Pitchers & Catchers Report to Ft. Myers

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"You Can't Make This Stuff Up"

I just finished reading the new autobiography by legendary sportscaster Al Michaels about his career behind the mic called "You Can't Make This Stuff Up: Miracles, Memories and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television."

It's an enjoyable read from one of the best-known voices on television. Michaels doesn't take himself too seriously as he guides his readers through his formative years growing up in Brooklyn, going to Ebbets Field, a short move to Long Island, and then going to Southern California, where his broadcasting career began.

He began his professional career in baseball, doing the AAA Hawaii Islanders games before moving over to the Cincinnati Reds radio booth in 1971. He moved over to the San Francisco Giants in 1974 before going to ABC in 1977 to do college football, where his national career began to take shape.

Michaels has been part of two of the most famous sporting events of the later 20th century, the 1980 gold medal win by the US hockey team, and the lead announcer of the 1989 World Series when it was struck by an earthquake and eventually delayed the series by 10 days. He gives insights into both events that take the reader back to one glorious, and one tragic, time in American history.

He has a passion for hockey, even before he made his legendary call back at Lake Placid in 1980. And golf is his current all-consuming passion, and does plenty of name-dropping on who he's hit the links with: everyone from Michael Jordan to former president George W. Bush.

Michaels even talks about some of his forays outside the sports world, when he talks of his appearance on "The Dating Game" ( you can see that on YouTube), "Hawaii Five-O" (the original series with Jack Lord, who doesn't come off too well in Michaels' retelling), and a cameo role in the 1998 comedy film "BASEketball" (which Michaels did against his better judgment). The book also includes some funny tidbits like his swiping a phone from a hotel in 2000 that Al Gore might have used on Election Night that year, and his great fandom for Howard Stern and his raunchy radio show.

But I found the most interesting parts of the book were how Michaels retells his relationships with the most controversial people in his sporting life, and dedicated a chapter to each. He has little love for Howard Cosell, who he was partnered with on Monday Night Baseball back in the early 1980s, as Cosell had turned bitter against ABC and the sports he was covering and really didn't hide that fact. Michaels worked with O.J. Simpson during the 1984 Summer Olympics and had nothing but nice things to say about him in terms of his working relationship. But, of course, the majority of the chapter about Simpson is on the murder of his wife and friend, and Michaels' working with ABC News on the day of the slow-speed chase in L.A.

Michaels talks in detail about his long tenure on "Monday Night Football" with his various partners, from John Madden to Boomer Esiason. And about the difficult conversion he had to make in moving over to Sunday Night Football on NBC.

"You Can't Make This Up" is generally a fun read that I would definitely recommend if you've followed Al Michaels' career, like I have. Lots of fascinating stories and name dropping throughout the book. He's lived an interesting life covering the world of sports, and as the legendary broadcaster Curt Gowdy once told him, "Never get jaded." It sure sounds like Al Michaels has heeded that advice.

Friday, January 09, 2015

First Trivia Update

Hello Trivia players: I thought I would give you all an update on the progress of my next Trivia Night. I recently spoke to a bar owner I know in Midtown Manhattan, and he is seriously considering taking me on as a host. It is a well-known establishment (I will reveal the place when and if it becomes a reality), and the best night for them to have Trivia is on Sunday night at 8 PM. I have no problem with that, and I hope that can fit into your schedules. If it happens there, the first night will probably be the Sunday following the Super Bowl (that would be February 8th).

I should hear back from him soon, and when I do I will let you know any further updates. I am also looking for a second place to do it during the week, preferably on a Tuesday or Wednesday night. Please do drop me a line if you know of an establishment seeking a new Trivia host. Hope everyone had a wonderful New Year, and I look forward to hosting a new Trivia Night soon. Be well, everyone!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Pedro. Unit. Biggio. Smoltz.

For the first time since 1955, four players were elected to the Hall of Fame today, as Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Craig Biggio and John Smoltz will all be enshrined in Cooperstown this coming July.

Johnson was the top vote-getter with 97.3% of the 549 votes cast. It is the 7th highest percentage ever.

Pedro was second at 91.1%. 49 writers did not for him. There were some writers who left Pedro and Johnson off their ballots simply because they felt they were both a synch to make it, and wanted to include more than 10 maximum they could vote for. (This is the reason the ballot must be expanded to 12 or 15 maximum.)

Smoltz and Biggio both received over 82% of the vote. Mike Piazza just missed this time, getting 69.9%. With just Ken Griffey Jr. the only sure bet to be elected to the Hall, Piazza's chances next year are very good for election. Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Curt Schilling all did better than last year, and they trending upwards to an eventual Hall of Fame election.

Both Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens did slightly better than in 2014, but are still in the upper 30% range, still nowhere close. Mark McGwire got just 10% of the vote in his next-to-last time on the ballot. Nomar Garciaparra got just 5.5% in his ballot, and he figures to be like Don Mattingly, a great player who was a "shooting star" who will never get in.

Congratulations to one of the greatest Red Sox players of all-time, and to the other three very worthy newest Hall of Famers.

Here are the official results, courtesy of baseballhall.org:

Ballots Cast: 549Needed for Election: 412
534Randy Johnson97.3%
500Pedro Martinez91.1%
455John Smoltz82.9%
454Craig Biggio82.7%
384Mike Piazza69.9%
306Jeff Bagwell55.7%
302Tim Raines55.0%
215Curt Schilling39.2%
206Roger Clemens37.5%
202Barry Bonds36.8%
166Lee Smith30.2%
148Edgar Martinez27.0%
138Alan Trammell25.1%
135Mike Mussina24.6%
77Jeff Kent14.0%
71Fred McGriff12.9%
65Larry Walker11.8%
64Gary Sheffield11.7%
55Mark McGwire10.0%
50Don Mattingly9.1%
36Sammy Sosa6.6%
30Nomar Garciaparra5.5%
21Carlos Delgado3.8%
4Troy Percival0.7%
2Aaron Boone0.4%
2Tom Gordon0.4%
1Darin Erstad0.2%
0Rich Aurilia0.0%
0Tony Clark0.0%
0Jermaine Dye0.0%
0Cliff Floyd0.0%
0Brian Giles0.0%
0Eddie Guardado0.0%
0Jason Schmidt0.0%
*All candidates in italics received less than 5% of the vote on ballots cast and will be removed from future BBWAA consideration

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy 2015, Everyone

This is our 4,646th post at The Mighty Quinn Media Machine, and the 179th and final one for 2014.

It's been an interesting one, and more of a difficult one than anything else. The Red Sox wound up in last place, the Vikings improved slightly over 2013, Notre Dame got off to flying start before slumping badly at the end.

We saw our latest Trivia Night come to an end just earlier this week, and I worked very little in my background acting career. I'm going to try to revive that in 2015. And hopefully have a new Trivia Night up and running soon in the new year.

