MLB Trade Deadline

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Encore Viewings of "Impossible To Forget"

On Friday night, I was really looking forward to seeing "Impossible To Forget: Summer Of "67," the documentary about the 1967 Red Sox that my buddy Chris and I were interviewed for. I was at Professor Thom's, along with Chris, a few other friends, and Sam, and editor who was instrumental in making the film.

Sam told me it came out really well, and I was seen many times throughout the film. He also told me the folks at NESN were also pleased with it. He also noted that none of the 1967 players from the club were interviewed, and the documentary was mainly from the view of the fans.

I really couldn't wait to see it. But when 8:30 rolled around, NESN was blacked out in the New York area, for reasons unknown, by DirecTV. Chris speculated that the boneheads at DirecTV (the same knuckleheads who've stolen away Extra Innings from the fans, courtesy of MLB) may have believed they were blacking out a Red Sox game that was being played in Philadelphia, even though it wasn't being broadcast that night in Boston.

It really disappointed all of us who were looking forward to seeing it on Friday.

But early on Saturday I discovered that "Impossible To Forget" will be broadcast again on Sunday, April 1 at 6:30 PM and again at 9 PM by NESN (although DirecTV says they are only showing it at 9). So I will once again be at the bar to see if they do indeed allow the documentary to be seen in New York.

I just hope it's not an April Fool's joke. God knows, DirecTV has pulled enough crap on the fans already this year.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Fantasy Draft Number Two

Last night I had my second fantasy baseball draft on ESPN, and this one is very different then the one I had a couple of weeks ago.

Fortunately, I was able to download Java the night before, so I didn't run into any problems during the draft with my computer. This league I am in is a 12-team league, with a 25-man roster and three slots for players on the DL (Thank God, as now at ESPN you can customize the league you want it. For years I wrote to them to expand the number of slots from just one.)

I had the fifth overall pick, and I took David Ortiz with it. Unfortunately at ESPN, he is no longer listed as a first baseman, just a DH ( don't like the fact they have started this DH position.) So he will occupy my "utility" position this season. I was torn with my second pick, as Manny Ramirez was still out there (at overall number 20), but Ichiro Suzuki was too, and I took him. I think he will have a huge year, as he can be a free agent after this season, and I've never had him on any of my teams.

I took Joe Mauer third, and Brandon Webb fourth. Not bad so far. Last year's AL HR champion, AL batting champion and NL Cy Young Award winner so far on my team. (And I later grabbed the NL batting champion for 2006 as well.)

The draft went on for about one hour and 15 minutes, as three people were not present, and a couple of my friends had computer problems, so the computer would up making many of the picks for them. (And they were not happy with many of them.) Overall, I like the squad I've assembled, so here are the "Hoboken Zephyrs":

C Joe Mauer; 1B Nomar Garciaparra; 2B Dan Uggla; SS Felipe Lopez; 3B Freddy Sanchez; OF: Ichiro Suzuki, Nick Swisher, Josh Willingham, Moises Alou, Jim Edmonds; 2B/SS Jose Lopez; 1B/3B Mark Teahen; Utility David Ortiz.

Starting Pitchers: Brandon Webb, Cole Hamels, Curt Schilling, Chris Capuano, Javier Vazquez, Jeremy Sowers, Jeff Francis, Pedro Martinez; Relief Pitchers: Huston Street, Chad Cordero, Joe Borowski, Justin Duchscherer.

I took Pedro Martinez as my final pick, a sentimental choice that I will put in one of my DL slots.I had a number of "sleeper" picks, or guys I like that aren't too well known in most baseball circles, like Chris Capuano, Jeff Francis, Chad Cordero, Jeremy Sowers, Mark Teahen and Nick Swisher. I specifically went out to get most of them, as I've had them before in other leagues. Curt Schilling was very lowly rated this year, and I surprised how far down he was when I grabbed him. I was also surprised to see how far Dan Uggla was as well, as he had a monster year for the Marlins last year at 2B.

I will be involved in one more fantasy league, this one with some friends at Yahoo. (I was in three leagues last year, and It was so much work I vowed to be in just two this season. So much for that.) I've heard that's a good fantasy league, and I've never been involved with them. That draft should happen some time next week.

BTW, does anyone know where my team name comes from? It was from a very famous episode of the legendary "Twilight Zone" series. Jack Warden played the manager of the fictional Hoboken Zephyrs, a basement NL team whose fortunes turn when a robot tries out for the team, and becomes the best pitcher in baseball. But when it's discovered, he has to have a heart to become a man, and when he gets it, he can't get anyone out and is done with baseball. And the Zephyrs again become the worst team in the league.

Let's hope my "Zephyrs" do a little better. I don't believe I drafted any robots...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Eric Idle

A very Happy Birthday to Eric Idle, who turns 64 today. He was one of the driving forces behind Monty Python, as well as the creator of "Spamalot," the hit Broadway play which I saw and enjoyed back in 2005.

Eric also is an incredibly talented songwriter, and he authored the classic tune, "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life," the song that closes out the great film, "Life Of Brian." (He and the other Pythons performed it at Graham Chapman's funeral in 1989.) He also wrote and performed in "The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash," a devastatingly funny parody of The Beatles.

Hope you have a great day, Eric.

For more on Mr. Idle, check out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Idle
http://pythonline.com/plugs/idle/

The Sound Of Silence

Many of you who read my blog often may have noticed a difference in my site today. Last night I took down the "Mighty Quinn" music that you hear when you first come on here. I had been thinking about removing it, and I got an email from a frequent reader of the blog who felt it was time to go. The last line of his email went, "Not cute anymore." So that convinced me to take it down.

That was not the first negative comment I had gotten about the music. My own computer's speakers aren't working, so I would only hear the music when I went on this site from other computers. So I guess that could drive a frequent visitor here a little crazy. (Although there was a "stop" button on the music control panel so you could read the blog without it.)

Ironically enough, I got an email from a reader from Philadelphia (and a Red Sox fan) who found my site earlier this week who asked me for the file of the Mighty Quinn music so his son could use it in a project in his school. I was certainly happy to oblige him with it.

So for now, there won't be any music here. But if I find something cool to put up music-wise, I will. "The Mighty Quinn" theme maybe gone for now, but it may not be forever...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

"Impossible To Forget" on NESN Friday

New England Sports Network will be broadcasting for the first time the special about the 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox team on Friday night at 8:30 PM, which is called "Impossible To Forget: Summer of '67". I'll be watching over at Professor Thom's that night, as I make an appearance in the documentary. I was interviewed about the team back in February at the bar, and I got the word from the filmmaker not long ago I will indeed be a part it.

The film will also be repeated Saturday afternoon on NESN following the Red Sox-Phillies exhibition game, around 4 PM.

Here's the link from the original story about the documentary and the 1967 team from NESN's web site. (The time was changed from 9 to 8:30 PM not long ago).

http://www.boston.com/sports/nesn/aboutus/news/02_13_07/

Trivia Q&A: March 27

We had 15 teams take part in Trivia last night, and we had a close match come down to the final questions. A team called Who Is Your Daddy and What Does He Do emerged victorious. They won by a mere two points, and what spurred them to victory was getting a special five-point bonus question in the General Knowledge section correct, about the population of the five NYC boroughs. They were the only team who got the answer right.

I also stumped everyone with one of the IQ Trivia questions for the first time. It was about the nation that in 1985 changed their time zone to be 15 minutes ahead of India. Just about everyone said Pakistan, as they are India's most known enemy. Turns out it's another of India's detractors: Nepal.

I guess I made the "This Day In History: March 27" Q&A a little too hard, as the average team only got about 5 or 6 correct. Hopefully teams will do a little better next week, as the special category will be on Baseball Trivia, to celebrate the start of the 2007 season.

Current Events
1. This megasuperstar singer signed last week to have his next album released in conjunction with Starbucks, beginning in June.
2. A registered 6.9 earthquake rattled this Asian country on Sunday, sparking fears of tsunamis.
3. This team, which qualified for basketball's Final Four, tied the record for total Final Four apprearances with 17 this past weekend.
4. Elton John celebrated his 60th birthday on Sunday night with a huge concert at this famed venue.
5. The nation of Iran arrested 15 sailors from this country's navy on Friday and is still holding them captive.
6. This film, just released this past Friday, upended "300" as the number film in America last week.
7. The Broward County medical examiner announced that Anna Nicole Smith's death was attributed to this cause.
8. Investigators looking into the 2003 death of this war hero found no criminal negligence involved in his friendly-fire death.
9. The wife of this rock star was arrested outside their California home for torching his clothes in the street on Saturday night.
10. A new power-sharing deal was announced by both opposing sides in this long-troubled land yesterday.

Answers: 1. Paul McCartney; 2. Japan; 3. UCLA; 4. Madison Square Garden; 5. United Kingdom; 6. "TMNT;" 7. Accidental overdose of sleeping medication; 8. Pat Tillman; 9. Scott Weiland; 10. Northern Ireland.

This Day in History: March 27
1. This state was struck by an earthquake on this day in 1964, resulting in 125 deaths. Was it: a. California; b. Hawaii; c. Alaska; d. Washington.
2. Miller Huggins, Hall of Fame baseball manager, was born on this day in 1879. Which team did he manage to the World Series title? a. Boston Red Sox; b. New York Yankees; c. Detroit Tigers; d. Cincinnati Reds.
3. In 1854 on this day, the UK declared war on which country, starting the Crimean War? a. Russia, b. France; c. Germany, d. Austria.
4. In 1981 on this day, Moldova and Bessarabia became part of which eastern European country? a. Hungary; b. Ukraine; c. Yugoslavia; d. Romania.
5. On this day in 1958, who became Premier of the Soviet Union? a. Leonid Brezhnev; b. Nikita Khruschev; c. Joseph Stalin; d. Yuri Andropov.
6. In 1917, Cyrus Vance was born on this day. Under which president was he the Secretary of State? a. Gerald Ford; b. Richard Nixon; c. Jimmy Carter; d. Ronald Reagan.
7. Quentin Tarantino turns 44 today. Which Oliver Stone movie did he originally write the script for but later would disavow? a. Natural Born Killers; b. Wall Street; c. Any Given Sunday; d. Alexander.
8. Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin died on this day in 1968. In which year was he the first man ever in space? a. 1959; b. 1960; c. 1961; d. 1962.
9. Mariah Carey turns 37 today. What was her first Billboard Hot 100 Number 1 single? a. Vision of Love; b. I Don't Wanna Cry; c. Emotions; d. Dreamlover.
10. On this date in 1977, the worst air crash in history took place when two jumbo jets collided on the island of Tenerife, killing 577 people. Which country does Tenerife belong to? a. Portugal; b. France; c. Spain; d. UK.

