Sunday, February 28, 2010

Independent Rob

I've been thinking about my political stance a lot lately. I've mentioned it a few times here, and to friends as well. Yes - GASP! - I'm a registered Republican. Guilty as charged. Yet I've felt out of touch with the GOP for a long time.

I know - I'm creative and have some fairly liberal thoughts. I should be a Democrat, right? Wrong.

Don't start getting excited, Dems. I'm not all that happy with y'all either.

I don't hide from talking politics here on "Exit 55." Yet it's such a wasteland that I dance very carefully with how to write about them. So...I often don't. Plus I'm often reminded of my father's stance on discussing religion, politics, and money. Basically...don't.

It's not that easy for me.

Michael Smerconish wrote this blog post
in the Philadelphia Inquirer and it could have come straight from my computer. Don't get me wrong - he writes better than I do - but his thoughts

Brilliant work. Well said.

Mount Saint Mary, Greenwich, Radio, Snow, and Sean - What a Mess!

From the sports desk:

- Greenwich won their opening round hockey FCIAC playoff game against Stamford last night. Onto the semifinals. Will WGCH be covering any of the games (and believe me, I've had plenty of people ask me)? Three words: I...don't...know.

- Mount Saint Mary College won their Skyline Conference semifinal against the College of Mount Saint Vincent yesterday. They will play Farmingdale State College today for the conference championship. There, sadly, will be no radio coverage.

This one bugs me. A lot. Let me explain.

The conference championship was originally scheduled for yesterday. I had it on my calendar and kept the day blocked for that purpose. Yet for today, Sunday, I scheduled a small birthday party for Sean.

Then it snowed. Then it snowed some more. And more. It caused countless problems - including a 40-mile closure of Interstate 84. It brought on huge power outages, including in Newburgh, home guessed it...Mount Saint Mary College.

The Mount was supposed to play their semifinal game on Thursday. I was going to go watch it (but not broadcast it). The weather pushed that game back to Friday (again, the same plan for me). Then the bad weather combined with - more importantly - the lack of power in Newburgh forced the postponement of the game (again!) to Saturday, and moved it to Farmingdale.

That moved the championship game to - yup - Sunday (today) at 11:00 AM. For us to broadcast it, the game would have had to be played in Newburgh.

Not happening.

So as a result, I can't do it, and neither can Christine Baker.

This...never...happens to me. I'm always able to get to a game, but too many things went wrong and created one nasty problem. Honestly, there are realities not worth getting into here (and circumstances that could have called for me to work), but ultimately, how do I not go to my son's birthday party - a gathering I organized?

All things considered, it just wasn't happening today. Too many extenuating circumstances.

I've called a lot of championship games, and I was really looking forward to this one. But one can't fight Mother Nature.

Best of luck to the Mount, and fingers crossed for a win and more games for us to call.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Statistics and Vin Scully

Over on the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America (STAA) discussion board, some of my peers were praising a column by ESPN play-by-player Jon Sciambi from Baseball Prospectus. This led the STAA commentators to develop thoughts on bringing more stats into their broadcasts.

Ugh. Thanks, Billy Beane, Bill James, and your ilk. Again, ugh.

Look, Sabermetrics is wonderful for general managers. Even great for you fantasy baseball types. In a broadcast, it will put people to sleep. Listeners and viewers are a much wider demographic. You have to know your audience.

To that end, our baseball broadcasting god (Vin Scully), once had this to say:
Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.
I'm still the old-school kind. You know: "Here's Nick Angotto...batting .312, 13 home runs and 53 runs batted in." Those are the columns I highlight on the stat sheet and write on my scorecard every time. Not to say I won't make exceptions to discuss Angotto's on base percentage or slugging and other numbers, but many of those get thrown in as necessary (after a two-base hit, I might say, "that was his 27th double of the year"). I keep it to the basics. How is he hitting in certain situations? How about day/night, or against a particular pitcher or team?

On the other side, there's only one pitcher to start a game, so the stats can be a little longer (and the same treatment goes to relievers). "Chris Erway gets the start tonight. Erway is five and two with a three-point-one-five ERA. He's appeared in twelve games and started all of them..." From there, I go onto innings pitched, walks, strikeouts, home runs allowed, and so on, normally ending with what opponents are hitting off of "the right-hander from Norwalk, Connecticut, Chris Erway." Something along those lines. Then it's onto perhaps what he did the last time he faced his opponent, or what his last outing was like.

The point is, I generally don't get into stats such as OPS, WHIP, and some of the others. Not to say I won't, especially if it is something garish. Yet baseball, like every other sport I broadcast, is about the game. The stories. The conversation (more prevalent in baseball).

To an extent, and this is where I deviate from my predecessors (especially Red Barber), play-by-play and sports are about fun. That's because I know my audience. We've had numerous people tell us that they enjoy the Mount Saint Mary broadcasts because of the quips. They love the detail, the little bits about the players, and way we sound like we're old friends (even if Christine and I have only known each other for about four months). The same goes for Hudson Valley, where catching Sean Ford off-guard was part of the fun. It was also where Geoff Brault and I could spend two innings talking about Wawa.

In Greenwich, I enjoy the good times with Sean Kilkelly, Chris Kaelin, Chris Erway, John Spang, and everyone else. Plus we often don't have stats to lean on there.

