MLB Regular Season Ends

Monday, April 30, 2007

I Audition Tomorrow

Many of you may remember a few weeks ago that I complained a contestant on the TV show, "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" and how she was able to get on the show. It inspired me to try to get on the show. Well, tomorrow I get my chance, as I will have an audition for the next upcoming season.

I went to the show's web site and discovered that starting today that are beginning the contestant tryouts for the 2007-08 TV season. I sent in an online application last weekend and got a response back last Monday and I booked it for tomorrow at 5:45 PM at the ABC Studios in Manhattan.

I haven't really "hit the books" as far as studying, as I've actually been busy the last few days, with softball, trivia and the Red Sox-Yankees series. So I'm going to trust the vast reservoir of useless knowledge I have stored in my brain. Tomorrow I have to take a written test, and if I pass that, I get a further interview. (I've taken the test twice before, back in 2002, and failed it both times. It's a really difficult test.)

ABC also sent me an application for the audition, mostly with stuff like, "What do you like about Millionaire?" and "What's the first thing you would do with $1 million?" I'm going to have to be a little inventive with my answers.

Well, wish me luck. If I don't pass tomorrow, I'm going to take another shot at it later in May (you can try again if you don't pass). Two of my friends from Professor Thom's are also giving it a shot as well. If you are interested in trying out for the show, you can go to: www.millionairetv.com and fill out an application.

New Categories For Trivia Tonight

Tonight's Trivia will include two categories I've decided to use. To honor the New Orleans Jazz Festival that's going on now, I'm including a category of New Orleans Trivia, which will also be multiple choice (thanks Rob). I am also including a category called "British/American Words," in which I will say a uniquely British term, and you have to give me the American equivalent. I will also be including Current Events, General Knowledge and IQ Trivia tonight.

Here's today's Sneak Peek question:

In 1860, which was the first state to secede from the Union?

See you all tonight!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad

The Red Sox took two out of three from the Yankees, and five out of their first six meetings with a 7-4 win in The Bronx on Sunday. I was hoping for 4 of 6 in the first two series, so seeing them take five was just superb. The Red Sox conclude April in first place with a record of 16-8 and a four game lead over Toronto in the AL East.

David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Alex Cora hit homers (yes, Alex Cora, who just missed a second that wound up being a triple) to pace the Red Sox attack. Julian Tavarez got the win after pitching five decent innings. (Getting a win by Tavarez over the Yankees is like "finding a $1000 in the street," I said after the game.)

The Red Sox bullpen continues to dominate, as Hideki Okajima (pictured) relieved Tavarez and shut down the Yankees in the sixth and seventh. Mike Timlin gave up a home run to Derek Jeter in the eighth but Jonathan Papelbon picked up his eighth save after closing it out. Pap is simply one of the best closers in the game right now, bar none.

But Okajima continues to be the story. He gave up a home run to John Buck on his first pitch in the majors on Opening Day and has allowed nothing since. Many thought he was signed from Japan just to be Daisuke Matsuzaka's best friend on the Red Sox, but boy, can this man pitch. He has become an extremely valuable member of the pen, and he can fill almost any role: closer, setup man, lefty specialist. He maybe best as an eighth inning man to bring the lead to Papelbon. Right now, they are the best 1-2 combo in any major league bullpen. "The Darkman" maybe the Red Sox best pickup of the off-season, and that includes fellow countryman Dice-K.

BTW, did anyone else notice that in the last five games, Alex Rodriguez hit exactly 0 home runs, and had 0 RBI? He tied the record for HRs in April in Tampa on Monday, and was one RBI away from that April record. He didn't break the HR record, and missed the RBI record. He's had exactly two hits since Monday, and they were on Sunday. And in his final at-bat of the month of April, he grounded into a double play to kill any chance of a Yankee rally in the eighth.

The genuflecting may finally be over. April is over for the Yankees, and it looks like the old A-Rod we know and love has returned. The booing in The Bronx will return shortly, mark my words.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Vikings Take Adrian Peterson

The Minnesota Vikings made Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson their number one pick, at overall choice number 7, at the NFL Draft in New York today. It wasn't really a surprise, as the Vikes needed an impact offensive player, and many pundits figured he'd end up in Minnesota.

The Vikings passed on Brady Quinn, and suprisingly, 20 other teams did as well, until the Cleveland Browns, his favorite team growing up, selected him. Quinn looked shocked that he fell so far in the first round, and looked a bit haggard when ESPN interviewed him after he was chosen. Also as expected, Jamarcus Russell, QB of LSU, was selected first, by the Oakland Raiders.

The Jets selected CB Darrelle Revis of Pittsburgh, after they traded up with Carolina to get the 14th pick. The Giants took CB Aaron Ross from Texas at 20, and the Patriots took S Brandon Meriweather from Miami at 24. Here's the complete first round with analysis from Fox Sports:
http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/6749586

I find it amazing every draft day that these so-called "experts" give each team a "grade" of how they drafted. How in the world can you possibly make that assessment of players who have never taken a snap in the NFL yet? I have seen too many times of players who were an absolute cinch to be a star in the NFL turn out to be busts, and guys who were nothing but afterthoughts turn out to be stars. You simply don't know, and especially on draft day. You have to wait at least ONE YEAR before judging a team's draft choices.

And what's with calling the last player drafted, "Mr. Irrelevant?" I know that's supposed to be a bit of comedy, but how many thousands of college players aren't selected? Aren't THEY more irrelevant? Hey, at least the player selected last has the satisfaction of saying he was picked by an NFL team, even if he doesn't make an NFL team.

I've never understood the logic of turning the last player taken into some kind of comic foil.

Great Night For "The Great Gazoo"


It was another big night for the Red Sox, as well as the patrons at Professor Thom's pub in Greenwich Village on Friday, as Daisuke Matsuzaka continued his unbeaten streak against the Yankees, as the Red Sox rolled to an 11-4 win at Yankee Stadium.

Kevin Youkilis and Julio Lugo, who my friend Adam has dubbed "The Great Gazoo" after the cartoon character, both went deep. It was a really big night for Gazoo, er, I mean, Lugo, who went 3-for-4 with 3 runs scored, 3 RBI and 2 walks. It was his biggest day in a Red Sox uniform so far.

Dice-K had really only one tough inning, the fourth, when he threw 41 pitches, walked the bases loaded and gave up four runs. The Red Sox once again put up some runs for him against the Yankees, and he settled down after that and pitched back-to-back 1-2-3 innings before leaving after the sixth. It was another gutty performance by Dice-K, even if he wasn't at his best. The Sox bullpen was once again almost flawless, allowing just two hits in the final three innings. Hideki Okajima continues to be the surprise move of the offseason so far, looking solid once again in the eighth, when the game was still close at 7-4.

The Red Sox once again battered Mariano Rivera in the ninth, getting four runs off him and Joe Torre was forced to pull him from the game. Thom's was rocking as the score went to 11-4. Rivera continues to be a shell of his former self, and you have to wonder if he's seen his best days. If the Yankees can't count on him, they will have NO chance at the postseason. None.

During the game, their was a Japanese camera crew in the bar, filming us for a TV show in Japan. I was at the bar, wearing my Red Sox jersey, and they approached me and asked me about being a Red Sox fan in New York. They were very nice, and spent the entire night filming around the bar, especially when Daisuke was pitching. This will be the second time I've been filmed for Japanese TV, as two years ago I was part of report about the Sox fans here. (Once a media whore, always a media whore.)

BTW, my friend Peter has a correspondence going with a new blogger friend he's made in Japan, who does great animation and had a cool name: "Superbowl-san." Peter's a great guy and devoted Sox fan, and has a nice blog as well: http://peteronall.blogspot.com.

We were celebrating after last night's game, when my friends Gareth and Kim, who were at the game, told me about being there last night. Gareth said it was his worst experience ever being there, as the frustration among Yankee fans is at an all-time high. They tried to pick fights with him. He got some verbal abuse in the bathroom, as some idiotic fan grabbed him, and another tried to head butt him. Another group of mindless fans started calling him rude names during the game. Gareth has worn his Red Sox paraphernalia there all the time, and without any major incident. But he said that last night there was a really bad vibe in the place. (Back in 1988, I had beer poured on me while rooting for the Sox there, and except for my last visit there in 2005, I leave the Sox stuff home.)

