Saturday, February 14, 2009

Over-Excerpting Myself

Yeah, I know I just used an "excerpt" pun, but who cares... So, a little while ago I did a huge post about the BRUT sign at Yankee Stadium on baseball cards, and buried at the bottom was this photo gallery of my Yankee Stadium shots. This is supposed to be specifically pics of me or other stuff close to that--as opposed to all the "normal" players-on-field shots I have. So here it is, if you couldn't make it to the bottom of that crazy post:

Jere at his first game, Red Sox vs. Yankees at Yankee Stadium, 9/20/80:
Mom's psyched, dad's pissed! Check out my Sox shirt. My sister must have taken this picture. And this one, from our seats that day:
Note our pal BRUT.

Jere (right) with Pat at Sox/Yanks game circa '87:

The "Stadium Family Center," post name-change, taken from car on my way to Sox-Yanks game on my 20th birthday, 9/8/1995:

Jere in the walkway ready to taunt the newest Yankee, Roger Clemens, on 5/26/99:

Picture I took of Chan on the day of the famous Trot Nixon 9th inning HR game, 5/28/2000:

Pic of Stadium I shot from subway, Memorial Day 2003:

First time I ever witnessed a world champion Red Sox team, and first time one ever appeared on the field at Yankee Stadium, Opening Night, 2005:

Reb's pic of Jere Brut-blocking in May 2006:
(better view of shirt--another of my altered classics--is here)
Sorry, I have no pics from the other notable games I saw there: the Mel Hall game, the Clemens blowing a 9-0 lead game, the Mo Vaughn foul pole HR on Opening Day game, the high scoring July 1st, 1983 game three days before Righetti's no-hitter, the last game I saw before 9/11--on my birthday, three days before, and one of my favorite baseball experiences, the September '04 game when Mariano said, "catch the ball" to Kenny Lofton. Or any games against non-Red Sox teams, of which I saw many, including the one against the Twins when I caught the Randy Bush BP ball.

Probably the last photo I ever took of the place, December 2007, with new Stadium just starting to go up next to it:

What I could find of my Yankee Stadium ticket stubs, receipts, and those Kinney parking passes:


I never check my statcounter anymore, so I had no idea until just now that the original post was linked by one of my favorite Internet baseball dudes, Repoz, on Baseball Think Factory, and I got some really nice compliments over there. (Link doesn't seem to be working but if you search "Jere Brut" you can at least see the cached page.) So that's cool. Thanks, Repoz. (I wonder if that's where the commenter came from--the one whose response to my post was to tell me how ugly I was. I hope he got a look at me dressed as Baby Spice!

Friday, February 13, 2009


I would love it if all of the 103 names on the 2003 "anonymous" list came out. I want people to know who the cheaters are. But I got news for ya: it won't be an exciting list.

Even if it's 103 unique names (it could be 103 positive tests, with some names repeated), think about it: the average baseball career is about 5.5 years. So, chances are, more than half of those guys are out of baseball now. Let's say 50 of them still are, though I would think it would be less. No, let's say 60 to make this easier. That's two active guys per team. Which means there will most likely be some teams with one or even no current players on the list.

The only thing that anyone will care about will be the very few current superstars on the list. And that number might be zero.

But I also say if people are going to come out demanding this list be released (whether it's possible or not), they should also demand that all the players who ever took steroids should just admit it whether they tested positive or not. I guess a way to make that happen would be to have MLB say, "Okay, in one month, we release the names." That way, anyone who used 'roids would have the chance to admit it BEFORE being caught, or take a huge risk by saying nothing, and hope their tests never came up positive.

You'll Never Guess Where I Just Was

The Virtual Waiting Room! But I was in and out. Remember how I won the Yanks/Opening Day lottery, but my mom didn't? Well, she won the second chance drawing! And today was the sale. It started at 12:00, and I'm proud to say, I had my confirmation screen at 12:07. (On behalf of mom, of course.) I think I'm going to write a book on how to get Red Sox tickets.... But the lotteries are all luck. I mean, it's not like I got 100 friends to enter--it was just my mom and I, and we both won on the drawing I care the most about. I've definitely been NOT chosen in these more often than I have.

