Sunday, August 30, 2009

On the Air with Sean Kilkelly

Join Sean Kilkelly tonight at 6:00 on his eponymous show via Blog Talk Radio. Sean's guest will be...

We'll no doubt talk a lot of baseball, and whatever else Sean has in mind. One thing about us - we almost never set an agenda. That goes for our play-by-play as well, which we've done for a long time now. Sean will once again be my partner on Cardinals football beginning on September 16th.

Should be fun tonight.

If you don't catch it tonight, check out the archive.

OK, enough shameless promoting for one morning!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

WGCH 2009 High School Football Schedule

Here it is! At last! Siskel and Ebert would both approve! A Masterpiece!

THE 2009 BROADCAST SCHEDULE! Featuring all regular and post-season Greenwich High School games, along with three appearances for the Brunswick Bruins and the annual Rye-Harrison matchup.

1) Wed 9/16 - 6:00 PM - Norwalk at Greenwich
2) Fri, 9/25 - 6:00 PM - Greenwich @ Stamford
3) Sat, 10/3 - 1:30 PM - Harding @ Greenwich
4) Fri, 10/9 - 7:00 PM - Greenwich @ Danbury
5) Fri, 10/16 - 7:00 PM - Greenwich @ Trumbull
6) Sat, 10/17 - 2:00 PM - Rye @ Harrison
7) Fri, 10/23 - 6:00 PM - Greenwich @ Bridgeport Central
8) Sat, 10/24 - 2:00 PM - St. Luke's @ Brunswick
9) Fri, 10/30 - 7:00 PM - Westhill @ Greenwich
10) Sat, 10/31 - 7:00 PM - Salisbury @ Brunswick
11) Fri, 11/6 - 7:00 PM - New Canaan @ Greenwich
12) Sat, 11/7 - 2:30 PM - Brunswick @ Hopkins
13) Fri, 11/13 - 7:00 PM - St. Joseph @ Greenwich
14) Fri, 11/20 - TBA - FCIAC Championship (if Greenwich is in it)
15) Thu, 11/26 - 10:00 AM - Greenwich @ Staples
16) Tue, 12/1 (date approximate) - TBA (probably 6:30 PM) - Class LL Semis (if Greenwich is in it)
17) Sat, 12/5 (date approximate) - TBA - Class LL Final (if Greenwich is in it)

I'll add more details as they become available.

Greatest Yankees Ever

Via River Ave. Blues, I came across this well thought out post by Jonah Keri, ranking the top-10 Yankees of all-time.

Now I know, start your quibbles. Different African Americans...and so on. We know it's all conjecture. I still enjoy the conversation, even if it's worthless.

Jonah (who's not a Yankees fan) went purely with offensive players, so there will be no slotting of Mariano Rivera, White Ford, Red Ruffing, Lefty Gomez, Ron Guidry, Andy Pettitte and the other great Yankees pitchers (Hoyt, Raschi, Lopat, Gossage, Reynolds, etc). And he picks them only based on their Yankees numbers. Here they are:

1 Babe Ruth
2 Mickey Mantle
3 Lou Gehrig
4 Joe DiMaggio
5 Yogi Berra
6 Derek Jeter
7 Bill Dickey
8 Jorge Posada
9 Bernie Williams
10 Earle Combs

Babe Ruth? Of course he's number one. Personally, I would argue for Gehrig over The Mick, but I can also argue for DiMaggio, as Mantle and Joe D are almost interchangeable at times. Jonah's flaws are few to me, but I think he makes the mistake that so many others make - getting hung up on stats. Clearly going the sabermetrics route, Jonah and those who commented spit out numbers, and they're great but I like stats to illustrate. There's more to ones game than that.

Plus he is very harsh on first basemen, so there's no Don Mattingly, who I would probably take over Earle Combs or even Bernie Williams. Tony Lazzeri can also be argued for. The 70's fan will push for Thurman Munson, but to be fair, Posada has quietly had a great career, and is now starting making a case for the Hall of Fame.

Your comments are welcome.

All I Needed Was a Dollar and a Reality Check

This was a semi-rough week.

It didn't really start that way. Well, yeah it did. Actually last weekend was magnificent but as I've come to know, good is often followed by not-so-good.

The walls began to crash Sunday with a crushing phone call of very sad news of a young life being taken before it had the chance to start. Literally. I'm still in shock, and the drive home gave me lots to think about.

The rest of the week seemed to be loaded with other things that can make one just shake their head.

So it was that I found myself Friday in Valley Deli, a small joint in Jefferson Valley, NY. My mom goes there virtually every day, and they know her pretty well. Nice guys, decent food. Time for a sandwich on my way to "The Press Box."

I paid for my turkey and American with mustard on a roll, chips, and Coca-Cola and was heading towards the door when the counter guy said, "Let me ask you: do you play Mega Millions?"

"Not normally", I offered.

"Hmm", he said with a shrug. "It's a dollar and it's big tonight", and pointed to a sign on the machine that said some ridiculously large number (a couple of hundred million or so).

So I did something I never do: I handed him a dollar. He handed me my ticket, we exchanged pleasantries, and that was that.

I was hopeful that fate - something I do believe in, along with the Good Church of Baseball (Saints Babe, Lou, Joe D, and The Mick), and (of course) Karma - would be working with me.

