Saturday, September 30, 2006
Pedro recently had a second opinion on his shoulder, and it was the same diagnosis as the first. He opted not to rehab it and went for the surgery. Two Mets team doctors and the Red Sox former team physician, Dr. William Morgan, will perform it.
This was the fear the Red Sox had with Pedro late in his Sox career, that his right shoulder would end up like this. He has said he will not retire, and I'm sure he will do his best to get back to the Mets by next July. He certainly doesn't want to conclude his Hall of Fame career on such a sour note.
I wish Pedro all the best, and I pray all goes well with his surgery next week.
Good luck, Petey.
This sets up a very bizarre scenario tomorrow. The Blue Jays came from behind to beat the Yankees, 6-5 today, so Toronto moves one game ahead of the Sox in second place. So in order for the Red Sox to finish in a tie with Toronto, they have to beat Baltimore on Sunday afternoon at Fenway, and, gulp, the Yankees have to beat the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.
Yes, we have to root for the New York Yankees in order for the Sox to avoid third place.
I guess we have no choice.
Let's Go......no I can't say it, not even for the Red Sox benefit...
Friday, September 29, 2006
It's pretty stupid, but at worst, it's rather insensitive, considering Jon Lester's current battle with lymphoma.
Boy, if I were a Yankee fan, I'd be REALLY proud to wear that shirt. And wow, yet another clever Yankee t-shirt answering the Red Sox and their fans back. Just like those wildly popular "Yankees Universe" shirts. And those "Got Rings" shirts. You know the ones, those truly obnoxious shirts to remind the whole world that the Yankees lead everyone in how many rings they've won. Ugh.
Joe points out that he doesn't remember MLB.com selling any "Yankees Choke" shirts after their historic postseason collapse of 2004. I also don't remember seeing them there either. But they will hawk this kind of shirt. Hey, if they want to sell division champions shirts, fine. But of course, they wouldn't be the Yankees without pouring some salt into some open wounds.
What pathetic crap.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
I saw the film back in November (on the night of the Josh Beckett trade as I recall) with a group of 9/11 victims family members and other special guests. It is a terrific low budget film about the lives of a group of New Yorkers and how they were changed forever by the World Trade Center disaster. It has a supernatural twist to it, and I was fascinated by the film, especially the ending. (I don't want to give too much away.)
I got to know the filmmaker and star of the film, Deborah Twiss. "In-Between" was made with a very small budget, and was shot in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. There is a web site for the film that will give you more information about it:
I will not be able to attend the screening this coming Tuesday night, as I will be doing my Trivia Night MC duties at Professor Thom's that night (ironically just one block away). But I encourage you to support this very worthy film that Deborah has made. It was done with a lot of sensitivity toward the WTC disaster, and I am proud to support Deborah's effort.
You can also RSVP for the free screening by calling: 718-875-1985 or by emailing: email@example.com.
We're dealing with Terrell Owens here.
You have to remember something. Terrell Owens loves Terrell Owens. Someone with the monumental ego that he's got, who constantly refers to himself in the third person (that drives me nuts), would NOT attempt suicide. So when I heard that he said that he didn't try to kill himself, I actually believe him. Even Owens isn't crazy enough to try something like this just to gain publicity.
I've always said that Owens is the perfect example of everything that is wrong with professional sports these days. He only cares about himself, doesn't give a toss about his teammates, has an obnoxious agent who does his bidding (didn't he fire Rosenhaus?), and is only driven by ego and a bigger paycheck.
He's wearing out his welcome in yet another city (what a big surprise), and nothing but negative publicity follows this guy.
Owens gets about as much sympathy from me as he'll get from Donovan McNabb. Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys wanted this guy, and now they are stuck with him. I wonder if he'll still be in a Dallas uniform by New Year's Day. Somehow, I wouldn't bet on it.
And I'll bet that either Jones or Bill Parcells will REALLY have attempted suicide by then.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
I thought it might be time to put a little advertising here at The Mighty Quinn Media Machine. A few weeks ago, an online sports book offered me money to carry a banner for their site, but I turned it down. I won't promote online gambling on my web site.
So far, most of the ads there have been sports-oriented (as this is a sports-oriented blog mostly), so I hope you will all check them out.
The Cardinals had a seven game lead with just 13 to play, but that has been whittled down in one big hurry. It is very reminiscent of what happened to the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies, which is the absolute gold standard for late season collapses. Nothing compares to what happened to them that season. The bigtime collapses of the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers maybe close (sorry Mom and Dad), as well as the 1993 San Francisco Giants and 1995 California Angels (the 1978 Red Sox isn't really that close, just overrated), but what happened to the Phillies was unbelievable. They were up by 7 1/2 games with 11 to play in 1964, and went out and promptly dropped nine in a row and lost the NL pennant on the final day to the....St. Louis Cardinals.
This season the Cardinals have gotten hit with some key injuries, most notably to David Eckstein, Jim Edmonds and Jason Isringhausen, who needs surgery and is out for the year. They are still in first, but have to find a way to end this streak, or this team will go down in history, and in a way no one in St. Louis will want to remember.
It would be nice to see the Mets start winning before the playoffs begin. Granted, these games mean really little (they remind me of those late in March spring training games) since the Mets wrapped up everything last week. And you don't want any of your stars getting hurt in rather meaningless games. But a little momentum on their part would be a nice thing to see, especially since the San Diego Padres are playing so well and could be poised for an upset if they get in.
It doesn't really count for the Mets until the first pitch is thrown at Shea early next week. Then we see what kind of team the Mets truly have, and if they can go all the way.
Schill came out for the eighth, after giving up 6 hits and striking out 9 and allowing one run in seven innings. But in a classy move, Terry Francona came out and pulled him out of the game to allow the fans to give Curt a well-earned standing ovation.
It was a nice bounceback year for Schilling, who went 15-7 with a 3.97 ERA. He now has 207 career wins, and will be back in 2007 for what he has said will be his final year in what could be a Hall of Fame career.
The Red Sox are back in second after the Blue Jays were beaten in Detroit by the Tigers. I did have a rather frightening thought last night. The Red Sox may just have to keep winning in order to finish in second place. When the Blue Jays finish their series in Detroit tomorrow, they finish their season this weekend against the Yankees in the Bronx.
Does that mean we have to actually root for the Yankees to win this weekend in order for the Sox to finish second? If the Red Sox keep winning, it won't matter. But rooting for the Yankees?
Let's hope it doesn't come down to that.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
The city of New Orleans still has a long way to go to come back from the devastation, but the Saints being back sends a signal to the rest of the country that the city is indeed back in business. Last night was one large celebration for the city, and I'm sure New Orleans, which I had the pleasure of visiting twice (in 2001 and 2002), will be back, and better than ever.
It was a rather depressing football weekend, NFL-wise. The Vikings blew a 16-12 lead over Chicago with three minutes left, as the Bears recovered a fumble at the Vikings 30 and turned it into a game-winning TD, 19-16. The Vikings are 2-1, and play at Buffalo next Sunday.
The Giants? Less said about that disaster the better. My friends who are Patriots fans suffered through a 17-7 loss at home to Denver, a team that Tom Brady just can't seem to beat. At least the Jets won in Buffalo, 28-20, to go up, 2-1 in the AFC East.
Monday, September 25, 2006
But I was absolutely in stitches in the top of the fourth. Jerry Remy comes on as the inning starts and says to Don Orsillo, "I'm going to do something I've never done in 19 years in the broadcast booth. I'm going to be a complete homer."
RemDawg basically did his impression of Ken Harrelson, and he was absolutely hysterical. He was "rooting" on Mark Loretta, David Ortiz and Trot Nixon to get hits, and when Alex Rios made a great sliding catch off Loretta, he called it "lucky." On a close pitch, he urged Trot to "take one for the team." Remy did most of the announcing for the inning, with Orsillo playing a great straight man. Unfortunately, it was a very quick inning, with just six or seven pitches thrown.
It was a great break to a rather lackluster game (neither team had a hit by that time), and I nearly fell off my bed laughing. When the inning ended, RemDawg went back to his regular color analyst role. He was of course, going overboard with the homerism, but it made me appreciate what a good analyst Remy really is, and how much I hate the kind of announcing that shills like Harrelson do. I love how self-effacing Jerry is, and never takes himself too seriously. I think the Red Sox and Mets have the two best TV broadcasting crews in baseball.