We saw the opening of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum last May, and I was totally moved to tears by it. I am proud to have made a contribution to it, and it is one of the proudest things I have ever done in my life. If you ever find yourself in Lower Manhattan, make a point of going to see it.

I put up the fewest posts in any year on this blog in 2014. I wrote mostly about just Trivia and the Red Sox, and little less frequently. I've noticed that I have been trending downwards as the years progress on this site. Not sure if that will continue in 2015.

Thanks to all of you for your support and good wishes throughout the year. I want to wish all of you a very happy and blessed 2015. Hopefully good things lie ahead for all of us!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Trivia at the Caledonia is Now Over

It is with great sadness that I have to report that Tuesday Night Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub is now over, after just 7 months.

The bar was just recently sold, and the owner decided to end Trivia Night, and let our good friend and bartender Keith go as well. The irony of this move is that the Trivia Night was really gaining momentum, and we filled the bar every Tuesday night since Labor Day. And it would only get better with the winter, as that is usually the best time of year for Trivia, with folks coming out in bad weather to get their Trivia fix.

I want to thank Keith, who is a good friend, and for the opportunity to do Trivia at the Caledonia. He was a blast to work with, and brought back pleasant memories of my days doing Trivia years ago.

And I especially want to thank all of you who came out and enjoyed my Trivia Night this year. It was such a pleasure meeting so many of you, and especially to those of you who have been with me in the other places I have done Trivia before. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I will keep all of you updated here on my blog with relevant updates as to where my new Trivia venue will be, and also on my Facebook page, "The Mighty Quinn's Trivia Empire."

I wish all of you all the best for a Happy 2015, and I'll see you down the road one day for another Trivia Night somewhere. Be well everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

To You and Yours, a Very Merry Christmas

I want to wish you all, no matter where you see this post from, a very Merry Christmas.

May Santa be good to all of you, and may the spirit of the season fill all of you with peace and joy.

As I do every year, here is the famous Yule Log, which is broadcast every Christmas morning on WPIX Channel 11 in New York from 9 AM until 1 PM.

Enjoy the holidays everyone!

Trivia Q&A: December 23

We returned from our one-week hiatus, and had a great night of Trivia on Tuesday. The bar was filled, and it was great to see a few old friends, Peter, Ruth and Amy, in for Trivia for the first time at the Caledonia.

We had a short delay at the start, as the console we do the Trivia on was being transported from another bar in Brooklyn, but everyone was really into the Trivia once we got going. We had a three-way tie after two rounds, and we had a tie after round four, and the same two teams were deadlocked after IQ Trivia concluded.

The tie was broken when I asked "How much did Robert Downey Jr. earn as the highest-paid actor in America in 2014? The team of The Nightmare Before Christmas: Home Alone With Kim Jung Un guessed $67 million (it was $75 million) and won the night, with 52 points. Congrats to Mike and his friends on their first ever win on Trivia Night. Second place went to When I Think About You, I Touch My Elf , and third place went to I Wish This Microphone Was a Dick (which won for Best Team Name, as I got nothing but guffaws every time I read it) with 44 points.

Current Events
1. Who was selected recently as Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2014?
2. What Internet giant was named the best company in America to work for by the career site Glassdoor?
3. What rapper was the highest paid musician of 2014, earning $620 million, according to Forbes magazine?
4. What Hollywood iconic star was nominated for a Golden Globe for the 29th time recently, the most by anyone in the combined film and TV categories?
5. What Hollywood star recently petitioned the Massachusetts Parole Board for a pardon over a 1998 assault conviction and has the blessing of the man he once assaulted?
6. A time capsule was unearthed recently near the Massachusetts State House that is believed to have been buried by two of America's earliest patriots. Name 1 of the 2 men.
7. What female cable personality was selected as the "Most Annoying TV Host" by a Ranker.com poll for 2014?

Christmas Trivia
1. In "A Charlie Brown Christmas," what Christmas song does Lucy ask Schroeder to play for her on the piano?
2. What Christmas movie was primarily set at West 11th Street in Cleveland, Ohio?
3. In what country is the Christmas tree believed to have originated?
4. "A Christmas Carol" was written by what 19th century author?
5. What Tchaikovsky ballet is a favorite during the Christmas season?
6. What horror film star was the narrator of the classic Christmas TV special "How the Grinch Stole Christmas?"
7. What Christmas song, released in 1958, is still the only one to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart?
BONUS: 8. What are 2 of the 3 main rituals of the holiday of Festivus?

Christmas Film Trivia By Decade ("The Q Train")
1. It's a Wonderful Life
2. Home Alone
3. The Santa Clause
4. Scrooged
5. Love Actually
6. A Christmas Story
7. Miracle On 34th Street
8. How The Grinch Stole Christmas
9. The Nightmare Before Christmas
10. White Christmas

General Knowledge
1. What two colors make gray? ( 1 pt)
2. Assuming the thumb is the first finger, what number is the ring finger? ( 1 pt)
3. What is the 17th letter of the alphabet? ( 1 pt)
4. Arbor Day is the last Friday in what month? ( 2 pt)
5. Lake Pontchartrain is found in what US state? ( 2 pt)
6. Hankook, Cooper and Pirelli all manufacture what product? ( 2 pt)
7. A fletcher is a person who makes what type of product? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What US president once gave a speech in Milwaukee with a bullet wound in his chest, and survived? ( 4 points)
2. What country has Stella Artois beer been brewed in since 1926? ( 3 points)
3. "Silent Gray Fellow" was an early 20th century nickname for what present-day motor vehicles? ( 5 points)
4. What Canadian artist had the highest-selling country album of all-time in 1997? ( 4 points)
5. What actor won an Academy Award each for playing the characters of Popeye Doyle and Little Bill Daggett in films over 20 years apart? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Ebola doctors; 2. Google; 3. Dr. Dre; 4. Meryl Streep; 5. Mark Wahlberg; 6. Paul Revere & Samuel Adams; 7. Nancy Grace.

Christmas Trivia
1. "Jingle Bells;" 2. "A Christmas Story;" 3. Germany; 4. Charles Dickens; 5. "The Nutcracker;" 6. Boris Karloff; 7. "The Chipmunk Song;" 8. The Festivus Pole, Airing of Grievances & The Feats of Strength.

Christmas Film Trivia By Decade ("The Q Train")
1. 1940s (1946); 2. 1990s (1990); 3. 1990s (1994); 4. 1980s (1988); 5. 2000s (2003); 6. 1980s (1983); 7. 1940s (1947); 8. 2000s (2000); 9. 1990s (1993); 10. 1950s (1954).

General Knowledge
1. Black and white; 2. four; 3. Q; 4. April; 5. Louisiana; 6. tires; 7. arrows.

