Shoplifters of the World (that means you, Putin), Hand It Over
Thumbs Up -
To the Boston Celtics and their 2005 draft picks. Didn't grow up a Celts fan. May become one now.
Big props to Ryan Gomes, the All-American forward out of Providence COLLEGE (not
University, Russ). In some ways, it's a sad change in the air that one of the best college players in the country goes 50th in the draft, ahead of unproven high schoolers, Euros, and green (no pun intended) underclassmen.
But the backboards aren't wood anymore and the balls don't have laces. The times-they-are-a-changin. And if I can change, and you can change, WE CAN ALL CHANGE!
Gomes may or may not have been slighted by returning for his senior season at PC, but look at the glass half-full. He worked on his game incessantly, adding range from beyond the perimeter, adding strength, and adding a bachelor's degree in sociology. Now he got selected to play basketball for a team he wanted to play for and a team that wanted him in turn. He's a winner.
My only knock is his wardrobe. I know you're a 2nd round pick without guaranteed money, but don't show up to your "Welcome to the Boston Celtics" press conference in a G-Unit t-shirt. C'mon, the 18-year old wore a suit (maybe the same one as the night before, but so what, I've done that...) Unless the "G" stands for "Gomes"-Unit, head to Syms. Or now that you're going to get paid, call Tom James.
And then there's first round pick Gerald Green. For everyone who thinks that the ills of the NBA are all the H.S. kids that declare, check out this quote from "G-Money:"''If I don't get my education, [my mom] is going to fight me," said Green. ''Either I'm going to get beat up or learn." Gerald Sr. and Brenda want to insert an ''education clause" into a rookie contract that will earn their son approximately $2 million over the next two seasons.Thumbs Down:
Why? Because I dropped the ball. I dropped the blogge. Last weekend, while in Montreal, I forgot to pack the pen and pad like I did in Australia (check!), so I didn't have the running play-by-play.
But trust me, as much fun as it was and as great a city as it is, there's nothing funny about: "I went to the world's largest inclined tower and looked out au centre-ville
. It was fun. Then I ate lunch. It was good. Then I looked at strippers. They were naked. Then I took a nap back at the hotel. I drooled. Then I went out. It was nighttime..."The Index Finger:
To the BBC's Andy Brown, for becoming the first Western journalist to conduct an interview with Australian prisoner Schapelle Corby
On BBC One this afternoon, Brown told of his ordeal to get into the prison in Bali to speak with the former beauty student from the Gold Coast.
After approaching the gates to the prison, where he could see through the gate and into the cells, Brown inquired as to whether or not he could enter to visit Corby. He was told no, as only friends, family, and legal counsel were allowed in. After 20 minutes (and 20 dollars, I'm sure), one of the guards agreed to pass a letter to Corby, explaining who he was and why he was there.
She agreed to see him, and was happy to conduct the interview. After being taken out to a grassy courtyard where other prisoners and their families were meeting, Corby told of her conditions: 10 to a dirt-floored cell, with nothing but a hole in the ground to act for a toilet. All ten women slept among rats and when they did eat, the food was so bad that they were all suffered constant diarrhea.
Not pretty. Not for someone who may be wrongly imprisoned
.The Middle Finger:
This one is now four-fold. Let's start in Arlington with Kenny Rogers.
(via the AP) The lefty for the Texas Rangers shoved two cameramen yesterday
, sending one to the hospital in a videotaped tirade that included throwing a camera to the ground and threatening to break more.
Rogers, who missed his last start with a broken pinkie he suffered during an outburst earlier this month, erupted at the cameramen as they filmed him walking to the field for pregame stretching before last night's game at Arlington, Texas, against the Los Angeles Angels.
The 40-year-old left-hander first shoved Fox Sports Net Southwest photographer David Mammeli, telling him: "I told you to get those cameras out of my face." "I'll break every . . . one of them," Rogers said before he was escorted to the clubhouse by catcher Rod Barajas. Rogers was reportedly mad that reporters were questioning his work ethic and integrity.
, that's what journalists do. Some do it better and classier than others, but yeah, they ask questions. You answer them. If you choose not to answer, say no comment or walk away. Don't, in the words of Chris Rock, go tiger. Reminds me of the time my boy Dave and I stood out in dead center at Fenway and heckled Kenny for about 15 minutes solid while he was warming up. He flipped us off.
Onto Red Sox (check!) closer Keith Foulke
. He was indispensible last season. As ballyhooed as the bloody sock was, or the pitching of Derek Lowe, there is no World Championship flag if not for Foulke. I realize that. I recognize that. I salute that.
I, quoteth Manuel Aristedes Ramirez, turn the page.
After blowing an 8-5 lead (he allowed two Timlin runners to score), and seemingly having the game ready to close with two strikes and two outs on two separate occasions, he blew it.
Since this isn't the first time this has happened this season (or this week or month), many reporters and fans have the gall to ask questions. (Foulke and Rogers should be required to audit a class or two at J-School...so should some of the writers, but that's a different breed of cat altogether).
Foulke answered those questions with this gem: "I'm more embarrassed to walk into this locker room and look at the faces of my teammates than to walk out and see Johnny from Burger King
booing me. I'm worried about these guys, not everybody else."
That's a Whopper. Hey Keith...Johnny from Burger King is paying a King's ransom to come watch you pitch. And you thank them by serving up soft-serve 85 mph dead-red fastballs. I'll stop here.Jeremy Roenick
. He plays hockey. Hockey used to be a professional sport. They had their own league and everything. Then the greedy owners and greedier players got into a spat and now hockey ended.
They've figured out a way to get back together and play hockey again, but to a lesser financial gain. (Hint Jeremy, that's what happens when things hemorrage. You patch it up and stop the bleeding. In the case of the NHL, it was hemorraging money. I digress.)
So Roenick lashed out. At who, the owners? Not really. At the media? Not then, but later. No, he lashed out at the folks who lost as much as they did. The fans.
He told the fans, who were upset because they lost the ability to watch their favorite sport because greedy and greedier got into a hissy fit, to "kiss his white ass
" and that he didn't want them in the arenas when hockey returned. Kiss your wife with that mouth, JR? And don't worry, you won't have to uninvite fans to the arenas. You've already done that, all this year.
So what to do when confronted with public outrage? Claim you were misquoted and taken out of context. What context, exactly, did you mean by "white ass." Was the context what you see when you look in a mirror?
So JR went on ESPN's SportsCenter (live) with Dan Patrick, because "I didn't want to give their editors a chance to cut and splice what I had to say and misrepresent what I said." Spare me.
The last asshole of the week is Gary Sheffield
. One can argue he's the asshole of the year, the century, and possibly the milennium, but let's focus on the present.
The NY Post penned an "exclusive" that the Mets and Yankees were talking a deal that would send Sheff to the Metropolitans for Mike Cameron and Miguel Cairo. That made Sheff mad. And when Sheff gets mad, he speaks up. And when he speaks up, he sets the English language back 15 years.
"I can't sit here and blame the Yankees for other teams wanting me, so let's clear that up,'' Sheffield said. "I understand that. But I'm just letting you know if it happens, it becomes personal and I'm not going to accept this because of the concessions I made.''
Concessions? Which concessions? Are your kids eating alpo for dinner? Did you have a spam-burger for lunch? Do you live in a youth hostel in the Bowery? Do the clubhouse kids get to bang your wife? (because we know R. Kelly
already did. Just hope he didn't piss on her...)
Deferring four million
dollars isn't a concession. It's a decision. And since you reside in the state of Florida, and that's also where the Yankees are based fiscally, it's conceivably a tax-free concession.The Ring Finger:
And trust me, this ring isn't going to Vladimir Putin.
It's going to hopefully go to the winner of Wimbledon, in (hopefully) a match between defending champion Maria Sharapova
and former champ Lindsay Davenport.
