Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Two-Tone Tale Of Tony C. And Bobby V.

As most of you know by now, Bobby Valentine will be wearing Tony Conigliaro's number 25, and noted that he was Tony's "last roommate" back in 1976 when Tony was attempting a comeback. I didn't think much of this until my mom e-mailed me this morning regarding Bobby and Tony:

So now I read that Bobby V. chose #25 in honor of his old roommate,
Tony Conigliaro. Where and when did they room?

My initial search (just typing in "Tony Conigliaro" into Google News) brought me right to an article by Art Martone, who was questioning the story. Bobby said the pairing happened when he was with the Padres in 1976. Martone pointed out that Tony had already become a broadcaster by that point. I did a further news search and found nothing about Conig making any comeback attempt in 1976, and no mention of him ever having anything to do with the Padres. I searched and searched, trying to see if Tony's name appeared in any of the spring training articles. Though I did find a mention of him saying in '76 that he might try to play winter ball in '76/'77 (Bobby was still with the Padres for the start of 1977), I got nowhere.

That's when it hit me. This is an ex-athlete we're talking about. Unless your name is Dennis Eckersley, your stories from your playing days are probably going to have major errors. And this is Bobby Valentine we're talking about. Search "valentine" on this blog and you'll find several examples of him getting facts from old stories wrong from this past season on ESPN broadcasts--including one where he challenged viewers to "look it up," and was still wrong.

So I came up with a genius plan. I did a news search on "'comeback' 'Padres'" for March of 1976. And whose name popped up about a million times? That's right, shaggy 70s playboy and, as Seinfeld fans know, the designer of Central Park, JOE PEPITONE.

Okay--I didn't get too excited yet. Yes it was a guy attempting a comeback in spring training 1976 with the Padres. Could Valentine and Pepitone have been roommates? Yes. But I'll take one step further. Joe Pepitone didn't make the team. He was sent to the Hawaii Islanders. The team was known for having a trio of ex-major leaguers to start that season. One of the other ones? Bobby Valentine. Bobby wasn't called up to the bigs that year until September. He played in 120 games with Hawaii in 1976. Joe Pepitone played in 13, never to step on a baseball field after that.

So the question isn't "who was Tony C's last roommate?" but rather "whose last roommate was Booby V?" And the answer to that is Joe Pepitone.

Then I thought: Hmmmm, I'll bet francs to Fenway Franks that Joe Pepitone wore number 25.....

and boom went the dynamite:
Granted, he wore other numbers with other teams, but when he went to the Hawaii Islanders, you gonna tell me they gave anybody else number 25?

So we have Bobby Valentine, in 1976, being teammates with a well-known Italian player attempting a comeback after a few years out of baseball, who wore #25. I'd say there's a great chance that two ex-major leaguers on a minor league team (who were both playing the same position too) would be put together as roommates, and as Bobby put it, this other guy (who he thought to be Tony C) had Bobby as his "last roommate," for "a few days," which both make sense since Pepitone left the team after 13 games and never played again after that.

So to answer my mom's (and Art Martone's) question: Nowhere and never. Bobby Valentine roomed with a different guy in 1976 in Hawaii who also wore the number in question, 25. How could he confuse the two Italians who were both making comebacks in the mid-70s? You tell me:

The Future Of Futures At Fenway

Futures at Fenway will be Saturday, August 18th. Pawtucket will take on the Buffalo Bisons. I don't see any evidence of a second game, though. I checked the schedules of our four other affiliates, and three of them have home games that day, but their schedules indicate they are normal non-Fenway games.

It could be they haven't decided which team they're going to pick. But I'm wondering if maybe they're just making it a single game this year. They never fill the place for those games, so maybe they figure they only need to do one game--have a packed house for one game instead of two half-full houses. They make the same money either way. Also, the big club is playing the Yanks at 4:05 that day so maybe they're all set with having a single noon game and then letting everybody go home.

Also, check out this sweet eff-up from the press release for the Frozen Fenway events:

Hey, I can't expect the Boston Red Sox to know what NESN stands for.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Did I Ever Tell You How I Played Against Bobby Valentine's Nephew?

Yeah, so when I was on the baseball team in high school, there was a big buzz when we'd play Darien High in red-hot FCIAC action: "Oooh, Bobby Valentine's nephew is on this team...." And that's really where my memories end. In fact, he might have even been on varsity the whole time, while I was only a JV-er, so who knows if I ever even saw the guy. But maybe he struck me out or something. Yeah, let's go with that. No, wait, as long as I'm making shit up, let's just say I hit a home run off Bobby Valentine's nephew.