IQ Trivia
1. Theodore Roosevelt; 2. Belgium; 3. Harley-Davidson motorcycles; 4. Shania Twain; 5. Gene Hackman.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Trivia Returns With Christmas Cheer

We took a week off from Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub last week, as there was a private party in the bar last Tuesday night. But we are back tomorrow night, December 23rd, and the Special category will be "Christmas Trivia, " seven question about the great holiday that is now upon us. And I will include a special bonus question at the end of the round as well.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Christmas Film Trivia By Decade." I will ask you ten classic Christmas movies, and you have tell me the decade of its release. And if you get the exact year right as well, you will get a bonus point.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Hankook, Cooper and Pirelli all manufacture what product?"

We get going at 8 PM tomorrow night. The Caledonia is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. I look forward to seeing many of you, as we celebrate Christmas with a great night of Trivia Q&A!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas In Ireland, With Father Jack

This is based on one of the most popular posts I have ever put up on this blog: "The 12 Days of Christmas, Irish Style."

Irish actor/comedian Frank Kelly, who is best known for playing Father Jack Hackett on the great 1990s sitcom "Father Ted," did a great parody of "The 12 Days of Christmas" with his own version of it. I always get hits on my blog for people looking for it on the Internet, so here it is again.

Enjoy it, and have a great Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Trivia's Off Until Next Tuesday

Hello all Trivia regulars at the Caledonia: Trivia will NOT be happening this week, due to a private party being staged at the Caledonia tomorrow night.

We will return with Trivia Night a week from tomorrow, December 23rd at 8 PM, and we will definitely have plenty of Trivia that night about the coming Christmas holiday.

See you all next week!

Trivia Night Postponed

Hey Caledonia Trivia folks: Trivia Night will NOT be happening this Tuesday night, December 16th, due to a private party being held in the bar that night. Sorry for the late notice. No decision has yet been made on whether it will be moved to Wednesday this week or not. Trivia Night will DEFINITELY be happening on Tuesday night, December 23rd at 8 PM. I will update with more information when it becomes known.

See you all soon!

Friday, December 12, 2014

My Q&A With Stadium Journey

I had the pleasure to be interviewed recently by Jon Hart, who is part of a great web site called "Stadium Journey," which reviews ballparks from the US and all over the world.

Jon is also the author of a terrific book he recently wrote called "Man Versus Ball: One Ordinary Guy and His Extraordinary Sports Adventures," which I reviewed here earlier this year. In it, Jon did everything in sports from playing semi-pro football to working as a vendor at Yankee and Shea Stadiums.

In the interview, I talked about my Red Sox fandom here in New York, my love of Trivia, my background acting career and my ill-fated appearance on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

You can check it out here. My thanks to Jon and everyone over at Stadium Journey for a great Q&A!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Miley & Porcello

The above headline will be two-fifths of your Boston Red Sox rotation for 2015.

After losing out on Jon Lester, the Red Sox moved quickly to add veteran starters, and traded Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and a minor leaguer to Arizona for lefty Wade Miley, and then sent Yoenis Cespedes to Detroit for righty Rick Porcello.

Here's everything you need to know about Miley and Porcello.

Miley, 28, will be under Red Sox control for three more years, and Porcello, 26, can become a free agent after this season. I was impressed with De La Rosa in his time in Boston in 2014, as I thought he could become a back-of-the-rotation starter or an effective bullpen arm. Webster was very hot-and-cold, and should get a legit chance to open in the Arizona rotation in 2015.

Anyway, Plan B is under way, with plenty more to come this offseason.

UPDATE: The Sox brought in their third starter in less than 24 hours when Justin Masterson agreed to a one year, $9 million deal. Glad to see him come back, as it brings the staff more flexibility, as he can be a back end of the rotation starter, or long reliever.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It's The Cubs

Jon Lester made his decision, and he's moving to the National League, to pitch in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

Theo Epstein offered Lester a 6-year, $155 million deal, and he took it. It also includes a vesting option for a seventh year.

That was something the Red Sox were not going to match. Nor should they. The Cubs have money to spend, and are looking for an ace. They haven't had a winning year since 2009, and have a lot of talent in their system.

It will be interesting to hear Lester's press conference when the Cubs introduce him, and why he's going to Chicago. My friend Cormac Eklof points out today that he better not use the word "contend" and I agree with him. The Cubs are a long way from that. They are pointed in the right direction, but they are two years off at least from a playoff berth.

The Red Sox best offer to him was 6 years at 135 million. I don't blame him for taking the best offer, as he, like all other baseball players, are businessmen. But you rarely hear any admit to the real reason they jump to a certain club: money. It's always "I want to play for a contender" or "I've always dreamed of playing for this team."

Face facts: the Red Sox ultimately blew it with Lester. Their original offer of  4 years, $70 million last spring wasn't even close to getting a deal done. (I refuse to say "insulting", as offering ANYONE a deal of nearly $18 million a year to play baseball is never "insulting," no matter what idiot sportswriter says that.)

Jon Lester has always been an honorable man, someone worth rooting for. I wish him luck in Chicago. But now it's time for the Red Sox to look ahead to 2015.

Bring on Plan B.

Trivia Q&A: December 9

It was a miserable, rainy day in New York on Tuesday afternoon, but that didn't stop a good crowd from turning out that evening for Trivia at the Caledonia. It was another night that the bar was filled, and it was a boisterous night as well.

We had a really close race to the finish, with the top three each separated by one point each going into IQ Trivia. But the team of The Quinn/Lowerre Appreciation Society (who also won Best Team Name) did best in IQ Trivia, getting 13 points and winning the night by three points with a total of 45. They were in first place the entire evening, and it was their first ever win at Trivia Night. My congratulations to Victoria, Helen and their friends (both from the UK and US) on their win. And they celebrated long into the night as well!

Second place went to Sony Pictures Password Protectors with 42 points, and third place went to Awesome Ironic Name, or Roger with 39 points.

Current Events
1. Priceline.com selected what western city as its top travel destination for Christmas in the US for 2014?
2. What female pop singer recently passed Paul McCartney as the world's wealthiest recording artist, worth $800 million according to Wealth-X?
3. What magazine issued an apology last Friday after a story they broke about an alleged rape of a UVA student in November fell apart due to inconsistencies in the story?
4. Ashton Carter was named to replace Chuck Hagel in what position in the presidential cabinet last week?
5. What female singer received her 47th career Grammy nomination last Friday, surpassing Dolly Parton for the most ever by a female artist?
6. Democrat Mary Landrieu lost her bid for a fourth term as a senator from what US state after losing a runoff election last Saturday to Republican Bill Cassidy?
7. What film was number one at the box office for the third straight week in the US and now has grossed over $250 million in total?