The rest of the day went as such. A decent show, heavy rain, unused Yankees tickets (of course they played and they won), and so on. More idiocy, though I thank the person I reached out to for her wisdom. I like her.

I watched "Scrubs" (that's a damn fine show there), and "Fight Club" (never saw it all the way through) before I realized that the lottery results should be available. Indeed they were - 1, 17, 31, 37, 54, and the Megaball was 31.

No money for me. *Sigh*

Oh, my numbers? 33, 34, 35, 42, 55, 06. Yep. 55. Fifty-five. Should have been fate.

And so it is.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Have You Heard? (w/VIDEO)

Please note a VIDEO is within this post.

Now, a friend of mine did it to me, and I must do it to you.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Quickie For the Facebook Crowd

For some time, I've let my posts from "Exit 55" be automatically placed on my Facebook page. You know, symmetry and all. It made sense.

But...there's a problem.

When I post a video, a la "Rule 55", the video does not make it to Facebook; only the text. You have to return here - - to see the video. That means what I've written doesn't always make sense because you can't see the video. It can cause confusion or even hard feelings because you're not getting the whole message.

I will be more cognizant of this and/or will simply end the "Exit 55"/Facebook relationship.

Thank you for your understanding.

I'm On a Field!

I love the minor leagues. You knew that already, of course. The originality is tremendous, and I'm a big fan of parody. With that in mind, some of the folks at the Hudson Valley Renegades put together this funny video spoofing "I'm On a Boat."

The addition of Rookie the Raccoon made it even better. Of course, many of the references won't be clear to those who don't know the 'Gades.

Of course, if you wish to see the original "I'm On A Boat", go here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jim Rice Update

Thanks to Tim Parry for alerting me to and update regarding the Jim Rice story, which I first discussed here. Rice says he was misquoted.

Just wanted to report both sides of the story.

And Still Worse

The Fightins have more video goodness for us. Another Rule 55 moment for your enjoyment.

Yes, It Can Get Worse

The Mets lost on an unassisted triple the ninth inning, with the tying and winning runs on base.

Also reports began to swirl that GM Omar Minaya will be back in 2010.

Just when you thought it couldn't get worse.

The folks at The Fightins have the video of the triple play.

Consider this your latest invocation of Rule 55. Much to say from yesterday...good and bad...but I'll offer none here.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Jim? Hello? Jim?

So it appears that Jim Rice has lost touch with reality.

I was happy to see him make the Hall of Fame and of course, it can't be taken away, nor should it simply because he makes asinine statements.

Let PeteAbe tell you about it.

Fox Sports also has a report.

Slam Manny if you want, and A-Rod is fair game. I just don't know why it's necessary to take a shot at Jeter. Sorry, I just don't.

Word of warning to Jim Rice: People in glass houses...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Warned You

I said the other day that I could find more pictures of Scott (and by extension, me). Here you go - homeroom class, seventh grade. Scott is the in the third row up, second person in. I'm up top, fourth from the left.

Good times...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Morning Linky Dinks

I'm on the fence about the status of "Linkage", my name for the list of internet-related items that I occasionally post.

Then I discovered that Fang's Bites also uses the moniker. Like my affection for the term "Odds and Sods" (first used by Sean Kiklelly), I am likely to not use "Linkage" as much.

Neither are copyrighted and, yes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but...

So we'll roll on with "Linky Dinks" (just as "Off the Bench" took over for "Odds and Sods").

Chuck Costello, who has done a GREAT job filling in for me on "The Press Box" (want this Friday also, Chuck?) writes about colleges having to make more job cuts.

It's becoming increasingly obvious that rampant homelessness will be coming (me included). I'm exaggerating. I hope.

Tim Parry is firing the engines on the FCIAC Football Blog. You know my feeling about it - love it. So visit as we make the FCIAC the special place that it is.

Tim also tells us about the status of Wright Tech/Stamford Academy football...or lack thereof.

Fang's Bites (home of "Linkage") pays a proper farewell to WBCN - one of the landmark radio stations. To me, 'BCN was Boston's version of WNEW, and while I'd rather have Scott Muni and Carol Miller, 'BCN was a great way to go while driving around the Commonwealth.

WBCN lives on here, in online HD-radio form.

Woodstock's 40th anniversary has come and gone. Sean Kilkelly reminds us who played.

The second and third days would have been my favorite (if I'm same the person, of course). I might appreciate the Grateful Dead or Santana more had I seen them live (not really a fan otherwise), just to give you an example. But the idea of seeing The Who, Creedence, Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone, Joe Cocker, The Band, and a few others is too much to imagine.

Then again, the idea of stinking because of not being able to take a shower? I'm not too good at that.

Happy Anniversary to Us

(Rob in the "Exit 55" nerve center)

This is "Exit 55's" third anniversary. We started on August 17, 2006, as I watched the Yankees break ground for the new Stadium.

I'll always tip my hat to Sean Kilkelly (still rocking here) and Matt Hamilton (not rocking anymore) for inspiring me to start this thing. It has brought me friends (Tim Parry, etc) and perhaps made me an enemy or two. We've sprinkled some controversy, touched a few hearts, made some people laugh, and had fun.

