BUCKNER WAS FRAMED!
Red Sox fans are NOT Charlie Brown futilely trying to kick a football. Red Sox fans are like Linus patiently waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive on a late October night.
Thursday, January 22, 2004
Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?
The news today of Art Garfunkle's arrest for smoking the a J in a speeding limo couldn't help but make me let out a small laugh and wonder. That stream of conciousness led me to thinking of the song Mrs. Robinson and the line "Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? A Nation turns its lonely eyes to you." I remembered an old interview with Paul Simon on Later with Bob Costas where Paul was asked "Why Joe DiMaggio? Didn't Mickey Mantle wonder why you didn't use him since he was more of your generation?" Paul replied. "I actually did want to use Mick and he did ask me about it but the syllables just didn't work out. I had to tell him 'It's all in the syllables Mick. It's the syllables."
The stream of conciousness continued as I recalled the story of how one night the Red Sox and the Yankees almost traded Ted Williams for Joe DiMaggio so that Lefty Ted could take advantage of the shorrt porch in right field of Yankee Stadium and righty Joe D could hit more homers over The Green Monster. Wouldn't that have been a strange and interesting turn of events? I'll have to look up the stopry and see what happened to put the kybosh on that trade. That of course reminded me of the possibly continuing A-Rod trade talks and imaging what A-Rod could do in Fenway. I imagine we'd get a lot more close-ups of the Citgo sign. LOL
At this point in my musings I heard that JPL has lost the data stream coming from the Spirit rover but they are getting a carrier signal from the radio. Someone should have Simon & Garfunkle serenade JPL asking "Where have you gone Spirit Rover? The Space Program turns its funding eyes to you." And then the circle of the stream of conciousness was complete.
Our daughter Hannah was in a much better mood this morning so that was a good sign for us. I guess if she gets at least 10 1/2 hours of sleep she won't hit and bite me anymore. Driving Sarah home from work yesterday we stopped at some new apartments being built next to the railroad tracks in Simi. We were wondering if the apartments were decent and if they might save us some money on rent. We had a bit of sticker shock to learn that they would be $200 more per month but when we saw the apartments we understood why they cost more. Oh wow they were sooooo nice. Sarah almost ripped my shirt as she tried to hide her excitement. The apts had 9 foot ceilings and came with all appliances including fridge and washer/dryer. The glass was double-paned and so well insulated that we couldn't hear a thing outside. Ugh we wanted to move there so badly but we're stuck with our lease for another 6 months. I think Sarah and I feel somewhat teased now and it makes living in our drab little place that much tougher. My consolations are that I know we could be living in places much worse than our complex and I know that in 6 months we'll be in good position to move to the new apartments so there is hope for a happier future. It just would have been nice to mve into a mint-conditiion brand spanking new apartment. :)
That's about all for now. Boston Dirt Dogs site is down til Tuesday while the guy that runs it is skiing. Ed from Bambino's Curse site is battling a cold so he's trying to keep his spirits up. I've got my business trip coming up tomorrow so that should be pretty fun and exciting. I'll keep posting during the trip. hopefully the non-existant A-Rod talks will be fruitful this weekend. Good luck Theo! Don't let Hicks sell you a used car.
@ 12:29 PM
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
So what is new in the world...
Today ESPN radio says that the Red Sox and the Texas Rangers are meeting in New York this weekend to try and push the long-dead A-rod for Manny trade through. I was espcially tickled by the screenshots BDD took of the A-Rod Red Sox jersey for sale on mlb.com before getting yanked off due to publicity. I've said since Texas GM John Hart declared the deal dead that the longer A-Rod stays shackled to his ankle the more he's going to want to be free of his contract. I'd say there'a a good chance this will go through in the next week or so. As I've said for a while, if the trade happens that will be great. If the trade stays dead, that will be fine too. Either way the Sox are set to go all the way in 2004 with Schilling, Pedro, Foulke, Miller, Mueller, Veritek, Damon, Nixon, Ortiz and all the rest of our guys. We'll go with Manny and Nomar or A-Rod and Magglio Ordonez.
