Archive for April, 2007

Hurry Up and Wait

Posted by rich on 29th April 2007

I was told that I’d have to leave early for the airport because apparently a tanker hit the Bay Bridge, which is between Oakland and San Fran, and lanes were supposed to be closed, traffic was supposed to be ridiculous, cats were sleeping with dogs … end of the world type of stuff. Since I had to drop off my rental car, I left the hotel at 5:30 PM.

My flight leaves at 10:30 PM.

Oh yeah, about that traffic, it was nonexistent. It took me a grand total of a half-hour to get to the rental place. I was completely through check-in and security by 6:40, which is just short of four hours before my flight goes airborne. So, since I have a little time to kill, I figured I’d run through another exciting day on the Left Coast.

** Went to the McAfee Coliseum today to see the Oakland-Tampa game. It couldn’t have worked out any better. Took a trolley to the BART (think Boston’s T, only way faster and cleaner) and got out right in front of the stadium. Just after going through the BART turnstyle I ran into a friendly neighborhood scalper who just happened to have one ticket available in the lower bowl. “It’s pretty close to the field, you’ll like it.”

Like it? I loved it. I walked into the Coliseum to find that I was 19 rows from the field, just to the right of the screen and directly behind the Tampa dugout. That ticket would have cost me somewhere in the $300-500 range outside of Fenway, but I got it for $50.

It gets better. Not only did I have great seats, but i did something that every baseball fan dreams of doing … I caught a foul ball. That’s right, in the first inning I caught the game’s first foul ball, a little floater off the batter’s lumber that softly fell through the hands of one fan and ended up in mine. I still haven’t gotten the smile off of my face.

The game itself was pretty good. Tampa hit three homers, and won 5-3. Rhode Island’s Rocco Baldelli played pretty well. It was a great time.

** I woke up this morning to a voice message from my uncle Steve, who had to know that when he called me at 10 AM EST that I’d still be sleeping on the west coast. He didn’t care, he was so excited to tell me that Randy Moss had been signed by the Patriots. Unfortunately I didn’t get the news from him first, though. While I was brushing my teeth and picking out my clothes I happened to see on the ESPN scroll: Patriots trade 4th Rd pick to Oakland for WR Randy Moss.

“What was that???” I said.

Now I understand that Moss has been a general pain in the posterior in both Oakland and Minnesota before that, but this is a great move by the Pats front office. The 110th overall pick could have brought a stud, but more often than not it just brings an average (at best) football player, the type of guy that doesn’t last in the league all that long and doesn’t make a big name for himself.

Moss on the other hand is a proven commodity. When he’s motivated, and healthy, he’s the best wide receiver in football. I believe that he will be motivated to show that he’s not such a bad guy and that he’s been “misunderstood” the past couple of years.

Whatever the case, the Patriots know how to take questionable guys and turn them around. Rodney Harrison and Richard Seymour and Tom Brady aren’t about to allow anyone come to town and turn the business-like Pats into a sideshow. If he doesn’t get with the program, he’ll be gone, end of story. It’s the best kind of move for New England, low risk, high reward.

With Moss, Dontae Stallworth, Wes Welker, Troy Brown and Reche Caldwell as your WR group, you have to like your chances. And don’t forget Ben Watson at tight end. The Pats looked like they would be good heading into this season, now they look like they could be downright electric.

*** Before I got the airport I decided to try something that Californians swear by as being one of the best foods on the planet — In N’ Out Burger. It certainly wasn’t an In N’ Out experience, because I happened to pull into the one that was right across the street from the Oracle Center, where the Golden State Warriors are currently playing a playoff game against Dallas (DAL 21, GS 13 1Q). So it was me, about 150 Warriors fans and the Cal-Berkley field hockey team waiting for our burgers.

Were they worth the wait? Absolutely. Actually when you consider the amount of people that were in the building at the time, waiting 15 minutes wasn’t so bad. The burgers were very good. Anyone that thinks BK or McD’s is superior to these certainly needs his or her head examined. I would go as far as say that they were the best fast food burgers that I’ve ever had. T-A-S-T-Y.

