Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy 54th Birthday To the Interstate Highway


(Photo by RA – Larchmont, NY – 2010)

President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 on this day in, um, 1956.  Road travel in this country has never been the same.  Some love the interstate (I generally like them) and some hate them (and I understand why, since the two-lane roads have more personality).

It can’t be denied that it is had an impact on American culture.  I think I’ll go sit in traffic on the Cross Bronx Expressway (that would be Interstate 95) to celebrate.

Thanks to fellow road enthusiasts Jim K. Georges and Steve Williams for posting this link discussing the anniversary.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

First Baseball Broadcasts Approaching

Good news!  The Lords of the Baseball Broadcast Booth have deemed there to be an opening for the old-timer!  So hear ye, hear ye, or hear me, hear me.  Whatever works for you.

I’ll be in the booth (even though there really isn’t a booth in Brooklyn) as the Hudson Valley Renegades take on the Staten Island Yankees this Sunday at 4:00 PM (first trip there for me).  Then on Monday I’ll ride the Q to call the Gades and the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Go to the Gades website for the link the broadcast.

Let the butterflies begin to accumulate as I get ready for the first baseball call of 2010.

Something is Very Wrong With This Picture


Look at that.  It makes me sick.  Yes the moustache is gone, but that is clearly Donald Arthur Mattingly, the pride of Evansville, IN.  The guy who was well on his way to the Hall of Fame when his body betrayed him.  The guy that had a great shot at a World Series ring in 1994 when his sport betrayed him.

Now, he’s in Dodger blue, with an interlocking “LA” on his hat.  And his number is eight.


He once looked like this:


And now, Don Mattingly, once and forever our Donnie Baseball, looks like this, with Mr. Torre in Lala Land.

022508166This weekend, Torre, Mattingly, and their Dodgers take on Jeter, Mo, Jorgie, and Andy, along with the rest of the defending world champs.  There will be much talk about Joe Torre – the book, the years in New York, his departure.  But there will be Don Mattingly – our Don Mattingly, pursuing his World Series dream in a strange land.

The great Scully will be broadcasting these games, by the way.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rock Band 3!

As if The Beatles Rock Band wasn't enough, Rock Band 3 is on the way...and guess who is on the playlist?

Yep. Huey...freaking...LEWIS!

The details are here.

Now I know an HLN Rock Band is too much to ask for, but at least there's one song on the new game.

All I need is a gaming system, because I don't own one. *sigh*

The Empire Strikes Back...Starring Sean Adams!

Too funny.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters (With VIDEO)

I had a stunningly good night in New York that left me smiling as I made my way home. I truly wish that I could write on the fly at times like that. I suppose I should keep a notebook with me or something.

The thoughts I had were amazing as I watched a Monday night unfold from Brooklyn to Greenwich. I walked by while the firemen parked their trucks in the station, while folks sat outside on steps and stoops, talking and laughing. The bodegas were largely quiet, and the stores had all closed, but the bar down the street was alive with the wannabes warbling some song via karaoke. On the subway, people enjoyed the cool of the AC on this otherwise pleasantly muggy evening.

Perhaps because Carrie and I had one of the Music Choice channels on, I found myself in an Elton John mood. On occasion, I am reminded that Sir Elton is a great artist with an unbelievable catalog of music (though I'm not as much of a fan, say, post-1986 or so). So there I was, rocking with "Take Me To the Pilot", "Honky Cat" (loved that song since we used to play it every Saturday night on the jukebox of the old Crompond Diner), and so on until I reached "Mona Lisa and Mad Hatters." As I stood on the train platform, transferring from the Q to the 4 train at Union Square, I heard the words.
And now I know
Spanish Harlem are not just pretty words to say
I thought I knew
But now I know that rose trees never grow in New York City
Subway's no way for a good man to go down
Rich man can ride and the hobo he can drown
And I thank the Lord for the people I have found
I thank the Lord for the people I have found
I couldn't help but smile. In theory, it's not an uber happy song, but I liked the thought of listening to a song about New York City, and the mention of the subway, while standing in that very place. Call it the optimist in me; the desire to make the good out of bad.

