Saturday, January 17, 2009


The Red Sox did this new "Road Trip" deal today. 1,000 vouchers given out in each New England state, each good for two tickets during a pre-sale next week. Plus trophies, giant green mascots, and shwag. My first thought was, "how can I get to two of these things?" (That way I can get one voucher for myself, and one for someone else who couldn't make it today--and see both trophies.) Turns out, it was easy.

The RI/NH/ME caravan would be in Warwick, RI, right near me, at 10:00. The CT/MA/VT caravan would be in Waterford, CT, an hour away, at 3:00. Gold.

I got to the Something Mall in Warwick at 9:15. The mall supposedly opens at 10, but as I watched the old people file in and out, I realized the non-store areas inside were open. So I walked in at 9:30, and maybe 100 people were in front of me. So I knew I was gonna get a voucher. Right at 10:00, the line started moving, and someone came by with the vouchers, so you could leave right away if you didn't care about getting your picture taken with the 2007 trophy, which was at the front of the line on a table. So I got my voucher, left the line, and just went up to the front and got some pics of the trophy--I didn't feel the need to be in the pic myself. As I left, I saw that the line was hundreds of people long still. I didn't get any of the giveaway stuff I'd heard about, but I liked that you could just get your V and go.

Drove out to Waterford and got there around 2:15. Once again, I'd say I was 100 people from the front. The Red Sox were late. And this time, they didn't give you your voucher until you got to the front of the line. So there were two really long waits. But in this case, much junk was handed out. I got two stickers and a CT Red Sox Nation sign. Finally, at the front, I figured I'd go ahead and have my pic taken by the dude. They weren't doing it FanFoto style--you only got your pic taken if you brought your own camera. After my pic, I went to the upper level for some more shots of this, the 2004 World Series trophy.

Again, the line went down the whole mall--glad I got to each place early.

So I got to see two trophies in two different states on one day, and I'll have guaranteed tickets to buy. And I learned a secret--there are clearly multiple Wally costumes! He was riding with two caravans simultaneously.

Between places I got this shot of an icy golf course:

It's been so cold around here that all the snow is just solid--the good part of this is that your shoes don't get all wet, so you don't end up with a mess inside your front door. It's like everything is coated in ice. The strip of grass between the highway lanes is ice, making it look even cooler when one side of the highway is higher than the other. Like there's a tilted frozen pond beside you. A frozen hill.

But moving back indoors, check out this amazing game of darts I had yesterday. Kim was there to witness this incredible event. She's got this Simpsons magnetic dartboard, and my goal has always been to hit the Duff can target with all six darts in one round. I had also always thought that if ever got the first five, I'd stop, go to the back of the room, and fire a long one, to make it feel more authentic, like the way Tom Osborne went for two at the end of the Orange Bowl in '84--had he taken the easy extra point, the game would've ended in a tie, but he still would've won the national title. Feeling you should have to win your bowl game to truly be champs, he went for it, and lost the game and the title. But he showed guts. Anyway, last night, I get the first five on the can--first time ever. The Osborne thought is in my mind, but I'm in such a rhythm, my hand won't listen to my brain's instructions. It grabs a dart and fires. Boing! It "humps" another dart, one of the ones right on the bullseye, and bounces straight back a good two feet, landing on the floor. What's the call? It would've been the sixth dart on the can, guaranteed, but it was sitting on the floor. I finally decided, along with Kim, that a re-do of the final dart would be fair. This is where I turned out to be Tom Osborne. I could've left it as it stood, knowing I did throw six darts that each would've landed on the can had each been thrown at a blank board. But I chose to throw the sixth dart again, knowing I could ruin everything.

Amazingly, the re-try of the final dart led to this:
What?? With all that activity on the can, that sixth dart slid through other dart-tails and wa pushed upward, where its magnet caught the edge of another tip, slamming its side into the board, leaving it pointing to true north, riding the Duff can. I don't see myself ever throwing six better darts than this.

A Pilot Weighs In On That Water Landing

My friend Gumby is a pilot. I recently asked him about the event of One-Fifteen.


RSFPT: The fake "hello" that I didn't really say.