Boy, what a surprise. Yankee fans acting like obnoxious jerks.

You learn something new every day.

Dolans Looking To Buy The Yankees

Great news. I hope Chuck and Jimmy Dolan get the Yankees, so they can run it into the ground like they've already done to the Knicks.

And Cablevision, of course.

Another Fine Day With The BLOHARDS

It was another great afternoon I spent with the BLOHARDS on Friday, at their spring luncheon at the Yale Club, across from Grand Central Station. A good crowd of about 200 Red Sox fans turned out for it, despite the rainy weather.

I attended with Chris and Jim from Professor Thom's, and Chris spoke about the bar for a few minutes. I didn't do trivia this time around, but Joe from the BLOHARDS asked me if I'd do some trivia for the next gathering on August 28, which I eagerly agreed to do.

Red Sox announcer Joe Castiglione was on hand with Red Sox pitcher Kyle Snyder. He's a big guy, about 6'8", and Joe asked him a number of questions about playing for the Red Sox. Jazz musician and Red Sox fan John Pizzarelli was there playing standards with his bassist and piano player. (He's best known for the "Foxwood's" commercials. "It bought me a house", he said.)There was a funny video tribute about the Opening Day bus trip the BLOHARDS make every year, as well as about the current season so far.

There were prizes given out, and some Red Sox questions were asked of the audience (again not be me). I was able to participate, and I got the first question correct: "Which two Red Sox relievers' last names from the early 1980s sounded like a weather forecast?" Answer is: Mark Clear and Chuck Rainey. I won a copy of Robert Sullivan's memoir, "Our Red Sox," about growing up a Red Sox fan. Robert was kind enough to autograph it after the luncheon.

Film critic as well as huge New York-born Sox fan Jeffrey Lyons was there, as well as Charles Steinberg, who handles communications for the club. He closed the luncheon, and took questions from the audience. I asked him about the NESN blackouts in NYC of shows like Red Sox Rewind and the Impossible To Forget documentary, and he said that the Red Sox get complaints from fans about that all the time, but even after they get action from MLB about them, they continue to happen. Steinberg kiddingly said that the cable companies do it to anger New York Red Sox fans. Another person asked him about Cablevision not offering Extra Innings. He said that MLB was pissed off about having to offer the cable companies the package after making the deal with DirecTV, but as far as Cablevision goes, fans have to put the pressure on them to bring it aboard. So I guess I'll be calling Cablevision until it happens (if it does).

Despite the gloomy weather, it was a great afternoon to be around fellow Red Sox fans and chat about the current AL East standings. (Who's in last place right now?) My thanks to Joe, Peter, Ray and Frank from the BLOHARDS, who always put on a great show for the fans. I look forward to the next meeting in August, and when I can do some more Red Sox trivia. I'll be rolling out some of my tougher ones for it!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Another Record Day

For the second time this week, a new record for hits was set here at my site. We had an amazing 568 hits on Thursday, once again sparked by my "favorite" Red Sox player, Doug Mirabelli. That so-called controversy around Curt Schilling's bloody sock, and the fact that Mirabelli was dragged into it, drove my numbers up, especially when a poster over at Deadspin.com responded to the article there by linking the Dougie post from my blog. Again, thanks for doing that, my friend.

The Red Sox swept the two game series in Baltimore, as Wily Mo Pena hit a grand slam in the eighth, and Josh Beckett pitched eight terrific innings and became the first 5-game winner in the majors. Jonathan Papelbon got the save as the Sox won, 5-2.

It's raining here in New York, and the possibility of a game between the Red Sox and Yankees doesn't look very good right now. Hopefully, they can get it in. This afternoon I'll be at the Yale Club in Manhattan for the BLOHARDS gathering. It should be a lot of fun, and I'll report on the festivities either tonight or tomorrow.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

April Is Autism Awareness Month

I have four nephews and four nieces. They are all beautiful kids, and I love each one of them very much. But two of my nephews, Matthew, 8, and Joseph, 9, are two special children.

They have both been touched by autism.

Many people in America have very little idea exactly what autism is. I have to admit that I did not know much about the condition until it directly affected my family. Autism is a biological disorder of the brain that impairs communication and social skills. It encompasses a broad spectrum of disorders that may range from mild to severe. Autistics have been described as being in their “own world”. Many high functioning autistics describe two worlds; “their world” and the “outside world”.

Autism affects about 1 in every 500 births in America, and boys are five times as likely to be affected than girls. About 400,000 people in the US are affected by autism. Autism is more common than multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis or childhood cancer. But it is very overlooked in America, as autism receives as little as 5% of the research funding as other less common diseases. The annual per-person allocation for persons with autism is approximately $35. In contrast, multiple sclerosis receives roughly $158, diabetes $424, breast cancer $600, and AIDS $1,000. Currently there is no medical detection, treatment or cure for autism.

The R&B singer Toni Braxton and the actor William Christopher (who played Father Mulcahy on "M*A*S*H") have been active celebrity spokespeople about autism, as they both have raised autistic sons. Dan Marino and Doug Flutie also have autistic sons, and have established foundations to raise awareness and combat the disease. Earlier this year, Ms. Braxton appeared on an episode of "The View" that highlighted the disease and the need for more to be done in terms of research. It was a heart-wrenching hour (which I watched) that highlighted families and the difficulties they've faced in raising autistic children.

It has been a tremendous burden for my sisters Maureen and Theresa in raising a son that has been affected by autism. They both love their sons very, very much and would do anything and everything for them. Maureen related a story to me about meeting a lady in a doctor's office recently and she was there with Matt. He was good at first, but began stimming. The lady recognized that Matt was touched by autism, and could relate to what Maureen was going through. Unfortunately, too many people don't relate to a child with autism, and Maureen, like many other people, has had to endure nasty looks and snide comments from them. But Maureen wants to raise Matt like any other child, and doesn't want to turn him into a recluse.

I wish I had written this piece earlier this month, as April is coming to an end this weekend. But I would urge all of you out there to support the fight against autism, and also to be aware of the signs of the disease as early as possible in a young child. There are many great web sites out there about autism, but I would suggest you check out the following:

Autism Speaks: www.autismspeaks.com
Autism Info: www.autisminfo.com
The Center for the Study of Autism: www.autism.org
The Dan Marino Foundation: www.danmarinofoundation.com
The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation For Autism: www.dougflutiejrfoundation.org
Autism Society of America: www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer

I am keeping the "April Is Autism Awareness Month" logo on the left side of my site, even when April ends. The struggle against autism will, of course, continue. Matt and Joe are both beautiful boys, and I love them both dearly.

And I pray that one day we will have the answer to the riddle that is autism.

Stick A Sock In It

A controversy erupted last night over the sock Curt Schilling wore the two times there was blood on it during the 2004 postseason. Gary Thorne (who ironically grew up a Red Sox fan), told his audience as he was doing last night's game between the Red Sox and Orioles (he's a Baltimore broadcaster) that Doug Mirabelli told him:

"The blood on his stocking. It was painted. Doug Mirabelli confessed up to it after."

Mirabelli hit the roof when he heard Thorne's statement:

"Are you kidding me? He's [expletive] lying. ... I never said that. I know it was blood."

God, why are going down this road again? I remember Mike Francesa intimating the same crap right after the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, but he sounded more like an angry Yankee fan and conspiracy theorist. It's a fact that what Schilling had done to him before those two games he had the bloody sock was a surgical procedure, and that there was leakage from the sutures. So, what did Schilling use to bring more attention to himself: paint as Thorne says, or ketchup?

Jeff Idleson, Vice-President of Communications for the Hall of Fame (where the second bloody sock resides), backs up Schilling, and says the stain on the sock is now brown, as what normally happens to dried up blood. Theo Epstein wasn't happy with Thorne either.