I did a news search on the kid. His HS football records still stand, but the only baseball mention I could find about him is from 1992 (between our junior and senior year), when he played for a Babe Ruth All-Star Team made up of kids from a few Fairfield County towns, none of which were mine. According to the Redding Pilot, he got a hit in the state tournament. Here's the squad:

The caption only mentions the hometown Redding and Easton kids, but one one of the kids in the pinstriped Darien jerseys would be Anthony.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Tito At The 'Sino

Had to take a trip to Casino Valley today, so I figured I'd stop by and see Tito on the Stupid Show live from Mohegan Sun.

Pretty terrible set-up. They were a few feet from a bar, facing it. Therefore the crowd couldn't be more than two people deep. I guess they had this interview planned for months--it just happened to be on the day of the new manager's introductory press conference.

I listened to Bobby on the way home, and all the memories from the Mets days came flooding back--him stringing together 27 random words at a time, that kind of thing.

Then these same guys you see here interviewed Bobby on the phone, and there was a great moment, when he informed them that he didn't know who was who. Listening along at the moment Fat O realizes some people don't know who the fuck he is was priceless.

What's Happening With The Apartment?

If it was any other song, I'd say "Shipping Up To Boston" would have to be retired now that Papelbon's gone. But that's a song that needs to be played at Boston sports venues. But what do you do with it? Our panel of experts, meaning just me, takes a look at the options.

1. Let the new closer use it., Peg. Bard or anybody we bring in will have his own song, and even if he really likes SutB, I can't imagine he'd switch to it since it was so connected to his predecessor.

2. Let someone else use it. Again, I can't see anybody dissing Pap like that--OR taking the song out of play for every other situation.

3. Retire it. Are you even paying attention? I just said you can't do that with this song. Oh I see what you're doing--you realized you were gonna be stuck with a really short list so you threw this already-crossed out option in here to fatten it up. Makes sense.

4. Play it at random times, like maybe in the post-dong rotation. I could see them doing this, however, we've become used to this song as having a specific meaning, so I say come up with one.

5. Okay, then. Play it at a specific time. Here's my suggestion. You play it in the middle of the ninth inning. This way, it won't be played every night, only when we're tied or trailing after eight and a half. And those are the exact situations when a firing-up song should play. This fills in the late-inning rally song trilogy: Mid-7th: Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Mid-8th: Sweet Caroline, Mid-9th: Shipping Up to Boston (if applicable).

5a. Other specific time possibilities would be to put it in the victory song series, though I feel its beginning would sound odd after Dirty Water or Tessie. Then again Joy to the World feels a little out of place and isn't even played all the way through, so maybe you could replace that one. They could also go ahead and replace Sweet Caroline with it. A lot of people are sick of it--but I'm sure those people are probably sick of Shipping, too. But if they did wanna replace SC, here's their window of opportunity. Taking-the-field music? Nah. We don't use music at that time until the pitcher starts warming up, and then they go into that starter's own song anyway. Another possibility would be to have it be the "pre-top 9th" music regardless of the situation. Guaranteed to play every night, and...nah, doesn't work. What about mid-1st inning? Like, Okay, here come the bats? I don't know, I'm sticking with my mid-9th when applicable theory.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Xmas (Updated)

Got the Xmas @ Fenway e-mail, and yes, it will be done by random online drawing again. Press release with all the Sox Pax and everything not out yet, but I'm sure it will be this afternoon. But the e-mail does say the Yard Sale will be happening again. I just hope they handle it much, much better this time. Remember that fiasco??

[1:34 Update: Press release is here. It claims the list of Sox Pax is "attached," but I see no link for it. That probably means the "real media" got this in their inbox with an attachment, so once again the a-holes will get to take the credit for telling you about something that's right on, only this time they'll be the only ones to tell you since they forgot to add the attachment to the online version!]

[1:40 Update: Found the Sox Pax link on my own. This year again they have the OD, the Pats Day, and the Fri, Sat, and Sun, but then they have 2 Marlins ones (my prediction was correct in that case), and FIVE Yankee ones instead of throwing in a second NL team. I actually was wondering if they might keep the APril 20th Yanks game off the board, since it's the 100th anniversary of Fenway, and they did. That's definitely one I don't want to miss. Will have to get it in the Yanks lottery. Ooh, I see they went with "Miami Nice Pack" for one of the Marlins ones. Get it? Miami Vice? That's about as creative as they got this year.... Oh and I nailed the Fri, Sat, and Sun Packs! Exact 4 games, all three Packs.]

Hail To The Chiefs

The Red Sox have had 45 managers. (Wikipedia's list shows 44--Cy Young's 1907 stint is left off of there. This list on also leaves out Young. I don't know if there's controversy over this or if somebody just effed up....) Bobby Valentine is the second born in my home state of Connecticut, though it is uncertain whether he is of Martian descent. The other was Jack Barry, player-manager in 1917, born in my dad's hometown of Meriden. The most common birthplaces for a Sox manager are California and Illinois, with five each. More than half came from the sextet of California, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Two were born outside the United States (one in Nova Scotia, Canada, and one in Ireland).

