Maclone’s Musings

On sports and life…

Feelings?

Posted by rich on May 10th, 2007

No rest for the weary here in Sports-land at the Enterprise. Big afternoon today with Sandwich-Falmouth squaring off in lacrosse. FHS can move into a tie for second in the ACL with a win over the Blue Knights, who lost on Tuesday.

I’ve put up some pretty cool links today, they’re definitely worth a try. I’ve also got some thoughts on being in a wedding that will probably hit tomorrow. I just hope that my family is ignoring me and won’t read them (I have to give it a lot of thought before putting it up). Basically feelings are going to get hurt when weddings are planned, and that could be avoided with a little attention to others. Food for thought for anyone planning one.

Red Sox looked great last night. Dice was very good and that was on the heels of Beckett’s awesome game the night before. Interesting stat I heard on Baseball Tonight regarding Beckett. Last year he was throwing his fastball 73-percent of the time. This year he’s down to 63-percent. The results speak for themself. There’s something to be said for becoming a pitcher instead of just a thrower. Beckett’s always had the goods, but it really looks like he’s putting it together right now. I don’t want to go overboard but he is reminding me of Roger circa 1986 right now, minus the 20K game.

On a lighter note, it appears that people are actually reading this thing. That’s awesome, I appreciate it. If there’s anything that catches your fancy, or you have any good links, feel free to leave a comment or an email, just like Olivia did

Links

Lost last night was again top notch, and a mind-blower. I can’t even begin to break it all down, but our buddy Jeff Fischer does a great job.

Ya know, you go to see Ben Folds and the Pops in Boston, figure you might have a glass of wine, or a nice ale and a steak. The music starts, the lights go down and the WWE begins in the balcony?

More NFL games sounds awesome to me, but having them all played abroad seems silly. Seriously, you would need 16 cities across the world to host the games and are there 16 foreign cities that you would actually trust to host two American football teams? Logistically this is a nightmare, and mark my words, it will never happen. It’s still an interesting read, though.

Listen Daisuke, whatever works my man, whatever works.

The Blue Jays do not want to face Wake with the roof closed tonight, and who could blame them. After watching what he did in Minnesota last weekend, there just might be something to this whole dome thing afterall. Whatever it is, Wakefield has been absolutely awesome so far this season. You want to know why the Sox lead the AL, here’s something to ponder: how many other teams have a No. 4 starter who is 3-3 with a 2.11 earned run average? Another crazy stat, and Mirabellia gets the credit here, Wake has zero wild pitches heading into tonight’s game, that’s right a big bagel.

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Vernon Wells

Posted by rich on May 9th, 2007

He’s an awesome player, no doubt, but now we learn that Vernon Wells has a great sense of humor as well. He’s my new favorite Blue Jay. The following is a ball he autographed for a heckler.

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Quick Links

Posted by rich on May 8th, 2007

I had a little time to kill this afternoon, so I figured I’d jump in and throw out a few interesting links.

First, I’ve never seen Robot Chicken before, but this looks hysterical to me. I’m a huge Star Wars fan (the old trilogy is better), and I know way too much about every movie. Anyways, this looks hysterical.

Another one for you. Apparently Big Papi doesn’t think that Barry Bonds was aided by The Juice. I love David Ortiz, he’s without question one of the best Red Sox players of my life and a joy to watch play. Still, come on David, you really expect us to buy what you’re selling here?

My argument is this. Even if steroids don’t necessarily help him hit the ball, they definitely help him with his strength, which makes the ball go further, and also helps with recovery time from working out, which allows him to work out more, and makes him stronger. A girl may not decide to go out with a guy just because he drives a beautiful Corvette, but the Vette certainly helps his chances, doesn’t it?

That’s all for today. I’ve got to get out to cover some games. Be back tomorrow. Don’t forget Beckett goes for 7-0 tonight.

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Weekend Wrap-up (Manny, Julian, Spidey, Rog-ah, Floyd and more)

Posted by rich on May 7th, 2007

So much happens on the weekends. Let’s get right to it.