"I'm the GM of the team, not Jerry Springer. I couldn't give two [expletives] about what was on his sock, I care that we won the game. The rest, and Gary Thorne, is just noise."

What ridiculous nonsense this all is. The Red Sox want a retraction from Thorne, who in my mind has always been a bit of "screamer" when it comes to baseball. Unless he can prove Mirabelli said that to him (Doug vehemently denies it and Schilling believes him), he should keep his mouth shut and move on.

And, oh yes, the Red Sox won last night, 6-1, behind seven solid innings from Schilling and Alex Cora's first home run of the season (and the first "unaided" homer of his Red Sox career).

P.S. My thanks to the poster at Deadspin.com who linked my post on Doug Mirabelli's fictional day to the article about Curt Schilling today at the site. ("Dougie would never disparage Schilling. It doesn't fit into his schedule.") My Site Meter is going bananas again this morning, and I already have 200 hits on it. This could top the record for my site, set earlier this week. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Toss This One In The Garbage

The Red Sox played their worst game of the season last night, as Julian Tavarez gave up six runs in 4 2/3 innings, and they also committed four errors as the Blue Jays waltzed to a 10-3 win and a sweep of the brief two-game series. Only one thing to do about a game like this: throw it in the garbage and forget about it.

Almost nothing good to say about last night. Wily Mo Pena continued his disasterous outfield play, dropping a fly ball that led to four unearned runs. I guess it is now safe to say the Bronson Arroyo trade was a certified bust. Granted Pena doesn't not get a lot of playing time, but he looks absolutely lost at the plate, as most teams throw junk at him or pitches out of the strike zone, and his strike outs continue to add up. The Red Sox should look into moving him somewhere else, if just for a prospect or two. He's not going to get the playing time in Boston.

I watched the game at Professor Thom's and had a chance to chat with Sheila Papelbon, the mother of Jonathan, who is up in New York, as the Red Sox will be in town on Friday. I met her last summer at the bar, as she works in the same company as my buddy Eric does. She's a nice lady, and we chatted about her son and the incredible nerve-wracking saves he's had this season. "I just wish he'd have an easy ninth inning save," Sheila said to me.

She also told me that Jonathan accomplished a goal of his this past weekend as well: to strike out Derek Jeter. "He always puts the bat on the ball and gets a hit," she said. Jonathan not only struck him out once, but twice, once on Saturday and Sunday. We were both hoping that her son would get into last night's game, but Toronto's run away win made that impossible. Still, it was good to see her again and chat with her.

By the time the Sox game was 10-3, the bar turned to watching the Yankees-Devil Rays game. Carl Crawford's grand slam got the biggest cheer of the night, and gave the Rays a 6-4 win, a sweep of the series and dropped the Yankees to last place. (I also stayed around to see Endy Chavez' drag bunt single in the 12th inning to give the Mets a 2-1 win over Colorado. The only other time I can remember a bunt single winning a game was Oakland winning Game 1 of the 2003 ALDS over the Red Sox, also in extra innings.)

The Red Sox head to Baltimore tonight with Curt Schilling on the hill for another brief two-game series before they head up to New York and a date with the Yankees over the weekend.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I Wouldn't Give The Bum A Mop Job

I usually avoid sports talk radio like the plague here in New York. It's a haven for nitwits and total morons. The intelligence level of these shows is unspeakably low, especially when they open up the phone lines. And speaking of morons, this afternoon I was changing channels and came across "The Mike and The Mad Dog Show" on the YES network, which is also heard on WFAN.

"Fatso and Fruit Loops" (a name Don Imus called them in one of his rarer funny moments) were babbling on about the Mets and their hot pitching staff, which is currently leading the NL in ERA. (They went on and on during the spring about how it was a total disaster, on a day when I once again stopped to listen to their ranting. Fortunately, it was mercifully brief.)

I only listened for a few minutes today, as I couldn't find anything more intellectually stimulating, like professional wrestling, on TV. Chris Russo, aka Fruit Loops, came out with a real beauty today about John Maine (pictured), who is currently 3-0 with a 1.70 ERA. It made me wonder what this total jackass uses for brains.

"I don't care if Maine goes 30-0, I don't want him pitching in a big game. No way."

Hey, Russo, did you ever once check your facts before mouthing such stupidity? John Maine started GAME 6 for the Mets in the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals last year, when the Mets were 3-2 down in the series. And, with the Mets season on the line, here is Maine's numbers:
5.1 innings, 2 hits, 0 earned runs allowed, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts.

Pretty damn good for a guy pitching with his team's season on the line, no? The Mets won the game, 4-2, and forced Game 7. And because John Maine came up big when the Mets needed him most, the series went to a deciding Game 7.

I am truly amazed that someone like Chris Russo has a position in sports radio that he has. This is just one example of the bird brain he is. But he and Mike Francesa, he the arrogant blowhard Yankee fan to Russo's marble-mouth nincompoop, bring in ratings in afternoon drive, as I guess some people find these nitwits entertaining.

(I should also say, as a matter of full disclosure, I was also really pissed at these two idiots because right after the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, they bashed Fox bigtime for showing the Riviera Cafe in New York, which I was at, during Game 4. If they did their homework that day, they would have known that Fox was asked not to film in any Boston bars by the Boston's mayor because of the death of Victoria Snelgrove after the Red Sox won the AL pennant. So Fox came to the Riv in New York, because of all the Sox fans there. But that's just one of many times they pissed me off.)

This makes me think of that line from "Casino," when Robert DeNiro turns to Don Rickles and complains about a dumb local guy who has a casino position because of who he knows in Las Vegas: "I wouldn't give the bum a mop job."

Even if he did get one, I bet Russo still wouldn't shut his big yapper as he was mopping the floor.

Biggest Day Ever Yesterday

We had the biggest day ever on Monday in terms of total hits here at The Mighty Quinn Media Machine. There was an amazing 395 hits on my Site Meter, and we had 125 of those hits during the three hours the Red Sox-Blue Jays game was on. (It easily broke the old record of 338 hits set last November.) Doug Mirabelli was catching for the Sox last night, and now it seems just his mere presence in the Red Sox lineup is causing fans to find that funny post about Doug that just brings scores of people here.

I am still getting a good number of people finding me through Google Image searches, and other keyword searches. But late last week, I discovered that someone linked my blog and the post to "Doug Mirabelli" on Wikipedia. My thanks to whoever did that, as it has brought dozens of fans my way.

All this makes me wish Jason Varitek gets some more off days with the Red Sox...

Trivia Q&A: April 23

We had a nice bounce back week of Trivia on Monday night, as the weather was beautiful and 12 teams came out for the festivities. Many of the regulars returned, and it was good to see them again. We started a little bit late, as the Red Sox game was still going on. We had two teams go neck and neck to the finish: "Dougie's Pupu Platter For 3" and "Jesse and The Rippers". They tied throughout all five rounds, including the last round, so for the first time in many months, we had to go to a tie-breaker question: "What year was the Statue of Liberty first dedicated?" Dougie's got it exactly right (1886) and were declared the victors.

Also, for the first time, a team got all five IQ Trivia questions right. My buddy Alex' team (whose name decorum prevents me from writing here) got all 25 points in the final round, but came up just two points short. Nice job, bud.

Next week, I am going to bring in one and possibly two new categories to try out. I'll announce them next Monday on the Trivia preview post.

Current Events
1. This former mayor of Moscow and president of Russia died on Monday at the age of 76.
2. White House advisor Karl Rove and this pop singer got intoa heated debate on Saturday night over global warming at a black-tie Washington dinner.
3. Michael Bloomberg unveiled his "Green Plan" on Sunday for New York, and how many trees would he like planted here in the next decade?
4. This actor drew a wave of bad publicity when he left a message on his ex-wife's answering machine, calling his daughter a "rotten little pig."
5. Yankees pitcher Chase Wright accomplished something last night vs. the Red Sox that only one other pitcher, Paul Foytack in 1963, has done before. What was it?
6. Juanita Millender-McDonald, a Democratic Congresswoman, died of cancer at age of 68 on Sunday. What state did she represent?
7. A pilot with the Navy Blue Angels died in an air crash while performing on Saturday. In which state did the accident take place?
8. Nicolas Sarkozy will face Segolene Royal in a runoff election to be president of which European nation?
9. This horror film was number one at the box office for the second straight week last week.
10. This Democratic senator surprised many people last week when he declared that "the war in Iraq is lost."

