Saturday, July 9, 2011

Speaking of Good News

I am going to the All Star Game. I will try to bring back pictures.

After 3000

Derek Jeter got hit number 3000 this afternoon. I'm tempted to quote Mickey Mantle ("Weren't most of them singles?") or wonder out loud how great an accomplishment that many hits is considering players like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Mike Schmidt and Joe DiMaggio fell far short of that total.

But that would be passive agressive nonsense.

Now he only needs 1,200 or so to catch Pete Rose.

It might could happen.*

*No way in hell.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rabbit's Foot

That's me.

The D-Backs are 3-0 at games when I go. 10-15 when I don't.

I saw Ian Kennedy, yes, that Ian Kennedy, shut out the Phils and Cliff Lee on April 25th.

Then I saw them pummel the Cubs 11-2 (with a 7-run 1st) on the 28th.

Tonight, I saw them beat the Rockies 4-3.

Coincidence? Abosolutely. But I'm wondering if I can get a Charles Victory Faustesque spot with the team? Stranger things have happened.

I made a few observations at the game tonight:

-Troy Tulowitzki is what the press pretend Derek Jeter was.

-It's a good thing Joe Saunders can "win games" because he sure can't pitch.

-Billy Bean traded away Carlos Gonzalez, Dan Haren and Andre Eithier, the last one for Milton Bradley. I don't think that's going to be in Moneyball.

-According to the numbers, Justin Upton is a good right fielder, so why do I get the impression he isn't? On the other hand, Chris Young is an average/below CF, but I don't see that. Guess it shows the problems with small sample sizes. But I would like to add I have never seen Young dive for a ball, nor have I seen him have to.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Thomas Aquinas offered three points to consider regarding the morality of an action:

1) The act itself

2) The situation

3) The motivation

Seeing scores of people waving flags, cheering, shouting "U-S-A!" I've no idea their motivation or intentions, but it does remind me at times of those who stand outside of prisons and cheer as people are executed.

Not an exact parallel, as this might be more in line with the famous photos from V-J Day. I doubt those people were cheering because of what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But I don't know. That's the only conclusion I've come to. I can't stare into their hearts and determine why they're happy.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Three Days, Two Games, Pt. 1

Saw the Angels lose to Boston in Anaheim. For those who don't know, the "Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim" is the single dumbest name in the history of sports. Worse even than the Mighty Ducks. It's that bad because it's factually incorrect.

See, Anaheim is a city in Orange Country, Los Angeles is a seperate city in a seperate county (Los Angeles County). They share a state, and are both considered part of Southern California, but Anaheim is not in any part of Los Angeles, city or county.

Imagine if the Yankees called themselves the Manhatten Yankees of the Bronx. Yes, it's that dumb.

Having said that, I do like going to games at the Halo, as the fans there are generally pleasant, though passive-agressive in their issues with Sox fans filling out the stadium during our visits. They do know their baseball, hate the Yankees and I've never heard any of them call it "Edison Field." So they have that going for them.

Anyway, I got to see my 3-year-old nephew Grahm's first baseball game. My brother dressed him in his Daisuke jersey and let him wear his '75 Boston hat, and carried him on his shoulders through the center field concourse to our seats in right. Grahm shouted the whole way, "Let's go, Red Sox!"

I'm serious. The whole way. Above, you see him standing and clapping for the last out, as Daniel Bard got Vernon Wells to ground out to Pedroia.

He ate some cotten candy during the fourth inning, and when given a baby wipe to clean his hands, crumbled the paper into a ball and threw it a few rows in front of us, hitting some lady in the back.

After being scolded by his father, he responded, "But daddy, we have to win the game."

I think he'll fit right it at Fenway.

Monday, April 18, 2011

You Win Three In A Row...

And it's called a streak. A winning streak.

I have to admit, I was officially worried after Friday's game, but just as swiftly I'm feeling really good about Saturday.

I'll be seeing the Sox play in Anaheim. I might even take pictures.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

First 7-0, then 2-8

My brother asked if I wanted to watch the game on his HD TV but, as I was working a bit later, told him I'd drop by after I got off. When I walked into his place and saw the score, I had one of those fleeting feelings that this was a joke he was pulling on me. Thinking back on it, I've no idea how I thought he could have arranged the TV to offer such a ridiculous score, but still, I couldn't believe after last night, against the Rays, that this would happen. Nope, Dice-K just got smacked around like he was Phil Hughes or something. All of which sucked even more because we kept up a conversation while he was at the station yesterday, inspired by Beckett's domination of the Yankees. That curve was a thing of beauty. But, my nephew, Grahm, who is three, did make me laugh with this one: He told his mother that the pizza she made "smelled dangerous." That itself is funny in the way children sometimes offer observations slightly off in their word choice. But Grahm clearly had an agenda, and announced a solution to the problem: "I know, I will have a cookie. They don't smell dangerous!"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Red Sox are 1-7, And I Am...

