Saturday, June 28, 2008

Unoriginal People, You Have A Problem

Red Sox win in Houston. A very weird sentence to write. Nice to see Dice bounce back from the crappy game that followed his DL stint. We gain a game on the Yanks, who won by nine and lost by nine in two different ballparks in one day. The Rays stayed a half game back with a win. I don't know about all of you, but I love having the Rays (or any other team) up near the top with us. That's one more team the Yanks have to beat out to make the playoffs. Until it gets to the point where the (Devil) Rays are really a threat to keep us out of October, I'll have no problem enjoying their success. Again, it has nothing to do with who's there, just that they're there. I mean, sure, I want to win the division by 30 games over everybody, but it's no big deal if some other non-Yankee team stays close to us if it means the Yanks have one more team ahead of them.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Rich Gedman Collection

One day it hit me: I should *definitely* try to collect every baseball card Rich Gedman ever appeared on. So I tried. I have a lot. As well as some other Gedman-related stuff. Here's most of it, in video form, in three parts:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Book Available For Pre-Order Now

Dirty Water: A Red Sox Mystery by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith and Jere Smith. You can actually pre-order it now from Amazon. The book will be available in actual stores by late August--you can always wait and walk to your local bookstore to buy it then, which will keep your body and soul in good shape.

Advance reading copies are available now, and we'd be happy to mail you one if you have a blog or website where you can do a review. Email me at Two2067 (at) aol (dot) com.

I've also started a Dirty Water blog (, where I'll be putting book updates. Check it out, and let me know if you link to it and I'll put your link up over there.

I'll always let you know the latest here, but not at RemDawg Nation ad levels. That's why I decided to dedicate a separate blog to the book. Thanks, everybody.

Bostons Win Series; Finish Homestand 3-3

The standard 37-plus thousand cranks packed the Fenway park to-night, many preoccupied with wire-free communication devices or image-capturing gadgets. Those who did peer diamond-ward noticed that each of the two squads' shooters had aged sufficiently to have sired them.

The lanky villain, "Randy" Johnson, retreated to the look of his younger self, but only in hair-style, as he finds a "mullet-head" to be the most fetching. His fast-ball, however, has put on a few pounds. It's not that the "Big Unit" defecated in the blankets, but his eight-hit performance would have made his old self blush. The two runs, plated on a bouncer and a sacrifice fly ball, were more than enough for the Bostons to take the contest and the series.

The Hub's own Father Time, Wakefield, laid the ol' Chicago on the Desert Men, with help from hometown hero Delcarmen and door-shutter Papelbon, who rescued Hansen in the ninth to preserve the whitewash.

The surprising star would be Wake's personal ball-chaser, Mr. Cash. The specialist hadn't hit a long ball in a dog's age, but earned his currency in the eighth, when he blasted a Bleriot over The Wall, and the spectators atop it. The blow gave some respiratory relief to the Red rooters, who had been witnessing a hair-raiser until that moment.

"Coco" Crisp performed a special feat, knocking three two-baggers, and giving fits to left-fielder "Kooky" Byrnes. His wall-play made it appear he'd rather be surfing Arizona bay than fussing with the physics of fielding Fenway flies. A Bill Hicks routine would not have garnered more guffaws from the gawkers by the "Green Monster" than Kooky's act did on this night.

The first-place Bostons head for Texas to meet the Astro-nomicals this week-end.

Sox Win

Old-timey recap in the morning. Ish.

In the meantime, here's the latest development in the official fugitive case of RSF/PT.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

AZ @ Sox Game Thread. If You're Around.

The aging knuckler against the aging piece o' crap, 7:05.

Three Things With No Comedic Numbering

1. I am gonna open up the comments section to a game thread tonight, though I will only be checking in with you occasionally. So hopefully at least two people show up. As Linda Richman said....

2. Retrosheet has been overhauled! A lot of people say "I can't imagine living without...." For me, that one thing is Retrosheet. They're using drop-down menus instead of the old frames system, and a bunch of new seasons' play-by-plays are up, too, including the elusive 1999, which for some reason was the one season they didn't have between the '50s and last year. Check out the new look over there. (I like how it still has a really basic look to it--no frills, and now it's easier to navigate and link to.)

3. The e-mails keep coming in, asking me to advertise for ticket agencies. I guess putting a big "AD-FREE" sign at the top of your sidebar and repeatedly writing about the evils of these places and telling people to never use them doesn't prevent them from saying to me:

I came across your site and think that it would be a great fit for our advertising campaigns.

With judgment like that, it's no wonder they think people would pay 180 bucks for 50-dollar grandstand seats on a weeknight when they're readily available for face value. Another "Orange Drink" moment. (click here, listen to the audio, don't pay attention to the video)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bostons Come Back From Down Three; Even Series

BOSTON, Mass.--No base-ball club in this fine league has pilfered victory from the cold, soul-less paws of defeat in its final stick session more than the American league squad of this city. The total instances would fit snuggly into ma's cardboard egg-storer. And in the last of the eighth frame at the Fenway park to-night, the Code of the Snake was finally cracked by the Boston batsmen.

Broadcastman Remy, once a second-sacker for the BoSocks, was honored in full, and some might say to excess, without an idea sarcastic. A wringer list of famous Franks and Francines poured into the announcing nook and just as soon were filtered out the other side as a new face pushed the old aside. The comic stylings of "Lenny" Clarke were appreciated, even by the fair-haired Heidi Watney, who was called upon and doted on by the frenetic funnyman. Former teammate "Rooster" Burleson joined Remy, and cohort Orsillo, and spoke of the Little Man's post-game barley beverage consumption: it was eternally a "three dog night" back in the playing days. The "Rooster" pulled the ultimate rookie mistake and the announcer's least best friend, continuing a conversation without pause into the between-inning advertising conference. Orsillo's predecessor, Mr. Kurtz, shared tales of past springtime Sunshine State adventures with the "Rem-dawg." And another blast from the announcing past, McDonough, shared laughs with the crew. Even Hollywood's super-star actress, Renee Russo, who many recall as Jake Taylor's love interest on the silver screen, placed a telephone call to the two-decade describer. Master of horror-literature, Stephen King, rubbed Remy's tummy with a rare Don Aase joke! (Aase may not be guffawing, having recently been bumped off the team's alphabetic top rung by tosser Aardsma.) The team owners, Masters Werner and Henry, tried their hand at comedy, giving a phony list of excuses to put on the event.

On the ball-field, after Remy's legendary ex-mates moved aside, genuine hurler "Bat" Masterson toed the 'tangle, and was bitten early by the crotalus atroces. A singleton in the second and a Tracy tri-dong in the third put smiles on the reptilian faces of the arid zoners. But "Bat" held steady for the remainder of his one hundred and one pitches. Spotless relief work by two pen-sters gave "Chris" Smith his first win at this level, and Papelbon another saved game.

The wood-wielders of The Hub actually struck first, last year's phenomenal rook Pedroia sending a hard one above the highest point on The Wall. After six innings of futility followed, some feared the four to one tally the board showed might stick. Others sat back and waited for what they now feel is manifest destiny: the Bostons will find you, wrap you in strong twine, and hold you down, foot-to-throat, until you concede the high score. The latter group of cranks, had they been betting types, would be smelling the green about now. Lugo began the glorious eighth by bingling. Ellsbury followed suit, as did Pedroia, and the deficit was just two. After two more axmen were sent to the pine, the Cuba-rican of the hot corner, Lowell, connected on another one of his patented two-jewelers, and the game was deadlocked. Earlier, God's tears rained down on the region, but now they were replaced by jubilation. The celebration continued as the Captain kicked Lowell home with the eventual contest-clincher.

In other action, the New Yorks of the A.L. were pummeled by the Pittsburgs, 12 to five. The Tampans kept pace with the front-running Bostons with a win of their own.

D'backs At Red Sox, 6/23/08

Click to enlarge. Got to a two-hour meter that ends at 6 PM right at 4, so my price for parking was eight quarters, and I walked over to the park with plenty of time before gates opened. Then it's wait for the second door of gate B to open as everybody else (already standing by the first door because people around here always flock to where everyone else is--"ooh, a line of ten cars stopped at a light in the middle lane, and no cars in the left or right lane even though they aren't turn-only lanes. I'll be the eleventh car! Woohoo!") falls for the "first door to open" trick, and I'm basically the first one in. Which is cool if you like standing around looking at six visiting players and a big tarp...

Steve Levy in the house.

The star of the pre-game activities was definitely the sky. It was a beautiful day, and then the stroms started brewing. (Making it even more beautiful to rain-lovers like me.)

Standing in the front row by the camera well is as good as being in the camera well.

Ed Randall of "Ed Randall's Talking Baseball."

Looking out toward right, the last of the non-evil skies.

Lowell comes out briefly, and talks to Levy. The front of Mike's shirt said "Woooooooo!!"

Lugo also made a brief appearance.

Gray clouds over the Monster.

Now the death clouds really start rolling in.

More clouds showing here.

The winds kick up, and a runaway garbage bag appears.

Looking west, the good stuff is on the way in....

At this point, everyone's wondering how it could possibly not be raining.

Sky over the light towers.

And another deadly cloud over the tower to the left of home plate.

Youk came out to see what was goin' on overhead.

And finally, the skies opened up. Not to the portal to hell that seemed imminent, but, you know, to allow rain to pour down. So I took a good spot under the roof.

The clouds finally start to lift and the rain stops. One more minor shower a little before 7 caused the start time to be delayed by a half-hour.

Whole lotta warning track. I went to this spot because I wanted to get a shot of the crew running past me with the tarp as they removed it. But they kept it on the field so long, I gave up and would get the shot from a different angle.

Two different Diamondback jerseys.

Top right to bottom left: The right field foul line, the warning track, the padding on the fence, the space between padding and wall (you can see all the way down to the dirt), the fence itself, and, I think, my left leg.

A weird drain in the stands.

Your AL East standings. And the tarp thing. And some fans.

During that whole storm, they kept the lights off. Finally, they go on.

Another lights on tarp shot.

I still haven't gone into the Bleacher Bar. But you can see a TV on in there if you look closely. Above, the Citgo sign.

The catcher spits something "out" in front of the word "out."

Beckett pulling a Zoppi.

Beckett and Varitek. Yes, I'm out at my bleacher seat. I thought, Hey, instead of standing the whole game, I'll actually use my seat for a change! I've been seeing the same people who have my 10-game plan since it started in 2004, and there seems to be a new baby joining the crew every year. I also got to see Empy, who was sitting a section over and spotted me.

I was up here when they took off the tarp.

There they go....

Manny and Lugo.

Haren, who would beat us on this night.

I think Remy caught a foul ball. I zoomed in on them, but I never saw him hold it up, though they were smiling. Can anybody tell me what happened?

Drew in right, his brother at the plate.

Kooky with his shirt so open that it looks like ARIZZONA.

Not much action in this game...except when Youk suddenly had an injury. I saw Lugo hold up two fingers so I figured it was an eye thing. Here, Lugo says, go to the clubhouse, you can't play. I later found out it was a throw in that inning's grounder-practice that hit him. Tell me it wasn't freakin' Lugo who threw it....

Jacoby on second, Lugo on third. We needed two runs in this game, but we only mustered up one. Crappy. At least Beckett had a nice game.

So I missed it on Saturday, since I was in NYC playing touch football in Central Park, but Chris Smith got in a game! The first Red Sox Smith since Dan, who pitched in two games in 2000. So he'll be added to my Smiths of Baseball project.

Oh, and I said I'd be here for a game thread tonight, but I forgot I have tomorrow, I promise, I'll open it up to a thread, even if I'm not around, but I should be.

22 Stories About Foul Balls In Arlington On September 26th, 1986. Minus 20.

August 26th, 1986. Red Sox beat Rangers 8-1 at Arlington Stadium. Twenty-two years later, I learn two stories about the game, both involving foul balls. First, I see a ball on ebay supposedly hit by Rich Gedman. As many of you know, I'm in the process of collecting every single Rich Gedman baseball card, as well as other Geddy artifacts. An update to that coming soon. Anyway, I thought, Wow, a real Gedman-hit foul ball. It was so cheap, so, even though there's no definitive way of proving that Rich hit the ball, I figured I'd place the one-dollar bid and see what happens. The seller seemed to have a legit story, though, and he wasn't a collector, just some guy who caught the ball, kept it in his sock drawer for 20 years, and decided it was time a Sox fan (or better yet me, an actual Rich Gedman fan) should have it. It seemed to have the right look to it, with the Delaware River mud, so I figured I'd take the guy at his word and consider it a true Geddy game ball. I did notice he had the wrong year, though, since the commissioner on the ball didn't match the year he said it was. I asked him some questions, and he told me the whole story of the night. How he'd brought a bunch of kids to the game, one boasted all night about how he was sure to catch a ball, the kid went to the bathroom, and the guy caught the ball while the kid was gone. That didn't help me figure out what game or even what year the ball was from. He said his only other memory of the game was that afterwards, Amy Grant played a concert. So I did a news search. Turned out, everybody's favorite half country/half cheesy/half Christian singer played Arlington Stadium on 8/26/86. I told the guy this, and it all came rushing back to him. Yes! It was '86! Etc, etc. So I bought the ball, at a very cheap price. That was a few months ago. Yesterday, I realized I'd forgotten the date of the game, so I looked up the Amy Grant article again. I came across another article from two days after the game about a doctor who rescued a woman in the crowd from getting nailed by a foul ball. His name is Kenneth Cooper, and apparently he's a big deal down there, and even "invented" the term "aerobics." (The woman suffered only a glancing blow, and according to the article, stayed for the Amy Grant show, though she did get a headache. They don't specify whether it came from the ball or the music.) So there were two foul ball incidents that night. And I've got one of 'em. Maybe now I'll see if I can locate that other one.... Calling Dr. Cooper... Dr. Kenneth Cooper....

Clouds Of Death Haunt Offense

I was at Fenway tonight. Have you ever seen more evil clouds than these? I thought a tornado was gonna form right over our heads. The rain came and went, and the game started at 7:35. Beckett's pitching was terrific. But Haren's was terrificker. D'backs win, 2-1. More photos tomorrow.

Monday, June 23, 2008

"Life Is A Near-Death Experience" -- George Carlin

One of my comedy heroes, George Carlin, has died at age 71. I've spent a crapload of time reading his books, listening to his albums, and watching his routines.

Click any of these words to laugh.

The Big One

All I saw of today's game was the 11th inning on. Drew really saved the game with that throw, and Tek did a great job protecting the plate. And a Youk walk-off dong wins it--we stay in first place. NESN: A good sign to can the robot center field camera is when the game looks like earthquake footage. Besides, we're all used to the old angle, and that's what we see in all the road games, so you might as well end the experiment. Making us watch half the games one way and half another--what's next, some games where the pitchers bat and some with a DH? Oh wait....

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