Answers: 1. Boris Yeltsin; 2. Sheryl Crow; 3. one million; 4. Alec Baldwin; 5. Wright gave up four consecutive home runs; 6. California; 7. South Carolina; 8. France; 9. "Disturbia;" 10. Harry Reid.

Quantity 1-10 Trivia
1. This is the number of baseball players who have hit 700 home runs in their MLB careers.
2. This was the number of "geese-a-laying" in the Christmas song, "The 12 Days of Christmas."
3. Pearl Jam, Brian McKnight, and LL Cool J all had this number as an album title.
4. This is the atomic number of nitrogen.
5. This number was worn by baseball players Billy Martin and Mookie Wilson.
6. This number on a computer's keyboard has a dollar sign above it.
7. In Dante's "The Divine Comedy," there are this number of circles of hell, as well as spheres of heaven.
8. This is the number of basic pillars of Islam.
9. Scorpio is this number sign of the zodiac.
10. This is the number of vice-presidents Richard Nixon had during his presidency.

Answers: 1. three; 2. six; 3. ten; 4. seven; 5. one; 6. four; 7. nine; 8. five; 9. eight; 10. two.

True or False ("The Q Train")
1. The writer Ernest Hemingway was born in the 20th Century.
2. John Steinbeck's non-fiction book, "Travels With Charley," describes a cross-country journey he made with his pet poodle.
3. Tennessee was one of the original 13 colonies of the United States.
4. The Statue of Liberty is actually wearing sandals on her feet.
5. Nancy Pelosi is a Congressional representative from the city of San Diego.
6. Puma is another name for a wild cat commonly known as a mountain lion.
7. Shark's fin soup is a controversial delicacy in the country of China.
8. In biology, the "double helix" describes the specific structure of blood.
9. The Eagles were once the backup band for pop singer Linda Ronstadt.
10. The 2000 Summer Olympics were held in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Answers: 1. false, he was born in the 19th Century; 2. true; 3. false; 4. true; 5. false, she represents San Francisco; 6. true; 7. true; 8. false, it describes DNA; 9. true; 10. it was held in Sydney, Australia.

General Knowledge
1. Fictional rocker Chris Gaines was the alter ego of which country singer?
2. According to Abbott and Costello's classic rountine, "Who's On First," who plays third base?
3. In which TV series did Tom Hanks regularly appear in drag?
4. Which 15-year-old actress' Calvin Klein jeans ad in 1980 cause much controversy?
5. What was the original color of Post-It notes?
6. Who wrote the immortal Vito Corleone line, "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse?"
7. How many digits make up an official US Social Security number?
8. What is used as the logo of the Prudential Life Insurance Company?
9. "The Bloomin' Onion," a deep-fried onion sliced to look like a flower, is a popular menu item at which restaurant chain?
10. Which current US government official served as Secretary of Defense under President George H.W. Bush?

Answers: 1. Garth Brooks; 2. I Don't Know; 3. Bosom Buddies; 4. Brooke Shields; 5. yellow; 6. Mario Puzo; 7. nine; 8. The Rock of Gibraltar; 9. Outback Steakhouse; 10. Dick Cheney.

IQ Trivia

1. Queen Victoria of England was known as the empress of what country? (5 points)
2. How many children did the Von Trapp family have in the musical "The Sound of Music?" (4 points)
3. Nebraska's entire eastern border follows the path of which river? (5 points)
4. In 2005, George W. Bush became the first sitting US president to visit which Asian nation, which refers to America as its "third neighbor?" (6 points)
5. Which animal is represented by a caduceus, the medical symbol? (5 points)

Answers: 1. India; 2. seven; 3. Missouri; 4. Mongolia; 5. the snake.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Trivia's On For Tonight

Tonight is another night of Monday Night Trivia. Last Monday was a difficult transition back to Mondays, as the bad weather kept a lot of people away (and I'm sure many people may not have realized the changeover). But the weather can't be an excuse as it will be a spectacular day today. So I hope to see many of you tonight.

The Red Sox are playing the Toronto Blue Jays tonight at 7, so we may start Trivia at about 9:30. It will depend on the number of people in the bar and when the game concludes. Tonight's categories are Current Events, General Knowledge, IQ Trivia, Quantity 1-10 and True Or False (that will be the lightning round).

Here is the Sneak Peek question:

Which 15-year-old actress' Calvin Klein jeans ad in the 1980s caused much controversy?

A Couple of High School Kids?

I was watching the Red Sox game with the Yankees tonight with my dad, and when Dustin Pedroia came up for the Sox, he said, "He looks like that guy who played a medic in 'Saving Private Ryan.'"

Upon closer review, I agreed with my dad that Pedroia does bear a resemblance to Giovanni Ribisi, who eventually gets killed in that epic film. (It should have won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1999. "Shakespeare In Love?" Give me a break.)

It looks like you can barely get a whisker between both of these guys, and they both look like they belong back in high school.

At least Dustin had two hits tonight and saved the game in the eighth. Whatever happened to Mr. Ribisi?

Bombs Away, and Swept Away

It was an historic night at Fenway Park on Sunday night, as the Red Sox swept the Yankees, 7-6, in an exciting game at Fenway, which capped an exciting three-game weekend between the ancient rivals.

The history was made in the third inning, as with two outs, Manny Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek all hit consecutive home runs off Yankee starting pitcher Chase Wright. They were all solo shots, but all four were bombs, very hard hit homers. Wright had pitched decently for 2 2/3 until he started getting the ball up, and paid the price. It was the first time since 1964 that an AL team had hit four consecutive home runs. (It was done in the NL last year by the Dodgers, and ironically, Drew hit one of the homers.) It was also the first time the Red Sox hit four consecutive home runs in an inning in team history.

The game was a seesaw battle, as the lead kept changing hands. Lowell hit his second homer of the night to seal the deal, a three-run shot that was the difference in the seventh. Dustin Pedroia made a diving catch to keep the lead at 7-6 to end the eighth, and Jonathan Papelbon continues to be one of the game's best closers, as he shut New York down in the ninth, getting Alex Rodriguez (aka Mr. April), to ground out to third with a man on to end it. (Didn't you just know that Rodriguez would face Pap to close it out?)

Manny Ramirez had three hits and Jason Varitek had a great weekend, as he appears to be coming out of his doldrums. Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch 7+ innings, but was not as dominant as his first three starts, and allowed all six runs the Yankees scored. But he got the win, and finally got some run support. (The Sox scored only five runs in his first three starts.)

The Red Sox starters didn't have the best weekend, but the Red Sox won all three games, and came from behind to win all of them. They are finding ways to win and that is always a good thing. The Yankees clearly have bullpen problems, as Joe Torre once again used Andy Pettitte in relief for one inning. He once again used Scott Proctor, who had nothing and gave up Lowell's second homer. If the Yankees don't get better results from their pen, they won't make to October, even if they score 1000 runs this year.

But the Sox continue to get excellent results from their pen, as the starters continue to give them lots of innings, most being quality innings. The Red Sox bullpen gave up just one run in the three games, while the Yankees pen got raked over the coals. As I have continued to say until I am blue in the face: it all comes down to pitching, and the team that pitches better will have the best chance in October.

It was the first Red Sox sweep over the Yankees at Fenway Park since September 1990. It's only April, but it's always a great night to see the Red Sox congratulating themselves on the Fenway infield after a win, and a weekend, like this.