In other news.... I'm still stoked about the new Lunar Exploration program and long range plans for NASA. When my daughter looks up and blows kisses to the moon it's good to know that one day she could be on the moon blowing kisses back to the Earth. LOL
On the other hand if my 2 1/2 year old daughter doesn't stop doing her Great Escape routine by climbing over baby gates and arranging ladders out of toys and furniture I might just send her to the moon myself. j/k It has been an active week in our home trying to stay one step ahead of our daughter but she is a very clever girl and is quite a challenge.
The Iowa Caususes are over. I'm afraid this falls into the DKDC folder on my desk. "Don't know, don't care." I'm really not interested in the Democratic Primaries at all. I guess the only Dean I'm interested in should have an e at the end. All the Bush bashing is stupid poltical baiting. I guess they'd rather have waited and given sanctions time to work. Ooops I guess that didn't work. Saddam needed to be taken out and the US and UK were the only countries willing to take out the trash. It did cost hundreds of American lives and thousands of Iraqi lives but in the end most Iraqis are glad Saddam is gone and they are glad that we did it. Peace and transition to a local government will come soon enough. The democratic hyperbole makes it sound like we should have had the Iraqis reading "The Federalist Papers" one month after we invaded.
Pete Rose accidentally admitted through a slip of the tongue that he bet on baseball in late 2002. This story was spooky to me because as a child I used to play little league at Calabasas High School. As a kid my favorite players were Steve Garvey, Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose and Johnny Bench. It turns out that twenty years later Pete was doing a favor for a friend by giving an interview to the journalism class at Calabasas High School when a student asked Pete why he would put himself in a position where he couldn't get into the Hall of Fame. Pete asked the student "Do you mean why did I bet on baseball?" The students couldn't tell if it was a slip of the tongue or something he was putting out there. Nobody asked a follow-up question and the journalism students didn't print the quote. Those poor students will remember this as the scoop that got away. Just freaky that this happened at the same school I used to play baseball.
I'm looking forward to the latest installment from Curt Schilling in his Q&A Session on the Sons of Sam Horn site. Very enlightening stuff. A close friend of ours has season tickets to the Angels so I'll have to figure out when I'll have a good shot at seeing Curt pitch and see if I can get tickets for that game.
I'm looking forward to my business trip up to Seattle this weekend. My wife is laughing that her hisband will be working on a farm this weekend. In actuality I'll be helping with a software roll-out at the training center my company has on a farm in Carnation, Washington. So I'll be staying at the farm and working at the farm but I won't be waking up at dawn to milk the cows. LOL
On a final note I had two playdates this weekend with my daughter and some friends' children. Saturday we went to the duck-pond in Simi Valley and had a blast. It was a beautiful sunny 75 degree day. Sundqay we were supposed to go to the zoo with a friend but due to circumstances we elected to go to Chuck E Cheese and when we saw the line out the door we elected to go to McDonalds instead. I found out today that the LA Zoo had a Chimp escape from their play-yard and they had to evacuate 9000 people out of the zoo to capture the clever fellow. All things being equal I'm glad I wan't there the day before when he could have jumped out. Funny how things work out isn't it.
That's all the news that is fit to print.
@ 12:33 PM
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Curt Schilling has been running an awesome Q&A session with the fans at the Sons of Sam Horn site. ( http://pub208.ezboard.com/fsonsofsamhornbostonredsox.showMessageRange?topicID=12615.topic&start=21&stop=30 ) Every word I read in Curt's answers impresses me and blows me away more and more. Just the fact that a guy with his money, status as well as family and business obligations would freelygive so much of his time interacting with thew fans, talking with them and trying to set things right that someone is mistaken about is truly amazing. What else can ya say. Ya HAVE to love this guy. His modesty regarding being called a co-Ace with Randy Johnson when they were pitching in Arizona was amazing. He claims that randy was the ace and he was the number 2 guy because of RJ's Cy Young awards when anybody that looks at their 2001 and 2002 numbers when RJ won back-to-back Cy Youngs you can see that the difference in their performance is razor thin and that for all practical purposes he and RJ were equals. Here are their numbers for those years:
Player - Wins - Losses - Games - Complete Games - Innings Pitched- K's - Walks - ERA
Schilling 2001 - 22 - 6 - 35 - 6 - 256.7 - 293 - 39 - 2.98
Johnson 2001 - 21 - 6 - 35 - 3 - 249.7- -372 - 71 - 2.49
Schilling 2002 23 - 7 - 36 - 5 - 259.3 - 316 - 33 - 3.23
Johnson 2002 24 - 5 - 35 - 8 - 260.0 - 334 - 71 - 2.32
Randy Johnson's numbers are un-freaking-believable in that span and so are Curt's. RJ gets the edge with ERA and strikeout. But Curt's Walks per K ratio is ridiculous and Curt had half the number of walks that RJ had although both were pretty stingy with the free base. For Curt to suggest that he is a step below Randy doesn't hold water with me but that level of modesty makes me love the guy even more. Curt doesn't seem like the kind of guy given to false modesty.