Now, everyone knows Maria
. And now that Raymond has retired, Everyone Loves Maria. She's in commercials, for Canon and Nike. She's on magazine covers. She's in sexy and glamourous pictorials. She's the new Anna K., except she wins on tour
. But it's too easy to pick the blonde, blue eyed, tall leggy Russian
. (whoa there, fella)
Now Lindsay, she is not the pinup type, but she's Adorable, even
Dunno what it is. Maybe it's some weird fetish thing, that she's 6-2 and could lay a hurting on me
, but I've always had a little thing for her. We also have almost the same birthday, so we're both gemini (which is you buy into that astrology shite means we're prolly both fucking nuts). The fact she's worth almost 20 million is also a mitigating factor.
So that's what I'm rooting for Saturday's Breakfast with Wimbledon
on NBC.The Pinky:
This country needs a new leader. And since we're stuck with this one until 2008, here's my nomination for the next President of the United States: Robert Kraft
Ivy League educated. Polished. Well-respected, locally and globally. Adept public speaker (both sober and after a few martinis).
Has to have a solid track record of running organizations to the best of their abilities. The Patriots are the class of professional sports right now. He has to be able to get things done. He got a 70,000 seat stadium built in the middle of a two-lane highway, after playing Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts against each other.
He can be hard-line (Lawyer Milloy, Ty Law, and Richard Seymour) and amenable (Troy Brown, Tom Brady, Ted Johnson).
And as we saw yesterday, he can be gracious and highly diplomatic. He gave away his latest Super Bowl ring
, which is actually valued at over $40,000 and is the largest championship ring ever produced by Jostens, Inc, as a "token of his appreciation" to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Yeah, right. He gave
it to him. When you're the former head of the KGB, you sorta always end up with people giving you things, like confessions under duress.
So when he realized that the "show-and-tell" session with Putin turned into "finders-keepers, dissenters will be hung in Red Square," Kraft adeptly turned the session into a goodwill mission.
Despite the possibilty of being strong-armed, he flipped the script.
"I showed the president my most recent Super Bowl ring," Kraft said in a statement released Wednesday. The Russian president "was clearly taken with its uniqueness," Kraft said.
"At that point, I decided to give him the ring as a symbol of the respect and admiration that I have for the Russian people and the leadership of President Putin."
Think Russia's gonna nuke us? Think the movie "Red Dawn
" (the scariest scene of any movie, to me, was when C. Thomas Howell and Patrick Swayze were in school as the Russian paratroopers landed on the football field.) No way, not if Bob Kraft was on the job. He'd make a call, and Vladi would be on the Presidential jet en route for a little tailgating at the End Zone Motel. Maybe Tom Brady could introduce him to a few of Bridget Moynihan's
But when it becomes decision time in 2008. Vote for the one true Patriot. Vote Robert Kraft.
Have a great Fourth. TLBR will be celebrating Patriotism all weekend.
Just a couple of finger sandos to whet yer appetite, while I compile the Hand for today:
*** A 14 pound baby?
Now that's a big twinkie. That's a big dog.
*** And some tempered excitement for the Citzens of Red Sox Nation: Schilling was killing
. And that's thrilling. Pretty soon, he'll be back at Fenway, top billing. Boy, this burrito is very filling. Run DMC sang "You Be Illing." And when we repeat the feat in October, the champagne will be chilling and the championship rings will be milling.
It was an encouraging outing, with Schilling pitching on 66 days rest. 57 of his 78 pitches were strikes. And, at one point, he threw 15 straight strikes. He regularly hit 90-92 on the gun, topping out at 94. And any questions about his surgically repaired ankle were allayed as he covered first base on a come-back chopper to the mound.
That's it for now. Hand later. Come on back now, y'hear?
Just a few thoughts while switching between the NBA Draft, the Red Sox, and the battle for second place in the AL East on the YES Network. Pardon the ee cummings lack of capitalism, not to be confused with Karl Marx' lack of capitalism.
*** gerald green is a great pick by the celtics. if they can manage to draft taylor coppenrath
, i'm going to adopt the celts as one of my nba teams. for the first time. ever.
*** and anywhere ryan gomes
*** got the NBA Draft cooking tonight and it makes me think of times passed, when me and my boy dave used to make a mock draft and watch each and every pick. it was the official beginning of summer.
our picks were good. and accurate. why? because we had spent the previous four years watching these players mature and grow into great players in college. of course, seeing most of
them in big east play didn't hurt. (and the quality of play in the nba didn't suck then, either.)
for the last few years, the draft has morphed into high school kids and foreign players that no one has ever seen too much of. how can you get excited about, or know anything about a kid who came to the theatre at madison square garden straight from his prom? or some guy from a country that sounds like a side of cole slaw? there was no player that you could latch onto.
imagine...back in the day...a guy with the college credentials and success that shane battier had would never have gone as late as he did int he 2001 draft. kwame brown? bust. tyson chandler? getting there, but nothing special so far. pau gasol? good, not great. eddy curry? see "chandler, tyson" and add 80 pounds. jason richardson? good pick at #5. but battier at 6? never would've happened.
nice to see the first round of the 2005 draft look like a college all-star pageant.
*** good to see hakim warrick not have to get dusty in the green room. he'll be a player in the dunk contest.
*** between stu scott, roy williams, (hey roy, there goes 75% of your roster...give a shite about north carolina now
???) and the unc lovefest, i'm done with it. this is all you need to know about the tar heels, as far as i'm concerned: http://www.iona.edu/gaels/mbasketball/0203/12-27-02.htm
*** I hope the Knicks get Salim Stoudamire
. The boy is lefty and he can shoot. Just like me.
*** Was getting very mad at the World Champs and Wade Miller, who threw six balls to start the game, yielding a 2-0 1st inning hole and it got to 4-1. Well, the World Champs just took a 6-5 lead.
***Deron Williams' baby mama, Amy, was the highlight of the draft so far. That and the Pride of Melbourne. Andrew Bogut. Amy looks like Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, and that's aight
with me. No, no, no, no, don't funk with my heart...***
is my blog turning into a Dick Vitale broadcast, with my list of name-location-team drops? Red Sox? Check. Australia? Check. Me being LEFT-HANDED ("TL?" hmmmm...)? Check. Some random good-looking woman? Check.
*** Manny Ramirez, showing that he still might be the best RIGHT-HANDED HITTER in the American League ("BR"? hmmmm...) tacks on an opposite-field RBI single.
***Good for Julius Hodge, going 20 to the Nuggets. Good for the other NYC products, Charlie Villanueva (the BK), going #7 and Francisco Garcia (boogie down) to Sacto.
***And good for New York, getting the best all-around athlete in the draft, Nate Robinson. Here's my prediction: Gerald Green vs. Nate D-oh-double-gee in the finals of the 2006
*** No one's getting fired from the Yankees. Today.
More later. One.
ps - earlier, I made an angry post about George Bush, the war, and another typically dumb comment by our nation's leader. He called the war "worth it." And my blood began to boil. I then made an unfortunate suggestion that, if it's so worth it, then twins Jenna and Babs should be in Parris Island. TLBR regrets it
(not really. I just don't need the FBI to start investigating me.
They can sum up my place on this Earth right now better than I can. Putting together the pieces from the excursion to Montreal, trying not to think in French, and the lack of sleep has taken its toll.
I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink
I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink
I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink
I'm so tired I don't know what to do
I'm so tired my mind is set on you
I wonder should I call you but I know what you'd do
You'd say I'm putting you on
But it's no joke, it's doing me harm
You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain
You know it's three weeks, I'm going insane
You know I'd give you everything I've got for a little peace of mind
I'm so tired, I'm feeling so upset
Although I'm so tired I'll have another cigarette
And curse Sir Walter Raleigh
He was such a stupid git.
You'd say I'm putting you on
But it's no joke, it's doing me harm
You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain
You know it's three weeks, I'm going insane
You know I'd give you everything I've got for a little peace of mind
I'd give you everything I've got for a little peace of mind
I'd give you everything I've got for a little peace of mind
Friday Night Lights
The weekend is here and so is the Triple H weather - hazy, hot, and humid. So stay cool, find a beach, a boat, or some air conditioning.