Answers: 1. c; 2. b; 3. a; 4. d; 5. b; 6. c; 7. a; 8. c; 9. a; 10. c.

True Or False ("The Q Train")
1. Tincture is a solution made of medicine dissolved in alcohol.
2. In the US there is a popular belief that shark cartilege can cure cancer.
3. Westminster Abbey has been both an English royal residence and a prison.
4. The standard measure of the size of a TV screen is taken diagonally.
5. Retinol is another name for Vitamin A.
6. The Los Angeles Dodgers have won the most World Series after the Yankees, with 10.
7. The Chinese language has over 50,000 characters in written form but no alphabet.
8. Under FDA regulations, a food labeled "low fat" may contain a maximum of 1 gram of total fat per serving.
9. "All's Well That Ends Well" was the original title for Tolstoy's "War and Peace."
10. "The Museum Mile" is a stretch of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan that contains numerous museums.

Answers: 1. true; 2. true; 3. false, The Tower of London was both; 4. true; 5. true; 6. false, the St. Louis Cardinals are second; 7. true; 8. false, 3 grams are the limit; 9. true; 10. true.

General Knowledge
1. Who was the last US president without a college degree?
2. Which 1960s TV show was made into a 1998 movie and featured the character Emma Peel?
3. In a popular 1977 song, Fleetwood Mac sang, "Don't Stop Thinking About" what?
4. On a typical house, where are the eaves located?
5. What two countries are seperated by The Bering Strait?
6. The comic book heroine "Queen of the Jungle" goes by which first name?
7. The caiman is most closely associated with which animal?
8. The 1980 Gdansk Accords were spearheaded by striking workers in which country?
9. What is the name of the Greek God of wine?
10. Name in correct order the five boroughs of NYC by population. (5 point bonus)

Answers: 1. Harry Truman; 2. The Avengers; 3. Tomorrow; 4. roof; 5. USA and Russia; 6. Sheena; 7. alligator; 8. Poland; 9. Dionysis; 10. Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island.

IQ Trivia
1. The group of barrier islands known as The Outer Banks are found along the coast of which US state? (5 points)
2. What popular recitation includes the final line, "and the wisdom to know the difference?" (5 points)
3. In 1985, which country changed its time zone so it would be 15 minutes ahead of India? (6 points)
4. Which former president wrote the popular bestseller, "An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood?" (5 points)
5. In which part of the human body will you find the hammer and stirrup bones? (4 points)

Answers: 1. North Carolina; 2. The Serenity Prayer; 3. Nepal; 4. Jimmy Carter; 5. ear.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Curly Haired Bastard

As many of you know, I'm not crazy about most sportswriters. There are some who I've always respected and enjoyed reading, like Peter Gammons, Gordon Edes and Phil Pepe. But too many over the years come to the table with hidden (and some not so hidden) agendas, and their biases and prejudices are out there for all to see. Of all the sportswriters I've ever read, I don't think there has been one writer more reviled by fans in my lifetime than Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe.

First of all let me say that Shaughnessy is a talented writer, no doubt about that. He does occasionally write a thought-provoking or touching piece. But most of the time, he's up on his high horse going after some iconic Red Sox player (Nomar and Pedro come to mind), and possibly doing the bidding of someone else. (Does the Theo Epstein-Larry Lucchino dustup sound familiar, and whose side he took?)

He made his name and a truckload of money with his 1990 book, "The Curse of the Bambino," a media-driven fake curse that the Red Sox were supposedly under. When the Sox won it all in 2004, many fans were not only happy the Red Sox won, but now Shaughnessy could no longer rely on his beloved curse to fall back on. (But naturally he had to write a book about how the Red Sox broke "The Curse." I've never read it, as I won't give him my money.)

I'll never forget Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, which I watched at the Riviera Cafe in Manhattan, along with a barful of Red Sox fans. As much abuse that was hurled that night at Roger Clemens, Derek Jeter and the rest of the Yankees, an absolute torrent of verbal abuse got tossed Shaughnessy's way when he appeared on the pregame show. It was absolutely vicious stuff, and as Douglas C. Niedermayer once observed, "Decorum prohibits me listing them here."

Shaughnessy earned the nickname "CHB" from an incident that occurred in the Sox clubhouse in 2000. Carl Everett was pissed off at him and Gordon Edes one night, and yelled out to Edes to "get out of here and take your curly-haired boyfriend with you." So the nickname stuck with the bloggers and message board posters on the Internet. (Although I like "Curly Haired Bastard" better.)

And now it's clear that Shaughnessy despises us bloggers (he thinks most of us live in our parents' basements and do nothing but blog all day), and made it pretty clear with a piece of crap he wrote on Monday about Curt Schilling's blog and the fans who've responded to it. CHB clearly hates Schilling, especially since Schilling is an avid blogger and takes his message straight to the fans without having to rely on writers. Shaughnessy makes up fake letters in the article to Schilling and makes the fans out to be complete moronic suckups.

That Shaughnessy and the Globe would waste perfectly good newsprint on such drivel tells me how much he detests Schilling. Shaughnessy comes off rather childish in the article, and sounding envious and jealous. (I've always thought that the majority of sportswriters are frustrated ex-jocks, really jealous of the money and lifestyles of the athletes they cover, and relish tearing them down with their words.) He also shows how much he really hates us bloggers, like we are all a bunch of interlopers who have no business walking on his sacred ground.

Check out "Fire Joe Morgan," a great media/sports blog, for their take on all this nonsense. It's quite funny and puts CHB in his place. (http://firejoemorgan.blogspot.com) Curt Schilling answered Shaughnessy back today on his blog, and I love the fact he called him, "Curly Haired Boyfriend" in the first paragraph. (http://38pitches.com)

CHB has to stir up crap, as I think he actually relishes the attention he gets, no matter how mean or vicious it is. There's even a blog out there that follows Shaughnessy and his columns called "Dan Shaughnessy Watch." (http://danshaughnessy.blogspot.com/). I love their motto: "We read him so you don't have to." I admit that I do read his columns, as he's like a car wreck. You just can't turn away, but you really should.

CHB. A curly haired bastard indeed.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Trivia Lineup Tomorrow

Tuesday night's Trivia Night at Professor Thom's will see the return of "This Day In History," Q&A about March 27. There will also be the popular categories of Current Events, General Knowledge, True Or False and IQ Trivia (which will be five questions worth 25 points). True Or False will once again be "The Q Train" lightning round.

Hope to see many of you on Tuesday night!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Papelbon Returns To The Pen

In a stunning turn of events this past week, the Red Sox announced that Jonathan Papelbon would return to the bullpen for the 2007 season, instead of going into the starting rotation as originally planned.

Everyone seemed to have an opinion on the subject, one way or the other. Papelbon said he would make the move back to the pen for the good of the team, and they really seemed to need him out there.

Mike Timlin will open the season on the DL, and the Sox brass are simply not convinced that Joel Pineiro is the answer at closer. They weren't convinced that Julian Tavarez or Brendan Donnelly is also. They looked into possible trades for closers like Brad Lidge and Chad Cordero, but either the asking price was too high or they weren't available.

Papelbon was shut down early last September because of shoulder problems. He was simply overworked last year with all the innings and back-to-back appearances he made. He was spectacular the first half of the year (and perhaps the AL MVP for that time), but he was clearly running down as the season went on, as he blew six saves in the second half.

Originally the medical staff believed that moving Papelbon to rotation would benefit him in the long run, as he would go on a regular throwing regimen. But he has long said that he enjoys the 9th inning role (and I met his mother last year and she told me the same thing) immensely. I believe the Red Sox feel that they can put Julian Tavarez into the number five starter role until Jon Lester is ready to come up, as he will most likely start the season at Pawtucket. (Lester has pitched well this spring but could use some additional time at AAA.) The closer role was a huge, wide open gap for the Sox, and putting Papelbon back is a huge boost for them.

But they must be careful with him. He probably will not be used in consecutive games unless it is absolutely necessary, and he will not pitch many multiple-inning appearances as he had in 2006. I'm sure that Terry Francona will use him properly. He's too valuable a property to go messing with his future.

I really hope Papelbon staying in the closer role helps the Red Sox in 2007, but more importantly, I hope that Jonathan's not putting his future in jeopardy by remaining in the role.

The Indignity Never Ends

It didn't make big headlines late last week, but it was revealed that in the rush to get Ground Zero cleaned up in the wake of the September 11 attacks, some human remains were missed by workers who were sifting the rubble, and much of it may have been used to fill in potholes and pave roads.

Four workers have sworn affidavits that that is precisely what happened, at the Fresh Kills landfill site in Staten Island. Only 63% of the 1.65 million tons of rubble were actually carefully sifted through, and the rest were just let go. The city promised that ALL of it would carefully checked.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Bloomberg had no comment about the story.

Here's a good article from Newsday from last Friday about it:
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--attacks-remains0323mar23,0,1769629.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork

The tragedy of the September 11 attacks never seems to end, especially for the families and loved ones of those who perished that day, but especially for those families who have never received any remains from their loved ones. Over 1100 of the 2749 victims basically disappeared without a trace, and now the wounds get reopened yet again with this news.

I pray for the families and friends of the victims every night, and I pray that one day they will all find some kind of peace in their lives and are able to move on. But when revelations like this come to light, it makes me angry to think the city treats the remains of their fallen heroes so shabbily.