Especially when the team in other dugout has "NEW YORK" on the front of their jerseys.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Ellen

I come from a very large family, both on my mother's and father's side. (My father is one of 7, and my mom is one of 11.) I grew up with tons of aunts, uncles and cousins. Some of my most treasured memories have been family gatherings at the holidays such as Christmas and Easter. On Sunday we had a gathering of many of my relatives at my cousin Ellen's 50th birthday at my aunt's house in Queens.

We all had a really enjoyable time. Many of my cousins are married, and brought their kids with them. They are the next generation of my family, and they are a beautiful group of kids. There was plenty of food, which was really good. (I indulged a little too much I think, as I felt like I gained about five pounds when the day was over!) It was also nice to talk to many of my cousins who regularly check out my blog and have them tell me how much they enjoy checking it out.

My cousin Eileen, who is my oldest cousin and Ellen's sister, lives in Hawaii and joined us by cell phone a number of times during the afternoon. During the day, we had a contest about how well we all know Ellen's life. It was about 40 questions on all various parts of her life. I was chosen as a judge (along with our family friend Mildred) on the questions' answers, as my reputation as a Trivia Maven got me the position. My family was divided into four groups, and we all had fun guessing at the answers. (I did make a ruling on one question, and tossed it out because it was not worded properly. I felt like I was back at Professor Thom's.)

We also did a game called "Rock, Paper, Scissors" which matched all of us up against each other in a knockout tournament to determine the winner. It was the standard game where two people put out either a fist, two fingers or their whole hand at each other. My brother-in-law Jack was the winner, albeit a reluctant one as he really didn't want to play when it started. But it was still fun.

There was also a very nice retrospective on Ellen's life on a computer disc, which we all watched on my aunt's computer. It was really nicely done, with many old pictures of Ellen, her immediate and extended family. (I even saw myself as youngster in pictures I never saw before.)

We all enjoyed ourselves today (although watching the Mets lose to the Braves today on TV wasn't fun), and it was really nice to be with my relatives today. I am really blessed to have such a warm and loving family, and I thank God every night for it.

I really hope you enjoyed the day, Ellen. We all certainly did.

Comments Section Change

I've had to make a change in the way my readers can leave comments. Some jackass spammer has been leaving his crap on my blog the last few days, so I have now changed the way you can leave comments. You now have to put in word confirmation in the box to leave a comment. Sorry I had to make this change but I was tired of this nonsense.

Spam (at least the email variety) is not "lovely", or "wonderful" (as the Monty Python "Spam" song suggests), so knock it off, or I'll track you down out there, and force you to eat "Spam" and I ain't talkin' about the crap you're sending through email either!!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

"We Beat Him Before, and We Can Beat Him Again"

God, was that eighth inning beautiful.

I was at Professor Thom's last night, and there was a depression for a good part of last night's Red Sox-Yankees game, with Alex Rodriguez hitting two home runs off Curt Schilling. The offense looked rather sluggish most of the night, as they couldn't seem to get a clutch hit when they needed it most.

The Red Sox finally got it going in the 8th when David Ortiz doubled, Manny Ramirez walked, and Mike Lowell singled. It was 6-3, and Joe Torre brought in Mariano Rivera to try and get a five-out save. When Rivera was coming in, my buddy Eric reminded me of an immortal moment that none of us who were there will ever forget.

It was September 17, 2004, and Eric and I were at a packed Riviera Cafe watching the Red Sox and Yankees. It was 2-1 going into the ninth, and I remember Eric was depressed thinking the game was over because Rivera was coming in. I reminded Eric that the Sox beat Rivera the previous July 24 on Bill Mueller's homer. "He's not infallible," I said. "We beat him before, and we can beat him again."

And sure enough that night, the Sox scored two runs in the ninth and beat Rivera, 3-2. (That was the famous "catch the ball" line that Rivera called out to Kenny Lofton as he couldn't catch a Johnny Damon fly ball that brought in the winning run.) The Riviera went totally bananas that night, and it made me wonder , "God, what would this place be like if the Red Sox win the World Series?" (I would find out the answer exactly 40 days later.)

Rivera had nothing last night, as Jason Varitek singled, Coco Crisp tripled (why wasn't Doug Mientkiewicz guarding the line?) and Alex Cora singled over a drawn in infield (ah, the memories of Luis Gonzalez in November 2001 came flooding back) to put the Red Sox up 7-6, and Professor Thom's went into a total frenzy. It seemed like the walls were literally shaking.

Hideki Okajima came in for Jonathan Papelbon, who pitched the last two nights, and got the save, including getting Rodriguez on a soft liner to second for the second out. (I love the way the NY Post front-page headline was just A-Rod's two HRs, but the loss was only in little print. However, the NY Daily News pointed out Rodriguez' out in the ninth in one of their headline stories today. They'll be booing A-Rod again soon in the Bronx, just wait and see.)

BTW, did anyone else notice that Johnny Damon (you remember him, the former Sox centerfielder) went 0-for-5 and two strikeouts last night?

Professor Thom's exploded in delight after the game. I was hugging and high-fiving my friends last night, and the emotion was simply incredible. Eric couldn't believe the Red Sox beat Rivera again, and that he brought back that special memory to light again. It was a huge, big-time win for the Sox, in a game the Yankees simply needed to have but let get away. Torre knew that and pulled out all the stops. But he badly managed this game. He brought in Mike Myers at the wrong time, to face Big Papi (but up by 4 runs with no one on base?), yanked Andy Pettitte too soon, and pulled Jason Giambi for a pinch-runner ill-advisedly in the eighth (he would have batted in the ninth). After the game ended, we all drank a toast to Joe Torre for his badly managed game. Thanks again, Joe.

And now you have to wonder if Mariano Rivera is hiding an injury, or worse for him, finally in decline. However, we've seen him get off to slow starts before, so you have to be careful here. But if his glory days are behind him, the Yankees are in trouble. Real trouble.

Last night was also the 95th anniversary of Fenway Park, as it opened on April 20, 1912. And on that day, the Red Sox also beat the Yankees (then known as the Highlanders) by the same score, 7-6, but in 12 innings. That season, the Red Sox celebrated their new home by winning the World Series. (The Sox also wore green jerseys last night in special remembrance of the late Red Auerbach. Yes, wearing "green" to remember "Red." You gotta love it.)

It was a difficult night for 7 1/2 innings, but the memorable finish made the night worth all the bother. It was a night no one wanted to see end, and the memories of the special nights in October 2004 back for a brief reprise.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Countdown To San Diego

I've updated my countdown clock at the top of my blog, and I've adjusted it to the weekend series when the Red Sox go out to San Diego, starting June 22. I will be going out there for that three game series, and I really can't wait to go back there.

San Diego is simply a gorgeous city. My dear friends Peggy and Ken are devoted Padres fans, and I went out to their wedding in August 2004. No trip out there would have been complete without a trip to Petco Park (pictured), so we saw the Padres play the Braves. The Braves won, 5-4, but I had a great time there.

Petco Park is simply a stunning new ballpark. It is located right in the heart of downtown San Diego, and its easy to get to. Ken gave me the complete tour of the park, and it was great to stand in the left field bleachers during batting practice waiting for a ball to be hit out there. (I didn't end up getting any however.) The coolest feature of the ballpark is the century-old warehouse, the Western Metal Supply Company, that was incorporated into the building of the park, in left-field.

My friends and I will be on opposite sides of the fence during the series, which is long sold out. There will be a large contingent of Red Sox Nation at the series, as there are thousands of expatriate New Englanders living in Southern California.

Two months until Red Sox-Padres. Should be a blast!

Don't Worry

Don't worry everyone.

The next time Alex Rodriguez boots one at third base, or makes a critical out in a clutch situation that ends up costing the Yankees a game at home, those "classy" Yankee fans will go back to their favorite spectator sport and boo Slappy.

Count on it.

And no matter what Rodriguez does the rest of the season at the plate, always keep one thing in mind:

Alex Rodriguez can't pitch.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mirabelli Again!

Dougie went deep again.

And my Site Meter went bonkers, again.