To my broadcasting brethren, I just say to strike a balance between stories, fun, and stats. Yet most of all, describe the game. That's what the listeners and viewers want. The game is the thing.

(Please note I'm not criticizing the guys who were commenting at STAA - I think they're trying figure out the balance...they simply inspired me to write this post)

To finish, check out the video of Mike Emrick and Eddie Olczyk calling the USA and Canada. This, friends, is a broadcasting clinic. Listen to how much fun Doc Emrick has calling the game. The words! The smarts to let the crowd do the work after a goal. Top that off with the solid analysis of Eddie O and you probably have the USA's top hockey team.

By the way, those USA uniforms make me think I'm watching a Rangers game!

Aaron Boone Retires (With VIDEO)

Aaron Boone has decided to retire from baseball after a nice career that included at least one legendary moment:

If that's enough, how about a fan's perspective?:

Boone of course would get in jured playing pick-up basketball and the Yankees would get Alex Rodriguez. And life went on.

Thanks, Aaron.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

ESPN Suspends Tony Kornheiser

Tony Kornheiser has been suspended for his comments about Hannah Storm's wardrobe choice. Unreal.

These are the moments when I wonder if broadcasting is such a wise choice.

For the record, Ms. Storm looked quite nice, and hardly inappropriate. Besides, she lives in Greenwich. Yet Tony was just doing his thing - being sarcastic and acting like he's somewhat of an "old coot."

Deadspin wonders is there's more to the story - like perhaps Chris Berman's contract status?

The world is a wacky place.

Classic Radio Parody, "Family Guy" Style (With VIDEO)

Just because. Linked here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sean!

Eight years ago tonight - Friday, February 22, 2002 - I watched something on TV. I stayed up until about Midnight, then went to bed. I was awakened about two hours later (if that).

It was time for me to become a dad.

We called the doctor and were told to get to the hospital, but to take our time. Enough time for a shower, and to call the grandparents-to-be and give them advanced warning. We were out of the house by 2:30 or so, and we arrived at Hudson Valley Hospital at Peekskill-Cortlandt in no time (maybe 20 minutes, but normally a half-hour or more). Some of this is vague and yet oh-so-clear.

From there, we kept walking around the maternity ward, trying to not get anxious or nervous. To be honest, I never was. I was so prepared - so excited! - to meet this child (we knew it was a boy). I felt calm, to be honest. Very focused.

Sandi had Sean rather quickly. No meds. The process started around 6:00 AM and at 7:03 on February 23, 2002, Sean Robert Adams, the pride of his mother and father (no matter their differences) came into this world. By 8:00, I was hugging my in-laws, and soon my mother would join. There were tears and many smiles.
Not long after came the first diaper and the first bottle (maybe not in that order).

We liked the name "Sam" but, come on. "Sam" Adams? Yeah, right. "Sean" worked. We knew people we liked with that name (Sean Kilkelly, Sean Ford, Sean Adams on WCBS 880 - not that we know him per se). The "Robert" part was to honor my dad.

He's been so loved since the moment we were aware of him. Not a day goes by where his name doesn't enter multiple conversations of mine. I've worked him into my radio broadcasts. He's been a part of this blog. He's been part of everything for me. I miss him when he is not around.

It hasn't been that easy for him lately, and goodness knows he deserves better. Oh so much better. He has a wonderful support system of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins (and second cousins), and friends. His teachers like him and want him to succeed and are working hard to that end (and I would do anything to find a way to keep him in that school system). It's his parents that have failed him and, for that, I truly feel sad. And sick. And angry.

He knows the motto, to "keep moving forward." He will, but it can be difficult when he is so young.

We have a great relationship, my boy and I. Yes I can be tough, but I can also be a huge goofball that can take a joke and dish it out. Sean and I love to play - whatever it is. We love to team up. I love coaching him in baseball. I love the "mini-me" moments (when we're so similar that it's scary). Sean plays the "you don't care" card but nothing - ever - could be further from the truth.

I don't think I've ever truly loved anything more in my life. He is my world.

Happy birthday, Sean. You're loved by so many. I hope you can understand that.

Odds, Sods, Kibbles, Bits, Bench, and Rule 55

I had a good day. A really good day. I helped my niece, Laura, move some stuff around in her storage in Pennsylvania. That meant a road trip - always good for me.

Of course, I should NOT have checked my email upon returning. Then again, one has to face it eventually. Whatever. See below for an Exit 55, and it's all good.

Let's start with an update - Abbey Road is NOT - repeat, NOT - for sale. Good.

Just as they did last fall, Section 1 high school sports in New York will not allow The Journal News to stream the championship games. I don't get it - sorry. Something is fishy here. Would they do this to radio?

Here is our Rule 55 moment (with a hat tip to Mr. David Rothenberg, and linked here):
(UPDATE - well once again, the ass hats of the world unite, as the buzz kills at the IOC had this removed from YouTube.  A hearty thanks for nothing from your friends at "Exit 55!")

By the way, Dave is right in his top five upsets, though he would not be wrong if he put the Jets in for Super Bowl III, but Dave just doesn't see things straight when it comes to the green-and-white.

Still, while the USA/Canada game was flat-out riveting, brilliant hockey, some have gone overboard. Sure, it was big - I didn't like the USA roster when it was introduced at Fenway Park on January 1st, and they proved me wrong. But it's not another Miracle on Ice. Yet is it so wrong to be happy about the win? Just keep it in perspective - that's all. Plus 8.2 million people figured out how to turn on MSNBC. Imagine the number if it had been on NBC?!?

