather see the Red Sox win? Having all the best players and winning every single game? Or picking themselves off their asses, turning the freak switch to eleven and getting it on, like that lady in the Mohegan Sun commercials? Okay, bad example. I just mean to give up now is to say that you don't think the possibility exists that people can overcome adversity. Or that the unthinkable can happen--so soon after we all witnessed the ultimate example of that.

When Ted Striker was forced to land the plane, did you say, "This movie's over, he's never gonna land it. He just can't fly a four-engine plane. Simple as that."? No! You gave it a shot. Striker landed that goddamn plane. I didn't give up on Ted and I'm not giving up on this bunch. What about clubhouse pep-talks, lightning striking the ball in mid-flight, baseball goddesses parting the clouds and making miracles, bloody socks?? The Tiger Town kid squeezing his hands together! "Let them play!" "There's only one thing left to do, win the whole fuckin' thing!" "Build it, they will come!" "You're eating maggots, Michael!" Oh, wait.

Red Sox-Angels, tonight at 10! Keep those eyes open, Clockwork Orange-style!

Easy As 1:23

1:23 in the morning, that is. (Or "1:23 AM in the morning," as stupid people would say.) That's how late I had to stay up to see the Red Sox win. That's right, we won. Stop the presses. Or the uploads or whatever.

Papi and Captain lyMo went deep, we tried to blow a fairly big lead, and Pap shut the door.

Pedroia, the poor little fella. As Pat's dad said to him after a 13-year old Pony league game at that field by Ancona's Market, "you're hitting the ball good, the hits'll come." Lil' Dusty's in that same sitch-mo, just hitting rockets but with not much to show for it.

Okay, so, August, uh, let's see, 23rd: The day we turned it around. We hope.

Tomorrow I head back to that crazy pool in Brooklyn to see Joanna Newsom. As my most loyal readers know, I'm a big fan. Her music helped me through a difficult time in my life, and I've been waiting to hear those songs live for a long time, even though the difficult phase is long over. But it's okay, I'm a fan of appreciating sad music while you're happy.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


If someone could figure out how to be a morning person and a night person, that person could take over the world.

Or just watch a lot more bad TV.


Check it out, I made ABC News' "Science and Society blog," for my earlier dig at NASA. Weird. I have to admit, it was a great line by me that day. Nice Googling, ABC science-blogging guy.

"Why Are you Screaming?"

In our last 22 games, we're 7-15.

Of the 15 losses, here's how many runs we've lost by:

1 run--7 times
2 runs--1 time
3 runs--5 times
4 or more runs--2 times

That's why this whole thing is so frustrating. It's not like we just totally lost it and started getting blown out. Every game we play, we have a chance well into the game. Which just shows you how crappy the pen has been. And our failure to hit with RISP, which always seems to happen right when we would need to succeed.

This is just, to quote Ali Kamal when he made his complaint about Dr. Louie Rocco, "too much pain, too much pain."

Tonight Show

We lost, in "new classics" fashion: Game we easily could have won that frustrates the fuck out of you and keeps you up really late. And as Youk's ball was caught with the tying run on second in deep right to end our game, I flipped to the Yanks to see Jeter get on as the go-ahead run with his usual cheapie to right. He's like a kid who found a glitch in a video game. I imagine him as a kid playing Nintendo Baseball and discovering that if you run back and forth between the bases, you'll eventually move out of the base line, and will be able to circle the bases without the computer team tagging you. At that point you can score endlessly, and beat the computer 100-0 if you want. All right, so I used to do it, too. But I don't go around doing that shit in real life.

But it didn't work! Fortunately, A-Rod came up with two on and two out, so naturally he struck out to end the ninth. Then the M's got a walkoff homer. The intellectually challenged Bobby Murcer somehow couldn't detect that the ball was very clearly over the wall. As Beltre trotted in with the winning run, he said "and it's gonna be called a home run..." Yeah, because it was a home run. Face it, they lost. He then assumed it must have hit off Abreu's glove. Nope. Just over the wall for a home run.

The other contenders lost, so if you're thinking Wild Card, we're still 4 back, and still 6.5 back of Moneybags McGee.