2000s Trivia
1. Ken Jennings won over $2.5 million as a contestant on what quiz show in 2004?
2. What cartoon TV show, based on the Griffin family, became popular in the early 2000s?
3. What European country was the first to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001?
4. The 2004 Summer Olympics were held in what European city?
5. Michael Jackson died on the same day in 2009 as what famous Hollywood actress?
6. Apple launched its first iPhone in what year of the decade of the 2000s?
7. What rapper had the most combined sales in albums of any artist of the 2000s?
BONUS: 8. What classic rock band's 2000 greatest hits album was the top-selling album of the decade?

Celebrities' Nation of Birth Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Martin Short
2. David Ortiz
3. Antonio Banderas
4. Nicky Minaj
5. Christian Bale
6. Russell Crowe
7. Keanu Reeves
8. Pierce Brosnan
9. Jean Claude Van Damme
10. Charlize Theron

General Knowledge
1. What did the dish run away with in the nursery rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle?" ( 1 pt)
2. What is the only planet not named after a Roman god? ( 1 pt)
3. Who piloted the Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic Ocean? ( 1 pt)
4. Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms starred in what 2009 comedy film? ( 2 pt)
5. What does an ornithologist study? ( 2 pt)
6. The Hockey Hall of Fame is located in what city? ( 2 pt)
7. What is the lightest of all elements in the Periodic Table? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. In the 1995 comedy film "Mars Attacks," the music of what country musician eventually killed off the Martians when they heard it and repelled the invasion? ( 4 points)
2. "The Soldier's Song" is what European nation's national anthem? ( 5 points)
3. The world's highest waterfall is located in what South American country? ( 4 points)
4. After Genesis and Exodus, what is the third book of the Old Testament? ( 4 points)
5. "Fashion Avenue" is a nickname for what avenue in an eleven block stretch of Manhattan?  ( 3 points)

Current Events
1. Las Vegas; 2. Madonna; 3. Rolling Stone; 4. Secretary of Defense; 5. Beyonce; 6. Louisiana; 7. "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay."

2000s Trivia
1. "Jeopardy;" 2. "Family Guy;" 3. Netherlands; 4. Athens; 5. Farrah Fawcett; 6. 2007; 7. Eminem; 8. The Beatles.

Celebrities' Nation of Birth Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Canada; 2. Dominican Republic; 3. Spain; 4. Trinidad & Tobago; 5. UK; 6. New Zealand; 7. Lebanon; 8. Ireland; 9. Belgium; 10. South Africa.

General Knowledge
1. The spoon; 2. Earth; 3. Charles Lindbergh; 4. "The Hangover;" 5. birds; 6. Toronto; 7. hydrogen.

IQ Trivia
1. Slim Whitman; 2. Ireland; 3. Venezuela; 4. Leviticus; 5. 7th Avenue.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Gil & Looie Denied Again

The Veterans Committee met in San Diego yesterday to decide if any of 10 possible candidates would enter the Hall of Fame next summer, and came away with no one making it in.

This was the "Golden Era Committee," and they look at candidates from the era of 1947-1972. Gil Hodges and Luis Tiant were among the ten, and the two I was pulling for the most. 16 members made their choices (7 were MLB Hall of Famers), and Dick Allen and Tony Oliva missed each by just a single vote. (12 was needed for election, as that would be 75%.)

Jim Kaat missed by just two votes. Both Hodges and Tiant received less than four votes. The Golden Era Committee did not say exactly how many they got, my guess as to not embarrass the candidate if he should receive none. Follow this link to see the complete results.

I fear this will be the last time both Hodges and Tiant will have a good chance to get in. They will not be considered again until 2017, and the committee considers different eras every year. (Next year will be the ones from after 1972, and in 2016 it will be those players from the pre-integration era.) And the fact they did not garner much support doesn't help either Hodges or Tiant's cause.

There was a major push to get Gil Hodges in, as there is a Facebook group called "Gil Hodges Belongs In The Baseball Hall of Fame" that gathered over 2,000 signatures on a petition to call attention to it.

The election by the writers will be announced on January 6th, and it figures that a number of worthy candidates will be elected, such as Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio all having excellent chances of going in this summer.

It's just a shame that worthy men such as Gil Hodges and Luis Tiant will be on the outside looking in for the foreseeable future, and may ultimately never get in.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Lots of Stuff From The Last Decade On Tuesday

On Tuesday night, December 9th, the Special Category for Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub will be "2000s Trivia," seven questions about the decade in pop culture, history and sports. No particular reason for doing it, as we haven't done it in a while. The Q Train lightning round will be "Celebrities' Nation of Birth Trivia." I will give you the names of ten current celebrities who were born outside the United States, and you have to tell me in what nation they were born in. And every answer will be a different country.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What is the only planet not named for a Greek god?"

We get started at 8 PM tomorrow. The weather is not supposed to be good on Tuesday, but don't let that stop you. The Caledonia is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. I look forward to seeing many of you for Trivia on Tuesday night!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Trivia Q&A: December 2

We had yet another great turnout at the Caledonia, with the bar filled up again, and probably the biggest crowd we've so far had. And it was another night where everyone was into the Trivia.

We had a three-way tie going into General Knowledge round, and the top four separated by six points going into IQ Trivia. But the team of A$AP Snyder got 4 of 5 correct in that final round to grab their first ever win. Congrats to Christine and her friends on a nice come-from-behind win.

We had a tie for second place between Mickey Rourke's Boxing Club and Thanks For The Mammaries, both with 46 points. We broke the tie with: "How many feet is the Tower Bridge's span?" (As we had a question about the bridge earlier in the night.) Mickey Rourke's Boxing Club was closest to the right answer (800 feet to be exact) and wound up taking second.

Best Team Name: Anal Bum Cover

Current Events
1. The suit worn by which character from "The Wizard of Oz" was sold at auction last week for an astounding $3 million?
2. The Dakota apartment in NYC of what legandary actress who died this year, which she bought in 1961 for $40,000, is now going on the market for $26 million?
3. Workers in six states in what retail chain walked out on strike ahead of the Black Friday madness calling for higher wages and better hours?
4. The wife and mother of Scott Stapp, lead singer of what rock band, are seeking to have him committed for 60 days of psychiatric observation due to his ongoing drug problems?
5. Phillip Hughes, a cricket player from what country, died last week after he was struck in the head by a ball during a match?
6. It was recently revealed that the studios of what talk show host was a target for terrorists in 2009, but the bombers were caught by police before they reached the Chicago-based show?
7. Sony Pictures was the victim of a recent cyber attack resulting in a leak of five movies and disabling its networks and email. What country's government is thought to be behind the attack?

