The Price is Right

I was watching TPIR while waiting for the gas company today. I was rapt. Is there a television show more comforting than The Price is Right? The same sets, the same swanky xylophone music, the same wheel, the same... "A New Car!" Loved this show as a kid... reminds me of staying home sick from school wrapped up in a giant blanket and sipping ginger ale.

Plinko is as far as I know the most popular pricing game. I think Plinko's so-so. I like the punchboard and I like the one where you pull numbers out of a bag. Like most people, the Alpiner game frightens me. One of the showcase prizes today was a set of bowling equipment.

Bob Barker does not really seem to be close to dying.

Another thing that amazes me: When you're at a Chinese restaurant waiting for your order and someone comes in that speaks Spanish, or they take a phone order from someone who speaks Spanish. That gets me every time! I cannot even imagine working at an "American" restaurant in China and having to learn restaurant Chinese AND having to help the occasional Korean customer.

Here's another awesome Laurila interview!

Al Leiter

Currently reading: "Pedro, Carlos, and Omar", about the New (York) Mets under Omar Minaya. Do I like it, yes I do. Pedro's crib in the DR is described as a "compound", with ten-foot walls and razor wire and an armed guard out front.

Now, I don't talk about Game Four very much, do I? No. Yes. Well, so don't you. I thought Al Leiter was a far better announcer than T.M. I still think so. I love it when Dave Roberts is dancing around on first and Al Leiter says with calm, casual wonder... "He's going." He refrains from saying, "That son-of-a-bitch", but you know he wants to.

Al Leiter has political aspirations, dog. He is also (surprise) a Republican. Watch out, New Jersey.

The Heat is Zaun. (I'm sorry)

I heard through the grapevine that Boston was "in talks" with catcher Greg(g?) Zaun. I thought, oooh, cool, because I am starting to kind of hate Doug Mirabelli. Furthermore, Zaun used to write movie reviews for a newspaper! Granted, he's no Miguel Batista, but I LIKE THAT.

Toronto likes that, too. They signed him to a two-year, $7.25m contract.

In other news, the gas person came today and I have heat.

In even more news, my father became a grandfather for the first time the other day. I have a niece! When my brother handed her off to me, I thought "She is going to sneeze. She is going to sneeze and spasm right out of my hands and I am going to ruin this little baby."

That didn't happen. I will admit to getting a little emotional. But that's me, I'm emotional. And penniless.


t-shirt tucked in

I was at Building 19 in Pawtucket this evening looking for a costume or something and I found these weird, old Red Sox shirts.

One of them said "Fever Pitch" over a silhouette of a pitcher in mid-throw. There were little player head shots surrounding the mound.

-Derek Lowe
-Tim Wakefield
-Scott Williamson
-John Burkett (!?!)

Imagine, a t-shirt featuring John Burkett! It was only $2.50 and I should have bought it. I may have been Burkett's only fan when he played in Boston.

like a dry gin's twist

The Red Sox Hall of Fame Awards are on. The talented and foxy Dave Roberts wins a very special award for you-know-what. I want to burst into tears all over again. I think that if things hadn't worked out, it would have ruined a lot of people forever.

In 2003 I was making casual conversation with some older gent in a store about the playoffs. He was disinterested. "They're just going to blow it again, " he said. I couldn't believe it. I swore I'd never get that bitter and jaded.

They blew it again, of course. And I thought about that guy. I wonder what he did in 2004?

If not for Dave Roberts, I'd be that cynical old man.

The player who interviewed Bob Feller in the "Greatest Sports Legends" video I bought in Iowa is Tom Seaver.


my house is dark

Someone brought up an interesting question on John Sickels' Minor League Blog: If Johan Santana were a free agent this year, how much money do you think he could get?

Probably around $20m per, right? Like, 6-8 years? Does that seem crazy? Perhaps at the onset of the offseason. But at this point, things are looking pretty gnarly. That whole Juan Pierre thing was like DefCon 4. Right?

WRONG! I think the weirdo spending of late is fleeting. I think there're still a few (I hope) smarter teams out there who aren't going to get panicky just because of the upward tendencies. That's what I think.

You really should see my living room, too. I have new curtains and a new lamp. It looks warm and inviting. Do you think that's easy to accomplish? You should have seen it before. It looked like a pretend living room. I had it filled with stuff that looked like something I might have seen on TV once. A loveseat type thing over here, a rickety coffee table over there, records in milk crates, little strings of Frankenstein-shaped lights, stacks of papers and magazines.