Regarding, today's games, thinking about two players: Clay Buccholz and Carl Crawford. Last year, Clay Buchholz gave up 9 HRs in 173 IP. This year, he's given up 5 in 10 IP. It's only two starts, and considering he gave up four of the dongs in Texas, and the one today came off Russell Martin, I can chock that up to a fluke. However, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't... Concerned. Last year, Carl Crawford hit .307 and stole 47 bases. This year he's hitting .152 and stolen 2 bases. Between May 31st and June 10th of last year, Crawford went 5-33 at the place (that's a .152 BA). There is nothing to indicate he's doing nothing more than starting the season in a slump. Hey, it happens. Therefore, I'm... Just waiting.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Well, That Totally Sucked

A crude title but entirely appropriate considering the Sox' weekend in Texas.

But, before I put my head in the oven, I was reminded by a few sources that a three-game losing streak is something plenty of great teams have had. Including, but not limited to the '98 Yankees, who began their season 0-3.

The optimist in me is a little voice ringing the reminder, "It's not just history, it's precedent."

As for Mr. Crawford, let's not forget that A-Rod started his career in pinstripes hitting .196 over the first 14 games with 13 K's and only 1 HR and 3 RBIs.

Cliches about marathons all well-worn because they're not only effective descriptors but absolutely true.

Does anyone really think the Orioles are going to win the division? If you do, put some money down because you'll clean up come October.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Give And Take

I gave up meat for Lent, and for some reason I'm craving more "ethnic foods" (Mexican, Chinese, doughnuts, etc.). I don't know if the two are related, but it does make me wonder...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

As GOB Would Say...

"Well, that's just !@#$% great."

It appears that my debit/credit card might have been "compromised," which is a clever and soft way of telling me someone (maybe) has gained access to my personal information.

They were kind enough to leave a message that a new card will be here in 7-10 days, though they offered me no suggestions on what I was to do until then.

Confession: I'm old enough to remember when using a credit card to purchase something like a bottle of Coke was considered impossibly annoying, but times have changed, and I don't carry nearly as much cash as a I used to.

Which got me thinking how different the world is going to be for my nephews.

Except for Fenway.

Another !@#$% great thing is that the two moles removed from my middle left toe has been mildly infected, leaving my already skewed and knarled toes (it's genetic I'm sure) unbelievably sore considering the size of the wound and the fact that it's just my toe.

And it itches. It really really really itches.

But at least Dice-K is pitching better.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

It's one of the few holy days from my religious tradition that has not been co-opted by Hallmark, but I do imagine it'd be hard to create a card that someone wants to buy with the theme, "Thou art dust and unto dust thou shall return."

Anyway, Lent has begun, which always takes place during Spring Training and St. Patrick's Day, so it's good thing I don't drink enough to have to give it up.

Note: My late grandfather is the one who told me about how Easter is celebrated: It's the first Sunday after the first full moon after the first day of Spring, thus explaining why it's on a different day from year to year.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

He Is A Tiger's Fan, Maybe He Likes The D-Backs Too

Chuck Klosterman, one of the Dakota's finest music writers, gave an interview to Esquire where he said, "There's a lot of great Alice Cooper songs, but not 'School's Out.' That one's too overt. It's sort of an Alice Cooper song for people who don't like Alice Cooper. The Alice Cooper songs you want to listen to are 'Cold Ethyl' and 'Under My Wheels.'"

As a native-born Phoenician who grew up in Southern California, I've always liked Coop, even when I grew out of my heavy metal early high school phase and traded my Danzig and Metallica albums for John Coltrane and the Buzzcocks.

He seemed to "get" it. Especially in light of the then-popular Marilyn Manson, who took himself so seriously that you kind of felt sorry for him. His was always destined to be a short ride. That his music wasn't any good made his future as obvious as lights on a Christmas tree.

Anyway, my uncle owned Love It To Death and Killer, and those unaware of Alice except for "School's Out" might be surprised at how good those early records are. According to his autobio, after two banal exercises in psychedelia (as was the style of the time), producer Bob Ezrin pretty much broke the band down and, like a Phoenix, what rose from the ashes was a collective that understood volume is not the same thing as power.

So yes, Chuck is absolutely right that "Under My Wheels" is a better song than "School's Out." So is "Desperado," "Black Juju," "Dead Babies," and, well, again, those first two albums after Ezrin's remake/remodel sessions are worth actually paying money for.

But, "Cold Ethyl?" That I'd never heard.

It's on Welcome To My Nightmare, which I did not own until a couple of weeks ago.

As a song, he's right: it's awesome. But, better yet, it perfectly captures why Alice is so awesome. Spoiler alert for the tamer readers: It's about necrophilia. Yes, and it's put over with just the right touch of a wink that while it will creep you out, it won't be with the feeling that he's wallowing in the subject matter with a desperate, "mommy didn't hold me enough" shtick. I mean, really, it's about necrophilia.

Like I said, he gets it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011