Monday, November 19, 2007
For the 5th year in a row Martha's Vineyard crushed the pathetic Whalers of Nantucket 48-6 last Saturday. Obviously Bill Belichick spends no time tutoring Whaler coach Vito Capizzo while summering on the lesser of the 2 islands. I am allowed to gloat being an M.V.R.H.S alumnus as well as being a 1 year veteran of the mighty Vineyarders football squad. It might have been junior varsity and I sucked but I did have a uniform and helmet.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
First a few belated comments on the ALCS. I had some mixed emotions on the Sox remarkable comeback. Cleveland has always been my 2nd city of sports. My father grew up there and was a devoted Indians, Browns and Ohio State fan. He loves to recite the entire starting lineup of the 1948 Indians and has told me at least 100 times the story of his going to a double header in 1948 where Bob Feller pitched the first game and his favorite player of all time, Satchel Paige, pitched the second. I have been to games at the now demolished Cleveland Municipal Stadium with my grandfather. Cleveland has very good baseball fans as you can see in the infamous Beer Night of 1974. At the same time I’m still pissed at Ohio for the 2004 Presidential election. Now Cleveland is a very strong union town and I’m sure they went for Kerry but that does little to soften my anger for the entire state. Plus there is the Indians logo issue which just doesn’t play well in 2007. So of course I wanted the Sox to win but certainly bad that the much maligned Cleveland had to face yet another humiliation.
Now for last night's game it is amazing how different my attitude is towards the Sox since 2004. Gone are the days when I would expect a spectacular collapse that would torment me through the winter. I'm by no means overconfident but I no longer expect to lose. Last night with the Sox down 1-0 I was calmly waiting to take the lead. And when Okajima and Papelbon came in to relieve Schilling I would have been much more surprised to see them blow the lead than get the save.
This is obviously a very good Boston team and the series is looking very good. Yet I'm not quite ready to call it over because I really expected the Sox to win the first 2 games with Beckett and Schilling starting. One more win by a pitcher other than Beckett and it is over because the Rockies are not going to beat him. I like our chances tomorrow night because teams tend to not fair well against Matsuzaka when facing him for the first time.
So all in all to this point this is the most enjoyable post season I've ever had even though the Fox network and Taco Bell are trying very hard to destroy it. This 'steal a base and America gets a taco' crap is beyond annoying. The obviously scripted shots of Royce Clayton talking about it in the dugout are a real shame. Not to be a whiny killjoy but does America really need a free taco? Can I send my taco to Sudan where they could actually use it? And one wonders what would happen if Cialis ran the same promotion and if Manny Ramirez hit a homerun, half of America gets a chemically induced boner.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I feel bad for piling on and no Yankee fan should mistake my opinion as sincere criticisms designed to improve their ball club but Joe Torre’s managing in this post season was so horrendous I see no way that he could keep his job. I could talk about a lot of things. There is the head scratching choice of Clemens in game 3 over Hughes which predictably burned out the pen for game 4. And Matsui with a recently drained knee over Giambi who Torre mysteriously refuses to give post season at bats to despite having excellent numbers. But the most glaring is his decision to pitch Wang over Mussina in the deciding game. I don’t think Wang could have looked any worse in his game 1 start and had never pitched on 3 days rest in his career. Yet Torre decides to start Wang over Mussina who hadn’t pitched since September 28th and had looked good to average in his last few starts. Add to that that Mussina’s good post season stats and the choice is even more queer. As much as I enjoyed the Yankee batter futility with the exception of Johnny Damon and Robinson Cano you really can’t say too much about their failure. They faced some very good pitching and didn’t come through. It happens. Perhaps this year will finally deflate the last few bloated Yankee fans who have always thought of the World Series as an entitlement rather than a gift. As I heard many angry Yankee fans over the weekend say on WFAN this team seemed more designed to sell 4 million tickets than to win a World Series. And Yankees fans should be very pissed off. They were the second best team in all of baseball this year and they won just a single game in the playoffs. And for those of you keeping track of such things the Yankees are 4 and 10 in the post season since game 4 of the ALCS in 2004 and have lost 13 of their last 17 playoff games despite have very good teams every one of those years. Now that is a curse!