The blog has also demonstrated to me that I can write. Whether or not I'm any good is up to you.

Anyway, onto year four.

Maybe Scully's Not Done?

A few weeks back, an LA Times story indicated that Vin Scully might call it a career after the 2010 season. We talked about it here.

Scully clarifies all of that, courtesy the Santa Monica Mirror.

Incidentally, we've requested the great Scully appear on "The Press Box" and his representative has been less than receptive. I think we would have gotten him at another time, but with Curt Smith's book and the attention put on his potential retirement, he's becoming a tough "get."

Master producer Nick Angotto is still trying though.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Some New Pictures

Since the Facebook/Flickr feature is often dicey, I figured I'd just post an announcement about some new pictures here.

1) Pictures from our trip to Aberdeen and Baltimore are here.

2) Pictures from our trip to Battleship Cove, the Adams National Historic Park, and Mystic (only for Mystic Pizza) are here.

3)Pictures from Scott's 40th birthday party are here.

New road snaps to follow.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Scott!

I'm starting this post BEFORE I head off to a party for my good friend Scott Wilson later today. I would post this as I write but because the party is a surprise, I'm going to wait.

Oh and I'm going stag. *sigh* I don't even have Sean today. *double sigh*

Much props go to his girlfriend Laura and our mutual friend John for setting up the big bash. I was initially on the committee to find out names and addresses but to be honest, I don't have them. Sadly we always forget to get that info when we're all together, which is roughly once a year.

A website was put together to honor Scott for his 40th
but it didn't quite get the love that it deserved. Still I knew I couldn't let the opportunity pass.

Anywho, I met Scott on our first day of class in 7th grade (September, 1981) - which was still in elementary school at the time, before they moved them to the old Mahopac Junior High (now Mahopac Middle School). My longtime friend Frank introduced us, and we hit it off pretty quickly. We had the same homeroom teacher, and my GOD did we torment her (the first of many). Nothing like breaking in a teaching newbie.

We moved from Austin Road Elementary School to the Junior High, and our hijinks continued, just as they would when we moved up to the High School. I think the first thing you need to understand about Scottie and I is that we're fairly different animals. Scott is metal, Kiss, blue collar, smoking, single, and as good a man as you can meet. He's everybody friend (one of the things I'd like to think we have in common, along with the Yankees and Rangers). I'm classic rock, Huey Lewis, non-smoking, and married (soon to not be) with a child.

Scott's long-haired. I was always the shorter-haired one.

It seemed to be that our sense of humor was our common bond. Honestly, it never mattered.

We also bowled together in high school. That's him wearing the Kiss t-shirt in the back row. The co-captain is kneeling in front, second from right on the bottom.
From Exit 55

Fortunately I don't have more pictures here to post...yet.

Now some stories aren't exactly fit for print, but there are a few I can share - since the statute of limitations has likely run out. We spent what seemed like every lunch together at school - standing on one of the ramps near the cafeteria (our school was handicap-equipped at a time when I don't think it had to be). Every lunch would end with Scott finishing his dessert (ice cream, I think) - the kind that you pulled a seal off the top of, and there would be some residue there. Scott would take said seal and stick it on the top corner of the wall - hence, the "seal of approval" was born.

OK, that's tame. So were the bus rides to and from bowling. Maybe the circumstances and situations weren't, but they were loud, raucous and fun. And they all ended with a sing-along, with music courtesy of Scott's omni-present boom box. Each night ended with a rendition of Van Halen's "Happy Trails" and us dying in laughter.

The all-timer came (oooh, that might be bad phrasing) one afternoon in either our junior or senior year. My locker was in the science hallway - closet to the door of an attractive but harsh teacher who seemed to really have a dislike for Scott, our friend Dan, and me. The three of us sat together in her class during our sophomore year and had a great time, but it never seemed to be any reason to hate us. She just really didn't like the guys, to be honest.

She even called me a "jerk" one time. I told my dad that in passing, and had to talk him out of going to the school to rip her a new one. I think she was kidding - I think.

Now how can I tell the rest of this story? I probably can't, except to say that we hung something on her door and called it "a rubbery situation." Her students laughed, she came out and took it off, and we stood at my locker, trying not to burst as the hallway filled. She seemed to laugh it off, closed the door, and we fell apart.

It's over 22 years later. I don't think I'll be facing detention.

Scott one of the best. A true friend, who pulled me aside to tell me that he had started smoking while we were in school, nervous that I was going to explode. No way, man. Friends are friends. He called me the night that his parents split - he was devastated. He returned the favor when I called him to discuss circumstances (breakups, death, and even happy news). He listened, advised, chided, and did what a friend does.

Through every past girlfriend (and now wife), he's been there. Solid, for sure.

His parents were the rock of his lives, despite their fractured marriage. Two beautiful people. I still see his mom, who was another friend to all of us, even taking the time to talk to me about things when I was a teen. His dad sadly died about two years ago. He's missed (yes, we can miss Red Sox fans).

Every year, Scott still throws a great bash at his parents former house (which is now his). Some of the faces change, but you can almost always count on me, John, Matt, Donna, Stephanie, Greg and Joanne (Austin Roaders who got married) and others that form the foundation. These date back into the early 90's and go until people can't take anymore. They're not quite the all-nighters that they used to be, but they're still hysterically fun and, well, quite debauched normally. The meek can apply but they wind up either laughing along or getting disturbed.

