Saturday, April 23, 2011

Angels In The URL Field

Like none of you, I was shocked to see "" on the fence behind the plate last night in Anaheim. Sure enough, it is indeed the Angels' web site. Why the eff was I shocked? In May of 2008 I told you about the eight MLB teams who don't have the rights to [theirname].com. I noted that the "coolest" example was the Angels, because had been taken by a random person who had kept that site for a long time. It was just one page, with some gibberish about angels, and about how the site was under construction. I periodically checked the site, and it was always the same.

After last night, I checked the news to see what went down between the last time I checked and now, and I found a story about how the old owner refused to sell the domain name to MLB for $300,000. And that now (August of last year) it was up for sale in a live auction. Obviously, MLB won this auction and will be theirs until the end of time. (Another story from a few days after that one here--looks like they got it for 200 grand.)

As for the other seven teams, only the Cardinals have since gotten their own name. (The same site linked above did basically the exact post I did, only they were two years AFTER me.) And the only one that changed to something new was, which now belongs to FMA.

Here's more about the original case of the Angels vs. Some Guy.

A Good, Clean Love. Without Utensils.

[Non-Night Owls: Relive the 9th With Me Below!]

The Angels wore their 80s unis tonight, which was great. But the incorrect radial arching of the names on the backs made them look like the Naked Gun Angels. (Except Reggie Jackson who must have been using his real jersey in the film, since he had the correct vertical arching.)

Dan "Spiwack" Haren came in with a mega-low ERA, but we got some runs off him, although two came on a botched fly ball and were unearned. I kinda like when Torii screws up, and you could fault him, along with two other dudes, on that play. And you should fault him for missing Rock Salt's fly ball earlier. So those plays led to our first three runs. Our fourth--Jed was knocked in by Drew after doubling and going to third on Wells' bobble. A play Jerry Remy refused to see as anything but a triple. Here's how it went down:

High fly ball over Wells's head in left field. I'm thinking double. But Wells bobbles. Not a quick bobble, a kind of multi-, near-blooper reel bobble. So they cut to Jed and he's rounding second. He makes third, and everyone watching, including the official scorer, says, That's a double and an error. But Remy, he's surprised. Don says the error is on the "apparent" bobble. So I'm thinkin' these guys didn't even see the bobble the first time. (We've talked about this before--they're watching with their eyes and missing what we're seeing on our screens.) So Remy's going, "I refuse to change that to a double on my scorecard, Jed was thinking triple the whole time, and he would have been safe anyway." Then they show a replay of just Jed. And guess what? You see him clearly slow up as he approaches second, then speed up again as he's looking out into left field, proving everyone but Remy right. But Remy says nothing, sticking to his story. I don't know why these guys can't admit when they're wrong. Anyway, they made up for it with funny laugh attacks later.

So it was 4-0. And Lester was dealing. No runs over 6 innings. Albers gave up a run in the 7th. Then the Angels got all hung up on some clown from the SIXties, man! They brought in Trevor Bell, grandson of fucking Bozo the Clown! He got out of the 8th, then Jenks came in for us, and gave up a quick run, and then Torii thought he had a dong, and did the bat flip, but it was caught on the track. And I laughed in Torii's smug mug from 3 grand miles away. And then Salta lets a pitch get by him and Abreu goes from second to third. To home! Because Salt-head can't find the ball, and despite Jenks pointing back behind him to the screen, he just doesn't see it. Finally he runs back there but it's too late. So that made it 4-3.

Top 9: At this point we're just 4 for 31 with RISP on the road trip, or something like that, clinging to a one-run lead. We go down One Bee Eye Eye Eye.

Bottom 9: Pap in for the third straight night. 4-3 Boston. The Padres lost, so if we hold on, it will mean: that we may be in last place, but every other division has a team with a worse record than the Boston Red Sox! Here we go....I'm writing this live (at 1:18 a.m.) in case you can't tell...

Aybar: Easy fly out to CF. One down.

Conger, I hardly was acquainted with said female: I just pushed the table out a little, subconsciously, but not really, to prepare for a possible stand-up-and-cheer should he get to two outs and then two strikes. I am not religious and I am trying to cut back on my superstitions but I hope the baseball gods didn't see that--and as I type that, Conger lines a single. Damn you gods! Man on first, one out. Table pushed back to where it was. And a little extra.