Tomorrow, I'll be off for a weekend of international mystery, intrigue, and aura. Or, at least, that's what their stagenames will be... (for the record, I am not a fan of strip clubs, but as Ron Burgandy once said "When In Rome...")
For those of you who enjoyed the Oz Blog, I will be producing "Une Blogge Montreal." It will most definately be shorter, but hopefully no less entertaining. It'll be just like you were there, except, you weren't.
So enjoy the weekend, the links, and go Sox, Mets, and Braves.
The daily morning pilgrimage to Dunkin was particularly painful. First off, the two cars in front of me had drivers older than Randy Johnson and Kevin Brown (here a Yankee dig, there a Yankee dig, everywhere a dig, dig...) who, despite having their left blinkah on forever, took longer than forever to maneuver the turn. Once inside the place, it was the sound of chaos. Little kids running around and screaming in Spanish and English. A landscaping crew all came in, covered in grass and dying for 12 different varieties of iced coffee. The 40-year old-plus woman in front of me was holding a full-on conversation over her Nextel speakerphone, complete with the annoying "brrrrrrlip!" sound everytime she detailed her trip to the club last night. And the television that has CNN's Morning Show on was trying to air an interview with Vice President Evil, er, Cheney that I had some varying degree of interest in listening to. All this for a large, skim, one sugar.
I don't normally find myself a big fan of Mike Lupica. Until this morning, when "the Lip" wrote a beautiful column on George Jefferson, the 20-year old young man from St. Peter's College. Stop what you're doing and grab some tissues before clicking the link: a must read: http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/322032p-275332c.html
Read this in the gossip columns: Former Yankee slugger Jim Leyritz and party king Keith Collins downed Grey Goose while shooing away a bevy of about 10 porn stars and three little people celebrating their various film wraps at Collins' soiree at Quo on W. 28th the other night.
So what? I still hate him. And why is he relevant? Was he in the porno with the midgets? Because that'd be news. I guess those World Series home runs almost a decade ago have a pretty good shelf life. He. Was. A. True. Yankee. (the dogs bollocks, he was)
And this from Red Sox centerfielder/Charles Manson impersonator Johnny Damon:
"When I get to free agency, I'm going to talk to a lot of players because I know there's a lot of teams out there who are going to want me,'' said Damon. "I'm going to take my time, call guys like Kevin Millar, Billy Mueller, see where they end up, guys I've enjoyed playing with here. Put a package together, that's how much I care for these guys and how much they care for me. When I'm a free agent, I'll call Kevin and say, 'Hey, who wants you?' I'll tell him who wants me and we'll turn another clubhouse inside out.''
Oh man, where do I begin here?
(ahem) Johnny, you've been one of my favorite players since you signed with the Sox. And I give you lots of credit for being good with the fans and whatnot. I'll never forget you making me forget that you are 2-26 entering game seven of the 2004 ALCS before you had six RBI. B I take issue with your "a lot of teams out there who are going to want me" quote.
Let's review: your agent is Scott Boras, so that eliminates about 20 teams right out of the hopper. Teams that can afford you: Boston, both New Yorks...maybe Baltimore, Atlanta, Philly, St. Louis, and both Los Angeles' (on a side note, the Angels play more games in Oakland than they do in LA...)
So let's gauge the interest level from the aforementioned team: the CFY might be interested because Bernie Williams is about as old as the two ladies who took a week to pahk their cah in the loht this mohning at DD. The Mets have Beltran, so no there. Baltimore has Luis Matos, who they're pretty happy with and besides, they'd rather spend their money on pitching. Atlanta has Andruw Jones, so no shot there. Philly does need a centerfielder, but let's not forget that your wife wants to have a career on television. Philly would not be the best place on Earth for that. St. Louis has Jim Edmonds, so nope to the worst best fans in baseball. The Angels could be interested, as Steve Finley is old, but the Dodgers have crazy Milton Bradley in center and JD Drew in right. Possible, seeing as how Drew is a Boras guy, but unlikely that you join the fray.
Plus, add in the fact that your broken body is in need of days off and is more injury-prone, a five year deal might be hard to come by. But, of course, your agent has probably already told you this.
A loyal reader has provided with the following link: http://gofugyourself.typepad.com/
It's good times and fun for hours.
And I'll leave you with this: http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/octogenarian-plans-return-to-sea/2005/06/24/1119321904336.html
Tthat's pretty much my plan, too. A nice spacious boat, moored up somewhere in Sydney Harbour. And one in newport. And san diego (the literal translation was lost hundreds of years ago). And Monaco. And...
C'est ca, mes petites chous. Avons une fin de semaine magnifique!
Need a Hand?
- Yeah, the Red Sox.
Shocker, I know. But they've won 9 of 10, and swept the Injuns in a three-game series. Last night's game was most impressive, getting important contributions from some of the reserves like John Olerud and Jay Payton, as well as Bill Mueller and Edgah. Wade Miller pitched pretty well and the bullpen closed the door.
As Chris Snow in the Boston Globe
pointed out: "The Sox outscored the Indians, 24-15, outhit them, 36-33, and outhomered them, 8-2, in sweeping Cleveland at Jacobs Field for the first time since May 28-30, 1999. To think, the same team that limped out of Wrigley Field June 12 at 33-29 is now 41-30, a mere one game behind the Orioles for the division lead."
Now that's cooking with gas. Onto Philly.
(no thumb's down this week)The Index
- I had an idea for a movie. The working title is "A-Holes in Bars."
Basically, the film would be a seven-day, seven-scene movie with three characters that go to seven different bars in seven different social scenes, drink beer, and make fun of people from far away, from up close, to their faces, behind their backs. One-liners. Two-liners. Ten minute monologues.
Sounds like a winner, right? No? You say it lacks a point? Or a theme? Or a purpose? Well, lookie, lookie here. "The Aristocrats
" is coming to an art house screen near you. It's about a dirty joke. And some of the funniest people on earth tell it.
And that's the movie. So if any talent development agents are out there, and they want to discuss "A-holes," I can be contacted at email@example.com
. I even have three people in mind to play these characters (we're good at it) And, if I ever remembered to bring a tape recorder with me when I have gone out the last 11 years of my life, I'd have the script.The Middle Finger
: It's a tie.
From Santa Monica D.A. Tom Sneddon to Michael Jackson, here's a big F-U
, you pajama-wearing freak. You want those photos of your dick that they lawdogs took for the trial? Whoops, lost 'em. Hope they don't end up on the internet or in the London tabloids.
You want your passport back? Geez, that got lost too. No European relocation for you. Now go dig a hole and bury yourself in it.
The second F-U goes to Oprah Winfrey: get over yourself
The store in question - Hermes in paris - was closed at 6:30 p.m., as per usual. Oprah showed up at 6:45 and expected to get inside to shop around.
They said no. Oprah threw a fit.
According to a Hermes spokeswoman, Winfrey came to the store 15 minutes after closing and a security guard informed her the store was closed and gave her a card, telling her she could come back the next day.
In the press, Oprah played the race card and Hhermes caved, issuing this statement: "Hermes regrets not having been able to accommodate Ms. Winfrey and her team and to provide her with the service and care that Hermes strives to provide to each and every one of its customers worldwide."
Guess what, Oprah? It's not because you're black. It's because you're late. Same thing happens to me at TJ Maxx or when they turn the lights on at the bar after "last call." Oprah said she was there to buy a watch for her dinnermate that night, Tina Turner. Methinks when you go back (during regular business hours) you should buy two, so this inane incident doesn't happen again.The Ring finger
- Today's lucky missus is Scarlett Johansson
. The lead female character in Sofia Coppola's critically acclaimed (I liked it) film "Lost in Translation," as well as the cutesy chick-flick with the kid from That 70's Show, "In Good Company." Scarlett's got purty eyes. (On a side note, if we were to get married, I think it'd be OK if she kept her maiden name for the big screen name and because she makes like millions more than I do), log onto imdb.com and type in "Scarlett Johannson." Leave my name out of it, because imdb.com will get confused and say that there's no such record on account of the fact we've never dated. Or conversed. Or anything. (also, do not type in "Scarlett Jeter" because a fist will come out of your computer screen and slap you. We all make mistakes. A wise man once said "nothing good happens after 2:00 a.m.)