Thirty years ago today, I was in Florida, and more of a baseball/football fan than anything else. I barely paid any mind to those Olympic things taking place in upstate New York. We watched a little of this and that in our hotel room in Holiday, Florida. But oh, I knew about this - believe it (from Joe Posnanski).

Let's face it: you want to see it. So do I. Al Michaels has made a lifetime and a career off of this (and I've come to realize how truly good he is). Here's your link.

(I'll take that call over "The Giants Win the Pennant")

Two friends of mine suffered losses recently. Both paid beautiful tributes to their loved ones:
Christine Baker lost her grandfather.
Chuck Costello lost a beloved dog. Knowing how the loss of my cat, Bandit, in 1996 impacted me, I feel his pain.

Supposedly, MLB Network is going to list the top MLB Team Broadcasters in History on their Prime 9 series. Tom Hoffarth has the names but not the order. I'll risk being wrong, but here's how I would rank them:
9) Phil Rizzuto - I've got to be honest. I'm surprised he's on here. I associate Mel Allen first with the Yankees as a "voice."
8) Curt Gowdy - I associate him more with NBC than I do with the Red Sox.
7) Harry Caray - Yeah, yeah, yeah. Cubs, WGN, blah blah blah. That was the end. The beginning was the Cardinals, the A's and the White Sox. Plus I don't fawn over him. Never have.
6) Jack Buck - Now it's getting tough. He bled for the Cardinals but he was also easily associated with national work.
5) Ernie Harwell - He IS Tigers baseball, and there was such outrage when he was fired that he was brought back after one year.
4) Harry Kalas - I have never noticed just how deep Harry The K's ties were to the Phillies until I saw how the team and city responded to his death. Amazing.
3) Red Barber - From 1939 to 1953, he was as identifiable with the Dodgers as anyone.
2) Mel Allen - The first, and still really only "Voice of the Yankees." With the team from 1939 to 1964, then back for the painful later years on SportsChannel.
1) Vin Scully - DUH. He's been a part of the Dodgers broadcasts since 1950, for the love of Marconi!

OK. I talk way too much sports. I'm out.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Support My Friends in Richmond - And Stand Up for Education!

I'm not an activist. Oh, lord - far from it! In fact, I have a general dislike for activism. At least the "don't put a shopping center three miles from me because dem strange-lookin' types might drive by my yard" types. Quite often I find myself to be a contrarian when it comes to activism.

I'm getting off the point here. So when my friends are troubled (I'm terrible at "affected" vs. "effected"), I feel the need to stand up.

My friend, Jon from R-VA never minds if I quote him, so I didn't ask for permission to publish his Facebook comments of this morning. He writes:
With Governor McDonnell’s cuts and a change in the Local Composite Index, Richmond Public Schools stands to lose over 38 million dollars. But Richmond is not alone in this; Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Hampton Roads are in the same boat. Our legislators need to know where we stand on this issue.
Please help us get out the word, and meet us at 12:30pm this Sunday, February 21st, at the Capitol Building in support of the “SAVE OUR SCHOOLS – KEEP THE FREEZE” campaign. We encourage you to take a stand for the education of our children! Please bring homemade posters, banners, ribbons, and buttons with “SAVE OUR SCHOOLS – KEEP THE FREEZE” as we rally together to keep our classrooms free of drastic cuts!
In the interest of being "up front" (a painful, yet not intentional pun), Jon's wife, the uber-talented Rebecca is a teacher (and has encouraged me to become one as well).

The latest on the Virginia governor's budget cuts is here, from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Time, and my preparation for the games today at The Mount, will not allow me to dig deeper into this conversation, but I will tell you that I'm never a fan of messing with education. Dear god, we need our youth more than ever. They're, of course, our future, and they need every chance in the world. We know how bad education suffers - especially inner-city education.

Conversely, I know how bad the economy is and while it might be getting slightly better, it's still not that great. So I understand that the governor is in a tight spot.

And of course, I write this with politics aside. I've told you what I registered as when I was 18. At this point, I'm strongly considering dropping parties to be independent. So I don't care that Gov. McDonnell is with the GOP. I don't care who is a Democrat. Or Tea Party.

I care about kids. I care about my friends.

OFF-TOPIC FOR A TIC: Enough with the Palin-bashing...she might go away if ignored, and she's wrong about the "Family Guy" thing as ultra-Palin basher Jeff Pealrman writes. Mrs. Palin will look stupid enough if allowed, so just ignore her. And jeez, Jeff - how many times have you written about her? Still, you're correct about this one (I avoided writing "right", lest you be offended - giggity!).

Time for a Revolution (With VIDEO)

This can't be.  Mean Mr. Mustard must be running the shop.

Abbey Road Studios is for sale.

Of course, Beatles fans are rightly outraged.  When I went to the London in 1997, I had simply one thing I wanted to see - that famous crosswalk featured on the cover of the Abbey Road album.  To turn the studios into anything else would be awful but of course time moves on.  Still there's hope.  From Bloomberg News:
The National Trust, a British charity that protects historic houses, gardens and monuments, already owns the childhood homes of Beatles Paul McCartney and John Lennon in Liverpool, England. The organization is asking the public for opinions via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter on whether it should save Abbey Road, after McCartney suggested it this week on a radio show.
I've already signed the petition.