It's not perfect, but it's improved. And my amazing framed Longest Game poster WINS! for being the coolest thing I own right now.

I have no heat. The gas company comes Wednesday. Until then, I'll be under my electric blanket.

'Crossworld' by Marc Romano (non-fiction)

Is what I'm reading right now. I got it from the library because, hey, free books! It essentially takes place at the crossword tournament in Stamford, Connecticut and you thought you were bad. It sort of shot down my hopes of competitive crosswording after checking out some of the contenders' completion times. And here I thought I was all that.

A guy at work today was going for a coffee run and I asked him to pick up a paper for me. Well, come to find out, the paper was missing great chunks of news and worst of all, the phat crossword. It is five dollars for a Sunday paper so I went back to the gas station to get the missing contents. Although there were no more newspapers left, the attendant gave me his crossword section and everybody was happy. I think.

I have not yet seen the Bill Clinton crossword puzzle movie.

Being good at crossword puzzles does not make you some kind of genius. It might just mean you're good at doing crossword puzzles. Everyone starts off with the g.d. TV Guide crossword... if you do enough of 'em, you improve. You nail down words like adit and tare and aerie and eely and arete. EEE, SST, DNA, ET AL.

I am aware that Mike Mussina is also in the crossword puzzle movie. I refuse to believe that he is smarter than I am.

Carlos Lee signed a six year contract with the Astros. They also signed Woodrow W. for two plus option.


I must not make fun of Jeff Bailey.

DH: At 27 years old, do you ever worry that you’ll continue to produce well at Triple-A yet, though no fault of your own, get pegged with the “Quadruple-A” tag?

JB: No, I don’t worry about that stuff. I like to play baseball and as long as someone’s going to let me play, I’ll keep playing, no matter where it is. It doesn’t really matter to me. You know, it’d be nice to be able to make some money in this game. But if not, that’s OK with me.

Good answer, Cosmopolitan.

Q: My girlfriends and I all love to watch sports and hang out with the guys, but we've been starting to wonder if men aren't really into tomboys. We have to be more fun than the chicks who just like shopping and gossip, right?

A: (purportedly from 'guy guru', Jonathan Small) Some guys dig a chick who can kick back and watch the game without needing someone to explain every play to her. Others prefer the girlie girls who wear heels, smell nice, and do that sexy twirly thing with their hair. (I guess girls who watch sports don't "smell nice".) I think most guys just want to be with someone who's balanced and well-rounded...
For this reason, you might want to consider throwing a few tricks from the girlie playbook into your game plan. For example, next time you're at the sports bar, do something flirty, like feeding a guy a peanut or laughing and putting a hand on his thigh when he tells a joke. You may even want to trade in your jeans occasionally for something more sultry, like a short skirt...


XMAS at Fenway

In the offseason before the Year of Great Winnings I attended an event called "Christmas at Fenway". I had heard that there was a not-so-secret amazing guest surprise, that being Curt Schilling, and I was duly excited.

The morning of the event I did not want to get out of bed. Nohow. I almost said, eh, screw it. But I went... not to buy tickets but to see Schilling. And that is all.

There was a uniformed attendant handing out wristbands... I almost declined since I was not going to buy any tickets. But the attendant did not ask, just hooked me up. And so we went and sat in the .406 club and watched the "Cowboy Up" video and special guests. It was sort of cold in there, but comfortable. I perused the 4-pack listings and when they called my number I went and bought tickets. Damn it!

I did get to see Schilling (who came with a bodyguard, which I thought was weird). Bronson Arroyo was there... Johnny Pesky... um, Frank Malzone... Gedman, maybe. Theo. Larry Lucchino opened the floor for a little Q&A and everyone wound up talking about the food. The general consensus among the crowd was that the food blew. And Larry Lucchino said, "Effective immediately, we are providing fresher and more varied food selections at affordable prices." Yes.

While I was at the ticket window, Larry L. breezed past in his luxury coat, eating a Fenway Frank. Man of the people, baby.

I told you that to tell you this. (TM)

December 9th - Fenway shindig. I'm being sent out into the cold to try and score Yankees tickets for Bob OCD and the other guy. With a Yankees pack, you also get two tickets for games versus... Kansas City or Tampa Bay. I am more than happy to attend Devil Rays games. I like the Devil Rays.