That Bonjour guy: Strike one. Called strike two. Come on, Pap. Skied to right but in the park clearly. Caught. Too good a pitch for 0-2 but we get the second out.

Kendrick: Strike one. And now it is over! We WIN! I stood and clapped after strike two in the living room as per the tradition, though I did not do what my dad does, which is to summon all the fish in the sea to position their bodies vertically as they have no feet. Then I visualized strike three, like Dan Quisenberry taught me on The Baseball Bunch, and Howie swing and missed! 4-3 win. We've won 6 of our last 7!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Error Cards

Look what I spotted on a Bob's commercial on the Red Sox game last night (without even trying):

Choclate! Unbelievable.

That's almost as bad as altering a photo to change a Yankee to a Tiger, but leaving the pinstripes on....

Late Night W

Beckett had a no-hitter through 5, though it was still 0-0 because we'd stranded a lot of runners. Top 6, we get two runs. Bottom 6, a Balty chop to the left of the mound that Beckett seemed to have no intention of making a play on (didn't get into position, didn't bare-hand, maybe he thought Dustin was gonna run into him), and he bobbles it, taking away any chance of getting the guy. Base hit. But he's still got the shutout...until Torii "There's No I In Team But There Are Plenty In Torii" Hunter hits a 2-run dong to center. Tied in the 7th. In the 8th, we load the bases, but Drew can't make contact with one out, and Pedroia pops out to end the inning.

It goes XXXtra. Top 11, at 1:30 a.m., Gonzalez hits an RBI single, driving the Soxy crowd wild, as the California people have long since moved on to other things. Then after two rundown plays, one we mess up and one they mess up, it's bases loaded, one out, Lowrie up, and he lines one to center. Very close play at the plate, but Pedroia's in there, and it's 4-2 us on the sac fly.

Bottom 11: Papelbon in. Gives up a perfectly placed bunt single with one out. Then with two out, he finally strikes out Kendrick on a long at bat to end it. 4-2 11-inning WIN!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

In-Market Streaming Still (14/15ths) A Myth

In June of 2009, I got pissed when it was announced that the Yankees--and only the Yankees--would have their broadcasts available on in their own market. The press release at the time said

MLB President and COO Bob DuPuy said in a conference call he expects more clubs to follow this season and then "we'll be up to a majority of the clubs" for 2010.

Well, it turns out that was total bullshit. It's 2011, and only one other team, the Padres, has in-market games. (I have confirmed this with someone at

I'm wondering if MLB realized they'd made a huge mistake and just ended the plan. (While continuing to give two teams out of 30 special treatment.) Because I know if I could get Red Sox games through, I'd scrap cable entirely. Red Sox games are the one reason we have cable. A lot of people just don't have cable at all anymore, but I think baseball is probably the reason a lot more people are holding on to it. Unless you're a Yanks or Pads fan, cable TV is the only way to see the team in your market, because it would be blacked out any other way.

I have written to Mr. DuPuy about this, we'll see what he says. But I am guessing the cable companies are holding him in their collective basement.

Note: I am realizing the irony of all this. After years of not being able to see the Red Sox on TV in western Connecticut, I finally move to NESN territory, and now I'm screwed again, unable to get the Red Sox through any means BUT cable, at a time when I want to get rid of cable like everybody else. Damn you, Ghost of Steinbrenner!

Red Sox @ Angels, 10:05 p.m.

Turning Over A New Leaf

I've been enjoying the crap out of the new Fenway Park 100 site. Especially the Through the Years section. Click a decade, then a year, then read about each year--and to find pictures from that year, click a section on the left and they pop up on the right. Lots of new videos mixed in there too.

Thank Moses Christ they made a legitimate site for this thing, and not "facebook dot com slash fenway park" or whatever--if they'd done it that way, I probably would have killed everyone. Not "everyone involved," but "everyone on our Great Earth." Which would have been followed by a search of the universe for more life to destroy. But then I'd need some type of space program that I probably couldn't have started on my own even using existing ships. So I would have had to spare the people of the space program and astronomers in general. But they'd still have to find this other life. So I'd set up some kind of "social network" so that the creatures of all the different planets could communicate with each other and let them know when they'll be home and when they'll be sitting at a coffee shop, and of course where in the universe their planet is located and the best directions to get there. Using this "social network" I'd locate all the other life, then bring everyone from the space program and the astronomers to the other planets, and kill them just before introducing myself to the aliens and then killing them too.