Q-Tip Trivia
1. Which of the following artists have had an album sell at least 40 million copies worldwide? a. AC/DC; b. Pink Floyd; c. Whitney Houston; d. Backstreet Boys.
2. Which of these films was Morgan Freeman nominated for an Academy Award for? a. Driving Miss Daisy; b. Invictus; c. Unforgiven; d. The Shawshank Redemption.
3. Which of these celebrities died while in their 30s? a. Kurt Cobain; b. Elvis Presley; c. Marilyn Monroe; d. River Phoenix.
4. Which of these statesmen won the Nobel Peace Prize? a. Martin Luther King; b. Yasser Arafat; c. Winston Churchill; d. Franklin D. Roosevelt.
5. Which of these US currency bills does not have a US president on them? a. $10; b. $20; c. $50; d. $100.
6. Which of the following classic sitcoms were set in New York City? a. Bob Newhart Show; b. The Cosby Show; c. All in the Family; d. Mary Tyler Moore Show.
7. Which of the following cities has a team in all four major sports: MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL? a. Seattle; b. Atlanta; c. Los Angeles; d. St. Louis.

TV Characters Trivia ("The Q Train") (Name the show they appeared on)
1. Carrie Mathison
2. Don Draper
3. Jack Tripper
4. Elaine Benes
5. Samantha Jones
6. Fox Mulder
7. Nucky Thompson
8. Monica Gellar
9. Rick Grimes
10. Al Bundy

General Knowledge
1. The Tower Bridge spans what English river? ( 1 pt)
2. Bel Air is a lavish celebrity suburb of what US city? ( 1 pt)
3. Who did Jimmy Carter succeed as US president? ( 1 pt)
4. What color are the black box flight data recorders? ( 2 pt)
5. How many fluid ounces of soda are there in a standard can? ( 2 pt)
6. On the TV series "Friends," how many times did the character Ross get married? ( 2 pt)
7. Panama hats were originally made in what South American country? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. In mythology, Morpheus was the Greek god of what? ( 4 points)
2. What still-running TV show made its debut in 1952, with host Dave Garroway calling it "a new kind of television show?" ( 5 points)
3. In what country would you find the desert plateau fortress called Masada? ( 4 points)
4. The rover called Sojourner explored what planet in 1997? ( 3 points)
5. What number one hit Beatles song was written by Paul McCartney and was based on a dream he had about his mother, who died more than a decade earlier? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. The Cowardly Lion; 2. Lauren Bacall; 3. Walmart; 4. Creed; 5. Australia; 6. Oprah Winfrey; 7. North Korea.

Q-Tip Trivia
1. all; 2. a,b,d; 3. c; 4. a,b; 5. a,d; 6. b,c; 7. none.

TV Characters Trivia ("The Q Train)
1. Homeland; 2. Mad Men; 3. Three's Company; 4. Seinfeld; 5. Sex in the City; 6. The X-Files; 7. Boardwalk Empire; 8. Friends; 9. The Walking Dead; 10. Married With Children.

General Knowledge
1. Thames; 2. Los Angeles; 3. Gerald Ford; 4. orange; 5. twelve; 6. three; 7. Ecuador.

IQ Trivia
1. Dreams; 2. "The Today Show;" 3. Israel; 4. Mars; 5. "Let It Be."

Monday, December 01, 2014

Favorite Boob Tube Actors On Tuesday

On Tuesday night, December 2nd, the Special Category for Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub will be "Q-Tip Trivia." I will ask you seven general knowledge questions, and it will be multiple choice. 1, 2, 3 all 4, or none can be correct. You will get a point for each correct choice (one point if the answer is none). You have to be careful, because if you make a wrong choice, you will get zero points for that question.

The Q Train lightning round will be "TV Characters Trivia." I will give you the names of ten famous TV characters, mostly of the recent vintage, and you will tell me what show they were on.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"The Tower Bridge spans what English river?"

We get going at 8 PM on Tuesday. The Caledonia is located at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We continue to have great turnouts every Tuesday night, and I thank you so much for that. I look forward to seeing many of you on Tuesday for a great night of Trivia!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Trivia Q&A: November 25

We had another great crowd in on Tuesday night at the Caledonia, with the bar full up and everyone enjoying the night.

The scores were a definite improvement over last week, with the team of Mortal Wombat winning the night, with a total of 51 points. It was the first time at the Caledonia we had a solo winner, as Matt, who has been a loyal regular for a long time, came in without his other regulars and easily won, by 11 points. Congrats to Matt on his solo success.

Second place went to Helen Keller's Blind Date (who won for Best Team Name) with 40 points, and third place went to Team Formerly Known As Hashtag Topical Name with 37 points.

Current Events
1. What Australian actor was named People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" for 2014?
2. What company was recently ranked number 1 in the S&P 500 at a $672 billion worth, and may soon become the first trillion dollar company?
3. What 62-year-old actor announced last week he will be returning to the boxing ring at the end of the month against a 29-year-old contender in Russia?
4. The Independent newspaper from the UK reported that "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" by Monty Python is now the top funeral song there, topping "My Way" by Frank Sinatra. What Monty Python movie was the song featured in?
5. Students around the country posted on Twitter last week with disgusting lunch pictures and sarcastic tweets "thanking" what person for those lunches?
6. Oscar-winning director Mike Nichols died last week at the age of 83. What 1968 film did he win the Academy Award for Best Director for?
7. A suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest among a crowd of spectators at a volleyball match in what Asian country on Sunday, killing 45 people?

Thanksgiving Trivia
1. The first Thanksgiving celebration in America took place in what current US state?
2. What 19th century US president issued the "Thanksgiving Proclamation" making the last Thursday in November the holiday?
3. What folk singer, in 1967, recorded "Alice's Restaurant," about a memorable Thanksgiving Day in his life?
4. What was the original name for the Pilgrims?
5. What West African nation also celebrates a Thanksgiving Day every November?
6. Canada celebrates its Thanksgiving Day every year in what month?
7. Of the three utensils we use to eat (fork, spoon and knife), which was not present at the first Thanksgiving feast?

Movies By Decade Trivia ("The Q Train") (Name the decade and year)
1. Goodfellas
2. Casablanca
3. On The Waterfront
4. West Side Story
5. Monster's Ball
6. The French Connection
7. Ghost
8. It Happened One Night
9. Glory
10. The Deer Hunter

General Knowledge
1. What actor who an Oscar for his role in the classic film "The Godfather?" ( 1 pt)
2. What has the longest neck of any land animal? ( 1 pt)
3. Tea was first grown in what Asian country? ( 1 pt)
4. Boko Haram is the militant Islamic group currently running rampant in what country? ( 2 pt)
5. Which soap product made claims in ads to be "99 and 44/100% pure?" ( 2 pt)
6. What British royal is also known as the Duchess of Cambridge? ( 2 pt)
7. Wilhelm Rontgen of Germany won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901 for what discovery? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. The Fisherman's Ring is worn by what famous person? (4 points)
2. The Sea of Tranquility is located where? ( 4 points)
3. "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway," "Trespass", and "And Then There Were Three" were three albums from the 1970s by what rock group that achieved superstar status in the 1980s? ( 4 points)
4. What European country issued the first postage stamp in 1840? ( 4 points)
5. In 1903, what did the Binney and Smith Company make that came out in eight colors? ( 5 points)

Current Events
1. Chris Hemsworth; 2. Apple; 3. Mickey Rourke; 4. "Life of Brian:" 5. Michelle Obama; 6. "The Graduate;" 7. Afghanistan.