I'm off to the suburbs for toast and popcorn.

another winter's coming on

This past summer, there were 20 no-hitters thrown in the affiliated minor leagues. (Independent leagues don't count, stupid.)

On June 9th, three arms on the Portland Beavers combined for a perfect game. One of those dudes was... Cla Meredith! Ryan Meaux started the game, Aquilino Lopez jumped in right after, then Meredith nailed down the seventh. Wait a minute... a seven inning game? I hardly see how that counts. That is absolutely not the same thing. I don't care how hard it was raining.

Said O.C. Meredith: "I didn't have a clue. I was shocked as hell. I was just trying to get some outs and go on back to the hotel."

So it was a great summer for no-hitters and I still have not ever attended one. If I were a Yankee fan, I would be enraged and feel ripped off. But I'm not, so I understand that no matter how many games I attend, I may never get to see a no-hitter. I'm gracious like that.

I did come close with Chris Young in San Diego. It was the third most exciting game I've ever been to! Damn it, two outs left in the ninth! Then stupid Joe Randa. I hate vest-style baseball uniforms.

Juan Pierre a Dodger!

Wow! Five years, $44 million.

Five years of Juan Pierre. I don't know. In a weird way this is more ridiculous than Soriano's one ton shotgun.

I'll always remember Juan Pierre busting out in an impromptu rap after the Marlins defeated New York. What rhymes better with "Wrigley Field" than "wiggly feel"? Nothing, if you're J.P.

Frank Catalanotto's going back to the Rangers. I wish he'd've come to Boston. If wishes were horses (but I won't do that).


-egg nog
-Cocoa Puffs
-french onion soup
-grape soda
-sweet bread
-jelly (any)
-lite mayonnaise
-fruit roll-ups
-Malta Goya
-sun-dried tomatoes
-Russian dressing
-string cheese
-green bean casserole
-grilled cheese sandwich
-Fiddle Faddle
-root beer


Waechter? I hardly knew her.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays put Elijah Dukes (thug) on their 40-man, along with a pitcher and an infielder that I have never heard of. This gave them 41 guys, which is a few too many.

So the Devil Rays gently placed Doug Waechter in a woven basket and sent him down the river, where he will surely be found among the reeds by a washerwoman.


me and Vee

comment from 'surfacenoise' on the Consumerist:

"I'm sorry, but I have absolutely no problem with stores being open on Thanksgiving Day. Not everyone has family to spend the day with, and quite frankly, many of us who do will need some sort of break by mid-day."

Apparantly, it's a stifling, degrading dinner with the family or pushing a cart around under the flourescents looking for a bargain.

Why not bundle up and go for a walk? When's the last time you actually strolled around your neighborhood? Watch some old videos, organize your sock drawer, call someone you haven't talked to in a long time, write letters, listen to records, sew buttons, anything! You cannot tell me that without stores being open, people without families would be adrift in a sea of nothingness and despair and soul-crushing boredom.

Me and Vee don't want to work on Thanksgiving. I'm all mad about this shit.


As anyone who knows me can tell you, I am a wicked pain in the ass when it comes to how and where I spend my money. Restaurants, grocery stores, department stores, gas stations... everything. I realize that a lot of people find my choosiness stupid and pointless. Does it really make much of a difference? I'm just one person, right?

Whether or not it matters to the places I avoid, it matters to me.

I'm not going to start my Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, I'm not going to buy one measly thing. Not one cup of coffee, not one cup of instant soup. I'm not lining up in the dead of night to buy toys at radically reduced prices. I don't shop at the stores with the best prices... I shop at stores that don't piss me off and sacrifice a few extra dollars for peace of mind.

Normally I don't broadcast my money-spending habits because no one really wants to hear it and I don't blame them. Occasionally, though, someone will ask me... why? And that's the best I can hope for.

Here's my Mobile Museum of Corporate Jerks! (I really tried not to use the word 'corporate' because it's gotten so cheesy, but, hell.) Truthfully, I have forgotten the reason I avoid some of these places. I just have to assume their evils are perpetual. And some of them may not have pissed me off, they're just monsters who probably don't need my money. Coca-Cola, for example. The New York Yankees of soft drinks.