That’s all for now. I’m going to try to watch some basketball and maybe win a few dollars playing on-line poker while I wait for departure time. We’re just under three hours at this point.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

AT&T Park

Posted by rich on 28th April 2007

Okay, as promised, here are the images from AT&T. As you can see, I enjoyed myself quite a bit.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

If this had been Mr. Bonds’ record-setting homer, let’s just say I wouldn’t be handing it back to Barry. We’ll start the bidding at $1 million please.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This was the view I was greeted with when I walked up. It’s beautiful. I’d love to be able to watch a ball splash down there into McCovey Cove someday. So far, over the eight years the park has been open, a grand total of 42 have been hit into the cove on the fly by the Giants. Mr. Roids has hit 34 of those.

They’re having the All-Star game here this year, something they’re very excited about in the Bay area. I bought a hat to commemorate the occasion. Glad I could do my part.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

From field level. It has a much more open feel than Fenway, that’s for sure. I don’t care who you are, it always feels neat to stand on the field in a big league park and take this picture. That alone makes it worth the $10 admission price.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Other than the cove, the Coke bottle and the big glove are the most recognizable things here at AT&T. The tour didn’t go out there, unfortunately. There are four slides inside the Coke bottle and the glove is a replica of a 1952 model. If anyone hits a home run that lands in the glove one lucky fan will take home a million bucks. Good luck with that, the guide told us it is 518 feet on the fly to do it.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This would look much cooler if the place was filled to capacity, but not bad for the angle I had and the time to set up the shot. Man, I love baseball parks.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The last three pics are of the statues outside the stadium. They’re all very lifelike and the add to the overall feel of the place. The names, obviously, are on the statues.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Jet Lag Is No Joke

Posted by rich on 28th April 2007

The headline says it all. The only time I’ve ever been west of the Mississippi before this weekend was a trip to Hawaii with my family when I was a freshman in high school. That trip was so long and far that I don’t think the jet lag ever really hit me or my brother, but I’m sure that it hurt my parents something fierce. I didn’t full understand it until right now.

You see, as I write this, it is just past midnight on Friday night/Saturday morning. At home, it’s after 3 AM. I consider myself a night owl, but right now I’m so messed up that I’m not even that tired, and I didn’t sleep that well at all after getting in yesterday. I was wicked, wicked beat around 8:30, which makes sense, because at home that was about bed time.

Here are my first impressions of this place 3,000-plus miles away from ordinary.

** I can’t drive well here. I’m staying in the Nob Hill area, which is famous for the streetcars and the steeeeeeeep hills. You can barely notice the street lights and when you’re going downhill it’s difficult to stop in time, so you’re really almost better off just tempting fate and hoping you make it through unscathed. I’m not even kidding I ran two red lights for sure today, I think I ran another one, but it might have just been a blinking one, and came within an inch of being sideswiped by a taxicab.

** It’s expensive, really expensive. I’ve seen gas prices well over $3.70 at some places. The norm seems to be about $3.40-50. I understand why so many people take public transportation around here. It’s too much money to commute.

** They really do love Barry Bonds here. I don’t get it, but they do. Such a pretty city, such nice people, and they’re all just pretending that their hero is worth rooting for.

** Sports talk radio is BORING. It’s bad enough having to listen to regular radio. I’ve been spoiled by my SIRIUS over the last 16 months and I adore satellite radio now, but still sometimes listen to WEEI for my Sox and Pats fixes. The hosts here are downright awful, especially the drive time guy, he sounded ready to take a nap during the middle of his shift, and the Giants are the hottest team in the National League right now.

** I love AT&T park (you might remember it as Pac-Bell). It’s beautiful. I took the tour this afternoon (I’ll be posting pictures as soon as I can figure out a way to download them. I remembered every piece equipment I could need, except a card reader). We got an especially cool tour guide, who was an old-time baseball fan (a 60-something retiree who just loves the game) and one of the other people on my tour was a fellow Red Sox fan, from Providence. We had a great time and it was the best $10 I’ve spent in this city.

