Saturday, October 20, 2012

"All Lanes Are Closed"

Above: the traffic jam I'm in is the lead on the traffic report! Woohoo! Today I did the JFK pick-up. I started in New Haven. It took four hours to get to NYC. After the first half-hour traffic jam, I went into the one where all the lanes were closed, thanks to a jackknifed tractor-trailer and corresponding diesel spill! Awesome. It got a mention online, too. Here's a second video I shot that allows you to experience a standstill right in your own home! (In the first one you can hear a little of Francesa talking about the Yanks' hitting woes in the ALCS.)

Since that jam pushed the return trip into rush hour, it took another four hours to get back to New Haven! Then I saw a car in the woods, upside down, lights still on, just before I got back to Providence also on 95. Then I heard from a friend that she saw crazy accidents all day in Mass, too. Man, you'd think it never rained before.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Well, That Was Fun

High five, everybody...

I could probably use a lot of exclamation points and caps, but I think you know how excited I am.

CC gave up a bunch of runs early, and you could turn your sets off there, folks. Yanks swept by Tigers, and the baseball season as I know it is over.

As much as I wanted to see the Yanks miss the playoffs, and as much as I wanted the O's to knock them out in the first round...think of what we would have missed! Whoops, did I just use an exclamation point? Anyway, between the Jeter injury, the slumps, the squanders, the boos, the end of the Swisher fairy tale, and the usual A-Rod drama, well shucks, I almost wish there was one more game. I almost feel like by making it to the ALCS, they caused themselves pain that might not have been there, and we may see changes that may not have happened.

I love that A-Rod was given a final chance, and he gave it one final failure.

And did you see the shot of Cashman sitting quietly amongst the delirious Tigers fans after one of tonight's coffin nails? I gotta get a screen shot of that and use it as wallpaper. (I'm talking about my actual walls here.)

The Yanks pitching was great all post-season, but down 3-0, the ace laid an egg.

New York never led in the series.

And Swisher finally came through with a hit with RISP! Too bad it was 6-0 at the time.

And how 'bout that Derek Lowe? What a job he did for us, going to the Yanks and giving up all kinds of big hits. He threw that one in tonight--a dong to his first batter!--as sort of a tribute to '04. Nice job, DLowe!

I happened to be in the car at 11:48 tonight, when the great Steve Somers started his show tonight on the FAN--he did a pretty funny opening "mourning" the Yanks' season. Boston sports radio is probably talking aboout how classy Jeter is--you get the good stuff in New York.

So that's one title and two pennants in the last 11 years for the New York Yankees. Think about it. In 2000, they'd won 4 of the last 5 WS, while the Red Sox hadn't won any in 82 years. Twelve years later, the Yanks have won once since, while we've won twice. For me to complain about anything would be pretty silly.

I'll go to sleep tonight with visions of sad Yankee faces in the dugout. But it's bittersweet. In the ultimate of ironies, I just wish I could have seen Jeter's face, too.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


2012 Fenway Park concert announced...

...and it's some country guy I've never heard of.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


From last night:

And the next guy ends the inning on a DP. Sending the guy would have made it 3-0. Fortunately it didn't end up costing the Tigers. For some reason Lamont needs coaching lessons, and here's rule #1: don't put up the stop sign until the last possible moment, there's no need to. Had he let this runner just run to third assuming he'll score, he would have seen that by the time he reached third, the fielder wouldn't have even gotten to the ball yet. The easiest of runs. Instead he commits to an early stop sign, ruining any chance. And this is the guy the Red Sox might want as their latex salesman....

CC against Scherzer, 8 p.m. tonight [now Thursday at 4:00, since it was postponed], as the Tigers hold a 3-0 edge.

Picked Up What I Asked For

Yankees almost win but still lose!* The way I like it. Bring on the pressure, it's all I've got! Verlander goes 8 1/3 throwing 900 pitches, but leaves with just a one-run lead. Yanks then get two guys on, and Ibanez comes up with two outs. Yankee fans must have been getting that old feeling...the only guy they even like anymore, who has come through so many times in these spots, incredibly has a chance's YANKEE DESTINY! But he strikes out! Game over. Yanks almost win. But still lose. 10-0 games are fun, but they don't provide the necessary heartbreak that I need to see. Hell, I'm happy to say I wish Ibanez had hit one to the warning track. Gimme all ya got! Gimme all ya got!

And humiliate A-Rod and Swisher while you're at it. While Jeter walks around on crutches. This 2012 hasn't turned out so bad after all.

Gotta win one more game, Tigers, and we can all go sledding or whatever.

Side note: Terrible job by Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont (who was almost the Red Sox manager) holding that guy up at third. I'm gonna do a video about this tomorrow. Almost ended up costing them the game.

*The origins of this phrase for me goes back to high school. It was senior year. I had a class called "Interpersonal Communications." The only interpersonal communicating I did, though, was with my friend Dan in the back of the class. We'd draw comics and make fun of the 1960s text book we had. I came up with a "card game" using little pieces of notebook paper. The rules of the game were simple. Each player gets one card. You turn over your card, and it tells you your fate. There was the "win" card, the "lose" card, the "red queen" card (which is an automatic win), and finally, the dreaded "you almost win but still lose" card. That's rough. You were so close.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Game 3 Tonight

Hughes against Verlander tonight at 8, as the Tigers try to take a in*surmountable 3-0 lead in the series.