There is one thing I will gloat on a bit and that is Jeter grounding into the double play in the 7th inning which really buried the Yankees.
Monday, October 01, 2007
So winning the A.L. East is meaningless yet satisfying at the same time. I'm certain the players don't really care how they make the post season, nor should they. But what is so gratifying about this season is that the loudmouth Yankee fans who always thought the the Sox would blow it have to accept that over the course of the 162 game season Boston was the better team. I don't want to hear that they won the season series because that isn't relevant. The Yankees were 9-9 against the Orioles this year. Does that mean they were even? It certainly bothered me that the Yankees won the A.L. East every years since 1996. So, sit on it, Murray Chass.
Looks like the Red Sox are making it a tradition of completely over the top celebrations. I thought Friday night looked pretty ridiculous until I remembered Kevin Millar saying that he thought the Sox didn't drink enough after winning the wild card in 2003 and Kevin Millar was a very wise man.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Did I know who Benny Feilhaber was before yesterday? No and I follow the U.S. National team pretty closely. This was an absolutely fantastic strike to win the 2007 Meaningless Cup. It was exactly the kind of spontaneously creative goal that the United States team could not produce for years. It was also nice that the tv camera caught the 8 U.S. fans in attendance at Soldier's Field. I’d be pissed off at Hugo Sanchez’s pathetic comments after the game if it wasn’t for our complete dominance of the Mexican national team for the last 7 years. There were quite a few things I didn’t like about this game most notably the weak first half and DaMarcus Beasley’s whiff that should have given us a third goal. I don't expect too much so the Copa America should be fun.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
"arm in arm in arm and eyes and eyes glazing under
oh you wouldn’t want an angel watching over
surprise, surprise they wouldn’t wannna watch
another uninnocent, elegant fall into the unmagnificent lives of adults"
but that is some good writing.
Here is a boring video to a great song.
But National Carpet is twice the band of The National.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
In personal sporting news I went to Martha's Vineyard to defend my title in the 30-39 age group at the Oak Bluffs Memorial Day Road Race. Last year I rather flukely won my division which was more evidence of a poor group of competitors than my skill. The good news is I cut 21 seconds of my time from last year running the 5K in 20:37 compared to my 20:58 in 2006. The bad news was that this time put me 21st overall (compared 15th in 2006) and 7th place in my age group. I was a bit disappointed because I was hoping to finish with my average pace under 6:30 minute miles which I consider the "fast line". But this defeat was quickly forgotten when I went back to my Mom's house and watched my Sporting Clube de Portugal win the Taca de Portugal on a fantastic goal by Liedson. Forca Sporting! View the beautifully homemade clip below.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
Was it the Pats miraculously picking up Randy Moss for a pittance of a 4th round draft pick, negotiate is base salary down from $9 million to a little over $3 million AND can decide to cut him by opening day at no cost? No.
The big story was Taylor Twellman scoring in the 13th minute of the match to surpass Preki as the 7th all time leading scorer in MLS history.
Normally I might be disturbed by images of David Ortiz wearing a Yankees cap but this weekend was so glorious I can just laugh it off.
Monday, April 23, 2007
After over a week of frustration I finally installed my roof rack. For a brief period I cursed all things Swedish and vowed to never purchase anything from them or their Scandinavian neighbors for the rest of my life. I was convinced that they intentionally shipped their racks with impossible installation instructions in order to infuriated Americans and get back at us for starting that unnecessary war thing. But I successfully completed the installation and the Scandinavian boycott is off except for my continuing embargo of Danish cinema due to my intense hatred of Lars von Trier.
Watched all of the Sox/Yankees series. I was expecting to be more elated than I actually am considering the Sox won every game, some in humiliating fashion. But you could hardly call it domination when we won 2 1-run games and 1 2-run game. Honestly the ball literally bounced our way this time (thinking particularly of Coco’s game winning hit against Rivera on Saturday). This by no means made it any less enjoyable. I was almost giddy when Torre desperately put in Pettitte in long relief on Sunday. He can say as many times as he wants that the Sox/Yankee series isn’t anything special but when he used his $18 million dollar starter on 2 days rest to try to keep you in an April ballgame, he is taking this game more seriously than other games. That said the Sox starters looked far from invincible in this series and that was a seriously banged up Yankees team. Kevin Thompson and Wil Nieves don’t exactly strike fear in my heart. I don’t want to get too dorky and talk about Pythagorean records but in terms of runs score to runs allowed the Yankees are playing about even with the Sox and have a horrible record in 1 and 2 run games (2-8) that will correct itself over the season. Now Yankee fans will say that it is a 162 game season which of course is true but the 162 game season is made up of series and this particular one couldn’t have gone much better. To throw out a sports cliché in order to win you must be good and lucky and the Sox were both this weekend.