** Jamba Juice is the best. If they opened one of these places at home I might even give up my coffee addiction and switch to juice, although a large Jamba is nearly twice what a venti cup at Starbucks goes for. Still, I know that my first stop tomorrow morning will be about two miles down California Avenue to the local Jamba Juice for another Strawberry Whirl.

** I’m planning on hitting the other ballpark in the area on Sunday. The A’s are hosting Tampa Bay at 1:05 and Scott Kazmir is pitching for the D-Rays, so it should be fun. I’m going to try to get seats in prime foul ball territory, which shouldn’t be too much of a problem since they don’t sell tickets that well out here and the Coliseum is H-U-G-E. I drove by it on my way here and it’s cavernous.

** Sunday’s trip to the ballgame will bring my pro ballpark total to 8. I’ve got Fenway, Yankee Stadium, Comerica (Detroit), PNC (Pittsburgh), Miller Park (Milwaukee), Camden Yards (Baltimore), AT&T (San Fran) and Oakland under my belt now. I really need to add Shea Stadium to the list one of these days because it’s not that far away. The one I most want to go to that I haven’t visited yet is probably Petco Park in San Diego. It just seems really cool. I’d also really like to see a game in St. Louis because those people love their baseball and I think it would be fun.

Hopefully I find a card reader sometime tomorrow so I can make a quick post of the pictures before I get back. I really should have made this a longer trip.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

36,000 feet

Posted by rich on 27th April 2007

The castaways are about to vote someone off the island, and I’m 32,000 feet above Pennsylvania (actually that’s a guess, but it’s as good a guess as I can come up with). Jet Blue is pretty cool so far. It’s nice to have a TV screen in front of me so I can watch Survivor through the first hour of the flight. Unfortunately there’s about five and a half left to go before touching down in Oakland.

Air travel is never easy, certainly, and it wasn’t as bad as I expected it would be (I haven’t flown for over a year and a half), but it’s still a pain. My first complaint is that they put a Starbucks right in front of the area that you have to go through for inspection. I couldn’t help myself and bought an Americano, thinking I could drink it while I waited for my departure. As soon as I got to the front of the line I was told I had to get rid of my scalding hot coffee (“you can drink it now before you enter, sir”). Isn’t that great, I can burn the heck out of my mouth before going in, and — like an idiot — I tried.

Wouldn’t you know it, I burnt the heck out of my mouth. About 10 minutes ago a little layer of the roof of my mouth peeled off. We’re not talking ER pain, or anything, but it wasn’t pleasant.

Then it was time to go through security, which went pretty well overall, but it was still inconvenient (a necessary one, I understand). Taking my laptop out of the bag is no big deal, and they didn’t make me go through every piece of photo equipment I have (which was a huge concern), but my belt buckle set off the security alarm. Of course I had to take it off, and send it through the scanner. While I was taking that off the security guy then asked me to run my sneakers through the scanner too. My sneakers? So I had to walk to the other end in my socks while holding my pants up. It was quite a sight.

Once I got through all of that, what did I run across? Of course, a Starbucks on the other side. I held off on another cup of Joe for a while, but the irony of the situation was high.

Also high was the price of the food. A chicken sandwich and two bottles of water, $12.50. Outside the airport, the same thing couldn’t cost more that seven or eight bucks. If you’ve got a captive audience I guess you have to gouge them for all they’re worth.

The joys of traveling …..

I learned about a half-hour into the flight that the window seat on the wing does not recline. Thanks FAA. I spent at least 15 minutes trying to figure out how to make my seat go back, and apparently it does not. I’m going to try to get some sleep later, but we’ll see.

—————

It’s not all bad, though. I just found the Red Sox-Orioles game on XM Radio. We’re in the top of the seventh and the Sox are down 2-1.

Speaking of the Sox, I woke up this morning to hear that there was a huge controversy regarding Curt Schilling’s bloody sock. Are you kidding me? Gary Thorne apparently told the ESPN audience Wednesday night that Doug Mirabelli told him that the sock had been painted red, and that it wasn’t really blood.

