Saturday, May 31, 2008

Of Numb Nuts and Erin Andrews

A priceless moment from the National Spelling Bee (plus the kid gets to be interviewed by Erin Andrews...which might have made him feel numb).

Reminds me of this priceless moment from a few years ago.

Oh those crazy spelling bee kids. My favorite part is where the anchor says "is that a secret message?" Yes, he was asking for hints and speaking in code to the Russians!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Golf Scam?

Like everybody, I get spam in my email all the time. Normally I don't give it a second thought. Yet today, I almost fell for something. Almost.

I received the following email via

Wood or Iron? How About Both?

Get our New Warrior 20 Degree Hybrid Custom Built for you absolutely FREE*
This club usually retails for $199.99 but our R&D Department needs your feedback.
All you need to do is contact one of our club fitters at 800-600-5113
and mention code HD43 so we can make sure your specs and shipping
information is correct.
*s&h not incl. Offer available while supplies last. No purchase necessary.
I've wanted a hybrid club for some time, so I figured this was worth investigating. My first step was to google Warrier Custom Golf. Among one of the results was this, with stories of people who are out quite a sum of money due to this company. The Better Business Bureau has apparently received quite a few complains about them as well.

Now I have no further information then what I found on the web to back this up, so if the company is legit, then I take all of this back. Yet when you find several links taking you to complaints by consumers who have been scammed, it raises my antennae.

Therefore, buyer beware.

As for me, I deleted the email, but it bothered me that would be in bed with such an outfit. That's why I nearly fell for it. As consumers, we put our trust in the hands of what we feel are reputable folks. is a product of Sports Illustrated and CNN (via their respective web sites). I understand that they have their own limited liability and what-not, but don't they value their own reputation and good name?

So once again, we have proof that if it's too good to be true, it probably is.

Incidentally, I will finally hit the links a week from Monday for the annual Greenwich High Football Tournament at The Griff in Greenwich. I'm really looking forward to it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Love The Minor Leagues for Promotions Like This

Gotta love the mind of a minor league front office staffer. True, some promotions fall flat on their faces, but many are just too great. This one from the Altoona Curve struck me for muliple reasons (thanks, Deadspin):
Bobby Petrino, Nick Saban, and Rich Rodriguez. What do they have in common? They all sprinted out the back door and quit on their teams! The Curve return home from a six-game road trip and open up a three-game series against the New Britain Rockcats (Twins). Gates open at 6:00 p.m. Come to Blair County Ballpark as the Curve salute quitters of the game and give away a free back door -- literally.
The team will have staff members dressed up as famous quitters, such as Roberto Duran, Nick Saban, and so on.

Have I ever mentioned that I don't like quitters? Good, then my work here is done.

You'd be wise to get yourself out to a non-Major League game, be it the Hudson Valley Renegades or the Bridgeport Bluefish right here in our own back yard. And Danbury will soon have minor league hockey again. Good times for all!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

There's Still a Chance That There Will Be Ice at Yankee Stadium

As Sean Kilkelly has pointed out to me muliple times, Larry Brooks is the man on hockey. I'll go so far as to say that he is the only reason for me to read the Post.

OK, with that said, Brooks has the 4-1-1 on the Yankee Satdium Hockey Game. I'm still on the fence about this, but the bottom line is that I'd go if the game came to be and I could get (and afford) tickets.

This CAN'T Be True

I wouldn't normally post a picture of Rachel Ray for a series of reasons, most notably...
- She's annoying.
- She's ubiquitous.
- She's a Red Sox fan.

OK, quite honestly that last part doesn't matter. Seriously. The truth is I find her moderately attractive ("cute" may be the word, at best) and majorly caffeine-fuled (hence the Dunkin Donuts ads).

Yet this is just stupid (Thanks to the Boston Globe).
Does Dunkin’ Donuts really think its customers could mistake Rachael Ray for a terrorist sympathizer? The Canton-based company has abruptly canceled an ad in which the domestic diva wears a scarf that looks like a keffiyeh, a traditional headdress worn by Arab men.
Oh, it gets better...
Some observers, including ultra-conservative Fox News commentator Michelle Malkin, were so incensed by the ad that there was even talk of a Dunkin’ Donuts boycott.

‘‘The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad,’’ Malkin yowls in her syndicated column.
So we have our asshat of the day. And to top it all off...
For her part, Malkin was pleased with Dunkin’s response: ‘‘It’s refreshing to see an American company show sensitivity to the concerns of Americans opposed to Islamic jihad and its apologists.’’
OH. MY. GOD. (I'd say "Oh my Allah", but some would miss the joke)

Thanks to Kenn Tomasch for the tip.

I Knew I'd Get Noticed

After writing about some of the latest items of note in Greenwich, I figured that it was just a matter of time before Greenwich Roundup posted the links on their site. They not only did so, but had a few thoughts regarding WGCH. There was some criticism, and also some praise. I thank them for the kind words about me and our sports coverage. It's no secret we work hard. I've also said that covering news in Greenwich is not like it used to be.

Let me put it to you this way - it's a question of the economic realities of radio in the year 2008. WGCH has a news staff of two, and they do a fine job. Not long ago, it was at least three, with the potential to freelance (that's where I would sometimes come in).

I can't offer much more than that. We're doing our best on WGCH to keep local news, sports and talk alive in a tough time for radio.