The Red Sox win 2-of-3 from Minnesota on the road, that’s a beautiful thing. The pitching was great. Tavares pitched well enough on Saturday to win. Schilling and Wake were in command and Paps seems to be getting his groove back. Not much to complain about there.

Okay, here’s one complaint. I looked and looked on YouTube for a clip of Manny rubbing Julian Tavares head in the dugout yesterday. Don Orsillo nearly experienced a laughter-induced hemorhage from the event. When he bellowed “make it stop” I nearly did the same.

Is there a more entertaining individual on the planet than Manny? Seriously the guy is so freaking goofy it’s almost as if he’s the star in some sort of sit-com and we’re all watching. I love having Manny Ramirez in my life, and let’s face it, you do too.

****

Roger Clemens signed with New York. Anyone surprised? So he gets $18 mil over the year (not bad work if you can find it, huh). I saw on Sports Final last night that basically works out to about $10K per out. To put that in perspective, and probably make you throw up in your mouth, Rog-ah will make more money after getting through three innings than most people make in a year.

Not bad, huh, for a guy that had a losing record last year in the NL. Moving into the AL, and at such an advanced age, I don’t expect that he’s going to be the difference for the Yankees. Yes it will be good for them to have a pretty reliable starter (he rarely gets hurt) in the rotation, but he won’t be the difference.

*****

Saw Spider-Man 3 on opening night and was less than excited about it. I love the franchise, Spidey’s awesome, but there were too many leaps of faith and holes in the script. I pretty much mirror what Moriarty at AICN said about it if you want to know. It’s a good read, but if you don’t want the movie spoiled for you, wait to read it.

I loved the action scenes, though. They were some of the best comic book adaptation action scenes ever done, period. It’s the story, though, that drags it down. There’s too much soap opera and not enough guy movie.

*****

I wish I could tell you what I thought about the Mayweather-De la Hoya fight, but i wasn’t able to see it. I wasn’t going to shell out the $55 to see it at home by myself and there were no local bars showing it.

Talk about getting screwed over, the bars sure do by the PPV people. Here’s the deal (I may be wrong about specifics, but I’ve got the gist of things). Basically if a bar wants to show a PPV fight they have to give the PPV company $20 per person according to their seating capacity. So let’s say that Dino’s in Mashpee can fit 200 people in (I don’t know the actual capacity, but just stay with me here). Dino would have to shell out $4K in order to have the fight on in his bar. Even if he was able to pull in a $10 cover charge (which is pushing it because people hate to pay a cover charge these days) and got 200 people in the doors, he’d have to sell an average of 2 beers per person, at $5 a pint, to break even on the deal. Financially it doesn’t make sense.

Now with boxing falling off the radar the way it has (a recent report said that boxing is now the 12th most popular sport in the US), wouldn’t it make sense for these promoters to put more of the big events on regular TV, to increase the excitement and visibility of the sport and loosen the restrictions for bars to show the fights so maybe people could see them?

I would have loved to watch the fight, and heard it was an alright one, but there was no way that I was shelling out that kind of dough to watch something that lasts under an hour between two boxers I could take or leave. I know a lot of people feel the same way, too.

*****

That’s it for now. It basically took me all day to get this post together because they don’t pay me to blog, they pay me to cover sports and there was a lot of that going on today. I probably won’t be back until Wednesday. I’ll try to have something up by noontime or so.

Remember, as always, if you have any questions or good links for me send them to sports@capenews.net

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Movie Time

Posted by rich on May 4th, 2007

It used to be that you had to wait until late June for the summer blockbusters to start finding their way to the theaters. Not so anymore as the movie-makers have extended the summer to four months and roll out their biggest tentpole projects as early as possible.

The movie I’ve wanted to see the most this summer is Spider-Man 3. I am a big sucker for superhero movies. I’ve seen all of the X-Men flicks, the Batman movies, the Superman movies and so on, and have most of them on DVD. I’d say my favorite one ever done is Batman Begins, and then Superman II. The original Spider-Man is right up there too, and I did like Spider-Man 2 quite a bit.

spideyI’ve heard mixed reports about the third installment. On one hand, it should be cool because they break out the black suit (which comic fans have been waiting for) and also the alter-ego that accompanies that suit, Venom. The Sandman and the New Goblin also fill the screen, so there’s not shortage of bad guys.

