Monday, July 31, 2006
  See also: Saturday's Post, re: Papi
"The 2-0 from Carmona...Swing and a drive! ... Deep to center! ...Sizemore looking up, and it's gone! ...Big Papi does it again!

It's unbelievable.


I mean, um, yeah.

I'm speechless. And it's not like I haven't seen them before. Some of them live, even.

You expect it, especially with a 2-0 count. But wow.

Three-run bomb. Batting helmet toss. Big party at home plate. The Standells real loud.

It's Big Papi. That's it, man. It's Big Papi.

(and on an aside, Wily Mo Pena's shot in the third might have just landed a few minutes Nova Scotia.)

your humble and obedient servant,
Saturday, July 29, 2006
  When It's Extra Innings, Two On, One Out, and Papi's at the plate... know what the next step is.

Joe Castiglione: "Big Papi does it again."

Yes he does. (if loving that big, happy, game-winning RBI sluggin' Dominican is wrong, I don't want to be right...uh, wha? nothing...)

Off to the Brewers game. The new sausage debuts tonight. I have a feeling the Mexican Chorizo is going to win the first race...just a hunch...

Your humble and obedient servant,
Friday, July 28, 2006
  If It's Friday Night...
...then Tintara's flowing, the head's a buzzing, the YouTube's a posting, and the brain's engaged...

Here's a great vintage U2 clip of "Sunday Bloody Sunday"

Here's another one...U2 was so much better with mullets, n'cest-ce pas?

This was America's real first introduction to Paul Hewson, David Evans, Adam Clayton, and Larry ranked 11th on my previous top 5 lists of musical events/eras I wished I experienced. Although, when I was 10, I saved up my paper route money and bought the Red Rocks concert on VHS and watched it until it broke.

Combining a top song and a top show - Live Aid 1985 - here is U2's version of the song at this world-changing event

Here's that 1987 clip in Denver, where Bono went off...there was never a more empassioned rendition, as you can tell by his "Fuck the Revolution" cry. I only wish I witnessed it first-hand.

It makes you wish that the song was never written, that there was never ever any reason to have it written. And then you think of the current world and how shampooed it there are scores of Arab and Israeli versions of this 9/11 could spawn a box 7/7 in Madrid...and the Bali bombings...and all of the World's Troubles.

Bono wrote this song about the Irish troubles...Kids, there are global troubles. I bow my head in graceful remorse and peace. I am childless now. But my hope is to have sons and daughters and grandchildren and sit them down and talk about how the World changed for the worse it turned back for the good.

It's too easy to hate. It's a fucking cop-out to hate (apologies for the sans shampoo...but this is the politically impassioned me). Make an effort to love. CNN shouldn't be a bloody horror story.

Ok, back to the it different now? Yes. BUT... The band never takes it for granted. In fact, after the show in Denver they stopped playing it until late in the Popmart tour. To me, this song is like Neil Young's "Needle and the Damage Done" in that the band NEVER EVER half-asses it. Maybe a monologue midway through but it's never shite. It can't be. There's way too much riding on it.

You want proof of that? Here's a clip from the "rediscovering" of the song during the Popmart Tour... It's acoustic. It's just the Edge. Doesn't matter. It's still empassioned. U2 never missed a beat.

Here's a clip from a show in Dublintown on the Vertigo tour, circa 2005. Yep, still relevant. Still got it.

When 9/11 happened, yeah, all of us folks who were 25-26 at the time knew that life would be different. It affected everyone, obviously, but for my particular age-group at the as we knew it was all up for grabs.

Our age-group - those who are 30-31-32 right now - we have a very unique place in this world. We're the computer programmers who remember what it was like to not have email or internet until their junior years in college. They remember how to actually have to do stuff without Google.

Our age-group, those were the folks working from floor 75 and above...or climbing the stairs as members of FDNY trying to help those affected by the planes...or they were on the planes... (Shawn M. Nassaney and Lynn Goodchild, United 175, RIP)

Like our parents before us, who all remember where they were when John Fitzgerald Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas, we all remember where we were when our world stopped twice before 9 a.m. on that faithful day.

Has it started again? Good question. Certainly a subjective question. If you ask that cu(shampoo)nt Ann Coulter, we're all attention-seeking whores. But for me, and I can only speak for me, no...the World has not started again. It continues to go down a path of destruction, but it has not ever kicked back into gear. Not even after five years.

The pessimist says it won't. And frighteningly enough, I'm not one of them.

I hope we can all just get on...I want to have kids. I want them to live, learn, and work toward the next logical step. But the way things are going, I just want them to experience something. Anything. At this rate, that's no guarantee.

Your humble & obedient servant,
  Are You Not Entertained? Is This Not Why You're Here?
It's Friday and thank God for that. (I might be the first person to ever have this sentiment... makes me want to open a bar/grille, put goofy shit on the wall, and serve mozzarella sticks.)

I couldn't think of any prose to write, at least none that made sense or was proper. It's not for lack of having any sort of opinions, knowledge of common facts, and/or current events.

So here is the return of the Top 5 lists. Feel free to agree, disagree, debate, discuss, or chime in with your own. Email them along and I'll reprint them. Be sure to include your name, alias, or pseudonym and hometown.
Top 5 Rejected Names for the Chili Dog stand I'd open if I hit the lottery and didn't really have to work for a living
1. Raw Sewage
2. Ayatollah Ptomaine-y
3. Pigs' Lips & Assholes
4. Get Ready to Poop!
5. Chili's

Top 5 Obscure Red Sox/PawSox Names That Always Get A Chuckle When You Drop them Randomly in a "remember those guys?" convo with your friends.
1. Chico Walker
2. LaSchelle Tarver
3. Pat Dodson
4. Gary Miller-Jones
5. Arquimedez Pozo

Top 5 Things That Surprised Me More Than Lance Bass' Announcement that he is gay
1. Arab countries don't like Israel.
2. Red Sox fans like it when the Yankees lose.
3. Getting stung by a portuguese man-o-war really hurts.
4. When you take Ny-Quil, it makes you sleepy.
5. Lindsay Lohan does coke and sleeps around.