Gumby: Well thank you Jere, and I have to say it's an honor and privilege to be interviewed.

RSFPT: Dude, did you ever hit birds with your plane? I've heard there's not much you can do to avoid them on takeoff, but did you ever maneuver a plane to avoid a flock of birds? If a plane taking off from Antarctica hits a penguin, does that count as a bird strike?

Gumby: Yes, I have struck several birds in my aviation career but have never lost an engine. There have been some that have been very close and I was with a pilot once that overreacted to birds in our path and almost crashed the airplane. On takeoff, all you can do is try to maneuver around them. You are low and slow and that is a dangerous combination. Altitude is life and speed is life insurance... [Still waiting on the penguin query! --Jere]

RSFPT: Did you feel like you could set a giant plane down on a river before this, and if not, do you feel you can now? Does your plane float? Did you ever purposely try to nail a bird, like Dave Winfield throwing a ball at a bird in the outfield?

Gumby: Yes, I feel I could put a plane down in an ocean or a river. It might sound crazy but they actually train military pilots how to do just that. The C-17's design (high wing with a wide footprint due to the gear) supposedly would fare quite well in a water landing, more so then an Airbus (the plane that went down). The low wing on the airbus increases the possibility of the plane catching a wingtip which would make it cartwheel through the water. [Like this. --Jere] Once, on takeoff but still on the runway, a bird flew in front of me. I didn't slow down, hoping the bird would get out of the way. Unfortunately it did not and lost out in the game of chicken (it should of known better since it was an eagle).

RSFPT: Have they ever tried to do anything to stop birds from going through the engines, like some kind of shield or filter?

Gumby: With the design of a high bypass engine, most bird strikes do little to no damage because they go through the bypass section (think of a propeller on a plane) and not the core (the actual engine which the propeller connects to). The core has blades just like propeller but it also has more critical parts since it is the thrust producing portion of the engine. A bird would most likely shell out a core. Depending on the engine, they can sometimes design it to prevent birds from entering (inertial separators on reverse flow engines for example) but not for planes this size.

RSFPT: Do you think Chan will make it to Battery Park City to see the plane in the water before it's removed?

Gumby: I think Chan has a good chance to go to Battery Park however, I doubt he will. [I'll update on the Chan situation later. --Jere]

RSFPT: And finally, can you believe this shit?

Gumby: A bird strike taking out all engines you ask; yes I can believe it because it is one of a pilot's worst nightmares...

RSFPT: Bonus questions--Do you like movies about gladiators? Ever been in a Turkish bath?

Gumby: Yes, I also like movies about gladiators. Does a Hungarian bath house come close enough to count as yes?


Thanks to Gumby for taking the time to answer these questions. Coming soon: some pictures of trophies--the Rhode Island, NH, Maine caravan is traveling with the '07 trophy and Wally today, while the West. Mass, CT, Vermont caravan has the '04 trophy.

Salary Caps

Bleeaaaarrffff! That's the sound of me barfing all over people's justifications of a completely unfair professional sports league.

The "buzz" stat now is to talk about how 20 teams in baseball have won a World Series in the last 30 years. First of all, I figured out this was wrong by doing the math IN MY HEAD. I thought of the number of teams who either haven't won ever, or who haven't won in over 30 years (which should be said as 31 years if you want to include the last 30 winners, since there was no World Series in 1994--but that doesn't affect the stat), and I came up with 11 teams. And you have to go back to 1954 to find the last time one of them won, so you could also change that stat to say "the last fifty years." But the point is, 30 teams total, minus those 11 who haven't won in at least 30 (or any number up to 54) years, equals 19.

So, the correct number of teams who have won the World Series in the last 30 years is 19. Not 20. Count for yourself below.* The incorrect stat even made a Wikipedia article, which I've left alone for now....

That's only off by one, but, come on, paid newspaper people who have the nerve to call yourselves "bloggers" because you know you have to to stay relevant, get your stupid facts straight.

The point is, over one third of all baseball teams haven't won the World Series in over 50 years. Eight of those have NEVER won--though many haven't been around that long, obviously. The total number of World Series' gone by for each of the 11 unluckiest, added together is...well, over 400 years by my quick in-head estimate.