I will miss both Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo when the regular season ends this Sunday.
Thanks for the comic relief, RemDawg. I enjoyed it.
When we remember them, they are not forgotten.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
I got home and it was 17-0 Michigan State after one period of play. ND really struggled on defense, and it looked like they were going to get torched like they did against Michigan last week. But they rebounded in the second half, as Brady Quinn threw five touchdowns, and Terrall Lambert returned an interception 19 yards for a TD with 2:53 left to play to win it.
Quinn went 20-for-36 for 319 yards and one interception. This gives the Irish a measure of revenge against Michigan State, who after upsetting the Irish 44-41 in overtime last year at South Bend (a game I was at, sitting in the stands at the far end zone near the MSU band) took their school flag and "planted" it at midfield, acting like they "conquered" Notre Dame. (I guess the term "act like you've been there before" applies here.)
Michigan State's 2005 season went downhill after that.
Payback's a bitch, Spartan fans.
"If David Ortiz were a Yankee, Yankee fans would have been writing their Congressman the last two years to get him the MVP award."
7. Every young child growing up in New York that becomes a Mets Fan is one less child that will be corrupted by the Evil Empire.
I couldn't agree more, and it made me think of two of my nieces, both Yankee fans. Hopefully one day they can be "saved."
To see the complete list, check out this link:
That also means that there will be no championship flag of any kind flying over Fenway Park during the 2007 season.
To cushion the blow, at the right I have a remembrance of better times.
Memories of that, and my 2004 World Series video, will comfort me through the long winter.
So, how many days before pitchers and catchers report to Ft. Myers?
Friday, September 22, 2006
I have replaced about 90% of the links I previously had, and added a few new ones. I haven't completed it totally, and hopefully by the end of the weekend I will.
Hopefully, all of the links will be back, and be an even better section.
GROUND ZERO CROSS (THE LAST ARTIFACT) TO TRANSFER TO ST. PETER'S CHURCH
On Thursday afternoon, Oct. 5th at 2 p.m. in the afternoon, there will be a procession to transfer the Ground Zero Cross (also known as the Last Artifact) from its present site in the WTC near the corner of Church and Cortlandt Sts. to three blocks north on the exterior of St. Peter's Church which is located on Church and Barclay Sts. This Last Artifact is actually a t-beam which was erected with numerous other t-beams during the construction of the original Twin Towers during the late 60's and early 70's. On Sept. 13, 2001, a construction worker named Frank Silecchia, discovered this cross-like beam amid the ruins of WTC 6 during the rescue and recovery program. Frank along with many other rescue and recovery workers interpreted this beam as a Cross and a sign of God's presence at Ground Zero.
This beam is 20 feet tall and weighs a couple of tons. Father Brian Jordan contacted then First Deputy Mayor Joseph Lhota (with the permission of then Mayor Giuliani) to arrange to have the beam erected on a concrete slab on West and Vesey Sts. The Cross-like beam was blessed by Father Jordan on Oct. 4, 2001. This Crosslike structure has provided consolation for many family members and friends of the victims of 9/11 and also to the recovery workers such as the construction workers; FDNY; PAPD; NYPD; other government agencies; volunteers and those who pay their respect at Ground Zero on a daily basis.
Due to plans to build in the present area of the Cross-like structure, an agreement was made between the Port Authority of NY/NJ, Father Jordan, Fr. Kevin Madigan, pastor of St. Peter's Church and Edward J. Malloy, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of NYS to temporarily transfer the Cross-like structure to the exterior of St. Peter's until the newconstruction on the WTC is completed. It is estimated that will take about 4 years. Then the cross beams will return to an external place on the WTC site. Whether the public sees this as a Last Artifact or share in the interpretation that this is a Cross, all are welcome to join in the procession which will begin at 2 p.m. and last for about an hour or so where the Cross-like structure will be rededicated by Fathers Madigan and Jordan.
For more information, please call Father Brian Jordan at 212-736-8500
or Edward J. Malloy at 212-647-0700
There was also some good news for those families who lost a loved one who was never identified. The office of the New York City's Chief Medical Examiner has re-opened testing of the DNA of bones that weren't previously identified. New techniques have enabled the CME to resume testing after it was originally stopped 18 months ago. They have given no assurances that there will be further identifications, but they have said they will go on as long as it is possible.
I only pray that more of the 1,161 poor souls lost on September 11, 2001 will be identified, and give their loved ones some peace. The OCME and his staff did an absolutely superb job identifying hundreds of people in the first 3 1/2 years after the attacks, and I know they will go above and beyond the call once again.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
David Ortiz set the Red Sox record tonight for home runs in a season, breaking Jimmie Foxx' record of 50 home runs with a first inning blast off losing pitcher Johan Santana, pacing the Red Sox to a 6-0 victory at Fenway. It was a huge blast that landed in the right field bleachers. Papi added his 52nd homer later in the game for good measure, with yet another titanic blast, this time to center field.
The greatest clutch hitter in Red Sox history just adds to his legend.
But of course, those dimwits from RotoWire (or RotoWorld, I think they are one in the same) , said this tonight about it:
Ortiz no longer has any chance of winning MVP honors, but with the way he's swinging right now, a big finish seems likely.
No longer any chance of winning MVP honors? Are they kidding? It's a wide-open race for the honor, and a huge finish by Big Papi will give him a great chance of winning. Once again, these imbeciles have no idea what the hell they are talking about.
Whatever. It was a great night for Papi, the Sox and their fans. I absolutely loved the silent treatment the Sox players gave Papi after he hit his second homer. Then after a few seconds, they swarmed all over him and he had the biggest smile on his face you'll ever see.
Congratulations, Papi. You are the MVP, whether they give you the award or not.
Unfortunately, it seems I have wiped out my entire section of links, as a good part of my template was deleted. It will take a while to get them back up, but they will be restored. So if any of you had seen a blank screen earlier today, that was the reason why. Sorry for any inconvenience.
But my Media Machine is back, and it will be better than ever, I promise you!!!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
There are a lot of great lines and quotes in it, like this one:
For 11 summers Rodriguez had been the master of self-sufficiency, a baseball Narcissus who found pride and comfort gazing upon the reflection of his beautiful statistics. His game, like his appearance, was wrinkle-free. Indeed, in December 2003, when the Red Sox were frantically trying to acquire Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers, several Boston executives called on Rodriguez in his New York hotel suite after 1 a.m. Rodriguez answered the door in a perfectly pressed suit, tie knotted tight to his stiff collar. The Red Sox officials found such polished attire at such a late hour odd, even unsettling.
"I can't help that I'm a bright person," he said last month. "I know that's not a great quote to give, but I can't pretend to play dumb and stupid."
"One thing people don't like," said one teammate, "is his body language. Too much of what he does on the field looks ... scripted."
It's without question an article that most people who follow baseball will be talking about. From the article, it sounds like Rodriguez is not exactly a beloved figure in the Yankee clubhouse (and the backhanded slaps he takes at teammates like Mike Mussina and Jason Giambi won't help his case). He sounds like a lonely man in that place, and he wants the whole world to love him. But he also sounds way too self-absorbed, which is hardly a rarity in any baseball clubhouse. Most Yankee fans see right through him, and have decided to beat him up for every little thing, whether deserved or not.
I'm not a Yankee fan. Rodriguez wears the pinstripes, and makes an eight-figure salary yearly. No sympathy from my corner of the world.
Take the time to read it, and reach your own conclusions.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
My friend Michael forwarded an email to me today that said that Peter Gammons will be on ESPN tomorrow night, which will mark his return to the network after a serious brain aneurysm he suffered in June. He will, of course, be at Fenway.
Peter Gammons will be back on ESPN on Wednesday night.
Gammons, who suffered a brain aneurysm in late June, will be on the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter and the 7 p.m. ET edition of Baseball Tonight. He will report from Fenway Park.
Gammons isn't returning to work full-time. An ESPN spokesman said that future appearances will be scheduled as Gammons is comfortable.
It will be good to have Peter back where he belongs. We've missed him.