Top 5 Talents I Bet You Didn't Know I Possess
1. Verbatim impression of the Dr. Evil monologue in Austin Powers.
2. A 12-6 curveball.
3. Snarky, cynical, sarcastic sense of humor (oh, you got that one? sorry.)
4. Terrific karaoke singer
5. Two words: nuclear physics (blatantly lying)

Top 5 Favorite Beers and Proper Places to Enjoy Them
1. Pint of Smithwicks; the Oliver St. John Gogerty in Temple Bar, Dublin
2. Samuel Adams Summer Ale; the Black Pearl in Newport (with a bowl of chowder)
3. James Boag's Premium; Wildfire, Sydney Harbour, Sydney, Australia (a vintage shiraz is nice there, too)
4. (tie) Leffe or Delirium Tremens; De Burcht, Leiden, Holland
5. Miller Lite; pretty much anywhere if it's on someone else's tab

Top 5 Songs I Kick Ass At in Karaoke
1. Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay"
2. David Gray's "Be Mine"
3. Concrete Blonde's "Joey" (yeah, it's hard)
4. Oasis' "She's Electric"
5. U2's "Walk On" (well, I'm told it was good...or at the very least, impassioned and emotional)

Top 5 Songs For "That Special Moment" (up to and including the couple in the his and her bathtubs, overlooking a vast valley at sundown, after he took Cialis...)
1. Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing"
2. Sade's "Cherish the Day"
3. Ben Harper's "Not Fire, Not Ice"
4. Ben Folds' "The Luckiest"
5. Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay"

Top 5 Numbers, ranging from 1-10
1. 6
2. 4
3. 2.6
4. 9
5. 11

Top 5 Musical Moments/Eras/Concerts I Wish I Witnessed First-hand
1. Woodstock, 1969, Max Yasgur's Farm
2. Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue, MSG, Dec. 8, 1975
3. "Madchester" - Manchester, England during the transformation from Joy Division to the Happy Mondays
4. The Brian Jonestown Massacre's 10-hour show at the Ohio Communist Party in the mid-1990's
5. The Beatles at Shea Stadium, Aug. 1965

The Next 5 on That List
6. U2, Nov. 8, 1987, Denver, "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
7. Frank Sinatra "The Main Event," MSG, 1974
8. Live Aid (the first one)
9. Any Grateful Dead show ever
10. The Newport Folk Festival, 1963-65

Top 5 Things (that go well together) That I'd Like Right Now
1. A rootbeer float
2. A back massage
3. A place in Nantucket
4. A Dunkin Donuts coffee (large, skim, one sugar)
5. A swim in the ocean
Ok, that's all for now. Have great weekends; supposed to have great weather here in the MKE. Hope it's the same by you, wherever that be.

Your humble and obedient servant,
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
  Let me tell you about the third time I met the Loch Ness Monster
  Three Things I'd Like Right Now
1. a giant root beer float.
2. a nap
3. 15 buffalo wings for lunch

And some Advil.
Yeah, um, ok...

Chat later. I got stuff.

Monday, July 24, 2006
  Bigmouth Strikes Again...
Rick Sutcliffe might be drinking in the booth...again.

Just a few minutes ago, on ESPN's Yankees/Rangers broadcast, the always solid Erin Andrews gave a "sideline" report about Gary Matthews Jr.'s breakout 2006 season.

In years past, Matthews Jr., according to the report, had better road splits than ones at home.

His explanation: he slept better in hotels than his condo in Texas.

So Andrews reports, after a conversation with the son of "the Sarge," that he re-made his condo to seem more like a hotel room: blackout shades, new air filters, and a new Tempur-pedic mattress.

Interesting story, right? Might explain a few things...

Well, cue up the theme to Porky's.

Sutcliffe blurts out, right after Andrews' report of the style of mattress (tempur-pedic) - and I sorta paraphrase - "whoa, whoa, how do you know so much about that?"

I'll allow a minute for that to sink in.

(tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock)

Good. Get it? Erin Andrews knows about Gary Matthews Jr.'s condo not because she did some solid reporting, but because she's a whore who slept in said domicile. Excuse me while I wakka-wakka-wakka like Fozzie Bear on that one.

And shall we remind everyone about Sutcliffe, the funny former fireballer who is still perplexed as to why Matt Vasgersian is still in San Diego ('s sunny and 75-80 everyday, zero humidity, and it never rains in Southern California...why would he want to leave "Whale's Vagina" for E. Hartford or Bristol, Conn.?)

A month or two ago, after playing 36 holes and drinking 36 beers with Bill Murray, Sut stumbled his way into the Padres' broadcast booth and slurred his speech while rambling on, incoherently. The Padres' producer was the guy to cut Sut off that day, cutting his mike after he finished his George Clooney/Congress rant (he's trying to take care of that thing, you know, George Clooney).

If I'm Erin Andrews, I'm ripshit pissed off. And at the next production meeting, I'm getting in someone's face.

She is a more-than-capable sideline reporter for a network that usually values style over substance. They're more apt to put a pretty face out there with a cue card, than someone who knows the value of hitting behind the runner to advance them up a base.

Regardless...another black mark on Sutcliffe. And on ESPN.
  Mid-Monday Quickie
Where do I find this stuff? Man, that's a question of the Universe.

But regardless, it comes to you via the fine folks at Some of the best stuff I've seen in a while. So simple, yet, so effective. Enjoy.

The entire site has great stuff. And the best thing? It's ALL very safe for work. Unless you work in a place that frowns upon cackling and giggling...then tough shit Paddy...

Sunday, July 23, 2006
  Some ACL Inspired YouTubing of Forlorn Songs on a Lonely Saturday Night

Friday, July 21, 2006
  A Few Friday Night Rhetorical Questions
(rhetorical questions in boldface, grasshopper)

1. Is there a better album to chill out to than The Harder They Come OST? I mean, "Many Rivers to Cross," "Pressure Drop," and obviously the title track...