So I'll be at a minimum of four of the nine Yankee games at Fenway in '09er, for a total face value of 76 dollars. In other words, less than the cost of ONE standing room ticket on the scalper/agency sites.

The [Space] Toilet

Any time I've tried to buy Yankee tickets on Service Fee Central, aka "The Bater," aka Ticketmaster, I always rooted for my validation word to be "stinks" or "choke" or something, as the Yankees logo appears right above the word. I never quite got anything that worked, but recently, in the "two words separated by a space" era, I got something reminiscent of what I wanted. (Sadly, I wasn't going for Yanks tix, so it didn't have their logo, but still...) Here it is, an ode to the old stadium:

Thursday, February 12, 2009



Left: AP photo of Okajima. The season is RATC. Speaking of TC, he's on right now live from dark Ft. Myers....

If you've ever been to Fenway Park, your shins probably still hurt. Those grandstand seats just flop down, so if you're walking along an empty row of seats, even if you see a seat in the down position, you still might slam into it because the rows are so thin.

This offseason, though, the grandstand seats have been restored, and will now be "pop-up" seats. Woohoo! Of course, now we might have people falling on their butts, forgetting the seat now pops up. After the national anthem, we could see mass injuries. But at least our shins will be spared.

They did this with the bleacher seats, too, when they re-did those. Yes, it's better this way, except for maybe when your hands are full--in the old days you could just leave your seat "down," but now you have to do that move with your butt where you push down and then forward and...okay, enough about this, it's not a huge deal.

Another change is the ads in the walkways under the seats, which supposedly is called the "vomitorium." Those backlit ads have been replaced by ones that look the way the ads looked in the '40s.

Pitchers & Catchers & Warriors & Cross-Dressers

Here's that thing Brian and I did last weekend in New Haven:

And here's another video he posted of our band performing as the Spice Girls at a Halloween show from 2003-ish. Keep in mind all the other bands were The Ramones or Dead Kennedys or Sex Pistols and the crowd was expecting something similar from us, but little did they know we'd been "rehearsing" these Spice Girls tunes for weeks ahead of time.

Update, 1:11 PM: Tito, on the radio just now, said he got a hole-in-one yesterday, and that the best part was that Beckett was there to witness it. 160 yards with a 7-iron. He says he hopes it bodes well for the '09 season.

Red Sox To Postpone Opener/Bridge For Sale

There's a hoax e-mail going around about the Red Sox postponing their home opener due to a Jewish holiday. It's the type of thing that is instantly recognizable as something that could never possibly happen--a complete fabrication. It has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with scheduling. Any person who pays any attention to baseball, or, I would think, anyone with an ounce of common sense, would never fall for anything like this.

But when I started checking to see if maybe people are believing this poorly-executed hoax, I found that they were. The usual sighting is at Jewish message boards, where someone will say "I don't know if this is true, but if it is...woohoo!"

And this is the only reason why I'm even mentioning this--because of the psychology of it. First of all, this e-mail isn't new. Like most viral stories, it's been cut and pasted, its info changed to stay current year after year. I read where someone suggested it's older Jewish people that see the obviously incorrect info, but proudly pass it on. It's almost like people are preying on them, just looking for an easy target. The way it's written, a person of the faith talked about will be so excited with one piece of information, they might glaze right over the things that couldn't possibly be true. But I almost get the feeling that even the intro from a "real person" might be part of the hoax. The part that says "I don't know if this is true, but...." Because if people see that, they think that someone else is innocently passing it on, as opposed to making it up. A fake "middle-man" is built in to the joke.

