Saturday, July 31, 2010

Catching Up With Facebook

The Blogger to Facebook feed has become a joke, so I've stopped it - for now. Instead I've started importing them manually, and apologize if I've jammed up your Facebook feed this morning. What is the point of writing a post that says "today" and have said post hit Facebook a week to ten days later sometimes?

So I'll do this for now until I see that the feed problem has been fixed.

By the way, that's not me in that picture.  I get much uglier and jerkier when I'm frustrated and such.

Your patience, of course, if always appreciated.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A New Design

It's only taken almost four years, but I've opted for a redesign (for now). I'm happy to have your thoughts and/or suggestions.

By the way, for those who have wanted me to write more, you've gotten your wish! This is the 38th post for July - tops for 2010.

Coach's Corner (Musical Department) Returns With More

OK, I admit it. Although I disagreed quite vehemently with "Coach" over his Most Overrated Music Acts, I like the guy. And truth be told, I kind of know him. So there was some tweaking and some debating. Still I think it's all good.

Today he blogged about his 10 songs of the moment. Good stuff. It's worth adding this blog to your reader, if you have one.

Missing Baseball In Person

I was up early today and found myself reading Bill Simmons' column on ESPN that was essentially about baseball's current concerns (ratings are down, attendance is down, etc). Ostensibly, the column was an opportunity for fan boy Simmons to whine about the 2010 Red Sox (oh boo hoo hoo, they're not exciting...waaaaaa).

Still he made several prescient points, including how the experience of going to Fenway Park has changed drastically, writing:
I attended my first home game in two years (the Philly blowout) and was flabbergasted when everyone stopped standing for Boston runs. Apparently the 7-0 lead was good enough; nobody stood for runs 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12. But when they cranked "Sweet Caroline" in the eighth inning? Everyone stood and sang.
Yeah. Welcome to the world of moronic, bandwagon fans Boston! Idiots, indeed.

Still, all of this and more, got me to finally missing being at games. The feeling had been building for some time, and it reached a crescendo this past weekend when I caught up with my old Section 5 buds. I see Mick quite often, but this weekend was the first time I had seen the brothers Eddie and Steve in some time.

Quick side note: Eddie married the lovely Evette this past weekend in Central Park and I was honored to be invited. Steve gave a wonderful speech as Best Man; one that the High Priest of the Sack of Nuts highly approved (sadly I can't embed the video). Carrie, by the way, looked stunning. I should get some pictures up.

OK, back to the topic. In talking to both Steve and Mick, they have no interest in getting a new ticket plan for the Yankees and I can understand to a point. The team did treat us very poorly and that can't be forgotten. And I can't ignore the fact that this new Stadium isn't my Stadium.  It belongs to others with it's abundance of bathrooms and amenities and I get that.

But I can't think of the last time that I went a year without attending a game at Yankee Stadium (old or new). At this point, I don't know when it is going to happen either.

I suppose that my lack of ANY live baseball is adding to my hurt. Two Renegades broadcasts and it's almost August? My old Gades colleague, Sean Ford, was amazed at that when I had lunch with him yesterday.

Still, I don't think that's the overriding reason. The biggest reason was that despite the traffic, the idiot fans, the overproduction, the abuse of my bank account, and everything else, I still love the anticipation of going to a game. I love simply walking in to the Stadium and seeing that explosion of color - the seats, the green grass, the frieze, the sky. I love the sight of the fathers and sons (with no offense to mothers and daughters).  I love the smells. The sounds of the vendors. The roar of the crowd. The crack of the bat. All of this screams BASEBALL!

But there's more. There's the camaraderie. I wouldn't know Mick, Steve, Eddie, Kelly, and the other wonderful friends that I've made since 1998 without my ticket package. Without the Yankees. Without baseball.

There's even more. I miss settling into my seat and watching the game (maybe keeping score like I did in the old days). That seems simplistic, but it's not. I don't go to games for the beer (seriously) or the food. I go to watch the game. To study it. To listen to stupid fans talk stupidly and to talk strategy and history with those who have a clue. Traditionally I would watch quietly, but I loved those high points - the moments that allows one to be a fan.

In short: I miss it.

So buy tickets, you say! Ha! Maybe I will, and supposedly there are reasonable tickets to be found on the StubHubs of the world. So I will look into that and see if it can be done. I'm not sure if it will be ever be the same again but I think I'm willing to find out.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Reality Check

Nothing gives a weary soul a pickup like mentioning to Sean that we might be going to a friends house tomorrow. It wasn't just that news - oh that was good - but it was his reaction: jumping up excitedly and breaking into dance.

This dance...with me doing it also.

We did every step - from memory.

We both laughed and began to wrestle a little. Then, without any provocation, he said, "I love you, Daddy."

Screw the small stuff that I so stupidly sweat at times (don't ask, but I'm my own worst enemy quite often). My boy was telling me he loved me, and there was nothing fake about it. It was a loose, happy, fun moment.

It was priceless.

The Truest Grand Slam

Furman Bisher takes the time to reflect on Bobby Jones' grand slam in 1928. Jones won the British Amateur, British Open, US Open and US Amateur, playing against the best golfers at the time, and traveling across the pond via boat.

Bobby Jones was as good as anyone.

Tiger slam. Whatever.

The FCIAC Football Blog Rides Again (Or, I've Been Scooped!)

I had this little piece of happy news a few days ago but was sworn to secrecy.  Yet when I saw that Tim Parry had put this on his page, I knew I could reveal what I already knew:

The FCIAC Football Blog is back!

Tim decided that it was important to see the Bill Gonillo Five continue, but he was also pushed back by those of us who wanted to see the site return.

You thought you could beat him down with your emails, texts, and general idiocy! Yet you couldn't get it done. If anything, he might have been reinvigorated by the general asshattery of it all!