2. Watching the Mariners/Red Sox game. Ichiro pokes a single through a hole at short and gets to first. Like most folks, he starts up a conversation with the first baseman. In this case, it's Big Papi (David Ortiz). What on Earth could they be talking about?

Here's a guess:
Papi: "Hey Ichiro, que pasa?"
Ichiro: "I wish these hoes would just back the shampoo up off me."

3. From ages 19-21 in college, a Friday night would consist of drinking some booze and watching Animal House. Since graduating, every so often, I revisit that tradition. Including tonight. Is that: a. keeping it real --or-- b. proof positive that I need a life?

4. Kelly Clarkson's playing in Chicago tomorrow night. Would it be weird if I went?


Wearing just a trenchcoat. (ok, ixnay on the renchcoattray...seriously, I don't need Carl Monday on my trail.)

(Besides, Carrie Underwood is the Best. Idol. Ever. My ex-sorta-steady Boston girl Steph looks just like her. And that snowboarder chick Lindsay Jacobellis.)

5. Last year, the "knock"on Big Papi (David Ortiz, if you live under a rock) in the American League MVP race was that he didn't"play defense." That's why folks (wrongly) picked Alex Rodriguez for the award.

This season, A-Rod leads the AL in errors at his position, while Papi continues to make plays at HIS POSITION - designated hitter. (guess what George King, Joel Sherman, John Harper, Jon Shampooing Heyman and the rest of you pious NY baseball writers, that's a position in the American League). Papi also leads in a category or two - home runs and RBI - while also consistently coming up with in the clutch with "the big hit" while the defensive player does his best to throw the ball away in similarly clutch situations.

So what is more valuable: a good hitter & shitty fielder (A-Rod) or a great hitter & adequate fielder when he is forced out of his POSITION (10 in your scorecard)?

6. Is there a song that better typifies what is going on in my head right now more than Jimmy Cliff's "Sitting In Limbo?" (you can't possibly be expected to answer that one)

7. I like white wine sometimes. (What's that? That's not a question? Oh well, so very sorry. If you don't like it, get your own damned blog...ok?)

Ok, that's about for now. Until I think of other stuff.

Have a great weekend. Avoid the rain. And the clap.

Thursday, July 20, 2006
  You Need This. You All Need This.
The Top 11 Chappelle Show skits (with video)

FHM named Amanda Beard the World's Sexiest Athlete.

That is all.

  Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
Modern travel.

Yeah, right.

To get from Milwaukee to the Holy Land a week ago, it took nearly an act of Congress to complete. Alarm clock beep-beep-beeping at 7 a.m.

Taking 20 minutes for the "Triple S:" (shampoo (a.k.a. #2); shower (which also included shampooing, but in the literal sense, not the euphemistic way, even though the thought of the latter would be a pretty sweet to greet the morning, but I'm getting off the point here, aren't I?); and a shave.

An 8:10 cab to the train station, where I had to catch the 8:20 bus to O'Hare Airport for my 11:30 connector to Cincinnati.

The 11:30 connector was cancelled, on account of one or two of the engines on the Canadair RegionalJet weren't working. (glad to know that on the ground prior to takeoff rather than in the air after...)

So luckily, the good folks at Delta were able to get me on the next flight that took off at...11:30. Huh? How? A wha? Well, the 11:30 flight that I was switched to was actually the 9:55 that was late, so, yeah, whatever. I got on the 11:30...

I was supposed to have a 2:30 connector in Cincinnati (which isn't actually in Cincinnati, Ohio but rather in Any Town, Kentucky so...) but due to weather or engines-not-working or the fact that it was a day that ended in "Y," it was delayed 90 minutes.

The 2:30 was supposed to get me in at a quarter to 5...the newly minted 4:00 made it more like a 6:15 arrival into Logan. After collecting my bags, I hopped onto the Silver Line, which is the MBTA's express route to/from the airport. It is more like what happens when mass transit takes part in incest...some weird sort of bus shaped train that rides on electric in tunnels and with an internal combustion engine on the outside. Remember the "liger" in Napoleon Dynamite? Well, this is a trus. Or a brain.

The Silver Line is Boston's first successful crack at efficiency, but it was delayed heavily due to a tragic tunnel collapse in the Big Dig...the $13.7 billion dollar public works project that took the Hub's highways underground. Unfortunately, some nitwit contractor thought that three-ton concrete ceiling tiles would stay fastened with a little glue and a few bolts.

But I digress. Logan traffic through the tunnels was a mess. Finally, after an hour, the Silver Line arrived at South Station at 7:15 - Boston's terminal for Amtrak Northeast Corridor traffic, as well as commuter rail service to Providence. I had a ticket on the 8:30 train out of Beantown, which meant I had to wait more than an hour to see the light at the end of the (train) tunnel, and then sit idly for another hour before the T pulled into Exchange Plaza.

(disclosure: the two frosty pints of Samuel Adams Summer Ale I enjoyed at Clarke's bar in the terminal made this segment go by much faster and much better. In fact, it flew by. *Burp*)

Wake at 7:00 a.m. Arrive at destination at 9:20 p.m. A 14 hour, 20 minute journey. Not quite Ulysses, but you do know it's about a 16 hour drive from MKE to PVD, right? (you know it costs a first-born for a gallon of gas, right?)

Welcome to the Modern World, so sez Damon Albarn. Huxley's the doorman greeting you. Kubrick will be your waiter.
I had to go back to New England for a wedding of a good friend (more on that later). I was a groomsman. And getting to it, as Richard M. Nixon was fond of saying, was a "pigshampoo."

I've been reading a lot lately. Some of it due to my insatiable quest for knowledge. But most of it is due to my severe lack of a social life. Several of the articles and essays I've come across lately tackle modernity and society - whether it be technology, travel, computers, etc.

One person claimed there are more depressed - clinically, manically, slightly - folks out there as technology has made people more self-absorbed. Not, not necessarily in an egoisticalway, but because of iPods, portable DVD's, DVR's, on-demand cable, cell phones, sidekicks, blackberries, etc. People have everything, seemingly, at their fingertips and have very little need to rely on other people to get their info.