@ 10:04 AM
Monday, January 12, 2004
So let's see ... what's the Dillio...
Hmm I'll take random thoughts for $1000 Alex.
So Saturday Night/Sunday Morning our 2 year-old daughter Hannah learned how to crawl out of her crib in the middle of the night. She went on a bit of a demolition derby in the living room and used a chair to get to the 5 pound bag of Gummy Bears in the pantry. She dragged the bag across the room to the coffee table emptying the bag in the process. Hannah walked up to my wife Sarah and said "Mommy... wake up!" That freaked her out. She and I spent most of that day rearranging the apartment and re-baby-proofing everything. We love her so much! Seriously we really do.
Roger Clemens added another classic gem to his legacy today. After months of saying "No, really, I swear, I'm done. I'm ready to retire. I want to be with my family. I've done everything in baseball that I wanted to do." Today Rog-Ah today decided that pitching for the Astros is what he wants to do. My thoughts are... what a jackass... and.... Oooooh now Clemens is going to have to bat everytime he pitches! This ought to be good. If his legs don't get injured during the season I bet Roger will put up a 15-8 record with about a 4.4 ERA. Since he's switching leagues, has to hit and no longer gets to pitch high and inside with impunity I'm sure that will all have a big effect. Somewhere Mike Piazza is smiling along with all of red Sox Nation.
Vladimir Guerrero is going to the Angels. Not only did this come out of nowhere but this is probably the best thing that could happen to baseball. It's not such good news for the Mariners but I'm sure they'll cope. Rich Aurilia is a big improvement over Carlos Guillen so that should be exciting come opening day. Vlad will love pitching in a big market on a good team without really intrusive media. People in LA often forget about the Angels even though their World Series Championship isn't even cold yet. Vlad will get all the privacy he wants. Angels Stadium will work well for his stats. He and Garrett Anderson are going to be an awesome 3-4 hitter combination. With Jeff Nelson and Kenny Rogers being the only recent moves by the Rangers they will continue to be the doormat of the AL West.
I watched Adaptation a bit tonight. What a great movie that is. So creative. So thought-provoking. So interesting to watch again and again. I still love the line about "Your story can have flaws, poor development bad characters, but wow them in the end and you've got a hit." That's what it comes dow to isnt it. Wow them in the end.
Sarah and I have been hooked on playing the Sims games lately. Very Very addictive stuff and lots of fun. I forgot how hours can just disappear into thin air playing those games.
I've been picked to go on a business trip to Seattle in a few weeks so that's pretty exciting. The Nestle Facility is their Regional Training Center in Carnation, Washington. This is where Carnation Condensed Milk started and launched the Carnation company into the big business it is today. I'll be gone for 4-5 days. I'll miss my mife and child because I love them dearly but it should still be a nice trip. It will be odd to be up there without Sarah but I'll take my video camera to share the trip with her.
Wednesday President Bush is supposed to announce an initiative to go back to the Moon and on to Mars. I couldnt be happier or more excited about this. Some people will consider this a good old fashioned Roman "Bread and Circuses" program but I don't have that cynical view. I think that this generation has lost the ability to place value on inspiring the human race in an amazing shared experience. I think this initiative will be expensive but it will be worth the cost even at the risk of tens of Billions of dollars and at the cost of human lives. I think that human life is worth the risk to explore space and inspire mankind.
