Saturday, November 22, 2008

Two Thou

I like the discussion of how current and future years will be pronounced on this page. I think about this stuff a lot. Kind of glad to know I'm not the only one. I had hoped we'd be in "twenty-oh-eight" mode by now.

Friday, November 21, 2008

List Of Lifelong Dreams Getting Long

Okay, you know how I like seeing myself/people I know in the crowd on TV? Well, during that blowout in the ALCS, Game 4, you may remember I sat in really good seats for the last inning. Shortly after that, my mom got an email from my cousin (who is a Yankee fan) saying, "I saw Jere on TV."

Now, I've had people say they thought they saw me in places I was nowhere near. But this one--I knew I had a shot. He really could have been right. I have (okay, I have access to, but on my Mac, I can't do things like "skipping right to a specific half-inning." But I was at my parents' house last night, and they've got PCs. So I finally thought to check that game.

And there I was. Blatant. My mom's next to me, sitting down, and I'm standing, as we're chanting "let's go Red Sox," with two outs, two strikes, down nine runs, in the bottom of the ninth. I love it. I mean, of all the times to get on, how cool is it that we're shown in "never give up" mode? Now, granted, the drunk guys behind us were really "encouraging" people to stand and cheer that whole inning. And they weren't too "happy" with people who weren't joining in. So at that point, I don't exactly have a look of hope in my eyes, but hey, at least I stayed! Unlike the people who left second row seats we easily nabbed. It was also perfect that the guy in front of me wasn't standing, so I get a full upper body shot.

I'll definitely post the picture or video at some point. In the meantime, if you wanna find it, it's the October 14th game. Come on, I'd look for you!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"I Use My Own Car, Paul"

We were in Middletown, CT tonight, reading/signing copies of Dirty Water at Broad Street Books, which is the Weslyan bookstore. The crowd wasn't huge like it's been for a few of our other events, but everyone who came bought a book. One woman bought six. It was a great time. As always we met plenty of interesting people.

We've got a few more events before the holidays. At least one in Boston and at least one in CT. I'll keep you posted.

I'm eating a Red Sox ice cream sandwich right now. While wearing a Red Sox shirt and a Red Sox hat, having just signed copies of my Red Sox book with a Red Sox pen. Who says it's not baseball season?!

This morning I was lying in bed, still trying to think of ways to further convince doubters about the Fred Lynn thing. Because they say only Pedroia and those others won the ROY and MVP in consecutive seasons. Up until now, I was admitting that that was technically true, yet still wrong, as Lynn and Ichiro did it in one season. But now I'm gonna say it: It's not true. Fred Lynn has won the ROY and MVP in consecutive seasons. Over 1975 and 1976, a two-year stretch, i.e. "consecutive seasons," Fred Lynn did win both. He just happened to win both in one of the two seasons. (You could also say 1974 and 1975.) I think maybe if I'd thought of it this way earlier, well, I would've done a lot less writing. And talking. Wait, maybe a better way to say it would be to use the phrase "in consecutive seasons or better." If you don't know what I'm talking about, scroll back over the last few days, but I kinda recommend just letting it go--it's a real whirlwind adventure, and you're busy.

Cyn, aka Toeing the Rubber, who happens to be a huge Fred Lynn fan anyway, is on board.

Ken & Jackie

We had somewhere around 100 guesses to the last Kwiz, but finally one of the Mikes got it. Ken Howard's World Series hero was Jackie Robinson.

I honestly didn't think of the fact that a clue was built in until after a few guesses were made. (That being his TV show centered on race issues, with him playing the white coach of a basketball team consisting mainly of minorities.)

Before asking the question, I checked it's Google-ability, and I actually did find one clue you could have found--remember those "Greatest Sports Legends" VHS tapes? Ken Howard narrated the Jackie Robinson one.

If you're in Connecticut--my mom and I will be reading/signing copies of Dirty Water at Broad Street Books in Middletown tonight at 7 PM. See you there.

Thank You, Coco

Picture taken by me, AL East clinching celebration, 2007

And welcome to the new guy, shown here clowning with Manny in a shot I took this past May. Or at least it looks like it could be him. If it's not him, I apologize.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grantland Rice Is Not Actually Spinning

Did you ever hear David Cross' routine on people who misuse the word "literally"? I thought of it today when I read this quote from Tony Mazz:

"After the season, in Jason Giambi, Mike Mussina, Bobby Abreu, Carl Pavano and Andy Pettitte, the Yankees erased more than $70 million from their payroll. They are moving into a new stadium. They quite literally have cash to burn, even in these economic times."

And they won't be merely literally lighting their money on fire. They'll quite literally be doing it.

M _ _ se (Where Are The Rings?)

Do you notice a glaring omission in this article? (Don't worry, it's not about the MVP thing!)

On the same theme, this site claims Moose went out "on top." When I saw 19 comments, I thought, Oh good, at least they blew that theory out of the water--I mean, there are so many joke possibilities involving third place being the top, etc., but no! The comments don't even mention it! They even agree--Yup, he went out on top all right. What??