They deserve to be treated better, and with dignity, and so do their families.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

"Reign Over Me"

Yesterday I saw a very powerful film, called "Reign Over Me," which stars Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle. It's the story of two old college friends who re-connect after many years. Sandler portrays Charlie Fineman, a former dentist who suffers the most unimaginable of tragedies: his wife and three daughters were on one of the planes that struck the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Cheadle plays Alan Johnson, a dentist who's married with two kids but finds his life and job becoming rather routine and mundane. He spots his old pal Charlie on the street one day. He knows the tragic loss he suffered and finds that he's a shell of the person he once was, and attempts to try and get his old friend his life back.

I had heard about "Reign Over Me" over a year ago from the WTC support group I belong to, and I was fascinated to see what kind of film it was. Just a couple of weeks ago I saw the previews on TV, and thought I would check this film out as soon as it was released.

Yesterday was it's release date, and my friend Deborah and I checked out the movie in a theater in downtown Brooklyn. The film was written and directed by Mike Binder, who does a great job handling a very sensitive subject. Charlie cannot come to grips with his family being gone, and disconnects from just about everyone who has a connection to them. There are no shots of 9/11, or Ground Zero, and the events of the day are recalled just once. (But in the theater I was in, I found the audience laughing at rather inappropriate times, and it made me wish I was seeing the film in a less crowded theater.)

And I never thought I would ever mention "Adam Sandler" and "Oscar" in the same sentence. But he gives a powerful performance as Charlie, and definitely has the talent to handle dramatic roles. I was of the verge of tears in a couple of heartbreaking scenes he was in. I can see him possibly being nominated for Best Actor for his performance. And Don Cheadle continues to be one of the best actors in the business, and he gives a great performance as his Charlie's old pal, trying his best to get Charlie out of his secluded world of '80s rock music, which Charlie listens to incessantly. But Charlie winds up helping Alan in the end as well.

The supporting cast is good as well. I liked Liv Tyler as the psychiatrist, but thought she may have been just a tad too young for the role (my friend Deborah, who's a therapist, agreed). Donald Sutherland and Robert Klein were also good in small roles as the judge and Charlie's father-in-law, respectively.

"Reign Over Me" is just a tremendous film. 9/11 is more of a background to the story, but Mike Binder has made a sensitive and thoughtful film without being exploitative in the least. It is touching, funny at times, as well as depressing, but well worth going to see. As the years go on, the subject of the terror attacks of 9/11 will gradually be tackled more and more on film, and I hope it will be handled as sensitively as Mike Binder has done with "Reign Over Me."

Friday, March 23, 2007

100 Greatest Red Sox: #74 Bill Mueller

This is the fifth article I have written for the "Top 100 Red Sox" web site, which is a series of profiles of the 100 greatest players in Red Sox history. Please check out the site: http://top100redsox.blogspot.com. This profile is of 2004 postseason hero, Bill Mueller.

Bill Mueller, 3B, #11 (2003-2005)

406 G, 437 H, 41 HR, 204 RBI, .303 Avg, .376 OBP, .474 SLG, 2003 AL Batting Champion: .326 Avg


He was a ballplayer who never brought attention to himself. He was a classy player, who played the game the right way. He was quiet in the clubhouse, and a very religious, family man from Missouri.

Bill Mueller will be remembered forever by Red Sox fans for two at-bats that changed the course of the Boston Red Sox franchise. They were two of the biggest clutch hits in team history, and they came against the same club, in the same season, and against one of the greatest relief pitchers in baseball history.

William Richard Mueller was born on March 17, 1971 in Maryland Heights, Missouri. His last name has an unusual pronounciation. Usually prounounced "muhl-er" or "meuh-ler", his grandfather changed the pronounciation to "mil-ler" when he immigrated to the United States from Germany shortly before World War II began, so it would sound more "American." (For some reason, he did not change the spelling.) Bill attended DeSmet Jesuit High School, and Southwest Missouri State University before he was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 15th round of the 1993 amateur draft.

He made his major league debut at Candlestick Park in 1996. He split that season between AAA Phoenix and San Francisco, playing in 55 games and batting .330, mostly at third base. The next season, he became the regular third baseman, hitting .292 in 128 games. He hit just 7 home runs, but showed a superior glove in the field.

Mueller remained in San Francisco through 2000. He didn't put up any eye-popping numbers, but continued his tremendous fielding at third, and occasionally filling in at second. He was traded in December 2000 to the Chicago Cubs for relief pitcher Tim Worrell. At Wrigley Field, he was slotted in as the everyday third baseman. In May, at a game at Wrigley, Mueller was chasing a foul pop as it heading toward the stands when he ran directly into the brick wall, badly injuring his right knee and ending his season. Knee injuries would be a career-long problem for Mueller, but he made it back for the 2002 season. In September of that season, he was traded back to the San Francisco Giants, who were in the stretch run in an effort to win the NL West title. The Giants went all the way to the seventh game of the World Series in 2002, but Mueller only saw action in the NLDS, and was left off both the NLCS and World Series rosters.

Mueller was a free agent after 2002, and on January 10, 2003, he signed with the Red Sox. It certainly wasn't a move that made headlines, and most Sox fans had barely heard of him.

Mueller opened the 2003 season as a platoon player, splitting time with Shea Hillenbrand at third. But a trade that occurred on May 29 would alter not only Mueller's future, but the destiny of the Boston Red Sox franchise. Hillenbrand was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for righty closer Byung-Hyun Kim. The Sox had tried a closer-by-committee bullpen, but it was a failure, and the Sox desperately needed a big-time closer. They found it in Kim, but it also made Bill Mueller a full-time third baseman. (And oh yes, it made another part-time player a full-time designated hitter: David Ortiz.)

With that, Mueller flourished at third base, and at the plate. He showed off his flashy glove and that impressed Red Sox Nation. But he had a career year at the plate, hitting a high of 19 home runs, 85 RBI and incredibly, winning the AL batting title with a .326 average, edging out teammate Manny Ramirez on the final day of the regular season. What made it all the more incredible was the fact that Mueller usually batted in the eighth and ninth spot in the batting order, as the Sox had one of the most potent lineups in baseball history in 2003.

Mueller also made baseball history that year as well. On July 29 in a game at Texas, Mueller hit two grand slams (and in consecutive at-bats), and became the first player ever to hit one from each side of the plate. The Red Sox won that night, 14-7, and Mueller added a solo homer as well, hitting three HRs for the only time in his career and driving in nine runs total. As great a season as Mueller had in 2003, it is his heroics in 2004 that he will forever be remembered.

In 2004, Mueller had another solid, dependable season, but did spend some time on the disabled list with the recurring knee problems. In 110 games, he hit .283 with 12 HRs and 57 RBI. But on July 24, the Red Sox found themselves in a dire position as far as their 2004 season went. They were a stagnant club, and the Yankees were pulling away in the AL East. New York was in town, and they had won the previous night. The next day featured a high-scoring game that included the now-legendary home plate dustup between Alex Rodriguez and Jason Varitek that led to a bench-clearing brawl. By the ninth inning, the Sox were down by two with Mariano Rivera trying to close it out. The Red Sox got a run with one out and a man on. And up to the plate stepped Bill Mueller.

Mueller hit a Rivera fastball high into the bullpen in right field to send Fenway into a total frenzy and give the Sox an emotional come-from-behind victory. (It is mistakingly believed to have been the turnaround of the season. That actually didn't happen until mid-August. But it certainly is the "symbolic" turnaround point of the 2004 season.)

The Red Sox got hot later in the season to wrap up a Wild Card spot. Mueller and the Sox made it to another showdown with the Yankees in the ALCS. They quickly fell behind 3-0 in the series and it seemed like it was all over but the shouting. In Game 4, the Red Sox were down to their final three outs in the ninth when Bill Mueller came up in another huge situation. Dave Roberts was the tying run on second with no outs. On a 1-1 pitch, Mueller lined a Rivera pitch up the middle to score Roberts and tie up the game. Once again, Mueller had another clutch at-bat against the so-called greatest closer in history. And he came up big again.

And it was the start of the greatest comeback in the history of postseason baseball.

Eight wins later, the Red Sox were the Champions of the World and Bill Mueller had his first World Series ring, and a place in the heart of every Red Sox fan on the planet.Mueller had another dependable season at the third for the Sox in 2005, hitting .295 with 10 homers. But he was a free agent after that season, and the Red Sox elected not to re-sign the popular third baseman, who turned 35 the next March. He wound up signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He played just 32 games in 2006, when his chronically bad knee acted up again. He was forced to have a third surgery on it, and this one would be a career-ending one. Doctors said the deteriorating condition in the knee ruled out all known procedures to repair it.

So after the 2006 season, Bill Mueller officially retired and was named special assistant to Dodgers' General Manager Ned Colletti.

It was a sad end to a career of such a classy ballplayer as Bill Mueller. He will always be remembered by Red Sox fans everywhere as the consummate professional, a guy who did his job with all of his talent, with a lot of heart, and without any complaint.

Thanks Bill. You'll always be "One of the 25."

John Quinn is a writer who lives in New York City and runs the web site, "The Mighty Quinn Media Machine," and writes for the Red Sox fan site, Bornintoit.com, as "Brooklyn Sox Fan."

Thursday, March 22, 2007

No Extra Innings On Cable

It's now official. Baseball's deal with The Devil, er, DirecTV, is now done. Out-of-town baseball games can now only be seen on satellite, as a last-ditch effort by cable operators to get Extra Innings was torpedoed by MLB because of the impasse at getting The Baseball Channel on basic cable when it begins in 2009, among other things.

Baseball has sold its loyal fans down the river yet again for a larger payday, this time a seven-year, $700 million deal. Bob Raissman, in today's New York Daily News, had a great take about this mess.

"MLB's move brought an immediate charge from cable execs that Bud Selig's TV people would rather spend a night naked in the Alaskan wilderness than alter their sweet, seven-year, $700 million 'Extra Innings' deal with DirecTV."

Ain't that the truth.

I really enjoyed watching all of those out-of-town games last year on Extra Innings. However, as I've said before, I will not change my cable to satellite to satisy these robber barons. Selig and his minions are once again doing their best to alienate their loyalest fans. Screw him.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Larry "Bud" Melman Dies At 85

I was really saddened tonight to hear about the passing of a true icon of American television. Calvert DeForest, better known as Larry "Bud" Melman of "Late Night With David Letterman" fame, died on Monday after a long illness, at a hospital in Babylon, Long Island. He was 85 years old.