Or simply call it not caring, and being happy to be where I was - coming from a night with an incredible person in the greatest city in the world, where my worries were (at that point) nearly minimal. Yeah, that's about right.

The video is linked here.

Life Brings You Ups and Downs (With VIDEO)

I was in such a good mood after a sort of roller coaster of a day. Now? Feh.

So it's Rule 55 time!

I've seen some, but not all, of these. Nothing like seeing other members of the broadcasting world lose their cool. The link is here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Broadcasting to Be Done

The Renegades held their media day today at Dutchess Stadium. Good to see so many familiar faces.

The Gades booth has a fair chance to look like the one in the original Naked Gun movie. Not sure how much play-by-play I'll actually be doing this year, but I've put in my request for the Brooklyn games, and a few others. Some home games, Tri-City, Connecticut, and so on. Kind of think I've worked hard for the team for 10 years (on and off) but nothing is ever assumed.

Before that, we have the annual Greenwich Red and White game on Saturday. The pregame show begins at 9:50 Saturday morning. I'll call the play-by-play, with Sean Kilkelly analyzing things. Chris Erway and Chris Kaelin will man the sidelines, and Nick Angotto will likely join the fun as well.

Listen live, please?

I'll Be Consistent on This Vuvuzela Thing...Even When It Involves The Yankees

Not surprisingly, some dope brought a South African horn-thing to Yankee Stadium. He was politely asked to lose it. Immediately.

The NY Post has more.

I applaud it.

The New CIAC Football Lineup

Thanks to Sean Patrick Bowley, here is the new layout for high school football in Connecticut. Greenwich will stay in Class LL (there's nowhere else for them to go).

Tim Parry would have put this on the FCIAC Football Blog, except that...it's gone. And that's all there is to say about that. I talked to him about it, and it was over. He has his reasons, and he has an open door to come here and write about it if he ever wants to. When something stops being fun, it's time to leave.

Don't forget, the 2010 Greenwich Red and White Football Game is coming this Saturday! The broadcast will be on WGCH at 9:50 AM. Sean Kilkelly and I will call it, with a combination of Chris Erway, Chris Kaelin, and Nick Angotto involved somehow. Rob Crowley returns to run the controls in the studio.

The World of the World Cup (With VIDEO)

I've watched some of the World Cup, and even talked about it a great deal on "The Press Box"; probably more than many thought I ever would. I remember Pele and the Cosmos, and had a vague interest in them. I watched parts of the previous Cups, including the '99 women. So to be honest, it makes sense that I would be interested as a sports fan, a radio personality, and a person who enjoys learning.

The ratings have been good, but not good enough to convince me that soccer is still anything more than a niche sport that fits in behind football, baseball, basketball, auto racing, golf, and hockey. In the good ol' US of A, it's just too boring. Nil-nil just isn't going to get it done.

This is not to be taken as a criticism, folks.

For my taste, I've enjoyed it and been into it. Heck, I can be honest and say it's boring and still like it. Double heck, I watched the Yankees and Phillies last night and can tell you that mowing the lawn was more enjoyable. Yet baseball still sits among the top loves of my life (Sean, Carrie, family, friends, baseball...sort of like that).

My interview last week with Kenn Tomasch helped open my eyes, in that I'm watching ball movement much more closely than ever. It also proved that, while not knowing all the rules and minutiae, I know the game pretty well. Much better than I ever gave myself credit for.

Of course, there have been plenty of critics. If you have a poor sense of humor, avoid Deadspins Drew Magary and his haters guide. My favorite part was this:
Italy: Worst f****ng floppers in the universe and I hate these f****ng cologne-wearing mama's boys with all my heart. Italy is the New Jersey of Europe. Go to an Italian train station sometime and try breathing in the air without wanting to heave out your insides.
How's that for your hot Italian guys, eh? I've actually heard and seen people talking and writing only about the men, and I don't mean their style of play. More like their style...um...elsewhere. Really? Haysooz Cristo, take a shower or something.

(Authors note: Just so we're clear, this is not Carrie that I'm writing about. I have way more respect for her knowledge and integrity than that. She is a sports fan, and male hotness has little or nothing to do with that. Plus she loves me. So there).