Here are the birthplaces of all the skips:

California (5)
Illinois (5)

New York (4)
Ohio (4)

Pennsylvania (3)
Texas (3)

Alabama (2)
Connecticut (2)
Indiana (2)
Massachusetts (2)
New Jersey (2)
Oregon (2)

Nova Scotia
Rhode Island
South Dakota

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sox Lose War On Drugs

Well, the "Internet" is saying that Bobby Valentine has accepted the Red Sox' offer to be the team's next manager. I just hope the guy realizes he's got a lot of talent on his team, and he can pretty much sit back and let them play, as opposed to....opening his mouth and letting a bunch of drivel outta there. And trying to build a spaceship out of orange peels and an old Volkswagen or something. Don't you love how the same people who got rid of Manny Fucking Ramirez go and hire Bobby Valentine?

Fortunately we're just dealing with a manager here and not a player, so I'm not gonna worry about it too much, I have no problem with just living with whoever the hell we got, so, whatever. He's our guy now--hopefully the team plays well enough where we don't have to talk about him too much. I mean, yes, it will be fun to witness, but unlike the dumbass media, we fans just want the team to win, we don't give a fuck about what's "interesting" or what sells.

I'll definitely have to go to his restaurant this winter, though. Hopefully they Sox-ify it a little, and hopefully this will lead to some more Soxiness in Fairfield County. IN FACT, it just hit me now! This could be the key to NESN in Fairfield! If I run into Bobby, I am bringing that up, I assure you.

Cox Can't Be Oblivious To This

Ads for Cox are funny enough, especially when you hear "Cox" as "cocks," but they've taken it to the next level. I made a gif out of one I just saw:


(YT version with sound here.)

Oh God

Pretty funny vid from Stewart about the nonsense over Obama's Thanksgiving message.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

Maybe the batshits would have liked it better if he'd said this:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sox Pax Predictions

My guesses based on how they usually do it:

1. Opening Day Pack: 4/13 (OD), 4/30, 5/29, 9/26
2. Fish Pack: 4/14, 5/28, 6/19 (Marlins), 9/25
3. Hanley Pack: 4/15, 5/5, 6/20 (Marlins), 8/27

4. Iron Horse Pack: 4/20 (NYY), 4/30, 5/14, 8/24
5. Pinstripe Pack: 4/21 (NYY), 5/15, 6/25, 8/25
6. Stadium Pack: 4/22 (NYY), 5/16, 6/26, 8/26

7. TGIF Pack: 5/4, 5/25, 9/7, 9/21
8. Saturday Special Pack: 5/5, 5/26, 9/8, 9/22
9. Sunday Best Pack: 5/6, 5/27, 9/9, 9/23

10: Patriots' Day Pack: 4/16 (PD), 5/10, 5/14, 9/13
11: DC Pack: 6/10 (Nats), 8/2, 5/11, 6/6
12: Capital Pack: 6/8 (Nats), 8/1, 5/13, 6/27

I'm guessing the two NL teams will be FLA and WAS, assuming they'll feel the Braves weekend will have a big enough draw. This is also a weird year in that there are only two September weekday home games that aren't against the Yanks. And only four April/May weekday series. In other words, there aren't a lot of "throwaway games." So to keep the Sox Pax thing consistent, they're gonna have to include more games in the summer months and more weekend games unless they want to start repeating games. I have tried to give the Pax similarly bland/cheesy names to the ones they've had in the past. You're always gonna have Opening Day, then two NL packs. Then three Yanks packs. Then a Friday, a Saturday, and a Sunday pack. And finally Patriots' Day and two other NL ones. Or maybe they'll do something completely different. We'll see. This should be the week they announce them, complete with this press release but with the relevant info changed. We already know Xmas at Fenway will be December 10th. (Back before the crazy improvements, they used to have people line up and get wristbands and open up more of the park. Lately it's been through online drawing only. I wonder if they'll go back to the old way since the major improvements are done. I'm guessing since everyone's now used to the drawing, they'll just continue doing it that way.)

Yu Remember This?

With all the Yu Darvish talk lately, I'd like to alert you to this post I did about him two and a half years ago. For now, though, Don Wert still holds his coveted title.


Saw that Muppet movie last night. While one of the songs was playing, I thought, "This sounds like a Flight of the Conchords" song. Then I remembered that I heard Bret from FotC wrote the original songs for the film. With or without the Bret songs and the sweet cameos, I recommend this movie if you grew up with the Muppets.

Then I got home and found out Flight of the Conx is gonna be a movie, too!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Red Sox Get New Manager For '12

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