Remember 1983? Cal Ripken had played like 22 games and was a promising rookie? Yeah, well, when the phone rang in your house or apartment, and you wanted to know who it was, you had to pick it up and say "Hello?" Not anymore. You can screen your calls, by listening to who it is on the answering machine and then decide whether to hit stop and pick it up, or leave the caller to leave a message at the beep (oh, that's SO 1998).

Or you can look at the caller ID, decide whether or not to press the "kill" button and send it to voicemail or pick it up. Or you could even recognize the caller by the type of ring.

Or you can text message or email something to someone, which might be quick and convenient, but is certainly devoid of the subtle devices of conversation (like sarcasm or cynicism, the two main tenets of my verbiage).

But this particular writer - I don't recall his name, but he has degrees, so he has to got smarts up there in his head, ya know - says that all this is leading to socially inept people. People that can't hold a conversation...can't handle a situation like public speaking...or answering a cetera. Socially inept people tend to be a little more self-conscious or lack self-confidence in public situations, hence, the spike in cases of social anxiety disorder, depression, and substance abuse. Makes sense.

I'm not depressed. At least, no one has texted or IM'ed me to tell me so (with an emoticon to boot). But I do fit the bill on just about every category the author used as examples. And, well, that made me depressed.
Yes, the modern world and all its conveniences...darling, you send me...on a wild goose chase. Modern technology brings folks and fools and felons altogether on a happy ship sailing the high seas of the information age.

I have a cell. I have a laptop and it's wireless, high-speed internet capable. No blackberry yet. But even still, anyone can get me anytime, anywhere.

Yeah. Exactly. Let's examine those words. ANYONE. ANYTIME. ANYWHERE. And the scary thing is, it's vice versa. It's ridiculous. I'm not that important and do not do anything in my everyday life that is that pressing. And, while I love my friends, loyal loyal TLBR readers, co-workers, etc., guess what? Neither do you.

Monday (July 10) was, as Vertical Horizon sang, was a gray sky morning. At least it was, until I got a text message from my friend Sara. She was in Launceston and wanted to say hello and let me know that she was in a bar called Irish Murphy's (they fancy themselves as "drinking consultants" - like Accenture for sculling pints - I only wish I had brought a resume, although it would have ended up as a beer coaster.)

Right...moving paragraph and topic...


Google "Launceston," and click on "maps" near the top of the results page. Go ahead. Do it now, I'll wait.

You can get a new window in one of two ways - go back to your desktop and double-click on your browser shortcut or go to file/new window (by the way, get in the DeLorean, punch in 1955 into the flux capacitor, and take it to 88 mph in the parking lot of Twin Pines Mall...and then recite those instructions to the first person you see. They'll probably vomit on your shoes.)

Launceston is in Tasmania, which is to the South of the Australian mainland. And the Australian mainland is, like, wicked far away. Tasmania is to the South Pole what New England is to New Jersey.

A text message from across the international date line...a 24 hour plane ride...and 12,000 miles away was sent and received in MKE to brighten the Brew City skies. But it also got me thinking.

One cellphone in Tassie to another in Cheeseland...both contraptions no bigger than matchbox cars (do kids play with those anymore, or are they virtual matchboxes?)...and I'm having a sort of conversation. Well, it passed for a conversation in modern times - definated as a conversation in that it's a two-way communique between two people.
At one point on the train ride from South Station to LaProv, John Fitzgerald Kennedy's inaugural address (Jan. 20, 1961) came on. I'd like to be as dramatic as to say it happened on the stretch of rails that pass by Boston Harbor where you can see the JFK Library, but it was probably somewhere in between Sharon and Stoughton...

What's the point you ask? One of the contributing factors that led to the election of JFK as President was technology. Modernity affected the American Presidency.

The 1960 Presidential debates between Kennedy and Nixon were televised for the first time. Folks who listened to the two candidates - and rhetorical experts - on the radio gave the "win" to Nixon. But those who watched it on the boobtube gave Kennedy the nod. Why? Because Kennedy was handsome, certainly moreso than Nixon. Also, Nixon was recovering from the flu and, under the lights, was sweating profusely, while his opponent across the aisle was calm, cool and collected.

The televised debate changed the way this country evaluated its candidates for the highest office in the land.

(on an aside, I have to be the only Kennedy Nixonite on the planet. Maybe Bill Clinton, I'm not sure...)
Yes, as technology advances from the Industrial Revolution to the Information Age, it all adapts. Call it technology's "elastic clause." Change is inevitable. The after-effects happen. Change is adapted further from those after-effects. From Washington to both Roosevelts, to both Bushes, it's a constant.

Heck, we got our National Anthem after the "embedded" Francis Scott Key penned a poem after a glorious battle in the War of 1812...ABC's Bob Woodruff was almost beheaded by a roadside bomb, as he was embedded in the second Iraq war.

Change is happening so fast that we can't adapt to it quick enough. Once we change, it is time to "upgrade," and change again. There is no settling or getting used to anything. It's launch, upgrade, relaunch, lather, rinse, repeat.

It's maddening. It's also exciting. Change has no boundaries. Change has no walls. Change has enabled you to read this blog - and me to update it. Sometimes change happens so fast we can not comprehend it, and instead choose to critique it or put it down. But by the tome is penned, the thought codified, or the thesis proven, *bam*, it has changed.

For those of us out there - the pre-internet folks that were introduced to it early enough as to still be net savvy - we need to continue to set the agenda. We need to try to govern the change, if that is possible, and guard it.

The folks who use iTunes for their podcasts need to remember making radio mix tapes - when you put a blank 45 min. cassette in your stereo, tuned to your favorite radio station, and pressed record, hoping that your favorite songs made the cut.

The folks who use Google to find everything from movie quotes to the criminal record(s) of potential girlfriends/boyfriends need to remember when they used the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature in the reference section of the library.

The folks who snap photos with their cellphones and text message the pics to friends, who remember what it was like to go on a trip and send people postcards through the mail.