So, could I be fooled if I read something I knew nothing about, as long as I'm made to feel like "my people" are involved? Like, if I read something that said, "Rhode Islanders frightened by recent crappola virus outbreak," maybe I'd skip over all the fine print about viruses that's complete bullshit, and focus on the fact that since I live in Rhode Island, I need to alert all my friends about this virus.

Here's the key, though. If you're ever unsure of something, look it up! You're reading an e-mail, which means you're ON the Internet! Just look it up. But again, maybe these people are so distracted by that one part of the email, it never even enters their mind that what they're reading might be a fabrication.

I guess for people who were unsure and did look it up, and found this, I will explain why this couldn't possibly be true:

Actually, forget it. Just trust me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Wha?

Yeah, I could get on 'em for the awkward "put Boston over Toronto" line. And I could get on 'em for the odd "after hitting the winning RBI" line. And I could get on 'em for not hyphenating "early season." But I won't.

However, the line " a early..." is unforgivable. This was the first story that popped up on the front page of earlier today. Was this whole thing translated from German? Does the person who writes this stuff sit alone in a room, dashing off hundreds of blurbs all day, immediately entering them into the system, without one other person even taking a glance at them before they go public? Seriously, almost any person would've caught this mistake. You could have stepped into the hallway, or into the street, or even into the insane asylum, and just picked any person at random and asked them, "Can you give this a once-over and tell me if I've made any egregious mistakes before I put it on the front page of a major Web site?" I'm sure they'd have been happy to take the 20 seconds to help you out. And 99 out of 100 of them would've said, "Yeah, you're missing an N."

Not a N, an N.

Last Out Makers

The last kwiz was solved rather quickly (by the author of this Sox blog). Last night I made a list of all the players who were the final batter of a World Series. I came up with some interesting stuff:

The Tigers lost three straight World Series from 1907 to 1909. In 1907, Boss Schmidt made the last out in the bottom of the ninth of the final game. The next year, his team at home and down to their last out of the series, Boss Schmidt again comes up, and ends the season. The year after that, once again the Tigers are at home, one out away from losing the series. Boss Schmidt is on deck. But Tom Jones makes an out, letting Boss off the hook. I can't imagine what he was going through in that on-deck circle. He probably told Jones before he went up that he'd give him 500 bucks if he'd make an out on purpose--they were down 8-0 anyway.

The man who batted before Jones also helped out Schmidt by making an out. His name was Charley O'Leary. Years later, while O'Leary was a coach with the Yankees, he switched from the first base coaches' box to the third base side, replacing Babe Ruth, who'd been coaching there all game long (in Game 8 of the '21 Series), signaling to the crowd that Babe would enter the game to pinch hit. Down by one, he led off the bottom of the ninth, but grounded out.

The man who hit after Ruth was named Aaron Ward. He was born in Boonesville, Arkansas. Yes, Aaron of Booneville. He walked, and then tried to go to third on a ground out to second. He was thrown out, ending the game, and giving the Giants the championship. The following year, 1922, the Yanks again faced the Giants, and Ward made the final out of that series, too--this time at the plate.

Goose Goslin ended two World Series eleven years apart, once making the final out, and once knocking in the series-winning run. Edgar Renteria, as we know, repeated that feat, doing it seven years apart. Edgar is also the active player who ended a World Series the longest time ago.

Pee Wee Reese made the last out of one World Series. Eleven years earlier, was pinch-hit for with his team one out away from the end--the pinch-hitter made the final out.

But this is the most amazing one: In 1924, the Giants' Jack Bentley gave up the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 12th inning of Game 7--a ball that took a bad-hop, giving the Washington Senators their only title. The year before, the Giants were down three games to two to the Yanks with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Bentley, a two-way player, was called on to pinch-hit, and made the final out of the series. So in two consecutive years, Jack Bentley was the last hitter of the season, and was on the mound for the final play of the season, and lost both times.