I remember that game very well. It was definitely bloody. I mean, I realize that Schilling is somewhat of a media whore, but I can’t believe that he would stoop to that level of shameless self promotion to put himself over as the biggest hero is Red Sox history. What he was doing was heroic and everyone understood that. He didn’t have to go further to make his point, and I don’t believe that he did. I think Gary Thorne got taken by an insider joke and took it as gospel. The guy’s been around too long to throw it out there as a story to get attention for himself. He knows better. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt, for now at least.

———————

On the family front, I’m under orders from my kids to bring home gifts from California. It was the only way that they would allow me out the front door. I promised my wife a T-shirt from San Fran because I got her one when I flew to Philly two Octobers ago. Actually I think I’m going to look for something a bit nicer, because exceeding expectations is always the right plan of action.

Rye wants a car, big surprise. If I had a dollar for every Matchbox or Hot Wheels car we have at the house I could probably buy him a real one, most likely pre-owned, but a real one nonetheless.

Leanna’s request was a bit more interesting. She wants a giraffe. A giraffe? Where am I going to find a giraffe? I’m hoping she’ll settle for a stuffed one, if I can find one. I don’t think they’d let me store a real one in the cargo hold, although Jet Blue does seem like a very cool airline (I am listening to the Sox game while I type this, remember).

I told her that a giraffe might be difficult to come by, but I might be able to find an elephant. Right now I’m planning on going to the Oakland A’s-Tampa Rays game on Sunday afternoon. The A’s mascot is an elephant that holds a baseball bat with his trunk, so I’m guessing I might be able to find one at the ballpark

Lost was great last night, one of the best of the year. It always seems to be very good when they focus on Desmond, and he played a big role.

I’m still up in the air on Juliette. I think she’ll end up siding with the castaways and make the right choice in the end, but she’s still reporting to Ben, for now at least. I echo her sentiments about him, I hate him too.

As for Sun, I believe that she’ll be okay in the end. The other pregnancies on the island were all planned by The Others, and I think The Island frowned on that. Sun’s pregnancy was not a planned-for-science one, and The Island should honor that. That’s my take on it, anyways.

————-

No links today because there is no wi-fi connection in the airplane and I haven’t done any surfing. I’m hoping to be able to upload some pictures of San Francisco while I’m out here if I can figure out a way to get my photos onto my laptop. I remembered every piece of equipment I could possibly need with the exception of one, a CF card reader. I might be able to pick up a cheap one at a camera store or something.

That’s all from me. The Rick James sketch is Chapelle’s Show right now.

Unity.

Oh, and for the record, according to an in-flight TV channel, we’re currently at 36,268 feet, traveling at 453 miles per hour and somewhere above Lake Erie approaching the Detroit area.

Next stop San Francisco, via Oakland.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Good Coaches

Posted by rich on 25th April 2007

Without the coaches my job certainly would be tougher. These underpaid teachers of sport put in countless hours in season and do all they can to make their teams as competitive as can be. I have been blessed here in Falmouth with a number of coaches that are not only competent, but good people to work with.

It was a breath of fresh air when I spoke with FHS baseball coach Tom Kelliher on Monday night as he told me of his team’s comeback win at D-Y. The last time I had seen TK he was not a happy man after watching his team play listlessly against Durfee during vacation week.

But the team rebounded when it faced off against the Dolphins and rallied to pull out a big victory. Kelliher’s happiness came through the phone as he told me of the win, which was led by a rookie in first game in a varsity uniform, who came through with three big hits.

I was saddened this morning to find out one of the coaches I work with closely was in the hospital. Craig D’Amario, who has led the FHS boys’ tennis team to back-to-back undefeated seasons, and will probably take them to a third, woke up in horrendous pain this morning and had to go to Falmouth Hospital. They believe he has kidney stones, which is quite painful, but luckily not that big a deal in the big picture of things.

Just yesterday I was shooting the breeze with Craig while his team practiced at FHS. He was apologetic for not getting me some information on Monday night because his team had stopped for dinner on the way home and they got back too late to make my deadline. “No big deal,” I said. “We’ll just double it up this week.” He then went back to smacking tennis balls with his team and then, after practice, did the same with some friends at the FHS courts. Let’s hope he’s back to doing that same thing again really soon.