As I wrote in response, I will post links to what's going on, and some witty remarks, but will skip the opinions for two reasons. One - I often serve as a fill-in news anchor. That doesn't always keep me from saying what's on my mind in my own blog (or off the air), but the more important reason is number two:

I don't have the facts. Case closed. So I continue to be an observer.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Daddy's Not the Only Celebrity in the Family!

Have a look at this video about the RobotGalaxy store in the Palisades Center in West Nyack, New York. It was a story that ran on the CW11 Morning News in New York City back in March or April (I think). I don't think I can embed the video here, so I will just tell you to pay special attention to the good-looking little boy in the black and white striped shirt counting down to liftoff at the 1:27 mark.

The Son is normally more of a ham than this, and is also the more popular of the Adams's when he makes a WGCH-related appearance, as he did Saturday in Farmington at the Greenwich baseball game.

Bill Murray, Baseball, and Beer (aren't the three ALWAYS connected?)

Awesome story via Awful Announcing from the Kansas City Star. In short: Steve Stone and Bill Murray are on the air, and Rick Sutcliffe is on first base. Murray bets Stone that Sut will steal second, and the word trickles down to Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe steals the base; hilarity ensues.

Great stuff. Not enough stories like that in this day of corporate sports.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Greenwich Board of Ed Investigated for Racism; Bloggers Collective Heads Explode!

This should be a fun one to watch. The Greenwich Time has the story here, while even The Journal News (via the AP) jumped on the bandwagon with a story.

Don't fix the mold at Hamilton Avenue School? Must be racism, right? Just like Willie Randolph is being treated differently because he's a black manager. Play the race card, watch my antennae pop up.

So I'll just sit back and watch as this develops; once again leaving the hand-wringing and mud-slinging to the folks at Greenwich Gossip, Greenwich Roundup, and the other blogs from the "wealthy town."

Personally I always like it when they call Greenwich "tony." Sounds more aristocratic to me. While here in Carmel, or other non-Greenwich places, I just watch people roll their eyes at the mention of the town that I spend a great deal of time in.

Y'all just don't know. Don't be that quick to judge.

Girardi Gets Suspended/Umpire Gets Nothing

(Kathy Willens / AP)

I meant to bring this up the other night. Joe Girardi had a meltdown in the ninth inning of the Yankees' 2-1 win over the Orioles at the Stadium the other night. Girardi would channel his inner Earl Waver/Billy Martin/Lou Piniella with a couple of hat tosses, hat kicks, and a kick of some dirt on the home plate umpire, Chris Guccione.

Following the game, baseball's czar of behavior and chief clown, Bob Watson, suspended Girardi for one game.

Here's the thing, and I haven't heard it discussed. I'm not a master lip-reader, but I clearly saw Guccione say the following to Girardi: "Get the f*** out of here."

Now, let me get this straight. Girardi gets suspended because he kicked a wittle dirt on the wittle umpire, but Guccione gets NOTHING for cussing/cursing/using bad language?

We've watched umpires blow not one, but TWO home run calls in the past week (replay's a-comin') and act like people pay money to see them. When are they going to be held accountable?

I LOVE hypocrisy!

Great Guy, That Gary Carter (or People I Don't Want to Be in a Foxhole With)

Gary Carter. The Kid. Mr. Expo/Met. And I'm sure he's a good friend of Willie Randolph, no?

Seems Gary, despite the usual blah-blah-blah Willie's-doing-a-good-job-and-boy-I-feel-for-him crap, decided to take a look into the grave being built for the current Mets manager and thought he'd jump in.
...I got on the phone and I called (Mets VP of media relations) Jay Horwitz and I asked Jay, 'Should I try to call Mr. Wilpon?' If there is this going on I just want them to know of my availability. I'm only a phone call away...
And as such, we've found our asshat of the day.


Oh, just so you don't do the ol' "Rob's such a Yankees-homer" route, I heard that there's some kind of promotion in which David Ortiz will call his shot (with the help of a contest winner) during the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium.

Get it? "Called shot", done by a Red Sock? Horrors!

Puh-leeze. Who cares? It's a stupid promotion but I guess the current ownership of the Bombers, who feel that the 80's were such good times, have decided to revive the behavior exhibited by their father during that pivotal (read: bad) time in Yankees history.
“We’ve spoken to Major League Baseball,” Randy Levine, the Yankees’ president, said Friday. “They understand the sensitivity of the matter and we’re going to sit down and discuss it.”
Oh! I get it now! Randy Levine is behind it, so we have TWO asshats in one post today. Free churro's for everyone!

Don't ask me why I said "churro's." I'm weird.

Let us one again focus our efforts on the now-.500 team, following a terrific comeback against the Mariners at the Stadium. That's what we should be worrying about.

Happy Memorial Day Eve

The above is the last good image of the Greenwich Cardinals 2008 baseball season. It was taken at a nice ballpark in Farmington, CT. The Cards jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a booming two RBI triple by Ricky Riscica and an RBI single by Jeff DeVico. Ricky and Jeff are the Cards' captains, and great guys as well.

Things looked bright, and fell apart after that. Errors, walks, hit batsmen. Farmington capitalized and won 8-4.

The '08 Cards were much better than that, and had much more promise than their 8-13 record shows.

On other fronts, I went to the Stadium Friday night as the countdown continues. I had, arguably, one of the best times I've ever had, with many thanks to Kris, Mick, Steve, Kelly, and new mom Lizzie. We laughed, cheered, and celebrated like friends and family. I need that right now.