Unfortunately the last time a superhero movie attemtped to break out this many villains it fell flat on its face. I can’t help but remember how bad Batman and Robin was, with Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivey and Bane (which was the worst representation ever of a fun bad guy. In the comics Bane was one bad mother, who was also cunning. In that movie he was a muscle-bound lackey, but I digress).

I’ve already been to the theater to pick up the tickets and we’ll be seeing it tonight in Mashpee at 7:30, which allows me enough time to do my actual job (cover the FHS baseball game at 4) and still get to the theater to wolf down some popcorn and have a Coke big enough for seven people.

I’m sure some sort of review will pop up here in the next day or two. My fingers are crossed that it will be good.

**** Manny Ramirez is the man. What else can you say? He showed off just how much power he possesses on that second jack last night, breaking a 7-7 tie with a shot over the bullpens. You must be strong like bull in order to put one out the other way where he hit that one.

As for Daiskue, the jury’s out. I still believe he’s going to be a dependable, and effective, starter, but his last couple of outings have left quite a bit to be desired. In his defense, though, he did come back from that shaky start and keep the team in the game.

And, was there anyone out there that didn’t think that the Sox could come back from a 5-0 deficit? I for one didn’t flinch. Sure it raises the level of difficulty to Madden mode, but the Sox have an offense that can explode at any time.

I haven’t seen any stories related to this, but I am really wondering why Papelbon didn’t pitch the ninth. I know he threw 35 pitches on Tuesday, and his fastball was flat that night, but don’t you have to throw him back out there right away? I’m just hoping that he’s not hurt.

I will give Terry Francona a world of credit though. Just about every move he’s made is working, and Romero did come through with the save. He’s pushing all of the right buttons right now. Any time your team is playing .667 ball, that’s a good thing.

**** Speaking of the Red Sox, my favorite prospect just got one step closer to the big leagues. Jacoby Ellsbury, who played for the Falmouth Commodores back in 2004, is now one level away from Fenway Park. Ellsbury was just named the Red Sox Minor League Player of the Month for April. He’s currently batting north of .400 and has been simply lighting it up.

My good friend Jim Walsh wants me to interview Ellsbury for his Maple Street Press Red Sox preview magazine for next year, which I’m hoping to do. I also want to get down to Pawtucket to see Jacoby play sometime soon. Apparently Jim’s magazine for 2007 has sold out, but pick one up if you can find it. There is no better magazine for Red Sox fans that want to really know about their team. I’ve got my issue right here and I can tell you that I pick it up and look through it all the time.

**** How about them Warriors? I’m not much of an NBA fan at all anymore, but you’ve got to love when an underdog gets the job done. For an eight seed to knock off the No. 1 like that is fantastic. I saw bits and pieces of several games in the series and the Warriors, to my eyes, just seemed to be playing with a lot more passion. I just hope Baron Davis is healthy enough in the next round to keep them going. Here at Maclone’s Musings we are officially rooting for Golden State the rest of the way.

LINKS

Paris Hilton doing jail time? There’s just something poetic about that. It’ll probably never happen, but it sure would be nice.

Most of you know that I love playing cards. Here’s a very cool story about Paul Wasicka, who finished second to Jamie Gold in last year’s World Series Main Event. It’s too bad that he didn’t win, because Gold is a tool, but I think the $6 million second place prize money is a nice fallback for him.

I’m hosting my brother’s bachelor party next weekend, and we might have to invite these monkeys. I saw this on Craig Ferguson last night, and you have to see it to believe it. Turn your volume up so you can hear everything. That’s right, where else but here are you going to find drunk monkeys?

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I Can’t Go :(

Posted by rich on May 2nd, 2007

Wednesday’s are without a doubt the craziest day at the newspaper, at least in the sport department. My boss Dan sends me about 40-something articles that I have to copy edit, and on top of that I have to write all of my stuff (which I haven’t even begun yet, and it’s about 3ish already).