And it hardly makes sense to take the teams that won a few decades ago and act like they're part of a current trend of parity. "The Pirates won in 1979, things are way more even than they are in the NFL!" Yes, a team in a 30-team league should win about once every 30 years, but winning one and then spitting the shit-bit for the next 29 doesn't scream "parity" to me.

How many titles will that bottom third win in the next ten years combined? Maybe two? Then your stat becomes 21 in 40 years--which would also be 21 in 64 years. And if you wanted to take the last 30 years (in 2019), you'd lose one team off your 19 for all the teams whose only win in the span came in the '80s--meaning that it's almost a guarantee that this "last 30 years" stat will have less than 19 teams, and probably way less, 10 years from now, bringing MLB closer to the other sports. (Disregard that last sentence if you're one of those "scared of math" people.)

These people think they're so smart. And then I have to see the links: "This smarty-pants Yankee blog agrees that salary caps won't work, click here...." Great.

* Never won: Washington (formerly Montreal), Tampa Bay, Seattle, Colorado, Milwaukee, Houston, Texas (formerly Washington), San Diego. Haven't won since 1954 or earlier: Cleveland, SF, Chi Cubs. Total: 11. Therefore, 19 have won in the last 30 "years." (And this isn't like that trick where you convince someone you have 11 fingers.)

Friday, January 16, 2009

That Plane Thing

The news stations did a fine job covering the water landing yesterday, except for one aspect of it. If you've never been to New York, and you were watching yesterday, you may have been asking, "how come I can't see New York?" Granted, most of the stationary cameras are gonna be on the New York side of the river, giving you the Jersey background, but how come people weren't setting up on the other side, so viewers could see where this was happening in relation to midtown Manhattan? If you had your TV on mute, you might have thought this was a river in upstate New York--nothing visible besides water an a snowy bluff.

Eventually the plane floated down to the point where you've actually got some scattered high-rises on the Jersey side--which non-New York-centric people probably thought was New York City.

Besides that, it just would've been a really cool shot. Not as cool as if this had happened in the East River or in the harbor, since the island is set down closer to sea level in those spots, but still pretty cool.

[Update: This is kinda what I was lookin''s from when the plane was way downtown--you can see the Woolworth Building.]

Coming soon, my interview with a pilot about the situation.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Investments Are Flooding In, Join Now

Wanna join me in buying the Red Sox? Go here for more info, or go here to add to the pot at the NEW Fundable page--I've already got some partners, though no millionaires have stepped up yet. Don't make me auction my virginity, people. (Feel free to print out this badge and wear it to work.)

So Youk is probably signing a huge contract right about now. Good for Youk. Hey, couldn't a player buy a stake in the team he's on? Is that allowed? Or, buy another team, and then have all these tributes to yourself at that team's park, make them retire your number, etc.? "At the request of Royals' owner David Ortiz, it's David Ortiz bobblehead night at Kaufmann Stadium!"

The DFA-ers for Smoltz and Kotsay are Pauley and Aardsma.

Holy Crap!

A US Airways jet landed on the Hudson River.... not IN the river, ON the river. It's floating on the water! And rescue boats are all around. Crazy.

[Update: Plane hit birds, pilot took it down, made beautiful water landing, everyone survived. Amazing. Can't wait to see the video of this one. Reuters photo.]

Makin' Us Leave The House Now....

First of all, they pulled a fast one on me--my estimate of a 1/31 onsale for tickets was wrong. It will be 1/24. But they've also added a new wrinkle. This weekend, the team will be going to various spots in New England and giving away vouchers good for a guaranteed purchase during a pre-sale the following week, leading up to the general sale.

Own The Red Sox With Me

[UPDATE: Fundable page is up. Go here to contribute. Remember, no one will have to pay anything unless we raise the entire amount. And if we do reach it but don't buy the team, I'll pay you all back.]

Remember when I had the idea to buy a minor league baseball team, and as usual with my wacky ideas, before I said anything about it, I saw a story about fans who bought a sports team on the front page of The New York Times, and gave up on the idea?

Well, the solution to my problem was staring me in the face. A Red Sox fan, looking at the Times, thinking of buying a sports team....