I was thinking, maybe if we start using mulch and fertilizer and twigs and start building relief pitchers. The earth-people would surely do better than what we've got.

Pedroia played tonight. Got a hit. Good to finally meet you, little one. Another guy we've heard about since he was just a glint in Pawtucket's eyes.

Hey, I have a suggestion. If a guy goes to intentionally walk you, why not swing and miss at the first pitch. See what the opposing manager does then. Still holding up four? Swing at the second pitch. That's like cutting off the opposing manager's pinky finger at the knuckle. After that, he'll tell you if he wears ladies' underwear. We can see what kind of guts Torre has, facing Manny with two free strikes against him.

I hate how we had Coco steal in the ninth, effectively taking the bat out of Ortiz' hands. Again. TJ. I know you can argue for it in that situation, but I say do what you can to not open up first base with David coming up.

Finally, I'm definitely not down with this whole "the Yanks dominated us, and are the best team in baseball" thing. We stunk enough for them to win all five games this weekend. That doesn't make them some great team in my eyes. They started Johnny Carson tonight. Something like that. And the rest of their pitching, well, it's not winning them the World Series. I'd definitely put money on that. (I watch the Yanks almost every game. I'm not just assuming stuff.) Then again, there are a lot of crappy teams in this league, that the Yanks can easily beat. But we should beat those teams, too. It doesn't look like it now, that we could beat the RHS 1992 JV baseball team. I honestly believe Ted White could take Hansen deep. But it is baseball, there are crappy teams that are out of the race that even a bed-shitting Sox team should beat, so I'm not giving up yet. Then again, I never do. Whatever. I'm obviously never giving up on this team if I'm sitting here writing about them at 2 AM, a day after they lost five effing games in a row, at home, to Donald F. Dunbar, III.

My girlfriend was asking me if I think the Sox appreciate us who stay to the end of games like the one Sunday night (which I did stay til the end of). Well, I don't think they can help but notice that tonight, after what happened on the weekend, going to California, and hearing loud "Let's Go Red Sox" chants all game long. So, they appreciate it. I think... their next step is, you know, ending the losing. The repeated losing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Papi among non-Papis. Click all of these to enlarge.

Ice Cube's a pimp.

Mariano tries to catch a horrible throw.

Joe Morgan.

Caption contest.

Go ahead, feel my moustache.

Rainy Fenway. (use this caption for the next several pics.)

Judas Damon. (see sign at right)

Manny retires Johnny...

...and flips him the ball on his way to the dugout.

Manny goes to strangle Giambi while Haselman runs distraction.

The crowd ater we went down three in the tenth. What a mess of a game. And these seats weren't the crappy seats, these were behind first base. Section 13 and 12 if you're Feway savvy.

We were there so late, the Citgo sign had been turned off.

The next day, back in NYC, I got to Bryant Park at 5:00 for the 8:17 movie (thanks for the tip, last year's experience!). I just barely made it in time to grab a space. My "blanket" was two bath towels and a Red Sox towel.

A half hour later, even the little patches of grass around me were filled in. People really love this whole summer outdoor movie thing. I can't believe I spotted Chan as he got in with our Zen Palate take-out at around 7:30, considering neither of us owns a cell phone.

Blurry shot of Rocky on the screen. Best I could do. Was cool to see it again. A great American love story. And I saw a lot of Sox hats, despite us losing 5 in a row to the Yanks. A little different from how Yankee fans disappear off the face of the earth in similar situations.

A dude in his "mobile office" alongside the park. Bizarre. Computer, printer, flowers. I'm guessing he sleeps in the trunk.


I think this is a first. The dumbs and smarts agree. In the Wily Mo debate, you've got three sides:

There are the dumb people, who really don't know anything about baseball beyond the score of the game. Those people see one big, long, impressive homer by Wily Mo, and are captivated. "Oh now this guy is good," they'll say. Ten consecutive strikeouts later, they're still thinking of him as "the guy who hits those long homers." None of us here are in that category, as those people definitely don't use the internet for their Red Sox information.