Last Friday, Doug Mirabelli belted a home run, and immediately the number of visitors to my site went through the roof. I had 69 hits during the hour of Mirabelli's Friday home run. (I normally get from 10-15 hits on a typical night at 8 PM.) Last night, my numbers were even bigger the same hour Doug hit his second homer. (When I got the news of Doug's homer, I raised my arms in the air and yelled out, "There goes my Site Meter numbers again!")

And sure enough, they skyrocketed. I had almost 100 hits on my site right after Mirabelli's slam. It's almost as if Red Sox fans run to their computers as soon as Doug lets one fly.

In the last week, I've had over 650 hits on my site from people looking for the comic "day" in Doug Mirabelli's life. I get a lot of college kids from New England looking for it, especially from all the major universities. But last night's searchers were from a diverse number of places, such as California, Tennessee, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and even foreign lands like Canada, Ireland and Chile.

It was the second biggest day I've ever had in terms of total hits, as I had 332, which just fell short of my single best total of 338, which I did last November. And just this morning, I've already passed 100 hits for the day, and I've never done that before. (People are still looking for Dougie!)

No question Dougie should play more and hopefully hit more homers. (It will be interesting to see what my numbers will be if he doesn't hit a home run the next time Tim Wakefield pitches, which will be next Monday night.)

As for last night's game, Tim Wakefield pitched seven masterful innings, bringing his record to 2-1. He's been sensational so far, and was aided by homers from Mike Lowell, David Ortiz and Our Boy Doug, as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays, 4-1. It was an important win to get, as Julian Tavarez goes up against Roy Halladay in the series finale in Toronto today.

Never Forget: Oklahoma City

It was 12 years ago today that one of the most horrific tragedies in American history occurred, when a truck loaded with explosives blew up at the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, killing 168 innocent people, including 19 children. I'll never forget that day, and the numbers of people killed in that terrorist attack was simply too horrific to come to terms with at the time.

Six years later, the Oklahoma City tragedy was dwarved by the September 11 attacks, with numbers of dead that was simply so unbelievable. But in those years, families who lost loved ones in both attacks formed a common bond, and today there are many 9/11 family members at the ceremonies to lend support to those people of Oklahoma City.

I have personally met many people who lost loved ones in Oklahoma City, as they come to New York every year to support the 9/11 families each anniversary. Their caring and warmth towards us was truly inspiring, and greatly appreciated by everyone. My thoughts and prayers are with them on this grim anniversary.

There is a beautiful memorial at the site of the bombing, with 168 separate chairs, one for each victim, and they light up at night. (See the above picture.) I have never been to Oklahoma City, but I have seen film of the memorial site and it is truly special and a wonderful tribute to those innocents who perished that day.

Back in September 2002, a man who lost a loved one in the Oklahoma City attack told me that it gets harder with each anniversary that his loved one is gone, and taken away so brutally. He is absolutely correct. It never gets easier.

Please say a prayer today for all those whose lives were altered forever by the terrible tragedy in Oklahoma City 12 years ago today.

They will forever be in my prayers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My Favorite Number 18: Brook Berringer

Yesterday I received a really nice email from John Fahrer, who is a big Red Sox fan from Omaha, Nebraska. John has followed my writings here at The Mighty Quinn Media Machine, and also at Bornintoit.com for some time. He drops me a line from time to time with his thoughts on some of my columns and about the Red Sox. John is also a huge Nebraska Cornhuskers fan.

John's email yesterday was about his favorite all-time player who wore number 18: Brook Berringer, the Cornhuskers quarterback from the mid-1990s. Berringer came out of nowhere in 1994 to lead Nebraska to the Orange Bowl against Miami that year and the national championship. Berringer typified that "everyman" quality, and won a place in the hearts of Cornhuskers fans everywhere.

He was looked upon as a pro prospect, but two days before the NFL Draft in 1996, he was tragically killed in a light plane crash in Nebraska. It was 11 years ago today that the crash occurred. John sent me an email about it, so I thought I would turn this post over to John, about his "Favorite Number 18: Brook Berringer."

My Favorite Number 18
by John Fahrer

A little while back, you wrote about the number that was issued to new pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka: 18. That number of course was also worn by notable Red Sox outfielder Dustan Mohr as well as that Damon guy. In my neck of the woods, the number 18 is and always will be reserved for one man. This young man experienced many highs and lows in his college career. He spent his junior season filling in for the injured quarterback ahead of him, getting hurt himself, and ultimately played a major contribution in winning a National Championship. His senior season saw little playing time. But despite that, he remained a very popular player and was thought to be drafted by the NFL in the early rounds. Unfortunately, this young man was taken from us just days before the draft. I'm not sure if this guy is all but forgotted outside of Nebraska (much like Tony Conigliaro seems to be forgotten outside of Boston), but it's been nearly eleven years since that heartbreaking day and I'd very much like to share with you my memories of my favorite number 18: Brook Berringer.

Brook Warren Berringer was born in Goodland, Kansas in 1973. He grew up watching Nebraska football and it was his life-long dream to one day play for coach Tom Osborne. That dream came true when he arrived in Lincoln in the early 1990's. It was a bittersweet fulfillment (at the time) however. Also arriving that fall was option-wiz Tommie Frazier of Bradenton, Florida. Brook would be number 2 on the depth charts for most of his career.

In 1994, Frazier was sidelined early in the season due to blood clots in his knee. It was now Brook's time to shine. Berringer kept his team undefeated and even suffered an injury of his own along the way. After taking a devastating blow from the previous week's game, Berringer was pulled from the Oklahoma State game and would miss the following week's game against Kansas State. After that short haitus, Berringer remained durable for the remainder of the season.

Tommie Frazier was clear to play in the 1994 Orange Bowl against Miami, which meant back to the bench for Brook. After trailing in the first half, Osborne put Berringer back on the field for the second half. With Berringer back in the game, the Huskers rallied back to tie the game. But ultimately, the winning drive included Frazier on the field (the touchdown was a 20-yard rush by current Detroit Lions fullback Corey Schlesinger). Frazier may have been on the field to taste the victory, but everybody knew that Berringer was the man who was responsible for leading the Huskers to the 1994 National Title. And the fans never forgot that the following season...and they never will.

Berringer had great size and the right tools to be a successful quarterback in the NFL. But on April 18, 1996, Berringer (who was a licensed pilot) and his girlfriend's brother were in a small aircraft above Raymond NE. The plane lost turbulance and crashed into an alfalfa field. Neither passenger survived.

Tom Osborne delivered the following statement shortly after hearing of
his former player's death: "The Brook I knew, there is nothing he could have done better. The length (of his life) was not what you would have liked. But the quality couldn't have been better."

Eleven years later, that statement seems more true than ever.

Here's a link to a nice Brook Berringer tribute video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-NRMZPFw6E

Thank you for sharing, John.

You Make Up This Picture's Caption

My friend Adam sent me another classic photo. It is a picture of everyone's favorite whipping boy, Mr. Image Conscious himself, Alex Rodriguez, getting a "massage" from The Late Show With David Letterman's own, Biff Henderson, during a recent bit for the show.

Oh, that A-Rod. What a card. He'll do anything to make people happy.

Adam also sent me some classic dialogue from "Seinfeld" to go with it. I think it is very appropriate to the above photo.

Enjoy.


George enters acting nervous.
Jerry: What's with you?
George: A...
Jerry: Yes, A...?
George: A man gave me...
Jerry: Yes, a man gave you...?
George: A man gave me... a massage.
Jerry: So?
George: So he... had his hands and, uh, he was...
Jerry: He was what?!
George: He was... touching and rubbing.
Jerry: That's a massage.
George: And then I took my pants off.
Jerry: You took your pants off?
George: For my hamstring.
Jerry: Oh.
George: He got about two inches from... there.
Jerry: Really?
George: I think it moved.
Jerry: Moved?
George: It may have moved, I don't know.
Jerry: I'm sure it didn't move.
George: It moved! It was imperceptible but I felt it.
Jerry: Maybe it just wanted to change positions? You know, shift to the otherside.
George: No, no. It wasn't a shift, I've shifted, this was a move.
Jerry: Okay, so what if it moved?
George: That's the sign! The test; if a man makes it move.
Jerry: That's not the test. Contact is the test, if it moves as a result of contact.
George: You think it's contact? It has to be touched?
Jerry: That's what a gym teacher once told me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Pizza and Beer Bash At Fenway




The Red Sox won handily 7-2 over the Angels on Patriots Day yesterday, with Josh Beckett pitching six solid innings and David Ortiz bashing his fourth home run of the season. But that's not what this game will be remembered for.