That's right, people, we're gonna buy the Red Sox. We've all heard that the Times is supposedly looking for a buyer for its 17 percent share of the Sox.


They say the share of the team "could be worth up to 160 million dollars." But we're in a recession here, people. They can take or leave our offer of ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS.

But we need the help of our millionaire pals. Millionaires, you have the money--don't you wanna own the Red Sox with me? If I can find one hundred millionaires to pitch in a mere ONE MILLION DOLLARS each, we'll have our cash. The rest of you, just mention in the comments that you'll pledge, let's say, ten dollars IF we end up buying the team, and you'll be a part of our ownership group. I'll even pitch in a hundred bucks myself. I'll be the president of the group, but everyone will get their own title and job.

Also, if you know any millionaires, send them my way. Oh, and if you know a billionaire, ask her if she'll pitch in the entire 100 million.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It Happened The Other Night

That's when I found out where the line "where'd you learn to dunk, finishing school?" came from. I remember the line from an old basketball sneaker commercial, which cut to a scene in an old movie, and a man said the line to a woman while they ate donuts. I always wondered what movie that was from.

So the other night, Kim and I were watching It Happened One Night. And as Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert are sitting there with their donuts, it hit me. This is the scene! Now Kim had seen this movie before, so I waited for the moment, and to her surprise, said the line right along with Gable.

(A similar thing happened a few years ago, involving a Costanza line taken from an old movie, which Kim also introduced me to....)

Still Glavineless

In 1991, a friend of mine saw his Atlanta Braves have a magical season. When he wasn't kneeling before his Dave Justice shrine, all he could talk about was the Braves' pitching trio of Tom Glavine, Jon Smoltz, and Steve Avery. I thought to myself then, "maybe the Red Sox will get Glavine some day." He was a Boston-area kid, after all.

In '97, two years after my friend vanished from my life, Steve Avery came to Boston. He had just started to decline, a once-promsing career gone sour. The last thing I had seen him do was walk in the winning run to the Yanks in that horrible '96 World Series. Though my mind says he pitched for us for about the length of a Price is Right episode, he actually started for two full seasons. Not very exciting ones...

Now in '09, the Red Sox get Smoltz. Depending on who you talk to, this signing could be huge for us. It's good to get future Hall of Famers. By the time we play the Braves in Atlanta in June, he should be on the mound for us, hopefully giving us some solid innings.

But we never did get Glavine. Although I read he's "envious" of Smoltz for getting to pitch for Tom's home team. Who knows, maybe in another few years, he'll be our pitching coach.

Looking Up

Are you without a football team to call your own? Were you spurned? Ready for a change? Sick of all that pesky "winning" and those "expectations"? Looking to be part of a new community? Well, Kim and I are ready to take that step. She was always a Pats fan but really doesn't follow the sport closely anymore, and I grew up a die-hard Jets fan, but around the turn of the millennium, gave up on the sport entirely. So we've made a pact. And you can join us in that pact. We will now officially become fans of a new team. And that team is...

the Detroit Lions!

I've often spoken of maybe starting fresh with a new team in various non-baseball sports leagues. The goal is to find one that you really have no previous feelings toward, good or bad, and who hasn't won in a while, so you avoid being labeled a bandwagoner. But nothing ever took. But the Lions--they're perfect. 0-16. What a time to jump on board. When they finally win the Super Bowl, it will be a sweet moment. Hopefully they don't disband before then.

So join us! Come on, you know you wanna be a Detroit Lions fan! Okay, maybe you know for certain that you don't want to be one. But just try it, it'll be fun. And finally your team will play on Thanksgiving. Unless they change that, like everyone seems to be calling for. I hope to give Lions updates every Monday next fall and winter.

Or I could totally forget about this tomorrow. We'll see. Hey, guess what? Red Sox pitcher Jon Smoltz is already a Lions fan! And who could forget Sam, the Red Sox blogger who also roars Lion blilver. That's what we Lions fans call blue & silver. Stand up with us, and become a Litizen of Lion Lation.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jim & Rickey On Dave

Rice and Henderson doing the Top Ten on Letterman right now. They gave Jim some good lines--and he delivered them much more smoothly than Rickey did his.