Curt Schilling if you are out there reading this, you are the man. You are my own personal hero and I can't wait to see you take the hill in Fenway. Every baseball fan has someone that they consider to be their guy. When I was a little kid Steve Garvey was my guy. When I was a teenager Kirk Gibson was my guy. When I was out of college Pedro Martinez was my guy. When the Diamondbacks took on the Yankees in 2001 I decided that Curt Schilling was my guy. What concentration, determination, strength of character, intelligence, preparation and of course what incredible talent. Curt you are the real deal. I don't think RJ would have put up the same monster numbers he did if he wasn't inspired by you. I can't wait to see Pedro get inspired by you and re-discover his potential.
Welp, that's about it for now. Take care of yourself and don't forget to look around at life once in a while. You don't want to miss it.
@ 10:15 PM
Thursday, January 08, 2004
Wow... Curt Schilling read a post I entered on The Bambino's Curse Blog
and posted a response to me. What can I say... I'm star-struck and flabbergasted! How awesome is that?
I guess I'll be extra extra careful what I post on message boards knowin that Curt could be lurking around reading what I'm posting.
Most of the posts on that blog were jumping on Curt calling him an opinionated loud-mouth. I re-read my post knowing that I was TRYING to say "Curt's a good guy. Stop jumping all over him and tearing apart EVERY little thing he says. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and just be glad he's on our side." My post ended up sounding like I was saying something like: "Curt should know better than to post on message boards because it could blow up in his face." LOL
Curt was still pretty nice and posted this in his response:
"Deane, you are probably right, I probably will get burned using this kind of forum to talk about things with fans, if I do I won't have anyone to blame but myself. But it really is not unprecedented, I did it for years with Philly phans, and the same here in Arizona. I am looking into a way to setup something more private but that would defeat the ability to get input on topics or subjects from the masses, which is something I enjoy."
Wow... thanks for being understanding Curt. I got nothing but love for ya my friend!
Bury the Yanks for us in 2004!
@ 10:50 AM
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
Ferris Bueller was right.... Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.
The Pete Rose crap-storm continues. While watching the mock-trial of Pete Rose on ESPN I had a few questions pop to mind...
Pete rose is widely admired for his hustle and for being a tough competitor on the field. I'm wondering how may other players should just as much determination and for being just as tough and competitive. I'd love to see what your opinion is of some players that had the same level of hustle. I certainly think players like A-Rod, Nomar, Kirk Gibson, Ichiro, David Eckstein and many others always show the same level of hustle and effort. I think Rose wave the Hustle banner and everyone salutes without thinking that he is not the only player that gave their all to the game.
Time for bed now. As Forrest Gump would say... "And that's all I have to say about that."
Good Night Red Sox Nation and don't forget to say a prayer for Bill.
@ 9:21 PM
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Well the world just keeps spinning around....
So today Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley were voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. One player spent more time at Dh than any other position. The other gained most notable prominence as the defining lights-out closer of his generation. Eric Gagne and John Smoltz are the closest comparison to what Eckersley did in the late 80s and early 90s.
I applaud the writers that voted them both in. Anytime I hear arguments that "specialist" players should not be in the Hall of Fame I laugh and cringe. One of the beautiful parts of baseball compared to other sports, especially football, is that baseball is a game of generalists that play both offense and defense. When you look at the reality of baseball played at its highest level though, there is a requirement for specialists. Starting pitchers pitch one day in five due to the massive wear and tear on their arms throwing 90-100 mph fastballs and sliders. They are by definition specialists. I have no problem with the DH position allowing pitchers to not risk injury on the basepaths or in the batters box. It does alter the balance of power with pitchers having more temptation to pitch inside on batters but not enough to truly change the way the game is played. No pitcher wants the reputation Rog-ah ended up with as a head-hunter.