Another coach that’s had a rough stretch recently is the big guy at FHS basketball, Paul Lundberg. Lundy injured his knee during the men’s league playoffs and is now in the midst of rehabbing that knee. Let’s hope he’s back on the courts soon, he is one of the best leaders of young men in the community and does a great job of matching up his fourth grade class at East Falmouth School with his varsity basketball players as pen pals each year. Those kids not only become mentors to the little ones, but they learn a lot about who they are.

Sports is about a lot more than just wins and losses, goals and homers. It’s about people, and these coaches are great people.

———

Didn’t see the Sox last night, but that’s not a good loss. It’s one thing to lose when Doc Halladay is pitching for the Jays, that I can forgive (it doesn’t hurt that he’s the stud pitcher for my fantasy team, the Black Sox), but giving up 10 runs like that isn’t a good thing. Mr. Tavares probably sealed his fate and will be back in the bullpen as soon as Jon Lester is ready to go.

———

VH1 Classic is running some really interesting shows called “classic Albums.” They sit down with the artists and producers of some of the most iconic rock albums ever and break down the tracks and what they were thinking. Even someone with no musical talent whatsoever, such as myself, can get something out of this show. I’ve loved it.

The one on Nirvana’s “Nevermind” was riveting. The producer really got into how they made Kurt Cobain sound so powerful and I also got a feeling for just why Dave Grohl would become such a big star later on with the Foo Fighters. Grohl’s fills made Cobain sound even better. That was a case of everything coming together on that album.

The show also brings some real great unintentional comedy to the plate. Last night I watched a bit of Phil Collins “Face Value” and it was hysterical. First, all the old footage was hysterical. People really had no idea how to dress in the 80s, and Collins’ head seems way too big for his body, like someone stuck a basketball on top of a pencil. Also you could tell that everyone involved in that record took things waaaaaaay too seriously. The bass player gave a three minute introspective monologue regarding his bass line on some throwaway love song, it was awesome.

———

Links

Really, an NBA player had a gun in his car? Wow, I’m surprised. The Celtics will be saying goodbye to Bassy Telfair. It’s too bad his play wasn’t as good as his ESPN reality show.

The WPT $25,000 championship is going on right now. Here’s a recap of where the field stands right now. Nothing better than a Phil Hellmuth quote about seeing through someone’s soul.

I already hated Barry Bonds. Now he’s rooting for A-Rod, well let’s just say that he’s lucky that my trip to SF this weekend coincides with a Giants road trip or sparks might have flown if we’d have come face-to-face.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

.07%

Posted by rich on 24th April 2007

Loved having Heroes back on the TV last night. This story is so layered and angled that it’s difficult not to fall in love with the show. I think the reason that the show has become such a hit is that with the big ensemble cast there is a hero for everyone to get into.

Personally my favorite hero is Hiro. His pure joy of having a chance to save the world and make it a better place are evident on his face. I also love that he’s the only hero with a sidekick as Ando plays Robin to Hiro’s Batman. Ando may actually be the
greatest hero on the show as he’s willing to follow Hiro and help him despite not having a single super-ability.

Likes and Dislikes from last night’s show:

Loved having it back, period. Seven weeks without my favorite continuing story was too long.

Didn’t like that that Nate Petralli didn’t realize right away that when Linderman showed that he can heal things that Nate could have his paralyzed wife fixed. Obviously politics and all that’s happening are at the front of his mind right now, but dude that’s your wife.

Liked the parallel between Claire’s death and Peter’s death, and resurrections. Did anyone really think that Peter woudl stay dead, though?

Didn’t like Mohinder calling in the Feds. I’m sure he’s feeling desperate, but how can that be a good thing.

Loved Parkman, Atomic Man and Claire’s dad’s escape from captivity.

Loved, loved, loved the meeting between future Hiro and present Hiro. Although (warning super nerd alert) wouldn’t that wreak havoc with the space time continium?