I celebrated it by finding a Mets flag in my basement and flying out in front of my house. That should make the other Mets fans I know on my block happy.
An early prediction: Mets vs. Oakland A's in the 2006 World Series.
I saw one of the most amazing games last night on the MLB package. It was the Dodgers-Padres game from LA. The game was tied at 4 until the Padres broke through for two runs, and then padded their lead to 9-5 going into the bottom of the ninth. I was ready to turn off the set as I figured the Padres had this one, but I stayed with it.
And boy, am I glad I did.
The Dodgers tied a MLB record as they hit four straight solo homers in a row to tie the game. Jon Adkins gave up the first two to Jeff Kent and J. D. Drew, and then was relieved by Trevor Hoffman, who gave up homers to Russell Martin and Marlon Anderson on his first two pitches. In the tenth, the Padres grabbed the lead again at 10-9, but Nomar Garciaparra hit a two-run homer to win it, 11-10. And who did he hit the game winner off of?
A familiar name to Red Sox fans in 2006: Rudy Seanez.
I had a feeling the Padres were dead as soon as I saw him in the game. That goes to prove that not every ex-Red Sox player is having success in San Diego.
My favorite line in the entire piece is the last one.
One can only imagine the emotionally negative reaction had, say A-Rod, made such a glaring "stats first" decision.
Amen to that.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Earlier in the fourth with the Vikes down, 13-6, they faked a FG attempt and Longwell threw a perfect pass on the left side to Richard Owens, who lunged into the end zone for a 16-yard TD to tie the game. It was not an outstanding game for the Vikings, as Brad Johnson went 19 for 31 for 243 yards and an interception. The defense did mostly a good job, but Carolina scored their only TD on a drive that was helped out by a pass interference and face mask penalty.
The Vikings are now 2-0 and face Chicago at the Metrodome next Sunday.
Nice comeback by the Giants, down 24-7, to rally to a 30-24 win at Philly yesterday, on Eli Manning's pass to Plaxico Burress midway through OT. A loss would have put the Giants 0-2 and the wolves would have begun howling for sure. The Jets comeback at home against the Patriots fell short, 24-17, as the Pats held on after building a 17-0 halftime edge. There was also an article in today's Daily News from that dimwit Filip Bondy, making a big deal about the fact that Bill Belichick only said a couple of cursory words to his former assistant and now Jets coach, Eric Mangini, after the game concluded.
Some sportswriters will do anything to stir up crap, especially this jackass. That's why I consider sportswriters to be on the same level as politicians and lawyers these days.
--Seeing the 2006 AL MVP hit his 49th home run in the Belly of the Beast. Big Papi's now one away from the all-time Red Sox record.
--Stopping Derek Jeter's 25-game hitting streak in the second game last night. Did anyone else notice that Jeter swung at a 3-0 pitch in his final at-bat last night? Yeah, a real "team" player.
--Coco Crisp's phenomenal catch off Jorge Posada, going over the wall to save the game in the bottom of the eighth. Funny, I didn't see Johnny Damon acting like a complete fool after Coco made that catch.
--Watching the Yankee bullpen blow up not once, but twice yesterday. They can ignore it all they want, but the Yankees have pitching troubles, especially in their bullpen. They can put an All-Star at every position, but PITCHING WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS.
--Seeing the youngsters Dustin Pedroia and David Murphy get clutch hits in the games yesterday, and good pitching performances from Kyle Snyder, Josh Beckett and especially Mike Timlin. Nice to see Sarge bounce back in a big way.
--Denying the Yankees the opportunity to clinch the AL East at home, and especially against the Red Sox. "Not in our house!" a friend of mine, a Red Sox fan, said the other day. (Yes, it is. Remember October 20, 2004?) Let them clinch on the road.
It wasn't a weekend that will be fondly remembered in Red Sox history, but I'll take it. Beating the Yankees three times in the same weekend is always a good thing.
To cap off the weekend, my friend Chris voicemailed me to let me know that the segment I was a part of on "kayreoke" was shown late last night after the Red Sox second game win on NESN. I had left the bar and got home to see the bottom of the ninth of the game, so I missed seeing the NESN segment. (I knew I should have stayed longer.)
And oh yes, this is my 300th post since I began The Mighty Quinn Media Machine back in March. The numbers just keep rolling up...
I hope you're all enjoying "The Life and Times of Derek Jeter" on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball as much as I am tonight. It has been a PRICELESS performance by Miller and Morgan tonight. From not knowing the first names of Sox starting players, to understating the Sox' injuries, to at least 500 shots of Mr. & Mrs. Jeter in the stands, to Joe Morgan attempting to define the word "character" and the meaning of MVP, to "seat sniffer" footage...well by God, I can only dream what could be next! Maybe I should crack open a Seagram's Golden Wine Cooler in honor of CI?
I love Rhonda, with her dedication to the Red Sox and telling it like it is. I'm glad I was listening to Al Michaels and John Madden instead last night.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
The Michigan Wolverines came into Notre Dame Stadium yesterday and put a big time hurt on the Fighting Irish with a resounding 47-21 victory. It got so bad at the end that chants of "overrated" were heard as Notre Dame crashed.
Michigan scored a TD in the opening minute on a 31-yard interception return by Prescott Burgess, and they never looked back. It was simply an awful day for Brady Quinn, who threw three interceptions and fumbled once. Michigan cashed in on all the turnovers, and led 34-14 at halftime.
The Wolverines were absolutely relentless on defense, and pressured Quinn all day. He did throw for 234 yards and three TDs, but the Irish were able to get only 17 rushing all day.
It was a near perfect performance by Michigan, and they will undoubtably rise from number 11 in the national rankings. ND will certainly drop out of number 2, and you have to begin to wonder if yesterday's absolutely sloppy performance completely killed any chance of Notre Dame winning a national championship this year.
And whether all the preseason hype was truly hype, and the Irish were truly overrated. We'll see how they bounce back at Michigan State next Saturday.
Art critic says good riddance to 'ugly' WTC
The World Trade Center was an "ugly box" whose loss did no harm to the city's skyline, one of the world's most outspoken art critics says.
"It was a large, scaleless lump, which completely dominated that end of Manhattan," Robert Hughes, an Australian who has lived in New York for many years, told the London Sunday Times.
Hughes, known in Britain for his BBC TV series and book "The Shock of the New," suggests 9/11 could have been far worse. "It would have been terrible if those Al Qaeda guys had knocked down either the Chrysler Building or the Rockefeller Center."
Granted, for years the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were criticized by many New Yorkers for being "ugly" and "an eyesore" on the Manhattan skyline. But now that they are gone, to say that their loss "did no harm to the city's skyline" is incredibly offensive, especially to people who lost loved ones that day who see the missing Twin Towers and think of those they loved are gone.
And a majority of New Yorkers still want the Twin Towers rebuilt, so it's just not the 9/11 families who miss those buildings.
It figures that such a bonehead remark would come from a non-native New Yorker. If the original remark wasn't bad enough, this Hughes imbecile compounds it by saying the loss of either the Chrysler Building or Rockefeller center would have been worse.
I don't know where to start with the stupidity in this last sentence. Hughes makes it sound like it was OK to destroy the World Trade Center, killing 2749 innocent souls, but knocking down either of the other two buildings he mentions would have been "terrible."
Goddamned jackass. Generally whenever I see the word "critic," those two words come to mind. Hughes can shove his "ugly box", and his insensitive opinions, where the sun doesn't shine.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
I've been a member of the BLOHARDS for a long time, but haven't been to a luncheon in many years. This one was attended by Joe Castiglione, the radio voice of the Red Sox, who got up on the microphone and chatted about the Red Sox and this season with the attendees. He also did an interview with Javier Lopez, the Red Sox pitcher, who was in attendance. Javier is a tall, good looking guy who was very nice to the many fans who chatted with him. Joe kidded him about not seeing him throw to the catcher Javier Lopez, who the Red Sox recently released, in a major league game. "I did throw to him in the bullpen," Javier said.