Here's the full list of final batters of World Series', in chronological order:

Honus Wagner, Lave Cross, Frank Schulte, Boss Schmidt, Boss Schmidt, Tom Jones, Johnny Kling, Art Wilson, Larry Gardner*, Larry Doyle, Stuffy McInnis, Bill Killefer, Mike Mowrey, Lew McCarty, Les Mann, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ed Konetchy, Home Run Baker, Aaron Ward, Jack Bentley, Earl McNeely* (off Jack Bentley), Goose Goslin, Bob Meusel, Tony Lazzeri*, Frankie Frisch, Bing Miller*, Jimmie Wilson, Max Bishop, Riggs Stephenson, Joe Kuhel, Marv Owen, Goose Goslin*, Harry Danning, Jo-Jo Moore, Billy Herman, Wally Berger, Earl Averill, Jimmy Wasdell (ph for Reese), George Selkirk, Debs Garms, Mike Chartak (last ab ever), Don Johnson, Tom McBride, Bruce Edwards, Tommy Holmes, Gil Hodges, Stan Lopata, Sal Yvars, Pee Wee Reese, Billy Martin*, Dale Mitchell, Elston Howard, Jackie Robinson (last ab ever), Bill Skowron, Red Schoendienst, Luis Aparicio, Bill Mazeroski, Vada Pinson, Willie McCovey, Hector Lopez, Bobby Richardson, Bob Allison, Lou Johnson, George Scott, Tim McCarver, Davey Johnson, Pat Corrales, Merv Rettenmund, Pete Rose, Wayne Garrett, Von Joshua, Carl Yastrzemski, Roy White, Lee Lacy, Ron Cey, Pat Kelly, Willie Wilson, Bob Watson, Gorman Thomas, Garry Maddox, Tony Gwynn, Andy Van Slyke, Marty Barrett, Willie McGee, Tony Phillips, Brett Butler, Carney Lansford, Gene Larkin*, Otis Nixon, Joe Carter*, Carlos Baerga, Mark Lemke, Edgar Renteria*, Mark Sweeney, Keith Lockhart, Mike Piazza, Luis Gonzalez*, Kenny Lofton, Jorge Posada, Edgar Renteria, Orlando Palmeiro, Brandon Inge, Seth Smith, Eric Hinske.

The *s represent batters who knocked in the winning run to end the series as opposed to making the final out. You can see I made some notes, but the guys who ended the season and then never played again are just a few I noticed, not a comprehensive list.

The only controversial part of this list is how Babe Ruth made a final out stealing third with Bob Meusel up, and the following year, the winning run scored on a wild pitch with Tony Lazzeri at the plate. And as I said before, Aaron Ward once made the final out at third which was no fault of the batter. In those cases, I listed the last guy in the batter's box, though you could list Ruth, Ward, and the pitcher who threw the wild pitch, or the guy who scored on the wild pitch, as person who "ended" the series.

Excerpt Yourself

Prologue of new Manny book here. I am very excited about having a pro-Manny book coming out. A lot of the complete lies (his teammates didn't want him to stay, he pushes old men around for no reason, etc.) will be addressed.

Preview of the SI article all about the A-Rod saga here. You can't spell steroids without E-Rod.

Kwiz Non-Baker's Dozen

Besides having names ending in -son, what do these thirteen players have in common?

Art Wilson, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Jimmie Wilson, Riggs Stephenson, Don Johnson, Jackie Robinson, Vada Pinson, Bobby Richardson, Bob Allison, Lou Johnson, Davey Johnson, Willie Wilson, and Bob Watson.

Note: These are the only -sons to be in this club.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A-Rod Possibly Took 'Roids Post-Spring Training 2003

I've been looking into articles about A-Rod's injury in spring training 2003. They all say that he complained about shoulder pain for a few days, was found to have a herniated disc, and got an anti-inflammatory injection. Quickly, he was back in the lineup. Tuesday and Wednesday, March 11th and 12th, were the days he had the pain. Thursday the 13th, he left camp in Arizona, flying to Dallas for a CT scan. On Friday the 14th, he got the injection.