-Home Depot
-Stop n Shop
-the Gap
-Proctor and Gamble (too many to list)
-Comp USA
-Oscar Meyer
-Gillette (Braun, Oral-B, Duracell AND Energizer batteries)
-Toys R Us (unfortunately, my keyboard does not have a backwards 'R')
-Old Navy
-General Electric
-Hallmark (for no particular reason)

That's all I can think of for now. I'm currently trying to wean myself off of Dunkin' Donuts, which is a huge challenge.

Adios and happy Thanksgiving.


take my heart, my soul, my money... but don't leave me drowning in my tears

LA Dodgers sign C Ken Huckaby to minor league contract.

Ken Huckaby WINS! by successfully rooking Los Angeles.

I totally hated Ken Huckaby in Pawtucket in 2006. You can find many examples of my ragging on him in the April-September 2006 archives. Yes, I know he took out Derek Jeter when he was on the Blue Jays. He vacuumed up all of that credit by striking himself out into DEEP DEBT.

I didn't know there was such a premium on creaky, non-hitting backup catchers who are pushing 40 but are good at handling young pitchers.

And in the immortal words of Gizmo... "Bye, Billy."

It makes perfect sense.

I heard a wild rumor that the Red Sox are somehow going to get Alex Rodriguez for shortstop.

The guy telling me this had an elaborate theory that, at the time, seemed plausible.

I don't remember exactly that he was talking about, but he also somehow convinced me to get him tickets to Yankees games.

Um, holy fucking shit. Soriano... eight years? $136 million? Are you kidding me? I just now read this...I have a weird urge to call and check on members of my family.


Stoneforge Tavern (restaurant)

Last night I went to a restaurant in Foxboro called the Stoneforge, not really remembering that it's a sports radio hangout. I saw all the WEEI stickers and it hit me.

Anyway, what a stupid restaurant! It's big and loud and the food's not that good. And it's a total Necktown.

They have a great beer selection. That might be the nicest thing I can say. And god help you if you don't eat meat... it's steak and seafood for miles. There's also a billiard room.

In retrospect, I should have known better.


if/then statements

Some guy at the coffee place was asking me about my Mark Loretta pin (shown) and about D. Matsuzaka. As a hockey fan, he was appalled by the millions of dollars Boston's throwing around and by baseball salaries in general. Yes.

And, yes. It's all very silly. Everything they say about baseball is true. It's slow, it's a kids' game, it's not as exciting as football, the players are disgusting, drug-addled slobs who drink and whore around and use steroids and have big heads with small brains. Divas, all of 'em. It ain't what it used to be.

Baseball ruined my life. I went from casual interest to full-blown consumption in 2002 and I haven't been the same since. I've spent way too much time and money on the Boston Red Sox. I talk about it endlessly. I spend solitary evenings at weird minor league parks with more gear than anyone ever needs at a ballgame.

I get really weird and antsy this time of year.

Isn't that Mark Loretta pin farking BRILLIANT?! I got it at Petco for $5. I should have bought a backup.

Whoops.. this post was originally supposed to be about hockey as a possible developing second sport. If I HAD to have a second interest... hockey.

Frank Black's Teenager Of The Year (1994)

1. Whatever Happened To Pong?
2. Thalassocracy
3. (I Want to Live on an) Abstract Plain
4. Calistan
5. The Vanishing Spies
6. Speedy Marie
7. Headache
8. Sir Rockaby
9. Freedom Rock
10. Two Reelers
11. Fiddle Riddle
12. Ole Mulholland
13. Fazer Eyes
14. I Could Stay Here Forever
15. The Hostess with the Mostest
16. Superabound
17. Big Red
18. Space is Gonna do me Good
19. White Noise Maker
20. Pure Denizens of the Citizen Band
21. Bad, Wicked World
22. Pie in the Sky

This could easily have been a double album, but I s'pose it came up just shy. I'm not crazy about 'Fazer Eyes', 'Fiddle Riddle', and 'Bad, Wicked, World', but that's all offset by songs like 'Superabound', 'Freedom Rock', 'Headache', 'White Noise Maker', et.al.

"The concrete of the aqueducts will last as long as the pyramids of Egypt or the Parthenon of Athens....long after Joe Harriman is elected mayor of Los Angeles."

spiked clogs

Well, they're playing baseball in Holland and in Belgium. I never knew that. There's a serious umpire shortage though, so not all games get an ump. If the visiting team INSISTS on having an umpire, the home team has to dig one up from somewhere.

