Saturday, July 17, 2010

Game 91: Youkbacca Strikes!

The Mighty Youkilis, apparently tired of this losing business, knocked in the tying run in the 9th inning and the game winner in the 11th to power a 3-2 win over Texas at Fenway tonight. The series continues tomorrow.

Better Late Than Never: A Friday 55

I looked down, my heart pounding.

It was him –the one I’ve spent whole classes daydreaming about -standing here in this bookstore, talking to me.

I cursed myself for the imperfect, chipped polish on one toe.

Trying to show calm I did not feel, I turned my gaze up.

He spoke:

“Do you know Hannah?”

(From Mr. Know It All, who posts the challenge every week here. )

Game 90: You Don't Bring A Knife To A Gun Fight...

...and you don't give the Rangers extra outs.

The Red Sox lost to the Rangers again tonight, 8-4, with Felix The Cat's two throwing errors giving the men from Tejas more than enough rope to hang us with.

Boston plays the Rangers again tomorrow and Sunday before heading West, and is 6 1/2 games out of first place in an increasingly irrelevant division race.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Game 89: Back In The....Well, Not The High Life, Exactly.....

In Boston this evening, the Walker Texas Rangers pulled a little Chuck Norris out on Timmeh, beating him about the head and the neck for 6 first inning runs on the way to a 7-2 blowout. Boston remains in 3rd place, now 5 1/2 games out of first.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Getting Wicked Late On Tuesday

We've run out of Tuesday/Wednesday gags, so since it's about an hour and a half until Wednesday, I'm going to go ahead with Janera's Wednesday Wickedness, based on statements by The Boss, the late Yankee owner George Steinbrenner.

1."But why shouldn't I speak out? Don't you speak out in this country?" Do you speak out as often as you should?

No. I am big on suffering in silence to preserve harmony. Not a good trait.

2. "I am tough. Sometimes I'm unreasonable. I have to catch myself every once in a while." Are you ever tough and unreasonable?

I'm very hard on my son. I'm scared of his future, partially-and part of it is just me being an asshole.

3. "I haven't always done a good job, and I haven't always been successful - but I know that I have tried." Do you believe that sometimes you learn more from a failure than a success?

I'm having trouble learning from anything. Then again, I'm not succeeding much, so how could I tell the difference.

4. "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next." Do you feel that you always have to win?

No. As Leonard Cohen once put it, I am "Born To Lose".

5. "It is unbelievable to me that the highest-paid team in baseball would start the season in such a deep funk.” Do you think money always buys greatness?

No. Yankee teams proved this over the years. What money does do is buy you the chance to bury your mistakes-with money, you can try again and again.

6. "I take my last phone call at home at about 11pm." What time is too late to call you?

There isn't really a too late time. If you need to call me, you can call me. But if it's after about 10pm, you better have a good reason. (My niece once decided 6:30 AM on a Sunday was a good time to call me. I didn't get mad at her directly, but I let her Daddy know that wasn't very cool.)

7. "Don't talk to me about aesthetics or tradition. Talk to me about what sells and what's good right now." Do you think tradition matters?

Sort of. Tradition in sports gets too much credit for things. There is an extra something about the Yankees-they are integral to the history of baseball in a way that the Marlins will never be. But that doesn't win baseball games or accomplish anything real in 2010.

8. "And what the American people like is to think the underdog still has a chance." Do you tend to root for the underdog?

Sure. Given no rooting interest, I will pull for the underdog.

9. "I don't think I ever could exceed my father's successes. He was a completely satisfied man, he knew what he wanted to accomplish and he accomplished it. I did do a lot, though, to try to please him." Do you ever feel that you want to exceed your parents successes?

I'd love to, but I'll never be one tenth the man my father was.

10. "I'm really 95 percent Mr. Rogers, and only 5 percent Oscar the Grouch." In terms of cartoon characters, who are you like?

Half Spongebob (work ethic and consistency and weird hobbies) and half Patrick (lazy, love food and creature comforts, and don't understand anything.)

100 Word Challenge: Against All Odds

Here's the challenge. And here's my response, entitled "Against All Odds":

It was a Phil Collins song, which was cool. Not cool like Iron Maiden, but cool enough. A sappy ballad though, the piano chords plaintive, but loud in our darkened middle school cafeteria. I felt uncomfortable, dress shirt and skinny leather tie that seemed cool, but just looked out of place and wrong among kids I was just getting to know. “New Kid In Town.” The girl from English class was there, all black curls and loud, gum smacking confidence. She walked right past me, heading into the bathroom in a pack of other girls. Would she dance with me?