So if you see a bald man walking your sideline with a camera, be prepared.

Tim Parry is back.

Steve Grogan has Nothing Nice to Say About Jack Tatum

Jack Tatum was a football player for the Oakland Raiders. He died earlier this week at the age of 61.

Tatum was a fierce defensive back who made his living hitting receivers viciously as they went over the middle to make a catch. He famously slammed into Frenchy Fuqua in the 1972 AFC Playoffs, creating the opening for Franco Harris to make the "Immaculate Reception." He also famously slammed into Darryl Stingley in a 1978 preseason game, paralyzing the Patriots' receiver permanently.

Steve Grogan was the quarterback who that ball to Stingley in 1978. Grogan has always been a very likable, good guy. He made folks like the Pats (imagine that?). So it was jarring to read that Steve Grogan can't find anything nice to say about Jack Tatum. (Thanks to Sports Radio Interviews)

Sometimes we try too hard to say good things about people when they pass. Grogan couldn't do that.

Gorgeous Photography

If you are a fan of photography, you have to go to the Denver Post's website and see this collection of color images, taken from 1939-1943.

The images are just stunning. Some are a sad reflection on society at that time, but they are all amazing.

Hat tip to UniWatch.


Joe Posnanski on LeBron and His Cleveland

I know you're probably sick of this story. Me too. But Joe Posnanski has written an amazing story about just how angry Cleveland is.

I can't recommend reading this highly enough. Dedicate a few minutes because the writing itself is worth it.

And when you consider the stupidity of what ESPN is doing with regard to LeBron, you just shake your head. Plus this Vegas story that is out there (via Google Docs, I read it before) really isn't all that bad. It just paints James as a kid in his own candy store.

Egg Sandwiches

Carrie and I have been enjoying making meals together though, to be fair, she's the true chef and I'm just the lowly grunt assistant. So the other day, she whipped up some eggs - truly delicious eggs that we put on fresh made rolls from the bakery down the street. Of course we popped some cheese and bacon on it and it was a taste explosion!

This morning, back in the hood of the 845 (that's a joke), I decided to make eggs. I'm not terrible at doing least I didn't think so, but in comparison to what Carrie made, well, I suck.

Hers were light and fluffy and looked like scrambled eggs.

Mine were dry and brown.

Sure, I overcooked mine - that's an easy answer - but come on! This shouldn't be that hard!


Cell Phones (With VIDEO)

If you haven't seen Napoleon Dynamite, then this will make no sense.

(I posted this because Kip loves technology...though I fashion myself to be more Napoleon than Kip)

By the way, I'm sick of these videos running off the dang screen. Any advice?

OK, after a year and a half of wanting to throw my LG Env2 phone threw a wall, I've reached the point where I can get a new phone from Verizon. That, friends, is where you come in. I could use some advice.

The parameters are simple - I intend on heading towards a 3G smartphone, probably with Android as the operating system. I'm also probably going to take on a data plan of some kind. So...

1) Should I stay with Verizon? Their plans are slightly more expensive than Sprint, who seems to be the clear number two to Verizon.

2) What phone should I get?

3) Any other advice?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Big Ben

Jeff Pearlman (Mahopac High grad) wrote in Sports Illustrated about Ben Roethlisberger's return to the Steelers. He doesn't like him. Period.

I can't argue.

I promised myself, years ago, that when the Steelers (or the Stillers, your choice) took a quarterback in the first round of the draft, that I would immediately buy a jersey to celebrate. So I did when the team took Big Ben out of Miami of Ohio.

Then the rookie replaced Tommy Maddox in the second game of 2004, and the legend was born. He was brash, cocky, and could play some damn good football. I was taken enough to buy Sean (yes, The Son) a jersey.

Roethlisberger led the Burghers to a Super Bowl title in his second year (worst SB performance by a quarterback ever) and an even bigger win in SB XLIII when he led the Steelers on a touchdown drive that stopped my heart, then allowed me perhaps the most glorious screaming fit I've ever known due to a sporting event (Sean was asleep by that point and the house was otherwise empty as my house partner was off partying elsewhere).

Even after the stupid motorcycle crash, and the first rape charge (by a woman of questionable standing in Reno), I stood by the QB.

Then came the charges in Georgia, and my heart hurt.

It got worse as further details came out about what a true douche this guy is.

The black jersey with the white number seven on it now hangs in my closet and is probably getting this year off. Sean has thankfully grown out of his jersey and won't be getting a new one of Big Ben. I'll help him find another player, if he cares.

Yet I do believe in second chances, largely because he wasn't charged with a crime. Sorry, Jeff. I just do. Sean's favorite player is A-Rod and he goofed. Not because of how he comes off as insincere and other stuff, but because of the steroids. Sean and I had a long heart to heart and he decided to solider on and support his favorite player.

I'll wait for Ben to win me back. His play on the field will help (hmmm...can you say "Kobe?") but I need to see good things and hear good things. It will help.

No woman deserves whatever Ben Roethlisberger or Kobe Bryant allegedly - READ THAT WORD, PEOPLE - did. It's disgusting, and I think I have enough credit in my account to indicate that I'm respectful. The Kobe thing has been brushed under the rug and now he's a hero for winning rings.

Roethlisberger is paying with a lengthy suspension that "King" Roger Goodell has adjudicated. Thus he looks quite guilty in the court of public opinion, and I agree.

Still he can win us back, but it will take more than just a touchdown pass for me. And smooching Oprah's backside won't do it either (maybe we'll get to her some other time).

It will take time, and it should take time.