Let's hear from Abbey Road's most famous clients (linked here)

Oh, I almost forgot - there's an Abbey Road webcam!

Think Pink at Mount Saint Mary College

Later today, the Blue Knights will play Farmingdale State to end the regular season.  The womens' game will be a matchup between the two best teams in the Skyline Conference.  It's also parents' weekend at The Mount, and the final game for the seniors on both the mens' and womens' teams.

With that, a farewell to Catie Biordi, Shannon Sangster, Chrissy Zrowka, Nick Monaco, and Matt Peters.

Still the day is about more than all of this.

There will be a PINK OUT!

Gianna Cesa, a senior at The Mount, created the idea of the Pink Out as a senior project.  From Gianna's proposal, the goals are:
• Create awareness and educate people about breast cancer and its effect on our society
• Implement awareness by uniting the Mount community to fight in unison for a cure
• Raise money for research for the National Breast Cancer Foundation
All attendees are asked to wear pink today inside the Kaplan Center, and that includes the coaches and players. Director of Athletics John Wright went through the proper channels to get the uniform altered to include pink for today.

Yes, even the broadcasters will have some pink on. My friends at the Red Bullseye (Target, folks) had a pink T-shirt that I will have under my Mount Saint Mary shirt.

I urge you to come to Mount Saint Mary College today (the games are FREE!). It will be a fun atmosphere with food, prizes, and goodies. There will be some great basketball. Plus Chris Kaelin and I will be there to call the games. Bring a radio - the reception is great.

Of course if you can't make it, then listen live at on

The Hockey Community Comes Together

Back in January, a Massachusetts-based high school hockey player named Matt Brown was making an average play, pursuing the puck, when tragedy struck.  Let's have WBZ in Boston explain from here.

To me, the story was very reminiscent of what happened to Travis Roy in 1995 for Boston University.

As usual, the hockey world reacted to Brown's injury with support, and that stretched to Greenwich, where Cardinal tri-captain Rit Spezzano began a grass-roots effort to raise money for medical bills.  A bucket was placed inside the Dorothy Hamill Rink, and donations have been coming in.  But an anonymous donor stepped up in a big way, saying they would donate $100 for every goal the Cardinals score.  You can find out more on the Greenwich boys team website.  The team is also sending a card with signatures on it, and you'll find both Chris Kaelin and I on that.  We're proud to do it - and it's only the very least we can do.

You can follow Matt Brown's progress, and more about the story, on their website -

I Am The World (with VIDEO)

Hat Tip to old friend Shagger Dave for this.  You see, when they went and redid the "We Are The World", they forgot to invite anyone from the original (or they simply didn't want to be involved).

Well Jimmy Kimmel has footage of one singer who has decided to take matters into his own hands (link here)

Friday, February 19, 2010


(Photo by Joe Skipper - Reuters)

So Tiger spoke.  He apologized.  He welled up.  He remained defiant (about domestic violence and PED use).  He defended his wife.  He scolded the media.  He hugged people.

And he was gone.


We'll address it on "The Press Box" at 2:00 Eastern.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Retired Numbers

On July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig's number four was retired by the Yankees. Since then, many teams in all sports have put a number away for one reason or another, from pure greatness to untimely deaths.

Benjamin Kabak, writing at River Ave. Blues, discusses the status of uniform numbers for the 2010 Yankees. All well and good, until he got to this part:
Finally, we have the numbers that are obviously missing from the uniforms this spring. The Yankees have again held back Joe Torre’s 6, Paul O’Neill’s 21 and Bernie Williams’ 51. Johnny Damon’s 18 remains on the shelf and so does Hideki Matsui’s 55. Of those numbers, the 6 and the 51 should probably be retired while the other three can be returned to circulation.

I love Paul O'Neill. Absolutely loved it the day he was traded to New York. Loved watching his passion. Loved his dedication to playing and winning. He was a joy to see in that uniform.

I also have a high regard for Bernie Williams. Fine player, a winner, and a terrific musician. No. NO!

It's gotten out of hand. Let us go through the numbers again!

1) Billy Martin - this is one that simply drives me bonkers. Loved being a Yankee. Great. Managed them to a championship in '77. Won with them as a player. All true. Also embarrassed the hell out of the team on multiple occasions. Sorry. In my world, the number comes off the wall, or is co-retired with Mr. Bobby Ray Murcer, a man who also lived and died with that uniform, and stuck around as a fine broadcaster and ambassador for the team and BAT.

2) Derek Jeter - duh. It's going to happen, and it should.

3) G.H. "Babe" Ruth - double duh. Simply the greatest ever and as I've said many times: if you're going to retire Jackie Robinson's across the major leagues, then the Babe should be there also. He's that important.

4) Lou Gehrig - The one that started it all. Damn you, Lou. Just kidding - often gets overshadowed by Ruth, DiMaggio, his disease, etc. Among the top 5 ever.

5) Joe DiMaggio - One of the two greatest center fielders in team history. A generation still adores him and a nation turns a lonely eye to him.

7) Mickey Mantle - The other center fielder. Also super-important to a generation - enough so that ESPN broadcast his funeral.

8) Yogi Berra/Bill Dickey - numbers 1 and 1A in team catching history. I think Dickey gets largely overlooked for how great he was. Essentially helped make Berra who he was as a player.

