Monday, February 27, 2006

First Woman Inducted ... EVAH

Effa Manley made it in.

Won't you take me to (dee la dee) Cooperstown? Won't you take me to (dee la dee) Cooperstown?

When I saw the headline on Yahoo! news (First Woman Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame), I got really excited. For a split second, I naively thought that it might be a player. I know, I know. Maybe someday they'll revive the popularity of the old women's league and it'll take off and become really serious. Or maybe monkeys might fly out of my butt.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Next Michael Jordan?

I haven't seen anything as touching and as inspiring as this in a very long time. I actually saw it in real time on the news last night and I'm not ashamed to say that I got all choked up.

Jason McElwain is his name and he's a high school student in Rochester, New York. He is an amazing young man with tremendous passion for basketball. Oh yeah, he's also autistic.

Give this a watch.


I listened to a bit of Curt on EEI this morning and man, I am so ready for baseball. The D & C crew are down in Fort Myers and they must have been conducting business right near the training facility because you could hear the crack of bats. A beautiful sound. Schilling was upbeat, positive and confident-sounding about the upcoming season, Not just from the standpoint of his own physical health, but about the club at large. In his opinion, this is a better team than '04. Not better offensively, but better all-around. Our pitching staff is truly dominant, with (Curt's words, not mine) "3 potential number one guys" (meaning: Beckett, Pap, and Schilling), two of them with nice young arms. I love the veteran/rookie mix.

I cannot wait to hear Remy's voice for the first time. And Orsillo's first bad joke.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Icarus Speaks

I've always likened Steinbrenner to the mythical character, Icarus. Most of you know the tale and the moral of the story. In recent years, he's been flying closer and closer to the sun, and his evil wings have been melting and dropping chunks of wax down on Yankee Stadium like giant wads of bird poop.

His latest public statement is more evidence that he is truly delusional. The BKP (Baseball Karma Police) have duly noted this arrogant new prediction of his. Trust me. Similar to Elaine Benes, I think the BKP have scribed "difficult" on his file.

On a different note - dirtdog is ridiculous today. It's one of those "case in point" type of posts that demonstrate the shallowness and fair weather friendliness that has become his trademark. I don't ordinarily visit, especially since the huge debacle over the summer. Going today reminded me why.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Brass Monkey

Hey, check out Steinbrenner's new hair ...

Au naturale.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Kooky Youky

Just look at him. I know I've said it before, but I am so pleased that the RS organization has recognized the talent and hustle of Kevin Youkilis and have pretty much given him a starting role at 1st base. He reported to Spring Training early - he's so darned eager. I just love him. He's a true ballplayer to me. I don't know what that means or how I arrived at that, but I guess, in this world of over-the-top celebrity style players and off-the-field drama and greediness, I find great comfort in people like Kevin. He's patient. He's got the skills to pay the bills. He's humble. He loves being on the Red Sox. And this is his year to prove himself. I can't wait.

Chris Snow's recent article on Youkilis revealed the following, which I found entertaining. A little rookie mistake.

Olerud also taught Youkilis one ''how not to" lesson.

Olerud, during his rookie season, was playing first when Kirby Puckett reached base. Puckett asked Olerud a question. Olerud answered him. Puckett, pretending not to hear, asked, ''What did you say?" Olerud began to repeat himself when the pitcher stepped off and whizzed an attempted pickoff throw by Olerud, with Puckett taking third. ''It went right by Olerud's head," Youkilis recalled. ''The media asked what happened. Olerud said, 'Oh my, total rookie mistake.' Kirby was asked. Kirby said, 'I don't know what you're talking about. I never asked him anything.' "


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I'd Rather Pass

Forgive me for being in the minority on this one, but I have zero interest in obtaining Roger Clemens.

This has nothing to do with his arm. We all know that he's still throwing crazy heat and has masterful control. And that he's a future Hall of Famer. And that he's in tip top shape, and for whatever reason his 40-something-year-old body has defied the laws of physics.

This is the same man who I booed incessantly during his pitching duel with Pedro during the 1999 playoffs. I watched him worship the Babe Ruth statue outside Yankee Stadium right before another playoff match up with Pedro in 2003. I watch him talk arrogantly about himself every time he's interviewed. I've seen him pelt guys from the mound just because they'd been fortunate enough to get a couple of hits off of him. And the Piazza stuff was beyond unprofessional. Whenever I see his smug face, I just want to punch it. So, now I'm supposed to turn around, forget everything that conspired since he left the Sox, and rally for him? No thanks. I respect his abilities. But that's about it.