The Pinky - George Jefferson, a 20-yard old guard from St. Peter's College in Jersey City, NJ, passed away in his sleep earlier this week.
Last summer, Richard Jones, a 21-year old forward from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, died while playing a pickup game.
Two straight years. Two unfortunate losses. Two young men. Too young
Both had bright futures ahead of them off the court. Jones, a native of Boston, was awarded his degree from Canisius. Jefferson, from Queensbridge, NY, was taking summer classes, was on track to graduate with a business degree and wanted to pursue his MBA. Trust me, there aren't too many MBA's in the QB.
Both died of heart conditions - an enlarged heart, or "hypertrophic cardiomyopathy" - which is ironic, because all who knew these two young men could've told you that without a medical test. They had big hearts. It was evident to everyone who knew them and were touched by them in their short tenure with us. Two good people, two tragic endings.Too tragic.-----
When's Day? Today.
Got my weekly iTunes email today. Each time, they offer the "free download" single of the week, which is usually an up-and-coming band. But this week's single, "Gravity" by Embrace does not fit that mold. Not even a little bit. Embrace has been around for a while, but just not in the States. And "Gravity" is one of the top UK singles of the year. Written by Chris Martin of Coldplay, he loaned it to the Britpop group for their latest release "Out of Nothing." To download the Chris Martin version of the tune, as well as a few live versions by Embrace, click here
. I trust it will NOT disappoint.
I know...I haven't put forth a "Hand" in a while. Been so long that I might have to double-fist to catch up (not the first time that's happened...) So be patient all you good, good people.
Memo to the rest of the American League: Kevin Millar hits fifth. Walk Manny and Papi. Throw offspeed pitches. Just a friendly hint.
Saw this when having brekkie (Australian term #1. God I miss that place)
and milk almost came out my nose: Texas Ranger RHP John Wasdin has not been scored upon in 12 2/3 innings in four relief appearances since being recalled from the minors June 12.
In my "opening day blog" section of the limited release "Oz Blog," which chronicled the three-week trip to the aforementioned continent I'd like to return to immediately, I made the bold statement that if the Yankees gave Randy Johnson run support, he'd win 25-30 games. Sure, it was a bit of hyperbole, but I thought it'd be a winning solution with a pitcher of his credentials and an offense with that kind of pop. Nope, wrong. D-E-D wrong.
So far this season, the Big Eunuch has compiled a 7-5 record with a 4.02 ERA. He has almost as many hits (102) as innings pitched (103), less K's (94) than IP, to go along with 16 home runs allowed and 21 walks. All of last season, RJ yielded just 18 taters and 44 walks. Sure, he's had flashes of brilliance this season, but few and far between for most overpaid (18 milly), ugliest 6-10 person in the tri-state area.
The NBA finals went seven games. Wow, shocker there. Just in time for heralded announcement of the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement, which includes a 19-year old age limit.
Why? There are 19 year olds ready to play in the league just as there are plenty of 21, 22 year olds that aren't. Such is such.
According to the new CBA, players from the United States will now have to wait one year after the date their high school class graduates. So what do these players do in the interim? Because let's be honest, if they're ready for the league - or think they are - there's one place they do not belong: college
Sure, Carmelo Anthony going one-and-done worked out for the 'Cuse. But there are quite a few others - Tim Thomas, Dujuan Wagner, Eddie Griffin come to mind off the top of my head - that did one year in college and didn't have the greatest result for either constituency...the college or themselves. Sure, all three got in the league and and got a few fat paychecks, but still...
Where do the high school seniors that want to go to "the league" go? To college for a year? Well, then i guess that headache is on the Division I coaches that take a player knowing he's one and done. But how much hassle is that? How much is it worth, short-term and long-term? Again, if you ask Jim Boeheim, then it's not too much hassle because you ended up cutting down the nets.
But ask Ben Braun at cal about Jamal Sampson - a 6-11 kid who you recruit to be there for four years, shows a bit of promise, is legit tall, and bolts after one year. The "5" - the one spot that the Golden Bear staff didn't have to think about for three years? It became a problem. An emergency even.
Do these kids - the "tweeners" - go to prep school, which is the route some h.s. seniors take when they need a bit more "seasoning" before college? To that I say no, as well. Prep school is for kids not ready for primetime, not for the kid who has no plans for college. It would go against everything prep school is for. Plus, and let's be honest here, a kid who is biding his time before his 19th birthday and the Association is going to have a few folks on the side, shall we say, "investing in him."
On top of that, a few years back, the NCAA passed a rule against foreign players who played on the same team with professionals. The foreign recruit had to sit out a game for every game he played with or against pros. Many thought it was a witch hunt. Well, how would a pro prospect playing prep school be any different?
Either develop the D-League, creating a feeder system for the draft and the league, or eliminate the age restriction - it's the least of the NBA's problems.
Just booked a nice long weekend on the cheap. 200 bucks for r/t flight and two nights hotel in downtown Montreal. All are invited.
It's Chewsday, chew know...
I've come up with an idea that combines my love of sarcasm and satire, along with my uncanny ability to research/cyberstalk.
(with apologies to Andy Rooney) Didja ever notice when photos/postcards are taped up in local delis and pizzerias? Some are from family members, but a good number of them are friends or customers that send them along.
"Dear Angelo and Joey: Having a great time on the plains of the Serengeti, but boy I can't find a good slice of sicilian anywhere..."
Well, I'm going to start sending these to random restaurants. Or send them all to the same restaurant. Maybe they'll be postcards. Maybe they'll be photos of me. Maybe I'll just get a camera and start taking photos of strangers and send them along. Just a thought. Ok, onto the bullets (and if you're wondering, the Hand will return this week)
- Jimmy Key? What's he, like 45? I could hit him.
- Nextel phones suck...they suck.
- God damn, Mark Bellhorn is hitting .228? Why haven't i noticed this? Why haven't I paid more attention? Why aren't I more outraged? Now I'm mad. I'm mad at you, you no-hitting, stoned looking Joe Thornton clone.
- Thirty minutes of Spade doing his "Hollywood Minute" skit on Comedy Central? Sign me up. As bad as SNL has gotten, the glaring exceptions are Tina Fey and those cute glasses (face scar or no face scar, Tina's good people) and the mock British entertainment/gossip show with Amy Poehler.
- My favorite old Spade Hollywood Minute line? "Chaplin? More like 'Craplin.' My 10 year old cousin made that up."
- I want a boat.
- And a tiki bar.
That's all. Like U2 sings... One.
R.I.P. George Jefferson. Prayers and deepest sympathy to his family and the Peacock Basketball family.
Some thoughts for y'all.
- Manny Ramirez - In the third, he golfed a pitch at his (bad) ankle for a three-run homer. In the 5th, he knocked in another run on a ground-rule double. For everyone who criticized him for not playing yesterday, your apologies will be accepted. (that means you, John Tomase...)
- I know the throwing clubs is an unacceptable practice in golf, but it sure clears my mechanism.
- "giggity-gig." - quagmire.
- For those who were watching the ESPN feed of the World Champs vs. the Injuns, er, Redmen, er, Red Storm, er, um, the Golden Eagles, or, Gold, or Hilltoppers...ah, screw it, back to my original joke: hey Duke Castiglione, Tim O'Toole called and he wants his likeness back.
- by the way, they named the DOG Indiana.
- His name is Jason Varitek, and dammit, he's my captain, too.
- I like girls that rock pigtails. it intensifies the cute. And if I really only had one wish, ones that wear abercrombie and fitch.
- I also like steak burritos with sour cream and enano verde hot sauce.
- I'm generally not a fan of the whole "Yankees suck" thing even though I like them slightly less than the bubonic plague, steel-toed boots to my nads, and dogs trying to sing country music. I certainly wouldn't wear one of the litany of those t-shirts they hawk outside Fenway Park, but I must say, I did let out a hearty chuckle after seeing the funniest, most creative one yet: "R. Kelly banged Sheff's Wife." Even better than "Posada's A Little Bitch."