According to this article, he was supposed to be away from camp for one day, but then they changed their minds:

Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez will remain in Texas for several days after returning from spring training for tests on his stiff left shoulder. Rangers general manager John Hart and manager Buck Showalter didn't provide any results from tests done on Rodriguez, or say if any serious injury had been revealed. The five-time All-Star shortstop had expected to be gone only a day when he left camp Thursday. "We decided to have him stay back and rest, not push it," Showalter said Friday. "He'll be back Sunday. We felt if he comes back too early he would try to push the envelope. We just don't want to do that."

Why does this matter? Because that same Friday, while A-Rod was away, randomly selected Rangers were taking their urine tests for steroids! The article notes this was "the day" of the tests, implying it was the only day of spring training it happened. And I have read in other articles that an independent company went around to all 30 camps that March, again implying that each team had only one day of testing in March.

So what does this mean? Did they keep him away from that test on purpose? Regardless of that, these were the first tests of the year--so if the test he failed was in April or later, wouldn't that mean he didn't stop using at the time of the injury like he said? I mean, I guess the testers could've waited for him to get back to camp, or gone to Dallas to do the test, but it seems to me that A-Rod was NOT TESTED IN MARCH 2003. Therefore, his failed test had to have occurred later, meaning he had the stuff in his system during the 2003 regular season.

Interestingly, A-Rod was asked about the surge of power in the majors in a baseball preview article which brought up steroids. Here were his comments, which appeared in the NYT on 3/30/2003:
Alex Rodriguez sat in the Texas Rangers' clubhouse in the new spring training complex in Surprise, Ariz., and talked about conditioning and weight work.

''You look back 20 years ago, you come to a place like this, nowhere could you find a weight room,'' he said. ''Now the first thing they do when they build a place like this is build a weight room. The nature of the game has changed completely.''

Bigger salaries have eliminated the need for off-season jobs and have provided inducement to work out during the winter as well.

Rodriguez, who has hit 109 home runs the past two seasons, is a prime example of the change in size of today's players.

''There was only one Cal Ripken and Ernie Banks,'' he said, referring to the size of those shortstops. ''Now you're seeing Jeter, Rodriguez, Garciaparra. These are big people playing shortstop. That's not normal. Is there going to be a 6-8 shortstop in the year 2030? I hope not. But at the pace we're going, that's where it's going.''

Monday, February 09, 2009

Highlights Of Mr. Phony's Close-Up

Gammons asked if 2001 to 2003 was the time when he took 'roids. A-Rod called that "pretty much accurate." Okayyyy, care to give us the exact time?

A-Rod also said he doesn't know what he took. Or where he got it. Yeah, way to "come clean."

He talks repeatedly about having been stupid and young. Look, I was born a month and a half after he was, and I knew not to use supplements that were illegal to buy in this country WELL before I turned twenty-seven.

One of his excuses for taking steroids (and remember this when people say "A-Rod didn't make excuses") was that "it was hot in Texas." Awwwww, poor little professional, perfect hitting machine athlete guy...he was a wittle bit hot, so he got illegal substances to get an advantage. Try water, guy!

He continually hyped up his (supposed) non-cheating years. That's the type of thing that's keeping McGwire out of the Hall. Good luck, A-Rod.

He claims he thought he hadn't failed any test, even though he was told he may or may not have failed one. But then he goes and says when he lied to Katie Couric, he was lying to himself. Wait, you just said you thought you were innocent all along! Such a phony. (But we knew this long ago.) And right after that, he immediately changed the subject and talked about "turning the page."

Then he starts ripping this Selena lady, saying she's been stalking him, saying he had a piece of paper with him that proves it. She came right out with a statement calling it all completely false. We'll see what comes of that one. But either way, when trying to admit a wrong, it's not a good idea to be saying the person who broke the story is a liar.