Among the other guests was Ed Randall, who hosts the "Talking Baseball" show on Sunday mornings on WFAN; Tim Shea, who has written an interesting new book about Fenway Park called "The Fenway Pole Finder," Josh Dixon and Brett Rapkin, who made a fascinating documentary called "Spaceman In Cuba," about Bill Lee and a trip he made to Cuba in 2002; and Charles Steinberg, the head of media relations with the Red Sox. We saw a clip from the Bill Lee documentary and it looks like a lot of fun. There was also a nice film clip tribute to one of the BLOHARDS' founders, the late Henry Berry (who I met years ago). During Charles Steinberg's chat with the fans, he produced a nice framed picture of a Fenway scoreboard tribute to the late Jimmy Powers, another of the BLOHARDS' legendary founders.
But of course, the highlight of the luncheon was my appearance with the round of Red Sox trivia (if I do say so myself). I was introduced by Joe Cosgriff, the luncheon's MC. I talked about Trivia Night at Professor Thom's, and how the bar was the hip place to go to watch the Red Sox games. ("Far better than the Riviera," I said.)
I wrote out 10 questions, but I ended up doing six of them, and prizes were given to the person who guessed the right answer. Here they are, in the order I did them:
1. What day of the year did the Red Sox win the World Series in 1918?
The answer is September 11. It took a while, and a lot of audience guesses before someone got the answer correct. I'm surprised that fact is not more widely known, especially after what happened five years ago.
2. What Red Sox player was the first former Little Leaguer to be elected to baseball's Hall of Fame?
The answer is Carl Yastrzemski. I heard that name mentioned almost immediately.
3. Which Red Sox utility infielder famously caught a rat on the infield of Fenway Park in the early 1980s?
The answer is Ed Jurak. No one got it, but it seemed like everyone was guessing every infielder who played for the Sox in the 1980s.
4. Which Red Sox pitcher once left the team for three days and attempted to fly to Israel in 1963, but could not because he did not have a passport?
The answer is Gene Conley. I had not reached the word "Israel" when someone yelled out "Gene Conley." The crowd at the BLOHARDS is older than I am as a group, so I wasn't surprised someone got it right away.
5. Which future Red Sox pitcher gave up Nomar Garciaparra's first career home run in 1996?
The answer is John "Way Back" Wasdin. No one was getting it until I gave out a hint: "Think of Jerry Trupiano." (His home run call: "way back, way back..") Charles Steinberg was the one who got it right.
6. Which Red Sox pitcher, who did two tours of duty in Boston, gave up Hank Aaron's 755th and final home run of his career in 1976?
The answer is Dick Drago. Joe told a funny story afterwards that Bill Lee thought he had give up Aaron's final career home run, but that was in 1975, not 1976. (Hank came back for one more year.) The Spaceman was actually disappointed by that fact.
I had a lot of fun at the BLOHARDS meeting, and I look forward to doing another round of trivia at the meetings in 2007. My thanks to Frank, Joe and Peter at the BLOHARDS for their courtesy and inviting me to attend.
For more info on the BLOHARDS, please check out their web site: www.blohards.com, and their blog site: www.blohardsblog.com.
Friday, September 15, 2006
While Michael Kay is generally reviled by Sox fans (and MANY Yankees fans) as a worthless shill, Kaat always did the games with a sense that the fans had some intelligence, and never talked down to them. He had no schtick, and no ego. I especially enjoyed his take on pitching, and I also liked his stories of his days as a pitcher with Minnesota, the Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia and St. Louis. He was always a calm presence in a broadcast booth that at times would go way overboard with nonsense.
I wish Jim Kaat all the best on his retirement from the booth. Yankee games were a little less unbearable with his presence on the YES Network.
Thanks for everything, Jim. You will definitely be missed.
Yankees Fan Jack Nicholson Refused To Wear Red Sox Cap in New Film
Lifelong New York Yankees fan Jack Nicholson refused to wear a baseball cap sporting the badge of his team's rivals for his role as a Boston, Massachusetts, gangster in new movie The Departed.
Director Martin Scorsese suggested the movie legend wear a Boston Red Sox cap for one pivotal scene, but backed down when New Yorker Nicholson insisted he wouldn't wear the head gear out of loyalty to the Yankees.
Instead, the star dons a Yankees cap in the scene, according to magazine Sports Illustrated.
We all know that Yankee fans are obnoxious, but I guess this shows even the most famous ones are too. Hey, it's just a role in a movie, Jack...
Thursday, September 14, 2006
I nearly joined Blogger back in the summer of 2005, but I thought I would rather just start my own web site, so I decided not to do it. But then, on a whim, on the morning of March 13th I woke up and thought I should start my own blog. I had come up with the title "The Mighty Quinn Media Machine" when I previously thought I would start a blog, so I used it. I knew my blog would be mostly about the Red Sox and baseball, but I wasn't going to give it a "Red Sox" name, as I knew I'd be talking about other things in my life as well.
Putting my thoughts down in cyberspace has been so much fun, and I soon became addicted to it. I've been averaging about 11 posts a week (this is post number 293), and the reactions I've gotten back to the blog has been really nice. I've gotten to know some really great people out there simply through the blog, such as Matty in Washington, Peter in Connecticut, Christine in Pennsylvania and Suldog in Massachusetts. Their blogs, and the blogs of other people I know here in New York (FINY, WelshSoxFan, EVI, Jere, the BLOHARDS, Michael and others), are my morning stops as soon as I get online every day.
I've gotten to know the ways and means of Blogger, and one of the best things I've done since I started the blog was putting a "site meter" on it on April 20 (thanks WSF). It's so cool to see who's checking out my blog and where they are from. I noticed that whenever I put up a new post, my blog is usually checked out by someone around the world who is blog surfing. (I guess it goes into a type of queue, and when you hit "next blog" it will pop up.) I've had people from almost all 50 states, as well as from every continent come on, and from places as distant as Iran, Russia, Ivory Coast, Singapore, India, China and New Zealand come on. To me it just seems so cool that someone 12,000 miles away can be reading my words, even if they are just blog surfing.
Most of my readers are from New York and New England. Massachusetts is the second most popular state where my readers are from, due to all the Red Sox columns I write. I've also seen that I've got many repeat readers come back again and again. Many of course are friends of mine, and I recognize them right away. But I've seen people come up time and again from places like Iowa, California, New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Texas, Georgia, and as far away as England and Ireland, and I have no idea who they are. But I am so happy that they do return again and again to see what I'm up to. I would imagine that many are Red Sox fans around the country (and even around the world), who have found my site through various web search engines, like Google, MSN, Blogger and Yahoo.
I've also seen that my blog is read by a lot of people on college campuses. I've seen such schools as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Georgia Tech and Penn put up on my site meter locations. I guess my blog is popular among the intellectual types! I've also seen such readers from such places as NASA, the IRS (uh-oh), NESN, the United Nations and the Department of Defense finding my site.
Of all the articles I have written in the first six months, the ones that have gotten read the most by the most varied people are the "Alex Rodriguez Sunbathing in Central Park" story I commented on (which was just a couple of lines, but dozens of people found it through web searches), and the funny post I put up about a fictional day lived by Red Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli, back in July. I was truly amazed at the number of people who were finding my site because of it. And when Doug hits a homer, it goes up again. I've also noticed a few people coming back to it again and again (they've obviously bookmarked it). Even with the Red Sox out of the postseason hunt, I still get people finding the post on my site. (Red Sox fans are the most savvy Internet/baseball fans out there.)
The most responses I've gotten from any post I put up was the tribute I did to my late friend Joyce this past week. They were all beautiful, and really helped me get through a very difficult day in my life. I thank all of you so much who took the time to let me know your thoughts.
I've really enjoyed putting together my extensive links section on the left hand side of the main page (and it is still growing). Of course, anyone who wants to exchange links with me, please do let me know and I will be happy to put one up for you. (As long as you exchange the courtesy to me as well!)
It's been a real pleasure to be part of the blogging world for six months now. I'll be writing more about football and hockey as the fall approaches and the baseball season concludes (but I will be following the Red Sox offseason as well as the Mets fortunes). I will of course be writing about other things as they warrant my attention, especially my continuing adventures as Trivia MC at Professor Thom's.
Thanks to all of you who check in with me. It's nice to know so many of you are out there reading The Mighty Quinn Media Machine.