Again, to reiterate their position: Mike Mussina, whose team finished third and missed the playoffs, and who finished sixth in Cy Young voting, currently resides "on top."

SI, Others Also Screw Up

[Update unrelated to this post, 11:50 AM: Coco Crisp traded to Royals for Ramon Ramirez.]


"He also is just the third player to become MVP the season after earning the Rookie of the Year award, joining Cal Ripken Jr. and Ryan Howard."

And they leave it at that, without mentioning the two players who won won both awards in the same year. In case you couldn't see (or didn't want to watch) my video from yesterday, I'll sum up why this is an egregious error here.

If you're talking about winning, say, two MVP awards in consecutive years, then, yes, you would say "this guy is just the fifth (or whatever) player to win the award twice in a row, joining these other players...." Because that's the best you can do over a two-year stretch.

But if you're talking about two different awards which can be won by the same person in the same year, and someone wins one of those one year and the other one the next year, you don't talk about the club they joined without mentioning the guys that have won both awards in the same year.

The SI article (and Ian Browne's) would be exactly right if rookies weren't eligible for MVP awards. But they are.

Let's you launched a rocket to Mars, walked around up there, came back to Earth, then went back up to Mars again the same year. Then a few years later, someone else went up there, became the second person to walk on Mars, came back, and went to Mars the following year. If you're writing an article about the second person, would you write "X is the first person in history to walk on Mars in consecutive years"? And just end it there, leaving out the key fact that the feat can be and in fact was accomplished within one year? Would the Guiness Book accept this "record"? No, because it's not a record, it was done better by someone else. Some people would argue, "but it would be true, they technically would be the only person to have done that exact feat." I'm just saying, technically I could be the only man to take 14 dumps in one day, but if 10 million people had taken 15 in one day, and another 10 million had taken 13 in one day, but somehow no one had ever gotten as high as 14 and stopped right there, would anybody be writing articles about me? If they were, I'd hope they'd at least casually mention that 14 is NOT the best you can do and has been topped countless times.

[Update 1: Okay, this is really pissing me off. I'm now searching other articles. I saw McAdam's. I thought, Okay, this guy's been covering baseball a long time. He'll have it down. Nope:

"Pedroia became just the third player in history - Cal Ripken (Baltimore Orioles, 1983) and Ryan Howard (Philadelphia Phillies, 2006) were the others - to follow up a Rookie of the Year award with an MVP honor in his second season."

Just the third! In HISTORY! Look, I hope this doesn't come across as me trying to diminish Dustin's amazing accomplishment. But Fred Lynn and Ichiro are in this club, too. Not only are they in it, they're on a higher tier! Yet they don't even get mentioned!]

Eh, Yes, Pegg

For some reason, despite being a huge Shaun of the Dead fan, I didn't see Hot Fuzz until tonight. And I give it at least 70 Chans out of 80. Recommended if you like that kinda thing. Nice job, Pegg and the other guy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First Man To Ever Use YouTube! (This Minute)

Was having a disagreement over at Joy of Sox. I really needed to say this, like, talking, so, here you go:

To add another example: Would it not be misleading to say "Hank Aaron is the only man in the history of baseball to hit 755 home runs"? And leave it at that?

Update, 12:27 AM: Okay, here's where the confusion may lie. When you talk about doing something in consecutive seasons, you're usually talking about a feat you can only achieve once per season, i.e. "50 HR in two consecutive seasons." But when you've got two feats which can be achieved in the same season, you don't go talking about them in consecutive seasons. If someone won the the batting title in 2006, the HR title in 2007, and the RBI title in 2008, would you say the player "joins X and Y as the only three to win these titles in three consecutive years"? Of course not, because some guys have done it all in one year, i.e. won the Triple Crown. You gonna ignore Triple Crown winners? Again, yes, the player would be in the club of "guys who've won the three titles within a three-year span," along with the Triple Crown winners, but you wouldn't talk about their less-than-Triple-Crown-club on its own.

As Per Usual

You know I love spotting Sox hats in NYC....

And Your AL MVP Is...

Dustin Pedroia!


(I like how's article before the award was announced said that Pedroia and four others--none of them Youk--were "the contenders" for AL MVP. And Youk got third! Ha!)

Me On Radio Again

WTIC-AM 1080 Hartford, today, Tuesday, 3:30 PM. My mom and I will be on with Colin McEnroe discussing Dirty Water. Listen to the live stream here.

We're still trying to figure out who Ken Howard's "World Series hero" is over at Kwiz 5.