I also learned that 2 month old babies don’t like it when I yell at the tv. I’m a little worried I permanently damaged my kid during the 4 consecutive homeruns.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I’m having problems figuring out my opinion on Amy Winehouse. On the one hand she is making pretty original music for 2007 and it is refreshing to hear a classical R&B delivery in an age of over-emotive, American Idol inspired pseudo-soul. There is no doubt she can sing. But there is something overly practiced and artificial in her music. I can almost see her rehearsing in front of her mirror ten years ago saying, “I’m going to be a great singer someday”. The well reported rumors of her supposed heavy drinking seem to have the feel of a publicist and marketers touch, carefully forming her back story. And it is probably unfair to criticize her for this video but she makes a whole lot of contrived faces and hand gestures that, to my eye, seem far from natural expressions. I’d also love to jump into the video and punch the annoying saxophone player in the nose. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get the tune from “Rehab” out of my head for a couple of weeks now and am tempted to buy it on ITunes and overplay it to death in order to purge myself of this bothersome song. Ultimately she seems like a pretty poor Shirley Bassey rip off which is a very good choice for an influence but far too derivative to my liking. This brings up a question I've always wondered that if you are really annoyed by a song a part of you actually likes it. For years I thought I hated the song "Here's Where the Story Ends" by the Sundays when one day it dawned on me that I really liked it a lot but this is a topic for another post. So if you want my recommendation for annoying but likeable female British singers I say Lily Allen. Mindless pop? Indeed. Infectious and likeable? Without a doubt.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
“I hope he arouses the fire that's dormant in the innermost recesses of my soul,” he said. “I plan to face him with the zeal of a challenger.”
(source: Times of London)
I'm going to repeat those wise words of Ichiro every morning as part of my daily affirmations.
Monday, April 09, 2007
First there was the exceptional Asahi Super Dry commercial (see previous post) which I proclaimed “the greatest commercial ever made” not 2 weeks ago. Well I’m going to have to recant that superlative and say that no commercial will ever be better than this one. You have little kids waking up in the dead of night to watch Matsuzaka pitch, a strange cameo by Paul Konerko, a brilliant image of a neck-tattooed degenerate Yankee fan (yes, I know there is no other kind) who looks like he wants to kick your teeth into the curb, an even stranger cameo by Wally the Green Monster alone in Fenway’s grandstands, and a rapid montage of rabid Sox fans, pissed off neck-tattoo guy again, Matsuzaka’s name in lights on the scoreboard and some creepy off-screen voice whispering “Matsuzaka”. The result of which is the greatest piece of film since Eisenstein’s Odessa Steps scene or the first 5 minutes of ‘Touch of Evil’.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Had my first Asahi Super Dry last night and I'm not ashamed to say it was because of this commercial. It is just my opinion but that is the greatest commercial ever made and I dare anyone to disagree. The part when Matsuzaka throws a pitch in a virtual Fenway is breathtaking. It took me considerably longer to drink than Dice K but I did put on my Yaz jersey in an imitation slow mo. C. Jo didn't get the reference and probably wouldn't have found it amusing if she did. It is a good beer although I'm not sure it is worth the $9.25 I paid for it at Blanchard's unless a portion of that goes to the Sox to pay Matsuzaka's posting fee. I also fully support the reemergence of dry beer. I never had a Bud Dry but miss it mightily. All said it is a fine beer and I'd order it at a restaurant but probably won't pick up another 6 pack. Narragansett had not been dethroned. It is tough to beat cheap drinkable nostalgia in 16 ounce cans.
UPDATE: According to the Anheuser Busch website Bud Dry still exists. Who knew?