Even if I have no idea who you are.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Unfortunately, we didn't have a big crowd at the bar last night. But we valiantly went ahead with it anyway. (I'm sure there will be some creative editing when the piece airs.) My pal Eric, who along with me was also part of the New York Magazine story on Kayreoke back in July, teamed with me and we did a full inning, with Eric handling play-by-play in the top half and me doing it in the bottom half. It was a lot of fun as it always is, but this time we had a TV camera pointed at us as we did it. Later in the evening, my friends Rhonda and Ruth took their turn behind the microphone as well.
After we completed our inning, we were both interviewed by Stockton Reese of NESN, and he asked us both questions about being Red Sox fans and Professor Thom's. Our interviews will be shown during the upcoming Red Sox series in New York, and during the "Red Sox Rewind" broadcasts next week.
Last night also marked the beginning of "Trivia Night" on Tuesday nights at the bar. It was moved because of the Monday Night Football conflict. My pal Chris O'Leary substituted for me for last night's version, and did a very nice job. (I took last night off because of the difficult day on Monday.) Chris put his own unique spin on the movies and music categories. For movies, he did a special "Best Actor Oscar" quiz, and a "One Hit Wonders" one for music. I only hope last night was not my "Wally Pipp" moment!!
Not to worry, fans, I will be back in the saddle next Tuesday night.
Oh yes, the Red Sox played last night. A comfortable victory became a nailbiter in the ninth, due to Mike Timlin's inability to get hitters out anymore. Javier Lopez had to come in to get the last out, with the tying run on third and four runs in. It's sad to see Timlin struggle like this, but why Terry Francona waited so long to pull him puzzles me. Timlin had nothing, but yet he stuck with him too long and almost cost the Red Sox the game. I know he had no one else left he fully trusted, but that was just lousy managing in the ninth last night.
Bring on the 2007 season.......
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The BLOHARDS, of which I am a proud card-carrying member, will be having a gathering of fans at the Yale Club in Manhattan, which is at 50 Vanderbilt Avenue, across from Grand Central Station. It will start at noon, and it will be on the 20th floor. I'll let my friends at the BLOHARDS explain the rest:
The September 15th luncheon will not only provide us with the comfort of friendly faces in enemy territory, it also promises to be programmed to within an inch of its life - the kind of luncheon attendees will be discussing for at least twenty minutes after the Yale Club throws us out.
Representing the Red Sox:
- WEEI's Jerry Trupiano;
- The legendary Dick Bresciani;
- A Sox PTBNL (player-to-be-named-later), and;
- Luncheon Closer, Dr. Charles Steinberg
But that's not all, you'll also see:
- WFAN's Ed Randall,
- Tim Shea, author of The Fenway Pole Finder, and
- The Omnipotent Quinn (match wits with the Trivia Maven from Professor Thom's!)
- Josh Dixon and Brett Rapkin, producers of Spaceman In Cuba, the documentary film about Bill Lee and his 2002 barnstorming trip. Josh and Brett will join us to promote the 9/25 release of the DVD of their film. They have also floated the possibility that their entourage at the luncheon will include the Spaceman himself.
It should be a good time for all. I will be doing a round of trivia, and there will be prizes given away. For more information about the festivities, please go to www.blohards.com, or call 914-967-2782 for tickets. Hope to see you there!
We met up at Liberty Plaza just after 7 AM and proceeded to Barclay and Church Streets to enter the site. As we reached it, a reporter from Eyewitness News came up to us and asked a few questions about us and why were there. We talked about being there for Joyce, that we had no other place to grieve for her and she was one of those poor souls who was never found, and that we had to be there on this day.
Getting in was much better organized than in past years, but we both noticed that neither of us were searched after it was determined we were family members. It would have been easy to pose as one, and then sneak something deadly in. As soon as we entered the site, I noticed a cadre of photographers behind and above us. I was carrying a framed picture of Joyce, and as soon as I looked up at them, I saw about 5 or 6 photographers with their cameras on me. (One even came up to me and asked me for some personal info, but as of now, I haven't seen it online in his paper yet.)
There were moments of silence at 8:46, 9:03, 9:59 and 10:29, for the times the towers were hit, and fell. In the silence, I could hear church bells in the area ringing. The reading of the names was very sad, as partners of the lost did the readings this year. At 9:15, Joyce's name was read and I lifted her picture over my head, and I hugged Deborah, and there were a few tears between us.
A little while after that, we walked through the crowd to get to the ramp in order for us to go down into the pit of the site. I was holding the photo in front of me, and it seemed like everyone I passed had their eyes glued to it. It's a truly beautiful picture of Joyce. At the ramp, I got four red roses to bring with me and we descended into the site. There were thousands of people there, even more than last year. (I believe it is because this maybe the final time we will be able to do this, as the construction at the site will soon accelerate.)
There were two pools at opposite ends, and loved ones left roses, flowers, messages, and many other mementoes in them. We spent about one hour total walking around and we met a few people we knew. We left the site around 11:30 AM and proceeded to the Marriott Hotel on West Street, but not before we were stopped by a reporter from the Associated Press who asked us about being down at Ground Zero. I explained how we needed to be there and it was a holy and sacred place.
We went to a luncheon hosted by the Voices of September 11th, which was very nice and featured some terrific opera singers from Connecticut. Afterwards, we went to The Tribute Center, which is next to the firehouse on Liberty Street. It is a beautiful place that tells the story of the history of the WTC and features photos of all the 9/11 victims, including a picture of Joyce that Deborah and I had sent in. (It will be open to the public next Monday.)
We spent the remainder of the day in Lower Manhattan, having dinner and recalling our late friend. At sunset, after an absolutely exhausting and emotional day, we saw "The Tribute in Light" soar above downtown Manhattan. It was simply awesome, and it seemed to stretch directly up to Heaven.
I was totally drained when I got home, and did my best to relax and get my mind off the day (and saw the Vikings win!). But that was nearly impossible. I got a number of emails and comments from my post about Joyce, and a column I wrote about the fifth anniversary of 9/11 at Bornintoit.com. I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for all of your beautiful comments and wonderful support on what was a very, very difficult day.
It was very difficult and very emotional, but I had to be at Ground Zero yesterday. And I'm glad I was.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
I'm not a big Patriots fan, but since many of my friends who are Red Sox fans are also Pats supporters, I do take an interest in how they do. (The Minnesota Vikings are my favorite team, and they play their opener tomorrow night.) It was a struggle today against Buffalo, but they pulled out a 19-17 victory. Tom Brady fumbled on the very first play from scrimmage, and it was brought back for a Bills touchdown. I turned to one of my friends I was watching and said, "Well, I guess it's wait until next year!"
But the Pats came from 17-7 down and eventually won the game when Buffalo QB J. P. Losman was sacked in the end zone for a safety.
The Jets opened their season with a win for new head coach Eric Mangini with a 23-16 victory at Tennessee. The Giants lost to the Colts, 26-21, in the "Manning Bowl" later that night. The Vikings got their season off to a great start on Monday night with a 19-16 against the Redskins in Washington on Monday night.
As for the Red Sox, they dropped yet another series to the lowly Kansas City Royals. They salvaged a 9-3 victory on Sunday, after dropping two straight games, 10-9 and 10-4 (in 12 innings). The Royals have a winning record this season against just one AL team (guess who), at 5-4. I just hope the Red Sox finish this season above .500. (they are currently 76-67), and with a little dignity as well.
And unfortunately, the season came to an end for the Brooklyn Cyclones tonight. They were defeated 9-0 at Staten Island by the Yankees, and Staten Island swept the series two straight (it was a best-of-three), after defeating the Cyclones 5-2 in Coney Island last night. Staten Island plays the winner of the Tri City-Auburn series for the NYPL title.
The Cyclones will return for the 2007 season next June.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
It's been five years. 1,826 days.
There are times I really still can't believe it actually happened.
The above picture is my friend Joyce Carpeneto, who I got to know from the 4 years I worked with her at Tower Records in Greenwich Village, and another 2 1/2 at a music distribution company called TRIP. She was lost to all of us who loved her forever on the morning of September 11, 2001, along with 2,748 other brave souls at the World Trade Center.