While on the politically-incorrect front, The Onion came up with this. I roared with laughter, especially when they put up the graphic about baseball and bunting being gay.

Soccer Officially Announces It Is Gay
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Pete Dougherty of the Times-Union in Albany gets ESPN's take on the whole vuvuzela (which is South African for "annoying horn") thing. My take? Just turn the sound down. It's not like the talking heads have been bringing much to the table. I'm sorry, JP Dellacamera isn't calling the World Cup because?

By the way, we have a Cup on this continent, and it's Lord Stanley's.

On the other side, Kenn Tomasch posted this on Facebook, telling the haters to shut it. I believe that is fair.

Lastly, Rick Reilly gets into the act, going after vuvuzelas and everything else. I've heard several of the same complaints and yeah, I hate ties. Unless I'm wearing one.

Then again, I hate the shootout in the NHL. So what's the answer?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Much-Needed Laugh (Or, You'll Get Nothing and Like It)

Nothing like Caddyshack, and this collection that I found via Stuck in the 80's proves why it might - MIGHT - be the most quotable movie ever. Funny thing is, they didn't get every great quote in here either.

From Ted Knight: "I sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn't want to do it. Felt I...OWED it to him!" That one is missing. Classic. Or the part where Chevy Chase sings, "I was born to love you. I was born to lick your face. I was born to rub you. But you were born to rub me first."

The link comes to you via the Huffington Post.

Rule 55 applies, and your mileage may vary.

It's Late, and I'm Blogging

I just got home from Brooklyn, and I'm not really sleepy. Oh I fell asleep for a few minutes on the train from Grand Central to Greenwich, and was pretty out of it on the subway, so I'm feeling relaxed. To be sure, I'll be asleep eventually and get a few hours before another day of running begins.

So I thought I would come over to Exit 55 to say hello. And so I have. And now I'll try to get some sleep. It's 1:41 AM.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Soccer, The World Cup, and Lack of Knowledge

If you haven't heard (because you've been on Mars, though I think they have ESPN there), the World Cup is coming (over-promoted by the Worldwide Leader, and if I hear U2's "City of Blinding Lights" one more time), and you're supposed to care about it.

We've talked about it on "The Press Box", I'm proud to say, and we'll continue to. The problem is nobody has answered a question for me:

Can you explain the game to me, and tell me why it is so great?

I asked a recent guest, and got some stuff about "strategy." That's it. Ryan DeMaria and I just stared at each other after that. I've watched a couple of games recently, and all I seem to be getting out of it is that the women were watching because the Italian guys are hot, that there are players on the English team they'd like to see (preferably personally), and not much else.

It would be like guys rooting for the Cowboys for their cheerleaders. Wait, you mean that really happens?

I'm serious about this. I'd like to grasp it. I don't hate the sport. I just don't understand it, and I've been talking about this for some time. For the most part, it seems to fall on deaf ears.

Here's what I see: kick, run, run, run, kick...wide. Throw the ball over the head. Kick. Line up in front of the net. A few saves (mostly right into the keepers' body), and so on. I also hear a lot of "oohs" and "aahs" from viewers, when it seems obvious to me that the ball is going nowhere near the net.

I suppose once my understanding comes together, then I'll begin to get into the history.

I've even suggested to Sean that he start playing. His mother played in her hometown rec league, and his grandfather coached. I would support him, though I don't suspect I would coach him. Sean declined the idea.

Look, I didn't really know a lot about playing another sport (and not enough about its history), so when Michael Breed and John Connelly asked me to be part of a golf show in 1999, I was dubious to say the least. Eventually I would come to co-host "Tee Time" (and even fly solo on occasion). Now I'm much more versed and love the game (and played yesterday at the annual Greenwich Football Tournament).

Maybe Carrie will be the one to educate me. That would be fine.. I've asked fellow broadcaster Kenn Tomasch for his knowledge, because I don't enjoy the mere waive of the hand that we ugly Americans give the sport. He'll be on "The Press Box" later today (Tuesday, June 8th).