This might be a great career opportunity for aspiring umpires.


everything sounds like a welcome home

This past September, there was a Minor League Promotion seminar in Charlotte, NC. 365 front-office execs from 95 teams showed up and got their seminar on. They talked about the kind of goings-on that bring people to the park... mascot antics, cow milking, contests, giveaways, that kind of thing.

The GM of the Reading Phillies, one Scott Hunsicker, had a great idea for when the Bob Dylan Show rolled into town on August 23rd. He waited a few minutes after their set concluded, then a band made up of mascots took the stage and began playing. Ladies and gentlemen, the R-Phils Mascot Band.

Well, the mascots got through only two songs. Bob Dylan put a stop to the show. When I say Bob Dylan cut it short, what I probably mean is that his people made that decision. But I like thinking that Dylan was infuriated by the lack of deference shown by adults dressed like... like weird, huggable, furry creatures.

Cleveland Gets 'Barf'ed On

On September 2nd 2006, Kevin Kouzmanoff, just called up to the Indians from the AAA Buffalo Bisons, hit a grand slam on his first ever pitch. He made major league history!

He just got traded to San Diego (along with reliever Andrew Brown) for second baseman Josh Barfield. Barfield'll fill up the big fat hole left by Belliard. I can't really complain about this too much because I do so love Josh Barfield and now I get to see him more often. The Indians have nothing to worry about because they've got Andy Marte for third base. He'll most likely be in Cleveland this year.

sometimes Eckersley wants to live to 700, other times he wants to...

"Broadcasting is kind of interesting. But everybody broadcasts. I had a chance to go with ESPN. Say you work for ESPN - not that they were dying to hire me, but think about that life: to do a Wednesday night game, you gotta go travel on Tuesday, then come back Thursday. First off, I got kids. So that's what I'm going to do? A ball game on a Wednesday night? Boy, isn't this great! Who gives a shit? There's more to life. I'm going to go on Baseball Tonight and pay attention to who's the twenty-fifth player on the fucking Colorado Rockies? It's like, am I going to get on with my life or what? The second I think I might get involved in the game again, it's "Stop! Right there. Catch yourself." It's just putting off your life. I don't want to be around the guys anymore. I fucking give."

-- GQ, August 2004

covered my face up real slow

The other day I visited my favorite place in Massachusetts. You know what day… a surprisingly rich and creamy day in November, forgiving skies and birds singing. Nice to be able to wear a t-shirt again.

I walked past a scruffy, crappy little ballfield and a pair of lads were half-assing around. One kid in the field and the other with the aluminum bat. Swing, pink! Pink! sssPink!

And that noise, it just kills me. I get that feeling in my stomach like when the sun goes down and people start turning their lights on inside and you can see them watching TV from outside. Like when you’ve been swimming around at Lincoln Woods and you get out and you’re on the sand in a towel, dripping. Like moths in quicksand.

Now look. See? It’s Christmastime. Just admit it.


parliament proceedings

"MLB Fans at Bat
You have been selected to join a newly created Major League
Baseball advisory panel made up entirely of fans just like
you. By signing up, you will be asked to give us your
opinion on a wide variety of topics important to MLB. Major
League Baseball fans are some of the smartest and most vocal
fans in all of professional sports, so here is your chance
to talk to us and help make a difference. We are listening.

Step up to the plate, and make your voice heard. Joining is
easy, just click on the following link and complete a
short survey.

Click here to join the MLB Fans at Bat Panel

Thank you in advance for your time, interest, future
participation, and for showing us that you truly do Live For This.


The MLB Fans At Bat Panel Team"

Sorry, you're not nailing down THIS demographic! Ha ha, charade you are!

She watch channel zero

I was watching Cops last night, and as usual I was surprised at how overzealous the cops get.

I saw one guy get pulled over for bicycling at night with no headlights. Is this a law? Headlights on a bicycle? The same guy, while he was being searched, started shouting, "Please don't rob me, officer!" as the cop was going through his pockets. Ha.

Then a couple was smoking crack in a parked pickup truck. The cop flings the driver's side door wide open and POINTS AN ENORMOUS HANDGUN at the crackheads. "PUT YOUR HANDS UP!!!" I'm surprised neither of them had a stroke. I mean, they're smoking crack. My defense of these people of course means I'm pro-crack.