One of my friends put it very simply about Joyce, "If you knew her, you loved her." If you didn't, there was something clearly wrong with you. I may not have known Joyce the best, but I always considered her a dear friend. She helped me in so many ways when we worked together. I miss her silly laugh, optimistic attitude about life, and her bright smile.
I've done many things to remind the world that this was a special person who is gone from this life. Joyce will live in my heart forever, and I know that where she is now, she has been rewarded. Everyone who loved her misses her terribly and very deeply, and will never, ever forget her.
I am better for having had Joyce Carpeneto as a part of my life, if only for 16 short years.
On October 19, 2001, I completed a memorial for Joyce, as I felt in my heart I had to write something for her. I put the memorial at the wonderful web site, September 11, 2001 Victims, and I received emails from people all over the world who had to write to me to tell me how much they were touched by my words.
Here is the memorial I wrote:
Here's the text of the speech I wrote for Joyce. I just opened my heart and these words came out:
"Our Joyce: A Dear Sweet Friend"
In the summer of 1985, I'd been working for the Tower Records store in Greenwich Village for about nine months. I soon met the newest "Front Desk Girl", a 24 year old, brown haired, brown eyed girl from Long Island. Her name was Joyce Carpeneto.
Joyce and I became fast friends. Her warmth and kindness shown through almost immediately. In late 1985, our store was undergoing a management change, and Joyce gave me one of the nicest compliments I have ever gotten. One day she said to me, "You should be managing this store". And I was just a rock floor clerk! I really believe that Joyce had more faith in me than I had in myself.
Joyce and I worked together in the Tower Village store for over 4 years. She eventually moved downstairs to the cassette department and I became the rock CD buyer. We both became supervisors and we closed many nights together. I remember many times Joyce would come to me with a problem and I was only to happy to help her.
Joyce left the store for TRIP (Tower Records Import Product) in 1990 and I left as well at the end of that year. I too landed at TRIP in early 1991, and I was very fortunate to have Joyce already there. She was a rep, and I became her assistant. I covered the Tower stores at the Village and Carle Place, LI for her. I was a bit nervous taking over the job, as I wasn't sure if I'd fit in. Joyce made it easy for me, as she showed me the ropes and introduced me to a lot of the people I'd have to deal with in the new job. It was wonderful to share an office with her. One Friday, Joyce and Barbara Lang, our other rep, were discussing where to send me the next week.
I covered stores for both of them on a rotation basis. On this day they both needed me the next week. So in the middle of all of this, Joyce turns to me and says, "Don't you love the fact you have two women fighting over you?" I could only laugh and smile, and when I think of that story, it will always make me smile and remember Joyce's wonderful sense of humor.
By mid-1993 TRIP (or MTS Sales as it became known) merged with another company, and Joyce was let go. It was terribly unfair to her, but she didn't let it get her down. Joyce picked herself up, dusted herself off, and joined Tower's Art Department. I discovered that she was a very talented artist, and I saw her work in many of the Tower stores.
After the MTS position ended, Joyce and I would always run into each other in places like the Village Record and Village Video store. It was always a pleasure to see her and talk about what was going on in our lives and reminisce about the old days. All of my memories of Joyce are fond ones, and and will remain that way for the rest of my life. Together, and with many of our Tower friends, we enjoyed art shows, Tower parties and bowling after work. It was so much fun, and it all seems like just yesterday.
The weeks since the tragedy have been the longest, and without question, the saddest time of my life. For all of us who love and care for her, Joyce will always be a special part of our lives. She will always have a special place in my heart, and a day will not go by that I will not think of her.
In the days following the tragedy, Joyce's mom and Russ Giffen set up a website looking for more information about her. The first time I saw it I burst into tears. The picture of Joyce was just stunning, and the words included on it were incredibly poignant: "If you knew her you had to be her friend. She loves everyone." I cannot improve on those words. Just incredibly beautiful.
And all of us loved you, Joyce.
I thank God that Joyce Ann Carpeneto came into my life. She's one of the most dearest, sweetest people I have ever known, or will ever know. We are all better for having her friendship, kindness and support. I will always remember her beautiful smile and her wonderful laugh. She will always live in my heart, and no one can ever take that away from me.
Back when we worked in the Tower store in Greenwich Village in the 1980s, I always felt that Joyce and I were part of an extended family with all of our other friends who worked there. Now, one of our family is no longer with us. So we grieve for our missing sister, in the hope that she has found peace.
I will always love Joyce for the rest of my life. No matter where I go, she'll always be with me.
She'll always be Our Joyce. She'll always be Our Cookie. And now, Joyce will forever be Our Angel.
John Brian Quinn
October 19, 2001
Please drop me an e-mail to let me know your thoughts. I would be honored if any of you would pass this along to any other of Joyce's friends. Thank you so much.
All the best
On New Year's Night, I sat down and wrote a poem that night that would alter my life in ways that I could never have imagined. I wrote about a visit I made to Ground Zero that past November with my friend Deborah. I eventually put it on September 11, 2001 Victims as well, and I got even emails from people around the world, and I have become friends with many of those kind folks.
Here is the poem I wrote that night:
THERE'S AN ANGEL WATCHING OVER US
By John Quinn
This poem is dedicated to my dear sweet friend Joyce Ann Carpeneto, who is always and forever in my heart.
It's a gray, overcast day
In late November
The fourth time I've been
Down this way
The pain in my heart rises
As soon as I walk out
The subway station
But I had to be here for you
I'm not afraid to be here
Because I know
There's an Angel watching over us.
Our eyes fill with tears
Pictures line the walls
And the picket fences
Thousands of dreams
Shattered in an instant
A soft rain starts to fall
Could it have been sent
To show us both
The depth of your love
And the tears still within you
It's an unmistakable sign
There's an Angel watching over us.
Loved ones write their own
Words of sorrow and grief
On a huge makeshift sheet
I struggle through my tears
To tell you those precious words
I couldn't tell you
When you were here
In this life
Now the rain and the tears
Have both left together
And the sun peeks
Through the clouds
Now I am so confident
There's an Angel watching over us.
I've been down this way
Three times before
But this will be the last
Time I come down here
The heartache for me
Is just too great
Seeing that terrible site
Where you left this world
I'd rather remember
The good times we shared
You'll always be
Safe in my heart Sweetie
I'll never break
The Promise I made to you
On the Brooklyn Bridge
You'll always be alive
In my heart forever
I'll never be afraid to die
Because I'll see you again
One day I know
And that because from above
There's an Angel watching over me.
John Brian Quinn
January 2, 2002.
God bless you all.
I will be at the ceremonies at Ground Zero on Monday morning. It will be another sad pilgrimage for me, my friend Deborah, and thousands of other people who lost loved ones five years ago. We will never forget that they are all heroes, as well as victims. We will never let the world forget that these were very special people, and they will live in the hearts of their loved ones forever.
Please don't forget to pray for all those brave heroes who gave their lives that fateful morning, for their families who go on without them, as well as our servicemen and women who risk their lives every day for our freedom.
For me, Joyce will be forever missed.
And of course, forever loved.
I hope you will join me in signing it. It takes just a few seconds.
Thank you all so much.
VOICES of September 11th would like to invite your family, community or organization to participate in the inaugural Always Remember 9/11 Candle-Lighting Vigil on the evening of September 11th, 2006 at 7:00 pm.
“The Always Remember 9/11 Candle-Lighting Vigil is an international gesture on the fifth anniversary of September 11th designed to honor the lives lost on 9/11 and unify the global community affected by terrorism” – Mary Fetchet
At the appointed time, 7:00 pm in local time zones, on September 11th, 2006, VOICES encourages individuals and communities at home and abroad to light a candle privately, publicly and in unison in memory of those who perished and survived on 9/11 and our international community affected by terrorism. VOICES has reached out to tri-state family organizations, survivors, and rescue workers. We have also asked state universities, 9/11 charities and international networks of victims’ families in Afghanistan, London, Beslan, Barcelona, Jordan and Israel to participate. We hope that you, too, will join us by planning a candle-lighting vigil, in addition, to any gesture you see fit – a moment of silence, a reading of names, a song, readings or otherwise.
Ways to participate in the vigil: - Privately light a candle - Host an event in your home, office, community, university or place of worship - Organize a vigil in your neighborhood using luminaries.