OK, enough for now. I'm off to breakfast with the family. I know, to many, tomorrow is about warm weather, the mall, BBQ's and other relaxing pursuits. But please, please, and dare I say...please, think of those we've lost through their valiant efforts to keep our great nation safe. I'm going to a fantastic parade in Fairfield, CT that honors and celebrates Memorial Day. If I may be allowed such a bold statement, you should pause as well to remember that it isn't Memorial Day because you're trying to remember if you've packed the sunscreen as you're going to the beach!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hockey Hype

Pretty cool promo here for the Stanley Cup Finals, which are just about to begin, if you haven't noticed (and I'm betting you haven't). Red Wings/Penguins. Not exactly a classic matchup in the Original Six mold, but it will do nicely, thank you.

(The Original Six are the Rangers, Bruins, Canadiens, Red Wings, Blackhawks, and Maple Leafs. But you knew that, no?)

Hey, if I have embraced a little of the NBA again, then YOU can wrap your arms around Lord Stanley and his followers.

More General Mets-Fan Stupidity

Was it not just yesterday that I, lifelong Yankees fan, paid homage to uber-Met Mike Piazza? OK, I got a little dig in at the end, but my point stands.

So I'm trolling around the 'Net today and I come across a link to some smarmy writer at ESPN, who just happens to be a Mets fan (once again, what is it about Mets fans being in the media? Did I pick the wrong career?). Does he sing the songs of tribute to Piazza? Thank him for basically rescuing the franchise from certain doom? Maybe give him a pat on the back for helping them get to their only World Series since 1986?


Some of the criticism is valid; I'll grant him that. Piazza was a bit whiny when the subject of first base came up, and the whole catcher home run record thing was dumb. Yet how would he react if he held a press conference to say that he was a heterosexual? What did he want Piazza to say? Not that there's anything wrong with that?

Let's consider where your Metsies would be without Piazza, OK Paul?

This now confirms to me that Piazza should enter the Hall of Fame as a Dodger.

A Great Music Montage and Other Airchecks

Thanks to "Crap From the Past", I stumbled onto a music motage made largely by former WLOL DJ Jay Philpott. Starting in 1964, it carries to 2006, and it's got almost everything that a Top-40 listener would have heard, be it in Minneapolis (hence the heavy doses of Prince) or in New York (for me most notably on WABC or WNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNBC).

The montage is near the bottom of this page. It lasts an hour and is about 50MB if you choose to download it. I did...and it's worth it. With the exception of 1964 to late 1968, it's my life in music.

And yes, Huey Lewis is in it. At least three times ("The Heart of Rock and Roll", "The Power of Love" and "Stuck with You", plus "We Are The World"). I might not have recommended it otherwise.

(MINOR UPDATE) I just finished listening to the whole thing. It's awesome, but jeez - you go from the opening chord of "A Hard Day's Night" to "You're Beautiful" (by James Blunt)? Isn't that just a tiny bit of a dropoff? Oh, and if you allow youself to get wistful, it can get a wee bit emotional. I'm just sayin'. I could elaborate, but I think you know what I mean.

In fact, this whole page has a lot of great airchecks; many that are relevant only to Minnesota listeners, but quite a few that are of national and historical significance, such as:

- The attack on Pearl Harbor.
- The announcement of the death of FDR.
- Coverage of the assassination of JFK, largely from CBS News. This is especially fascinating in that you can hear the dawn of contemporary news as it's happening. Reporters are stumbling, filing eyewitness reports via phone, bulletins being handed to anchors. I was also stunned at the number of things that turned out to be false (such as Vice President Johnson being wounded). It's amazing radio.

Speaking of airchecks, I have to evenutally add a few fun ones for your listening pleasure to the ol' blogster. For instance, you can delight in listening to the artist formerly known as "Robbie" Adams doing his DJ thang on Majic 105 in September, 1990. As you can probably guess, I have a lot of airchecks that I've accumlated over the years.

In fact, have a listen to these:
- The 2002 WGCH Sports Montage - Created and edited by me. I played it during our last "Press Box" talk show in 2002, as a tribute to the many people who worked their butts off during arguably our best year in sports on WGCH. I used the theme music for each of our entities to break up the segments.
- 2007 Greenwich-Shelton State Championship - For reasons I can't comprehend, it says "Southington" on the files, but I know it's the entire broadcast of the Cardinals' state win against the Gaels.
- Greenwich versus Naples, November 9, 2007 - At long last, one of our biggest games in the history of WGCH is available for your downloading pleasure.

I'll add more when and if time allows.

If you know of any good sites to listen to classic moments of notice (sports, history, great DJ's and more), post a comment and I'd be happy to have a listen.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This is Just Ridiculous

This picture was submitted to a blog on the website of the LA Times. Now before you get too crazy, let me explain to you that it was taken in Death Valley, CA, and it seems to be the only game in town...and several towns for that matter. You're in the middle of nothing there, so they've got you.

Still...are we looking at our future? I found another picture as I dug through the site that showed gas was $4.69 in LA!

Haysooz Christmas, enough is enough!

(or in other words...WTF?)

This is going to make it tough for me to do those multiple road trips that I wanted to take. Richmond, VA...New Hampshire...Maine...Pennsylvania...Cooperstown...and the road to nowhere.

Darn. This is what sniffing pain fumes does to one when he is getting ready to have people walk through their house that is now on the woefully-bad market.