Dave told a story about Rice giving him a ticket to the '82 All-Star Game in San Diego back when he was a nobody. The ticket ended up being in the players' wives section, and when Dave ripped on Freddie Patek's size, the woman in front of him turned around and said, "that's my husband." When Jim came out for the Top Ten, Dave called over to him and asked if he remembered him from that day-Jim said no but added, "but I remember Freddie Patek!" [video of all this here, thanks Ian]

I would've loved to have been in the green room with Rice, Rickey, and Jimmie Walker, who is also on the show tonight.

And the Mets have supposedly signed Alex Cora. Mets fans, you will love Alex Cora. Alex Cora, we will miss you.

picture of the back of Alex Cora's head by Jere Smith, aka me


I am really happy that Derek Lowe appears to have signed with the Braves. While it might have been cool to have him back, the key is that we don't have to see him in pee-stripes. So there's that, but I also love that this means a lot of people that sounded sure of themselves turned out to be wrong. (This isn't the first time, of course.)

Let's start with's Extra Bases "blog." As I mentioned at the time, from December 24th to December 31st, they didn't update the blog. (Hey, you can't expect people who are paid to do this to actually work....) That left this post at the top for a week: "Derek Lowe closing in on deal with Mets." The writer? "Staff." The source? "A baseball source."

On another site, I saw a link to a Yankee blog which had a post with this headline: "Lowe Bound for New York." This site was linked by others (which is how I knew about it, as I have no interest in reading Yankee blogs). A "hat tip" to this site for hearing a rumor, and stating it as if it were fact. Checking their archives, I see they had an earlier post saying "Yanks close on Lowe." Again, it's the "real" media itself that drives people to say this stuff when they give incorrect reports without giving their own name or a source name to avoid all responsibility.

And all these sites get all the hits. Maybe I need to just blatantly lie more...

Anyway, congratulations to Derek Lowe on what APPEARS to be a deal with the Braves. Now maybe they won't be so mad at us for taking Smoltz from them.

Final note: while at that Yankee blog, I couldn't help notice a post that proved two things I always say about Yankee fans: 1. that they'd take anyone (the enemy, a cheater, Stalin, etc.) on their team if it helped them win and 2. they erase all negative things from their memories. (It was a post dreaming of getting Pedro, which also mentioned how if they don't get him, they could break out their Who's Your Daddy shirts! Starting your enemy on Opening Day, with a 1918 hat on! Yeah!)

Final note part 2: Just saw Jim and Rickey at their press conference. Funny stuff. Now Smoltz having his--seems happy to be here.

The finalest note: Great job by the PawSox, who, having messed up my ticket order, had a guy call me and apologize and personally secure new similar seats for me.

The finalestest note: If you're a blogger, and you write a little post about something, you can't go to other more popular sites and "tip them off to it" so it can get linked. Just write it, and if people want to link it, they will. It's one thing if you write some epic piece and want to share it, but, I'm just sayin', a lot of times I'll notice some uniform-related thing, and I'll tell Paul at UniWatch, and he'll post it if he thinks it's relevant along with a thank you to me. But I don't find something on MY OWN BLOG and tell him about it. (Again, unless I do a specific, at length, uni-related post.) It just makes me nauseous when I see some paid, newspaper blogger whose blog came with a built-in audience repeatedly go to an even more popular site to pimp their OWN SITE. Especially when their site is complete tabloid-style crap and the person doesn't know shit about the Red Sox.

Rice In Hall Era, Day 2

Jim Rice will be inducted on July 26th. I figure the Red Sox will retire #14 on a weekend after that. There are only four home weekend series' from then until the end of the season. I'm thinkin' that August weekend when the Yanks are in town would be perfect. I won't be able to go to the induction ceremony, but that's okay--I really just want to be at the game when they retire Jim's number. And then we'll definitely do a Cooperstown trip in the fall to see the Rice display and plaque. (And we'll hope to see something else of note there at that point....)