Please share this with friends and family so that we all may adopt this universal gesture on the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Make the collective candle-lighting a tradition in years to come to commemorate the lives of those lost to terrorism and provide support and hope to those who survived.
I hope you will all join me in this wonderful tribute.
Friday, September 08, 2006
I'm sure Chris will do a fine job in my place. It will be a similar format that I use: 5 categories and 10 questions. But Chris will be putting his own unique spin on Trivia Night that I'm sure everyone will like. Chris also has a cool site, "East Village Idiot": www.evidiot.blogspot.com, that you should check out.
Go get 'em Chris. And don't any crap from Jim!!
Vermont led 2-0 until the seventh when the Cyclones rallied for three runs. They had that lead until two outs in the ninth with two on for the Monsters. A double to right scored a run, but the runner from first was thrown out at home on an extremely close play. The game stayed tied until the 12th inning, when with runners at first and second and two outs for the Cyclones, the Vermont second baseman made a nice play on a grounder up the middle, but threw wildly past the shortstop covering second, and the runner from second scampered home with the winning run.
The Cyclones poured out on to the field and were hugging each other in a big pile at home. It was at that moment I knew Aberdeen had lost, and the Cyclones had clinched.
I have to go on a rant here at the Cyclones management. They did NOT once put an update on the scoreboard about the game in Aberdeen. Terrible job guys. I wondered all night long about that game, and couldn't find a word about it. I tried to get the game on the radio, as they are broadcast on WKRB, the Kingsborough Community College station. But that station is so weak that I couldn't even get the game sitting in a seat in the ballpark. (Last season I remember getting the Red Sox game from Boston on my Walkman when I was at KeySpan, but couldn't get the game I was watching in the stadium. The Cyclones really need to get a stronger radio station to broadcast on.)
The stadium announcer then said that the Lowell Spinners, the Red Sox affiliate in the NYPL, defeated Aberdeen, 6-1, earlier in the evening, to put the Cyclones in the playoffs as the wild card team. The playoffs begin Saturday night, and they will take on the dreaded Staten Island Yankees in a best-of-three first round series, starting at KeySpan.
Way to go, Cyclones. And thanks to the Lowell Spinners for their help in getting them in.
Makes me proud to be a Red Sox fan.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Over 80 feet of the wall are on display, along with images of Ground Zero from the Museum’s Joel Meyerowitz 9/11 Archive. The New York Times “Portraits of Grief” archive is also presented in the gallery. The Wall is in two sections on the second floor of the museum. When I got there, I was alone on the floor, and one of the first pictures I saw up there was of my friend Joyce. It is an extremely emotional and moving exhibit, as there are numerous posters created by desperate people searching for any word about their missing loved ones. The Wall has been carefully preserved by clear plastic.
The exhibit will be up through September 17, and I encourage you to go see it, especially as we remember the 5th anniversary of the attacks. The Museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm every day except Sunday. A donation to the museum is asked for, usually $9. It is well worth the money. The Museum is located at E. 103rd Street and 5th Avenue, along "Museum Mile" across from Central Park. The museum's web site is: www.mcny.org.
Yesterday was also the formal dedication of the Tribute Center on Liberty Street, across from Ground Zero. I was not present for it. The Tribute Center will tell the stories of those lost on September 11 through pictures, poems and other mementoes dedicated to the center by their loved ones. They will be shown in the Tribute Center on a rotating basis. Myself and a friend dedicated photos and poems of our lost friend, and I will be there to see the Tribute Center in a special viewing on Monday afternoon. The Tribute Center will open to the public on September 18.
For more information on the Tribute Center, please go to: www.tributenyc.org.
We wish Jon and his family all the best. All our prayers are with them.
The Red Sox looked totally listless against the White Sox last night and took a pounding, 8-1. They had just four hits against Jose Contreras, and Kyle Snyder gave up five runs in less than three innings. And down in Miami, ex-Red Sox farmhand Anibal Sanchez pitched the first no-hitter in the majors in two years as the Marlins beat Arizona, 2-0. Sanchez was part of the Josh Beckett trade, and has been impressive with Florida this year, going 7-2.
Of course, playing before a few thousand fans in Miami is just a little different than playing before a packed house in the fishbowl called Fenway Park. The National League is far weaker than the American. Back in November, everyone thought the Beckett-Lowell trade for the Red Sox was a steal. But you weren't going to get a couple of proven World Champion players for absolutely nothing, and both Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez have had fine rookie campaigns in South Florida, where the pressure to perform isn't quite the same as it is in Boston. Good for both of them.
His no-hitter is still a great accomplishment, so congratulations to Anibal Sanchez on his splendid night against the Diamondbacks.
Tonight the Cyclones play the Vermont Lake Monsters at KeySpan Park, while Aberdeen plays the Lowell Spinners (the Red Sox NYPL club) in Aberdeen. The Cyclones have to win and the Ironbirds have to lose in order for the Cyclones to qualify for the postseason. Anything different than that and the Cyclones are done for 2006. (BTW, the Spinners did not make it to the postseason).
I will be on hand at KeySpan tonight to root on the Cyclones, and the hopefully the Spinners do them a big favor in Aberdeen. I'm sure there will be scoreboard updates on how that game is progressing. Even if the Cyclones don't make it, they've had a great season, coming back from a 2-10 start to make it to the final day of the season with a chance to advance. I'll let you know how they do tomorrow.
Go Cyclones! Go Spinners!
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
It was great seeing David Ortiz back in the Red Sox lineup last night. He got a thunderous ovation as expected from the Fenway faithful, and struck out twice in four at-bats. No matter. It's great having The Big Man back.
The Red Sox offense disappeared once agin last night, getting just one run and three hits against Javier Vazquez, but journeyman minor leaguer Kason Gabbard was sensational over seven innings, allowing just three hits to the White Sox, and Mike Timlin pitched two solid innings for the save as the Red Sox won, 1-0. The Red Sox have caught the White Sox in a big offensive slump, and have won the series. They go for the sweep tonight over the defending champions with Kyle Snyder on the mound, who was tremendous in getting the win in his last start against Toronto last week.
It was a nice gesture by the Yankees brass sending a bouquet of flowers to Jon Lester in his fight against non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Goes to show that there's more to this rivalry than the usual brickbats that thrown at each other. And I'm sure Joe Torre remembers the standing ovation he got when he returned to Fenway after his cancer surgery in 1999.
Some things just transcend what is the best rivalry in sports.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
On July 3, 2005, I went to their recording booth in Grand Central Station and spent an amazing one hour talking about my late friend Joyce. I was there with two folks from StoryCorps who asked me a number of questions about her, and it brought back some nice memories of my relationship with her (and a few tears as well). The StoryCorps people, Chris and Veronica, were really nice and sensitive to me, and I enjoyed the experience very much. StoryCorps also opened a recording booth inside the PATH station at the World Trade Center last year.
StoryCorps also relies on funding from the LMDC, and they asked me to write a letter in support for them earlier this year. I did, and it helped continue the funding for the story booths to continue at the WTC station.
So now, all interviews pertaining to September 11, 2001 will now go not only to the Library of Congress, but now into the WTC Memorial Museum. As of now, they have collected over 150 recordings made by loved ones of the 9/11 victims, and their goal is to have one for all 2979 victims. I was really honored to be invited to today's ceremony, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg was there and made a speech, along with people from StoryCorps, the LMDC, the WTC Memorial Foundation and victims' loved ones who took part in the StoryCorps interviews. Lots of media people were on hand as well.
The web site for StoryCorps is at: www.storycorps.net. It is a great place, and a great way, to remember those you love in spoken word.
The WTC Memorial Museum is scheduled to open on September 11, 2009.
I am extremely proud that my words about Joyce will be a permanent part of the Memorial Museum. I find it staggering to think that years after I have left this world that people will be able to hear my words about a very special friend in a museum.
The 54-minute CD I made in 2005 is one of the proudest things I have ever done in my life.
I know it's cockeyed optimism, but the Red Sox are still alive in the Wild Card, now 6 games behind Minnesota. (I've basically stopped looking at the AL East standings, especially after what happened in Kansas City last night. The Red Sox couldn't beat the Royals in August?) Ramirez, Trot Nixon and Jason Varitek returned last night, and hopefully David Ortiz will be in the lineup tonight.