Yep. We've put the house on the market. And that's all I have to say about that.

Adios, Mike

You're not going to believe this, but I like Mike Piazza. Now you'll notice that I didn't post a picture of him as a Met (I have my limits) and hope that he goes into the Hall as a Dodger (50-50 at best) but I respect the fact that he turned the Mets around and loaded up ye ol' bandwagon.

Oh true, I lost respect for the way he handled himself through the Roger Clemens stuff of 2000. When Clemens clanked him on the crown that year, Piazza acted like a spoiled victim. Instead of taking Roger's clubhouse call to talk about it, Piazza called him out in a press conference. He came off as whiny to me.

But man, he could freakin' hit. And he bombed the Yankees. And I don't ignore the post-9/11 home run that he hit against the Braves.

He was otherwise a man's man. OK, a bit of a metrosexual, but it's all good. Hell, he even inspired Belle and Sebastian's song, "Piazza New York Catcher" with this lyric:
San Francisco’s calling us, the Giants and Mets will play
Piazza, New York catcher, are you straight or are you gay?
The truth was that Piazza was not gay, and married a former "Baywatch" babe.

He seemed like a guy, to me, that was worth hanging out with. One who was great with the fans. A really solid guy, and a great ballplayer. The Dodgers, Marlins, Mets, Padres, and A's were all better with you, and I think the Yankees would have been intriguing.

Shockingly, my hat's off to you, Mike. Even if it doesn't have the interlocking NY that you wore on it.

At the end of "Mike and the Mad Dog" on WFAN, Mike Francesa let colleague Sal Licata, a huge Mets fan, pick one highlight to end the show with. What did he choose? The no-brainer (the post-9/11 bomb)? A home run off the Yankees? A fogotten game-winner? NO! He picks a shot off John Smoltz in the 1999 NLCS that tied a game that the Mets would lose. Once again, total ass-hattery from Mets fans!

That would be like me saying my favorite Alfonso Soriano moment is when he homered off Curt Schilling in Game Seven of the 2001 World Series. How the bleep did that turn out?


So I'll leave you with my favorite Piazza moment. Since MLB has gotten rather weenie-ish with regard to posting audio and video, I'll write the words down. Sing along!
(Joe Buck) Piazza gets into one to center! Back is Bernie Williams...a threepeat!
Maybe you would prefer John Sterling's version, which included the all-important words:
Ballgame over! World Series over! Yankees win...
You know the rest.

Good times, good times.

Of Tasers and Water Balloons (Or Greenwich's Version of "Don't Tase Me, Bro")

I work in Greenwich, and I'm involved with Greenwich High School quite a bit. I like the people of Greenwich, who have been thoughtful and kind to me for over a decade now.

Sometimes Greenwich can be quite silly (OK, quite often). Much has been made of a case last week where a GHS student was tasered on campus by a Greenwich Police Officer. In fact, there are a few other blogs that deal with Greenwich specifically, so I'll let them pontificate wihtout me adding opinions to the fire. I wasn't there.

Greenwich Roundup has been leading the charge. They describe their mission statement as:
We offer online news, multimedia, blogs and complete digest of the events and issues that effect the people of Greenwich. Our goal is to promote critical reading and evaluation of news and blog postings. We strongly encourage our readers to send feedback to reporters, webmasters and to write letters to the editor. We hope that visitors to Greenwich Roundup wiil express their views by commenting on blog posts.
In the process of their coverage, they have been bold critics of the Greenwich Time and the Greenwich Board of Ed.

Full disclosure - I saw my name on there just once, but it was part of a blog that somebody else wrote about me. Plus it was positive. So there. I have, however, seen WGCH get criticized. Whatever. Nature of the beast. I would like folks to understand that the days of 24 hour local radio are gone, but I can't go crazy. I'm just a small player in this game, as I've said before.

Criticism about WGCH has also come from Bill Clark, the humble scribe at Greenwich Gossip. Mr. Clark has own thoughts regarding the taster incident.

So read these and other blogs with regard to this story at Greenwich High School. I'm a sports reporter who fills in anchoring the news occasionally. I think I'm better served staying away from this one.

I did once host a general talk show on WGCH, and this would have been a dandy topic, but time moves on...


By now you have probably guessed that I'm a sucker for nostalgia. I love discussing history of music, baseball, football, sports in general, television, radio, the US and a lot of other stuff that I'm not thinking of.

In other words, crap.

A few years ago I stumbled onto a program out of Minneapolis called, appropriately, "Crap From The Past." CFTP is hosted by Ron "Boogiemonster" Gerber, a one-time resident of Rockland County here in New York. It includes loads of music from the 70's, 80's and 90's, but not primarily the better-known songs. The obscure, forgotten, and dreafully bad are the stars here, along with covers, medleys and more.

I highly recommend checking it out.

Incidentally, Gerber is no dummy. He only has a PhD in optics, and a bunch of patents.

The show has run on various outlets since 1992, and can be currently heard on KFAI out of Minneapolis, or online via their web stream. But what really makes the show so cool is that everything is archived via

I'm not a religious listener, but I always find something cool when I do check it out. For instance, as a mad Huey Lewis fan, I was thrilled to hear Gerber play the original (that is, pre-Huey version) of both "Heart and Soul" and "Bad is Bad." As a collector, that was perfect for me.