So how do I feel about these two players going to Cooperstown? I had some real mixed feelings about Eckersley and I am the first to admit these feelings were ENTIRELY emotional and ENTIRELY irrational. On the one hand Eckersley was a great starting pitcher for our beloved Red Sox and was even a 20 game winner in 1978 I believe, and he ended up with a very long and successful career so of course you have to love that about him. On the other hand..... (((deep sigh))) he gained his greatest fame becoming the DOMINANT lights-out closer for the A's and allowed Tony LaRussa to only have to manage his games up to the 7th or 8th innings. His most memorable moment came when he took my beloved Kirk Gibson to a 3-2 count in the 88 World Series against the Dodgers. After miraculously fouling off what seemed like 10 pitches Gibson hit the most miraculous home-run in baseball history, even surpassing Fisk's game-winner in my book. The odds against Gibson being able to get any kind of a hit off any pitcher were pretty slim since he had two injured knees. To put this invalid in the batter's box as a surprise pinch-hitter against Eckersley, in the World Series, with the game on the line, with the A's heavily favored to roll-over the Dodgers is the kind of event that I doubt I'll ever see again in my lifetime. Gibson wasn't even on the field during the pre-game introductions. The rest as they say is history. Kirk Gibson will always be synonymous with the end of The Natural. Many of us will always remember that one at-bat as the most incredible, inspiring, utterly unbelievable thing I have ever seen. Eckersley still had a brilliant and sterling career including many more World Series appearances in 89 and 90 including a Championship ring from the 89 Earthquake Bay Series. Look up his numbers at Baseball reference.com
, especially his post-season stats and you'll fall over.
Molitor... what can I say about him. The guy could do just about anything with a bat that he wanted. Watch highlights from the 93 World Series and he is Mr. Clutch! Joe Carter gets the credit for winning the World Series on his home run but Molitor put up some incredilbe numbers in that series. Dystra hits a home-run in the rain, Molitor hits one of his own. The guy was awesome and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame DH or not. There's no reason a DH shouldn't be voted in if his numbers are awesome and his impact on the game during their era is significant.
Other thoughts... hmmmm well that Lotto ticket situation in Ohio is interesting. I guess Possession is 160 Million-tenths the law. Let that be a warning to all lotto players to sign your tickets. It's a sad situation but there's more than enough lawyers to make sure everyone involved gets some kind of compensation. (Sorry I know that sounds incredilby cynical and tat really isn't like me.)
Pete Rose is still in the news but nothing much new has come out about him. Writers are starting to throw their two cents and nobody is really jumping on his band-wagon. The most generous comments so far seem to be that writers will vote for him for the hall of fame with one hand while holding their noses with the other and then will wish him to disappear. The average sentiment seems far less polite. Pete had one chance to come clean publicly and ask for fogiveness and he blew it. He must have forgotten that style and class win big points. Just going through the motions to get what you want and making fools out of your fans and supporters does not endear you to anybody. There's got to be a PR firm somewhere scrambling to get Pete to sign with them because whoever is handling him now needs to be shot. (Figuratively of course) Even if it is Pete handling his own PR duties himself. I could do a better job in my sleep. Pete should hire Leslie Abramson to come in, put him in front of the cameras wearing a pastel sweater and some make-up and get him to do a Jimmy Swaggart speech to his fans saying that he damaged them and that he damaged baseball and that he was wrong to do it (and this is the REALLY important part) and APOLOGIZE for what he has done. Until I hear him say he's VERY VERY sorry about 500 times and humbly beg fans and MLB to forgive him I don't want to hear anything else he has to say. If he does get a clue and apologize MLB should make him agree to go to a Gamblers Anonymous program of their choosing and then let Petey be a goodwill ambassador and morality tale for the current generation of players for 5-10 years before they consider letting him be a hitting coach or becnh-coach. I absolutely think there should be no way on Earth that he should ever be given the manager's reigns of a pro club again. He has proven to be a morally bankrupt, utterly corrupt, incredibly selfish liar and a brat and doesn't deserve a chance to damage the game again.
My final thought is on reconnecting with old friends. In the lsat 36 hours I've had two very special friends from 14 years ago come back into my life. I someties get so caught up in life as a husband and a father that it is easy for months and years to go by without realizing that you have lost touch with special eople in your life that know you as well as you know yourself and can still finish your sentences after not talking for ages. Melanie, you always know how to put a smile on my face and make me alugh. I always feel like I'm 17 when I talk to you and I'm insanely lucky to have you for a friend. Scott, you are always there to reinforce my thoughts and beliefs when I feel like I'm drifting or I've lost my way. You are a compass in ym life and always help me find my way back to myself. Thanks for all the years of being a friend. I'm so proud of you for following your dream of flying and turning it into a reality. You are going to be a great pilot and I can't wait to fly with you to Vegas.