That said, I've taken Sean, though that normally means an early exit.

The insight into Scott is that, every now and then, the phone will ring and that same voice that used to call my house and say to my dad, "Is the turkey there?" - a reference to my birthday near Thanksgiving, will greet me with a "Mr. Adams. What's going on?" We talk for a few minutes, think about plans, never make them, and hang up. That's life.

He never forgets, and always checks in. There are countless memories from a nearly 30-year friendship, and I've only given you a couple of stories.

I think of him often, and I lament that we don't get together more, and that I wasn't around more (that's my fault - relationships and such). I wish he'd get his band together and start playing some shows so that I could go watch. He's a talented, self-taught drummer!

So as he gets ready to hit his big 40th with a party befit for a king of party-throwing, I hope he has the best of times with much love, health and happiness that one of the best deserves.

Happy birthday, old friend (even though his real birthday isn't until next month!).

UPDATE - I'm sitting here at the end of a long day among great friends both old and new. Scott's party was an amazing success and he is now opening his presents and enjoying the company of those remaining. I'm honored to have been a part of a very special day for one of my closest, dearest friends.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Virginia Tech Notes

I have an interest in Virginia Tech sports. Some of it dates back to the tragedy there two yeas ago, and the Yankees' response to it.

I've said for some time that I'm a college sports free agent. I still love Pitt (dating back to the Marino days) but I don't feel a tie there. Still have high regards for Syracuse, UConn, North Carolina, and yes, Duke, but nothing that would indicate any kind of fanaticism. I loved St. John's hoops but lost a lot of respect for them with their Redmen/Red Storm switch, and the post-Carnesecca disasters.

So at this point, I'm liking VA Tech. We'll see if fandom develops. Let's call this the feeling out stage. Anywho, here are some random items for you:

Darren Evans, a starter in the Hokie backfield, is gone for the year with a knee injury. That's 1265 yards lost there.

The Hokies take silly pictures, and Deadspin is all too happy to take note.

Oh yeah, and since most everybody seems to dislike Greg Paulus, how about a large poster that adorns the new practice facility in Blacksburg, showing Paulus getting a nice version of in-your-face. Thanks again to Deadspin.

By the way, nice work by Deadpin's AJ Daulerio and former Deadpin leader Will Leitch, as I caught them filling in for Dan Patrick on DP's show as I was driving to Troy on Tuesday. It wasn't that they did a great job on the radio; it was that they openly discussed Deadspin's handling of the Josh Hamilton story (or non-story, your pick). Daulerio was humble in discussing it and it was refreshing - a change from the normal frat boy behavior that goes on over there. I mean, when you need a post to discuss the number of times Drew Magary says the "f" word in a podcast, aren't we dumbing it down just a bit?

For the record, I discussed the Hamilton story the other night during the Gades broadcast. Not a popular opinion,I suppose, but I think it was a story since Hamilton had a press conference to discuss it himself. With Josh having played at Dutchess Stadium, I felt not only was it a story, but I had a responsibility to talk about it. If you disagree, fine. I wouldn't change it, or how I handled it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

To The Joe

I accomplished one of my goals - to visit another New York-Penn League stadium this year. This one was easy - Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy, New York.

The beauty of the Gades visiting the Tri-City Valley Cats is that it's not a long trip. In fact, I was able to go to Greenwich, do "The Press Box", then jump in the car and (traffic and weather permitting), shoot up the Interstate 684, across I-84, then up the Taconic Parkway to I-90 and onto the Stadium. Weather was perfect (despite fears of storms and such) and traffic was minimal. I made it in under two hours and thirty minutes.

I assess each broadcast, and then try not to overreact one way or the other. Last Saturday night, for instance, I was very pleased with my performance. Last night, I was tired, off, or just didn't have it. Whatever. I wasn't up to my standard, and I knew it. It happens.

But I did have a highlight. Have a listen.

Too bad they couldn't take that momentum and do something with it. They lose 11-7, as the Cats got four in the eighth.

Joseph L. Bruno Stadium isn't initially impressive to the eye. Located on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College, its concrete exterior and metal lettering screams 21st Century minor league ballpark, but once inside, there's a lot to like. The entry way opens up to a concourse with a view of the field. There are no bleachers, and all seats have backs. Forty-five hundred people can fit at "The Joe."

There's a BBQ picnic area down the right field line, while the left field corner has a kids area with the usual batch of inflatables. Beyond the left field fence sits a grill area. The bullpens are located beyond the outfield fence, along with a small hill that some fans choose to sit on.

Upstairs are several suites and the press box. While I wasn’t thrilled with the setup, preferring to call a game in a private room, the visitor’s booth was roomy enough for admitted space hog Geoff Brault and I to work. The biggest reason I prefer privacy is, besides the opportunity for people to chime in from “the peanut gallery” (see – almost every booth in FCIAC football), opposing broadcasters can sometimes be heard. Listen again to my call of Biell’s homer. As I say “gone”, so does Mike Demos, “voice” of the Valley Cats. Oh well.