I also watched Red Sox This Week with Dan Roche. Trot Nixon and his wife won some kind of Outstanding Acheivement in the Field of Excellence award. Nixon was wearing a suit but his head looked like it'd just appeared from under a filthy, tarry ballcap. It was kind of funny. Funny and sad.

I like The Amazing Race, too.

I spend a lot of time at work trying to engage my co-workers in baseball conversation. Recently, we were talking about our favorite all-time baseball players. Nolan Ryan and such.

My favorite all-time? Pedro Martinez. What a great choice.

Sports Car Burns

CENTRAL FALLS - A red Ford Mustang went up in flames early Saturday morning in the area of F---- Avenue and S----- Street.
A witness told police he heard a loud bang at around 12:30 a.m. That's when he went outside and saw the car on fire.
Police said there was no indication that this was an act of arson but the incident is still under investigation...

from the Pawtucket Times

(by the way, if you want cocaine... Sylvan St. )


turkish baseball

This pretty much sums it up.

2007 Baseball Goals

I got the Portland Sea Dogs schedule the other day. I don't plan on going to Portland but I'm going to try to go see them when they play the Connecticut Defenders in late May or June.

Some other things I'd like to do:
1. Fenway home opener
2. Pawtucket home opener
3. Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome*
4. Brooklyn Cyclones*
5. Syracuse SkyChiefs*
6. one interleague matchup
7. Pawtucket Hot Stove party
8. Christmas at Fenway
9. Lowell Spinners*

I used to wonder why so many professional baseball players were rednecks. It's because the South has some nice, long summers and less rain. Buhdoy.

*have never done this before

as the train rolled out of sight

It's really for the best.

Two Things

Last night as I was TRYING to fall asleep I heard an incessant car alarm. Not the one that cycles through the four or five different alarm styles, but the steady horn blaring kind. Accompanied by mechanical bleating.

And then, BOOM, like a blunderbuss. Sirens, sirens. I finally got up and looked out of my window and there was a sports car burning like it got tagged in a drag race. Raging! The firefighters put it out with little fanfare, like they do it all the time. Now this morning there's still flame-killing foam on the street and it looks like snow. I'm just glad I wasn't parked next to that car. I wonder what happened?

I'm pretty sure I screwed up the International League affiliations, damn it.

Pawtucket Red Sox box seats will cost $10.00 this year, a one dollar increase. General admission tickets will remain $6.00. Single-game tickets will go on sale December 16th!


one day at a time, sweet jesus

Whilst attending the Pawtucket Red Sox hot stove party last year, I took several photos of clubhouse minutia. Laundry carts, shower heads, microwaves, and the chalkboard.

I deleted a lot of them for some reason.

I have only just begun to experience withdrawal.

Yeah, so what? Bastard kids.


a quick one while he's away

Marc Deschenes was probably my favorite PawSox pitcher this year. Here's a brand new David Laurila AKA Cambridge interview.

God damn it.

Wade... Wade... I never had the chance to love you.

In 2005 I watched Wade Miller rehab in Pawtucket before he debuted in Boston and I was all, "Yeah! Wade Miller!"

Ha, ha, ha.

Wade Miller's going back to the Cubs, in case you were wondering how he was doing. You should call him, I'm sure he'd be glad to hear from you.

Also, since it is no longer the mid-90's, the Arizona Diamondbacks ditched the teal and purple. Consider this: in 30 years this will be the novelty throwback jersey.

And let's get one thing straight, bub:

"Our official team name is the Arizona Diamondbacks. The use of the name "D-backs" is also acceptable in many situations, and the team encourages its use. In most cases, please do not refer to the team as Arizona. Names and abbreviations that ARE NOT to be used include D'backs, AZ D-backs, D-backs, AZ Diamondbacks, Diamondback's, Snakes."

Possible final word on IL affiliate changes

As I mentioned, the NY Yankees dumped the Columbus Clippers as their AAA affiliate and are now in Scranton Wilkes-Barre. The Clippers are now the Nationals farm team.

S/W-B was the Phillies... now they've switched to the Ottawa Lynx.

The Ottawa Lynx were the Baltimore Orioles. So they've switched to the Norfolk Tides.

The Norfolk Tides were the Mets AAA team. The Mets have jumped the IL ship entirely and switched to New Orleans in the Pacific Coast League.

I cannot even begin to imagine how all of these moves are orchestrated. Someone's gotta be pissed off somewhere. I mean, who the hell wants their AAA team in Ottawa?


the Babe Ruth bat

Photo Quick on Reservoir Avenue in Cranston took care of all my photo processing needs. They did a great job. Eff you to CVS, Brooks, and Walgreens for their mass-Kodakness.