Personally, I would like to think that we have a little more dignity than to get down on our hands and knees, shamelessly wooing His Jackassness back to the Red Sox. The Astros ponied up 18 mil for him. Do you think the price will be any less for the Sox? No way. If Roger's holding all the cards, he can demand what ever the hell he wants. And going back to the Sox for a season means being away from his family (translation: major inconvenience, total pain in the ass), which means that he has even more leverage. I can't even begin to imagine what he would "need" in order to make a 1-year deal with the Sox. And I don't want to find out because it would just piss me off.

I think it's an insult to the hard working, dedicated pitchers we currently have. It's totally unfair that there is a possibility that Clemens could have certain privileges that other pitchers don't. Especially respectable guys like Wake who, without complaint, has been an absolute gem for the Sox for years.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Is This Really My Country?

From Yahoo! News:

Hunting safety experts interviewed Monday agreed it would have been a good idea for Whittington to announce himself - something he apparently didn't do, according to a witness. But they stressed that the shooter is responsible for avoiding other people.

Do you think so? That's revolutionary, huh? Avoiding people when shooting. Wow.

Actually, this is good. When those VP presidential debates come 'round, the democratic candidate can stage an encore and say, "I don't own a gun, but if I did, I wouldn't shoot my friends with it." *Canned laughter* "Thank you, thank you very much. I'm here all week."

Scott and Liz

are off to Cinci. And the National League. I miss that guy. Hard worker, that one.

For some reason, I thought his wife's name was Mitsy. Not so. Who the hell's wife was Mitsy? Then, I thought it was D-Lowe's for a sec, but her name was Trinka. Incidentally, that's not a name - that's a child's toy. Come on now, pick up all your little trinkas and put them away. A seriously bad choice. Scott and Elizabeth have a daughter named Ella. Now, there's a great name for a gal. It rhymes with my Polish grandma's name, Stella. That name kicks butt. My French Canadian grandmother's name is Marie, though she goes by Pauline. All her sisters shared the same first name. Was my family simply insane, or is this in line with other French Canadian family traditions? Maybe you shouldn't answer that.

Anyway, good luck with the Reds, Scotty. Tell Johnny Fever I said "hey."

Friday, February 10, 2006

Deep Thoughts

You can pick up one of those car freshener pine tree deals for a buck. I don't think the price has changed in over ten years (depending on where you are situated, geographically-speaking). It's less than a medium-sized coffee at Dunkin Donuts. Less than a soda. Half of what it costs to drive to Boston on the Mass Pike from Waltham. Seriously, it's pretty damn cheap. So, why on earth do people cut the top off and ever-so-gradually expose the felt-clad smelly cardboard to the atmosphere? Is it that precious a possession? I recognize that the instructions actually tell you to do it this way, and I think this is even more bizarre. Wouldn't the manufacturer want you to burn through those puppies at the speed of light? Wouldn't it mean that selling more fresheners, on a more frequent basis?

Imagine that you buy a stick of gum and take a tiny little piece of it into your mouth at a time. Wouldn't you look ridiculous? I mean, gum loses its punch pretty quickly. And so do the pine trees. But, jeez, they're only a buck! Is life this short, that we all have to conserve every little bit of smell emitted by these darned things?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Whose weirdo idea is this? Personally, I think it's embarassing and beneath us.

On the other hand, I can see how it might make sense. The Sox sign Roger to what, a year? At most? They throw a couple of million bucks his way and squeeze the last droplets out of his 95 mph fastball arm. They put a nostalgic paintjob on it for the fans and *presto* you've got yourself a reliable starter for exactly one season.

I'd rather not go with that plan. It's bad luck waiting to happen. It might be fun to see him in a Bernie and Phyl commerical, though, or maybe Sullivan Ti-yah.

Friedan, A Quiet Legend

I'd like to send a shout out to Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique. She died over the weekend, but her work and influence will live on forever.