With that said, I got a phone call from my best friend, Trooper Matt, today around 1 asking if I wanted to head to Boston for the Sox game with him. Any other day I would have jumped and said yes. We haven’t gone to a game together in years, and I know we would have had a great time.

Unfortunately he asked on a Wednesday and I had to say no. It stinks, but what can you do. Our schedules rarely seem to coincide with one another any more. If I have the night off, he’s got to work (he patrols Route 3 from 11 PM to 7 AM, so beware if you’re speeding) or vice versa.

The worst part is I just know that Josh Beckett is going to have a great game tonight. If I can’t go, book it that something awesome is going to happen. If you already have tickets, expect to have a wonderful time.

I tried to help him recruit another one of our friends, which was an interesting conversation. Here’s my favorite part.

Me: What about Greenie? He’s always up to go out.
Matt: Nah, Monica’s ready to pop any day now.
Me: So call him anyway, you know he’ll still go.
Matt: You’re probably right.

Not that I want to say anything bad about our friend Chris, it’s just that he’s always been a good-times guy, and I found it hysterical that when I pointed out that our friend, whose wife is nearly nine months pregnant, would leave her behind to see the game that Matt agreed. I guess the moral of the story is that we’re all a bunch of degenerates. At least I’m man enough to admit it.

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Back To Normal (somewhat)

Posted by rich on May 1st, 2007

I’m attempting to get back to normalcy here, but it isn’t easy. My body feels about 15 years older today than it did a few days ago, apparently cross-country traveling has an exponential aging effect. Muscles are pulled, joints ache and my eyelids remain heavy. It also turned me into a big-time whiner, I know.

Yesterday was nothing more that sleeping, eating and catching up on some TV. I got off the plane at 7, was picked up by my uncle at 8 (there was a big accident on 1A near the airport that made him late). After picking up my car I thought I was wide awake so I got an Americano at Dunkin Donuts (I had to teach the girl how to make the drink “3 shots of espresso, hot water to the top, charge me for a latte”) and decided to drive home instead of crashing at my uncle’s place in Nahant.

It seemed like the right call. Again, I thought I was wide-awake.

Was I wrong. By the time I reached Rotue 24 the travel caught up with me in a big way. The only reason that I made it home in one piece is that tractor trailer that was next to me hit a big bump and had something in the back make a sound that made me temporarily believe I had run someone over. The ensuing heart-attack and adrenaline rush carried me to the bridge. From there I was completely on auto pilot.

Instead of going straight home I decided the right call was going directly to my chiropractor’s office. Dr. Bob confirmed what I already knew, traveling can mess you up. There was sublixation that he was unable to crack, and I’m hoping he can fix it tomorrow. Still, he fixed me up pretty well.

After that I finally got home around 11:30 AM. I said hello to Lyra and the kids, and gave them their gifts. Leanna loved her stuffed bear from the A’s game, which is holding a bat and has an A’s hat. Rye seemed a bit disappointed that I got him a T-shirt, but it’s a very cool T-shirt. It had this logo on it.

After that it was sleep, sleep, sleep. I woke from my doze around 7, had dinner and watched TV with Lyra until she went to bed. Me, my body still thinks its on west coast time, so I was up until 3 AM. Slowly, though, things are getting back to normal.

That’s it for now. I’m headed out to cover girls’ lax and a track meet.

Links:

I hate them, but respect them immensely. Before we start throwing AL East parades just yet, let’s remember that the season is a long, long one. The Yankees have come back before, so the Sox need to be vigilant and keep up the good work.

Heroes last night was one of the best episodes the show has ever done. Five Years Gone certainly started to answer some questions, and bring up a lot of new ones. Here’s a cool blog about that episode.

By the way, here’s my theory about Peter’s scar. He was told to save the cheerleader, by Future Hiro. Future Peter hadn’t saved the cheerleader, thus he had not met Claire, or gotten her power, so he couldn’t heal himself then.

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Hurry Up and Wait

Posted by rich on April 29th, 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.

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AT&T Park

Posted by rich on April 28th, 2007

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Jet Lag Is No Joke

Posted by rich on April 28th, 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.

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