- Yeah, I went to Fenway on Saturday night (Vermont night). Three things came to mind. #1, when Tim Wakefield pitches, they should ban me like Chris House. Other than World Series Game One last year, I don't think I've ever see him win. #2, Alan Embree should change his coming-into-the-game-from-the-bullpen song to the Star Spangled Banner. That way, rather than a cascade of boos, everyone in the park would stand and cheer. They'd have to. And #3, if you hadn't noticed, Kevin Millar rips foul balls into the third base stands. Alot. An awful lot. If there was a Hall of Fame for pulling balls foul on the third base side, he'd be a first ballot vote. They'd retire his number and put it on the visitor's dugout. There would be a red seat in section 28. And that Pulling Balls Foul Hall of Fame would be just off to the left of the current HOF in Cooperstown.
- Spin magazine just put out its list of the top albums of the past 20 years. Top honors goes to Radiohead's Ok Computer and I can't disagree. It is one hell of a disc. Number two goes to Public Enemy's Nation of Millions - which is the BEST rap album of all time - as well as Nirvana's Nevermind, which is certainly a seminal piece of the early 90's. Here is
the top 10: 1. "OK Computer," Radiohead; 2. "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back," Public Enemy 3. "Nevermind," Nirvana 4. "Slanted and Enchanted," Pavement 5. "The Queen Is Dead," Smiths 6. "Surfer Rosa," Pixies 7. "3 Feet High and Rising," De La Soul 8. "Sign 'O' the Times," Prince 9. "Rid of Me," PJ Harvey 10. "Straight Outta Compton," N.W.A
- Here's an interesting one with a simple answer: who cares?
- I saw that the Connecticut state ethics board ruled that lucrative Nike contracts that the men's and women's basketball coaches at UConn receive are breaches of the policy against "gifts and outside work." While the state is not technically wrong, why go on a witch hunt against two of the most popular people in the Nutmeg State, two of the most successful state employees? Just because your former scumbag governor got nailed for being a crook, leave Calhoun and Auriemma alone. On a side note, they should privatize, start a small business called "Husky Hoops Enterprises, LLC" and funnel their sneaker money through there, as nike sponsors "appearances." For more information on how to cash in, email me, gentlemen.
That's it from here. Enjoy your tonight and tomorrow morning.. on a little meet n' greet tomorrow a.m., so TLBR will be pre-empted.
Thank God It's Not Monday
Was going to go with a Hand today, but due to the lack of time and space (apologies to Heidigger, dasein and total spatiality), here's the latest "what's on my mind" stuff:
- Read that Tom Cruise proposed to Katie Holmes on top of the Eiffel Tower, because "it's romantic." That's cool. One time in college, after it began to rain at the end of "50 nights," I made out with a chick in a port-o-potty. (hey, it was dry...) The relevance of those two, I dunno. just thought I'd bare my scarred soul.
- And if you read the NY tabloids today, "Randy Johnson is back." Last night against the Pirates - by the way, Randy made more $$$ in the 4th inning than Freddy Sanchez and the Wilsons (Jack and Craig, not Owen and Luke) combined - and it was his "Arrival as a Yankee." I hate that crap, earning your Pinstripes. Puhlease.
- So Randy's back...but what about Kevin Brown's back? (combined age: about 80).
I'm just not buying this. When the Big Unit pitched against the Sox a few weeks back, he regularly touched 94-96 on the gun (where was that calibrated, by the way?) and looked "strong." Then he proceeded to look like Randy Choate against the Royals. The Unit is old. So is Brown. And, for the sake of balance, so is Curt Schilling. So RJ dialled it up last night, so effing what? Like Beansie said in Old School, "He's old. And dammit, old people die." I'm not wishing or advocating wishing physical death on RJ or Brownie (not this week, at least), but can we stop with the superlatives and admit that they're in the September of their careers in mid-June?
- Ok, when Michael Jackson's lawyer came out with the statement the other day that he would never again share his bed with little boys, I refrained from comment. I held back. It was too easy.
- No, actually, it was TOO easy. Glad he paid 1,500 bucks an hour for that sound advice. Next thing you know, to pay for his legal bills, he's gonna sell "Paperback Writer" to Amazon.com and "Imagine" to McDonald's or something. Somewhere, George Harrison is telling John Lennon that happiness, as a warm gun, would be if he fired a glock semi at LaToya and Randy and Tito and Jermaine.
- But now the Jackson family wants a reality show. If there is a god in heaven, if there is a law on the books, there needs to be a stop to this. There is no way on this green earth that this family should be able to profit from this notoriety. If it's a show where they all jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge at the same time, to quote a J5 classic, "I'll be there." Otherwise, spare all of us.
- No conspiracy theories here, but boy, with the lockout staring over David Stern's shoulder like impending danger, do you really think the Pistons/Spurs series ISN'T going seven? Hell, Ii'm waiting for him to come out and amend the 2005 finals to a best of 81.
- Just scored two front row to Coldplay in Hartford, thanks to my good friend Uncle Marc. Cheers.
Off to Vermont Day (night) tomorrow at the Fens and then to watch the Blue Angels buzz the tower at my parent's house. Eyewitness accounts (my mom) said that they were so close to the backyard yesterday, that she could see the pilot. No confirmation if he waved hello.
Enjoy the weekend. Uno.
In no particular order, here are today's issues:
- Joe Mazzulla, schoolboy standout in basketball, verbally committed to West Virginia and head coach John Beilein. Now, TLBR has its all-time blood favorite Big East team dating back to childhood (Providence), it's newer national champion faves (Syracuse, UConn), and it's hopefully potential fave/future employer (St. John's). But by virtue of the modified Princeton offense, its ability to run an offense as beautiful as a Picasso, a 1-3-1 zone trap defense, and the fact that no matter where on the floor, when on the :35 shot clock, or which player, there is always an open shot...WVU has made the cut in the Best. Basketball. Conference. Ever. Good for Joe, who I might add, went to a great high school. Now get ready to watch him flash cut to the basket and trap at the top of the key for the next four years.
- Another individual from that same great high school with the impeccable academic and athletic standards - Rocco Baldelli - was also in the news today, albeit for a less happy occasion. The Devil Ray centerfielder, who was recovering from off-season knee surgery, tore his ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, requiring "Tommy John Surgery." Doctors do these about 100 times a week, so it's almost routine. And generally, the patient comes back with flying colors and with a stronger arm than before. So memo to Coach Sveum: don't send Millar to score from second on a single to the left-centerfield gap. It ain't never gonna happen. And it gives him time to completely rehab the knee. Look for a big 2006 for the Pride of Woonsocket.
- The US Open begins today, it's on in the office, and all I can say is "Go Tiger." Yeah, rooting for Tiger might seem like rooting for the IRS in an audit or the Yankees...ever...but screw it. I'm not a hater. Go Tiger. And Go Phil. Can't go wrong with either. On the other side of the scale, here's hoping Vijay gets stuck in quicksand.
- Is Jose Guillen the next Carl Everett? After Tuesday night's stupidity over pine tar - which included the benches clearing and a bunch of overpaid men in tight pants yelling obscenities at each other for no apparent reason near the pitchers mound - the other night between the Angels and the Nationals, former Angel Guillen had this to say about his former manager: "I'm so happy that I wasn't the first one to be in the middle because I don't know what would have happened there. I am so happy that my teammates grabbed me and dragged me back to the dugout because if I was right in the middle, the story was going to be different."
What's that about staying quiet and being thought an idiot than opening your mouth and dispelling all doubt?
- And speaking of Captain Carl, baseball's anti-William Jennings Bryan, here is the latest episode of sports media's "Letting Idiots Speak," Someone gave this genius a forum, and now, I poop on it: "Fan is short for fanatic -- he's crazy about something he really doesn't know about. And it's proven that 99 percent of baseball fans have no idea what they're watching."