Chuck Costello to Continue Fordham SportsNet

Running a blog isn't always as easy as it looks. It's not just a matter of sitting in mom's basement and typing stuff. Well to some it is but to others it's an effort. A writer tries to use the correct sources, give proper attribution, and write coherently. More often than not, it's done while trying to live a life because the writer isn't making much off of the blog.

Trust me, I know.

Chuck Costello, my friend of over a decade and a former WGCH colleague, went through this very issue. To that end, he has decided to continue with his Fordham SportsNet blog after considerable thought.

Good for him. He works hard on it and often gets hammered with criticism. Not much thanks, to be sure.

Many have tried this blog thing. Some gave it a good run before shutting down. Some wrote a few posts and quit. Others did a few more posts.

Some are still plugging away after almost four years.

Chuck will return August 1st.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The CIAC Football Finals Are At The Rent!

About. Freaking. Time.

Sean Patrick Bowley confirms that, yes, the 2010 CIAC football championships will be played at Rentschler Field, in East Hartford. That would be the home of your University of Connecticut football team.

Readers know that I and others have screamed about this for years. Here is a fairly new facility that should be hosting Connecticut's biggest football events, a la the Carrier Dome in Syracuse (where yours truly got to call three state New York finals in 2002-2004).

Ah the good old days, when discussion board posters thought that Sean Kilkelly, Mark Rosen and I should be the broadcasters for ALL state championship games. Really, who am I to argue?

So come on Greenwich! Marshall the forces for another state championship run, since I want to call some games at the Rent and the rest of the state seems to forget my phone number come championship time!

(Except Ben Talbott at Birds Eye Sports, who asked me to to step in last year, but I couldn't since I had a Mount Saint Mary game that day.)

Hall of Fame Things

Two different posts examine where the National Baseball Hall of Fame is these days. Darren Rovell of CNBC wonders what is going on, since attendance is flat and the inductees aren't exactly scintillating.

I haven't been to the Hall in six years. It's an long day trip but I just haven't made it back yet.

From the LoHud Yankees blog, Chad Jennings says the Hall is making some changes to the Veterans Committee voting.

My take? Dumb. I don't like it at all. Just go back to having a Vets Committee that reviews all eligible every year and make some informed decisions. Don't base it on "eras" and such. Just take those who were overlooked by the writers(and those outside of the voting realm, like owners and other influential types) and vote on them. This is rocket science.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Most Overrated Music Acts

I have to post a link to this list of supposedly "most overrated" musical artists of all-time. All subjective, of course, but I have a problem with people who post without giving away their true identity. Look for me on various discussion boards and you'll see me - "Rob Adams" - every time.

So have a peek at what "Coach" had to say on the Next Music Blog. Here is his list:
10) Dave Matthews Band. Whatever, Coach. By the way, everyone I talk to says they're great live.
9) Billy Joel. You couldn't be more wrong. I've seen him at least three times live. Great energy, great songs.
8) Bruce Springsteen. Dumb. Just utterly dumb. Cheesy music? Hmmm..."Born to Run", "Thunder Road", "Jungleland", "Hungry Heart", "The Rising", "Tunnel of Love", and on. And on. And on. And still the single most powerful, ass-kicking show I've ever been to. U2 can't touch it. Hell, McCartney can't touch it. Probably not even worth my typing, but I did it anyway.
7) Fleetwood Mac. Oh sure. Overrated. Rumours is just purely one of the most popular albums ever. It helped define the sound of the 70's.
6) Aerosmith. Not sure I totally disagree, in that I've heard way too much of "Dream On" for my taste, and a lot of their post, say, 1990 work has been borderline pop crap.
5) Green Day. Defined the modern punk movement. Do I love them? Not really, but I thought American Idiot was a brilliant album.
4) Counting Crows. OK, I'm now down with "Coach." Painfully whiny.
3) Journey. Nope. "Don't Stop Believing" was a good song to me when it first came out, long before "Glee" and "The Sopranos."
2) Kiss. Yeah, I have to agree. Sure, I can get my thing on with "Rock and Roll All Night" but effects at a show and costumes just don't do it for me. If I want effects, I'll go see Pink Floyd.
1) Bon Jovi. Some of their music is good. I can still really enjoy "Runaway", for instance. But overall, most everything post-Slippery When Wet is just not that good. Women like them because they're easy on the eye. Not the best reason to like a band if you ask me.

So who would make my list?
- Kiss
- Counting Crows
- Bon Jovi

They all come over from "Coach's" list. There was a time when U2 would have been there but not now. Who else?

- Red Hot Chili Peppers. Oooh...wear a sock on your thing. How original!
- Guns n Roses (yep. Sorry. I like "Welcome to the Jungle" but otherwise I just never got it. I think they hit at the wrong time for me.)
- Nickelback. Dear. God. Make. It. Stop. Now. Please?
- The Grateful Dead. Overall, I think it was all about being stoned. Which I've never been.
- John Mellancamp. For the love of God.

OK, that's eight. I'm still tempted to put U2 on here, even though I own most of their stuff. I might also do the same with Nirvana but again, I like them. The problem is that I have two spots left and there are countless acts that I could throw in (The Killers?). So I'll stop here and welcome more suggestions.

Give me time and we'll have an addendum to this!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Night in NYC (and How Does Paul McCartney Work His Way into This?)

The other night I took Sean and my mom into New York City. It was Carrie's last night in town before she left for Denver on business (and a chance to reconsider exactly what the bloody hell she is doing with me...just kidding).

On the other hand, she was turning me loose! But then again I had Sean with me the entire yeah. That.