Funny, how Friedan looked a little like another outspoken Betty (Bette, actually):

(Did you know that Bette Davis was from Lowell? Nuts!)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Hometown Blues

Well, I'm sure you've all heard the news about Mr. Psycho Happy Hatchet from New Bedford. Just about a week ago, I was chatting with a neighbor of mine and I happened to mention that I grew up in New Bedford. This person was born and raised in Somerville, and like New Bedford, Somerville is very salt of the earth, blue collar-ish. It has it's share of criminal history (The Winter Hill Gang and Whitey Bulger), but I guess it's proximity to Cambridge gives it a sophisticated and progressive edge. This is especially true now since Boston is basically untouchable, real estate-wise and much of Somerville has been or is in the process of becoming gentrified. The point is, I'm pretty sure this guy didn't grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth. So, I was a little shocked and slightly insulted when he replied, "I only hear about New Bedford on the news."

In recent weeks, I've obtained some pro-New Bedford merchandise. A friend of mine from high school had an art show in the SOWA section of Boston (that's south of Washington, for those not in the know) and she gave me an I (heart) NB pin which I proudly display on my handbag. My best friend who is enrolled in graduate school in New Bedford bought be a "Neue Beige" t-shirt (that's local slang for New Bedford) and I myself just purchased an I (bleeding heart) NB t-shirt. My family still lives there and despite what my grandmother always said ("New Bedford is a one horse town"), she lived there her entire life. In other words, I'm developing a new love for this city.

So, you can imagine the kick in the pants feeling I had when I heard the news. It made headlines on CNN and Yahoo!. Luckily, no one in the bar died, but he didn't get into custody without taking out a supposed hostage, an Ankansas cop and 2 bullets to the head. Nice guy. This whole thing is very American History X. I have a hard time believing that his mother was unaware of the swastikas and Nazi crap he had in his bedroom. And how on earth does such a young person attach himself to so much hatred?

I'm not going to pretend that New Bedford is void of racism, antisemitism, sexism, and homophobia. I doubt there is such a place. But, for the most part, it's diverse and relatively quiet when it comes to hate crimes. Most of the residents are poor and bond with one another because of their shared economic conditions. Gay, straight, black, white. No one is exactly raking in big bucks. I think this is one of the things that makes the city special. I know that New Bedford will recover pretty quickly from this, as it's a place with 2 perpetual black eyes, but I can't help but think that the event will only serve to further prove to people like my next door neighbor that only horrific things happen there. As if there should be a warning label on the "Welcome to" sign.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Great News

My boss sent out this email today, regarding our Red Sox Book. She received it from Bookbuilders of Boston.

Congratulations! Your entry in the 49th Annual New England Book Show has won in its category, "Books: Juvenile". "86 Years: The Legend of the Red Sox" was voted the best by this year's Judging Committee and will be displayed at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston throughout the day and evening of March 15, 2006.

The only downer is the fact that Johnny Damon's testimonial remains on the jacket.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Johnny Be Delusional

Poor Johnny Damon. I know I probably shouldn't care - and, honestly I don't - but, Johnny is losing it. Obviously, he's been following the Sox comings and goings and has been steeping in sour grapes. You know, the whole "we've been after Coco for a year" stuff. I think that Johnny wanted to validate the dumbass decision he made to go to the Yankees so he (a) put his own spin on things and (b) made some weird pleas for Manny and Papi to come over to the Yankees. This - after getting a brand new Ferrari that he hardly needs. Sound familiar? Pedro did this, too, when he became a Met. It's like they want their cake and they want to eat it, too. News Flash: Fantasy baseball is for fans only. You signed your name on the dotted line and now you've got to live with the decision and all it entails. Also, I think that Damon is missing out on a key fact in all of this - the Red Sox made him a really decent offer and he turned it down. Obviously, Damon was their first choice. Otherwise, why would they have extended him such a sweet deal? He's the one who thumbed his nose at it for a pittance more. And his dumb butt agent apparently didn't give the Sox an opportunity to counteroffer. Do I wish the Red Sox could have reached an agreement with Damon before the Yankees got seriously involved? Yes, of course I do. But I honestly think that Damon is to blame for his current situation more than anyone and it's obvious that he has regrets. It's a tough life lesson, Johnny, and you haven't learned the half of it. I've witnessed booing in my day, but something tells me that yours is going to be deafening and endless.