Defunct minor league baseball team name of the day: Lebanon Pretzel Eaters.

*there is precedent, but only one

Monday, October 15, 2012

Marco, Polo

Sunday afternoon I found myself in Chan's empty apartment in NYC, having done a 6 a.m. airport drop-off at JFK and then sleeping from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. I didn't have much time in New York, so I figured I'd do something I've been wanting to do for a while: Go to the Polo Grounds, home of the New York Baseball Giants.

Of course, like the Giants, the Polo Grounds isn't there anymore, but I've always been intrigued by the John T. Brush staircase--the only remnant of the park that remains. So I drove way up to 157th Street in Upper Manhattan on a fairly beauteous fall afternoon.

And the stairs were gone! Sorry folks, Wally World's closed!

As you can see by the sign, the stairs are finally being renovated. To be completed...this past summer. Guess they're a little behind. If you don't know about the way the Polo Grounds was situated and how the staircase factored in, well, you're already online, presumably, so do yourself a favor and do some research. If I start writing about it, I'll never stop. (But I'll tell you that the spot I was in is on the top of the bluff toward the left side of this pic.)

This is looking down the hill. These things are part of the renovated staircase, I'm assuming. Though they've done a good job of making it appear as if the whole project has been forgotten.

The also have 2 x 4s up around a bunch of trees. And lots of rope.

This is the shot where you might see Yankee Stadium (where ALCS Game 2 was getting ready to start at that moment) across the Harlem River had the leaves not been on the trees, or had I gone down Coogan's Bluff a little more to the south where it's accessible. The entire stairway area is fenced off. All these shots are through the chain-link fence. It would have been cool to see the old staircase with the marker on the landing, but hey, I got to see it at the exact point in time when it was off at the Grinch's factory getting fixed up. And I was able to give you (and the Wikipedia page) an update on this renovation project. And spend some time in Washington Heights--it's cool to see how the geography differs in different parts of Manhattan. I also went a few blocks over to where Hilltop Park, the first home of the Yankees, was. Just a hospital there now. But you really get a sense of why they would have named it that.

Then I drove on to CT, listening to the sun set (hopefully) on the Yanks' season in the car, before stopping to watch the second half of the game and getting this picture of the sunset.

Side note: Speaking of the Giants, I'd like to say that I'm happy for Marco Scutaro for getting to be in the playoffs. One thing people forget about the tragic events of September '11 is that Scutaro was one of the few guys who performed well while the Red Sox were collapsing. He was then shown the door. So good job, Marco.

(Yes, of course I put the Scutaro thing in there just so for the purpose of naming this post. I'm sure you all figured that out. Not that I don't believe what I said about him....)

A "4"-Related Pun

I just listened to Francesa's intro on the FAN. Glad to say he brought up four things I've been saying:

1. Cano's been nonchalant his whole career--Yankee fans didn't care about it when he was hitting well, but now that he's in the middle of an historic slump, they get on him for his trademark nonchalance.

2. Swisher thought because he was friendly with the fans they'd like him even if he shat the bed. Think again, Swish.

3. Yankees have been getting calls go their way in the post-season forever, but only after they get screwed is everybody calling for major replay change.

4. Yankee fans forgot how to attend baseball games.

I Continue To Laugh My Ass Off

The great thing about Swisher-hating is that I don't even need to convince anybody. People come to ME and say "man I hate that Swisher most of all." Part of me wants to think I created a army of Swisher-hating friends, but the reality is, they came up with it on their own.

And now, Nick is seeing it from both sides:

That's the last thing that I ever thought would be in this ballpark, that people would get on you that bad

This caught him by surprise?? It took this piece of shit this log to realize he purposely chose to become a piece of shit who's playing in front of 50,000 other pieces of shit?

Then there's this:

and the next thing you know, I'm the reason that [Derek] Jeter got hurt. It's kind of frustrating. They were saying it was my fault.

Oh my sweet lord I love it! Can this get any better? "Methinks" Swish is gonna take a long look in the mirror this winter, put on a wig made of his own pre-soul-selling locks, and start to think about priorities. Maybe joining the enemy is not all it's cracked up to be....

And in a somewhat-related note, did you see the kid at the game last night with the sign that read, Yankees = 27, Tigers = 4, do the math"? To me, that's the perfect illustration of the difference between Yankee fans and everyone else. My team has won 7 championships. It's more than most teams have. But if we're playing, say, the Diamondbacks, the last thing I'm thinking is, "we as a people are this much better than you and it's proven by these statistics. 7 to 1! Suck it, assholes!" And the fact that this kid has witnessed exactly ONE of those 27 championships made it even more disgusting.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Everything I Always Imagined It Would Be

The way people talked about Jeter today, you would think he actually died. Why I am not surprised? The worst was how Girardi said even the media was depressed. And Suzyn Waldman was talking about "what his message would be to his team if her were here" and "the way he would have wanted it." Sterling talked about the extreme depression he felt. And they act like the rest of the team is down not because of the really bad loss they suffered, but because that guy who gets the cheap bloop hits and can't field for shit has been erased from existence. What a bunch of phonies all these people are. I am loving them all make asses of themselves. Along with that replay of Derek falling down and not getting up over and over and over.... The one bad thing is that Swisher's gaffe the play before, the play of the game and maybe the series and the season, got overshadowed.