I dub thee the Commodore 64 Mafia.
Back to Kennedy.

In that 1961 inaugural address, he stated the following, which is still very relevant today, especially to this rambling, incoherent blog post:

"Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science, instead of its terrors. Together, let's explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease,tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce."

It was true in 1961 - the New World Order as it was called then. All those things were true and continue to be.

Unlike everything else since then, it hasn't changed.

That's comforting, especially in this crazy mixed up Modern world.

Time for bed. Need to go set the iPod alarm clock.

Sleep tight wherever you are.

Monday, July 10, 2006
  Blogging the Home Run Derby, Round Two & Finals
8:46 p.m. - Harold on David Wright: "I don't think he hits 16 this round."

We'll see. He's still not swinging hard.

On an editorial note, I like the first round carryover.

8:47 p.m. - Someone tell the American Legion kids that it's not cool to rob HR in the Home Run Derby.

8:48 p.m. - Someone tell David Wright to stop yelling "EXPLETIVE!" into the live ESPN microphones

8:49 p.m. - Wright ends with 18. He hit only two this round. Methinks the kid is getting winded. (which probably means he hits 43 next round).

8:51 p.m. - Papi's back up for a second round. And Jonathan Papelbon joins the boys in right centerfield. It's ok to have a man-crush, isn't it?

8:53 p.m. - The first Peter Gammons shout-out. It took THIS LONG???

8:54 p.m. - Papi's first shot - bounce, roll, splash.

Bounce, splash for #2.

8:56 p.m. - Papi switches hats. He hits #3 (splash) and Berman gives me my "Altoona" call. So the final standings on the Berman-Yelling-Pennsylvania-Towns Derby:

Win: Sewickley
Place: Upper St. Clair
Show: Altoona

9:00 p.m. - ESPY's make it a three-way tie, along with Mobile ESPN and ESPN 360, atop the ESPNSPC (ESPN Shameless Plug Count)

9:02 p.m. - Miguel Cabrera up now. John Kruk trying to explain that he picked Cabrera to win effectively, because the Marlins suck.

Is he serious? (on an aside, during the pre-game show, Kruk picked Troy Glaus...he of the one-home run-in-the-first round Glaus')

9:06 p.m. - Cabrera about to knock Papi out. And, maybe I'm drunk, but Joe Morgan is making good points tonight. Papi can take his spikes off.

9:12 p.m. - Ryan Howard took about 7 pitches before finally swinging...and it was a bomb.

9:13 p.m. - Bonnie Bernstein interviewed Phil Garner about his nickname "Scrapiron," and then inexplicably tried to use the City of Pittsburgh as a segue into the performances of the young NL stars David Wright and Howard.

I'm dizzy and confused.

9:14 p.m. - Joe Morgan compares Ryan Howard to Willie Stargell because of his power to all fields.

He's making solid, educated points, using good examples and real facts. I must be on acid.

9:16 p.m. - Ryan Howard is dropping bombs on your moms (shampoo car alarms).

It's him and David Wright for the trophy.

Harold wants him to go on. Berman wants him to stop. Hey Boomer...remember the gold balls? They're for charity. $21k per.

So you sorta want Howard to go on. And hit a lot of HR with nine outs.

9:20 p.m. - "The Contender" sneaks into the ESPNSPC race. Two spots so far.

Big ups to Peter Manfredo Jr. ... the Pride of Providence.

But the ESPY's lead now. Current tally: ESPY's (4), ESPN 360/Mobile ESPN (3), The Contender (2).

9:24 p.m. - David Wright and Ryan Howard for the Home Run Derby title. And Joe Morgan using the two young guns in the final as a, well, a metaphor for the changing of the guard in the league.

Joe Morgan brought his "A" game tonight.

9:26 p.m. - Before heading to the plate, David Wright yells to his pitcher (Mets catcher Paul LoDuca) "C'mon Dookie!"

Which is really what he needed to be yelling all along, instead of yelling "SHIT!" on live television.

9:32 p.m. - David Wright home runs in the final round: four.

The number of times the ESPN director had to press the seven-second mute button b/c of David Wright's mouth in the final round: five.


9:40 p.m. - Here comes Ryan Howard. His first shot - which Berman said was all the way to Latrobe - cleared the CF batter's eye.

THAT was a shot.

9:43 p.m. - And Ryan Howard is the Home Run Derby champ. VERY impressive.

En route, he hit a sign which gives a fan 500 free flights, courtest of MasterCard. I can tell you this much, my first flight would be from MKE to Providence. I'd pack a few things, then fly to LA, then to Hawaii.

This was fun, kids. Let's blog again sometime soon, kids.
And ESPN 360 makes it four...tying it with the ESPY's, for a combination of eight spots.

And if you're counting at home...the number of anti-steroid commercials? One. At the end of the Home Run Derby. When no one's watching.

Oh well. Enough. G'nite.

  Blogging the Home Run Derby, Round One
(or at least as much of it as I can stomach...)

Welcome to the 2nd Annual TLBR Home Run Derby Blog.

Basically, it'll just be me mocking the HRD in Steel City while sitting on my couch in MKE. (with no pants on. )

Two loyal readers are in the house at PNC, no doubt enjoying a icey IC lights, and some of the best of what Primanti Bros. has to offer. I'll attempt to get in touch with them - ON THE SCENE - in order to legitimize this inane banter I'm about to provide.

So enjoy. Here goes.

6:26 p.m. CT - Harold Reynolds interviews AL manager Ozzie Guillen, talking about his starting lineup. I dunno if you were like me, but I was honestly waiting for him to forget some of the guys he started, and referring to leadoff hitter Ichiro as "that speedy little Jap from Seattle."

6:28 p.m. - HR (that's Harold Reynolds, not home run) interviewing the baddest mama-jama on the planet, David Ortiz.

In regards to his bling and other things, David gets a little Dominican Sartre on our asses: "You know how we do it."

Rhetorical? Si. Existential? Perhaps. Accurate? Damn skippy.