For more on his passing:
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/celebrity/la-et-deforest22mar22,1,6979392.story?coll=la-celebrity-news&ctrack=1&cset=true

I was a huge "Late Night With David Letterman" (much more than his current show) going back to the very beginning in 1982. I never missed a show, and I loved the character of Larry "Bud" Melman. Larry was an older, short, stubby kind of a guy with dark-rimmed glasses and a silly laugh. He always seemed out of place whatever Letterman had him doing, and sometimes they bordered on the ridiculous. I'll never forget the time Dave had him go to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and hand out hot towels to people coming off the buses after their long trips (see the above picture). Something always would go wrong, but I thought Larry was great, and he developed a huge cult following.

I also loved the mock "commercials" he'd do on the show, like for "The Melman Bus Lines." The closing tag line would have him saying, "See where you're going, not where you've been. Ride a Melman Bus." Or the way some Letterman shows would end, with Larry coming on the screen saying, "This has been a Melman production."

Classic stuff.

Calvert DeForest was born and raised in Brooklyn, and he lived in Bay Ridge while the show was filmed. My uncle was a mailman back then, and he had Calvert on his mail route. My uncle said he was a genuinely nice man, as did David Letterman today in a prepared statement.

When "Late Night With David Letterman" ended and Dave & company went to CBS, Calvert went along, but NBC would not allow them to use the Larry "Bud" Melman character (as they owned the rights to it), so he had to be called by his real name on the new show. He did not appear on the new show much, and his last appearance was in 2002.

We'll never forget Larry "Bud" Melman.

Thanks for the laughs, Mr. DeForest.

100 Greatest Red Sox: #34 Mike Greenwell

Here is my fourth article for the fine web site "Top 100 Red Sox," all about the greatest Red Sox players of all-time. I have previously done profiles on Johnny Damon, Bill Monbouquette and Tex Hughson. This article is about Mike Greenwell. http://top100redsox.blogspot.com.

Mike Greenwell, LF, #39 (1985-1996)
1269 G, 1400 H, 657 R, 575 2B, 130 HR, 726 RBI, 80 SB, .303 Avg, .366 OBP, .528 SLG, All-Star (1988-89)

His nickname during his playing days was "The Gator." It was said he got the nickname because he liked to wrestle alligators during the offseason in his native Florida.

But the Boston Red Sox fans at Fenway Park knew Mike Greenwell as a dependable hitter and left fielder for a decade, from 1987-1996.

Michael Lewis Greenwell was born in Louisville, Kentucky on July 18, 1963. He grew up in Florida and attended North Ft. Myers High School, which also produced football stars Jevon Kearse and Deion Sanders. He was drafted by the Red Sox in the third round of the 1982 Amateur Draft and signed with the club.

Greenwell was brought up from Pawtucket in September 1985, and made his debut as a pinch-runner for Jim Rice in the first game of a doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians. That fall, the Red Sox were playing out the schedule and not in the pennant race, and Greenwell played in 17 games, went 10-for-31 and hit four homers and drove in eight runs. Greenwell spent most of 1986 back at Pawtucket, as Rice was still the left-fielder. Greenwell hit 18 HRs and batted .300 at AAA. He was brought up again in August and saw action mostly as a pinch-hitter that year.

But the Red Sox had a terrific team in '86, and Greenwell made the postseason roster. He played in both the ALCS and World Series, mostly as a pinch-hitter. He went 1-for-5 in that memorable postseason, but is best remembered for pinch-hitting for Roger Clemens in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the World Series. (This was the scenario that became controversial once the Series was over, as Clemens claimed he didn't want to come out, but manager John McNamara claims he did, because of a blister.) Greenwell struck out in that appearance.

1987 was a year to forget for the Red Sox and their fans, as the hangover from the 1986 World Series loss hung over the team all year, and they finished under .500. But it was a breakout year for Mike Greenwell. Jim Rice was moved to designated hitter and Greenwell was put in left field on a permanent basis. Greenwell responded with 19 HRs, 89 RBIs and a .328 batting average in 125 games. He finished fourth in the AL Rookie of the Year Award balloting (which was won by Mark McGwire).

1988 would prove to be Greenwell's best offensive season. He hit 22 HRs, 119 RBI and a .325 BA. He finished second behind Jose Canseco in the AL MVP Award voting (another loss to a "Bash Brother") and was a big part of the Red Sox comeback to winning the AL Eastern Division that season. Greenwell was also selected for the AL All-Star team for the first time, and hit for the cycle on September 14. He also won the Silver Slugger Award. But it was a disappointing postseason for the Sox and for Greenwell. They swept out of the ALCS by Canseco and the Oakland A's, and Greenwell hit .214 in that series with 1 HR and 3 RBI.

Greenwell would make the All-Star team again in 1989, hitting 14 HRs, 95 RBI and a BA of .308. He would have the longest hitting streak of his career that year, 21 games. His power numbers would continue to decline in 1990 and 1991, to 14 and 9, respectively. He also drove in just 73 and 83 runs, but his batting average was still around the .300 mark. Many of the Sox faithful thought Greenwell was a disappointment, as they thought he was next logical successor in that "golden position" of Red Sox leftfielder. He was a solid hitter, but not in the mold of the previous Red Sox leftfielders like Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice. Greenwell was like Yaz was early in his career, a line drive hitter who wasn't a big home run hitter. Greenwell was also just an average outfielder at best, and wouldn't win any Gold Gloves in his career.

1992 was a year to forget for Greenwell, as he battled injuries that year and played in just 49 games and hit .233. His offensive numbers would continue to slide in his final four years with the Sox, although he had a nice bounceback year for the Red Sox in 1995, as they won the AL East that year. He hit 15 HRs, 76 RBIs and hit .297. But the Red Sox were swept out of the playoffs for the third straight time, this time in the ALDS by Cleveland. Greenwell, who went 0-14 in the 1990 ALCS, went just 3-for-15 in the three-game sweep in '95.

Greenwell basically became a part-time player in 1996, hitting .295 in 77 games. He was a free agent after the season, and it looked like the Red Sox were going to let him go. But just before his Bosox career concluded, he had one final night of glory. On September 2, 1996, in a game against the Mariners in Seattle, Greenwell drove in 9 runs, which was all of his team's runs, in a 9-8, 10-inning win at the Kingdome. It was a MLB record for most RBIs by one player driving in all of his team's runs. It was also a Red Sox record for one game, a record that still stands.

Greenwell's final game in a Red Sox uniform was overshadowed by what would be the last game by another Red Sox star player: Roger Clemens. As it would turn out, both Clemens and Greenwell would both depart Boston, and for teams based outside the United States: Clemens to Toronto, and Greenwell would head for Japan, to play for the Hansin Tigers.

It would be a disasterous move for Greenwell. It was a much-heralded transaction in Japan, but Greenwell would see action in just seven games, due to injuries. He would announce his retirement from baseball soon afterward.He would turn his attention in his post-baseball career to another love of his: stock car racing. In May 2006, he made his Craftsman Truck Series debut at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway for Green Light Racing, starting 20th and finishing 26th. He also runs "Mike Greenwell's Family Fun Park" in Cape Coral, Florida, which includes a lot of activities like go-cart racing, miniature golf and batting cages. Greenwell is also a real-estate developer and an assistant baseball coach with Riverdale High School in Ft. Myers.

But Greenwell would get back in the sports headlines in 2005. When Jose Canseco released "Juiced," all about how his career was built on the use of illegal steroids, Greenwell went as far as demanding the he should be awarded the 1988 AL MVP Award away from Canseco.

He would tell the Ft. Myers News Press: "He's an admitted steroid user," Greenwell said of Canseco. "I was clean. If they're going to start putting asterisks by things, let's put one by the MVP. I do have a problem with losing the MVP to an admitted steroids user."

John Quinn is a writer who lives in New York City and runs the web site, "The Mighty Quinn Media Machine," and writes for the Red Sox fan site, Bornintoit.com, as "Brooklyn Sox Fan."

Trivia Q&A: March 20

We had 13 teams competing in Trivia Night on Tuesday. The special category was March Trivia, and the scores from that round weren't bad, mostly in the 6-7 points won per team. The overall winners were The Fluffers, a group of regulars that clinched the win with a perfect 25 points in the IQ Trivia category. (IQ Trivia is made up of five difficult questions: one is 4 points, three are five points and one other is 6 points.) They were tied going into the last round, but their great final round gave them the victory.

"The Q Train" lightning round and the final IQ Trivia round of 25 points have caught on well with the trivia players, and both figure to be a staple of Trivia Night for the forseeable future.

Current Events
1. "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek said he was stunned when this happened on the show for the very first time in its history last week.
2. This supermodel, with a history of legal trouble, began five days of community service in New York this week as part of her recent sentence.
3. A new jumbo jet, the Airbus A380, the largest jet in history, arrived at JFK Airport yesterday. Which European airline operated this flight?
4. This film grossed over $30 million last week and was number one for the second straight week.
5. Of all the "American Idol" contestants, Kelly Clarkson has gotten the most radio airplay since 2002. Which "American Idol" winner is second overall?
6. This university is currently the lowest seeded team still alive in the NCAA Basketball championships.
7. Last week on a flight from India to London, an elderly passenger died in economy class, so she was actually moved up to a seat in first class. On which airline did this occur?
8. Stuart Rosenberg, best known for directing this classic 1967 Paul Newman film, died Sunday at the age of 79.
9. The production company that made "The Queen" announced they will make a film about this onetime British Prime Minister.
10. A methane gas explosion ripped through a coal mine in this country, killing over 100 on Monday.

Answers: 1. a three-way tie; 2. Naomi Campbell; 3. Lufthansa; 4. "300;" 5. Carrie Underwood; 6. UNLV; 7. British Airways; 8. "Cool Hand Luke;" 9. Margaret Thatcher; 10. Russia.