Really funny line by A-Rod: "I was stupid, I was an idiot, and I think New Yorkers can relate to that." Ouch!

An even funnier line: "In our clubhouse, everybody makes fun of me."

The more I think of all this stuff A-Rod's put himself through since he came to the Yanks, the more it seems like some kind of holy blessing from the baseball gods--if the Red Sox had gotten A-Rod before that 2004 season, we still might not have broken the drought, and we'd be stuck with all this guy's troubles. Right now, we'd be on the brink of baseball suicide, hearing Yankee fans still chanting 1918 at us while our big, choking superstar is proven to be a fraud. For some reason, their magical curses just flipped the other way at that moment. Maybe the ghost of the Babe went into the afterlife's john to take a years-long dump and hasn't emerged since. I hope the door's locked from the outside.

One final unrelated note: I was checking for that story from last spring training when A-Rod said he'd been tested for 'roids over and over, making it appear as if he was under suspicion, and then came out and said he was "joking." And I came across something I wrote at that time about Johnny Damon claiming the Yanks would be making the playoffs. I searched for that article and found it. Here was the quote:

"We're going to be in the postseason." --Johnny Damon, February 2008

Okay, that wasn't the final note, this is: I should point out that I don't believe in asterisks. Everything entered into the record book should stay there. That doesn't mean we all shouldn't know the true story behind it all.

Yankee Fans Accusing Beloved Jeter Of Steroid-Use

It's true. Whenever they say "everybody's doing it" or "nothing would shock me at this point" or "David Ortiz is surely guilty, too," just remind them that all those things imply that Derek Jeter is just as likely to be a cheat as anyone else. So they should either stop with the excuses, or admit that Jeter's on steroids.

This is such a classic case of Yankee fans taking something bad that happened to them and not only deflecting it with excuse after excuse, but making it appear as if they are somehow good and it's everyone else who should be blamed.

I'm watching the full A-Rod interview now, and I'll give you my take on it when it's over.


So I'm wondering--since A-Rod has the "okay, I did it" factor of Andy Pettitte, but also the "cheater headed toward coveted record" factor of Barry Bonds...will the people who held up asterisks to Bonds hold them up to A-Rod? They goddamn better...we'll see how committed to the premise they are. Will it be "we don't want cheaters breaking famous records--unless that cheater has shown the pre-scripted remorse that's proven to 'work' on people"?

To follow up on the last post, doesn't the "Admitting it after you're caught" method show kids that it's okay to cheat, just make sure you admit to it when you're caught, and then all will be forgiven?

Oh No

It begins. Curt Schilling has called A-Rod's actions "refreshing." Many others will be spouting this same backward sentiment so I better get ready for it. To clarify, this is the behavior that's applauded:

Did you cheat?

No. Never.

Okay, well we found this evidence that you cheated.

Well, then yes, I did cheat.

Please, everybody, if it comes out that I killed someone ten years ago, make sure you applaud me for admitting it before they throw me in jail, because I want to be the classiest prisoner in the joint.

A-Rod To Lie--Er, "Talk" Later Today

[Update, 2:38 PM: A-Rod admits it. Says he did it from 2001 to 2003. So the "average American" who has been told that this means everything's forgiven will now just forget about this. But people with common sense know that this man is officially a liar and a cheater (among all the other things he is). Also remember that when someone admits to a certain amount of cheating, you can usually double that amount at least.]

A-Rod will be on ESPN with Gammons at some point today. I can't imagine him doing anything but trying to make excuses.

You know what I don't like? When I'm told that I feel a certain way because that's how "America" feels. Like, "America always give people a second chance" and "we love a redemption story" and "if you say this, we'll forgive you." I'm gonna listen to each case individually and judge it. For example, people seem to be saying, "Okay, A-Rod, here's what you say to make everything okay." Even if says that, how do you know he's not just saying it for exactly that reason, to make something THAT'S NOT OKAY NO MATTER HOW YOU SPIN IT appear okay to all the fools who are ready to forgive as long as they hear what the media told them they want to hear?