9) Roger Maris - A tough call but I'd keep it retired, and possibly put Graig (and it's NOT CRAIG) Nettles' name alongside. Maris went through hell and we're all appreciating his 1961 season more now than ever. Nettles was uttlerly brilliant - on par with Brooks Robinson. A shame he doesn't get more Hall of Fame love, given the constant watering down in Cooperstown.

10) Phil Rizzuto - Holy Cow, but I might reconsider The Scooter! Yet for his 40-plus years behind the mic, his 1950 MVP, his perfection of the art of bunting, and his winning, I'll leave his number alone.

15) Thurman Munson - I think we all understand why this number has been put aside. His locker had an eerie feel to it, and now it's in the new Stadiums' museum.

16) Whitey Ford - best pitcher in franchise history.

23) Don Mattingly - one of my favorites. I would probably understand a future generation that isn't swayed but they wouldn't quite get the impact "Donnie Baseball" had, and still has.

32) Elston Howard - the Yankees' Jackie Robinson. Played and coached (and would have liked to have managed) with dignity and grace. I get it.

37) Casey Stengel - Arguably the franchises greatest manager (Joe McCarthy can make a case). McCarthy didn't wear a number, by the way.

42) Mariano Rivera - The Yankees don't have to worry about 42 only because of Jackie Robinson. Number 42, in The Bronx, will always belong to Mo.

44) Reggie Jackson - You probably know how I feel about this one. Take it down, as much for the "Billy Martin" theory as for anything else. Yet ultimately, just as with Billy, I don't think either did enough to warrant having his number retired.

49) Ron Guidry - I liked watching "Louisiana Lightning" pitch. A lot. But come on. Really?

I've yanked (ha ha) 1, 44, and 49 off the wall, and I wouldn't add any others (other than 2 and the already-mandated 42). I like that 21 and 51 haven't been issued. Now let's find a player that is worthy of the number and move on. Sorry, Bernie fans - maybe if he played for another team, I might agree with you, but this is the Yankees' uniform we're talking about. I don't think his number should be retired - period. I think you have to be really special - Hall of Fame special - to have a retired number.

I also wouldn't retire 21 for Paulie O. Same reason. Yet when you think about the foundation of the 90's dynasty, look only to O'Neill. Add in Jimmy Key. Done. Also no to 46 for Andy Pettitte, 18 for Scott Brosius, 24 for Tino Martines, and the all-important 38 for Ricky Ledee.

What about Joe Torre and number 6? That's a tough one. Upon his departure, it was a no-brainer to me. But then came the book and the bitterness. So right now, I'm content to wait.

Other than that? Nobody. Sorry. Retiring numbers has gotten out of hand. Time to tighten it up again.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More Links, More Dinks, More Bench (With VIDEO)

Yeah I know.  Predictions are useless...blah blah blah.  Oh but they're fun!  Remember the guy who picked the Saints to go the Super Bowl (then foolishly picked the Colts in game number 44)?  Well that was me.  *sigh*

Well JoPo is making baseball predictions in February, using one of his really long-winded rating devices to so.  Best of all?  Read this!
1. New York Yankees: 103-59
Comment: Loaded. And loaded. And on top of that: Loaded. Take last year’s team — maybe the best team of the decade — and add Curtis Granderson and Javier Vazquez. Did I say loaded?
Yes, Joe...but you can say it again. And to prove that the euphoria has not diminished (some tell me it does but I've never bought that), have a lookie at not one but TWO nifty videos (courtesy of River Ave. Blues).

First up is here.

Next up.

I just don't get sick of them, and there are so many others out there.

From our old friend Mick comes a few nuggets:
1) Via "Vin Scully is My Homeboy" comes a Dodgers Caravan and Barry Bonds (yes, you read correctly). This blog might be best intended for our occasional WGCH contributor and now master salesman, Chris Erway. Plus Vin Scully is everybody's homeboy!

2) Mick also pointed out a list of the better Yankees blogs to me, via Big League Stew.

3) To that end, comes the story of a former Yankees season ticket holder. He canceled his plan, had an email exchange with a ticket agent, and Ross picks it up from there. Funny - nobody from the Yankees contacted me after I emailed them to cancel my account. Guess I didn't go balistic enough about the signing of Randy Wynn. Honestly, that's not a good enough reason for me to drop my tickets but everyone has their reasons.

Incidentally, Ross has moved the New Stadium Insider blog. His stuff is worth reading, so head here now.

I have another video for you. This one comes from my fellow road enthusiast, Steve Williams. "The Georgia Road Geek" has put together "Road Geek CAM!" videos but this time, he does a slideshow of stills with some Ronnie Milsap playing underneath. Roads aren't everybody's speed (GET IT?) but it still plays a part of the lore here at "Exit 55." Nice work, Steve (linked here).

We'll finish with an addition to my blogroll. I'm a big fan of the study of ballparks and stadia (or stadiums). I would love to be able to travel around and analyze them, review them, and get paid for doing so! Since that's not happening anytime soon, I'll just leave you with the Stadium Journey blog.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Linky Dinks Off the Bench

Lots to catch up on...

So far, I'm into the Olympics.  The opening ceremonies were long and occasionally boring, so I was sound asleep by the time Gretzky, Steve Nash and others lit the malfunctioning cauldron (via Deadspin).