March Trivia

1. The birthstone for March is: a. garnet; b. amethyst; c. aquamarine; d. diamond.
2. Which of the following events always occurs in March? a. Black History Month; b. Women's History Month; c. The Daytona 500; d. National Poetry Month.
3. In March of which year did "The Star Spangled Banner" become the National Anthem? a. 1869; b. 1918; c. 1931; d. 1941.
4. What happened to Julius Caesar on March 15, 44 BC? a. He crossed the Rubicon River; b. He was elected "pontiflex maximus;" c. He was proclaimed "Dictator For Life;" d. He was murdered.
5. On March 23, 1823, Schuyler Colfax was born. Who was Schuyler Colfax? a. US Grant's Vice-President; b. Inventor of the Yo-Yo; c. The first soldier killed at Gettysburg; d. Barnum and Bailey's first circus clown.
6. On March 27, 1964, what was the big news story in Alaska? a. Alaska becomes the 49th state; b. an 8.3 earthquake rattled the state; c. Alaskan Pipeline was completed; d. Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred.
7. In March 1976, Patty Hearst was convicted on which charge? a. kidnapping; b. drug possession; c. armed robbery; d. conspiracy to overthrow the government by force.
8. How many national holidays are there in March? a. none; b. 1; c. 2; d. 3.
9. What god is March named after? a. The God of Love; b. The God of War; c. The God of Music; d. The God of Peace.
10. Which zodiac sign falls in the month of March? a. Aries; b. Capricorn; c. Aquarius; d. Taurus.

Answers: 1. c; 2. b; 3. c; 4. d; 5. a; 6. b; 7. c; 8. a; 9. b; 10. a.

True Or False ("The Q Train")
1. The novel "Dr. Zhivago" chronicles life in Russia during the first half of the 20th Century.
2. Zachary Taylor was the first US president to die in office.
3. The state of Florida is actually located in two different time zones.
4. Cioppino is a kind of fish stew.
5. In Robert Louis Stevenson's book, the first names of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are actually Thomas and Robert.
6. Seaweed is a form of algae.
7. The Pecos River is a major tributary of the Colorado River.
8. Painter Cassius Coolidge is best known for his paintings of dogs playing poker.
9. On the TV show, "The Simpsons," Marge's maiden name is Clinton.
10. The Super Bowl has never been played in the state of Texas.

1. true; 2. false, William Henry Harrison was first; 3. true; 4. true; 5. false, it is Henry and Edward; 6. true; 7. false; it is a tributary of the Rio Grande; 8. true; 9. false; it's Bouvier; 10. false, it has been played there twice, both times in Houston.

General Knowledge
1. What was the nickname of the Confederate general Thomas Jackson?
2. Which fictional character was known to attack windmills, thinking they were giants?
3. The Bonneville Salt Flats are a famous venue for what type of events?
4. In 2001, what type of ship waschristened The USS Ronald Reagan?
5. The NY Post headline, "I Do, Yada, Yada, Yada" ran the day after which entertainer got married?
6. Which film features the famous scene in which Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr kiss in the sand on the beach?
7. What is the proper name for a female rabbit?
8. During which war did the US Rough Riders win the Battle of San Juan Hill?
9. The "meninges" covers which organ of the human body?
10. "This isn't a hospital, it's an insane asylum" is a famous line from which 1970 movie?

Answers: 1. Stonewall; 2. Don Quixote; 3. auto races; 4. aircraft carrier; 5. Jerry Seinfeld; 6. "From Here To Eternity;" 7. a doe; 8. Spanish-American War; 9. brain; 10. "M*A*S*H"

IQ Trivia
1. "Double, double, toil and trouble" is a line from which Shakespeare play? (5 points)
2. In which activity would you use a "woolly bugger" or a "rat-faced McDougal?" (6 points)
3. At the time of his election, who was the oldest person to become President of the United States? (4 points)
4. Which 1953 novel marked the first appearance of Ian Fleming's James Bond character? (5 points)
5. In 2003, which 1991 rock song did VH1 select as the greatest song of the past 25 years? (5 points)

Answers: 1. Macbeth; 2. fly-fishing; 3. Ronald Reagan; 4. "Casino Royale;" 5. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Greatest Steal In Baseball History



My buddy Adam in Maine sent me this morning a very different angle, courtesy of YouTube, of the Dave Roberts steal of second in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, as taken by a fan in the either the bleachers or the rightfield grandstand of Fenway Park. It is very short, just 20 seconds.

But it was 20 seconds that changed a franchise, as well as a rivalry, forever.

I especially love the fan reaction after the stolen base. Just priceless.

Since today is the first day of spring, and the baseball season is just less than two weeks off, I thought you all might like to enjoy the greatest steal in baseball history from another perspective.

My thanks to Adam.

But especially, my thanks to Dave Roberts. God bless him.

Trivia On Tuesday Night

Trivia Night on Tuesday, March 20th at Professor Thom's will consist of the four usual categories we've recently featured: Current Events, General Knowledge, True Or False and the five question IQ Trivia, which is the last round and will be worth 25 points. IQ Trivia will again be difficult questions, worth different points for each question.

The special category this week will be March Trivia, Q&A (and multiple choice) about March. IQ Trivia has been a hit so far, and True Or False will once again be "The Q Train," or the lightning round.

We've been getting some consistently huge crowds to Trivia on Tuesday night (15 teams have competed each of the last two weeks), and hopefully, that will continue.

Hope to see many of you Tuesday night!

Monday, March 19, 2007

"Fix It, and He Will Come..."

I got an email from my buddy Stewart today, who's a big Red Sox fan living here in New York also. He alerted me to the fact that he entered and won the "Cartoon Caption Contest" in the Boston Globe for last week.

The cartoon, as seen here, is a baseball coming out of the Ted Williams Tunnel in Boston. Stew came up with a great line: "Fix it, and he will come." (As many of you know, the Ted Williams Tunnel has had structural problems, including a motorist getting killed last year by falling debris.)
Stew was one of nearly 1000 entries last week. Here's a link to the story in today's Globe:
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/city_region/cityweekly/toons/

They seemed to be a little preturbed that someone living "so close to Yankee Stadium" won. But I can assure you that Stew's a dedicated Red Sox fan like me, living here in New York "behind enemy lines." Congrats, my friend!!!

A Bizarre Fantasy Draft

Last night I had my fantasy baseball draft, live by computer. I've been into fantasy baseball since 1988, and I've been doing it my computer with ESPN since 2001.

I love the live drafts, watching the selecting process unfold before my eyes. It can be fun, but frustrating at the same time. (I can't tell you how many times I've had players I really wanted taken just before I was ready to select them.) This year, ESPN has made some major changes to their fantasy game. Some are good, some aren't. This year, it is totally free, as opposed to the $29.99 you had to pay in years past. This year, you can also pick the categories you want to play for on offense and pitching and that is really good.

I am in a head-to-head league, with a 20-man roster and one for a player on the DL. (My other draft will be very different, with a 25-man roster and 12 players competing.) I joined it rather late last week, and I was the final one in the league. You have to take at least 12 offensive players, at least 3 pitchers, and five bench players. (I wound up taking eight pitchers.)

I am in two leagues this year, and my other draft will be on March 29. Last night's draft was scheduled for 9:15 PM and I got online 30 minutes before the start time. When I got to the site, I discovered that I had to download JAVA to get into the draft, but it said it would take close to 40 minutes to download. I went that route, but it was taking too long, so entered another way, by HTML.

I am in a 10-man league, and I got the number 9 slot overall to draft. That's a good slot, as I select 9th and then 12th, as the draft goes in reverse order each round. (I really hate a middle slot like 5 or 6.) I had decided to take David Ortiz as my number one pick. Just as the draft was in the middle of the first round, my computer went all screwy, I think from that JAVA download. I had to go off line, and go back on again. When I finally got back to the draft, three rounds were just about finished. (It went quickly because six fantasy players were not present, so the computer put them on "autopilot" and made the choices for them.) I discovered that the computer had picked David Wright, Carl Crawford and Michael Young for me. I was actually pleased with those choices, but I was miffed to discover the guy AFTER me had taken Big Papi.

I had problems throughout the draft with the "draft player" icon, and the 90 second clock had run out on my twice and made picks for me. There was one pick was definitely noy happy the computer made for me, a player I would NEVER have picked in this draft: Judas himself, Johnny Damon. (He'll be traded by me before the season starts.) I make it a policy of my fantasy teams: no Yankees ever. (I don't want to have to root for any of them in real life in any circumstance.)

By the time I finally settled in, I was able to land a number of players I wanted, like Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jonathan Papelbon and Ivan Rodriguez. But towards the end of the draft, the screwups began again, and I missed the last three rounds, through no fault of my own. It was absolutely the worst live draft I have ever been a part of, but surprisingly, I got a very good team I am happy with. Here it is:

STARTERS
C Ivan Rodriguez, Det C
1B Kevin Youkilis, Bos 1B
2B Tadahito Iguchi, CWS 2B
3B David Wright, NYM 3B
SS Michael Young, Tex SS
OF Carl Crawford, TB OF
OF Carlos Lee, Hou OF
OF Johnny Damon, NYY OF

UTIL Jermaine Dye, CWS OF

Bench
Felipe Lopez, Was SS
Nick Markakis, Bal OF
Jorge Cantu, TB 2B

PITCHERS
Trevor Hoffman, SD RP
Daisuke Matsuzaka, Bos SP
Jonathan Papelbon, Bos RP
Brian Fuentes, Col RP
Randy Johnson, Ari SP
Eric Gagne, Tex RP
Chris Capuano, Mil SP
Derek Lowe, LAD SP

Hopefully things will go a lot smoother with my other draft next week. But I'll be online a lot early than last night, that's for sure.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Two Old Irish Blessings

I'd love to share two of my favorite Irish blessings with all of you on this special day.

Two Old Irish Blessings

May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

I hope all of you out there, whether you have Irish roots or not, have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Schilling Talks 2008 Contract

There's an interesting post on Curt Schilling's blog today about his contract status for 2008. As many of you know, Curt is never afraid to voice his opinions, and he takes it straight to the people online at "38 Pitches." This article is well worth the time to sit down and read. http://38pitches.com/2007/03/15/why-the-media-sucks/

I found this paragraph at the end of the post the most interesting of all:

To you Yankee fans. I won’t and never have offered up the “I wouldn’t go to NY” unsolicited. When this story first broke I was asked about the possibility of going to NY and I said I couldn’t make that move. I don’t hate the Yankees, far from it, but after what’s happened over the short period of time I’ve been in Boston, and given the fact that there are probably ten times more fans in NY that would not want me to wear the pin stripes, as opposed to those that would, I couldn’t. So rest easy, it won’t happen.