If you weren't around NYC last week, then you probably don't know it was hot. Brutally hot. Probably not the best night to drag the two of them onto an overcrowded Metro North train out of Greenwich, then to the six train to 23rd St. OK, I didn't exactly drag them. As we stepped back into the light at 23rd and Park, the air seemed OK to walk in. Mom was game to try to walk, and so we did...s-l-o-w-l-y. Carrie met us at 3rd Ave and continued at a snails pace (with a stop in the air conditioning of CVS) to regroup. A few minutes later we were at Moe's, the fabulous fast food Mexican joint (or TexMex, or Southwestern...your mileage may vary).

Dinner was good, conversation was fine, and we opted for the bus to get us back to the subway. Carrie and I spent a few moments by ourselves (ah, good ol' Mom thinking there) and she was gone soon after. It seemed like a blur. Mom and Sean went into Madison Square Park, and Sean found a playground in there to get his sweat on. Soon the three of us returned to the subway, for an N train to take us to the Times Square Shuttle, back to Grand Central Terminal, and on our way to Greenwich.

It was Friday in New York. Certainly better than the previous Friday, when I mowed the lawn. Oh baby - can't get more exciting than that! Avoiding heat stroke! YEEEE HAH!


Anyway, it was Friday in New York, and this time it included an eight year-old and his grandmother. Yet in that, taking them out of their natural surroundings of the suburbs, I could watch their reactions to the big city. My mom is old school. You know the type - girls shouldn't show everything the way they do today. Now don't get me wrong, she's not a prude necessarily. Still watching the Friday night girls in their "going out" clothes (aka "clubbing"), I knew there would be a reaction.


Sean was oblivious to all of this, of course, instead rambling on about the joys of public transportation. Mom, on the other hand, just shook her head and commented on the women who "give it all away." I'll grant you, and her - there was one lass walking in front of me in the Times Square station with a ridiculously short skirt on and heels that had to be five inches - easily! I couldn't help but wonder how she was walking.

(Do I like this? Let me put it this way: I like a little tantalizing. I like a stylish woman and such. I like the tease. Short skirt, perhaps a touch above the knee? All for it. Yet there comes a point where it goes over the top and heads towards trouble. This was trouble.)

I promised Mom a blog post would come of it. I hope it makes her, and Carrie, for that matter, proud to know that at the end of the day, I'm still something of a gentleman. Oh I'm still a guy, but there are limits.

Oh, Paul McCartney, you say? Well while sitting in Moe's, one of the worst pieces of music to ever come from Macca's lips, "The Girl is Mine" came on the Muzak (or whatever). Thankfully, I can't blame the writing on Sir Paul; his duet partner Michael Jackson wrote this thing. I remember mocking the spoken verse portion with friends at Mahopac Junior High. Ugh.

This was a low point in Sir Paul's post-Beatles career. Around the same time, Jackson and Macca wrote and recorded "Say Say Say", which had a more tolerable beat but isn't a lot better on the whole.

And please don't get me started on "Ebony and Ivory", Paul's dreadful duet with Stevie Wonder. Stevie! Paging Stevie. Can we get some "Superstition?" "Boogie on Reggae Woman?" "Living in the City?" The late 60's Motown brilliance? Please no "I Just Called to Say I Love You." Please? Find your groove again, dear friend.

McCartney has made plenty of fine solo work ("Live and Let Die", "Jet", "Maybe I'm Amazed") but this was just a terrible stretch of his career. And there, right there in the middle of Moe's on 1st Ave in the greatest city in the world (Ron Burgundy's San Diago a worth contender of course, and I hope to find out for myself in near time), I found myself wondering if I could hold down my Joey Bag of Donuts (it's a burrito). Heading towards a week later, that song, that dog gone terrible song, is still in my head. Sending me spiraling towards a painful end.

There must be a solution. Please help. Fast.

Quicky Links

Joe Posnanski answered the question that I have asked: should George Steinbrenner be inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame?

Answer: yes.


Since I'm posting a few quick links, have a read from the Times (while you still can). Two members of the Brooklyn Cyclones have diabetes and must monitor their insulin. Fascinating.

By the way, I really don't know when - or IF - I'll call another Renegades game. I'm a little down about it, to say the least. That is all.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

So Bill Lee is Still Batspit Crazy

Bill Lee is a jackass. I can't make it any clearer than that. It was super uber easy to despise him back in the 70's - much easier than Pudge Fisk, Yaz, Luis Tiant and others who played the game right. You could at least respect them.

Former Yankee Graig Nettles still can't stand Lee, nicknamed "Spaceman." Read this article and you can understand why Lee is a fairly despicable dude.

I'm going to resume watching Old Timers' Day in The Bronx now, where the Yankees are acting with their usual grace and class. Kudos to the Red Sox organization for showing class as well. I wish they could teach Lee to have some.

Friday, July 16, 2010

If You Haven't Seen This (With VIDEO)

About the only good thing about The ESPY's, so I'm told.

Exit 55 on the Ramp

NJ-Exit 55 on I287 N 2008-0323

Last weekend, I noticed that I had been challenged in a post by Chuck Costello, and rightly so.  It is true that I haven't written as much here as I have in the past.  A combination of diverging life-forces have had a lot to do with it.  I’ve been busy and occasionally uninspired.  Plus I often assume “Exit 55” doesn’t have such a wide audience, so no one will be troubled if I disappear.  Thanks to Chuck for the reminder.

Earlier this week, even after seeing what Chuck wrote, I considered shutting down, or just taking a break.

I could explain why but I think it is best to simply move on.  Folks who have read the bloggy since 2006 know the ups and downs.  Yet 2010 has been solid.  Slow out of the gate, but just improving constantly.  That being said, I occasionally hit a wall.  Sometimes it’s a roadblock and we move on.  Other times, it’s the Great Wall of China.