It was fun watching the Sox-Twins game NESN showed tonight. Great moment when Kent Hrbek put a tag on Dwight Evans, who was already standing on first base. Dewey just grabbed the ball and gave it right back to him.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Jim Rice

Jim Rice represents what was a very special time in many of our lives. He was a constant in my childhood. His first full season was the year I was born. His last one was the final year of the 80s, i.e. the "decade I'm a child of." He was one of the last guys from that era when players stayed on one team for their entire careers. Along with Dewey and Yaz, Jim Rice was the Red Sox.

But he also represents a unique time in history. People always make fun of the disco era, but at least people were doing something different. I love that if you look at the average "man's suit" from any time between now and, I don't know, the 40s, it looks exactly the same--except in the late 70s. Same thing with the Red Sox uniform. One year, all of a sudden, they were wearing pajamas on the field. It lasted a few years, and then things went back to normal forever. Normal--ugh. It's not that I don't like the classic Red Sox uniform, but I don't like how people get stuck on what's comfortable. One era just said Screw it, we're flipping this whole thing on its ear. A poster of Jim Rice fits right in with the wood paneled, shag-carpeted, colored-lighting, ashtray-ridden den (with bar) that was the norm in the Abnorm Era.

My earliest memories coincide with the just-post-Abnorm Era, but if you realize how many houses today still have wood paneling in them, you can probably guess that the early 80s were still "the 70s" in spirit. Rice's best years were my favorite years. Give me any movie made between 1975 and 1986 and I'll watch it knowing if nothing else, I'll get a kick out of the decor.

It seemed like it would last forever, too. It felt more like "the new way" than the fad it turned out to be. Unlike our parents, we had color TV, erasable pens, video games--we thought the future had arrived. We were the first generation to be professional kids.

And in New England, if you had any illusions of growing up, you wanted to live right where Jim Rice lived--in the grass at the foot of the big green wall. Did you know the Green Monster had wood-paneling for a brief time in '77? Mom, that's a joke.

Jim Rice is finally a Hall of Famer, but he's always been much more than that. He's the President of our United Childhood in America. The God Who Did Answer Letters. The Bendy Straw That Stirs The Tang. The Polyester Horse. The Sultan of Shag. Congratulations to The Man, The Myth, The Mustache, Jim Rice.

And The Winners Are...

Rickey Henderson.....and....


JIM RICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jim Rice is going to Cooperstown! Hall of Fame! Finally.


More later.....

See Ya On The Other Side, Jim Ed

Okay, so Rice was on 392 of the 543 ballots last year. He needed 408 to top 75 percent, which would have gotten him in. The way I see it, a lot of prick media people who hated Rice have been waiting until the final year to reluctantly "let" him in, since they know he deserves it anyway. I think a lot of those will put him on their ballot, making him a lock in '09. However, how much is "a lot"? I'm gonna say 1 in 3. 135 voters left him off, so that would give him 35 of those, giving him 437 votes. 80.4 percent. That's my guess. I'd like to think it would be even more--like, 80 percent of those holdouts will finally say yes to Rice. But I think 1/3 is more reasonable.

Then again, if you're truly anti-Rice, you'll just continue to not vote for him, and he'll be out. But I'm rooting so hard for Jim. Today, at 1:30ish, we find out.

I decided not to write an "assuming he's in" piece. I'll just write some Rice memories tomorrow after we find out. In the meantime, he'll always be in this Hall.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Successful Other Sport Season

Nothing would've been better than if the Giants had lost the Super Bowl in the final minute against a big underdog, but this was pret-ty, pret-ty good. They were favorites to win the Super Bowl, at home in their first playoff game, a #1 seed against their rival Eagles, a #6 seed. And they lose. One and done for Eli.

His brother, also one and done.

And the Pats--didn't even have to see them in the playoffs at all, which makes me mildly happy, too. (I kind of liked how Pats fans had to root for the Jets in the final week. Now you know what it's like! You can't just say, Okay, Jets, win. You might as well ask the sun to come up at midnight.)

Wouldn't it be crazy if suddenly all the Philly teams won?