It is extremely sad that Georgian luge rider Nodar Kumaritashvili died at the age of 21 in a practice run.  NBC ran the video of the crash (several times, in fact) and as usual the hand-wringing began.  Personally I have no problem seeing it but since I don't want to offend all of you with nothing better to do, I will only put a link up for you to see it for yourself (thanks, Huffington Post).

Here's the thing: I've seen the Challenger explode, planes fly into the World Trade Center (and the towers' collapse), JFK's assassination, and so on.  They're all out there - and are shown at will.  It's part of the public history.  Should any of this offend, there is this thing called a power switch.  Use it.

NBC and any other news organization has a responsibility to show the video and assorted pictures.

Those who can't deal are doomed to hang with Tipper Gore and the PMRC - something we all feared 25 years ago.

Remember The Knack, the wannabe Beatles that exploded in 1979 with "My Sharona?"  Band-leader Doug Fieger died of cancer at age of 57 (courtesy WNEW).

Jeff Pearlman further dissects the new "We Are The World."  He approves of the song hereHe rates and ranks the artists from the two versions here.  My take?  Huey Lewis is ranked too low, of course (seriously, I think that band really gets disrespected but that's a post for another time).  And 2010 can't touch 1985.  And let's be honest, and blunt: if this song (either version) wasn't an all-star group hug, no one would care.  The song (melody, words, etc) just aren't that good.  Though it won all the awards, think about it: how many times have voters looked back and said, "what was I thinking?"

Staying in the 80's, the Stuck in the 80's guys picked their list of "must-own albums."  Each selected artist could only have ONE album and, correctly, Sports was their Huey Lewis and the News choice.  Nothing wrong with Picture This or Fore!, but Sports is still my favorite.  I don't agree with their U2 choice (The Joshua Tree over War, Boy, or The Unforgettable Fire) but I've never fawned over that album anyway.

It's in four parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Chad Jennings and Sam Borden at the LoHud Yankee Blog have continued the tradition that Peter Abraham started by having guest writers during the winter.  A couple were less-than-stellar, or had ideas that were, ahem, silly (and then there are those pesky stat-geeks that have infiltrated.  Still a couple were fun reads:

Kevin Rozell does a nice look back at Mel Allen (though he refers to Joe Garagiola as "Joe Gargoyle").  Sam follows that up with a look at a few announcers who stick out to him.

Sam also writes a nice story about Old Timer's Day involving Bobby Murcer, Thurman Munson, and some mysterious flowers.
Guest-writer Mark Braff writes about the decline of Old Timer's Day.  Personally I still like OTD but he makes some very valid points.  It doesn't need to be so Yankee-centric and I remember seeing the old banners.  I also remember how touched I was to see that 1922 AL championship banner that was displayed on the last night in the "old" Stadium.

Longtime Yankees trainer Gene Monahan is going to miss his first Spring Training since he began in 1963.  He's been the Yankees' head trainer for 38 years.  We wish him a speedy recovery!

That's enough for now.  More links and stuff are a-coming!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Quick Moment of Fame

While hosting "The Press Box" yesterday, colleagues Bob Small and Mary Anne Defelice stopped into the studio to tell me that they had a call from a radio station, looking for someone to come on and talk about UConn basketball.

Who?  Me?

So I prepped a little, finished the show, and went on with Bob Kemp on KDUS-AM (The Fan) in Tampe, AZ.  It was over within 10 minutes, and we talked about the status of Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun,, and other UConn-related issues.

It was fun and I was glad they asked.

I've got to ready for the Mount Saint Mary College/Old Westbury doubleheader now.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Strange Things on the Radio

After I left Mount Saint Mary tonight, following two yawners of basketball games (the women lie...79-16 and the men won 66-47), I popped on the radio to listen to traffic and weather together on 880 AM (that's WCBS).  Of course, we're all getting ready for a big storm tomorrow.

Yet as I came across I-84 on the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge into Dutchess County, I noticed some interference with the signal.  Never wanting to miss a chance to pick a far and away signal at night, I decided to check on the frequencies near 880.  I flipped to 870 and heard the faint sound of some play-by-play.  Sounded like a Super Bowl highlight.

It was WWL, New Orleans.

To the average person, that might not be a big deal, but to me, it was just weird.  At no time have I ever picked up WWL from New York, yet here it was, just long enough to hear the highlight (to congratulate the Saints), then it was gone.  I've picked up Boston, Washington, Montreal, Rochester, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati,  Atlanta, and everything in between, but never New Orleans.

Oh, I eventually switched to 890.  That was WLS - from Chicago.  Traffic is OK on the Dan Ryan at this hour.

I love the radio.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Quickie Update: The CarMax Spot

I wondered if this was the reason that I didn't see the CarMax ads.  I have friends that work for the used car super store in Richmond and was psyched that they had an ad that would run in the Super Bowl.  However, I never saw it, and we were pretty vigilant watching spots last night.  Yet I wondered if perhaps it was a regional ad.

The National Sports Journalism Center had the answer (via Darren Rovelle):
Company officials worked with CBS to buy four spots in each of the 48 local markets in which they sell their cars. The company was guaranteed that its four new spots would run during pregame, during the core of the game, at the end of the game and in the local news following the game.
Makes sense, and CarMax was able to get the spot inventory at a discount as a result.