Thanksgiving Trivia
1. Massachusetts; 2. Abraham Lincoln; 3. Arlo Guthrie; 4. The Puritans; 5. Liberia; 6. October; 7. fork.

Movies By Decade Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. 1990s (1990); 2. 1940s (1942); 3. 1950s (1954); 4. 1960s (1961); 5. 2000s (2001); 6. 1970s (1971); 7. 1990s (1990); 8. 1930s (1934); 9. 1980s (1989); 10. 1970s (1978).

General Knowledge
1. Marlon Brando; 2. giraffe; 3. China; 4. Nigeria; 5. Ivory; 6. Kate Middleton; 7. x-rays.

IQ Trivia
1.The pope; 2. On the moon; 3. Genesis; 4. England; 5. Crayola Crayons.

Monday, November 24, 2014

We Give Thanks On Tuesday

Tomorrow night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category for Trivia will be "Thanksgiving Trivia," seven questions connected to this most American of holidays coming up this Thursday. The Q Train lightning round will be "Movies By Decade Trivia." I will give you the names of ten classic films, and you have to tell me the decade of its original release in theaters. And if you can give me the exact year, I will give you a bonus point for each you get correct.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What actor won an Oscar for his role in 'The Godfather'?" 

We get started at 8 PM at the Caledonia. We've been filling up the bar nicely over the past couple of months (and I thank you for that), and seats have been going quickly. Earlier you can get in, the better. The Caledonia is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. I look forward to seeing many of you as we give thanks and have a great night of Trivia!

Hanley. Panda.

The Red Sox might quite the splash late last night (more like an earthquake) when they came to terms with both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval on five-year contracts.

Ben Cherington got the two middle of the orders bats he needed. Ramirez figures to go to the outfield, most likely left field, as the Sox are still committed to Xander Bogaerts at shortstop. Ramirez apparently agreed to a 5 year, $90 million deal, while Sandoval agreed to a 5 year, $102 million contract.

Both deals are risky, of course. I've never been the biggest fan of Ramirez, who has had injury problems the last two years, and has on occasion not given his best efforts. Sandoval's weight has been a long time issue, but I bet the Sox see him as a DH when David Ortiz' career comes to a close.

These free agent signings tell me that both Yoenis Cespedes and Will Middlebrooks will be on a new team next year. I'm betting both will be packaged in a big swap for a starting pitcher. Lots of candidates out there.

And now the attention turns to Jon Lester, as the Red Sox offered him a six-year deal last week, and a decision from him should be happening soon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Trivia Q&A: November 18

On a very cold night in New York, we had a really great turnout for Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub. I appreciate all of you who braved the arctic temperatures for an interesting night of Trivia, with nine teams taking part.

It was one of those nights where I may have made many of the questions are bit too hard, as the overall scores reflected it. That happens every once in a while, but the team of I Used to Be With It But Then They Changed What It Is won for the second straight week, winning with 32 points, and was the only team to get two correct in IQ Trivia. Congrats to Larry and his friends on the back-to-back wins.

It was also a pleasure to meet Victoria and Helen, two very nice girls from England who recently moved to New York who were in for Trivia for the first time. They won for Best Team Name, as they are the founding members of my "fan club!"

Second place went to Those Other Guys with 24 points, and third place went to What Is Our Team Name with 21 points.

Best Team Name: The John Quinn Fan Club, All the Way From The UK!

Current Events
1. What rock superstar had a mid-air scare last week when the rear door of his private Learjet fell off during a European flight?
2. A mansion on Staten Island that was featured in what epic early 1970s film was put up for sale last week with an asking price of nearly $3 million?
3. What Asian nation was struck by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake last Friday?
4. What legendary comedian has been in the middle of a PR crisis in recent weeks as allegations he sexually assaulted more than a dozen women over the last three decades has resurfaced?
5. What late British rock legend's guitar is going up for auction in London next weekend & is expected to go for at least $600,000 and is a guitar he gave to his cousin in 1967?
6. Jane Byrne, who in 1979 was elected mayor of what large American city, and still is the only female mayor elected there, died last weekend at the age of 81?
7. What hit song from 1984 was recently re-recorded for its 30th anniversary last weekend by an all-star cast of pop musicians for Ebola relief?

American Music Trivia
1. In 1997, what famous rapper was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles?
2. What was Elvis Presley's first number one single in the US in 1956?
3. What legendary R&B singer was nicknamed "Soul Brother Number 1" and "Mr. Dynamite?"
4. Dave Grohl rose to fame in the early 1990s as a member of what rock band?
5. What American female pop artist has had the most number one singles on the US charts in history, with 17?
6. What American pop singer is the oldest woman, at 52, to have a number one single on the US charts?
7. Who was the first country artist to sell over 10 million copies of an album?

1-10 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. This is the number of the residence of the British Prime Minister, on Downing Street in London.
2. This number was the title of an album by both Foreigner and Blues Traveler.
3. This is the number of oceans in the world.
4. Andrew Jackson was this number US president.
5. This is the atomic number of helium.
6. This number was worn by sports immortals Ted Williams and Gordie Howe.
7. You find the letter "F" on a standard touch tone phone on this number.
8. This is the number of points on a Star of David.
9. The pitcher in baseball is represented by this number.
10. This is the number of musicians in an octet.

General Knowledge
1. Azure is a variation of what color? ( 1 pt)
2. Amarillo, Odessa and Big Spring are all cities in what US state? ( 1 pt)
3. How many games did Joe DiMaggio hit in consecutively to set the all-time record in 1941? ( 1 pt)
4. What year did Prohibition officially end in the US? ( 2 pt)
5. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is leaning in what direction? ( 2 pt)
6. In 1962, what was the name of the first James Bond movie? ( 2 pt)
7. The Beaufort scale measures what in terms of weather? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. In 1944, Iceland declared its independence from what European country? ( 4 points)
2. Chess is believed to have been invented over 1500 years ago in what Asian country? ( 4 points)
3. What famous TV family lived at 9764 Jeopardy Lane in Chicago? ( 3 points)
4. Michael Johns and Joanne Borgella, who both died in 2014, were the first people to pass away who were made famous on what TV show? ( 4 points)
5. "Operation Neptune Spear" was a 21st century mission to accomplish what by the US military? ( 5 points)

Current Events
1. Bono; 2. "The Godfather;" 3. Indonesia; 4. Bill Cosby; 5. John Lennon; 6. Chicago; 7. "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

American Music Trivia
1. Notorious BIG; 2. "Heartbreak Hotel:" 3. James Brown; 4. Nirvana; 5. Mariah Carey; 6. Cher; 7. Garth Brooks.