And that's how I used social networking to save the universe (from being alive). Maybe it does have some positives....

Another Mystery Solved

Remember how I was in NYC when Elaine (of Elaine's) died? And I shot a short, crappy video inside the window at a celebrity I recognized, and asked you who it was because I just couldn't place the face? Well, 25 of you watched the vid, and nobody came up with it.

I knew I knew this guy, though, and that one day, I'd see him again and figure this out. That night was tonight. I flipped on that documentary about Ron Galella called Smash His Camera, and there was "my guy" sitting around a table. Then they cut to him talking about Galella, and his name came on the screen: Neil Leifer....Neil Leifer! Yes, the world famous sports photographer.

I paused my DVR and looked at the face. I wanted to be sure. I went to my original video, and I definitely believed I had my guy. But to make sure, I searched for articles from that night when all those celebs showed up at Elaine's to see if he was in any of them. And boom goes the dynamite. He was there. That was him. I shall add him to my list of celebs spotted. Thanks for playing, everyone.

P.S. I know when I tell Chan this, instead of being all excited that I figured it out, he'll be like, "What delay industries....?" I mean, he'll probably remember the night in question (with a little jogging of his memory on my part), but I doubt he'll remember the guy, the vid, the mystery...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

You: Working, Them: Playing

6:47: Pap puts tying runs on, but wraps it up. 5-3 WIN.

5:52: Drew dong, and it's 5-1 us at stretch time.

5:20: JED with a 2-run dong. We lead 4-1 in the 6th and in the rain.

4:44: 2-1 Red Sox in the fourth. Coco donged on the first pitch HH threw. We got one back in the second, but they got a DP to end the rally. And then in top 4, Youk hit a HR to give us the lead. But then, with a guy on first and no outs, a terrible series of events: Double play ball that they botch, everybody's safe. Double play ball that Crawford beats out so they only get one. And whatta ya know, third consecutive double play ball, this time they turn it and we get nothing. That just killed me. Updates later.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Joy Then Head-Bashing Then Joy!

The Yanks had it all planned out. 7th inning guy gives up no runs. 8th inning guy gives up no runs. Mariano comes in with a two-run lead for the automatic win. WRONG! Mo gives up 2 runs and then has the bases loaded with one out. But he gets the DP grounder and they go to extra innings.

But the Jays get a run off of "Doesn't Go" Nova in the 10th. Toronto wins. And they had to after Mo blew it, or Ida Ben Pissed.

In our game, 1-0 A's in the fifth.

[Update 12:57 a.m.: Red Sox LOSE. It stayed 1-0 through the 7th. In the 8th we had all these baserunners but still couldn't score, thanks partly to a batter's interference call. Then in the bottom, Oki imploded and after a really long inning, it was 5-0 A's, and that was your (and my) final. 3:30 game Tuesday.]

[Optimism update, 1:09 a.m.: In the last five games, our five starters have allowed 6 earned runs in 31 innings. Do that or something close all year and it'll be fun.]

Wanton Soupy Sales Pitch A Tent Pole

This thing on the front page of uses a picture of Fenway as its background. I just wonder why they chose a shot from the 2003-2005ish (as you can tell by the windows on the .406 club, the old one-dimensional FENWAY PARK sign, the old white championship banners off to the right side, and the Comcast/NESN sign). The windows came down after the 2005 season. Do they just use Google Images? Surely they have access to current pictures of their own park, right? I could see either using a classic old shot or a current one, but not one from 6-8 years ago, especially since they're so proud of the renovations they've done since then. Maybe when they made the decision, they thought, "Whatever, this is a little older, but only that one guy with the yellow blog will notice. Run it."

Also, either the flag pole up top is washed out by the white sky, or it's airbrushed out--as if we (okay, I) wouldn't notice! I've actually seen this done before, on a photo someone put onto a canvas. They just took it right out, I guess so you could make the park go closer to the top edge of the shot instead of having extra wasted space along the top just to get that flag in there. Just crop it tight and erase that little line. And leave us to scoff at your wanton destruction of Fenway Park....