Recently CFTP ran a great an old aircheck from a Minneapolis station, WLOL. It is December 31, 1983 and time to count down the top hits of the year before 1984 gets underway (a GREAT year for music, by the way). Many airchecks are often "scoped", meaning no commercials and perhaps just the beginning and ends of the songs. This aircheck, however, leaves the songs intact, and you get to hear the commercials as well. For somebody like me, who enjoyed the Top 40 shows of the day, this is nirvana.

The DJ, Jay Philpott, talks up songs (taking them "to the post", which means he talks up to until the vocal begins), does the weather, and gives away tickets to an upcoming Genesis concert!

Oh cringe if you will at the music (I did) but it's a great blast back in time to when I would record songs off the radio for mixed tapes.

Part one is here (and you can download the entire show via MP3's). Part two is here.

Stay crappy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's May...So Let's Talk FOOTBALL!!

Have a look at the preliminary 2008 Greenwich High School football schedule:

Fri., 9/12 - Bridgeport Central at Cardinal Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Sat., 9/20 - Darien at DHS Stadium 1:30 p.m.
Fri., 9/26 - Brien McMahon at Cardinal Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Fri., 10/3 - Danbury at Danbury High School Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Fri., 10/10 - Ridgefield at Tiger Hollow Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Sat., 10/18 - Trumbull at Cardinal Stadium 1:30 p.m.
Fri., 10/24 - St. Joseph (NJ) at Cardinal Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Fri., 10/31 - Wilton at Fujitani Field 6:00 p.m.
Fri., 11/7 - Stamford at Cardinal Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Sat., 11/15 - Westhill at Westhill Football Field 1:30 p.m.
Thu., 11/27 - Staples at Cardinal Stadium 10:00 a.m.

My thoughts? It will be cool to finally go to Ridgefield, having never done a football game from there (though I did serve as their board-op and halftime guy on WREF in 1996). As Mr. Sean Kilkelly said, the travel isn't bad. The trips to Rigefield, Danbury and Wilton aren't great, but at least it's not Trumbull and Bridgeport Central. Besides, the drive home from Danbury and Ridgefield is great for me! The St. Joseph game on October 24 will be interesting, a la Naples 2007.

The Cardinals will never say so publicly (they're too smart) but they're thinking threepeat, and they have every reason to.

I'm sure there will be changes to the schedule before they finally kick off, so keep your eyes open! Oh, and be prepared for the Spring football game (I'm hearing June 13th for that) and we'll probably also take a look at the Greenwich-Brunswick scrimmage (assuming there is one).

Expect WGCH to cover it all! (hopefully)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bobby Murcer - in Book Form!

Bobby Murcer turns 62 on Tuesday, and he celebrating by releasing his first book, "Yankee for Life, My 40-Year Journey in Pinstripes." Neil Best, who has become the preeminent media critic for the New York tri-state area, has details here.

Yes, I will absolutely be getting this book. Be it by gift, through media connections, or by plopping down my own hard-earned cash. But you probably knew that.

Incidentally if Bob Raissman or Phil Mushnick demonstrated half the character and humanity as Neil Best does, they might be slightly more likable. But they don't and instead are regarded generally as arrogant writers with an ax to grind (how's things with the SNY and the Mets, Bob? Have any more obnoxious things to write about the WWE, Phil?).

Oh and yes, I do own that statue of Bobby Ray in the picture at top. My friend Matt Hamilton got it for me a few years ago. It's him from his early career - in the 70's - when he still wore number one.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Death Cab For Cutie

I told you about this song yesterday, and I found the video this morning. So stop what you're doing and give yourself 8:31 and sit back and enjoy!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

On Music: Trust WFUV, Zach Braff, Stephanie, and Me

I made some additions to the music library recently, and it got me to thinking that there are several people whose taste I trust almost implicitly. Sean Kilkelly (who gets enough pub on this blog without me putting his name in the post title) is among that crew, as he directed me towards Montgomery Delaney, Rachel Fuller, and even some tracks by The Who that I either didn't know or had forgotten about. He's also the person who (not The Who, but you get the idea) told me to go listen to The Grey Album (the combo of Jay-Z and The Beatles).

Big ups to SGK!

Yet there are others who come in pretty handy in the music recommendation biz. The radio is stil enormous, but the commercial stations are largely not getting it done for me. Yes The Peak is solid but they've lost an edge. They can be guilty of a touch too much repetition (here's more reggae, mon!). So that leaves me with WFUV from Fordham University - a college station that isn't run like a college station, especially since so much of their air talent is well-established in the industry.

I digress.

'FUV has been spot-on in helping me to get turned onto the latest by Death Cab for Cutie("I Will Possess Your Heart", and they played the ALBUM version, with the awesome instrumental into).

What? Actually play a song that is 8:35 and isn't "Stairway to Heaven?"

Heavens, no!

I must also give WFUV "mad props" for playing songs by Cat Power and Vampire Weekend.

Well done, indeed.

Now, who's Stephanie, you say? Well if you don't know, Steph is my niece and she and I have fairly similar tastes. When I recommend something to her, it normally works, and vice-versa. So when she told me to check out the soundtrack to the movie "Juno", I felt it was a no-brainer.

"Uncle", she said, "the movie and the soundtrack are both like 'Napoleon Dynamite.'"

She was right.

Finally there's my "friend" Zach Braff. You know - JD from "Scrubs" (soon to return for an eighth season on a channel to be determined). Zach and I have never met - we're MySpace friends.

Whatever. Close enough for jazz, no?