I'd be happy to join the party. For right now, I feel like an outsider. I hate that feeling. I think anybody would.

To finish, here are a few videos. This commercial is very well done, but what put it over the top for me was the use of the song "Hocus Pocus" by Focus. I...love...that...song. The video link is here.

Speaking of Kenn Tomasch, he posted this video. Funny (and linked here).

Happy Birthday, Steven Bawol

Steven Bawol played for the Greenwich Cardinals football team and graduated from GHS in 2005. One night, in late 2007, Steven died in a one-car crash in Greenwich (thanks, Greenwich Post).

By all accounts, he was a great kid. Though I called his games with the Cardinals, I can't tell you I knew Steven (or Steve, as I called him). With such a large roster, it's difficult to know every player. What I can tell you is that I know his friends, specifically Nick Angotto. Over the past few years, I've watched his brother Colin play, and I got to know his parents (Mark and Susy) very well. There's also a third Bawol boy, Matthew.

I know, I know. Bad Rob! You're a reporter, a journalist for heaven's sake! Edward R. Murrow wants to see you immediately! How DARE you get friendly with the family?


Not only did I get to know his family, I regularly exchange thoughts with Susy on Facebook. So there.

Still we're getting off track here. The point is that Susy popped a message on Facebook last night, asking people to remember Steven on his birthday. If I've done my math right, Steve would have been 22 today.

I honored Susy's wish, and have taken it a step farther with this post. To close, I'm adding a video, in memory of Steve. A picture of my great friend Nick Angotto posing with his great friend shows up around the 1:04 mark.

I don't understand life and those in charge. Just sayin'.

I wish the Bawol family great strength on this day. The same strength that I've seen them demonstrate every day that I've known them since Steve died.

Michael Kay vs. Phil Mushnick


First, from The Big Lead. Then, go to this link from Neil Best, who is out of the Dolan's Witness Protection Program for now.

Wow. Michael Kay and I in lock-step. Weird.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

John Wooden (1910-2010)

Allow the Great Scully to speak.

Farewell, Coach Wooden. I know you were a big Yankees fan. I know more so, that you were among the finest people this world has ever met. Thank you.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Linky Dinky Dinks!

Soooo much to put up. Some of it is old. You'll adjust.

Chuck Costello updates us on some good Greenwich baseball news. I'm sad to say that I haven't seen a single pitch of the 2010 Cards, but happy that Jesse Quinlan (good guy), Paul Silverfarb and others covered them. I'm also very happy for head coach Mike Mora (and his staff). Mike was named the FCIAC Coach of the Year.

I consider Mike a friend. Sorry if that's a conflict of interest. Which brings me to Jeff Pearlman and Jay Glazer. At the level that I work, it's quite easy to strike up relationships. It also used to happen during long train rides between riders and the old ballplayers, so I don't feel like it's anything new.

Speaking of Jeff, he writes about owing a man named John Degl an apology. Here's the twist: I know John Degl. I used to watch John and his brother (they were hardly babies, so it wasn't babysitting) a lot in the 80's. We'd play ball, shoot hoops, ride quads, bikes, etc. I know he turned into a great wrestler at Mahopac High and maybe he could be a bit of a bully (I get where Jeff is coming from). But to me, he was just John - a good kid. We're Facebook friends, and I hope he's a good man.

The Great Scully (in song), from Tom Hoffarth.

Benjamin Hill tells of mascot meanderings in the New York-Penn League. Specifically, this is at Tri City (they play in Troy, NY). I was just up that way last weekend.

Renegades season is approaching quickly, by the way! Looking forward to getting my game on again.

Brian Anderson says the Brewers booth isn't right without Mr. Baseball. Maybe not, but BA is doing a great job.

Great story of the Immaculate Reception from a media angle. Thanks to Mike Silverstein and the crew of Behind the Steel Curtain.

Perhaps you've seen it, butt if you haven't head to Stuck in the 80's for Lady Gaga, Elton John and others doing "Don't Stop Believin" and a link to the Great Springsteen doing Bryan Adams' "Cuts Like a Knife." Fun, fun stuff.