Here's something unrelated for ya: the new Morgan Spurlock "doc-buster" comes out Friday. It's all about product placement, should be very interesting.

Red Sox @ Oakland, late. I'll be up. No team in baseball has a longer winning streak than ours. Except Cleveland.

The Last Days Of Nick Charles

Remember CNN Sports Tonight? Back in the 80s and early 90s, if you were looking for sports highlights, there weren't many options. A couple of minutes on the local nightly news, the Sports Machine on Sunday nights, the brief Headline Sports at :19 and :49, ESPN when they weren't showing the National Grammar Rodeo, and CNN Sports Tonight. I actually forgot all about this show until I read that one of its hosts, Nick Charles, is dying. It's an interesting story, because he knows he doesn't have long, but is basically able to "attend his own memorial service."

He looks a lot different these days, but here he is back in the day. This is a "best of" type show but this gives you an idea of what CNN Sports Tonight was.

There are plenty of other vids of him and that show, check 'em out. (This also led me to look into what became of Van Earl Wright, who used to pepper his Headline Sports reports with "Los AN-geleeez" and...other stuff that was funny back before every sports guy thought he was a comedian.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

AM Baseball (Updatin') (Not Any More, Tough Guy)

Dear People Who Are At Work And Somehow Need Me To Tell You What's Happening In The Game,

Bottom 1: Drew leads off with a triple that almost clears the fence in dead center at the batter's eye. Then a walk. Then two strikeouts. Then another walk. So with bases loaded, two out, Jed knocks in two with a soft single to right. 2-0 Red Sox in the second. This post will update BELOW.

12:20: Bottom 3--Jed knocks in another run with a solid single. This guy's in a desperate attempt to get his average ABOVE 1.000. 3-0 Sox after 3.

12:41: One-hitter for Dice-K (whose name means "pine hill," I found out today) through 5 innings. Still 3-0 us.

12:47: Lowrie is incredible. He just hit one into the Monster Seats for a 2-run dong, 5-0 Sox, still in the 5th.

1:11: Earlier, Youk hit one that bounced off the top of the fence in right field and came back in for a double. Just now, he hit one over the fence at the same spot. Two-run dong. 7-0 in the 6th, Dice still pitching a one-hitter.

1:14: Lowrie gets hits fourth hit of the day, and then Crawford gets his first, a Wall-ball double, and it's 8-0.

1:31: Ellsbury with another big homer to the Triangle-end of the Sox bullpen. 9-0 in the 7th, Dice still twirling a gemstone.

1:56: Wakefield pitches the ninth. Gives up a solo dong. But we still win 9-1. Great job by Dice today. I guess that fucker Pete Abe was dead fucking wrong to say "putting him in a game is counterproductive to winning." What a dumb shit. Give me his job, I'll do it ten times better, and I'll request a mere quarter of his salary.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

C-Webb At The Controls?

Kim and I watched the Celts playoff game tonight. Here are some terrible things I noticed about the broadcast. First, the sound was ahead of the video. So a shot would be in the air, and you'd hear the swish and you'd know it was going in. Then you had these overhead camera angles. Just like with baseball, I'm fine with crazy replays! But doing it while the game is live just effs with me and often causes stuff to be missed. But the worst was the last sequence of the game. The announcers told us that the Knicks had no time outs left. Then the Celts used their last one, so as they were about to inbound the ball with like 20 seconds left, down one, we knew that if they made the go-ahead bucket, the Knicks would have to inbound right away, come down court, etc. The point is, no matter what happened, we at home all knew this game wasn't stopping until the final buzzer. So Allen makes a 3, giving the Celtics a 2-point lead. Now, remember, we all knew nobody had any timeouts left. All of us, apparently, except:

1. The players
2. The producer of the telecast

I'm sitting there knowing the Knicks must be bringing the ball up, clock ticking down, but they're not showing it. And Ray Allen's over on the sideline, celebrating with Delonte West, who's (hilariously) on the court smiling and oblivious to the fact that play was not stopped simply because it normally would be in a situation like that IF the other team had any timeouts left. He quickly made it back to the bench and the Knicks missed their shot and that was the game. So, CSN New England or whatever the fuck they're called can be as bad as some of these other networks. There was a play earlier where there was a save and they must have thought the ball had gone out of bounds and the play was dead, because they cut to a close-up of somebody and I knew play was still going on. Oh, this reminds me--NESN had a nice goof today when there was a double play with no outs, and they must have thought it was a triple play or something because they whooshed out the top score box and whooshed in the "middle 7th" graphic as if the inning was over.