Super Bowl Thoughts (Congrats, Saints)

(Photo: Getty Images)

So...who dat?

New Orleans is nuts this morning after the Saints beat the Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl 44 (I think I'm done with the Roman numerals).

A few thoughts from the night:

I'm sorry, but I thought The Who were good.  You don't like aging rockers?  Fine - don't watch (that's what I did during other years).  I thought they were at least as good (or bad) as The Rolling Stones were four years ago.

I know, I know, I know.  Peyton Manning threw a pick-six late in the game.  Montana wouldn't do that...Brady wouldn't do that...blah blah blah.  Shut it.  Watch the play again.  Make note of the fact that Reggie Wayne let up on the route.  Manning threw the ball where the receiver SHOULD be.  That's football.  The INT will be on Mannings' resume but it's not that easy.

I'll still take Manning over most QB's.  Would I take him on my team?  Probably, but my team also has a guy named Roethlisberger that I like a lot.

Commercials?  Feh.  Loved Betty White and Abe Vigoda.  Thought The Simpsons weren't funny, and thus not so good.  Loved the mini-Troy Polamalu.  The Dave/Oprah/Jay promo was hysterical.  Was happy for my friends in RVA who work for CarMax in that they got a spot on (even though I'm not sure when they ran it).  Generally thought the first half was better than the second half (again, we're talking commercials here).

I liked the aggressiveness of Sean Payton.  He made, arguably, some of the best adjustments I've ever seen in a Super Bowl game.  That being said, I hated his fourth down call late in the first half.  Yet I hated Jim Caldwell's conservative approach even more.

Sean Payton, to me, had as Bill Raftery says, "ONIONS!"

Jim Nantz and Phil Simms were solid as always.  CBS, FOX, and NBC have some top-flight NFL duos calling the "A" games.

When Matt Stover missed a 51-yarder, Stover did a salute to the sky.  The uninformed would have noted that he was being overconfident.  Nantz was smart enough to inform viewers that Stover always does that, as he is a spiritual man.  Whether you like that kind of display or not, at least Stover is consistent.

Great job by CBS in that I only saw a Manning family reaction shot once.  I also only saw Saints owner Tom Benson once.  It was like the Tiffany network was the anti-FOX.

Left my cousins' house (thanks for a fun night and great food) and listened to Marv Albert post-game.  Marv also does a great job calling games - I like him better on radio as an NFL voice than I ever did on TV.  And if you didn't know, the radio stays on much later than the TV side (though you could switch to ESPN or NFL Network).

I'm not willing to throw this game into the conversation of top five Super Bowl's.  It was good but I'm not sure it was that great.  Have to let it breathe a little bit before having that discussion.

Let's be clear, again.  The Saints winning isn't going to cure cancer.  It isn't going to rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward.  It isn't going to make anybody forget Katrina.  Yet, for a few days, it made some forget their troubles.  And that, sports/football haters, is why there is nothing like sports.  New Orleans gets to have one big civic hug and, hopefully, put their best face on for the world.  It allows total strangers to high-five and cry together.

Watch that video of Drew Brees kissing his baby, while he is glassy-eyed, and not appreciate it.  You have to really hate Brees/New Orleans/babies/life to not like that.

That said, I will understand if you're a Colts fan.

So how did resting everyone against the Jets really work out for Indy?  I know the Saints did the same thing eventually, but after they had already lost a game and had nothing to play for.  The Colts had immortality in their hands.

So, exactly, what was the fuss about with Tim Tebow and his mom?  Are people...really...that...dumb to get so worked up? (Answer?  Yes.)

Oh, memo to Tom Benson.  You said essentially that New Orleans is "back."  Um...let's not get crazy.  Your football team rebuilt some spirit and hope.  That's nice.  Yet it wasn't all that long ago that you were considering running out of NOLA and taking the former Aints with you.  Keep it in perspective, please.

Educators won't like this opinion, but I said it last night and will say so now.  This is a big enough deal to people in New Orleans that I think it is prudent to just shut things down for today.  Let the kids enjoy and rest up today.  And this is why I think it is time to work in some kind of a holiday into the Monday after the Super Bowl.  If that means backing it up to President's Day weekend, then so be it.

With that said, I would have gone to school today because my parents would have made me.  My son would have gone as well.

We'll all be sick of it soon, and we might be sick of it already, but it's worth repeating:

Who dat?

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Super Bowl Pick

Let's keep it simple. Peyton Manning is, with Dan Marino, among the two best quarterbacks I have ever seen play (sorry to you Joe Montana fawners).

I was born while Unitas (the best of them all) was still active, but I don't remember watching him. So I'll take Peyton and Marino.

I love the city of New Orleans. I like the Saints and the energy they and their fans bring. Yet this is Peytons' Place.

Colts 41, Saints 27. May the best team win - I'll probably be rooting for whoever is trailing as the game goes along because I want the drama!

Peyton will win the MVP.

The Who will rock.

And the Steelers' run as defending champions will officially be over.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

We Are The World That is Out of Original Ideas (With VIDEO)

I didn't think "We Are the World" was that great of a song to begin with (certainly nowhere near "Do They Know It's Christmas") but it was quite an effort with a fairly tremendous cast. Springsteen! Dylan! Hugh Anthony Cregg III! Ray Charles...Michael Jackson...Lionel Richie...Paul Simon...Hall and Oates...Billy Joel...and so on.