Basically I could go on and on. It was a good show and I can’t wait for next week when we travel five years into the future. It’ll be wild.

———

Didn’t pay close attention to the Sox last night, just bits and pieces. If I were a betting man, though, I certainly would have considered dropping money on Toronto last night. The Sox were due to come out flat against the Jays, the writing was on the wall. It’s only natural after playing three straight nailbiters against your rivals to come out without a lot of fire the next time out. It’s too bad that there wasn’t an off-day between the series, but that’s life.

It gets no easier tonight with Doc Halladay on the hill for the Jays. He’s one of the top five or six pitchers in the game right now. He might not strike a lot of guys out, but if his sinker is working it will be grounder after grounder after grounder. Tavares needs to be great tonight.

—————-

24 was good, but still predictable. I knew that Silver Spoons would find a way to screw up Jack’s meeting with the Chineese. I continue to hate the Vice President, although he did drop the funniest line ever when he said “the acting President is a dirty old man.”

I was pleasantly surprised that they actually threw a curveball with the whole Audrey thing. The whole brainwashed/amnesia thing is a new twist. Can’t wait to see them use it again in season 11.

Links
This guy from the Worcester Telegram tells us Sox fans to chill out. To a point he’s right, but it’s not always the message as much as how it’s delivered. I came away saying … what a jerk.

Speaking of 24, ever wonder how Jack Bauer gets around LA so quickly? Check out this site and you’ll see everywhere he’s been and how he got there.

And if you’ve ever wondered how much blood is on Jack’s hands, here’s a place that tells you the whole body count.

I wish I was making this up. Captain America, arrested!!

From the “Don’t we have bigger things to worry about dept.” I have a hard time believing Torii Hunter really did anything wrong here.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

How Sweep It Is

Posted by rich on 23rd April 2007

Before anyone makes plans for the World Series, let’s temper our enthusiasm just a tad. It is only April, and only a three-game series. The division championship has never been won before the team has even played 20 games.

Still, what a weekend it was. The Sox trailed New York in every game, and somehow pulled out a sweep. A-Rod started the series looking like he was going to hit seven or eight homers over the course of the first nice weekend we’ve had this year, and then went on to make the final outs in the final two games, failing to deliver in the clutch, which came as a surprise to not many. (heard a great A-Rod joke, by the way: he’s like a pollen, a nuisance in April and May, but nothing to worry about in the summer).

Dice-K: Daisuke was good, not great, but this poor guy hasn’t been able to make many “normal” starts. It seems that every time he’s pitched he’s had to be nearly perfect and all of the eyes of two nations were glaring at him. Now that he’s gotten his first Holy War game behind him, he can get back to the business at hand of just being a really good starting pitcher on the best rotation in the game.

The Dice Man was decent, giving up eight hits and six runs with seven K’s. He should have gotten out of the first, but Giambi hit a weak little double to left to plate two. Giambi knocked in another in the third, which was pretty legit. Jeter hit a homer in the fifth, but that’s Jeter and he is rise to the occasion ballplayer. Say what you want about the man, but the Sox-Yankees games bring out the best in him. The run NY got in the sixth gave them a 5-4 lead, but it could have been much worse as Daisuke worked out of a no-outs, bases loaded jam by just giving up one run. That aint bad in my book. All in all, against that lineup, i’ll take it.

Hitting: As for the Sox, Mike Lowell was tremendous last night. Two homers and a couple of big defensive plays. The back-to-back-to-back-to-back homer string is something that we may never see again in our lifetimes. That was a special moment. (Funny sidebar, I called my buddy Matt to say “wow” and he didn’t have the game on. He was flipping channels and totally missed it. I laughed at him.)

JD Drew had a good weekend and is quickly making people forget about Trot Nixon. Its unfortunate that you have to preface statements about Drew with “if he stays healthy,” but if he does, he coudl have a monster season. Manny is getting on track. That homer he hit was a BOMB.

The best thing about the weekend was Jason Varitek showing that he’s still amongst the living when it comes to his bat. He was a big factor all weekend.