Sorry, Curt, but I can't get a certain ex-Sox player out of my mind who said something of a similar vein back in May 2005...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Pete Rose Fast Shuffle Continues

It made big news yesterday that Pete Rose admitted on The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio that he not only bet on baseball and his team, the Cincinnati Reds, but now he says he bet on them "every night."

Pete Rose is simply pathetic.

He's a con man, always on the hunt for his next buck or some quick "action." I heard parts of the Patrick interview, and he just comes off as sleazy. I was defender of Rose for years, and I thought he was punished enough for his betting transgressions, and deserved to be reinstated so the writers could vote on whether he should be voted into baseball's Hall of Fame.

But his admission in January 2004 turned me against him. He seemed to admit he bet on baseball finally just so he could sell some more books on yet another "autobiography" he'd written. He came across as someone looking to make more money and nothing else. I saw no genuine remorse for lying to the people who had defended him for years. It seemed like another elaborate con to me. He still bets at racetracks and in Las Vegas casinos. That maybe legal and all, but for someone with a serious gambling problem, this doesn't show me someone who's truly sorry for breaking baseball's number one rule.

This latest admission is more trash. In his mind, betting on the Reds every night is somehow not as bad as betting on them in selected games, as he doesn't want to appear to have "tampered" with the integrity of games to put more money in his pocket.

Rose committed baseball's "Mortal Sin," by betting on Major League baseball games. Signs are posted in every MLB clubhouse that this is the worst transgression any player can commit. But he went and did it anyway, then lied for years and used his loyal followers as complete suckers.

Joe Morgan once said that for Rose to be reinstated to baseball's good graces he has to show some real contrition for his illegal gambling, and that he's truly turned his life around. Rose simply hasn't done that.

And now he says he doesn't really care that he's not eligible for the Hall of Fame, and that he just wants to get back to managing again. Does Rose really think in his deluded mind that any owner, no matter how desperate, would hire him? (He's also 66, so Father Time is against him as well.)He's always calling himself "baseball's best ambassador" but I highly doubt anyone would hire this degenerate gambler, liar and tax cheat to run their onfield club.

Rose may make it to the Hall one day, but I doubt he'll live to enjoy it, as he'll probably get in after he dies. He won't have my support after all the conning he did for years.

Sorry Pete. You may have the stats as a player to get into Cooperstown, but all the crap you pulled after that destroyed any hope of being reinstated now.

You can bet on that.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Admits Role As 9/11 Mastermind

Now let's rid the planet of this piece of shit.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"The Emerald Diamond" on SNY

On St. Patrick's Day at 5 PM, SportsNet New York will be airing a fine documentary about Irish baseball called "The Emerald Diamond." I saw the film at a screening in Manhattan last year and it is a terrific film about how America's game has grown in Ireland over the past 15 years.

The movie has been shown at special screenings throughout the country, and is available online. NESN has shown the film before, and now a station in New York will broadcast it for the first time, and it is the cable home of the Mets that will broadcast it this Saturday.

I got to meet John Fitzgerald, the filmmaker who brought this story to celluloid, after the screening. He maxed out all of his credit cards to make "The Emerald Diamond" come to life and he did a really superb job with the film, which I am proud to support. I have also gotten to know Cormac Eklof, a pitcher on the Irish National Team, who is featured in the film and a big Red Sox fan as well. (Cormac has a great blog about baseball in Boston and Ireland called "I Didn't Know There Was Baseball In Ireland?!" at http://irishbaseballseason.blogspot.com) My thanks to him for bringing the SNY airing to my attention on his blog today, and he has more info about the SNY airing there.

BTW, the above picture is of the Irish National Team when they played an exhibition game against a New England amateur team at Fenway Park in August 2001. That had to be the thrill of a lifetime.

I will be marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday so I won't be able to catch it live. But there's a reason why God invented VCRs! It's definitely worth taping and seeing it later, or do what I may do: ask your bartender where you're celebrating the day to put it on one of the screens.

If you'd like more info on "The Emerald Diamond," please check out these great web sites:
The Emerald Diamond: http://www.theemeralddiamond.com
Irish Baseball Movie Blog: http://irishbaseballmovie.blogspot.com
Baseball Ireland: http://www.baseballireland.com

Trivia Q&A: March 13

We had another great night of Trivia on Tuesday, with 15 teams in competition. Professor Thom's was jumping all night, as my friend Matt and his buddies from UMass ("The Church of Bracketology") were on hand to cheer their boys to victory, and they weren't disappointed as the Minutemen won in OT in their NIT game. A few of the UMass alums even joined in with us for trivia.

It was a nice come-from-behind victory by a team called Man vs. Wild, who got a perfect score in the IQ Trivia to defeat The Fluffers by two points. The scores on IQ Trivia were pretty good, as most teams got at least 2 or 3 correct in that tough round. Most teams didn't do to well in Irish Trivia, with most teams around the 5 or 6 point range.

The new rule we put in about no teams being larger than six players was respected by everyone, and I even heard some applause when I made the announcement before the trivia started. Next week will feature "March Trivia," about famous events that occurred in this very month.

Current Events
1. This New York-born comedian apparently committed suicide on Sunday by shooting himself.
2. Arson is being blamed for the wildfires that have been devastating this state.
3. It was revealed this week that this rap diva with a history of trouble has racked up over 16 moving violations and has lost her driver's license in two states.
4. This film set a March record by grossing $70 million in its opening weekend, and was number one at the box office last week.
5. This oil services giant, which once employed Dick Cheney, announced they will shift their corporate HQ from Houston to Dubai this year.
6. This college basketball team was ranked number one overall going into the NCAA Tournament this week.
7. The addition of this rap group to the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame this week has caused some controversy with some people.
8. Brad Delp, lead singer of this wildly popular '70s/'80s rock band, was found dead in his home in New Hampshire last Friday.
9. This talk show host revealed on Monday he will have heart bypass surgery later this week.
10. This Las Vegas casino, once the home to the Rat Pack, was imploded this morning to make way for a new $4 billion mega-resort.

Answers: 1. Richard Jeni; 2. California; 3. Foxy Brown; 4. "300;" 5. Halliburton; 6. Ohio State; 7. Grandmaster Flash; 8. Boston; 9. Regis Philbin; 10. The Stardust.

Irish Trivia
1. How many counties are there in the Republic of Ireland? a. 19, b. 26, c. 30, d. 33.
2. In which year did Ireland achieve Home Rule and their independence from the UK? a. 1905, b. 1916, c. 1922, d. 1929.
3. Who wrote the book, "Angela's Ashes?" a. Frank McCourt, b. James Joyce, c. Bram Stoker, d. Sean O'Casey.
4. Which is the most popular team sport in Ireland? a. soccer, b. rugby, c. cricket, d. Gaelic football.
5. Which American actor starred in the film, "The Quiet Man," which was filmed in Ireland? a. John Wayne, b. James Cagney, c. Kirk Douglas, d. Spencer Tracy.
6. Which Irish saint is said to have discovered America 1000 years before Columbus? a. St. Patrick, b. St. Finbar, c. St. Brendan, d. St. Thomas.
7. Which of the following entertainers was not born in Ireland? a. Bono, b. Bob Geldof, c. Elvis Costello, d. Sinead O'Connor.
8. Larry Mullen Jr. is a member of which Irish rock group? a. Black 47, b. U2, c. The Pogues, d. Thin Lizzy.
9. In which country is St. Patrick believed to have been born in? a. Ireland, b. Portugal, c. France, d. Britain.
10. In which year was the first St. Patrick's Day Parade held in NYC? a. 1766, b. 1863, c. 1901, d. 1827.

Answers: 1. b; 2. c; 3. a; 4. d; 5. a; 6. c; 7. c; 8. b; 9. d; 10. a.

True Or False ("The Q Train")
1. Zagreb is the capital of Lithuania.
2. Bat Masterson spent the last years of his life as a New York sportswriter.
3. Silver was the name of Roy Rogers' horse.
4. Babe Ruth hit the first home run in the history of Fenway Park.
5. A dipthong is a kind of wine bar.
6. An alpenhorn is a wooden horn used to call cattle in Switzerland.
7. Dr. Joyce Brothers won big on the old quiz show "The $64,000 Question" on the subject of boxing.
8. The rupee is the main unit of currency in China.
9. The city of San Francisco is actually named after St. Francis of Assisi.
10. The Cincinnati Reds, in the 1950s, temporarily changed its name to avoid any association with communism.

Answers: 1. false, it is the capital of Croatia; 2. true; 3. Silver was the Lone Ranger's horse; 4. false, he hit the first home run in Yankee Stadium; 5. false, it's a speech sound; 6. true; 7. true; 8. false, the yuan is; 9. true; 10. true.

General Knowledge
1. Halifax is the capital of which Canadian province?
2. Which former US president became the first to be depicted ona circulating US coin in 1909?
3. Which book is often referred to as "The Good Book?"
4. What is the scientific name for a shooting star?
5. Which Western state was Dick Cheney a representative in Congress for 10 years?
6. The explorers Stanley and Livingstone are renown for exploring which continent?
7. Which "boy band" was Lance Bass once a part of?
8. In geometry, a straight angle measures how many degrees?
9. What US coin depicts a president wearing a bow tie?
10. In the New Testament, which prisoner did Pontius Pilate allow to go free instead of Jesus?

Answers: 1. Nova Scotia; 2. Abraham Lincoln; 3. The Bible; 4. meteor; 5. Wyoming; 6. Africa; 7. NSYNC; 8. 180; 9. penny; 10. Barabbas.