Thanks for the etymology lesson and I'm going to have to call you on this one. I'm a fan. And, yes, we do have an idea of what we're watching. We're watching your career dwindle, dying slowly like a dehydrated dog in the desert.
- And more...Everett has had gay teammates, whom he has accepted, but: "Gays being gay is wrong. Two women can't produce a baby, two men can't produce a baby, so it's not how it's supposed to be. ... I don't believe in gay marriages. I don't believe in being gay."
That's great, family values from the guy who got tossed from (and suspended thereafter) for arguing with an umpire two straight years...ON FAMILY DAY.
- And in closing, there's the one about the congressional hearings examining steroid use: "We have a war going on -- I have family in that war -- yet we're talking about steroids. ... If everybody in the world got on steroids, we'll still lose more kids to a war than we will from steroids."
Well, I'd give you a pass on this one, but since you proved your scientific acumen with the whole "boys have penises, girls have vaginas" theory with his stance on the gay issue, I would argue that if everyone were on steroids, then everyone would have "'roid rage," and then I'd seem to think that the world would be a giant battle royale with everyone trying to throw each other over the top rope and eliminate them. Even people from Luxembourg.
- And the last one from Carl about Jose Canseco: "He is a bitter, ignorant individual."
Ok, I'll give you that one, pal. One outta four, that's .250. And that's better than what you're doing this year.
- And speaking of gay people, did you see the repeated rump-slapping and ass-grabbing from A-Rod to Captain Jeter after the walkoff (sorry, Bose, "game-winning") home run by Jason Giambi last night? It made the Yankee dugout look a pinstriped RuPaul appreciation night.
Enough from me, I'm ghost. One. (p.s. - good luck Kyle)
Old Man Typing
I've got nothing today. Nothing.
I tried typing something up and it was neither funny, nor cogent.
It's an off day. It happens. Ted Williams struck out. Sandy Koufax gave up a hit once in a while. Maybe it's my old age. Maybe I need to head out and buy some Ensure.
If I get a muse between now and about 11:00 tonight, I'll get after it.
I'm Not Dead Yet...I Feeeel Happy...I Think I'll Go For A Walk...
It's so nice to be back at the Dexter Lake Club. So here's a little song we call Shama-lama-ding-dong. Now hit it:
- Sorry for the hiatus, kids. I've been away on a XXX weekend. No, not to Montreal or a strip club. Just XXX. Roman for 30. I'm the big 3-0...a potential salary cap casualty...the old dude in the club...Dawson's Creep... rats.
- And on the topic of the creek, Katie Holmes is gone. Long gone. She's a moonie now.
- Matt Clement is the ace of the staff. I'll repeat: Matt Clement is the ace of the staff. Jackie Mack thinks so, too.
- Remember when she was the hottest female on the planet?
- Remember when he was the baddest man on the planet? Mike Tyson just got punked by a bouncer from Ri-Ra. Back in the day, when his fights were on HBO, Tyson used to enter the ring wearing a white towel over his head, black shorts, black boots and no socks, with PE's "Welcome to the Terrordome" blasting...If I was in that ring, I'd have shit myself. But if you had the much healthier option of sitting on the couch at home, you couldn't take a leak before the fight or get a drink before the fight or be late for the beginning of the fight because...you'd miss the fight!
- I think having "Wily" or "Mo" as part of your name would be pretty cool. But "Wily Mo?" Even better.
- More proof that the Red Sox have the best fanbase in baseball - better than the 50,354 Ned Flanders' at Busch Stadium. Ballgirl Kelly Baron got hit in the jaw after a hard foul grounder took a bad hop. A half-inning later, Don-O and Rem Dawg had the official injury report - bruised jaw, ice pack, will not return. day-to-day. But the simple fact that when they said "Kelly Baron" on the air, everyone knew "oh yeah, that's the cute ballgirl with the pigtails." Best. In. Baseball.
- In what is turning into an annual rite for DVD's, the Two-Time Defending World Champion New England Patriots put out "Three Games to Glory III" last week. The two-disk set featured each and every play of the game when the then-underdog Pats hold the most powerful offense and the greatest quarterback known to man to just three measly points. The other two games - when the still-underdog Pats put up 41 on Chin Cowher's Steel Curtain defense & the Super Bowl - are also featured. But the highlight of 3G2G3 was the virtual filmroom with Coach Belichick. The HC broke down several plays, making it patently obvious to the lay people watching why he is the best in the biz right now. "In this play here, we wanted to pummel Peyton Manning after he had the ball snapped to him. So we ran 'Double-Flatback Black, Wingnut Z' after he said hike, and you see Tedy and Roman roll around the offensive line and snap him in half. I think it worked well."
That's it, that's all. Uno.
The Industry Standard
In honor of the last TLBR update on June 8.
See, baby. It's not that hard.
How long do I wait to call?
... Tomorrow, then a day.
So, two days?
Yeah. I guess you could call it that.
Definitely. Two days. That's the industry standard...
(to Sue. shop talk)... I used to wait two days. Now everyone waits two days. Three days is kinda money now, don't you think?
... Yeah. But two's enough not to look anxious...
Yeah, but three days is kinda the money...
(interrupting sarcastically) Why don't I just wait three weeks and tell her I was cleaning out my wallet and found her number...
... then ask where you met her...
Yeah, I'll tell her I don't remember and then I'll ask what she looks like. (pause) Then I'll ask if we fucked. How's that, Tee? Is that "the money"?
Laugh all you want, but if you call to soon you can scare off a nice baby who's ready to party.
Don't listen to him. You call whenever it feels right to you.
How long are you guys gonna wait to call honeys?
TRENT & SUE
What's Cooler than being Cool?
I'm on a beach in Cape Cod (on "business"), so apologies for those of you who might not have a complete day without your TLBR fix - hardy har har har. In fact, I must admit, I'm feeling less a man by not writing. By the way, Martha's Vineyard is merely a two hour swim from here.
So let's recap today - did the drive from Hades to God's Country in something of 2.5 hours. Tack on another 1.5 hours, and I arrived, unscathed, in Falmouth.
Now, I must give the folks who are running this here clambake credit - you might actually be able to hold a clambake here. And after a somewhat painful meeting with my comrades-in-arms, there was only one place to go, one thing to order, and one thing to do: (in order) the bar on the beach, a Sam Summer or seven, and book a room for the night.
Tonight, I have nothing more to do than root for the Sox to avoid the sweep at the hands of the 2004 runner-up World Champs; to root, root, root for the home team in Milwaukee and if they don't win it's a shame because the 2004 American League runners-up suck; and enjoy a Miller Lite or 12. (if you're scoring at home, I have a problem.)
So for all of you that were expecting a breakfast, lunch, or even mid-day snack of musings from your left-handed guru today, many apologies. In fact, I'll leave it to the musical words of Chris Martin - his best song as a member of Coldplay - to take this to the next step...to the next step
When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse
When the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you
High up above or down below
When you too in love to let it go
If you never try you'll never know
Just watch and learn
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you
R.I.P. Anne Bancroft. And keep on keeping one, loves. One.
A Tuesday Manifesto
Yesterday, I linked up an article by Gene Wojciechowski. It was his take on the "I believe..." speech by Crash Davis in the movie Bull Durham.
I thought it was a good idea. In fact, I believe
it's a great idea.
So I'm going to copy it. Without further ado:I believe...
if you watch the new Gilligan's Island show on tv
, they should send you somewhere far away (on more than a three hour cruise). I suggest digging a big hole somewhere in the Dakotas and leaving them there. With the movie star, the millionaire, his wife.I believe
...that St. Louis does not have the best fans in baseball. Folks, you can
boo. Unless you're getting those tickets for free, you ought to. When your guy is 2-for-226 and has popped up to the 2nd baseman for the last three months (score that "P4," you wacky toasted ravioli and baseball-loving folks), the fact that you're standing up and singing "Tomorrow" from Annie
is not going to snap that slump.I believe...