ZB (as he often signs his blog posts) is a master at a lot of things. He's great on "Scrubs", made a brilliant picture called "Garden State" (see it if you haven't, and really, how could you not?), and knows a thing or two about soundtrack pickings (Stephanie also compared the "Juno" soundtrack to "Garden State").

With all that said, ZB is producing and directing a video for an indy artist, Jay Clifford. Never one to doubt his musical taste, I downloaded the song, "Know When to Walk Away" and can tell you that it's really good.

Now here's the catch: Braff wants help of the common people to make the video. So go here, watch ZB's explanation (it's kind of funny) and download the song, even if you're not going to take part in the video process. You have until the end of May (might be sooner - I forget).

Trust me...and Zach...and Stephanie...and WFUV...and Sean (and yes, you too, Mick...though you don't blog enough...and Harold...and my family...OK, enough!). We know our music.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Off the Bench (The "One of Those Moods" Edition)

My promise of late has been that when I want to come on here and rant about personal stuff, I will post a video. My need to want to rant, especially when in a lousy mood, is such that I will likely offend, and this is not the right time to do that. With that said, enjoy Sue Simmons, a longtime respected journalist on WNBC (channel 4) in New York dropping a no-no on live TV.

Ms. Simmons, I've long enjoyed your work. You and Chuck Scarborough have brought the news to New Yorkers for over 25 years. But instead of me railing about unsavory items, I must post the video. Oh, and this is clearly NSFW (better known as "Not Safe for Work").

Whew. That's better. What this proves is that we are all human, and we all make mistakes when live microphones are nearby. Oh, and no, I wouldn't suspend or fire her.

Now, where's the outrage?

Oh. That's what I thought.

While talking about outrage, I might just suspend my subscriptions to the various Yankees blogs that I look at. There's too much whining and hand-wrining and over-analysis. Let me boil this down for you:
- The Yankees stink right now.
- They have no pitching.
- Their offense is missing key cogs in A-Rod and Posada, along with Cano being simply lousy.
- Yet they're right in the middle of the AL East.
- Joba looks stupid with the fist pump, but ultimately it's much ado about nothing.

(This last opinion seems to be only shared by Mike and the Mad Dog, and Goose Gossage. I differ in that I haven't screamed about it. The rest of the world seems to disagree. Again - it's much ado about nothing. So be it.)

There's more, but it's not worth it.

In a few hours, I'll be off to Cardinal Yard, home of the Greenwich Cardinals baseball team. The Cards take on the Westhill Vikings today, and it's Senior Day. I'm going to serve as master of ceremonies for the ceremonies today. With all that life serves up, those couple of hours with the Cards is a welcome respite. I'm not sure the players, coaches, and fans truly appreciate that, but that's what it has been for me.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Oh. My. Freakin. God.

This living frugally thing has it's definite down side - among them, my lack of concert attendance. Sadly it's a great season around these parts, with great shows from Bruce Springsteen and countless others. Ben Folds is playing at my alma mater tonight (Western Connecticut State U) and even for $31, I can't justify going.


But the reason for dropping in today is to give you this post from with the details of an unbelievable show at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ (and forgive the language - remember, it's a quote).
And with that, it was Darkness, side one, to start the show. "We're gonna start with Darkness, so we don't send you home suicidal!" Bruce quickly aborted "Badlands" seconds in, after a rough start: "We fucked it up already! I knew there was a reason why we didn't do this," he laughed. "Maybe we shouldn't do it!" But they did it. And man, they did it. From track to track, for the first time live, it was Darkness sequenced as Bruce originally intended it to be heard, full of intensity from the howls on "Something in the Night" to the seemingly never-ending coda of "Racing in the Street," a straight-ahead "Factory" (not the Bruce/Patti duet of recent years) with Steve on mandolin, the modern twist on "Prove It All Night" as Nils rocked the new solo, and at the end of "side two," a hugely powerful vocal on the title track. Loads of guitar from Springsteen, too -- every solo except that Nils spectacular, in fact. Bruce offered a solo to Steve at one point, which was respectfully declined.

After an only-fitting intermission, Born to Run got the same sequential treatment, offering a distinct reminder of what a freakin' masterpiece it is, as well as of the difference in tone between the two records. After the ferocity of the first set, here Bruce was having a blast, jumping into the crowd on the "Freeze-out" and even being held up by the crowd -- did we mention this was a theater show? Several clambers up on the piano throughout this second set, too. "Tenth" also brought a full horn section to the stage -- "The Mighty Max Horns," as Bruce later called them -- consisting of Mark Pender on trumpet, LaBamba on trombone, Jerry Vivino and Ed Manion on saxes. Pender came back out for "Meeting Across the River," giving his own spin to Randy Brecker's original trumpet part for a few minutes of absolute magic, also thanks to the beautfiul accompaniment from Roy and Garry. "Jungleland" had Steve stepping up for a soaring solo, and of course Clarence -- invigorated, up and around for much of this night -- did his thing and did it well.

And that wasn't the end -- as the needle hit the runout groove, Bruce said, "Let's bring out the horns! We've got a few more for you!" And they used the horn section to maximum effect for the entire encore, four bonus tracks starting off with BTR outtake "So Young and in Love." "Kitty's Back" was next -- "and she's got somebody with her!" Bruce teased at the end, "Kitty's back, and she's got somebody with her!" That somebody was "Rosalita," and finally, Eddie Floyd's "Raise Your Hand" made sure we got an R&B cover in there for the full effect of this '70s theater revival.
Wow. Darkness followed by Born to Run...full album...end to end...followed by "Kitty's Back" and "Rosie", plus outtakes and extras?