Thanks, Carrie.
I'm not a religious guy, and have little patience for those who are hypocrites about it. You know the type: the ones who only decide to pay attention to their faith on the holy days (pick a religion, and you'll find a hypocrite in every one). I respect the person who goes to their faith because it gives them hope and comfort. Because it is what they believe. And most of all - they don't throw it in my face.

I once dated a born-again Christian. I can tell you, without question - it was a huge factor in our not surviving as a couple.

I want to believe, and sometimes, I do. But I can't take it when it impacts lives, relationships, understanding, and creates - of all things - terrorism, hatred, and war.

Thus, this picture cracked me up. Nice, considering I wasn't in the best of frames this morning. Yet there is a reason I've often used "Haysooz Cristo" instead of "Jesus Christ." Though I might use "Josh Christ" now.

We'll ignore the fact that the person in the picture is wearing a Red Sox hat. That's just too easy.

This wasn't meant to be a rant about religion, nor should it be taken as such. Sadly, people can't handle talking religion (it's in that category of "do not discuss").

Thus the reason that I titled the post the way I did. Which, of course, is sad.

Way To Go, Bud

We knew he would fail. Just knew it. Knew that those who are in charge are often gutless. Yet we hoped, as I wrote yesterday.

Bud Selig will not recognize Armando Galarraga's perfect game. No reverse of Jim Joyce's terrible call. It will stay as it is, and we move on.

Yet to those who say "Get Over It" (and you know who you are), let me ask this: what would be the harm? What are you afraid of? Galarraga pitched a perfect game. Recognize it. Show some onions for a change.

There would have been no precedent. This was a one-time thing.

Baseball had a chance. Bud Selig had a chance. And he failed. And the sport looks worse for it.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Nothing To Talk About Today...NOT!

So quite a night in the ol' sports world. As I was riding the Q across the Manhattan Bridge last night, ace producer Nick Angotto sent me a text with the news of Armando Galarraga's near-perfect game and the blown call by veteran umpire Jim Joyce.

I'm not going to wait for you to join me on "The Press Box" to give you my opinion. Umpires have screwed up magnificently in recent times, and have demonstrated their arrogance, led by master stooge Joe West. Joyce "manned up" and gets credit for that. Still shouldn't there be some kind of punishment for him?

Now to the bigger issue. You know this was a perfect game. I know this was a perfect game. The correct thing for Major League Baseball is for the Tigers to protest, and for MLB to make a (read closely) ONE TIME DECISION. It was a perfect game. Make it so officially. From the look of it, even Jason Douglas, the batter who hit the fatal grounder, was outraged by the call!

I've seen things like this happen before (four words: George Brett Pine Tar). Some would say that (another stooge) then-American League President Lee McPhail did the right thing by reversing the decision and making a mockery of his umpires. Well in this case, it wouldn't be making a mockery. It would be correcting an egregious error.

So Bud Selig, for once - ONCE - do the right thing.

You disagree? Two o'clock Eastern time, Lifestyle Talk Radio Network, 888-454-3378. I'll be waiting. We'll also get into the Stanley Cup Finals, the NBA Finals, and (lost in the shuffle), the retirement of Ken Griffey, Jr.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Gotta Pick It Up Again

I just looked at my output for May.

Fifteen posts. That's it. Pathetic.

That goes with 14 for April.

I need to do better than that. I suspect there isn't a big hankering for your daily flavor of "Exit 55", but still. Sheesh.

Quick FCIAC Football-Related Posty

Hi all. Have you missed me? Er...no. OK.

Anywho, Mr. Tim Parry (he of the FCIAC Football Blog fame) is looking for help. He'd like to pick up a salesperson to assist with getting sponsors for the blog while it still exists. Tim wanted to sell the site, and has found no takers so far. So while he could just shut it down, Tim continues to write.

And we're better for it.

While we're talking football, allow me to proudly announce that the annual Greenwich Red and White football game will once again be broadcast on that little ol' engine known as WGCH (and WGCH.com). I'll be at the mic for the call, and a combination of fine souls will round out the broadcast. I don't have a game time yet, but I will pass along the details once they have been given to me.

Until then, stay tuned!