1-10 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. ten; 2. four; 3. five; 4. seven; 5. two; 6. nine; 7. three; 8. six; 9. one; 10. eight.

General Knowledge
1. Blue; 2. Texas; 3. 56; 4. 1933; 5. south; 6. "Dr. No;" 7. wind speed.

IQ Trivia
1. Denmark; 2. India; 3. The Bundys; 4. "American Idol"; 5. Kill Osama Bin Laden.

Monday, November 17, 2014

They Were All Born In The USA

On Tuesday night, the Special Category for Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub will be "American Music Trivia," seven questions about American musical artists, mostly along the pop lines, as the American Music Awards will be airing this weekend.

The Q Train lightning round will be "1-10 Trivia." I will ask you ten general knowledge questions where the answer will be a number from 1 to 10. Every answer will be a different number.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Azure is a variation of what color?"

We get going at 8 PM tomorrow. We continue to get some very good turnouts at the Caledonia, so the earlier you can make it in, the better your chance of getting a good seat. I look forward to seeing you Tuesday for a great night of Trivia Q&A!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Trivia Q&A: November 11

We had another great crowd turn out on Tuesday night for Trivia, once again filling up the Caledonia. And it is so good to see many of you turning into regulars.

It was a close night of Trivia all the way through, as the top five teams were separated by just three points going into IQ Trivia. There was a three-way tie for second going into that round. But one of those teams, Hi, I'm Troy McClure. You Must Remember Me From Trivia Nights Such As This One was the only team to get 3 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia (it was a tough round), and pulled out a three-point win with a total of 40 points.Congrats to Larry and his friends on a fine victory.

Second place went to Tramps Like Us with 37 points, and third place went to Shot-Winning Team Name (Insert Laugh Here) with 36 points (they also won for Best Team Name).

Current Events
1. What world leader was ranked number one in Forbes magazine's ranking of the most powerful leaders in the world for 2014?
2. What female pop singer pulled her entire back catalog of her music from the streaming service Spotify last week, in what some believe is an effort to drive up her album and song sales?
3. What former late night talk show host will be the final guest on Craig Ferguson's last "Late Late Show" on CBS next month?
4. Two wealthy men bid $300,000 to have a lasagna dinner with what American rock superstar last week, and the money was raised for a foundation that aids injured servicemen?
5. President Obama got into a back-and-forth spat last week with what retired superstar athlete over his golf game?
6. What comedian said in a recent interview that he's learned about autism spectrum disorders, and he says he actually sees it in himself?
7. What 1970s classic rock band's lead singer turned down a reported $800 million offer from Richard Branson for a 35-date tour for the band in 2015?

Veterans and Veteran's Day Trivia
1. What 20th century US president signed the bill proclaiming November 11th as Veteran's Day? a. FDR; b. Dwight Eisenhower; c. Harry Truman; d. JFK.
2. Veteran's Day was once known as what? a. Memorial Day; b. Heroes Day; c. Decoration Day; d. Armistice Day.
3. What was was originally called "The War to End All Wars?" a. WWI; b. WWII; c. The Civil War; d. Vietnam War.
4. What has been the most deadly war in American history? a. WWII; b. Vietnam War; c. The Civil War; d. Revolutionary War.
5. What flower is the symbol of Veteran's Day? a. rose; b. poppy; c. lily of the valley; d. forget-me-not.
6. What conflict has the most living US veterans as of 2013? a. Vietnam War; b. Gulf War Era; c. Korean War; d. WWII.
7. Name 2 of the 3 US states that have 1 million or more veterans currently living there.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Three's Company, the 1970s sitcom, was based on a successful British series.
2. John Adams was defeated for re-election by his own Vice-President.
3. Birds never fly at night.
4. Fleas are bloodsuckers.
5. There is a man named John Rambo on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
6. Sri Lanka's name comes from a Laotian word for "too many darn elephants."
7. Prince Harry served as a second lieutenant in the war in Afghanistan.
8. Sharing night-time photos of the Eiffel Tower is illegal.
9. Apples are the world's most popular fruit.
10. Leonardo daVinci famously cut off his ear and gave it to his girlfriend.

General Knowledge
1. The University of Notre Dame is located in what US state? ( 1 pt)
2. Winners of the Masters golf tournament are awarded what color jacket? ( 1 pt)
3. In the original "Star Wars", who provided the voice of Darth Vader? ( 1 pt)
4. What is the highest-ranking hand in the game Texas Hold 'Em? ( 2 pt)
5. 21st Century Fox and News Corp are both owned by what media tycoon? ( 2 pt)
6. "Up All Night" was a number one album in 2012 for what pop group? ( 2 pt)
7. Most historians believe what is the world's oldest written language? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. In 2002, what comedy series was named the best television show of all-time by TV Guide? ( 3 points)
2. "The Card Players," a 19th century painting by what French artist, is the most expensive work of art of all-time? ( 5 points)
3. To avoid any association with the Nazis, SS Cars Ltd., a European car company, changed its name to what after WWII? ( 4 points)
4. The environmental group Greenpeace was founded in 1971 in what country? ( 4 points)
5. What mid-1970s film was the first movie ever to gross $100 million at the box office in the US? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Vladimir Putin; 2. Taylor Swift; 3. Jay Leno; 4. Bruce Springsteen; 5. Michael Jordan; 6. Jerry Seinfeld; 7. Led Zeppelin.

Veterans and Veterans Day Trivia
1. b; 2. d; 3. a; 4. c; 5. b; 6. a; 7. California, Texas and Florida.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. true; 2. true; 3. false; 4. true; 5. true; 6. false; 7. true; 8. true; 9. false, tomatoes; 10. false, Vincent Van Gogh.

General Knowledge
1. Indiana; 2. green; 3. James Earl Jones; 4. royal flush; 5. Rupert Murdoch; 6. One Direction; 7. Egyptian.

IQ Trivia
1. "Seinfeld;" 2. Paul Cezanne; 3. Jaguar; 4. Canada; 5. "Jaws."

Monday, November 10, 2014

We Honor The Veterans On Tuesday

On Tuesday night, November 11th, we will honor the men and women who have served our country with the Special Category for Tuesday Night Trivia, with "Veterans and Veterans Day." It will be seven questions about the holiday, and those we honor on Veterans Day. All the questions will be multiple choice.

The Q Train lightning round will be another edition of "True or False Trivia."