So far, people have incorrectly guessed:

Carlton Fisk, Donn Clendenon, Sandy Amoros, Don Larsen, Bob Gibson, Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax, Don Larsen, Ted Williams, Don Drysdale, Luis Tiant, Willie Mays, Jim Lonborg, Pete Rose, Dusty Rhodes, Rollie Fingers, Sergei Prokofiev, Whitey Ford, Reggie Jackson, Bernie Carbo, Johnny Bench, Lew Burdette, Gene Tenace, Frank Howard, Brooks Robinson, Tommy Agee, Babe Ruth, Carl Yastrzemski, Bill Russell, (Joe) Dimaggio, Sweet Lou Johnson, Eddie Matthews, Johnny Podres, Mickey Mantle, Ron Swoboda, Bucky Dent, Willie Stargell, Tug McGraw, Tom Burgmeier, Mickey Lolich, Ernie Banks, Frank Robinson, Dave Skaggs, Don Newcombe, Bob Gibson, Dwight Evans, Bobby Richardson, Jim Rice, Larry Sherry, Bill Mazeroski, Ralph Terry.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What Do New Yorkers Want? The Cubs And Red Sox.

We've known for a while now that the Mets' new stadium, Citi Field, will open with two exhibition games against the Red Sox.

Now the Yanks have announced that Eau de Toilette will open with two exhibition games on the same two days against the Cubs.

I'm definitely gonna see a Sox game at Citi, maybe now I'll check out the other place the same weekend.

Click here for some Shea demolition pics. Notice that the lower level seats are toast. (In other words, the seat of that stupid lady who did the hand-twirling behind home plate in the '86 Series is no longer there.)

Latest Kwiz is STILL going on!

Finally, A Celebrity Couple I Care About

Joanna Newsom and Andy Samberg! Nice job by both of you! (It appears to be several moths old, this news, but it's new to me.) (Oh, and speaking of stuff that's passed me by--we saw some bands the other night, and to my surprise, half the guitar/bass players were "wireless." When I was in bands, earlier this decade, this was unheard of. You'd see it in very rare circumstances, but not done by the average punk/hardcore band. Pampered bastards! (But at least they were actually playing instruments, and not just pretending to on a video game...are there any other musicians out there who are seriously offended by that crap? Is this how champion skaters felt when I "mastered" that Tony Hawk game? Or how lifelong paperboys felt when the Paperboy video game was all the rage?))


Did you know TV and radio station call letters almost always stand for something? When I was little, I noticed the obvious ones--I didn't think it was a coincidence that WNYC was a New York station. And growing up in the NYC metro, our local stations just used the network letters, WNBC, WABC, WCBS.

But I didn't really know that every station will try to come up with something that fits. I remember when my small town of Ridgefield got an AM station, WREF-850, people would say "Ridgefield Eighty Five," but I thought that was someone coming up with an acronym after the fact, not that the station actually named it that on purpose.

Later I started learning of other ones. It's fun to try and figure out the codes. Well, not that fun. Now I'm looking some up:

The first owner of WTIC TV in Connecticut wanted the letters WETG in honor of Ella T. Grasso, but they were taken, so they ended up "borrowing" from the radio station WTIC (which I'll be on tomorrow afternoon with Colin McEnroe).

WTNH in New Haven has the "NH" in there. The Connecticut CBS station, WSFB, is named "broadcasting division president Frederick S. Beebe," according to Wikipedia. The station we'd get Friday and Sunday Red Sox games (i.e. the only ones we'd get, if we were lucky), WVIT, "was sold to Viacom in 1978, and changed its call letters to WVIT (for "Viacom International Television") to reflect its new ownership."

So, yeah, there seems to be a story behind every one. Let me know if you find any super-awesome ones. By the way, have I written this exact same post before?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Your Call

We've got a great Kwiz going on! Give it a shot.

Now listen to the type of call we get several times a day. These companies have people reading from a script, but the script includes "um" and "uh" to make you think they're just casually talking to you. "Oh, I just happened to have come across your account and uh, we could uh, help reduce your credit card debt...."

The first time we got the call, we thought maybe they really did have our "account," but when we called back, they admitted they have nothing. I hate when people lie. But I'm way more offended at how they insult our intelligence with their "um..." crap. It's a different person reading from a different "uh"-filled script every time, but "Cindy" was the worst at making it sound natural....

"The Backwash"

That's the term I just thought of (I gave it about two seconds--I wanted it to be spontaneous) for when the following happens:

A term is used to describe something, and then it becomes so associated with that new thing, it's then used to desribe the original thing again, now in a supposedly clever way.

Example: Right now, the the front page of shows a football team who won 56-6, with the headline "Tenacious D."

"Hey, I know, they played good 'D,' as in defense, so I'll think of a pop culture reference with 'D' in it--I've got it, Tenacious D! It's perfect because their defense was tenacious!"

Well, yeah, that's what the term means, and where the band got the name from in the first place! Sports teams would play good defense, it would be described as "tenacious D," and then Jack Black used the phrase as the name of his TV show/rock band/whatever, which is well-known today. Terrible job, SI! Nice backwash!

(Unless I'm missing some further meaning, like the team's star player is Sebastian Tenacious or something, or, even better, the top two defenders looked just like Jack Black and that other due--but even if that's the case, you know people do stuff like this the way I've described anyway, so, I'm just giving that a name.)

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Location: Rhode Island, United States