Still, this quickly became one of my favorite perches in the NY-Penn, topping even my own home at Dutchess Stadium. Aberdeen is my favorite, with "The Joe" second, followed by "The Dutch." Lowell is next, followed by Oneonta and Brooklyn.

The staff at The Joe were very helpful, assisting me when I arrived, though I stood outside the gate for a moment while the young ticket taker got a colleague to make sure it was OK to let me in. That's never a problem, so long as they don't venture into "over-officious" territory. They were quick to bring scoring decision and other items to us (even bad scoring decisions, like giving Mark Thomas an error on a ball hit to the right of the shortstop).

Of course, I'm happy anytime there is a fully-stocked fridge of drinks. Lemonade, RC cola, water, and others kept my cool on this warm and muggy night in the Capitol Region.

As for food...OK, "The Joe" doesn't top Aberdeen, Lowell, or "The Dutch."

We were off the air by 10:05, and I was home just after 12:10 AM. I even followed the directions of "Sean the GPS", who instructed me to use some roads other than what I expected. I would have taken US 4 back to I-90 to the Taconic, but "Sean" said to take US 4 to I-90 to US 9 to NY 9H to NY 82. I did it, since nobody was on the road. It made it easier to find a gas station.

I might have one more road trip in me before the end of the season (Lowell? Oneonta? Brooklyn? Staten Island?). We'll see.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Linky Dinks

Some more linkage for you.

Uh-oh...A-Rod is hitting like a clutch player. Sorry to break it to you (oh and he just homered again to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the 7th). Hate him if you want - he's damn good.

Hal McCoy is one of the great baseball beat writers ever. He's also now out of a job, and probably retired.

Sean Patrick Bowley gives us Max Prep's 2009 Connecticut high school football preseason rankings. Greenwich is 12th and even if they win another title, they won't be first. Just doesn't happen unless you're New Canaan or you're located near Interstate 91.

Tim Parry has been a busy man on his FCIAC Football Blog (or The Road to Boyle - pick your poison). He wonders about the status of Wright Tech's and Stamford Academy's co-op team.

Tim also says legendary coach Jerry McDougall will be back on the sidelines this year, but as an assistant at St. Luke's.

Still more Tim (had enough yet?). He writes about former Cardinal John Sullivan's quest to land the starting center job in Minnesota.

I love this. It's a collection of parodies of the legendary cover of The Beatles' Abbey Road, courtesy of the WFUV Blog. I also walked that famous crosswalk, and maybe one day I'll remember to post the photos. I still regret not going barefoot...

Ross and company at New Stadium Insider gave the security a Yankee Stadium a second look. Things didn't go much better than the first time. Funny thing is,I haven't had any trouble. That doesn't mean I'm a fan.

JoePo (likely to be a "Press Box" guest in September) says farewell to John Hughes. Joe will also be moving to Sports Illustrated. That's very cool.

Neil Best says that Rupert Murdoch has every intention of charging for all online content - including newspapers. That's fine, Rupert. Make your industry even more irrelevant. Until I can no longer find what I need, I won't spend a dime.

Neil also writes that changes are afoot in Imus Land. Karith Foster is gone. Bottom line - the I-man needs the biting humor back, mixed with the great interviews. I don't even listen as much as I used to. Karith seemed like a nice woman, and fairly humorous. It just didn't work.

You don't need to hear from me about the whole Red Sox/Big Papi steroids thing, lest I get another batch of Yankees-hating "Adams wears Pinstripe-colored glasses" comments and emails. I'm frankly pretty sick of it, so I'll stop before I cross the line. So I'll leave it to Phil Soto-Ortiz to sock it you.

I Saw Her Standing There (Take 2)

I'd say this lineup is pretty good, no?

George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Ringo, Bruce, Mick Jagger, Billy Joel, and a cast of others at some gala many years ago. Was it the best performance of this song? No, but considering the talent, who cares?

The Gades lost tonight in 10, 3-2. My performance wasn't quite as good as last night, but I think we were entertaining.

I Saw Her Standing There

Sorry, I had an urge. It's an itch I need to scratch...

This is far better than listening to the ghastly "Mony Mony" by Billy Idol that is an offense to the original by Tommy James and the Shondells. That is currently playing here at Dutchess Stadium.

Then again, there are few things worse than Tiffany's version of, well, "I Saw Her Standing There."

We're live from "The Dutch" permitting...the Gades play State College. First pitch is at 5:05 PM.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Nice Tribute By Jorge Posada

Jorge Posada made a rather large baserunning blunder last night, but he also had a big night at the plate. In the end all is forgiven, plus YES pointed out a really cool thing that he did on his face mask.

He paid tribute to the late Thurman Munson.

Here's Biran Hoch's story at

I had to struggle to find a picture, so thanks to a link from UniWatch.

Rejoice! The Aussies Are Back!

Neil Best has the fantastic news! Aussie Rules Football, once a staple of ESPN's unique programming, has returned.

This is good, since there's no baseball to watch.

With that, I return to battling the virus/malware/spyware that has taken over my desktop PC.