Anyway, they went into game 2 with heavy hearts after the death of a deity, and it was even for a while, with Kuroda of Konformida tossing a perfect game for a bunch of innings. Finally the Tigers broke through with a run, and tacked on two more after a blown call. 3-0 final. Tigers two games, Jeterless crybabies zero. Girardi, whose team survived the ALDS thanks to the "five and oh game" along with the ump not seeing a ball apparently hit the foul pole, went on and on about how much the league needs replay. Which, of course, is true anyway--and can somebody help me here? Did I hear Craig Sager during this game say something about how MLB will have full replay this year and that it just has to go through the umpires union? I swear I heard something like that, but now checking the news I only see stories about how Girardi wants replay and how this blown call and the other recent ones will "spark the debate." Was I hearing things?

Anyway, I'd just like to reiterate how hilarious this whole Jeter funeral is, and how awesome the Yanks being down 2-0 is.

The reason I had Sterling and Waldman on for so much of the game is because I was in transit. Airport drop-off. In New York. I took the time to go somewhere I've always wanted to go. The pictures aren't so great. But I will be showing them here soon.

The American Dream

I think I figured out what the American Dream is. You know the Yankees are probably going to be in the playoffs. But you hope that they go out quickly and quietly. If you can have an October where you don't even really pay that much attention, you just check in on their score occasionally, and soon it's over without you having any heart attacks, you have lived the American (or your own country of residence for that matter) Dream.

I did not live the AD in the ALDS. But I'm hoping to in the ALCS.

I wrote the above text in the 8th inning tonight. I was going to finish it by saying how tonight, there was just a minor blip, where the Yanks had a Typical Yankee Rally in the 6th (grounder to second, guy just can't get ball out of glove, finally does but can't make his arm throw for some reason, followed by a chopper over the first baseman's head that the right fielder can't dig out allowing the batter to get to second), but couldn't score. Then the Tigers went on to the pressure-free 4-0 win.

BUT! Valverde proceeded to give up a two-run dong to Ichiro in the 9th, and then with two outs, he walks Teixeira and freakin' Ibanez yet again hits a dramatic dong. Tied. I'd say it was pandemonium, but all the Yankee fans (well, the ones who fucking showed up) had gone home by then.

So it went from a "boo-all-our-players" fest dead zone to a "we've got this" feeling. But the Yanks couldn't push the winning run across. Not in the 9th, 10th, or 11th, when Ibanez had another chance but failed.

Then came a comedy act of epic proportions. Tigers get a leadoff single. Fielder's slow roller moves him over. Then, a line drive to right. Swisher moves to his right, sticks the glove out...and misses the ball! He then goes into an unnecessary roll as the ball goes to the wall. Run scores easily, Tigers lead 5-4. Then before we could stop laughing at Mr. Smiles, there's a grounder to Jeter...who promptly stumbles and rolls on the ground himself! Everybody's safe, and the raucous laughter in my living room continued! You could tell Jeter rolled that ankle that had been bothering him (Pettitte's quick-recovery powder may have been used, as Derek was limping one day and perfectly fine the next), well, everybody except Ron Darling, who said, "ehh, he'll get up." Then he realized he was actually hurt. And then America held its breath as the ankle of JESUS caused him to have to be helped off the field. Without Jeter in the dugout or on the field, TBS was helpless! Who can we show between every pitch even though he's sitting there doing nothing?? Whose eyelids can we zoom in on all the way? Man, this game may have set the record for EGS (egregious Jeter shots). They showed the replay of him reacting to Ibanez's home run FOUR TIMES. I'm unable to keep up. Jeter is doing things you can't even fathom while he sits there, observing.

Anyway. On the next play, the Yanks' pitcher reaches out with his hand for a grounder and touches it, ruining the play for his fielders. Run scores. 6-4. The Yanks went down one-two-three in the 12th. Tigers win an incredible game 1.

And what did I learn? Fuck the American Dream. What do I really love more than anything? When the Yankees, say it with me now, almost win but still lose. Throw me into the fire, I wanna see them tie it in the 9th miraculously only to lose in extra innings. I can take it. Me and my pal Jeter can handle whatever comes our way. Bring it on!

Update, 5 seconds later. Apparently, Jeter can NOT take it. He's done for the season. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, see you next year asshole! (I mean, after every pitch in every game from now on, sitting in the dugout. "I want a camera on his cast at ALL TIMES, people!") I guess that's what happens when you're stubborn and keep playing despite a serious injury. You HURT YOUR TEAM. But why would we expect any less from selfish Jeter?

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