That's all for tonight. I feel like I've emptied my head of thoughts and am ready for bed. This blog makes me feel like Bono (or was it Jimi Hendrix first?) when he sang "All I've got is a red guitar, three cords and the truth. All I've got is a red guitar... the rest is up to you."
Goodnight all. Sorry for the lengthy posts. Thanks for the comments and dialog. Please keep it coming.
Simi Valley President of the Bill Buckner Preservation Society.
"Save a Buck today!"
@ 11:53 PM
Monday, January 05, 2004
Well let's see what's new in the world... Hmmmm
Pete Rose finally admitted that he bet on baseball while he was a manager with the Reds. It's good that he finally admitted what the Commissioner's Office has known since the 80's but there are two big problems with the confession. My first problem is that his confession makes no APOLOGY to all of the fans that still supported and believed in him all these years. He played all the fans in America for chumps and never said a word to apoligize to them for that. My other big problem is that he didn't come out and confess in a public press conference before publishing a book about it. Instead he is making people pay to read his confession which is playing the fans for chumps again. Rose is a great player and should be in the hall of fame but it seems like everything he touches turns to crap. At this point if he hasn't learned how to treat the fans with dignity and respect I just wish he would go away.
Hmmmm other news.... The Mars probe/rover Spirit landed and sent back pictures. That was a great piece of news and always makes me feel inspired. I saw the Nova special on this mission last night and when I saw that the airbags and parachute were both discovered to have serious problems very late in the development schedule. It's just another remnder of how easily things can slip by you or go wrong. I can't wait until the check-out is complete and the rover is off and running later in the week.
I received some feedback from a reader of my blog that I shouldn't complain about the Yankees Payroll because the Red Sox are a top spender as well. I think the point that was missed is that the Yankees not only outspend all other teams, they outspend them by an enormous margin. That leaves all other big spenders trying to play catch-up. Big spending doesn't guarantee a winning team but it does make it a lot more likely. There are VERY few Oakland A's/Minnesota Twins out there that can survive in a small market on a small payroll. While the Red Sox can be called "Big Spenders" they aren't in luxury tax territory yet and the Yankees are projected to outspend the Red Sox by about $60-$70 Million this year. When the Yankees spend 33% more than any other team it's not time to point th4e finger at the Red Sox for causing inflated player salaries.
The other point this person missed was that the Red Sox fans aren't any more pleasant to be around than Yankee fans. This person said that he went to Fenway wearing a Mets hat and wasn't greeted warmly. I don't think I need to explain that red Sox fans are passionate about their team and wearing any hat that has an NY on it is pretty careless to say the least. Red Sox fans are passionate about their team and yes they probably could be more tolerant of people rooting for other teams, but to compare Red Sox fans with Yankee fans is patently ridiculous. Yankee fans have enough World Series trophies to use them for doorstops in the restroom. With such a gluttony of success you'd think Yankee fans would be a gracious and appreciative group of people. INstead they are arrogant, obnoxious, repulsive boors. The Red Sox have had enough melodrama in their history that I can excuse Fenway fans for being neurotic. Yankee fans should show some class and good sportsmanship but as long as they play in the Bronx and King George III calls the shots that isn't too likely.
As for what kind of a Red Sox fan I am, I would say I am not neurotic... I do not have low self-esteem and I am not a sadist. I look at the Red Sox and I don't weep for close calls and tragedy of the past. I only look at them with optimism and think about how glorious it will be when they win it all. In some respects that probably makes me like Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin. I'd rather be Linus than Charlie Brown trying to kick the football.
I don't believe in curses. I don't believe in Yankee destiny or aura or mysitque. As Curt Schilling proclaimed before burying the Yankees in 2001, they are all just dancers in a nightclub. I really believe that the new ownership in Boston has the desire and commitment to get this team over the top. Schilling is a natural club-house leader, Foulke is a lights-out closer that will give the entire team a ton of added confidence and the players from 2003 are coming off a record setting season of offense.