It happens, and I shouldn’t be judged by it.  There’s still a lot of work to do.  Work.  Yeah.  That.  Making money.  But also doing right by Sean.  Being a good dad.  A good son.  A good boyfriend.  A good friend.  Having a great relationship without screwing it up.  Not making old mistakes.  You understand and probably go through some of the same.

In short, I need to remember that, doggone it, I’m OK.  There's a reason you’ve chosen to hang around me, and that Carrie hasn’t dumped me in the Gowanus Canal.  I don’t have to be so freaking hard on myself.

Remember, this is a fresh start!  Rob V2.0!  Though to be fair, it’s probably version 2.5 or so by now!

I used a Beatles song quote on Facebook yesterday (it always comes back to them, doesn’t it?).  From the song “Getting Better” (from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, not my fave Fab album):

I've got to admit it's getting better
A little better all the time
I have to admit its getting better
It's getting better
Since you've been mine

And it is.  I just hit a construction zone.  A little delay in traffic.  No need to take the off ramp.

We keep moving forward.

Friday Linky Dinks

Earlier this week we passed the 25th anniversary of "Live Aid." Do you remember where you were or where you watched it? I saw some of the early moments, then headed off to Yankee Stadium for Old Timers' Day.

I mean, really. Yankee Stadium or a Huey Lewis-less "Live Aid?" The choice was easy for our 16 year-old blogger-to-be in 1985.

Sill I was all over it later. Watched on TV. Listened on radio. Recorded some to cassette (the tape has since snapped). I've seen the legendary performances of Queen and U2 (and was more blown away by Freddie Mercury and co). I enjoyed it all.

Steve Spears writes his memories on Stuck in the 80's and the St. Petersburg Times.

I wish to dispute one thing that Spearsy said in the Times article. He cited Bob Dylan as a "loser"...
by complaining on stage in Philadelphia that some of the proceeds should go to American farmers instead. His remark inspired the creation of the annual Farm Aid concerts.
Exactly. That was some of why Mr. Lewis and The News didn't play as well, and some of what a lot of people were thinking in 1985.

Harvey Pekar has died (thanks, Don't know who Harvey is? Well I'm not a comic book reader, but Mr. Pekar's life was done up Hollywood style in the movie American Splendor. A brilliant movie indeed. Farewell, Harvey.

The third installment of Breakfast and Baseball took us Tim, Jason and I (with new partner-in-waffles Carrie) to Scranton. Had we gone to Reading again, it would have meant Crazy Hot Dog Vendor silliness. Benjamin Hill explains, and includes photos of what makes Reading one of the best experiences in all of baseball.

I have to do a write-up of the Scranton experience.

WNEW's blog broke down some of the differences in the various versions of The Beatles' albums (and CD's). Always confusing.

Deadspin had a man on the scene to describe what Greenwich was like for LeBron-a-Thon. Pretty spot-on take, and I like the fact that he mentioned "radio people" towards the end. I didn't see any other radio types, so I'll just assume he meant me.

More Stuck in the 80's (those guys are good). They chose Tom Hanks' 25 best quotes from the 80's. I could quarrel (I mean, no "I get to be on top!" from Big?) but it's their blog.

I think that is enough for now. Don't know if I'll make it to either show, but friends are playing in the New York area this weekend. Mr. Jon Field, Jeff Terranova and company are reuniting the legendary hardcore band Up Front for a show this Saturday in New York, supporting the book Everybody's Scene (about the legendary club the Anthrax, that even a young, preppy Rob Adams visited). Some of the details are:

Location: Mercury Lounge – 217 East Houston Street, NYC
This is a 21 and over show (sorry…)

Door open at 6:00pm
LOUD YOUTH (featuring the son of CT’s own Jeff R. - R.I.P.) 6:30-7:00

ED GEIN’S CAR (after a 20 year hiatus) 7:15-7:45

OUR GANG ADDED!!!!! Stuffed in between Ed Gein's Car and UP Front

UP FRONT (with jumping frontman Roger on vocals!) 8:00-8:45

and after 25 years since being on a stage together; with all original members including Moby, the return of:


$13 advance purchased tickets and $15 day of show.
NO service charge tickets will be available at the Mercury Lounge box office Monday-Friday; Noon-6:00pm or available online at

Word is tickets are gone, and I might not make it due to that whole 21 and over only thing, since I have the eight year-old this weekend and I haven't seen a lot of him recently. I'm mightily disappointed, since I haven't seen Jeff in several years, and Jon in over a year. Kick ass, guys!

Also playing Saturday night are Scott Wilson, John Stinson and the gang of Cynical Junkies. They'll be at Richy's Puc (The old End Zone) in Putnam Valley, NY. Go get your metal on!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Star Wars (Episode 4, A New Hope, Blah Blah Blah) on the 6 Train

When I head into New York to see Carrie (aka, "The Girlfriend") via train, I get my engine on via Metro North (most frequently out of Greenwich). Then I jump on a downtown train (Tom Waits reference, not the painful Rod Stewart dreck). If I need a local, it's the 6 train, normally to 23rd Street.

That's where some randy fun folks decided to stage the opening of Star Wars (yes, I mean Episode 4). Carrie is nowhere to be found, though she would look awfully cute as Princess Leia.

And yes, I mean this Pricess Leia. Not going to get myself in trouble with references to the "Slave Girl" look of Episode 6. No, no, no. I find enough other ways to get myself in trouble, thank you very much indeed!

Your link is here, dear reader.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

George Steinbrenner (1930-2010)

Sad news just breaking. Multiple reports indicate that George M Steinbrenner III died this morning of a massive heart attack at the age of 80.

George's legacy is complex to say the least. The good were the 11 American League titles (1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2009) and seven World Championships (77, 78, 96, 98, 99, 00, 09). The bad were plentiful as well - Howie Spira and Dave Winfield, the battles with Reggie and Billy. The firings - Billy, Bob Lemon, Dick Howser, and on and on. He was brutal on his staff.