J.D. Drew hit a foul pop in the bottom of the seventh into the left field stands, and a Red Sox fan with a beer in his hands missed it and beer went flying from some of the other fans. But another fan behind him tossed an entire $8 slice of pizza right at him ($8 for a slice of pizza?) and it hit him, and NESN's cameras picked up the whole thing, and now it is all over the Internet. It's an absolute riot.

What a waste of good (or is that bad?) pizza.

Terry Francona had the best line about it.

"As long as they're not throwing them at me or us, that's OK."

Trivia Q&A: April 16

The conversion of Trivia Night from Monday night to Tuesday night was a tough one last night. Most of the people who came into the bar were headed upstairs to The Loft to watch "24," which the bar shows and attracts many people who make it like a party. But last night, probably because of the show and the weather, he had just five teams competing in Trivia.

It was disappointing, but I still enjoyed the game. It was won by a team called The New Times Roman. The contest was close throughout, and the winners rolled up the best score in IQ Trivia to win by eight points.

One of the questions I asked turned out to be wrong, and proof was shown to me by one of the contestants. In General Knowledge there was a question about Infiniti and the company in Japan that started it. As it turned out, my source for the question was wrong (they said "Honda" and it was in fact, "Nissan"), and I corrected it during the game and adjusted the teams scores.

I hope we can get a better turnout next Monday. The Red Sox have a game that night against Toronto, and hopefully a few Sox fans will join in after it is completed.

Current Events
1. This author of "Slaughterhouse Five" and "Cat's Cradle" died last week at the age of 84.
2. This presidential candidate now has raised more money than any other presidential candidate for 2008 so far, with $31 million.
3. This thriller, which was released last Friday, grossed $23 million and was the number one film in America last week.
4. This legendary singer, best known for his version of "Tiny Bubbles," died over the weekend at age 76.
5. This company knocked Exxon Mobil out of the number one slot on the Forbes 500 list of the largest companies in the US for 2006.
6. Barry Nelson, the first actor to play this legendary movie character on TV, died last week at the age of 89.
7. This African nation approved the deployment of 3000 UN troops into Darfur on Monday.
8. This NFL QB, who threw for over 44,000 yards in a 14-year NFL career, retired last week.
9. Johnson and Johnson is recalling over 4 million bottles of this product after determining they might be contaminated by bacteria.
10. Protestors in India burned effegies of this Hollywood actor after he kissed an Indian actress on the cheek and hugged her at an AIDS awareness event in New Delhi last weekend.

Answers: 1. Kurt Vonnegut; 2. Hillary Clinton; 3. "Disturbia;" 4. Don Ho; 5. WalMart; 6. James Bond; 7. Sudan; 8. Drew Bledsoe; 9. Listerine; 10. Richard Gere.

Quantity 1-10
1. This is the number of wings that both butterflies and dragonflies have.
2. This is the number NYC subway train that runs from Times Square to Shea Stadium in Queens.
3. This is the atomic number of oxygen.
4. This is the number the great soccer star Pele wore in both the US and Brazil.
5. Aries is this number sign of the zodiac.
6. This is the number of leaves that shamrocks usually have.
7. In Judaism, The Torah is divided into this number of books.
8. The catcher's position in baseball is referred to by this number.
9. In American and Canadian Football, the number of points received automatically for a touchdown.
10. William Henry Harrison was this numbered US president.

Answers: 1. four; 2. seven; 3. eight; 4. ten; 5. one; 6. three; 7. five; 8. two; 9. six; 10. nine.

Noreaster Trivia (The Q Train)
1. What is the capital of Vermont?
2. Which Great Lake borders Buffalo, NY?
3. How many states make up New England?
4. Which state does Senator Robert Menendez represent?
5. Which university's nickname is The Nittany Lions?
6. Which northeastern state was founded by Roger Williams?
7. What state's nickname is The Nutmeg State?
8. Which holiday is celebrated every third Monday in April in Massachusetts?
9. In which state is the Naval Academy located?
10. In which Connecticut city is Yale University located?

Answers: 1. Montpelier; 2. Erie; 3. six; 4. New Jersey; 5. Penn State; 6. Rhode Island; 7. Connecticut; 8. Patriots Day; 9. Maryland; 10. New Haven.

General Knowledge
1. During which decade did the rebellious "Beat Generation" writers flourish?
2. "K" is the chemical symbol for what element?
3. Since 2003, Entertainment Weekly has published a column called "The Pop of King," written by an author from which book genre?
4. The catch phrase, "Save the cheerleader, save the world," was popularized by which TV show in 2006?
5. A small statue of which saint figures prominently in a scene in the 2005 movie, "Crash?"
6. In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft in which US city?
7. A meterologist uses a hygrometer to measure what atmospheric condition?
8. Infiniti is the luxury car division launched by which Japanese car manufacturer?
9. The city of Kuala Lumpur is located in which Asian country?
10. Created between 1501 and 1504, Michaelangelo's "David" is made from what material?

Answers: 1. The 1950s; 2. potassium; 3. horror; 4. "Heroes;" 5. St. Christopher; 6. Albuquerque, NM; 7. humidity; 8. Nissan; 9. Malaysia; 10. marble.

IQ Trivia
1. Thought to be the deepest depression on the Earth's surface, the Mariana Trench lies closest to which Asian country? (6 points)
2. Thabo Mbeki has been president of which country since 1999? (5 points)
3. Boasting more than 70% of the state's population, which of the Hawaiian Islands is the most populated? (4 points)
4. Galena ore is mined primarily to obtain which metal? (5 points)
5. The Civil War battles of Bull Run are also known by which other name? (5 points)

Answers: 1. The Philippines; 2. South Africa; 3. Oahu; 4. lead; 5. Manassas.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday Night Trivia Returns

Tonight sees the return of Monday Night Trivia to Professor Thom's bar in the Village. We moved it back to Monday because of the baseball season, and the fact the Red Sox will be playing every Tuesday night for the next five months, and the crowds are usually pretty good for those nights, especially when playing big games against teams like the Yankees.

Monday night's are more convenient, as they have a good number of off days on Mondays. There will be some conflicts, like when they play late night games out West we will start Trivia Night earlier, at 8 PM. (That won't happen until June 4th.) Until then, Trivia Night will begin at its usual time, 9 PM. Trivia Night will move back to Tuesday night in September, when Monday Night Football returns.

I've also decided to give you a "sneak peek" every Monday at what to expect on Monday Night Trivia. The special category tonight will be "Noreaster Trivia," in honor of the terrible weather we've had over the past few days. However, the questions will be about Northeast trivia (not the weather), and it will be "The Q Train" lightning round. The other four categories, Current Events, General Knowledge, Quantity 1-10 and IQ Trivia, will be on hand.

Now the sneak peek question: "A small statue of which saint figures prominently in a scene from the 2005 movie, 'Crash?'"

Hope to see many of you for Trivia tonight, despite the weather.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Trailblazer Remembered

Today in Major League baseball, it is Jackie Robinson Day. The baseball pioneer is being remembered in all fifteen ballparks today, as it was 60 years ago today that he made his debut as a first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers in their Opening Day game against the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.

It was a momentous day, as it was the first time a black player played in a major league game in the 20th Century. (It is mistakenly thought that Robinson was the first black player ever in the majors. That is not true, as there were black players playing in the majors as late as 1884. They were unofficially banned from the game to please many Southerners who simply wouldn't play with black players. It is unfortunate that many of those black players are all but forgotten.)