Likes and Dislikes: Loved Manny being Manny. Loved Papi wearing No. 42 for Jackie Robinson. Loved the first sweep of NY at Fenway in 17 years.

Didn’t like Wily Mo Pena’s at-bats Sunday. He looks lost.

Liked Dustin Pedrioa’s at-bats Sunday. He looked found.

Didn’t like Joe Morgan’s color commentary. The man brings nothing to the table. He’s laughable as a commentator. Shut up about the gyro-ball already. And for the last time, we know he throws a lot of different pitches.

Loved Jonathan Papelbon and Hideki Okajima in the ninth innings. Oki was awesome Friday night in a clutch spot and then Paps came on and slammed the door the next two nights. He looks genuinely intimidating out there at the end of the ballgame, but he needs a goatee or something to get over the top. He’s too clean-shaven and kid-next-door-looking, though.

Also love the Sox pitchers high-fiving the Boston cop on their way to the hill. There’s something so cool about that. I hope that trend continues all year long. Hats off to whoever thought up that idea.

Didn’t like the length of the games. My goodness, a normal baseball game takes about 2.5-3 hours to play. The Sox-Yankees games were marathons. Night one took 3:18, followed by 3:26 and 3:34. I know these games are big, but does Joe Torre really have to manage each one likes its Game Seven? His bullpen is going to be completely worn out a month from now, there’s no question in my mind.

HBO Sunday Night: One of the best episodes of The Sopranos in a long, long time. The Uncle Junior stuff was so well-played. i love watching him attempt to continue to be a mob boss while he’s in a mental facility. The poker game, with red and white buttons as chips, was hysterical. The interplay between him and the kid looked up to him was very well done too.

Almost any time Paulie Walnuts is one of the major players in an episode you can guarantee that you’ll be entertained. The stuff with Paulie was so good, especially when he woke up from his nightmare about being whacked and then just started lifting weights in the living room.

And, who could blame Tony for thinking about whacking Paulie. If you had to drive that far in a car with one person that wouldn’t shut up about stupid stuff you’d think about taking him out too. With no evidence that Tony had a gun with him I don’t think he really had ill will on the fishing trip, but he may have been sending a psychological message to Paulie about keeping his mouth shut.

Quite a bold move by Phil Leotardo to knock over Doc and take the reins. I’m surprised by this, though. I thought that in order to whack a made guy you had to have permission. Apparently that doesn’t apply when you’re making a hostile takeover.

One last Sopranos note, David Chase’s allusions to The Godfather the last two weeks have been awesome. Last week it was a christening scene at the end of the show, this week Tony working in his garden with the tomatoes. Great little touches as see Tony Soprano finishing his evolution from Michael Corleone to Vito.

As for Entourage, it was once again a solid show. The Ari-shrink scenes were superior. Its nice to see Nora Dunn working again, too. I really can’t discuss a lot of the major issues from the show here in this space, but it was a good one and I like where the show seems to be headed.

Tonight: After a long hiatus, Heroes returns. Can’t wait for that. The Sox host Toronto tonight, with Wakefield on the hill. Something tells me that the tension will not be quite as high tonight as it was last night.

Hiro and the rest of the heroes return tonight

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Page 1 Not Condoned

Posted by rich on 20th April 2007

Normally I would back up just about every decision that my boss Janice Walford makes. She’s been awesome to me over the years and there aren’t many smarter people in this business.

However i cannot condone the decision that she made with the front page of the Mashpee newspaper this week. Right there on the front page of the Mashpee paper is a Yankees fan wearing that infamous crossed NY on a ski cap by the water.

With the Yanks coming to town this weekend (the big series begins tonight) this is a big faux pas. Now in Ms. Walford’s defense, she’s not much of a baseball fan (which leaves her in the minority here on Depot Ave.). In fact, here’s the funniest thing, she told me she thought he was wearing a “New York City” hat.