Yet he was amazingly charitable and decent. And those who hated him came back - every time. Billy, Gossage, Nettles, Winfield. Even Yogi Berra.

He was a brilliant businessman. He was parodied on Seinfeld. He hosted Saturday Night Live. He was suspended by baseball. Fans loved him and hated him - all at once.

He wanted to win. We loved that most of all.

So today, Yankees Universe has a heavy heart. First the beloved public address announcer Bob Sheppard. Now The Boss.

Old Timers Day will have a rather somber tone to it.

Memo to Cooperstown: prep a plaque. He deserves one.

Let's have some laughs with George. First with Billy Martin.

And here is with Derek Jeter. Classic.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Farewell, Mr. Sheppard

The world lost Bob Sheppard today. Sadly, the Voice of Yankee Stadium never worked in the new building, but he graced the grand old ballpark with his presence from 1951 to 2007.

It's so pithy, but Heaven might just have a new voice. Rest in peace, sir.

From ESPN.

The tribute that the Yankees paid him in 2000

Friday, July 09, 2010

What Does Last Night Say About Sports?

Hat tip to Kenn Tomasch for this excellent post by Will Leitch in New York Magazine.

There are days when I wonder if it is worth it. I mean, I love sports and that has never been in doubt but when I talk about it, I tend to speak glowingly of the past. There's no question I should have been born around say, 1910, so that I would be nine or 10 when The Babe came to New York, and a teenager for the Yankees' first title.

Still let's not get off-point here. I'm old-school, and that's never been denied. It's what I see today that bothers me. I can't stand the antics of Chad Whatshisname, the Lebron-a-thon, and fan behavior. I don't like many in the sports media. I might shove a vuvuzela up someone's righteous ass if I have to hear it again. I considered doing so last night in Greenwich.

I'm tired of hearing people whine about salary caps, and competitive balance. Funny, nobody complains when it's the Rays and Phillies in the World Series, but get the Yankees a title (and Cliff Lee might be on the way today) and the bitching begins.

I can't stand the phony fans who just began supporting a team or sport and go to their dumb-ass parade. Nothing screams "FRONT-RUNNER!" any louder (not to say some loyal fans don't go). These are the fans who give Tim Parry more reasons to write angry things about them (especially Yankees fans). These are the fans who decide they have no social life, so they begin to embrace a sport because it gives them something to have in common with their "buds", and further gives them just cause to go the ol' blarney stone and get hammered. You know, because alcohol is the great common bond! Just gives the stereotypes more reason to exist.

They rattle off players' names (with pitch-perfect accents) to make them sound like they have a clue when, in reality, they don't know a four-seam fastball from a penalty kick. They wouldn't know the difference between offsides in hockey and offsides in football...or futbol!

It's them, and nights like the one previous, when I wonder if we've jumped the shark, and the shark is pulling me along. The reality, of course, is that nothing will change. Heat tickets are already gone for 2010-2011, as a small example.

Most of all, we all hate the greed. I don't begrudge LeBron James for wanting to make all he can, I guess, but I will criticize him and ESPN for their shameless sham of a broadcast. I'll criticize James for dumping his so-called beloved city of Cleveland.

This will pass, but the thought will linger. There are as many sports fans as there are critics.

Today, the critics look correct.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

By The Way, Cleveland Isn't Happy

Have a read. These are the words of Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

He is not a happy man. This will be fun to watch, from a distance. The NBA took a hit tonight. So did ESPN.

I would still pick the NBA and basketball over most other sports, but still, this was not pretty.

Again, I need a shower.

It's Over, and That's That

(Mandatory Photo Credit to Bob Luckey, Greenwich Time, because I don't want the photo gremlins coming after me)

Look closely at that picture. Closer...just to the left of the photographer in the shot. The guy leaning his mouth on his hand with the shiny object around his wrist (it's a watch). Yeah, that's me.

I feel dirty.  It's more than just the sweat from the walk to the Boys and Girls Club, or the humidity.  It is from the spectacle tonight in Greenwich.

It was fun to be a part of but it didn't seem necessary. I mean, why Greenwich? Still nobody has answered that, with the exception of the simple "wedding in NYC story" that I have heard.

I did my best with what I was given. Shoddy equipment, a cell phone, an intern who worked hard and had lots of questions. When my interviews disappeared, I improvised into play-by-play. It beat a lot of other things in sports I could cover or watch, and I'll avoid the urge to put others down.

On Twitter, I can't say I was all that pleased either. I read a couple of comments on "blacks in Greenwich." Please. I know Greenwich a lot better than those who wrote that do. I'm not going to tell you that Greenwich is a huge melting pot, but I thought the comments were pithy. Easy shots. Like the ones I could have taken in the previous paragraph.

Paul Silverfarb and Ken Borsuk of the Greenwich Post, Dave Fierro of the Greenwich Time, Nick Fox, WGCH intern Matt Byrne and I watched. We laughed. We reported. We did our jobs. We grumbled that only ONE local reporter got in (Neil Vigdor).

None of us left surprised. Paul and Ken were nice enough to give me a ride back to the station.

I recorded my story to run tomorrow. Now I'm going home, feeling a little less enthusiastic about my sports world.

Enjoy Miami, LeBron. Greenwich was ready for its closeup tonight.

LeBron Insanity! (aka "LeBronity)

The LeBron sweepstakes comes to a close tonight in Greenwich, CT. Yes, THAT Greenwich, CT. Home of the Cardinals. Home of "The Press Box." Home of WGCH.

Yep. Me.

I'll be there tonight, outside of the Boys and Girls Club, trying to stay sane. If all goes according to plan, WGCH will begin it's live coverage beginning at 9:00 PM. From there, we'll see what happens.