IQ Trivia
1. Who was the first territorial governor of Utah in 1850? (6 points)
2. In "The Godfather" films, what is the original family name of Vito Corleone? (5 points)
3. Who was the first Chief Justice of the United States? (5 points)
4. Which film from the 2000s was chosen by Entertainment Weekly as the most controversial film of all time? (4 points)
5. Which author's works were adapted into the films, "Get Shorty," "Jackie Brown," and "Out of Sight?" (5 points)

Answers: 1. Brigham Young; 2. Andolini; 3. John Jay; 4. "The Passion of the Christ;" 5. Elmore Leonard.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Machine Turns One Today

365 days ago today, The Mighty Quinn Media Machine made its debut to the world. I woke up that day and decided to become a blogger. I almost did the previous June, but decided not to. (I really wish I had then.) I selected that name based on a comment I made to a friend a few years back about some of the attention I got through the Red Sox 2004 World Series win and a few other things. ("I feel like a one-man media machine.") I didn't give it a "Red Sox" name to it although I knew I was going to be writing a lot about the team and baseball in general (and I have of course).

This is also another special post: it is the 600th post I have made in total. Some coincidence that it happened on the first anniversary, eh?

It's been such a blast to write this blog, and it has truly reached the four corners of the world. About 19,000 people have reached my blog. (That's an approximation, as I did not put the Site Meter on to my blog until April 20, five weeks after I started the blog.) It's fun to check every morning to see where around the world people have come here from. I've had readers from all 50 states, most major nations of the world, and from such diverse places as Mongolia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Bolivia, and Vietnam. I haven't seen a reader from Iraq or Afghanistan yet, but I'm sure that's just a matter of time.

A lot of people find my blog through Google searches, especially Google Image searches. (The pictures I put up of Paul McCartney and The World Cup Trophy are still the two most popular ones.) The seven-part series I wrote about my experiences at Tower Records brought a lot of people to my blog late last year. Two web sites linked two parts of that story and that brought a ton of people here: Gawker linked my Tower story of the recreational drug use, and Idolator linked my first story about Tower announcing its closing.

The most responses I got on my blog was of two 9/11-themed posts I made. "Saint of 9/11," the film about Father Mychal Judge I wrote about last month, and the tribute to my late friend Joyce last September 11 both brought a number of warm responses from many people, and I am very grateful for that.

I am also glad I began putting up the Q&A to Trivia Night last November, as that has likewise brought many people here as well. I noticed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays that people searching for trivia end up here. I guess my trivia Q&A is slowing catching on!

I can hardly believe an entire year has now passed since I started The Mighty Quinn Media Machine. It has been so much to fun to write, and I really wish I had started this much, much earlier. Hopefully this will continue far into the future. Thanks to all of you who check out my site and especially to those of you who return often.

It's been a pleasure.

Monday, March 12, 2007

"Impossible To Forget: Summer Of '67"

I was watching the Red Sox game on NESN when I saw a small advertisement for a documentary to be aired on March 30th called, "Impossible To Forget: Summer of '67," about the 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox team. I write this for a special reason.

I was interviewed for this documentary back in February.

Brett Rapkin, who made the excellent Bill Lee documentary, "Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey," was asked by the Red Sox to make a documentary about the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Red Sox team that shocked the baseball world and won the AL pennant that year. My buddy Chris asked me if I'd like to be a part of it back in January, and I agreed.

I spent an afternoon in Februaury being interviewed about the team, Boston baseball and how they pulled it off. I was really honored to take part in it. The interview went great, but because of some problems with the lighting, I had to do it without my glasses. It should be interesting to see how I look on film without them. (And of course, I certainly hope I made the final cut!)

NESN will be debuting the film on March 30th at 8:30 PM and replayed again the next afternoon at 4 PM. Here is the lowdown on the documentary from NESN's web site:
http://www.boston.com/sports/nesn/aboutus/news/02_13_07/

I Know It's Just Spring Training

It sure wasn't a game people will remember years from now, but the Red Sox defeated the Yankees, 7-5, in Ft. Myers last night. I watched the game over at Professor Thom's with other Red Sox fans. I noticed that the YES network gave priority to the Nets-Memphis Grizzlies NBA game, and had the Red Sox-Yankees on tape delay at 11 PM. (How generous of George!)

On my cable at home, I saw that Cablevision was airing the game live on the station that carries the TV listings (channel 14 on mine). But I went into the bar anyway. At 7 PM we braced ourselves to see what would happen: would NESN black out the game here in NY, or carry it live. We would have to search DirecTV if they blacked out NESN. And at 7 after the NESN pregame that we were watching, they stayed with the game. So a rare event occurred here on Monday night: watching a Red Sox-Yankees game without having to hurl obscenities at Michael Kay!

The Yankees had only had half their "A" team in the starting lineup, while the Sox had 8 of the 9 Opening Day regulars starting (Doug Mirabelli caught). Tim Wakefield gave up three runs in the first inning, and the Sox got two back in the second off Carl Pavano (who managed not to get hurt in this start). The Sox came from 4-2 back with two in the fifth and three in the sixth to win it, 7-5.

I can never get excited about wins in spring training, but it's always nice to beat the Yankees, no matter what time of year it is, and even if they only had four regulars in their starting lineup.

Nobody got hurt last night, and that's a good thing. Not even Carl Pavano.

Major Trivia Night Change

Trivia Night will of course be tomorrow night at 9 PM. But I want to alert all of you players that we will institute a major change to the proceedings starting tomorrow.

I have had recent complaints from many trivia players that the size of some of the competing teams is getting too large. We've had recent winning teams with as many as 10 or more players. So starting on March 13, teams eligible to win the first place prize must now have no more than six players per team. Groups that come in that are larger than that must either split into two or more groups. Large teams can compete but they will not be eligible to win if they don't.

Out Trivia Night continues to be a work in progress, and we are always trying to make it as enjoyable an experience for everyone involved. I encourage all your feedback, and you can all write to me with it at jbq1462@hotmail.com.

Tomorrow night's special category will be Irish Trivia. Hope to see many of you on Tuesday night!

Let's Hope This Rumor Dies

I saw a disturbing rumor over at MLB Trade Rumors that the Red Sox recently inquired to the Giants about the availability of Armando Benitez.

Oh God.

Don't get me started on Benitez. He was the Shea Stadium whipping boy for years after he took over the closer role from John Franco. Many Mets fans still hold him responsible for the 2000 World Series loss to the Yankees, when he walked Paul O'Neill to start the bottom of the ninth of Game 1 that led to the tying run scoring and the Yankees winning in the 12th inning. (To be fair, it was a great at-bat by O'Neill, and I don't think Benitez deserved all the blame for the World Series loss that year.)

He was just never a reliable closer. He seemed to wilt too much under pressure. If I'm the Red Sox now, I'd rather take the chance on Joel Piniero that bring in Benitez. Mike Timlin's having oblique ailments and has been forced to be shut down for a week, so the Sox are clearly looking elsewhere. I just don't think Benitez is the answer.

Here's the story at MLB Trade Rumors:
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2007/03/red_sox_inquire.html

Also, a Happy Birthday to Mike Timlin today. Sarge turns 41. Get well soon, my friend.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Rough Outing For Dice-K

Well, you knew this would happen sooner or later.

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched four innings against the Baltimore Orioles today at Ft. Myers and Baltimore won, 5-3. Dice-K got hit hard for the first time, giving up two home runs and four runs total on six hits. He also struck out three and walked none. He also threw a way a potential inning-ending DP that led to a run.

Not a stellar performance by the $103 Million Dollar Man.

No biggie. As long as he didn't get hurt, everything's OK. He should be making his next start Friday against the Dodgers in Vero Beach.

5 1/2 Years

2007 days.

It was 5 1/2 years ago today that we lost nearly 3000 beautiful souls on the worst day in American history.

The six-month anniversaries get almost no remembrance, so I thought I'd acknowledge it.

Today is also the third anniversary of the train bombs that struck Madrid in 2004.

Never forget. Ever.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Great Ireland Website

My aunt sent me a link to a great web site about a county in the west of Ireland. It's called "Mayo On The Move" and it's all about one of the most beautiful places in all the Emerald Isle: County Mayo.

I have to admit I am prejudiced here, as both of my father's parents were born in Castlebar, which is one of the biggest towns in the entire county. The web site, at www.mayohistory.com, gives you a ton of information about Mayo, from its history to great places to stay while visiting. It also gives you a breakdown of many of the individual towns in the county as well.

Mayo was also one of the hardest hit areas in Ireland during the Potato Famine of the mid-19th Century. But my ancestors were some of the toughest people who stayed through it.

St. Patrick's Day is just a week away, so I thought I can my ancestral home a shout out tonight. I have yet to get to Mayo, but it's one of those things I have promised to do before I die.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Another Selig Sellout

So much for MLB being fan-friendly.

The long-awaited MLB deal with DirecTV to put the Extra Innings package exclusively with them has been reached, and it is a 7-year, $700 million deal. While there is still hope that some of the cable systems could pick up the package for their viewers, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to happen. (They still can't get the NFL Network on cable systems, and part of this MLB deal is that the Baseball Network, which will debut in 2009, will be carried by DirecTV. So what are the odds that the Baseball Network will be on our cable systems?)

What I hate most about this is Bud Selig's cavalier attitude toward most baseball fans. His attitude is "Screw them, there's a whole lot of baseball out there on TV anyway. If they want more, let them buy the dish." He doesn't seem to care that most fans either don't, can't or won't get a satellite dish to get the Extra Innings package. Some places simply can't get a dish to work. And I WILL NOT change my viewing habits that radically to appease those greedy bastards of MLB.

Selig comes off like a really smug asshole in all of this. (Nobody ever said he wasn't one anyway.) He has made more money for the owners with this deal, while shutting out thousands more fans. It's nothing more than another moneygrab for these robber barons.

Here's two good articles from ESPN and CBS Sportsline about this whole mess:http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2792214
http://sportsline.com/mlb/story/9978978

We may very well be on another slippery road again. Selig seems to be doing his best to alienate baseball fans again. Does anyone in baseball remember 1994?

They Were More Than Just Names

Today's New York Daily News has a guest editorial column that features my friend Anthony Gardner, who is head of the support group the WTC United Family Group, of which I am a member. Anthony wrote a column today along with a lady named Janet Roy about the ongoing controversy about the listing of the WTC victims names at the Memorial. It is a very good column, and I thought I would publish it here as well.