But the facts are the facts. A Yankee hat made the front page of one of our papers this week and I apologize for everyone here. It’s an unspeakable mistake, I only hope that you — the readers — can forgive this. I know our reputation has taken a hit and I assure you that everyone here at the paper will do our best to make sure that something like this never happens again.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Busy Thursday

Posted by rich on 19th April 2007

It was awesome to actually see games being played in Falmouth today. The weather still left something to be desired (it’s tough to play sports outdoors when the wind is gusting at 30 miles per hour),but at least the sun was shining and the rain was nowhere to be found, well except for all the puddles.

The FHS baseball team is not hitting at all, and that’s not a good thing. The Clippers went down on strikes nine times and didn’t get a lot of good at-bats against Cory Laliberte. One positive note was the return of Jesse Hamilton to the lineup, who looked very strong at shortstop. His arm, which was hurt during a skiing accident over the winter, looked pretty strong to me. It’d be great if they could get him out on the pitcher’s mound before the season is over.

The girls’ lax team won a big one, 7-6, over Dartmouth. FHS goalie Shay Callahan has had one of the best freshmen years, all-around, that I’ve ever seen. Callahan was outstanding on the girls’ ice hockey team, helped lead the girls’ field hockey team to the south finals and is now doing a great job for the girls’ lax squad. She made five or six unreal stops late in the game to keep the team on top in that one.

Good win for the Red Sox today. I didn’t get to see it, but I heard bits and pieces while watching the FHS baseball game from the warm confines of my SUV. Manny Ramirez picked a great time for his first homer of the season and once again Papelbon got the job done in relief.

It hurt my fantasy team not to get a win out of Roy Halladay, but I’d rather see the Sox win than worry about that. Can’t wait for the big weekend series with the Yankees. You’ve got to love that the Sox have Schilling, Beckett and Matsuzaka lined up to face A-Fraud and the Yanks.

That’s all for now. The papers are put to bed and we’ve survived another crazy week here on Depot Avenue. Tomorrow looks pretty quiet in terms of sports stuff to cover, but Saturday is boys’ lacrosse and then a unreal Monday schedule to cover leading into one of the busiest weeks we’ve had all spring. At least the weather is supposed to be good, that’s always a nice change of pace. I know what they say about April Showers and all, but this has been reeee-donkulous.

Lost: If you, like me, are into Lost, then you have to bookmark this site. This guy Jeff Fischer, who is an on-line acquaintance of mine through my favorite Pearl Jam message board, breaks down every episode of the show in great detail. It’s very cool and worth checking out. Jeff sees things in the show I never do, that’s for sure.

I love the Desmond episodes though. He’s definitely my favorite character on the show, with Charlie and Hurley being right up near the top too, and you’ve got to love Sawyer, and Kate (for other reasons).

Tonight: Dinner with mom and dad at our house, then maybe some cards at Dino’s, if there’s time. Also Smallville (my guilty pleasure show, i am a teenager at heart and I love Superman) and Survivor (yes, I still watch that). Oh, and the late edition of Baseball Tonight, you can’t miss Baseball Tonight if you’re a seamhead like me.

Until next time …

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Enough Already

Posted by rich on 18th April 2007

Sports writers are married to the schedule. If there’s supposed to be a game at 10:30 AM on a Wednesday morning, then the day revolves around being out of the house in time to get the lineups and say ‘hi’ to the coaches and players before the first pitch is thrown. For me, this morning, that meant being up around 8:30 AM, having breakfast and then taking a shower and getting dressed.

Before I could ever get in the car and head to Starbucks for a cup of Joe before the game, though, I had to check my voicemail. The message was from Kathleen Burke, the AD at Falmouth High. “Hi Rich, today’s baseball and lacrosse games are postponed. Baseball will try to play tomorrow at noon. Lacrosse is postponed til a later date.”

Another rainout. This whole spring has pretty much been a washout. It’s nuts. The season began nearly three weeks ago and during that time the FHS baseball team has played a grand total of three games, two at home and one away. During that time none of the games have been worth watching from the stands because you’d just end up freezing, and usually wet. This whole spring has been like this and I’ve had enough.

Surprise, surprise, tomorrow’s forecast: more rain.

I am counting down the days to my trip to San Francisco, where today’s weather was 66-degrees and pleasant. We are at T-minus eight days.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »