Saturday, August 23, 2008

I'm Back Home. From Home.

Back in Somerville; slept in the new house last night. Tried to steal internet on my laptop, but no dice. I actually correctly guessed a neighbor's password, but the signal was too weak to actually get online. It kind of feels like we were gone for a week...

Red Sox got the win last night. We had a radio so we heard a bit of it. But now Lester comes out and esses the bee, and we lose--the final pitch happened as I started this sentence--by the fun score of 11-0. Now the Rays have to lose to keep us 4.5 back. But if they win, we go a half game up on the White Sox for the wild card. Then again, if the White Sox win and the Twins lose today, the Twins will again be the wild card not to try to wrap your brain around this, it's still August. Hopefully those central clubs get a little separation between them.

(Update, 6:57: Rays with the comeback win, on their first time on Fox in five years... we're 5.5 back.)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pavahh...NO, Peg

You know what I really like about seeing Carl Pavano start for the Yanks on Saturday? That it kind of represents the exact opposite of what they wanted when they got the guy. When he came over from the NL, after snubbing the Red Sox-fan side of his family, it was this big deal: "Ooh, let's see what he can do....maybe he'll lead the Yanks to a run of championships...." And now, after all this time, he's finally coming back, and the Yanks are falling fast, almost as if they're looking to cap off their last seven years of failure with one final self-inflicted wound in the final days of their ballpark's life...and Pavano is just the man to deliver it.

A few of the Coke section and pavilion box seats are available now from the team site for that second-to-last series of the season vs. Cleveland, if you've got the dough...

Battle For The Ages

There is no better line in this article, or possibly any other, than

As the police gathered the mounds of bikes, they also found cocaine, crack cocaine, about 15 pounds of marijuana and a stolen bronze sculpture of a centaur and a snake in battle.

I've taken the trouble of rendering what such an item might look like:

Look Out For Number 4

Yanks lose big to Toronto, and are now just one game ahead of them in third place. The Orioles, who the Yanks play next, are just five behind them in the loss. The only thing better than a no-playoffs year for the Yanks, is a last-place one. I'm already skipping fourth and rooting for dead last....

We're six up on the Yanks, and I checked last year's standings on this date, thinking, I bet that's how far ahead of them we were last year at this time. Though I can't prove to you that I really thought that, I was exactly right. We were six up (in first), with both teams playing 3.5 games better than this year. Of course, last year at this time, the Yanks had closed a large gap, so things looked better for them then than now. But now, they're pretty much shitting the bed, there's a "whole nother" team above them besides us, and they're three games further back of the wild card lead with more teams above them in that race than last year.

Speaking of the Wild Draw Four, we're either tied or a game up on Minnesota. The Twins are in the twelfth, tied at one as I go to bed.

(Update: Twins score before I reach bed. 2-1, top 12. Now I'll stay up for the bottom half.) (Update: Twins win. We're in a dead heat for the WC.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Superman At Bryant Park, NYC, 8/18/2008

Some movies are just part of your life. You assume that you know the whole thing, word for word, because you first saw it as a kid, and have seen it every few years since, coming across it on TV constantly. Superman was always there. "You've got me, who's got you?" is such a part of my family's lexicon, it may as well have been my sister and not Lois Lane who fell off that building and was caught by Supey. But after seeing the movie on Monday start to finish, I realized I didn't know it as well as I thought I did. I know the TV version cuts a lot out, but I've got the DVD so surely I know all those "extra" scenes. Wrong. If I'd seen the part where Lex Luthor hits Superman with bullets, fire, and ice, I don't remember it. I know I watched the DVD extras, but I guess I never sat and watched the whole uncut movie. Besides stuff like that, it's always interesting to see a movie as an adult that you still think of from your six-year-old mind's perspective. I really got a feel of the actual newspaper that these real people were running. How Perry White shows all the headlines to his staff, and then talks about how if they can get the scoop on this flying man, people will associate him with the Daily Planet. Like how real newspapers give nicknames to public figures, and they become known as such. So Lois goes on the date with the guy, coins the phrase "Superman," and gives White what he wants. Of course, it helps that Clark Kent works at the Planet. He's not gonna meet and date a woman from a competing paper.... And to see a New York movie after you've lived there is always fun. I knew the basics before--the movie obviously is set around (and below) Grand Central Terminal and the nearby Daily News building, but when you know the area, you see how they went to great lengths to make it consistent. Now for the pics from the showing. I got to Bryant Park around 4:45. They open the lawn at 5:00, with the movie starting at 8:25. Here's everyone along the edge of the park: Here's a new building going up on the northwest corner: With five minutes left, the announcer's voice told everyone not to run onto the lawn. Fat chance. The guards were pacing along the perimeter...people stood there anxiously, toes on the grass, blankets in hand... I wish I'd gotten a shot of the bull-charge when they gave the go-ahead. There were some good Jesus Beams above: A blurry shot of everyone on the lawn as it's getting dark: The 1.2-acre lawn becomes completely packed. This one kid came and sat on a two-square foot patch of grass next to my towel. This other dude had taken up a good ten feet of lawn with his blankets, as he was expecting more people. When the kid sat down, the space-holder guy got all mad, telling him to "find your own space, we were all here at five." As if this dick needed that much space. The blanket-less solo kid was from Liberia it turned out. I felt like I was in Alabama in the 50s or something, with none of the twenty-something white hipsters letting this African kid have even one little patch of space for himself. So I befriended the kid and let him sit on my towel since I had nobody with me anyway. And then Prick-y McTavish's friends start arriving, and they're all Euro-chicks, making the whole thing look even worse. Needless to say, the Euro-chicks did not need all that room as it turned out. And then another nearby guy who was with his girlfriend sees the Euro-chix and starts saying to the Prick, "this guy's my idol! You're about even with me in quality but you're way up on me in quantity." And he's saying this right in front of his girlfriend! Terrible job when the biggest prick in the area gets all the space, all the compliments, all while pushing those pesky black people off to the side. If I got killed in a terrorist attack along with that dick, I'd say it was worth it knowing he was getting taken out, too. And I'd laugh at him while we were dying, if time allowed. Anyway, they always play the classic HBO movie intro at Bryant Park movies, and everyone goes nuts. I remember the first time I went, seeing that one girl jumping up and down. It's gotten way bigger. I've only been to season-finales, though. Oh, and we didn't have HBO growing up, but I remember the theme from when we'd have HBO in a hotel on vacation or something. I loved it then, and I, and everyone else, love it now. Here it is: And here's the part when the Superman logo first appears: At one point, the sound cut out. It was right when a school bus is teetering on the edge of a bridge. So the whole crowd started screaming in terror to fill in the audio. Another thing I should've filmed. (Update: someone else did capture it.) You know, it's funny how it all comes full circle. When I was little, my sister and I audio taped the TV when Superman was on. This was before VCRs. And here I am video taping the screen with Superman on it 30 years later. What is it about Superman? (Answer: watch the final scene of Kill Bill Volume 2.) As I drove home late that night, I went past the two Yankee Stadiums. As I approached, I thought of how it always seems to say, on its trailer park-ish upcoming game sign, "BOSTON" and then the date. But I thought, Nah, it'll be some other team, we don't play the Yanks until the end of the month. Well, I didn't realize how late in the month it was, or that the Yanks had just left town and wouldn't be back until our series. So I was surprised to see "BOSTON AUG 26" up there. I thought, Are they skipping other games to let everyone know when the Sox are coming to the Stadium for the last time? Then I remembered it was already August 18th, and we were indeed the next team to come to town. So I got to see "BOSTON" up there for the last time in my life. So weird they're taking that place down. Click here for my past two Bryant Park movie posts: Rocky '06, Jaws '05. Why is it that every one of these movies I go to is exactly 30 years old at the time? Next year Ghostbusters turns 25. I'm hoping they choose it for their finale.

What You Are Is A Dipshit

You know I feel about this. But it's getting worse. I just flipped on one of the many media outlets I'm currently boycotting, and Butch Stearns said that the nineteen Red Sox-Yankees games "are what they are." As I started writing this one minute later, he added that the Yankees "are what they are," too. People. You're not saying anything. If I ask you what the definition of "tree" is, and you say, "it's a tree," you're not telling me anything.

I can understand the average fool on the street or a dumb athlete saying this crap, and its singular sibling, "it is what it is," but you media-types are supposed to be educated. Everything in the fucking world is what it is. The point of verbal, written, and symbolic communication that we as humans have been blessed with the ability to perform is to provide information. Saying something "is what it is" is the same as saying nothing. Sitting there with a gag in your mouth and your hands tied behind your back, silent. But, hey, that's how I like to see the media anyway.

You what else is spreading like a disease? The "double is." It started with "the thing of it is, is..." You can always just cut out the second "is." The other day, when Pedroia, Lester, and Lowrie were taking questions from fans, a woman stood up and said, I kid you not, "My question is, is...." No! Just, "my question is..." and then ask the question! Or simply start asking the question, and your upward inflection at the end will let everyone know you are seeking an answer! (Which will probably be "the answer is the answer.")

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Stinker. But I Got This Ball.

Check out what I got today. An '81 All-Star Game ball. It happens to be signed by the umpires of that game, but I just wanted it for the logo. (One of the few animal products I buy is old baseballs--I justify this by the fact that they are used items. And obtaining this ball will not mean a new one must be produced. Then again, buying tickets to baseball games helps the baseball-making industry, meaning more cows must die. I wish they'd just switch to a synthetic ball already. But I don't wanna get into a big thing inside my mind. Besides, that grinning native on the ball would appreciate the usage of the animal's hide. End parenthetical note.) It actually came with a similar ball from the '91 game. But it's all about the late 70s/early 80s with me, if you haven't figured that out by now.

The Rays have lost, so we're still 4.5 back if we lose this drag-a-thon in Baltimore. And I don't say drag like John Waters drag--but it should be noted that a man named Waters started for Baltimore, and John Waters is from there. It looked like we had his number early, but he's in line for a double-ewe 3.5 hours later. It's 11-6 them in the eighth. Alex Cora was just warming up. I think they were saying the last Sox position player to pitch in a game was McCarty. I saw that live once--against the Dodgers. It was June 2004, and a young me described it here. By young I mean I had only been blogging for a few months, and it was all text, baby. That same day, I wrote this post, about how the Yanks were beatable, and that we were the ones who would do it. And we totally did a few months later.

And as I finished that paragraph, they showed Cora in the dugout. Turns out he wasn't needed. And now we're one strike away from--well, now it's over. We lose.

Don Orsillo, man, what is his problem with the term "unanswered"? The Sox scored the first four runs, then the O's scored the next ten. Just after they got their tenth, and were still batting, Don said they'd scored ten unanswered runs. Well, yeah, but we haven't had a chance to answer yet! Later in the game, after the Sox had scored again, he talked about the Orioles' ten runs that were "unanswered at the time." It's moot, man. Moot. You missed the unanswered window. You said it before you should have, and after. I hope if Don is reading this, he knows I'm saying it in a jokey-mcgee way.

Just saw the game-losing highlight from the Rays game. It was tied with two outs in the top of the ninth, and the Angels scored on a grounder that wasn't fielded cleanly. So...if Rays fans suddenly exist and care and go to all the games now, how come on that highlight, in a tie game in the ninth, every seat beyond the first 20 rows was empty, and many of the people there were clapping as the Angels took the lead?


Had you ever thought about the mortality of Yaz before the other day? I hadn't. Maybe it's because when I was little, he was already old. Yet he was still a fixture of the Red Sox team. He's just always been middle-aged in my mind. No older, no younger. He's always looked like a 45 year old man.

Good to hear his surgery was a success.

Sox go for the sweep in Baltimore tonight, still 4.5 back in the east and 1 up in the Fields with the Twins having already won today.