See for yourself (link here)

The song swept the Grammys (still don't know why) but I still find it fairly cringe-worthy when I hear it. Sooo...let's remake it with a collection of today's largely less-than-stellar artists!

Now before you get all pissy with me, I recognize that there are quite a few big names there, but jeez, could we have gotten Beyonce in the room? And do we really need to work Michael Jackson's voice into the new version?

Ladies and gentleman, meet overkill.

I'll be interested to see who gets to sing that magical line:
"But if you just believe, there's no way we can fall."

#1 On The Day I Was Born (With VIDEO)

Among the latest Facebook rage is to put what song was number one on your date of birth. Well for me it was a song by a somewhat popular British band.

You link is here.

From Wikipedia, I learned something. I had heard the chatter that takes place at one point in the song, but just took it for "Beatleease." Well it is, but it's more than that (oh, this is NSFW):
At 2:58 of the song, McCartney can be heard to say, "Oh, fucking hell!" According to sound engineers Ken Scott and Geoff Emerick, it was Lennon's idea to leave the mistake in the final mix. "'Paul hit a clunker on the piano and said a naughty word,' Lennon gleefully crowed, 'but I insisted we leave it in, buried just low enough so that it can barely be heard. Most people won't ever spot it…but we'll know it's there."
Why don't we let this serve as a "Rule 55?" There's nothing bad going on, but sometimes I have things that might - MIGHT - be good and can't talk about. So that's that.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Off The Bench - "LIVE" from Brewster Honda!

I hear the Grammy's were on last night. And?

I was too busy watching the Pro Bowl.

I kid. I'd honestly rather watch the Grammy's than an exhibition football game.

Sometimes the NFL is really, really, really stupid. Just beyond dumb. Like forcing the Super Bowl participants to visit the Pro Bowl. Embarrassing.

Is Avatar really on the verge of being the highest grossing movie ever? Wow. Guess I don't have any taste because, unless she's really worth it, I have no intention of going.

I remain vigilant in the fact that there are certain things I've never seen, or barely seen. "American Idol." "Survivor." In fact, most (if not all) reality shows.

Then there are those that I've never watched simply because I just haven't. Any "CSI", for instance. My good friend Mick (and wife Gretchen) got me to watch "Law and Order SVU" and it was very good.

I have seen "Jersey Shore" once. I'm not proud of that.

That's the thing with me. I'm either on the bandwagon at the very beginning, or I come aboard much later. Or not at all.

Yet, for the right woman, I will watch. If she asks nicely.

I'm coming to you live from the Brewster Honda broadcast booth. Let's lose money together.

Seriously, I begin to twitch every time the person that checked me in approaches the waiting room. I just keep waiting for the speech about how this car needs $17,000 in work. Or some exorbitant amount.

You really don't want to see me in a fetal position. It won't be pretty.

(Please note, the previous statement does not represent a pity party for Mr. Adams...just stating the facts)

Brighter days are ahead, my friends. I've been saying it for months. Some of you have read that.

You see, I just write. Quite often with no filter. Oh sure I read and edit before I hit "publish", then I re-read it. Eventually, I read things again - after they're published. Some times I wish I hadn't written something. Most times, I'm fine with it. Other times, I just don't care.

Hold the "9/11" trials and be done with it. Be it in New York (City), Newburgh (their mayor wants to move it there), or anywhere else. It's justice. Let's get it on. It's amazing that NIMBYism extends its ugliness everywhere.

I have a NIMBY situation currently, and I haven't uttered a word.

The Oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow. Bet it takes as long as the show itself, as they've DOUBLED the Best Picture noms.

It's been far too long since we've had Greenwich Cardinals ice hockey on WGCH. This has been the toughest season for me to schedule, with Fairfield and Hofstra hoops on the station, and various other conflicts. It's been brutal, and frustrating.

Finally, we're back on Thursday, with the Cardinals at home against Fairfield (Warde and Ludlowe). I think I'm even working with John Spang...who I last called a BASKETBALL GAME with (Mount Saint Mary women against College of Mount Saint Vincent).

Speaking of basketball, I'm sad that we're going through a second straight season without covering the Greenwich High boys' team. 'Twas once a time when we covered ALL of their games.

The wireless network in here is terrible.

My friends in R-VA are still digging out - to the tune of over a foot of snow. Normally when that happens, we're shoveling in the Empire State as well. Not this time.

I'm standing in Hannaford (a grocery store) and a father and son are recycling plastic bottles. OK, get the kid money for a skateboard, or whatever. I'm all for it. But FOUR-HUNDRED bottles? Doesn't there come a moment where they look around and let somebody else jump in? Not just me, but the four others who stopped by?

Back to the Grammy's. When, exactly, will we be done with the Michael Jackson stuff? I get it - he was an amazing artist. He could dance, he could sing, he could write. I understand that's how we should remember him but it doesn't stop the unseemly stuff from being part of his legend.

There are some who become larger in death. Michael Jackson doesn't need to be. He already was, even if his star might have faded just prior to his death. Now it's out of control.

Beyonce remains simply incredible. Taylor Swift seems very likable. Yet does the show need to be outrageous just because it can? I mean, the Lada Gaga/Elton John duet, and Pink dribbling water while dangling from up high seem unnecessary.

I'm just asking - not trying to be an old dolt.

Uh comes the Brewster Honda guy.