Then there's my group. People who know the game, follow the team, but don't go crazy following prospects from the time they're in short pants, and don't really care about the National League, or the AL Central or West for that matter. We see Wily Mo and we look at his stats and determine he's just not that good, and have to really hope that this upside argument is reality, because we see nothing to prove that it is. Me and probably some other folks are in this group.

Finally, there are the real baseball crazies, who can tell you who the 12th best prospect in the Pirates system off the top of their head. Those people see Wily Mo as a starting right fielder with lots of power who will become a dominant figure in the game in a few years. BSM and Andrew and STJellis are the founders of that group.

Group one, we'll call the clowns. Pennywise for short.

Group two, the one I'm in, is the middle group. The Middles.

The jokers in group three shall be named after Wink Martindale, because while he didn't host Joker's Wild, I still associate him with game shows of that era.

So, it's weird, how the Winks actually agree with the Pennywises. I got these clowns to the left of me, admiring Pena's HRs, thinking he's the next Jim Rice, jokers to the right, telling me how great the guy will be even though I just don't see it, and here I am, stuck in the middle.

Wink. Me (Middle). Pennywise.


[Note, for the left/right thing to work, you have to think of me being inside the WMP zone, looking out at you.]

Needless to say, terrible job, Wily Mo, in the Yankees series. We really couldv'e used a guitar-playing starting pitcher in that series. Over Jason Johnson, Lester, and Beckett, definitely.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Jere's Fantasy Land

Hey! My Reggie Jefferson 1996 home run video from MSG Network has been removed from YouTube! I finally broke the "any broadcast, rebroadcast..." law! My life is complete!

Seriously, terrible job, MLB. Were you really planning on doing anything at all with a twenty-second random, meaningless clip from 1996?

Am I making any money off of it?

You'd rather have it sit in some warehouse, unseen for the rest of eternity than let some dude use it, unaltered, for shits and giggles. I think that's horrible.

Ian MacKaye said it best, and A. I don't have documentation of this since I heard him say it live at a spoken-word performance and B. I'm not getting the quote exactly right, but: He told a story of how some guy had written a song 25 years ago, and it finally saw the light of day in a movie or something. The guy was pissed because he didn't get any money for it. And Ian said, "Why wouldn't you be glad that your art is being heard instead of sitting there unheard?"

This is why I take a view that most musicians don't agree with. I feel everyone should make art and then share it with everyone else. You shouldn't have to buy permission from Motley Crue if you want to play ten seconds of "Dr. Feelgood" in your band's live joke-set at the local bar. But some people going around making sure copyrighted material isn't played without permission.

One time, a band made up of a bunch of 15-year old fans of The Pac-Men, my old band, covered a song of ours. Did we say, Hey, that's OUR song, give us money if you want to play it? No. I can't speak for the whole band, but I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. If you can do something and inspire others to do something else, even if it's just a tribute to you, then you've done your job.

MLB: I like your product and I'm saying, Look, everybody, at this cool or funny play from a game I taped years ago. You're not doing anything with it, and I'm showing it just for fun. I don't see any harm done. You snooze, you lose.

And here's my idealist answer to the question, "But Iron Head, what if people are stealing your material, making money off of it, and claiming it as their own?":

Teach your damn children not to steal. Then, in another generation, we won't have to worry about this.

Went to Rocky at Bryant Park tonight. The season finale of their outdoor film fest. This year I knew ahad of time about the jumping up and down during the HBO intro. Oh, whoops, I said HBO. If anyone from that company is watching, do you want my quarters I'm saving up to do laundry? Would that little extra bit of space between my thousands of dollars and your hundreds of millions of dollars please you?

And MLB, good luck finding and deleting my other videos I made out of your trillion-dollar enterprise and am making no money off of. Fuckers. Tell Bud I said hi. And start worrying more about levelling the playing field and less about fucking YouTube, you fucking fucks.


Where was Kapstein on Saturday?

About last night: I think I must have set a new record of latest time being at Fenway. And I set my earliest time record on Patriots' Day this year. So I've seen all but 7 or so hours of the 24-hour standard day at Fenway this year alone.

My main problem with last night was that if Tito knew Pap could get six outs, why didn't he just start the eighth with him?

Hansen stinks.