Boston Dirt Dogs posted some messages from Curt Schilling on the SoSH site where he talks about not being able to wait to crank up the 2004 Sox and get the party started. I couldn't agree more Curt. Let's go get em!
@ 12:27 PM
Saturday, January 03, 2004
So today is the third of January 2004. I finally went in to get new glasses this morning so that was pretty good news. I've had the same pair for 7 years now and the style of my glasses has looked pretty silly for a long time. I'll post some before and after pictures once I get them.
I was tickeled to see that there was poetic justice with David Wells breaking his handshake agreement to come back to the Yankees next year. He signed a deal woth the Padres this week reminiscent (sp?) of how he broke his handshake deal with the Diamondbacks after they won the 2001 World Series to go sign with the Yankees. David Wells says good riddance to George Steinbrenner. I say good riddance to him. My enduring David Wells memory will be from Game 7 in the ALCS against the Red Sox where he came out of the bull-pen to relieve Mike Mussina and on his very first pitch of the game, David Ortiz hit a home run that almost went into orbit. As Ortix trotted around the mound the camera zoomed in close on David Wells and his fristration exploded in a single word expletive that Rhymes with "Oh Duck!"
So now the Yankees have lost 4 of their 5 starters from last year's team. Things are getting better for the Sox every single day. Let's go get em Red Sox!
@ 3:02 PM
Friday, January 02, 2004
Who the heck am I anyway?
Well here we are... 2004 is officially underway and the baseball season is just 13 short weeks away. I've been a frequent visitor and contributor to the Boston Dirt Dogs site and the Bambino's Curse sites and after being prodded by my wife I've decided to actually create something of my own. It might only be seen by me and my cats but at least it will amuse me.
Who the heck am I? Well I'm a 31 year-old baseball fan living in Simi Valley, California. I'm married to a wonderful country girl from Eastern Washington State and we have a beautiful, sweet, fun, wonderful, surprising angel of a daughter. Apart from my family and friends that I care most about I have a lot of passions in my life. I love aircraft, movies, current events, 80's nostalgia and baseball. I grew up a Dodgers fan, and became a Red Sox fan after their meltdown in the 86 World Series when I got a quick history lesson on the unspeakable bad Karma the universe has parcelled out to them. My wife is a life-long Mariners fan and I have been a Mariners fan since about 2000. We lived in Seattle in 2001 and I had the good fortune to follow the Mariners during all 162 games of their record 116 win season. That was some GOOD baseball my friends. Even the game they lost to the Indians after getting a 12 run lead. While my wife is a Mariners fan I consider myself to be a life-long baseball fan in general. I don't think that rooting for one team is mutually exclusive to rooting for another team as well. Growing up I've been exposed to so much good baseball that I find it easy to support more than just one single team. Especially when players you love move on to other teams. Some people have no problem understanding this concept. Other people seem to think that sounds like I'm standing in the corner of a round room and there is no changing their minds. I guess in the end you could say that my teams are The Dodgers, The Mariners, the Red Sox and whoever is playing against the Yaankees.
I love good baseball and I love rooting for good players. I have only two prejudices that I am conciously aware of when it comes to baseball... I always root against the Yankees and I always root against the Oakland A's. Growing up in LA I rooted for the Dodgers and during the Lasorda era it seemed like they were in the playoffs or World Series every year. I used to see and talk to Steve Garvey since his children went to my Junior High and he was a member of the same country club as my father. This alone would explain why I am eternally biased against the Yankees and the A's since they both played against the Dodgers in their World Series games in the 80's and were heavily favoredover the Dodgers.
Why do you hate the Yankees?
My main grudge against the Yankees is that their owners have always had the resources to outspend every other team in baseball since they are the main team in the biggest market in all of baseball. The reason that this oirks me is that it causes player salaries to skyrocket to artifical heights just to satisfy Steinbrenner's mammoth ego. The reason I have any care about player salaries is that this inflation causes players to be "worth" far more than what the teams that have developed and nurtured them can afford. Baseball has a unique obligation to the fans that root for and become attached to players over the course of many years with the same team. I am all in favor of the Free-Agent system in baseball but the Yankees single-handedly cause teams like The Mets, Reds, Rangers, Diamondbacks and Dodgers to have to mortgage their teams futures to compete with the Yankees bottomless checkbook. Without the Yankees out-spending all other teams average payroll by a near 3-1 margin most teams have virtually no hope of retaining their star players when they become free agents and this only causes anguish and alienation of fans.