Where there's smoke, there is fire. The smoke says that LeBron is going to Miami.

I've already heard whispers of people who are annoyed by it, or tired of it, or just not interested. I'd still rather watch and/or cover this, then some other things I can think of. Is it a farce? Yes, but it's an All-American one!

Listen live.

Linky Dinks!

Here we go, while the world waits...

See? We cover soccer here. Especially when the Brits hold a poll that decided Wayne Rooney is world's ugliest player (via Deadspin). And by "ugly", we mean, physically. I would also say he, um, sucked. And by "sucked" I mean on the pitch. Then again, so did "LEO-nell" Messi.

Happy birthday, Ringo! Day-um...I should have bought tickets, though I might have fainted when Sir Paul appeared.

I wasn't the only one who wished Huey Lewis a happy 60th birthday. Stuck in the 80's did so also.

Speaking of our guy Huey, he appeared in a little ol' film called Back to the Future. It is now 25 years old, and Stuck in the 80's looks back at it.

And with that, I return to obsessing about LeBron.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Is There Anybody ALIVE Out There?

Here we are - early July. Ugh. It's a blazing 103 degrees in NYC and the metro area.

Is it August yet? I'm serious, this freaking month can't get over fast enough for me.

Sports is boring me. In fact, is anything being played? I hear some talk of a basketball player and his made-for-TV contract signing. Again, ugh.

Baseball? All-Star games and such. Pennant races will heat up in August. I still haven't been to a Yankees game - the longest I've gone since 1997, I think. Maybe even longer. At this point, I doubt I'm going to one.


Right now, I'll take the minor leagues. I'm likely going to Scranton on Sunday for another edition of "Breakfast and Baseball." Nothing like some Waffle House and the true National Pastime! I don't even know when my next Renegades broadcast is.

Anything else going on? Some big event somewhere, I'm sure.

Come on, name me the players who played the long match at Wimbledon!? I enjoy tennis, and can name the players in question, but that's part of the gig. At this point, most Americans have forgotten that and other recent events and have re-focused on "Dancing With the Stars" or some other drivel.

Rugby, maybe? Australian Rules football? Can it be DVR'd? I like to catch some sleep and, believe it or not, I have a life! But hey, with the proper fans around me, and maybe a team to give a whack about, maybe. Just maybe.

Believe it or not, alcohol does NOT cure all woes. Annoying sports and fans are still annoying with drinks. Maybe even MORE annoying.

Perhaps, dare I say...WRESTLING? Um. Let me think it about it no. I leave that to Mr. Sean Kilkelly, who actually makes it legitimate entertainment and less about meatheaded behavior. Thankfully he calls it as he sees it.

I'm getting ready for the playoff chase in baseball. I'm ready for the NFL (no, not training camp, and the Favre watch, and godawful preseason games). Have to admit, I have no idea what the Steelers will be like. I'm ready for high school football (albeit without the FCIAC Football Blog, but maybe Mr. Parry will come post some things here - just putting it out there).

Oh, and we have to give some thought to the future of the Bill Gonillo Five. I'm intrigued but don't know if I have the time to do it. It's a thought though.

That's enough for now, I suppose. I have a show to do. You might have heard of it - "The Press Box", live across the country and around the world at 2:00 Eastern every day on the Lifestyle Talk Radio Network.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Happy 60th, Huey!


(Photo by Paul Idleman.  Via this link.)

Happy 60th birthday to our favorite singer around these parts, Mr. Hugh Anthony Cregg III.  We know him as Huey Lewis.  To most of us, he’s just Huey.

Happy birthday to an old friend we’ve met only once, and even then, was merely a hand shake and hello.  All the best.

And now, a new album please (which is coming soon)?

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Things That Bother Me: New Yankee Stadium Division


We all know the image, but in case you don’t, that’s Don Larsen, authoring his 97th and final pitch of his perfect game on October 8, 1956 at Yankee Stadium.  When the gods of greed decreed that the old Stadium (where this moment took place) didn’t have enough luxury boxes, they said they would build a new palace, reminiscent of the old Stadium (before the 1974-75 remodeling).  Among the improvements would be a recreation of the scoreboard in this picture.

I saw the picture below a few minutes ago, and it reminded me of the failures of the new Stadium.

image Folks, you tell me.  Is that even CLOSE to the scoreboard in the old Stadium?  There are more things that I don’t like about it, but I think the point has been made.

This is probably a nit-pick to you.  Yet to me, it’s just another sign of failure in a largely great building that is just not the beloved House That Ruth Built.  And every time I drive the Deegan (I-87) Expressway past the empty plot, my blood quietly boils.  And as I hear the community activists (which automatically makes me dislike them) whine about the lack of space, that rage intensifies.  I hope these “activists” are prepared to be the guardians of this much-needed park space.  I hop they’re out there in force every time a broken bottle is left on this new space.  I hope they have paint ready to cover the graffiti. 

Oh, today is George Steinbrenner’s birthday.  Happy 80th birthday to the Boss of Baseball (Springsteen’s The Boss, of course).

What, W00T?


This morning, I was writing a typical status update on Facebook, about my enjoyment of July 3rd, and how I was looking forward to today (oh, Happy Birthday, US of A, you big lug ya).

Anywho, I got to the end of my usually pithy commentary when I decided to write, “I feel I must offer a WOOT!  Seems appropriate.”

In hindsight, though, it seems lame.  Why do we say such “stoopid” things?

Apparently, this is why.

I mean, Tag Team (pictured above)?  Really?  Is this exactly how pathetic we have become?