Looks like we're getting a snow game in Pittsburgh. The Steelers and Chargers have always been on my "teams I don't hate" list, so I don't care who wins (though the Chargers have been waiting forever to actually win it all so I may lean toward them), but I'll be rooting for the winner to go on to Super Bowl Ecks Ell Eye Eye Eye. And in the Nuhfka, it would be funny to see the Cardinals in the SB, but it would also be cool to see if the Efagles had a chance to make it two in a row for Philly. (Efagles is an old SNL joke. What, you don't know your deca-bet?) Also note that I really don't care all that much about any of this, but sometimes you end up paying attention....

Great Photos

I randomly came across the photos of Tom Haggerty. Great stuff. He's from Detroit and took a lot of Tiger Stadium shots, and is now in Florida, where he takes a lot of spring training pics. Here's the link to his "ballpark" section. These are from the 70s through today. Only Fenway shot up there, from Friday night, July 9th, 1976. I bet he's got more somewhere. I mean, you don't go to a game and take just one shot, right?

Ia Folla?

Providence kid Chris Iannetta will be playing for Team Oo-sah in the WBC. I still say the Sox should try to get this guy if we don't work something out for Tek.

Take '05

A few of my earliest photo galleries (the early 2005 games) have been screwed up by the fact that AOL recently shut down their Pictures and Hometown areas. That's where I had my pics uploaded in those very early days (for me anyway) of posting pics online. The good news is that I saved all those pics--I just need to upload them to Blogger and match them up with their captions. Then again, they were all video stills, and in this age of easily uploading videos, I may just post a bunch of video from those games. I have some good stuff that's just been sitting around for years. I think it would be cool to make some of those old photo galleries come to life. Like the Sox at the '05 Hall of Fame Game, and at the Cleveland and Philly parks from that same year.

I said I'd talk more about the devious Will Shortz and his NYTimes Xwords, and I haven't. But I've been doing the puzzle religiously these last few months since Chan got me that subscription to their online puzzle section. But they do have a blog of their own which is cool, except that you have to make sure to do that day's puzzle BEFORE reading it, since it gives stuff away. This Sunday's was really fun, though I did figure out the theme right away. (Spoilers coming up right now.) The first clue I looked at was "second biggest city in Rhode Island." It had five letters, but two of those squares had circles in them. After a few minutes, I realized that if it was "WARWICK" (using two letters in each circle), you'd have a WA and a WI. Okay, state abbreviations. I counted the circles in the puzzle. 28. I looked at the title of the puzzle: "Making History." Hmmm--inauguration coming up...could these be the states Obama won? Yes, they were. So I had the theme and took it from there. Wow, if you don't do these puzzles, these little stories must surrre be excitin'. But seriously, try the NYTimes puzzle, or at least the Sunday one. It's a really good exercise for your brain. And you need to exercise your brain just like you'd exercise any other part of your body. I'm serious. Don't let your brain atrophy. Write with the wrong hand if you must. Put that crap to work.

What else? SNL was pretty good tonight. Kristen Wiig continues to impress. She did the Penelope thing again tonight. Doogie Howser was the host, and he totally brought up DH, even playing the theme along with a steadily growing orchestra. He also brought up the Fred Savage SNL from '90, which I remember watching and taping at the time. Bill Hader did a funny song about how he likes the BCS--along with other things he likes, like picturing George Bush shirtless. That'll become a viral video, as sports fans definitely like to pretend they're funny.

Our mail lady wears a Yankee hat. I'm afraid she's gonna rip up my Red Sox tickets when she sees them. Kim says I'm paranoid--she hasn't been in "between" land very long, though. She'll learn. Not that it's 50-50 in Providence or anything, I mean, this is heaven compared to western CT, but you do see some interlocking arachnids here. It's also true what "they say" about this area in terms of its metal-tastic-ness. Jean skirts and denim jackets and feathered haircuts run wild, as do HMSs (heavy metal secretaries). We recently had a repairman here who had a jacket with that fur on the inside. But yet it feels so different than, say, New Milford, Connecticut, where I lived briefly. Mullets never left there, and accordingly, you feel like you're in redneck country. But Providence is a city, so it's almost like the metal people are just part of the modern world, like that guy in that Twilight Zone who goes over the ridge in 1847 and on the other side it's 1961. It's more "they walk among us" than "where am I?"

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Location: Rhode Island, United States