What's in a name? More than the letters
by Anthony Gardner and Janet Roy
Hundreds of bones unearthed at Ground Zero since October extend the echo of 9/11's brutality.

During that same period, Mayor Bloomberg, by fiat, chose the memorial plan that lists only the names of the dead, reducing the 9/11 victims to mere letters and stripping them of any human condition connected to their memory. Insisting that he will not tell us what to think, the mayor hurls his elective office behind an iron-fisted effort to tell us what not to think.

Fear that some victims may evoke greater pity than others leads the mayor to impose grief of a lowest common denominator. No one will be equipped with the context that might enable them to learn from history and mourn any genuinely distinct individual among 2,979 slaughtered innocents. Those whose skin and bones were blasted over 16 acres are to be rendered indistinguishable.

Military and municipal employees are stripped of rank. The flight attendant who fought to warn the world is left anonymous. That one in four New York dead worked for one firm is withheld. Three 11-year-olds must eternally cry for attention, hidden among thousands of adults. The despair of the Hanson family, which lost a son and daughter-in-law who died along with their 2-year-old toddler, is paved over. No artifacts, no mention of Sept.11, 2001. No American flag. No history. Just a visitor center that bisects and obstructs the view millions will journey to see. And in its shadow, two pools in a city park.

The majority of 9/11 families and municipal unions, with members of the memorial's board, long ago identified decorous means to display name, rank, affiliation and age, in honor of the victims and as history dictates.

Americans did not fear the truth on 9/11. Bloomberg must give it to them now, rather than insisting that the names be scattered like debris.

Gov. Spitzer recently retreated from his remarks on the need for a "public discussion" on how the names should be listed. The governor must realize what is at stake, and do what is best for the American people. It's not too late for Bloomberg to do the same.

Anthony Gardner lost his brother Harvey Joseph Gardner 3rd on 9/11. Janet Roy lost her brother, FDNY Capt. Billy Burke. Gardner and Roy are the organizers of savethe911memorial.com.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

In Today's News

I saw a couple of articles in today's New York Daily News today that I thought I'd comment on, on two different topics of interest to me.

I was saddened to read that the StoryCorps booth down by the World Trade Center will be closing there for a number of months. The Port Authority is completing a number entrance for a new Church Street entrance to the PATH station, so the booth will have to be shut until June.

Six months ago, I was at a ceremony that Mayor Bloomberg attended encouraging people to come down to the recording booth to do remembrances of the 9/11 victims. (There was just under 200 on file when the call went out for more.There are now currently about 500 they've made.) I did one back in July 2005, and it was an incredibly moving hour-long session I spent there. StoryCorps does varied oral-history projects, and they want to get at least one for each of the 9/11 victims. All the remembrances will become a permanent part of the WTC Memorial Museum.

StoryCorps also has a booth at Grand Central Terminal to do these beautiful remembrances.

I was dismayed to read that the FDNY has been relegated 40 minutes to the back in next Saturday's St. Patrick's Day Parade. Apparently, the chairman of the parade is envious and jealous of the FDNY, and is pissed that firefighters from New Orleans last year unfurled a banner thanking the FDNY for their help during the Hurricane Katrina disaster of 2005.

I will be marching for the first time in the parade this year (not with the FDNY). Boy, talk about petty little BS. The FDNY usually marches behind the Fighting 69th Infantry Regiment, but as Michael Daly's fine column concluded today, no matter where they are in the parade, the FDNY usually gets the biggest reception of anyone in the parade. Michael's article is definitely worth the time to check out: http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/503545p-424603c.html

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Trivia Q&A: March 6

I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people turn out for Trivia Night on Tuesday, as the temperatures barely reached 20 degrees. But we had 15 teams take part. We introduced "IQ" for the first time, and that was a success. (I may have to make the questions even harder next time, as three teams got all five correct.) It was the bonus round, worth a total of 20 points. We also debuted a new cover sheet with all the rules and regulations of Trivia Night. It looked really good, but as I was about to give them out, I realized that "blackberrys"was actually spelled "blackerberrys." That will be corrected for next week.

The winning team was "A Kick In The Junk Works For Me" won easily, and by 8 points. "The Q Train" continues to be a favorite, as the teams seem to like a lightning round.

I threw a question out in the first round. There was a question about a movie about Barbaro in the works, but I was not specific enough in the network doing it, so I gave everyone a point on it. (I should have said "cable network" and not TV network.") That happens...

Next week's special round will be on "Irish Trivia" in honor of St. Patrick's Day, the following Saturday.

Current Events
1. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were both a part of a symbolic march in the Alabama city on Sunday.
2. This film, which opened last Friday, grossed $38 million at the box office and was the number one film in America last week.
3. This long-delayed NYC subway profect is finally on target to get going again in the next few weeks.
4. This magazine, owned by a media icon, was ranked number one on Adweek Magazine's Hot List for 2007.
5. 82 people have been reported killed when an earthquake rocked Sumatra Island in this Asian country on Tuesday.
6. This network is planning to make a film about the Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro and it will likely air by June.
7. Activists in this section of Manhattan are attempting to stop Donald Trump from building a 45-story tower there.
8. Doctors on Monday found a blood clot in Vice-President Dick Cheney. Where in his body was it found?
9. This Hollywood producer/director was discovered to have purchased a Norman Rockwell painting that was stolen over 30 years ago.
10. The A&P will acquire this supermarket chain for $679 million later this year.

Answers: 1. Selma; 2. "Wild Hogs;" 3. 2nd Avenue Subway; 4. "O" (Oprah Magazine); 5. Indonesia; 6. HBO; 7. Soho; 8. left leg; 9. Steven Spielberg; 10. Pathmark.

This Day In History: March 6
1. The Missouri Compromise was signed on this day in 1820. Which US president signed it into law? a. James Monroe; b. John Quincy Adams; c. Andrew Jackson; d. James K. Polk.
2. The opera "La Traviata" debuted on this day in 1853. Who wrote the opera? a. Verdi; b. Puccini; c. Rossini; d. Bellini.
3. In 1957 on this day, the former British colonies Gold Coast and British Togoland formed which independent nation? a. Togo; b. Kenya; c. Ghana; d. Swaziland.
4. David Gilmour turns 61 today. Which classic British rock band was he a part of? a. The Kinks; b. Pink Floyd; c. The Animals; d. Traffic.
5. British singer Kiki Dee turns 60 today. With which singer did she form a duet with and have a number one single in the US in 1976? a. Marvin Gaye; b. David Bowie; c. Paul McCartney; d. Elton John.
6. Georgy Malenkov became the Soviet Union's premier on this date in 1953. Who did he succeed as premier? a. V.I. Lenin; b. Leonid Brezhnev; c. Josef Stalin; d. Nikita Khruschev.
7. In 1946, Ho Chi Minh signed an agreement with France that recognized the independence of which Asian nation? a. Laos; b. The Phillipines; c. Cambodia; d. Vietnam.
8. York, Upper Canada was incorporated today in 1834 as which Canadian city? a. Toronto; b. Ottawa; c. Montreal; d. Hamilton.
9. The Alamo was taken by 3000 Mexicans troops on this day in 1836? How many Texans defended it? a. 120; b. 189; c. 305; d. 1050.
10. Which famous TV newsman left the air for the final time today in 1981? a. Chet Huntley; b. David Brinkley; c. Walter Cronkite; d. Howard K. Smith.

Answers: 1. a; 2. a; 3. c; 4. b; 5. d; 6. c; 7. d; 8. a; 9. b; 10. c.

True Or False ("The Q Train")
1. Watermelons are made up of 90% water.
2. The name of the plastic strips inserted into the collars of shirts are called "yokes."
3. A falconer uses his birds for hunting.
4. The Mongols' war leaders were known to wear "war bonnets" before going into battle.
5. Journalism is the subject where students learn "The Five W's"
6. Unleavened bread lacks flour.
7. The New York Stock Exchange's nickname is "The Big Board."
8. "Wonderboy" was the name of the baseball bat that Robert Redford used in the film, "The Natural."
9. The county of Tipperary is located in Scotland.
10. The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals had the worst record ever for a World Series champion.

Answers: 1. true; 2. false, they are called "stays;" 3. true; 4. false, Plains Indians wore them; 5. true; 6. false; it lacks yeast; 7. true; 8. true; 9. false; it is in Ireland; 10. true.

"IQ" Trivia
1. Who was the only US president who was once a member of a labor union? a. Jimmy Carter; b. Franklin D. Roosevelt; c. Ronald Reagan; d. Abraham Lincoln.
2. In which southern state is the Marshall Space Flight Center located? a. Virginia; b. Alabama; c. Florida; d. North Carolina.
3. A "conch" is the nickname for citizens of which south Florida community? a. Key West; b. Key Largo; c. Miami Beach; d. Vero Beach.
4. The Joad family is the subject of which John Steinbeck novel? a. Of Mice and Men; b. The Grapes of Wrath; c. Cannery Row; d. East of Eden.
5. Which of these 1980s films contains a language created solely for the movie? a. The Gods Must Be Crazy; b. Quest For Fire; c. Blade Runner; d. Poltergeist.

Answers: 1. c; 2. b; 3. a; 4. b; 5. b.

General Knowledge
1. On the TV series "Charlie's Angels," who provided the voice of the never-seen Charlie?
2. Scapula is the anatomical term for which part of the human body?
3. Which team did Mike Ditka coach to a Super Bowl victory in 1986?
4. Who wrote the poem, "Paradise Lost?"
5. How many sides of an isosceles triangle are of equal length?
6. In which state is The Citadel military college located?
7. In which European country is the Prado Museum located?
8. A "floe" is a floating mass of what?
9. The Yukon River flows through which US state?
10. A bar in Texas called "Gilley's" served as the backdrop for which 1980s John Travolta film?

Answers: 1. John Forsythe; 2. shoulder blade; 3. Chicago Bears; 4. John Milton; 5. two; 6. South Carolina; 7. Spain; 8. ice; 9. Alaska; 10. "Urban Cowboy."