Thursday, August 06, 2009

So That's That (the "DAMN! I Couldn't Resist" Edition)

CREDIT: Noah K. Murray, The (Newark) Star-Ledger via US Presswire

Yankees win, 13-6. Phil Soto-Ortiz put it perfectly on his blog. Joba was dreadful, though he battled for the win. The team didn't get down when the Sox were up 1-0 and 3-1. Jorge Posada hit the ball well, making up for a brain lock on the bases.

So they won. One game. Big deal.

Now don't get me wrong - it IS a big deal, as the Sox could win the rest of the series and still would leave town in second place. It's also huge to break the losing streak against Boston. But let's keep it in perspective.

For those on Facebook, I said nothing tonight. Not a single word about the game during the game. I just wouldn't give in to the idiocy, and I read plenty of it; almost like it was bating me! It wasn't until Yankee-hater extraordinaire Tim Parry wrote something on The 'Book, and one of his cronies responded in kind, that I had to respond.

By the way, Tim came back with a great answer (not suitable for Blogland), so I removed the initial thing I wrote about Tim's tiring Yankee-hating. Oh wait, that's what I wrote before. Never mind.

Hey, and the Yankees picked up Chad Gaudin tonight. World Series, here we come!

And David Ortiz will discuss the his failed drug test on Saturday.

Game two is tomorrow. Beckett and Burnett are the pitchers. I'll be there.

Much more on tomorrow's edition of "The Press Box."

John Hughes Tribute

So by now you know that director and producer John Hughes has died at the age of 59. His output in the 1980's was pretty remarkable.

It's hard to pick one clip (though I will), yet this represents his work up to 1991:

He directed eight movies (thanks, IMDb):
- Curly Sue (1991)
- Uncle Buck (1989)
- She's Having a Baby (1988)
- Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
- Weird Science (1985)
- The Breakfast Club (1985)
- Sixteen Candles (1984)

He also produced many more ("Pretty in Pink", "Home Alone"), and was a writer on a bunch of others, including "Mr. Mom", "National Lampoon's Vacation", and others.

I'll always love "Breakfast Club", "Sixteen Candles", "Pretty in Pink", "Weird Science", "Mr. Mom", and "Vacation", among others, yet for me, it will always be about Ferris. There are few movies that I will ever be able to quote as well ("Anchorman" comes to mind). It's funny - one of those movies that I never wanted to see, and an ex-girlfriend of mine talked me into watching it on VHS. Soon after, I owned a copy, and now own two (!) copies on DVD.

Here's a homemade collection of "Ferris Bueller's" best lines:

And try not to smile when you watch this:

Dave in the Parking Lot

After the euphoria of the Paul McCartney concert, I felt...dazed. I wrote a very heartfelt piece that brought some nice comments, though I'm not sure people knew what to say to me. To be sure, it was deep stuff, but I thought it was time to try to turn the corner. Have I? That's still open for discussion, and I know many of you didn't know what to say to me off that post.

Oh, and enough about Macca's age. He's 67 and rocks. You don't. So there.

Good friends Mick and Gretchen (she on Facebook, him not...sigh...) invited me to come out to Lon Gisland (that's Long Island for those who don't know) to listen to the Dave Matthews Band in concert.

I said "listen." Not "attend." Not "see." Just "listen." In the parking lot at Jones Beach. To me, this sounded like a really cool idea. Think about it:

Tolls: $11
Deli sandwich of roast beef and turkey with mustard and American on a wedge: $ 6.75
Gas: price debatable and not worth calculating.
Parking: Free
Listening to the Dave Matthews Band while enjoying time with really good friends? Priceless.

There would be no contact high in this all-outdoor gathering. The vibe would be great. Little or no crowd problems. It's a total win!

So I made my way out to the Island and we headed off to Jones Beach. It's still a great place to spend a day in the water, getting sun, and people watching. A fascinating cross-section, to be sure. The theater (a fine place to see a concert) sits by the water and is open enough to the parking lot that a lot of people do the same thing.

Of course, a Dave Matthews Band show isn't exactly the Jonas Brothers. You expect the herbal atmosphere, the hacky sacks, the tailgating, and a large police presence. I even made sure to look the part - cargo shorts? Check. Nondescript red T-shirt (Greenwich baseball)? Check. Remove navy Ralph Lauren Polo shirt that I wore to WGCH? CHECK! Proper footwear? Check-a-roonie (sneakers).

The parking lot was initially nuts when we arrived. We had to work hard to find a place close to the theater and for the love of Leroi Moore, can you freaking tailgaters please get out of spots so other people can park? Take a drag on the doobie and move the grill somewhere else!

As for doobies, or whatever, there was puh-lenty of that! Again, I've never done it, so I was a little lost in that regard, but not my problem. I enjoyed my dinner, a few frosties, and some great tunes.

For the record, here's the set list:
1 Pantala Naga Pampa
2 Rapunzel
3 One Sweet World
4 Seek Up
5 Why I Am
6 Grey Street
7 Dive In
8 Dancing Nancies
9 Crash Into Me
10 Alligator Pie
11 Jimi Thing
12 Gravedigger
13 Funny The Way It Is
14 Shake Me Like a Monkey
15 You & Me
16 Time Bomb
17 Two Step

18 Sister
19 Anyone Seen the Bridge
20 Too Much (fake)
21 Tripping Billies

I've heard you don't go to a DMB show for the hits, so I wasn't bothered by the set list. I enjoyed "Crash Into Me", "Dancing Nancies", "Jimi Thing", and "Tripping Billies" (which was around the time we beat the traffic. Not a thing to complain about on this night.