George Steinbrenner specifically is an ego-maniacal, tyrannical jackass that has no appreciation for what he has acheived and the hard work people put into playing for him. The fact that his front office people's idea of a terrible punishment is to have their contracts extended out of spite speaks volumes about that organization. What other team would have a bench coach quit the team after the final game of the World Series to spite his boss? Beyond that the Yankees are utterly arrogant and completely take winning for granted as if it is their birth-right. They have no appreciation for what the depth of meaning a World Series championship means. Yankee fans are the lowest common denomonator of humanity and the depths of insults they result to are boundless. They frequently hurl insults and projectiles at visiting players as if the game was being played in the Roman Coliseum. (BTW Have Karim Garcia and Jeff Nelson been sentenced for their fight yet?)
If you hate the Yankees you must love the A's right?
Based on my rant above you would think that the Oakland A's are my ideal dream-team. In all respects they are the anti-Yankees. They are a team with a history of amazing excellence with an incredibly low payroll, loyal fans and brilliant management in the front office. I'll admit I have no intelligent rationale for being biased against the A's apart from the fact that they were supposed to steamroll the 88 Dodgers before Kirk Gibson did his impression of The Natural and they are the main division rival of the Seattle Mariners. Apart from that the fact that they keep going to the playoffs year after year after year only to beat themselves at the last minute has somethign to do with it. They beat themselves in a manner, as Bob Costas said of the Red Sox, "...are an opera that has you looking up to heaven for an explanation..." Here are my main arguments against the A's....
2001... Slide Jeremy Giambi! Slide!
In 2001 and 2003 they won their first two playoff games in a best of 5 game series and in both years they unbelievably blew away chances to win the deciding games of the series. In the 2001 Division Playoffs it was Jeremy Giambi failing to advance on a deep fly-ball that would have later easily scored the winning run. Shortly after that play he would have scored the winning run of the game and the series if he'd only remembered to slide into home plate. Instead Derek Jeter sold his soul to the devil to get the out by coming out of nowhere to flip the ball to Posada who tagged Giambi out as he trotted across the plate. OOOPS!
2003.... When in doubt... TOUCH HOME FREAKING PLATE!
Then of course in the 2003 Division Playoffs Eric Byrnes barrels into Jason Veritek at home plate and knocked the ball away from the catcher but Byrnes never touched the plate! He limped away in pain and even shoved the catcher out of his way as the catcher ran to the backstop, picked up the ball, jogged over to Byrnes and tagged him out. All the while Byrnes' team-mates and the rest of Solar System were SCREAMING at him to touch home plate. I'll concede Byrnes was in big pain from the collission but there still can be no rational explanation for what took place in that play. Of course shortly after that on another play Miguel "Where's my 12 million dollars please?" Tejada comes rounding third base and heads for home on a fly ball and bumps into the third baseman Bill Mueller on the way. Instead of trying to beat the play at the plate (which he would have easily done) Tejada stops halfway to the plate to ask the umps to call interference. Again the whole universe watching this looked at each other thinking "What the heck is this?" No little leaguer would make such a fundamental error. The A's didn't get beat either year. They ended up beating themselves. From 2000-2003 the A's made the playoffs each year and each year they had only themselves to blame for getting beat in the first round. As much as the A's scream about how extra payroll would take them over the top and into the World Series again they just end up playing really sloppy baseball when it counts most.
Well that's about all for my first post. We have moved onto the second day of 2004 now. We have three more days of a long weekend coming up. We're going to Philippe's Orginal French Dip Sandwich retaurant tomorrow. It's been in operation in LA for 100 years which is really something special out here. You can check their site at www.philippes.com for more info. I'll FINALLY be getting new glasses ordered on Saturday morning and Sunday we're getting together with my old good friend Joanna and her two children. It should be an aweosme weekend and I can't wait. Since this posting is alienating my wife I'll wrap it up and come to bed. Goodnight!
@ 12:02 AM