You guys shoulda been at Gasworks Friday.

Right now, NESN is showing a "Classic" Red Sox game from 2003, in which the Hug-A-Bunch guys wrangle with Tony Batista and the Baltimore Orioles. This is an early DO walkoff game, but what stands out even more for me is that Boston was down 5-2 in the ninth and Uncle Todd Walker hit a beaut of a HR into the bullpen, scoring those crucial three runs.

I was at this late-in-the-season game with my sister Vanessa. Things were getting tight with the Mariners and the WC, so it was a game of some importance. I was originally supposed to go with some crazy lady I worked with, but at the last minute she just handed me the $18 bleacher tickets and said, "I can't go."

We got there pretty early and it was POURING. We didn't even know if the game would be played. We pigged out at Burrito Max... and, oooh, I am still mad that they're gone... the skies cleared up somewhat and we headed in. Game, game, game and then Todd Walker homers... it didn't even look like it was hit that hard. The whole time the ball was travelling, I wasn't thinking HR. And then it sailed into the bullpen and we all went crazy.

They interviewed Walker after the game and it was broadcast over the system in the park again and again, on the PA and on the JumboTron thing. Second best game I've ever been to.

I'm so psyched that this game is on. Brook Fordyce, catcher! Adrian Brown, stealing 3rd! Grady Little in the dugout! Bronson Arroyo's THIRD appearance in Boston (as a reliever). BK KIM!!!!!



Phil: "You guys shoulda been at Gasworks Friday."

Wayne: "Yeah, we were."

Phil: "This band, Crucial Taunt, they had this megababe lead singer... unreal!"

Wayne: "Phil, we were there! Have you gone mental? Hello!"

Lancaster JetHawks

Red Sox new high-A affiliate: the Lancaster JetHawks! They're part of the California League, so it's probably not Lancaster, Pennsylvania. And that pisses me off because I would have loved to tell you about the weekend I spent in Lancaster, Pennsylvania because it was one of the most bizarre things I've ever done in my life.

Come to think of it, I probably would not have talked much about it.

Read David Laurila's interview with the Brad Seymour, JetHawks GM, here.

And who are those two guys/two ladies that sing the bridge jingles on the radio? You know... that little group that sings stuff like, "The greatest hits of all time... B101!"

"The beeest music... on the beesst station! Lite Rock 98.9!"

"Your at-work afternoon station... Mix 93.5!"

What a job!

Please don't let me be trendy.

As it turns out, I'm a bandwagoneer. For the third consecutive season, minor league baseball has set all-time attendance records. What gives?

41.7 million people attended (or bought tickets for) ballgames of the 176 affiliated teams, including Mexican AAA teams. The Pacific Coast League did the best of all with 7.4 million fans.

The Monterray team in the Mexican league WINS! for highest fan attendance with 989,454. In the US, Sacramento's River Cats drew the mostest with 728, 227. That number seems low to me, but okay, if you say so. The River Cats also win the prize for the Five Millionth Minor League Team Called the Something "Cats".

The IL drew 6.4 million fans. A million less than the PCL. But think about it: in mid-April, would you rather be at a ballgame in Round Rock, Texas or Buffalo, New York? So shut up, Sunny McDryweather.

I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the popularity of the minors and the decreased popularity of the majors. (I'm pretty sure MLB is slipping). I can only extrapolate from my own experiences.

I'd like to assert that AFFORDABILITY is the number one reason. If you have, say, two kids in the 3-12 age group, it just makes more sense to cheap it up. Most six year olds aren't smart enough to realize the difference. (HA! Take THAT,six-year-olds!)

And you know those people that just don't go to Boston? Like, they won't fly out of Logan because, "I'm not driving into BOSTON, stupid!" Or if they DO go, they pick up the Attleboro-Stoughton commuter rail? I do that sometimes. You know they love going to places like S/W-B rather than Philly, or Lansing rather than Detroit, or possibly Pawtucket rather than Boston. Note to Fodor's: thanks for describing McCoy as a gritty park in a gritty town. You've totally amped my street cred.

I don't have much to say about mascot races and sumo wrestling and other between-innings shenanigans, except that it probably doesn't hurt.