The parking lot obviously calmed down once the show started but as I said, plenty of people stuck around. By that point, the number of people asking us if we had tickets had died, but the atmosphere picked up. A young man joined us for a bit waiting for his buds to show up. Nice guy - fresh out of high school, but when his friends came, they were gone, at least until they returned to try to put the moves on the girls that gathered near us to drink rum and Coke next to us.

Other highlights? Funky clothing (and attractive people everywhere); the couple who drove in on a bike, walked away and returned to find a ticket for an expired registration (the cops must be really proud of themselves for that one); radio station 101.9 RXP stopped by and asked us to pose for a picture; Mick and I snagging beverages from a nearby cooler (shame on them for leaving them exposed); and "goobags" being offered.

(Mick sent me an email with all of these highlights. I'm not sure what a "goobag" is, but he knows, and you probably do also.)

Yet the highlight of the night, arguably of my concert-going lifetime, was this:
"Are you a cop? Are you selling X? You got some E? Those guys over there told us your were dealers. F*cking a*sholes... I'll give you 60 beers for some E or X."

It was another late night, but it was so worth it. Not because of the music - which was great - and certainly not because of the show itself, but because of another fun night with great friends, under perfect weather conditions.

Off The Bench Meets Linkage

Off the Bench has been on hiatus, giving Linkage a chance to emerge and shine. Today, the two learn to work together.

John Hughes had died. Wow - just 59 years old. The director of my favorite move, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." I must watch it, and soon. I think we'll come back to this in a future post.

This can't be good, no? So tell me: how is former Senator George Mitchell, he of the Red Sox conflict of interest, going to deflect this? And don't you think we can probably just throw that little ol' Mitchell Report out the window for being the flawed and biased document that it was?

You know you love it, and you miss it. It's the FCIAC Football Blog. It's revving up the engine and is now launching an e-newsletter.

I have to write nice things about Tim and the blog, lest he not call me a "real" Yankees fan.

As I mentioned, it was a long drive from Baltimore to Carmel on Sunday, and I liked it that way. Thanks to the wonder of XM (wish I had it in my car), I got to listen to the Yankees/White Sox tilt. I enjoy hearing the "other team's" broadcasters, and would have enjoyed it but MERCY! The Chicago broadcasters are some of the biggest homers I've ever heard. Hawk Harrelson is bad enough but Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson sounded like they needed some No Doze or something.

I think they all needed a hug after Melky Cabrera finished up hitting for the cycle.

I've been away for a few days. Last I knew, the Mets were getting closer in the Wild Card standings. How have things gone since?

Oh. Sorry.

Looks like "The Press Box" has got company. After we depart at 3:00 PM Eastern, Papa Joe Chevalier takes over. That started on Monday.

Any other baseball going on these days?

I just came in from mowing the lawn (like I said, there's no interesting baseball being played). I stepped out to mow Roxy, my niece's dog who's hanging with me for the next month or so. Suddenly, I see a face looking out at me from the window of a storage room in the house. It was a cat - stuck in there for roughly a week. It must have snuck into that room when I wasn't looking.

It's no worse for wear. It - "Oscar" - ran back into my neighbor's yard.

I'm supposed to go to tomorrow night's game at Yankee Stadium. Any idea who they're playing?

I haven't mentioned it here, but we interviewed Marty Appel, the longtime Yankees PR guru who has a new book out: Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain, published by Doubleday. It was a thrill to talk to Marty, who could score me in Bombers' history, but could the publisher maybe send me a copy of the book? I mean, I did that entire interview on memory.

From the "you can't please everyone department": Yankees fans are currently chanting "Boston sucks" at the Stadium. They've also lustily booed Big Papi. Best as I recall, Sox fans have abused A-Rod (or A-Roid, your choice) and chant "Yankees suck." Isn't that the way it's supposed to go? I don't agree with those chants when the opposing team isn't there, and I won't chant it myself (just not my style) but it's probably fair game otherwise. Hell, "Potvin sucks" still permeates at Madison Square Garden.

So spare me.

That's all I have to say about that. We'll come back to John Hughes and the Dave Matthews Band show shortly.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Hope It Was Worth It

Stuff like this irritates me. So let me see if I've got this straight:

Little Martin (then 12) plays baseball, hits a gapper, stretches for two, slides, and injures his leg. Ummmm...isn't that baseball?

Then good ol' Mom decides to sue pretty much everyone.
The suit was recently filed in state Supreme Court, St. George, and names as defendants the New Springville Little League; the boy's manager, Leigh Bernstein; Little League Baseball Incorporated and "John Doe," a fictitious name for the unidentified first-base coach. The amount of monetary damages sought is not specified.

The Gonzalez's allege the defendants "placed [Martin] at great risk of injury" by failing to properly teach him how to slide. They further contend the defendants did not keep the base paths "in good order and repair" and failed to warn the boy of their "dangerous condition."
So by that rationale, I should go sue Joe Porcelli for the times he hit me: first in 1983, when he plunked my elbow (the only time I ever willingly left a game), and in 1984, when he beaned me. Some would say I've never been the same ever since. I should also sue his coach, maybe my coach (one of my heroes - the legendary Coach D'Aliso), Mahopac Sports Association, and a few others.