Someday I'll have a nice post about all the outstanding producing skills of a sports broadcast.

Do The Hustle Or You're On The Van To McCoy

Green Monster standing room tix available for tomorrow! I'm not going tomorrow, but I'm just glad it's official: they will be releasing those right on the site this season. A great deal for $35, and like I've said in the past, I've often just sat in a seat the whole game, sometimes in the front row.

But moving on to today's win: It's good to just have these "normal" wins where you have a nice lead, your starter is on, and you don't feel much pressure. We're gonna get a lot of those this year. We're only a couple games out of second place right now, so we'll be movin' on up. Nice job by Lester. Nice majestic dong by Jacoby. Key double by Sodium. 8-1 us. We're 4-10 going into Pats' Day.

Let's talk about hustle and stuff. Early in today's game, Adrian Gonzalez went from first to second on a pitch that went to the backstop. But he did it as if the ball went into the stands and he was only allowed one base maximum. Now I know that sometimes you just jog because you're sure you can only move up one base. But he was just barely moving by the time he pulled into second, looking down at the bag and not the catcher. As soon as that ball gets away, you should be thinking third base. The catcher was also not going very hard after the ball. Round second and make him make a throw. I know Adrian's the slowest runner since Mike Lowell, but still. Then later, Jed Lowrie hits a pop up and assumes it's in the stands. The left fielder also assumes it's in the stands. It lands on the field, fair, so the fielder misses a chance at an easy out, while Jed misses a chance at a double, ending up only at first. What do you have to lose by just running as fast as you can every time you hit the ball? And you know what the worst part about this is? Non-hustling makes Jeter look like a god, because he does merely what you're supposed to do. (Not all the time, though, let's be very clear about that.) Anyway, this isn't a Red Sox-specific criticism, players around the league are like this. What's the deal, millionaires? You could pay me zero dollars a year and I'd be getting the extra base every time!

It's A new Way Of Life

After the second home game of the season, I showed you this picture and wondered why there was a second "new" behind the new balance sign over the right field bleachers:

I have solved the mystery. (As I'm sure many of you have but you didn't tell me so I get credit for the solve.) Last night we left the game and while sitting in the car facing the park, I noticed that sign was flashing: "we" then "won" over and over. Facing out. I knew it was the back side of that sign. So that's the new thing--if you're in the neighborhood or driving past Fenway on the Pike, the "we/won" alerts you that we won. It's a little weird since the lights of the "e" would be slightly different to make it face out, same with the "n". And the "o" is just the outer circle of the "e".

And only as I'm writing this am I realizing that it must also flash "we won" facing the people IN the park, too, since that "new" seems like it can rise up. But wait, then the letters would be in reverse order. I don't know--I've been to two wins and both times I had the overhang blocking that board. So there's a new mystery. Anyone know?

Sox vs. Js, 1:35.

[Bonus previously unseen shot--here's a close-up of the "new"/"we"/"won":]

One-Game Winning Streak

Went to the (collllld) game with Kim today. And for the first time in years, I wasn't packin' lens! So no pics, but a nice win. Even though I was complaining in the ninth that we must have had 20 baserunners in the game, yet we're still only up three and our closer is necessary. Before Kim told me to shut up and enjoy the win, as they are quite rare thus far in '11.

Got home to find a thank you note from the Red Sox Foundation (who are either unaware that the Red Sox altered their logo or are using stationery from 3 or more seasons ago). They thanked me for my hundred dollar donation to the Japan earthquake relief fund. Only problem is, I thought I donated ten dollars. So...if it's not a mistake and they took 100 of my dollars, what do I do? Just be glad that Japan has 90 more dollars? If I tell them I want my 90 bucks back, will they have someone go up to a Japanese person who just got a new house after the tsunami and demand 90 dollars? I don't want that. Maybe I'll just never check into the matter. If it was ten, fine, if it was 100, fine...honestly, I don't even remember if I used Paypal or a credit card or what. But I will write back to the Foundation and demand they update the team logo on their stationery. That's it! I'll say, "change it or give me $90."

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