6:31 p.m. - What will viewers of the Home Run Derby know more about by the end of the show: Chris Berman's vocal range -or- the prostate and older men having to "go a lot."

6:34 p.m. - Open call here...we're less than 30 minutes before the start of the derby. How long will it take for Berman to shriek "That one's going to *insert Pennsylvania town/city*!" The odds on the first town/city namedrop:

Altoona 3-2
Allentown 3-1
Harrisburg (it is the capital) 5-1
Scranton 6-1
Wilkes-Barre 10-1
Philadelphia 12-1 (too obvious)

6:36 p.m. - ESPN, dutifully bound by journalistic standards, are discussing steroids and their effect on home run hitting.

Dutifully broach the topic...for 45 seconds. Thanks guys.

(p.s. - you know MLB uses baseballs that are stitched tighter, right? Right?)

6:39 p.m. - Should I start counting the amount of times we see the Trey Wingo-Mobile ESPN commercials? Because there's one.

6:41 p.m. - Forget the Torii Hunter quote about Twins C Joe Mauer getting "man muscles," give him an brown, curly-haired afro, give him a tennis racket, and he's bizaroo Pete Sampras.

6:43 p.m. - Outside of the world of home run hitting, comes this quick hitter from the capital of God's Country - Providence, R.I.

Police chase a suspect up a tree in Providence
A high-speed police chase from Providence to Cranston began at 1:23 a.m. today with a report to police of shots being fired from a white vehicle on Sumter Street.

And it ended shortly before 2 a.m. with police “coaxing” the driver out of a tree in Providence.
According to the Providence police incident report Michael Collins, 26, demolished a recycling bin, drove into the backyard of 7 Gordon St. in Cranston and then jumped out of his car with a second man.

Passenger Adika Manigo, 27, was nabbed immediately, the police said.

(here comes the money shot)

Collins, also known by the nickname “Crime,” was discovered a bit later in the “top branches of a nearby tree,” the police said.

***A criminal with a nickname "Crime." Kinda like a hooker with the nickname "STD."

Ok, back to baseball.

6:48 p.m. - ESPN's list of greatest home runs. It was terrific...even brought me to tears on occasion. Here they are.

- Ted Williams' HR in his last AB.
- Roger Maris' 61st.
- McGwire's 62nd.
- Bonds' 71st.
- Hank Aaron's 715th.
- Bonds' 715th.
- Hank Aaron's 755th.
- The Ken Griffey's go back-to-back.
- Brett's pine tar HR.
- Jimmy Wynn hitting a freeway.
- Reggie Jackson's bomb off the roof of Tiger Stadium.
- Cecil Fielder's bomb out of Tiger Stadium.
- Cal Ripken's HR in the passing Gehrig game.
- Bucky Shampooing Dent.
- Bobby Thomson's Shot hear round the world
- Chambliss 1976 AL pennant clincher.
- Ozzie Smith's HR, prompting the Jack Buck "Go Crazy Folks" call.
- Hendu. 1986. ALCS. Game 5. Yep, I'm welling up.
- Aaron Shampooing Boone.
- Papi. 2004 ALCS. Game 5. I'm farklempt.
- Jim Edmonds in the NLDS in 2004.
- Chris Burke's 18th inning shot for the Astros.
- Pujols in game 5
- Fisk. 1975. Game 6. Awesome.
- Reggie Jackson's 3rd HR of October or something. Whatever.
- Gibson's gimpy HR shot prompting the Jack Buck call "5-to-4, I don't believe what I just saw."
- Kirby Puckett forcing game 7.
- Jeter off BK Kim. In 2001. Whatever.
- Podsednik's WS walk-off last year.
- Joe Carter's WS walk-off in 1992.
- Mazeroski WS walk-off in 1960.

6:59 p.m. ESPN folks making predictions. Kruk - going with Glaus. Philips going with Ryan Howard. Ravech taking Big Papi.

TLBR is going with ... Miguel Tejada. He's won it before. He knows how to pace himself and then dial it up in the second round.

ESPN has the band Big and Rich saving a horse, riding a cowboy, and coming to your city... Um, that's a football song...right? WTF?

Well, at least they have one more song than Hank Williams III.

If you want a little bang in your ying-yang...come along.

7:05 p.m. - Berman in the introduction of the participants: "Are you ready for some long ball?"
Ok, we get it. ESPN has Monday Night Football. Stop with the synergy.

And stop with the Big's Papi. Or poppy. Pronounced with the umpty.

7:08 p.m. - If there's a God and he's male, Erin Andrews is on the field.

Wearing something tight.

7:11 p.m. - HR's from the first round carry over. Hmm. Interesting. That might change a few people's strategery.

Geez, maybe that changes my pick...nah, I'm still going with Tejada.

7:13 p.m. It's not E-Andy as the sideline's Bonnie Belichick, er, Al Bernstein, er, Bonnie Bernstein.

7:17 p.m. - The first three straight pitches were inside, around his chin. Who knew Tejada asked Julian Tavarez to pitch to him?

7:21 p.m. - Miguel Tejada doing a great job in the Line Drive Basehit Derby. But so far, he sucks at the Home Run Derby. Three HR. So much for my pick.

7:25 p.m. - Red Vines + Sierra Mist Free = crazy delicious.

7:26 p.m. - So far, during the Derby, the ESPNSPC (ESPN Shameless Plug Count) reads as follows: ESPN 360 Sports Video Deficiency (2), ESPY's (1), Mobile ESPN (1).

7:29 p.m. - Lance Berkman having only slightly a better stretch than Trot Nixon did yesterday (oh-fer-eight in the 19 inning contest vs. the White Sox). He and Tejada are now tied at...drum roll...three taters.

7:34 p.m. - Miguel Cabrera up next. ESPN having both broadcast teams: Berman and HR on the field and Ravech, Joe Shampooing Morgan, and Kruk in centerfield. So it's not just Berman yelling and screaming. Much more enjoyable.