I love this quote by another reputable lawyer (ain't they the best?):
"Apparently, the Little League International and the local Little League must have felt that I had some justification for the commencement of the action," (Alan A.) Glassman said today.
No, asshat, Little League Baseball just decided it was easier to shut you and your litigation-loving client up because the attention just isn't worth it. In other words, Little League Baseball intentionally walked you.

I hate this world sometimes (theoretically speaking, of course).

Monday, August 03, 2009

Richmond On Speed

My friend "FreewayJim" has created some great videos from his various road trips. This is one of them, beginning to the south of Petersburg, VA and rolling up to the north end of Richmond - basically the length of the old Turnpike that was built in 1958.

I have good memories from most of this route.

I wish my drive felt this fast yesterday, but it didn't. Fearful of Sunday afternoon on Interstate 95 and the New Jersey Turnpike, I opted for an interior route of I-83 out of Baltimore, US 422 to Reading, US 222 to Allentown, I-78 to PA 33 to back roads to PA 611 where I crossed into New Jersey. Then it was Interstate 80 to I-287 to a selection of roads that got me across the Bear Mountain Bridge and on home. It was long but enjoyable, so there.

Oh, and more Waffle House (where another monster rain storm dumped on us).

And now I'm home. Back to "The Press Box" today.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

A Conversation in the Inner Harbor

I'll be brief - I want my Waffle House breakfast (there are only about 10 within 30 miles).

While waiting on line for the "duck boat" in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, I spied what seemed like all of New England, in town for the Sox-Orioles series (the AL East standings are down to a 1.5 game lead for those nasty New Yorkers). Upon seeing so freaking many members of Red Sox Nation, I remarked to Sean:

"We should have worn Yankees shirts today." Expecting cold, dirty glares, a couple in front of me turned around.

"They're nasty. Worst fans in baseball. We have Angels season tickets and many of our friends won't go with us when the Sox come in. Yankees, problem. But Red Sox fans are mean. They taunt, throw things at people, and fight with themselves."

I was stunned, actually. I expected Yankee-bashing but this couple would have none of it.

So that's all. I'm not bashing the Sox or their fans, and I'm sure this is a small sample. So let's save the 35 messages about R-E-S-P-E-C-T and so on. Besides, I'll be drizzling my waffle in gooey warm syrup by then!

On The Road: Aberdeen

Greetings from the hotel that Cal built.

It has power. You have no idea how great that is.

Yesterday was just one of those travel days that nobody will ever believe. Start with some rain, add in stupid drivers and slow traffic, and you get a trip from Carmel to Baltimore that takes nearly five hours (normal trip? No more than four).

Still, we could recover. My travel companions (my mother and Sean) were in good spirits as we boarded a "duck boat" tour of Charm City. We dined in the Inner Harbor (a chance for me to enjoy a Seafood Sampler from Phillips), enjoyed our amphibious vehicle ride, and hoped the weather would hold out.

Yes the minute we stepped off the duck boat, it began to change. Heavy rains pelted us as we did our best to hurry to shelter. That rain would subside long enough for us to get back to our car (parking = $18) and begin the drive to Aberdeen. That should have taken about a half-hour. No dice.

I guided us out of Balmer (Baltimore) on Interstate 83, going past a nasty flipped car on the southbound side, not too far from Loyola College in Maryland (I think that's the official name).

Traffic on the Baltimore Beltway (I-695) stunk but we dealt with it, using White Marsh Blvd. to get to I-95. Eventually, that slowed up and I bailed at Exit 77 to get to a Wawa for gas and drinks.

Then I saw the Wicked Witch of the West fly by. And Auntie Em.

It was a few raindrops at first, then a wall of water crashed into me as I tried to pump gas. I was soaked. No matter - just get me to the hotel so I can change and onto the ballpark.


I used back roads from the Wawa to Ripken Stadium, despite the best efforts of Sean the GPS (that's what we've named it for now). "She" (the British voice in the GPS) wanted me to get back to I-95 by hook or whatever. No way.

As we approached Long Drive (get it? That's where Ripken Stadium is located), I noticed a really bad thing. No lights. Anywhere. Power was gone and wouldn't return until 12:30 this morning.

But the game, you say?

Oh it happened. Without power. It took until 9:15 to get generators to the ballpark, fire up the lights, have the players stretch and warm up, and throw first pitch. Oh, and there had been a wedding in the ballpark earlier in the day. With no power. Didn't seem to bother anyone.

Geoff and I were able to get on the air just in time, by borrowing power from the PA booth (via the generator). The radio booths otherwise did not have power, so Aberdeen's broadcast didn't happen. Thus the world (I'm kidding) was listening to me as Brian Ward hit an eighth inning two-run homer to lead the Birds to a 4-1 victory. It was actually one of the most fun broadcasts I've been a part of. That's good, considering the mood of the ballpark was awful when we arrived, facilitated by and over-officious twit with a bad attitude over a free hat picked up by a seven year-old.

That seven year-old never saw a pitch of the game. We'll hope for better tonight.

At least we have power.