Whatever the deal, it seems pretty, well, dumb.  I’m all for slang (being the home office for the creation of “Heysooz Cristo”, the polite way of saying “Josh, er, Jesus Christ”) but sometimes I wonder if we’ve just sunk so low that we can’t get any lower.

Yet like with most other things, one must decide if they wish to remain an outcast (often works well for me) or act as when in Rome (LOL?  Anyone?)


Don’t give this too much thought.  Go grab some burgers and dogs, watch some baseball, drive your Chevy, hug your kids, and watch some fireworks, all the while contemplating how we live in such a great country.  This, of course, could lead me to two separate rants:

1) About phony, flag-waving, showy Americans, who jump on the old bandwagon when patriotism seems to be the thing to do (you know them – you see them everywhere), and

2) The selling-out of Macy’s, with their cheesy made-for-TV 4th of July show and their even cheesier Thanksgiving Day Parade.  It’s only because a very good friend (though we’ve never actually MET) works for them that I will withhold.  Oh, and occasionally there’s a good bargain to be found.  But I didn’t like the way Macy’s and their parent company took away the local flavor of the regional chain names.

All rants for other days.  Happy 4th of July.

Gotta run, back to “Breakfast at Wimbledon.”

Friday, July 02, 2010

Dedicated to The Big Apple


(Photo courtesy of New York Portraits)

With all of the traveling to and from New York City, I feel like it’s time to put a playlist together!  Something to keep me company on the train or in the car.  Of course, I’m happy to receive any assistance from you – the loyal readers.

Now, there really are no hard and fast rules here.  The song can simply name check New York, such as this little ditty:

“New York, New York isn’t everything they say, and no place I’d rather be.  Where else can you do a half-a-million things, all at a quarter to three?”

Of course, they can be the obvious song choices:

- Frank Sinatra, “New York New York”

- Billy Joel, “New York State of Mind”

- Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind”

But it can also simply be a band that evokes the spirit of New York (The Ramones), or mention the boroughs or sites (obviously, Brooklyn gets special attention).  Or a mention of sports teams is also fair game (“they sent the carrier out from Norfolk, to pick the Yankees up for free” – Billy Joel, “Miami 2017”).  Also, they don’t have to be all upbeat and happy (LCD Soundsystems’ “New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down” is a stunning example).

In short, I’ll take all suggestions and the final choices are those solely of the judge (me), since I’m the one who will be listening to it.

That being said, Carrie can have a say, since she might also want a copy of the list.

So have at it.  If the list isn’t too long and crazy, I’ll put it here on the Blogel (with cream cheese).

The Story of the Yankees’ Famous Interlocking N-Y

1252If you are a baseball historian, I highly recommend heading over to Tom Shiebers’ Baseball Researcher blog.  I recently discovered this amazing article about the genesis of arguably sports most-famous logo, the N-Y of the New York Yankees.  I knew that Tiffany’s and the New York Police Department were involved, but this goes more in-depth.  Interesting stuff.

100 Greatest Movie Insults (With VIDEO)

Courtesy of John Aita (via Facebook), please spare yourself 9:59 (and either listen under headphones or someplace where nobody else can hear it) to laugh out loud at these great movie insults.

I’m warning you again – there is some mighty spicy language in this collection.

We can “Rule 55” this bad boy, just because.

Otherwise, watch and laugh.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Some Links and Some Dinks

Happy July, if that’s your thing.

I didn’t watch or listen to the goal heard ‘round Brooklyn or America, or whatever, and with the loss to Ghana, it’s now largely – sorry – moot.  That said, I listened to the Ghana/US match on radio while stuck in unending traffic on the Belt and Southern State Parkways.  It was lively.  I was even willing to pass up crabbing with friends to watch the second half.

Incidentally when what’s-his-name (now famous for being a baby daddy and his confusing marriage) scored, I was sitting in my car, reading.  I kid you not.

Nick Angotto, Matt Hamilton, and Ryan DeMaria sent me texts to keep me updated.

It would have been too easy for me to post every anti-soccer/World Cup article, so I haven’t done it.  Like I said, I have cared about it, and enjoyed some of it as well, but it would never be high on my list of priorities.

For a point of interest, please understand that very few sporting events are actually that high on my list of priorities.  If the choice was between time with Carrie or Sean and a ballgame (be it Steelers or Yankees), then a compromise is struck, or I don’t watch the game.  That’s the way I am.  I love sports, but my family, friends, and loved ones come first.  So does work and life.

Anyway, since this is a Linky Dinks entry, please read Brian Lowry at Fox Sports.  Your mileage, of course, may vary.

JoePo comes our way with some great reading about the legendary Bob Gibson.  Funny thing is, Gibson doesn’t think he is as intimidating as the rest of us do.

I’ll just go ahead and say it: I like Erin Andrews.  Not because of her looks, but I think she is a decent reporter, who seemed to get the whole frat boys are in love with her thing.  I defended her for going on “Dancing With The Stars” (although MAKE me watch it), and generally supported her throughout everything.  It seems like she is going to stay at ESPN or ABC, and maybe she will dabble in both sports and entertainment.  Good for her, I suppose (thanks, National Sports Journalism Center)

Fang’s Bites has loaded up some videos in a new series called “Best Baseball Announcers.”  Guess who is first?  Uh huh.  Mr. Scully.  I can almost hear him every time I drive into Brooklyn.  Almost makes me not hate the Dodgers.  Almost.

Actually, I don’t have the zest for hating the Dodgers that I used to have.  Oh, how I hated them, and that would have been tripled if they were still in Brooklyn.  I used to hate the Reds also (1976 was not good).  It’s all passed, plus I like Mr. Torre, so my dislike of LA has subsided.

Hmmm…Chris Erway is a Dodgers fan.  Maybe I should rethink this.

That’s all I have for this morning.