I'm sure it was worth the crazy prices that tickets went for.

Did I say wow?

Monday, May 05, 2008


I've got nothing. Just read.
NASHUA, N.H. (AP) -- After a Red Sox-Yankees argument spilled outside a bar, a Yankee fan aimed her car at a group of people to scare them and didn't brake, hitting and killing a man, authorities and witnesses said.

The Yankees fan, Ivonne Hernandez, was arraigned Monday on reckless second-degree murder and drunken driving charges and was held without bail. She did not enter a plea.

Hernandez, 43, was speeding early Friday toward a small group that included the man, Matthew Beaudoin, 29, and never hit her brakes, a prosecutor said Monday.

"She accelerated at a high speed for about 200 feet. She went directly at this group of people," prosecutor Susan Morrell said. "She indicated to police that she wanted to scare this group of people. She thought they would get out of the way."
Are you bleeping kidding me? Look I take this stuff seriously, but it's not life or death. Was it really worth killing somebody? Was it really worth adding more fuel to a worldwide fire that thinks we Yankees fans are obnoxious, arrogant, and now dangerous and murderers?

Prison's a good place for her. Since it's Cinco de Mayo, allow me this.


Sunday, May 04, 2008


Those of you who are loyal to Exit 55 (Hi, Mom!) know I fancy myself as a bit of a music person. I've talked about so many things - various lists of best albums and so on.

Tonight, I'm going retro on ya.

The night started with the radiant Audrey Hepburn on TV, in the mesmerizing "Sabrina." As I told Sean, his mom looked a lot like Ms. Hepburn on our wedding day; a day that now seems lifetimes ago.

Then, as now, I couldn't take my eyes off Audrey Hepburn. Few could ever be as beautiful or stylish, and even fewer could melt your heart by simply talking. Her accent - which seemed like it came out of her native Belgium and proceeded through Paris (the city that I most associate her with) with touches of New York and ultimately, Switzerland, where she remains for eternity, having been buried there in 1993, just added to her grace.

So the night was off to a nice start, and we could have ended there, with me off to watch Cubs-Cardinals or something else. But no, Turner Classic Movies had something else in mind.

The Chairman of the Board (no...not Whitey Ford...but close).

Mr. Sinatra.

TCM ran a wonderful TV special called "A Man and His Music", and though I'm not sure what network it ran on, I found that it debuted on November 24, 1965. It features Frank, sometimes with an orchestra in the shot, sometimes without. The show won an Emmy and a Peabody, and presents many of Sinatra's most famous songs. There's the sound of an audience, but you never see them. Instead it's just that - the man and his music.

Mr. Sinatra wows us with some of his classic quips, but mostly, he belts the songs out like no vocalist has before or since (no offense to Bing Crosby). He comes out of the box with the song that I often think is the most incredible of the Sinatra catalog, "I've Got You Under My Skin."

Oh, and for the record, while there are several great versions of the song recorded by Sinatra, I think the peak is when he performed it with the Count Basie Orchestra on 1966's "Sinatra at the Sands." Frankly (pardon the pun) I don't have enough volume for that version when I play it. It's that utterly brilliant.

One last thing - "Sinatra at the Sands" sits right at or near the top of my favorite live concert albums. Many will tell you that Frank had lost a step by the time of this recording, just past his 50th birthday. True, the crooner might have stepped back slightly, but the kitschy too-cool Rat Packer was alive and well. Lose your PC ways and enjoy the humor on display during the monologue.

I know, this all makes me seem very old, but to me it highlights the house I was raised in. My siblings brought me up right - with The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, early Aerosmith, and whatever we were listening to on WABC in the car, and the early FM stations in the house. My mom influenced me with the pop of her early adulthood, primarily from the 50's and 60's. She gave me some of the foundation of the Sinatra influence. Yet ultimately credit for my love of big band, jazz, and standards belongs to my father.

There's no shame in finding all kinds of music, and you'd be smart to do the same!

If you've never tried any Sinatra, I advise you to suspend whatever preconceptions you have and give it a shot. You won't go wrong if you try the Capitol concept albums of the mid to late-50's, like "Songs for Swingin' Lovers" or "In The Wee Small Hours." Then there's the amazingly depressing "Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely", the saddest record I've ever listened to.


Trust me, I haven't listened to that CD lately. Nor will I.

He had style, grace, charm, and was quite a rogue. Nobody could interpret a song like he could. He wrote very little music, but knew how to arrange, and was smart to have the best conductors and musicians around him.

He was controversial and was a comeback kid (his career was supposedly over before his Oscar-winning turn in "From Here to Eternity").

He was Sinatra. That's all you need to know.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Another Bobby Murcer Item

I haven't found anything on YouTube from Bobby Ray's debut on Friday night, and I'm OK with that. His voice sounded weak, and was at times almost disturbing - not because he sounded bad, but for concern that one would have for an old friend.

I'm often jumping on YouTube to see if there's anything related to things that interest me (the Huey Lewis stuff has been great). So tonight I searched on "Murcer" and came up with this dandy PSA commercial from 1971. I've never seen it before.

I remember he did one for Skoal Tobacco in the early 80's (I think), and of course, the great "Murcerized" spot for the YES Network, but I never knew about this one. Who kew he'd become a broadcaster, or even an actor (The Scout) based on this. Yikes.