I know they're probably just stringing us along, but they are our team.
The lights haven't been turned off just yet.
But that wasn't the biggest problem. It was the field. The bases are normally covered by a tarp, but the heavy winds and rain took their toll on them, and left huge puddles by home, first and second bases. It was tough getting the water out until one of the guys who arrived had a huge broom in the trunk of his car. That made it easier, but there was still mud around those bases, so you had to be careful going around them.
It may have been the best played game of the year that I played in. I had a rather miserable night at the plate, though. I drove in a run in the first on a force-out, and that was my highlight for the night at bat. I went 0-for-7. I tried to go to the opposite field a few times, but I kept hitting it right at someone. I hit two rockets to the outfield that were both caught, and in the top of the final inning, I grounded into a double play. Perfect way to end it.
We ended up playing 14 innings. I pitched for three innings, played first base for five, and played two innings apiece at second, left and catcher. On the mound, one of the guys hit a liner back to me that I caught and it knocked me off balance and on the ground. The big blemish on my pitching was a grand slam home run I gave up. But it was an inside pitch that the batter drove out of the park. It was an impressive piece of hitting.
I was behind the plate when the winning run for the other team scored from second on a single. Final score: 15-14.
My hamstring held up well, and the only aches and pains I have are the normal ones I get after not playing for a while. I won't be playing next week, but if the weather holds up I hope to be back out there on September 17.
Monday, September 04, 2006
I finished in fourth place in both leagues, and that means I face the team with the best overall record in both leagues. (I finished seventh in my other league, so I didn't qualify.) The Green Sox qualified easily yesterday, but for the Red Sox it was a tougher road to climb. Going into yesterday, I was two games down on the final day. But the team my rival was playing had a great day yesterday and beat him in two categories, and we ended up tied after play yesterday. I won the tie-breaker, hence I will be playing for real (and not for fun as all other teams who don't make the playoffs do).
The first round of the playoffs will be the next two weeks, and the two winners from that week will play for the title starting on September 18.
Go Green Sox!! Go Red Sox!!
We have to have some Sox to root for these days.
But today, I was rejected from a blog listing for the very first time. (I won't mention the site.) They examined my site earlier this morning (I saw their link off of my site meter) and they wrote me this morning to tell me that I was rejected because I have too much "non-baseball" content on my site for their liking, as they carry strictly "baseball-only"web sites.
For most of the other sites I've joined, it's just a matter of which section they want to carry your blog in, and I always put it in "sports." It's what I talk most about.
But when I founded The Mighty Quinn Media Machine, I made a decision that I wasn't going to be pigeonholed into one category to write about. Baseball and the Red Sox were going to be a major part of my ramblings, but when football season rolls around, I'd talk a little more about that. And I have also talked about other non-sports things, like many of the September 11 issues. I also made a conscious decision that I wasn't going to give the site a "baseball" or "Red Sox" kind of name.
Too much "non-baseball" stuff? I guess so. But they also had some kind of alternative for me, to get my site on their blog listing. But I would have had to pony up money to do so (all the blog listings I'm a part of are all free).
They won't accept me for free, but they will if I spend some money.
Sorry guys, I don't think so.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
ND held Georgia Tech to only 71 yards in the second half and held them scoreless. Notre Dame scored the only touchdown of the second half after they trailed, 10-7 at halftime. The defense was supposed to be ND's achilles heel, as they got absolutely torn to shreds in last year's Fiesta Bowl by Ohio State. But they held their own and got the victory.
Brady Quinn (you have to love a team called "The Irish" with a guy named "Quinn" at the controls!) was 23 for 38 for 246 yards, and scored the Irish's first TD of the game, on a quarterback draw with 11 seconds to play in the half.
Darius Walker scored the other ND touchdown on a 13-yard run off left tackle midway in the third quarter to give the Irish the lead they would not relinquish. Late in the fourth, with less than one minute to play, ND called timeout on fourth and one at the GT 45, and it looked like they would punt the ball away and let the defense take over. But Charlie Weis called for a QB sneak, and Quinn got the first down and ND ran out the clock, as GT was out of timeouts. I love Weis as a coach, and the gambles he takes.
ND plays Penn State next Saturday in their home opener at Notre Dame Stadium. It's a tough run for the Irish after that, as they then play Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue. But their season's off to a good start. Is a 12th national championship in the offing? Stay tuned.
"The Nightmare Never Ends"
Tonight I was going to sit down and write a column about the absolute disaster that the month of August was for the Red Sox. It was their worst month since August of 1985. Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong.
Now, with a brand new month of September just beginning, I was hoping the Red Sox luck might turn for the better. On Thursday night, the Red Sox caught a huge break when Blue Jays rightfielder Alex Rios bobbled and then swatted Alex Cora's fly ball into the right field seats to give the Sox a much needed break and a 6-4 victory to start the homestand. It was the kind of goof that would almost surely have happened to the Sox with their run of recent luck, but thankfully it wasn't.
But now it turns really horrible again. Jonathan Papelbon left the game tonight in the ninth inning clutching his right shoulder after throwing a pitch to Lyle Overbay. He walked off the mound and into the trainer's room, and as I write this, no word yet has come down about his injury. I'm praying it might be just a pinched nerve in his neck.
Papelbon is a HUGE part of the Red Sox future. If it is a minor injury like that, he could be back shortly. But if it is anything beyond that, you might figure he's done for the year, and strictly as a precaution. He is someone's future that absolutely cannot be fooled around with, and the Red Sox know that.
But earlier in the evening, some more unsettling news of a different nature was revealed by the club. Rookie Jon Lester was today diagnosed as having a treatable form of lymphoma. Lester had been complaining of back pain, and it was discovered that he had enlarged lymph nodes. The team sent him to Massachusetts General Hospital where the diagnosis was made. Lester is just 22, and will start his treatments next week. His season is of course, finished, and his baseball future is up in the air right now.We can only pray for Jon and his family, that they get through this ordeal, and that we see him pitching on the mound at Fenway Park in 2007.
I have been a baseball fan all my life, and a Red Sox fan for nearly 30 of them, and I have never seen a team go through the type of medical issues the Red Sox have gone through this season. One player, after another, after another has gone down for a significant period of time. Of course, you cannot blame the Red Sox August fall just on injuries, as players they were counting on swooned badly after the All-Star Game (Coco Crisp, Josh Beckett and Mike Timlin and the rookie pitchers come to mind). Every team has to deal with injuries at some point in their season, and the ones that basically stay healthy can consider themselves lucky.
By the time the Red Sox hit Seattle and Oakland last week, the team began to look more and more unrecognizable. They were putting a team on the field without David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, and the lineup was what my dad would call, "toothless." When the Sox fell behind in Oakland 2-0 in the sixth inning against the A's last Tuesday night, a thought crossed my mind that I would rarely if ever think in the recent years of Red Sox slugging teams: "They are out of this game." And sure enough, they lost, 2-1, despite a great effort from Beckett.
Seeing the team the Sox have fielded the last week, they don't seem like "The Red Sox" to me, just a bunch of guys posing in Red Sox uniforms. But I was in my favorite bar this past Thursday night rooting them on, and was more than relieved than anything else to see them just hold on to beat Toronto, 6-4, and end a six-game losing streak.
It was a relief to hear that David Ortiz' heart scare was unfounded and he got a clean bill of health. He will be back in a couple of days. Manny Ramirez? Who knows, as his knee and hamstring problems keep him on the bench. Reinforcements are on the way, as Jason Varitek, Alex Gonzalez and Trot Nixon are on injury rehab assignments now and will be back by Sunday, and Tim Wakefield maybe back in the rotation by next week.
But it looks to be "a day late and a dollar short" as the old saying goes, for the 2006 season. The Sox appear to have too much ground to make up to really have a shot at postseason, and still too many key parts missing to make a really good run.
2006 will go down as a memorable season for Red Sox fans, but for all the wrong reasons. It is still a never-ending nightmare for Red Sox Nation, who wish they could all go back to sleep and dream this nightmare away.
But we are Red Sox fans, and we will always support our boys, no matter what.
Especially Jon Lester.