7:36 p.m. - Bonnie Belichick, er, Bernstein (I need to stop doing that) interviewing Pudge Rodriguez while Cabrera is at the plate. What does that mean? Cabrera's Q-rating sucks.

7:38 p.m. - Q Rating bad. HR count good. His, ahem, four HR just passed Tejada/Berkman.

7:40 p.m. - Seven HR for Cabrera. I'm sorry, make that eight. Best sign of the night so far: "Hit it Here, I Chug a Beer." I hope he takes up a collection. They're eight bucks.

7:41 p.m. - Nine jacks. Solid showing for the kid from the Mahlins. He also hit a home run with the Century 21 gold ball...the count is now up to $42,000.00. Or roughly 1/4 of the Marlins' 2006 payroll.

7:44 p.m. - The "The World Has Changed" commercial by Chevy is Super Bowl good.

7:45 p.m. - There's Trey Wingo for ESPN Mobile! Updated ESPNSPC count: ESPN 360 (2), ESPN Mobile (2), ESPY's (1)

7:47 p.m. - Here comes Troy Glaus. Another high Q rating...we ought to see Kruk trying to outeat Kobayashi in a Primanti Bros. contest.

7:51 p.m. - Glaus has one. Thanks to him, Tejada and Berkman can't take their spikes off...yet....

7:54 p.m. - Paul LoDuca, the NY Mets catcher, is pitching to David Wright , the NY Mets 3B. One unnamed Met made the comment, "if he wanted to hit HR, why didn't he ask Jose Lima?" So cold. But so right.

7:56 p.m. - David Wright just powering pitches out, with some very easy swings. Six HR to just three outs so far.

7:59 p.m. - David Wright is dreamy. He's a player and he crushes a lot. And I bet he doesn't have trouble talking to girls in bars.

But he might need someone to tell him to stop screaming "SHIT!" into the ESPN microphones. 16 waybacks for D-Wright.

8:00 p.m. - Sewickley, PA was the first Pennsylvania town exclaimed by Chris Berman on a deep HR. McKeesport up next.

Tejada...Altoona...boy, I'm hot tonight...Mr. Havercamp...over here Mr. Havercamp...

8:05 p.m. - Three-way tie on the ESPNSPC...ESPY's with their second spot of the night...BUT WAIT! ESPN 360 jumps back into the top spot! ESPN 360 (3), ESPY's/Mobile ESPN (2).

8:07 p.m. - Is that Denis Leary doing the voiceover for the Big Papi Boys & Girls Club commercial?

8:08 p.m. - Outside the baseball world: I don't care if Keira Knightly is anorexic. I really don't.

8:11 p.m. - And more outside the baseball girlfriend lounging on my couch in one of my finest pinpoint buttondowns.

(not really.)

8:12 p.m. - AJ Pierzynski on with ESPN, drops Chris Rose's name on the broadcast. Yeah, that's the guy from Fox's "Best Damned Sports Show." What has me thinking he just won a $100 bet or a steak dinner for that one.

8:13 p.m. - Berman gives Upper St. Clair some love. AJ continues to interrupt and add nothing to the telecast with Erie. Berman is annoyed and, gulp, I agree with him.

Can he just STFU? I mean really...can't we have Michael Barrett punch him in the shampooing mouth again? Besides, AJP needs a smack for the shove he gave Alex Gonzalez in extra innings of yesterday's game, which prevented an inning-ending DP and allowed the tying runto score in the 12th.

I'd rather have Joe Morgan discuss sabremetrics than listen to AJ Pierzynski.

8:14 p.m. - Jermaine Dye hit seven by the way.

8:17 p.m. - Big Papi's up. And it goes splash. And splash. And almost splash.

Everyone's picking him, but methinks he's tired.

8:22 p.m. - And then bounce, splash. Tejada and Berkman can take their spikes off now. Papi's got four.

Bounce, bounce splash. Five.

8:23 p.m. - Ortiz hits his first HR that stays in the park. #6.

"That sounded like the F-16's that buzzed us at the beginning of the night." - Karl Ravech, referring to the dead-centerfield bounce-splasher for HR #7.

Splash. #8. Bounce, splash. #9. Line drive shot to right, #10. And Big Papi advances.

Methinks I suck at predictions.

8:27 p.m. - Outside the baseball world: Adam Carolla jumps ahead a few spots on my list, after hanging up on Ann ("aunt-with-a-C") Coulter.

On a sorta-related note to Ms. Coulter, this is an actual movie.

8:33 p.m. - Ryan Howard up next. #2 bounced off the ESPN set in right-center.

Papi doing an interview and the "Manny question" comes up. He mentions Manuel's right knee pain. That's what my two Dominican brothers do...they got each other's back.

Howard got his 7th, forcing at least a tie with Dye. Tie dye, get it?

8:39 p.m. - Four HR with the Century 21 gold ball give Howard 8 HR and a spot in the next round. Jermaine Dye gets to take his spikes off.

Good. Shampooer. Still mad at him for yesterday.

8:41 p.m. - Mobile ESPN ties ESPN 360 with 3.

The second round is set: Papi, Howard, Wright, Cabrera.
Friday, July 07, 2006
  Dad is Great...Gives us the Chocolate Cake

Bill Cosby Himself is timeless. And while comedians come and go, and standup routines get more and more explicit, this is a clip of one of - easily - the top two or three standup comedy pieces of all time.

Not once during the night, did Dr. Cosby swear. Not once.

And for a piece made in 1983 - 23 years ago - it's still as relevant as ever.

So enjoy this little slice (pun intended) and enjoy your weekend. I know I will, as soon as my face de-numbs (more on that, and last night, later).


Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Tonight's Red Sox-(Devil) Ray game started off bad enough - the game is being shown on MLB Extra Innings with the FSN South broadcast team of DeWayne Staats and Joe Magrane.

As detailed previously on TLBR, these two slapdicks are the worst pxp/color combo in the history of baseball. A teamof Foster Brooks, Gilbert Gottfried, and Tina Cervasio might even edge them out.