The Jeter game-tying hit. Classic. The cheapest little thing, as always. Right fielders should take ten steps in whenever he's up. If they did, he'd be a .200 hitter.

And about this Jeter being an MVP candidate thing: Total BS. Invented by Michael Kay. I've come to realize that announcers decide award-winners. They have the power to create a buzz about a player. The voters don't know shit; they see their hometown players, but after that, all they do is listen to what other people say. So I was watching when Kay, one day, decided that since A-Rod was clearly gonna lose to Papi this year, he'd go ahead and start saying that "Jeter's having an MVP-type season." I listened to this crap from this megalomaniac for a while, and then on Friday, knowing he'd fully put the MVP thought in people's heads, he came out with this: "The general mindset in baseball is that you've got two MVP candidates: Jeter and Ortiz."

Michael Kay is a horrible man.

Anyway, I thought, okay, Jeter has the average, but Manny's getting close to him in that department. Sure enough, they're now within ten points of each other. Only Manny has 34 homers to Jeter's 10, and 100 RBI to his 74. .444 OBP to Jeter's .413. .637 SLG to Jeter's .472.

So, Pigfucker, if Jeter's in this race with Papi, which he isn't anyway, then put Manny right in there with him.

While writing all that, I'm watching game 5, and Kay went right into another Jeter asskissing session. He just asked Flaherty, "I know the lay fan just marvels at what Jeter does, but do other players marvel at him in the clubhouse?" Then as Kay brought up the catch where Jeter dove into the stands in 2004, (which symbolized the Yanks' "big show, no results" way of the past few seasons, and Pokey's catch was better, anyway), the replay of it appeared instantly. In other words, this was another pre-planned "let's get Jeter an MVP" setup. These guys, the entire Yankee announcing crew, should be lined up and shot. In the kneecaps.

And that includes Jim Kaat. I've given him credit in the past, and yes, he's their best analyst, and knows how to do that job, but not only has he become senile before our ears, he's also become more and more of a Steinbrenner shill. He joins the rest of that crew: Kay, Justice, Lorenz, Leiter, etc, on my DTM list. (Dead to me.)

Hey, lets' just bring up real quick how Cory Lidle's grandma died, he found out about it, then bought some Jujy Fruits, in other words, got his start in, and then went on the bereavement list.

Only the Yankees would do this. "You get your start in, then go, and we'll get a reliever to take your place for the three days you're out, since you wouldn't have been available anyway." Only the Yanks would find a loophole in a rule that invloves grandma dying. That's two horrible things done by Seinfeld characters at once: The Jujy Fruits and the Death Certificate.

I've said it my whole life: Between that stuff, the guys on steroids, the pure ass holes, the Jeter bloops, I don't know how any human being could root for that team.

I don't remember what I was talking about. Anyway, the good news about the Yanks winning these games is that they're getting cocky again. As we know, when they beat us, it's "their World Series," since they can't win a real one. So this is looking like another one of those great years when Yankee fans think they're going to win, but they totally don't.

It's pretty bad when the best part of a Red Sox-Yankees weekend is the part when Samuel L. Jackson took that one snake and... well, I won't give it away, go see SOAP at a theater near you. Sneak food and drink in.

Hey, the Sox just left the bases loaded! Whatta ya know! 0-0 after 4. I'd like to get the win today. One win in a five-game series. Is that too much to ask? Oh great, Manny left the game. What next?

Oh, and Wily Mo's getting his own post. I didn't forget about him.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Blue Sox

A very special feline member of the ARFIPT family has left us for kitty Olympus. Needless to say, I was not in attendance for yesterday's debacle at Fenway (that must have been his gift to us!)

So, not really thinking about the Sox much this weekend. But if I was, I'd say "pukebarf."

The Yanks don't have much to be proud of. Our pitching has just handed them three games on a Jan Brady-purchased silver platter. Hopefully we can turn all this into a beautiful song seen in front of a TV audience in October.

I'll be back at Fenway tonight with Witchy (she's revamped her blog, check it out). Look for pics here on...Tuesday-ish. Because Monday is a travel/wacthing game 5/going to see Rocky at Bryant Park day.

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