I'll miss the Red Sox episode of Queer Eye. In fact, I believe I've missed every other episode of the show, so why change now? Just so I can see Jason Varitek get a bikini wax? Tek? Captain? I can't. And stop giving Mirabelli a manicure with pumpkin wax or whatever the hell you use. The man doesn't use batting gloves or pine tar. Callouses are good. Repeat, callouses are goooooood.I believe
...the answer is Soren Kierkegaard...and you, too, can vote here
for your favorite philosopher.I believe
...I will have another, thanks.I believe
...Michael Jackson should spend the rest of his days in prison.I believe
...Schapelle Corby should not.I believe
...my man VP has a man-crush on Pistons h.c. Larry Brown, which means he must have broken up with John Beilein. Ah, summer love.I believe
...that people who spend the bulk of their time discussing mid-major basketball
on the internet should be banished to a hole adjacent to the Gilligan's Isle viewers. And somehow, I get the feeling that none of these folks would give Ginger a second glance.I believe
...if I hit Powerball, I buy a place in Nantucket, in Tasmania, and do this full-time. Oh, and season tix on the Monster.
I'll close with this. Skip the theme for a second...Brian Cashman has a son named Theo? God I love irony. As we all know, Theo (Epstein, that is), is Brian Cashman's daddy. But Brian is also Theo's (Cashman, that is) - daddy.
It's the circle of life. It's the wheel of for-tune.
Enjoy day 158 of 2005. One.
Monday is not my Fun Day...
Stuck at a golf outing that I don't get to play in, so bitterness prevails. At least I get fed.
But just because I'm having a rotten day doesn't mean all of you out there should be deprived of something to read:
- Coldplay's "Live Leak" on MTV was un-freakin-out-of-this-world. If Chris Martin and the boys brought their "A" game, then add a plus to it. They played all the tracks off X & Y, which hits stores tomorrow but hit my iPod about 10 days ago (no dirt on my shoulder). And if "Fix You" doesn't make you want to cry or think of days long ago or call a long lost friend or whatever, call a doctor. You lack a central nervous system.
- Gene Wojciechowski, formerly of the Chi-town Tribune now of ESPN.com, is a great writer. This is no exception
. I may steal this idea if I'm at a creative loss anytime soon. (like now, perhaps?)
- Kudos to Mike Myers, a guy who throws left,
for emerging as the Sox' #1 lefty out of the pen. More kudos to Kevin Millar, who bats right, and had one of those weekends that you hope will catapult him into having a hot streak.
- More Sox...this past October, it was a champagne supernova in St. Louis, as the Sox claimed their first World Series in 86 years. Back to the scene of the sweep tonight, with the first of three games against the Cardinals. Last year, the boys rode into town, drank their beer, took their women, their shortstop, and paraded back to the Hub. We'll see how it all plays out tonight.
Oh, and the mystery of the universe - what TLBR means - has been revealed. Let's see if anyone can harken back to their Encyclopedia Brown mystery books and figure it out.
Back to the course. Enjoy your day.
Friday's Stream of Consciousness
Just a few thoughts running 61 quarters through my mind this morning:
· I really like that "When September Ends" song by Green Day. I still own their debut "Dookie" on cassette, when they were a punk band. Hey, it's not selling out, it's buying in
. Oasis' "Lyla" is their most solid work in about a decade.
· This weekend marks the 30th anniversary of the death of one of the United States' most colorful athletes: Steve Prefontaine. Pre. And this weekend, the Pre Classic track meet is held at Hayward Field in Eugene. For more on the race, and Pre, click here
Pre lost one race in his entire college career at the University of Oregon, and that was the NCAA Cross Country Championship as a freshman when he brashly tried to lead from gun to tape. At one point in his career, he held every U.S. record from the mile-10,000m. No one's done it since. No one ever will. And if not for a bold and poor tactical move in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, he'd have an Olympic medal.
He ran hard, lived harder, and despite his death, lives on with every kid that laces them up for a few lashes around the track.
· Memo to Jerry Springer: Back off
. The lady is spoken for.
· Don't fret, Yankee fans. The Royals? They're good. Well, at least, they were in '85.
· More Yankee shite: Scores of Taiwanese are flooding the Yankee p.r. email addresses with notes of support for RHP Chien-Ming Wang
. Generally, when I get e-mails with the word "wang" in the subject, I delete them
· Saw the so-called controversial video that the San Francisco 49ers' P.R. department used to show its players. My reaction? S.F.W. Whoop-de-damn-do.
First of all, it was meant for strictly internal use. A locker room. Secondly, it was wildly satirical. They actually poked more fun at themselves than anyone else.
The tape tried to make eight separate, but very important points in dealing with the media. It made each point with hyperbole and humorous examples. Granted, the points about diversity were lost with the naked lesbians, but still. Consider your audience. (I wouldn't have "gone there" on that point and besides, TLBR's Board of Governor's would have rejected it.)
But if you're looking for one demographic that was called out the most, look no further than the niche factor of "former diva, bigmouth wide receivers named Terrell."
Dumb, stupid P.C. world we live in...
· Good call, Tito
. Glad you spoke up on this one.
· This weekend, the Angels of Wherever They're From come to Fenway to face the Sox. And I hope the Fenway Faithful give a nice, hearty welcome back standing O to O.C., a.k.a. Orlando Cabrera. Give him a big hand, but give our current Colombian shortstop Edgar Renteria a bigger one. He made yesterday's win possible.
· Here's hoping your weekend isn't too bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s. And thanks for reading. TLBR went over the 1,000 mark yesterday and it's all due to you. If you've enjoyed reading this half as much as I've enjoyed writing it...
Be good. And if you can't be good, at least be safe. One.
Thank You, Big Papi
I'm gonna tell you a story
I'm gonna tell you about my town
I'm gonna tell you a big bad story, baby
Aww, it's all about my town
Yeah, down by the river
Down by the banks of the river Charles (aw, that's what's happenin' baby)
That's where you'll find me
Along with lovers, fuggers, and thieves (aw, but they're cool people)
Well I love that dirty water
Oh, Boston, you're my home (oh, you're the Number One place)
Frustrated women (I mean they're frustrated)
Have to be in by twelve o'clock (oh, that's a shame)
But I'm wishin' and a-hopin, oh
That just once those doors weren't locked (I like to save time for my baby to walk around)
Well I love that dirty water
Oh, Boston, you're my home (oh, yeah)
Because I love that dirty water
Oh, oh, Boston, you're my home (oh, yeah)
Well, I love that dirty water (I love it, baby)
I love that dirty water (I love Baw-stun)
I love that dirty water (Have you heard about the Strangler?)
I love that dirty water (I'm the man, I'm the man)
I love that dirty water (Owww!)
I love that dirty water (Come on, come on)
What happens when you look in the mirror and it screams back, HYPOCRITE!
There are no heroes in the Watergate scandal.
Not Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, whose investigative reporting took down a President and set forth the wheels of distrust, scandal chasing, and modern muckraking now in epidemic form in journalism. Those wheels spin faster and faster each day, almost as fast as the bankrolls these two have gotten from their exploits in the 1970's, through now, as paid political consultants to the media...they're benefitting from the feeding frenzied media climate they helped create.
Not President Nixon, whose paranoia, personal bitterness and demons led to this scandal and his downfall. Nixon's wanton desire to eliminate all dissenters was frightening and truly a shame, as he was one the smartest, shrewdest, and most worldly-thinking leaders this country has ever had. he was the last imperial president; the jury is still out as to whether or not that is a good thing.
Not Mark Felt. What was his motivation to break the law? Was it because he was passed over to replace his hero, J. Edgar Hoover? Was he simply a "jilted lover?" (no pun intended) Was this his way of getting back at the Nixon administration? If so, don't his actions seem a bit like those of the President whose reign he was intent on toppling? Fighting fire with fire? Gee, i didn't know the FBI followed Hammurabi's code.
Was it, as Woodward wrote today in the Washington Post
(in a perfectly crafted tome that he has had sitting and idling as b-matter until Felt's final breath on this earth), Felt, in his early days in the bureau, was a counter-intelligence agent. was this a case of pining for the days of old and playing cloak and dagger?