Another Vin Scully Item

I've come to realize, and it's no surprise, that there have been several consistent themes or people that have existed since the beginning of Exit 55. Bobby Murcer, Yankee Stadium, Huey Lewis, and Vin Scully are some that come to mind (besides high school football and the like).

Those are but some of the many things that make up little ol' me. Sorry if it might bother you.

So with that said, here's more from Neil Best on the great Scully, honored earlier this week by Fordham University's great WFUV radio station (which everyone should listen to).

For those of you who want to be a broadcaster (and I know a few of you do read this), let me highlight a quote for you:
Scully on why he rarely listens to other announcers: "I'm not a listener. It’s not ego at all. But Red Barber gave me a bit of advice when I first joined him and he said you shouldn’t listen to other broadcasters because you bring something into the booth that no one else has.

"And I looked at him and I thought what the heck do I have just out of college, and he said yourself, there’s no one else like you. He didn’t want me to consciously or subconsciously borrow tonal effect or whatever. So I don’t listen. Whatever comes out of me is me, it’s pure original, good bad or indifferent."
Lord, how I wish it could truly be just me behind the mic, but I love listening to the various voices of broadcasting too much. I own Major League Baseball's audio package for one reason only - to hear Mr. Scully, for three innings, when is simulcast on radio, TV (and the Net). Otherwise I couldn't possibly care less about listening to Dodgers baseball.

So when you hear me, you hear Scully, but you also can hear traces of many others (frankly both good and bad). I guess you take the pieces of the puzzle and I'm what comes out of it. For the most part, as a broadcaster, the reviews of that puzzle have been fair.

In any event (as I'm just a low-rent blogger, right Mr. Buzz Bissinger?), let me wrap this up by saying that there are two primary interviews that I have not done in my respectful radio career - no surprise - Bobby Murcer and Vin Scully. I long to get a talk show back on the air if only to achieve that goal.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Warm and Fuzzies

Let me say before we start tonight that I love Staples High School. Last time I slightly took them to task I wound up hearing through the grapevine that I might have bruised a few feelings. Let's try to keep my musings here in perspective, k?

Greenwich. Staples. Those words next to each other make you feel tingly, doesn't it?

Well not if you go to one of those two schools.

Greenwich once again proved to me their Yankees-like persona this week when they took to the diamond against the Wreckers in Westport. Everybody seems to dislike the Cardinals - hence the Yankees reference - but New Canaan, Darien and Staples seem to take it to extremes.

The Cardinals would lose to the Wreckers, 7-3. That's not even the reason for this post. The Cards didn't look very sharp and made some mental mistakes.

Nope that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about smack.

Staples' baseball field is quite nice (might be one of the best in the FCIAC), but it doesn't have grandstands, so fans tend to stand in the parking lot that overlooks the field. So some of the students decided that they would position themselves nice and close to the Cardinals dugout along first base line and rid themselves of whatever evil thought they had about anybody wearing red.

Did I mention the Cardinals lost the game? Did I also mention that Greenwich went to Staples last November and beat them to the tune of 37-0 in football? Did I also mention how much I like Staples, and Coach P, and the friends I've made there?

Good. Carry on.

So the students taunted the Cardinals players. To their credit, as much as they wanted to say something back, they bit their tongues. The whole thing was kind of comical.

By the way, credit to Wreckers' coach Jack McFarland who had enough of the idiocy and tried to tell one of the taunters to get lost. Sadly he had a game to coach and didn't have time to babysit the crowd.

Perhaps somebody else should have done that. Oh but that would have kept them from telling me that I was a liability. Cardinals score keeper extraordinaire Katie and I were doing our individual scorebooks and talking about random stuff when the Cardinals players joined us. A voice from beyond (somebody from Staples) shooed the players away, saying that "Greenwich belongs in the dugout."

Seems that Katie and I were part of that group. Somebody was too happy to tell Katie that very thing following the last out - like that was necessary for when we come back to Staples for 2010.

See, here's the thing. I stand in places like this for virtually every game. Want to see where we stand at Cardinal Yard in Greenwich? Just be prepared when a lefty is up, is all I'm saying. Are those standing in the parking lot at Staples who were dodging foul balls a liability also?

I get it. You're concerned for our potential lawsuit that you might get slapped with. Whatever. I appreciate the conundrum of silliness but here's the rub: Katie, me, the coaches and the Cardinals all survived unscathed. Oh and one other thing - you play roughly ten games there a year. You don't want people standing near the fence outside the dugout on the first base side?

Put up a sign!

Did I mention that I love Staples - I have a great relationship with the folks there and I enjoy the rivalry of these two schools. I'm not trying to bruise egos here, or embarrass anyone. I'm just telling a little story about some of the inane things that go on in high school athletics.

Just in case I offend anyone.

Have I mentioned I'm fond of Staples High School?

Oh. Good.

Best. News. Today.

He's back. Bobby Murcer will work his first game of 2008 tomorrow night when the Yankees host the Mariners at the Stadium. From Anthony Rieber in Newsday:
Murcer will announce tomorrow and Sunday’s games for the YES Network and work next week in the network’s Stamford, Conn., studio. He had hoped to call games in spring training and make it to the Bronx for Opening Day, but was unable to because of his illness.
Despite the crap that life throws at us, Bobby Ray is coming back, and that's reason to smile.