I couldn't believe when I heard the Orioles' 50 millionth fan deal was not on the up and up. They supposedly "estimated" when number 50 million would walk through the gates, and then grabbed someone--making sure it was an Orioles fan. You know, I thought about going down there just to have a shot at the 50 thousand bucks, even if the Red Sox hadn't been in town. I'd be really pissed if I'd gone, only to find out I had no chance to win, even thought technically I could've been number 50,000,000.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm Super, Thanks For Asking

Do you ever hear a musical artist on the radio so often over a day or two that you start to think maybe that person died and you just hadn't heard about it yet?

That being asked, somebody might wanna check on Donna Summer.

I drove four hours to see a movie tonight. Essentially. Tonight was the season finale of the Bryant Park summer movie-fest. Superman. The 1978 one. You may remember I saw Jaws and Rocky there while living in New York. This year, I saw the headliner would be one of my favorite films--and a classic NYC movie--and I knew I had to be there for it. I invited fellow Superman fan My Sister, and of course Kim. As the months went on, it turned out neither of them could go. Monday nights are tough. Especially for events in a city other than the one you live in. So I kind of said Screw it. But then it turned out I needed to go to New Haven anyway yesterday, so I figured taking a little drive to the city would be worth it.

When I got there, and night fell, and the old HBO theme came on, I knew I was right. Pics from that event later.

On the way back to the Havens, I got the good news: Sox 6, O's 3. My boy Wicked Lester continues to prove the doubt-sters wrong, and Bay went Camden yard twice. Rays win, Twins lose, so we're still 4.5 back of first, and now 1.5 up in the Water Closet standings.

The Orioles are 3,000 fans short of 50 million in Camden Yards history. It will be fitting if a Sox fan takes the honor (and these fabulous prizes!) tomorrow night. Then soon after, the O's franchise will reach 100 million fans. I hope that one goes to a die-hard O's fan...although it would be cool if their 100 million fans logo had more Orioles hats in the pictured crowd than Yankee hats.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I Doubt It

We really stank today. And last night. While everyone else won. The Sox fans who only remember the past 48 hours aren't gonna sleep tonight.

We go on a nine-game road trip now, but after that, we only play nine road games total through the end of the season.

You know furniture stores? Sure you do. I bet you have some pretty strong feelings about them. Here are mine: We just got our house, and are now starting to move stuff in. Yesterday, we went couch-shopping. Because we exist and own a television, we know all about places like Jordan's, Bob's, Bernie & Phyl's, Ikea, etc., etc., etc. We decided to go to Jordan's. They had some really good shit. However, I couldn't fathom paying so much money for something that I feel like I could duplicate with a big plastic bag, some styrofoam peanuts, and a few tree branches. So we went to Ikea...where I realized that the reason their furniture is so cheap is because they basically make it using my method. And despite that the fact that it's kind of like the Wal-Mart of the furniture world, and that I don't want people to go to our house, point at each item they see, and say, "Ikea...Ikea...Ikea...oh we have that one too only in blue...Ikea...," that's where we got our couch. Because paying some is better than paying a shitload, and the thing is good enough for a couple of whatever color-collared people like us.

Friday Night's Rainout

Top of Pru chopped off! I got to the park Friday night, and batting practice was going on. Got to see a few Sox hitters from the Monster Seats. Any ball hit up there was probably gonna be mine. Papi hit one just shy of the seats, right to me, a few feet down the wall. Then the rain came, and they covered the field. Some Blue Jays stayed out there and warmed up. We waited and waited. Everyone was there, and at some point after 8, all the seats were filled, and the rain had stopped. But they didn't remove the tarp, the rain came back, and that was it. No game. Will be made up September 13th. More pics:

Castiglione in the EEI booth before I went in. This was the day of the big Jimmy Fund telethon.

Gray evening at Fenway.

Amalie in the dugout with tarp on field.

BJ Ryan with the screwiest of screwballs.

Nice to see this genuine "good luck" sign over at the Souvenir Store, instead of the more dickish behavior we've seen elsewhere.

Reflections on tarp...

A huge crowd for a game that wouldn't end up ever starting.

Lights. Rain.

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