And if you're looking for heroes, it's certainly not Mark Felt's family. Something about his admissions of being "Deep Throat" smacks of the late John Henry Williams, the son of former Red Sox slugger Ted Williams who looked at his father's legacy as an ATM.
You can read between the lines and see his kids gathered around, as felt is drooling in his vanilla pudding, trying to postulate a way to make the biggest buck possible with book deals, news magazine show appearances and exclusive interviews: "hey, if we prop Pop up, comb his hair, and tell him to smile, then we can hold a press conference..."
Bottom line: Mark Felt took an oath, to protect the laws and ideals of this country. It is an oath requiring blind faith and obedience. If at any point said faith and obedience is compromised as personal beliefs make it impossible to do ones job, then it is imperative to eliminate that situation and resign.
Make no bones about it, there are no heroes in the Watergate situation. It was not a glamourous time in this nation. It marked the end of an era of "good journalism," as paul begala called it, and the beginning of the era of media sensationalism. It began the race not to get scooped, as many of the nation's most revered dailies were by the washington post. It began the use - and ultimate overuse - of terms like "smoking gun" and the addition of "-gate" to any sort of scandal that the modern day Woodsteins are chasing, fresh out of J-School.
(oh, and by the way, Nixon was never convicted of any crime. Mark Felt was. ironically enough...for illegal wiretapping and surveillance.)
"The Hand" That Rocks the Wednesday
Without further delay, the Hand:Thumb's Up:
Thumb's up goes to two new members of the World Champs (what, did you think the Sox would take two of three from the Yanks in dominating fashion in the Bronx and not think they'd be the thumb's up???)
. Those two members are first baseman John Olerud
and the reigning American League Player of the Week, shortstop Edgar Renteria
If Olerud had a functioning right leg, he'd have gone 5-for-6 in his first game. Along with the sweet swing, Olerud brings a more than capable glove. And is a more than capable sub/replacement for Kevin Millar
As for the other guy, sure, Rents has been a member of the Sox all season. But he finally showed up this past week, batting a sizzling .667 (16 for 24), with three consecutive three-hit games, followed by a four-hit effort. In all, Edgar batted 10-for-12 in three games in Yankee Stadium - including a wicked awesome grand slam.Thumb's Down:
To my short game and putting. I suck.The Index Finger:
Thanks to a nice chap on the internet, I was able to procure a copy of the new Coldplay album "X & Y." It's great. Really great.
I downloaded the first single, "Speed of Sound" a few weeks back on iTunes and thought it was a solid intro, akin to "Clocks." But the best song on the album - the best dreamy love song they've written, better than "Shiver," "Sparks," "the Scientist," and "Green Eyes" put together - is "Fix You."
If you watch the O.C., you've heard it and will know exactly when to yell "Seth Cohen
is a tool!" Regardless of that morsel of pop culture that I long to hold onto as I enter my third decade on this planet in a few short days, when X & Y hits stores, so should you.The Middle Finger:
Ok, a big F-U goes to Barbara Ford, vice chairman of the Edgell Grove Cemetery Trustees in Framingham, MA. This see-you-next-Tuesday is snapped. Here's why.
A precocious second grader named Collin Kelly
, from the hometown of Lou Merloni, visited the the above cemetery, and observed the graves of the veterans - including Framingham's Gen. John Nixon who fought in the Revolutionary war and led Minutemen from Framingham in the assault on the British at Bunker Hill. Collin thought it would be a good idea to plant flowers by their graves because many of the older graves don't have anyone around to visit them.
It's not a good idea. It's a great
idea. Even more, considering Collin is nine, it's leaps and bounds ahead of a great idea.
Collin and his mom, Lynn, were guests on the Today Show and after the little fella told Matt Lauer about his idea, said: "I do nice things and I guess one person can change the world."
Damn skippy. A local TV investigative reporter, in that typical put-you-on-the-spot-in-the-most-embarassing-light-possible fashion, had Ford snap with a terse "HE'S BREAKING THE RULES."
Sometimes rules are stupid and meant to be broken. This is one of those instances. I think after Ms. Ford saw how stupid she looked, she relented slightly and allowed Collin and Marine Cpl. John Grigg, a Framingham native and recent returnee from Iraq, to place (not plant) flowers at the gravesites. There was a stipulation that they be removed by sundown.(old guy soapbox moment alert...)
In an age where kids of all ages don't care about much, other than the XBox and spending too much time behind the screens of televisions and computers, it's great to see a youngster like Collin have such a broad and touching idea and to follow through with it to the fullest. Good on ya, kid. Bad on ya, Babs.The Ring Finger:
Ah, June is on the calendar and summer love is in the air. And by "summer love," I do not mean that colossally annoying song from Grease
that the cheesy chick chirps out at karaoke night at the local on Thursday nights.
I know as much about cars as I do about the Holy Roman Empire, which is to say that it was holy, located in or around the metropolitan Rome area, and it was an empire. Cars? Well, they have doors, engines, gas pedals, brakes and go beep-beep, vroom-vroom.
So to take it to the next step...to the next step, boys
(TLBR really is my big inside joke, isn't it?)...how about that Danica Patrick
? Everyone is making a big deal of her because, well, she
is a her
. But simple anatomy aside, she is a rookie in the Indy Car League that made a few bold moves, avoided a few crashes, and damn near won the Indianapolis 500 - the most relevant race in the world.
A rookie. She ended up fourth. That's impressive. An impressive finish and even more impressive that it made me leave my boy Jay's deck that was stocked with burgers, dogs, kielbasa, and Miller Lites to watch her and scores of others drive in repetitive 2.5 mile circles.
But of course, if you're a player in tha game, there are player haters out there, and who better to try to show off his PhD (player hater degree) than Robby Gordon. NASCAR's "other" Gordon - the Dom to Joe Dimaggio, the Joe to Phil Niekro, the Frank to Sylvester Stallone, the Nell to Jimmy Carter - tried to downplay and place an asterisk on Ms. Patrick's accomplishments because "she weighs less than everyone else."
That's a great argument, Robby...FOR ME TO POOP ON! Sure, simple physics would give her a slight advantage because she is slight, but c'mon! It's a race, you're in a car. You do what you can to win the race. Wait, is that Norm Edwards I hear...ROBBIE, YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!
So what next, Robby, are you going to complain about how aggressive and bitchy she drives if she's PMS-ing? And oh wait, is that Brick Tamlin I hear...I HEAR THEIR PERIODS ATTRACT BEARS
! Go back to the treehous and put your "No Gurls Allow'd" sign outside, Spanky. And give my regards to Alfalfa.
Regardless, kudos to Ms. Patrick. A ring I place on thou finger for seven days, me lady. Oh, and in case you've been living under a rock that doesn't get good television reception, here is a photo of her and my ex-girlfriend
. Sorta. Fucking restraining orders...that 200 meter halo can't stop our love Amanda! I'll take you by the hand, and make you understand, Amanda.
(did it get weird? it got weird.)The Pinky:
Back in the day, I had a band. And we tried real hard. But then Jimmy quit and Jody got married... (I can recycle bad jokes if they're MY jokes, dammit). But seriously folks, the boys from back in the day are meeting up in July, traveling to Pittsburgh for a long weekend.
Don't be confused, it's not the Brotherhood of the Traveling Pants, rather, a bunch of guys who, eight or nine years, about 30 or 40 pounds, and 60 or 70 miles-a-week ago, used to rule the roads of the East Side of Providence. Nowadays, a few guys are married, one's engaged, and two others - me in that boat - are just swinging bachelors.
Back in the day, it took the clock to hit 5:30 before we'd meet up. Now, it takes a flight and a little bit of work to get together. But that's not a bad thing.
It's progress and, darn it, progress is good, especially when you examine the successful life that each young individual has created for himself.
I'm of the belief that good people tend to associate themselves with other good people, which is kind of ironic, because from July 7-10 in Pittsburgh, it's prolly gonna get ugly.
That's it, that's all, it's Wednesday. So enjoy.