So it looks like instead of being a MLB dropout, I'm but one of millions who had the same exact idea. I can't wait to go to my first PCL game, either.


they're tearing all the factories down

Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons are now the AAA team of the Yankees. There's a new park in Allentown, PA which will be their new home soon. The Columbus Clippers are now the Nationals' babies.

Timlin and Wakefield signed for one year. Bo-RING!

There was this contest in which you could either win a) a night on the town with Johnny Damon or b) a round of golf with Wake.

At first I thought, wow, easy, I'd take the night on the town. But then I thought, hey, this would entail spending hours with JD. So the golf, right? No. Because I've never played and Tim W. would probably want to strangle me as I flailed around with clubs and wedges. It'd be awkward for everybody!

Which one would you have selected and why? Two years later I still don't know.

Rapid Robert

Before I went to Iowa, I sort of pictured it as a corn-crammed farmatopia with more cows than people. Boy, was I wrong!

No, wait, I was right. I meant to say... "Boy, was I right!"

Van Meter's a great example of this. I drove by that damn Feller Exhibit and was headed off into John Deere territory before I realized I was unincorporated. I turned around and breached the city limits once more and found it. It looked like a post office.

As I expected, I was the only person there. The museum attendant greeted me with, "Can I help you?" Like I was a delivery woman.

The museum's nice as pie. Small. Their pride and joy seems to be this baseball bat that Babe Ruth leaned on right before he died. He was making an appearance at a ballpark and needed a bat to lean on while he stood (he was ailing). So he used Feller's. He autographed it and some guy had it but BF bought it back for some ridiculous six figures.

I bought a few things for myself and for Bob OCD back home. One of the best is a VHS copy of "Greatest Sports Legends" featuring Bob Feller being interviewed in 1978 by ... another baseball player. Crap, I forgot already who it was. But it is awesome. They're on some So-Cal golf course. I'll watch it and get back to you.

Here's the thing - I want to put my pictures up but I'm having a hard time finding a photo processing facility that isn't fat stupid Kodak. I have a problem with Kodak. So here's one from the website.

Also, happy 88th birthday, Bob Feller.

just one political song

Valley Junction is a small commerical district in West Des Moines. It's a lot of antique shops, of course, but then a lot of small stores with neat stuff.

I went there to check it out and one antique store called "A House Full" had a sign out front that announced that they had "BOYCOTT WALMART" bracelets for sale. They look like those heinous Lance Armstrong yellow things, except they're black and blue to symbolize the beating small businesses have taken. I went in and bought a few. But not before I pet their awesome doggie.

There's an e-mail on the package: saynowalmart@aol.com.

I should have bought more!


10.30.06 Minnesota Vikings v. New England Patriots - and they love each other so

New England WINS! by a large margin

This was, as I mentioned, my first ever football game. It was also my first time in Minneapolis!

It was a little over three hours from Ames to Minneapolis. We stopped at a rest area right over the state line and WHOA. Those central flat states will knock you down with the icy wind.

After the trials and tribulations of gnarly Norwegian rush hour traffic, we pulled into the Rapid Park lot and hitched up with the other half of our party. Tailgating! Port-o-johns and drunken bloat-jobs in purple and gold. It was everything I ever wanted in a beer. And less. I was very excited to be in downtown Minneapolis in the frosty air amongst psychotic Vikings fans. I drank from the Coleman Cooler of Miscellany and then boarded a bus with Drinky the Drunk Guy et. al.

And then we were at the Torii-free Hubert Humphrey METRODOME! Oh, the majesty! Everywhere you turned, people were hucking bottles into bushes and passing out free samples (beef jerky? ESPN analyst heads on sticks? the hell?). My seat was in another part of the stadium since it'd been purchased later, but the blonde Protestant next to me immediately patted my arm and befriended me. Then it got very loud and there was a line of scrimmage and a zippy robot cam that looked like it belonged in the Star Wars Cantina.

I got swept up in the orgiastic cheering of the Minnesotans and found myself rooting for the hapless Vikes. A lot of people were in Halloween costumes which I loved. The lone Minnesota touchdown was a good 'un though, wasn't it? Oh my gosh.

I fell fast asleep on the long, long ride home since I'd been up since 3a.m. I don't know if I'll ever attend another football game, so I'm glad I had this opportunity to see what it was all about. Although I'm not a football convert, I had a great time. Football fans are nuts, but you knew that.


ghosts appear and fade away