So if that's not bad enough...FSN South "mikes up" (Devil) Ray DH Jonny Gomes for batting practice. Two things are evident with that feature: 1. the FSN South producer has freebased most of his functioning brain cells away and; 2. Jonny Gomes is mentally retarded.

I'm not sure, during the entire 7-8 minute span of this television hari kari, that Gomes put together an entire sentence, or used two English words that go together and make sense. That is not to say that Gomes is not a native speaker or to be pejorative towards those ballplayers of Latin descent that do not have a strong grasp of the English language. Gomes is supposed to. Kinda.

Next up on tonight's suck carnival is Sox starting pitcher Jason Johnson. The same Jason Johnson that has the words "former (Devil) Ray" before his name. Those three words are neverones you want to describe your career. Nor do you want "former Oriole starter," as over the last seven years, the Redbirds have had one of the worst rotations in all of baseball.

J-double was terribly underwhelming in his first outing for the Red Sox. He was even worse this last one. Once again, he went just four innings, giving up five runs.

No single run of the pentangle the (Devil) Rays put up on the board was more (Joe) maddening than the fifth. Carl Crawford was walked. Then he stole second. Then he stole third. And thanks to a delivery that is slower than, well, imagine slow. Then imagine really slow. Then imagine Jason Johnson...

I, um, well, enough with the hystrionics. Carl Crawford stole home. Carl Crawford stole home. He shampooing stole home. Shampoo.

That hasn't happened since, I don't know...Rogers Hornsby?

It's terribly frustrating.

Yes the Red Sox won 12 in a row. Yes they're still up four games on the second-place Blue Jyas. Yes it's still the (Devil) Rays and yes their bullpen is still teh suck. (purposely misspelled).

But shampoo it. I've been cleaning my bathroom. It's something I have neglected to do since September. By tomorrow, you'll be able to eat eggs benedict on the tile next to my toilet. It might taste like lysol, though.

Oh my. What in the sacred cow is this?

"What an awesome atmosphere out here. RAR RAR RAR RAR RAR!"

That quote is coming from mullet-ed white trash WWE wrestler who just joined the two no-talent assclowns in the booth.

Said wrestler was referring to the Trop - the worst arena in professional sports. I'm speechless. No words. (and by the way, the screaming trailer park trash was still better than DeWayne and Magrane).

Ok, I need to go spray off the Scrubbing Bubbles from the tub. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll be overcome by the toxic fumes.

Monday, July 03, 2006
  Pre-Fourth of July Stream of Consciousness
Scott Kazmir is good. In fact, I'd venture to guess that his poo is better than Victor Zambrano, the guy the Mets traded for when they gave up the best young lefty in the game.

Best of luck to young Steve Burtt, who is in Charlotte for rookie mini-camp in hopes of making the Charlotte Bobcats' Orlando Summer League squad.

I like ice cream. Especially soft-serve, low-fat frozen yogurt with chocolate sauce and crushed Heath bars.

I also like cheez doodles. And so does Stephen A. Smith. Quite frankly, cheez doodles make my hunger go away. And that's all I have to say.

Capote the movie...Philip Seymour Hoffman was amazing. But the movie? Painful. I dunno why, maybe I'm just not a drama guy.

You know you're dealing with someone with issues when they send you text messages when they're drunk...and even the messages are slurred.

Good to see Rocco Baldelli back, healthy, and doing well for the (Devil) Rays.

Roulette's a stupid game. I never really followed up the first Vegas post, as I caught a bit of the I-ate-shitty-Japanese food-and-puked-up-black bile syndrome that Saturday night. But during the day, I gave MGM Grand a few dollars (read: $35) trying to play that stupid assed game. I sat down, put 10 bucks on Big Papi (34), and it didn't come up. The next spin? 34. I put another 5 bucks on Papi and another 5 on Schill and it came up Jim Ed (14). The rest of the time I tried to guess black or red. It came up green once. Stupid game.

Among the many things I hate about the YES Network, is its policy to not show the score too often if the Yanks are losing. Which makes me have to listen to Michael shampooing Kay for 5 minutes to find out how those scumbags are doing.

It was five years ago today that I was midway through my first baseball vacation - from New Rochelle to Cooperstown to Syracuse to Toronto to Cleveland and back to New Roc City. After a dead battery in Toronto prompted a change, my theft-deterrent radio locked me out, so I drove the 5+ from Canada to Cleveland and the 7+ from Cleveland to New Ro with no tunes. None. Just conversation and crossword puzzles with my co-pilot and then-girlfriend Jessica. Don't know why I just thought of that.

The Sun's not Yellow. It's Chicken.

When I was growing up, I really wanted to be an astronaut. Right now, as the aging Space Shuttle is broken AGAIN prior to a seemingly-forced launch by NASA officials, I'm kinda glad I'm not an astronaut. I'd rather eat cheez doodles and watch Scott Kazmir shit on the Sox (CG, one-hitter).

Might go see Lewis Black tonight at Summerfest. But that would require me getting off my couch. Not sure if I'm up for that. Am I manically depressed, lazy or something else? Maybe it's a thong. They're probably just regular cotton panties. But what if they're silk? Or something cool I never thought of? Wait, am I still in the nest? The trust tree? (told you it was stream of consciousness)

I'm going back to New York City, I do believe I've had enough.

Ok, need to shower. I smell like poo. Which is still better than Victor Zambrano.

A daily - or every-other-day - account of all there is in my head
that's dying to get out, via my fingers.
(I vow to attack this endeavor with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.)

05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 / 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 / 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 / 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 / 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 / 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 / 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 / 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 / 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 / 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 / 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 / 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 / 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 / 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 / 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 / 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 / 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 / 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 / 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 / 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 / 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 / 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 / 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 / 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 / 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 / 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 / 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 / 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 / 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 / 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 / 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 / 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 / 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 / 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 / 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 / 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 / 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 / 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 / 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 / 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 / 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 / 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 / 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 / 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 / 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 / 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 / 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 / 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 / 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 / 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 / 06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010 / 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010 / 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 / 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011 / 09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011 /

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