Just like with Pettitte, this guy kept it a secret that he cheated, and never would've told that secret unless someone else discovered it. Whether you fess up afterward or not doesn't matter--an honest person would've admitted what he did BEFORE getting caught. I was explaining this to my sister yesterday, and her 7-year old daughter heard me and said, "That makes sense to me and I don't even know what you're talking about."

"New" Fenway

In 1999, I got a flier in the mail about a "new" Fenway Park. Of course, I was against the idea. But that old ownership had plenty of people on their side.

Here's the park, with its crazy huge bleacher section.

Here's what they planned on adding and saving--part of the current park would've stayed as a museum, with the new park on the other side of Yawkey Way.

They had quotes from all kinds of people who you wouldn't think would want to tear down Fenway Park. Ted Williams, Nomar, Doris KG, George Will, and even Libby Dooley, who died the next year. (When my friend's dad--they were Yankee fans--used to get us front row, on deck circle seats at Fenway in the late-80s, the box next to ours was Libby's. That same friend, years later while attending BC, gave her a ride home from Fenway once, for reasons I still can't fathom.)

Diagram of where the new park would've been.

Finally, a nice shot of Amazing Larry. My mom was here the other day and insisted I take a picture of him while he was in this position, so she gets the credit for this one:

For more info on the old new Fenway Park, click here. I'm glad they never did this. If you were pro-new Fenway, feel free to add your comments.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Rico Brogna Saves The Day. Again.

The Saturday X-word is the toughest of the week. I'd never finished one, and I don't usually get too far if I do try it. But yesterday, I got the whole thing. I went through most of the clues, and had hardly typed any letters in. I finally saw an easy one: a baseball player named Brogna. Then I quickly figured out that an "association with guards" was the NBA. From there, I somehow went back through and got the whole thing, in about an hour and a half. (I'm down to about eight minutes on the Mondays--the true puzzle nerds do it in under two.)

As I started writing this post, The Simpsons came on, and in it, Lisa was doing crosswords, even name-dropping Will Shortz. And now the episode is over*, and Will ended up being in it, in cartoon form. Maybe this will spark some interest in his amazing puzzles among the part of the population who do non-NYT puzzles. (Kim, this means you!)

Great line from Homer in the episode:

"Like any prudent gambler, I know when to walk away...never!"

Oh, but the original point of this was to say that while Rico Brogna is well-known to baseball fans, the casual- or non-fan doesn't know him at all. So maybe the guy can be happy that he's a very advanced crossword clue. And maybe I can be happy that I know something from the Saturday puzzle that somebody who knows, say, all the Chinese dynasties in order, doesn't?

*It didn't take me a half-hour to write this post--I was writing during commercials

Who Made You Leader?

Brian and I met up in New Haven for a midnight showing of The Warriors. He had a great idea to make it an interactive experience, and we pulled it off. I won't tell you what it is--I'll wait until he posts the video of it on GooTube. (Update: Here it is.)

On my way to NH, I listened to my old friend the FAN, and boy were Yankee fans whiny today! It was all, "why can't they ever pick on the Red Sox???" And instead of the venom reserved for Barry Bonds, it was "oh, I'm just sad disappointed," and, "it's sad for baseball" and "look, everyone was doing it." Not one Yankee fan called up to say "I'm just as angry at A-Rod as I am at Bonds and all his records should be taken away." You know what they should get? An asterisk: Fan who doesn't stand for cheating.* ( * = unless it's by their own team)

"If, if, if" has been the Yanke mantra since 2004. There's no "we fucked up." It's all, "well, what if your side did this?" Can you imagine if, in any year before 2004, I was sitting in Yankee Stadium, and everyone around me was chanting "1918," and I tried to say to them, "yeah, well, what if YOUR team hadn't won since 1918??" Wouldn't have gotten me very far.

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