Another loss for Yankee Nation

Longtime owner of the New York Yankees George Steinbrenner has died.

While, again, we are no friends of the Yankees in this space, Steinbrenner was a legitimate force in baseball for decades-and no history of baseball would be complete without his name being included. He didn't always do the smart thing-but he always cared, passionately, about winning, which is really what you want in the owner of your sports team. My sympathies to Yankee Nation and the Steinbrenner family.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Well, We Have To Do SOMETHING During The All Star Break!

It strikes me today that I didn't do Sunday Stealing, the desperate blogger's best friend, so given the fact that real live baseball-type stuff won't be back with us until Thursday, let's go with it.

1. First thing you wash in the shower?

2. What color is your favorite hoodie?

I actually don't own one. I have a black jacket with a hood that I like, though.

3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?

I'd better, if I know what's good for me.

4. Do you plan outfits?

Not as such. I will often get clothes out at night for the next day, but it's more along the lines of "what ever is clean and near the top."

5. How are you feeling RIGHT now?

A little tired. I'm finally full-I didn't have breakfast or lunch today, so dinner felt pretty good. I haven't been sleeping well, either.

6. What's the closest thing to you that's red?

The spine of a book, Josh Axelrad's "Repeat Until Rich".

7. Tell me about the last dream you remember having?

I was working at my former employer, but everything was rearranged and I couldn't find anything.

8. Did you meet anybody new today?


9. What are you craving right now?

I usually say, "Peace," but that's kind of a copout. I bought some of those premade icecream cones yesterday, I forget what they're called-I'd like one of those.

10. Do you floss?


11. What comes to mind when I say cabbage?

Corned beef.

12. Are you emotional?

Of course not. (*chuckle*) I'm a boy, silly. Boys don't have feelings.

13. Have you ever counted to 1,000?

By ones? Are you insane?

14. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?


15. Do you like your hair?

I'm tempted to steal the Jeff Foxworthy line-I'm just happy it's still there. But honestly? No.

16. Do you like yourself?


17. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush?

I would. I'm no fan, but if I could get him to talk, I think it would be fascinating.

18. What are you listening to right now?

Jimmy Page's solo on the live version of "No Quarter" from the "Song Remains The Same" album.

19. Are your parents strict?

Were they? Yes and no. Hard to say. It was a different time.

20. Would you go sky diving?

Not for all the tea in China.

21. Do you like cottage cheese?


22. Have you ever met a celebrity?

Depends on your definition. I sold Kevin McHale (Hall of Fame basketball player) a newspaper once.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Game 88: Gasping To The (Sorta) Halfway Mark

In Toronto today, home runs from Darnell McDonald and David Ortiz pushed the Red Sox to a 3-2 win, leaving them at 51-37 at the All Star Break, in third place and 5 full games out of the top slot. The regular season resumes Thursday.

RIP Bob Sheppard

Long time New York Yankee public address announcer Bob Sheppard has died. Roger Angell, who is, in my humble opinion, the best baseball writer on Earth, has written articles on Sheppard in The New Yorker (subscription required, sadly) and in his book "A Pitcher's Story", a moving tale of the late career struggles of former major leaguer David Cone. Sheppard has pronounced, in clear, careful diction, the names of all the greats, from Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio right up to the present day.

Obviously, I have no truck with Yankee fandom of any sort, but sort of like with Ringo-attention must be paid. Another link with the past is severed.

From Angell's description of Sheppard's trip home after a Yankee game:

"They're in, they're out, a left turn up the street, where they grab a right, jumping onto the Deegan, heading home. The cops there have the eastbound traffic stopped dead, waiting for Bob Sheppard: no one else in New York is allowed to make this turn. Two minutes, maybe two-twenty, after the game has ended and they're gone, home free, the first of fifty thousand out of the building, every night."

Sunday 160: "In Search Of"

Monkey Man's Sunday 160 Challenge happens today. Because it's, y'know, Sunday. A story in 160 characters-no more, no less, called "In Search Of" and dedicated to Wyatt Christopher Couchoud's older, savvier, and more train-oriented brother, Simon.

“Where's Goldbug on this page?”, he asks hopefully.
My nephew,tiny dirty feet and eager eyes searching the same book
that others read to me.
The search goes on.

Game 87: You May Resume Bleeding When Ready...

Yesterday in Toronto, the powerful Jays manhandled John Lackey for 8 hits and 7 runs on the way to a 9-5 loss. Today the Red Sox play the final game of the "First Half" (math pedants will note that the "halfway point" of the season was about a week ago) in Toronto with the enigma known as Dice K taking the hill.