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"In the original 'Star Wars,' who provided the voice of Darth Vader?"

We'll get started at 8 PM on Tuesday night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, which is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. So do your patriotic duty and come on out for Trivia tomorrow night. I look forward to seeing many of you then!

Thursday, November 06, 2014

The Truck Leaves On Honest Abe's Birthday

14 weeks from today, it will be the 206th birthday of our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln. But it many parts of our great nation, it will be Truck Day.

Yep, the Truck will leave Fenway on February 12th and head for Ft. Myers that day. It seems a very long way away, but it will be here before you know it.

Pitchers and catchers officially report on February 20th, and the rest of the squad on February 25th. Spring Training games begin March 3rd.

Gordon Edes has more about that and the complete Red Sox Spring Training schedule here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Remodeling Begins

It was an exciting finish to the World Series last week, as Madison Bumgarner basically put the Giants on his shoulders and led them to their 3rd World Series victory in five years.

But now the 2014 season is complete, and we turn the page to what will surely be a fascinating off-season for the Red Sox and their fans.

The five day window after the World Series has now past, and we will see who they pursue this winter. The usual suspects are out there: Jon Lester, James Shields and Max Scherzer are out there are top starters, and you can't swing a dead cat without hearing the name Giancarlo Stanton mentioned as a trade possibility.

I really don't know where Ben Cherington will go with all of this. He has a ton of freedom to do what he wants to, as the club has money to spend on free agents, prospects to trade, as well as attractive MLB players that he can trade as well. It will probably reach a fever pitch when the Winter Meetings begin in San Diego on December 7th.

The trade for Yoenis Cespedes last July 31 tells me that Cherington is not afraid to make bold moves, and I have a feeling he will pull off another shocker (or maybe two) this winter. He's got a plan that I am sure he is keeping close to the vest right now.

But the first interesting move of the off-season was the Sox resigning Koji Uehara to a two-year extension. He will be 40 next summer, and obviously the Sox believe that his late-season struggles in 2014 was just a blip on the radar.

I am not going to make any predictions on what the Red Sox will do this winter. I just feel it will be an offseason of surprises. There will be a lot of pressure on Ben Cherington to make all the right moves as he did in 2013, which resulted in a championship. I'm not betting that will happen again.

But who knows.

I can only guarantee that the Red Sox team that takes the field in Philadelphia on April 6th will look very different from the one that concluded the 2014 season last September 28th.

Trivia Q&A: November 4

We had another nice turnout for Trivia at the Caledonia on Election Night, a nice bounce back from last week's slight decline. The bar was full and the folks were really enjoying the night's Q&A.

The scores for the first two categories was extremely low (especially in Politics & Election Trivia, as the highest score was actually 3 of 7), but the teams were basically bunched together heading into The Q Train lightning round, where most teams got a 9 or 10 out of 10.

The team of ISIS Company Softball Team (who won for Best Team Name) got 4 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia, and forced a tie with Hashbrown: Am I Doing This Right? at 38 points. We had a tie breaker question: "How many electoral votes did Ronald Reagan win by in the biggest landslide in history in 1984 over Walter Mondale?" The answer was 512, and Hashbrown was closest in their guess, and won the night. Congrats to Matt and Monica on another fine win.

Third place went to Lil' Bitches, who had 27 points.

Current Events
1. What world leader was called "chickenshit" by an anonymous figure within the Obama administration as reported by Atlantic magazine last week?
2. What country's prime minister announced last week a binding referendum will be held in 2016 on whether to change the country's national flag, one that has the Union flag on it?
3. What country announced they will quarantine all visitors to the country for 21 days, even though the country has never had a case of Ebola?
4. What troubled actress and her brother are being sued for $60 million by an ex-business associate over a fashion app they are working on, as the man claims they stole the idea from him?
5. A suspected cop killer was captured by US Marshals last week after a grueling 48-day search in what US state?
6. What iconic R&B/pop singer, who is 64 years old, announced he will become a father for the 9th, 10th and 11th time, as his girlfriend is expecting triplets?
7. Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany won the men's and women's titles at the NYC Marathon on Sunday. What country do they both hail from?

Politics & Election Trivia
1. What US president was elected with the most lopsided vote in history in terms of electoral votes?
2. Thomas Menino, the former mayor of Boston who died last week, was elected how many times?
3. What 20th century president was the last one elected who had never attended college?
4. The two current longest-serving members of Congress, John Dingell and John Conyers, both represent what northern US state?
5. Who was the last Democratic president elected carrying at least 46 states?
6. Who was the last US president to serve who was not elected to the office?
7. Who was the first US president to serve who was not elected to the office?

2012 Presidential Election Trivia ("The Q Train") (Name the party who won the state.)
1. New Jersey
2. Texas
3. Nebraska
4. Florida
5. Alaska
6. Minnesota
7. Ohio
8. Missouri
9. Virginia
10. Georgia

General Knowledge
1. The Falkland Islands are found off the coast of what country? ( 1 pt)
2. What is the last letter in the Greek alphabet? ( 1 pt)
3. What is number is 100 cubed? (1 pt)
4. What character from the sitcom "Cheers" appeared as a contestant on Jeopardy? ( 2 pt)
5. What European country was in charge of developing and building the Suez Canal? ( 2 pt)
6. What creature is strongly suspected to be the initial transmitter of the Ebola virus? ( 2 pt)
7. How many terrestrial planets are in this solar system? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Who was the only person to sign all three documents that founded the US: the Declaration of Independence, The Treaty of Paris and the US Constitution? ( 4 points)
2. Flora, Fauna and Merryweather were three characters featured in what fairy tale? ( 5 points)
3. Most historical scholars believe that Buddha was born in the 5th century BC in what present-day Asian country? ( 4 points)
4. Which current British royal is known as the Duke of York? ( 4 points)
5. The California Perfume Company was the original name of what cosmetics company? ( 3 points)

Current Events
1. Benjamin Netanyahu; 2. New Zealand; 3. North Korea; 4. Lindsay Lohan; 5. Pennsylvania; 6. Stevie Wonder; 7. Kenya.

Politics & Election Trivia
1. Ronald Reagan (1984); 2. five; 3. Harry S. Truman; 4. Michigan; 5. FDR (1936); 6. Gerald Ford; 7. John Tyler.

2012 Presidential Election Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Dem; 2. Rep; 3. Rep; 4. Dem; 5. Rep; 6. Dem; 7. Dem; 8. Rep; 9. Dem; 10. Rep.

General Knowledge
1. Argentina; 2. Omega; 3. 1 million; 4. Cliff Clavan; 5. France; 6. bat; 7. four.

IQ Trivia
1. Ben Franklin; 2. Sleeping Beauty; 3. Nepal; 4. Prince Andrew; 5. Avon.