MLB has done a nice job remembering Robinson, who was simply a trailblazer. Earlier this year, Ken Griffey Jr. asked baseball if he could wear number 42, which has been retired throughout the game, on the anniversary. His idea blossomed among many other players, and today, Coco Crisp, David Ortiz and DeMarlo Hale will wear the number for the Red Sox, as well as Willie Randolph will for the Mets.

But I found something very curious. The entire Los Angeles Dodgers team will wear 42, as that was the franchise Robinson played his entire career for. But why is EVERY player on the St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, and Philadelphia Phillies wearing it? It is especially ironic that all the Cardinals and Phillies are wearing 42, as when Robinson came up in 1947, those were two of the teams that gave Robinson the hardest time, hurling racial abuse at him when they played the Dodgers. MLB should have just let a select number of players or coaches wear it. Letting an entire team wear it (besides the Dodgers) somehow cheapens the special nature of it.

It is well-known that Jackie Robinson had an extremely difficult time in his first years in the majors. He faced death threats, abuse from other players and fans, teammates that resented his presence, and hotels that wouldn't serve him. His career was unlike any other player, before or since. He had not just all of Black America watching his every move, but that of White America as well. Every black player should thank him every night for what he went through to integrate the game. They have reaped the benefits of his sacrifice.

I saw Jackie Robinson once in person. I was 10 in 1972, and Gil Hodges died suddenly that April of a heart attack. His funeral was held in a Catholic church near my home in Brooklyn, just 11 blocks away, and my father, my sisters and I viewed the proceedings from across the street, with hundreds of others. A whole bunch of players from past and present came, and I'll never forget seeing what appeared to be an elderly black man with white hair get out of a car. A man near me said, "That's Jackie Robinson." And it was. The late Dodgers announcer Red Barber once said that everything Robinson went through probably took many years off his life, and in 1972, he was just 53 years old, but he looked much older. He died six months later, of complications from diabetes.

The bad weather in the East will prevent some players from wearing 42 today, and that is a shame. But MLB is to be commended for remembering a brave man who 60 years ago today took the baseball field and changed the game forever.

Another Strong Outing From Schilling

Curt Schilling pitched eight scoreless innings on Saturday as the Red Sox blasted the LA Angels for the second straight day, 8-0 at Fenway.

Schilling was in command all day, and was never in any serious trouble. He struck out four and allowed just four hits. He has now not allowed an earned run over his last fourteen innings, since he gave up five runs to Kansas City in four innings on Opening Day. No runner even reached third base against Curt, whose ERA is now 2.84.

David Ortiz hit his third homer of the year, a three-run shot in the eighth to cap the scoring. At first, the runs were tough to come by for the Red Sox. They scored their first two runs on a ball hit by Jason Varitek that Gary Matthews misjudged and was charged with an error. They scored their next run on a wild pitch. They left the bases loaded in the second inning, and it looked like they would again in the third until Matthews made the error.

The noreaster that hit has threatened both final games of the series (as well as the Mets game here in New York, and games in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Atlanta), and tomorrow's game is the Patriot's Day 10 AM start. Fortunately the Angels return to Fenway in mid-August, so both games can be made up then.

But if both games are rained out this weekend, it will mean that Josh Beckett will get the start in Toronto Tuesday night, and Daisuke Matsuzaka will be pushed back to Wednesday, and he will not start against the Yankees this weekend. A very interesting scenario indeed.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Dougie Goes Deep, and My Site Meter Goes Wild

Tim Wakefield finally got some run support last night, but it didn't come until the fifth inning, and courtesy of his personal batterymate, Doug Mirabelli (pictured, with Dustin Pedroia). He blasted a John Lackey pitch into the Red Sox bullpen for his first home run of 2007 to tie the game with the Angels at 1. Mirabelli would also drive in another important run to give the Red Sox a 3-1 lead in the sixth.

As soon as he hit the home run, I said to a friend of mine I was watching the game with, "My Site Meter numbers are going to go crazy after this." That was in reference to the funny Doug Mirabelli "Day in the Life" article I have on my blog that I posted last July. Red Sox fans seem to find it all the time, but since the season began, the number of people finding has gone up dramatically. For those of you who may never have seen it:
http://quinnmedia.blogspot.com/2006/07/day-in-life-of-doug-mirabelli.html

And boy, did the Site Meter ever go wild last night. I had about 100 hits on my blog at about 5 PM yesterday for the day, but when I got home just before midnight, I had 175 hits from 5 PM on. And I checked to see where they came from, and about 90% where people looking for the Mirabelli post, and 95% of them were from New England. The numbers seemed to be the highest right after Doug hit the home run. (I guess it made many Red Sox fans run to their computers!) I had an amazing 275 hits yesterday. (My Site Meter numbers also spiked when Doug caught Tim Wakefield for the first time last week.)

Makes me wish Dougie played (and hit homers) more often.

As for the game, Tim Wakefield gave another sterling performance, pitching seven innings and allowing just one earned run. This time he got a well-deserved win, as Brendan Donnelly and Jonathan Papelbon shut down the Angels rally in the eighth, and the Sox added six runs in the bottom of the inning to ice a 10-1 win. Mike Timlin finished up in the ninth to finish it off. David Ortiz, J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell had two RBIs each in the eighth as the Red Sox busted out again after being shut down Wednesday night.

Friday, April 13, 2007

She Can't Handle The Math?

I'm a big fan of the show, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," both the reruns on the Game Show Network and the daytime version on ABC. I check it out every once in a while, and I was watching it today, and I saw something truly amazing, and it left me shaking my head.

A woman was on the show and had just gotten through the first five questions ("The Idiot Questions" as I call them) and reached the $1000 plateau. The $2000 question was a real gimme question, and anybody who graduated from grammar school could have gotten this one right.

"If the sun rises at 7:14 in the morning and sets at 5:11 in the afternoon, how much sunlight will have there been during the day?"

Quick addition would bring the answer, "9 hours and 57 minutes" which was one of the choices. But this woman was so flustered by the question (rarely have I seen anyone react to a question like this on the show), and said to host Meredith Vieira, "I was hoping there would be no math questions." She didn't even resort to using a lifeline, which were still available to her. She didn't attempt to try to do it in her head, she just took a wild stab at it and got it wrong.

I've noticed over the years that game shows (especially "Jeopardy") may get some really intelligent people on it, but they also get some really strange ones as well. I can't say this woman was strange, but I've never seen someone almost fall apart like that over a simple math question. She didn't seem nervous about being on TV. I guess math isn't her forte.

But I am truly amazed that a woman like this got on the show. I tried out for the daytime edition of the show a number of years ago when it first debuted in syndication, and the test to get on was extremely difficult, and I didn't make the first cut. (They didn't tell you the score of your test, just whether you reached the passing grade. And they didn't even tell us what the passing grade was.) They asked questions on subjects all across the board, like science, politics, history, sports, literature, and yes, even math.

I think it might be time to take another stab at getting on the show. Maybe they've eased up on the test a bit, and I can get on. If this woman can get on...

UPDATE: I've since checked the "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" web site, and they will be holding contestant auditions for next season's shows in mid-April (which is right around now). I want to thank that lady for inspiring me today, as I'm going to try to get on.

Imus Gets Shown The Door

Well, everyone has an opinion on this subject, so it's time for me to add my two cents to it.

Don Imus was fired by CBS Radio and WFAN on Thursday, one day after MSNBC dumped his TV simulcast of his morning program after last week he referred to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." It wasn't hard to see this coming, as the negative publicity over this has been snowballing as the week has gone on. It's been the number one story on TV today, and it's even been ahead of the bombing of the Iraqi parliament that killed eight people on some news shows.

Of course it's because the Imus story is such a more important story. Good God.

I'm no fan of Don Imus; never have been. (I was a big Howard Stern fan in the days of their very public feuding on their radio shows, before Howard disappeared into the black hole of satellite radio.) Make no mistake about it, Imus has a long history of saying outrageous things about people of all races and backgrounds. His past on-air offenses are long and well-known so I won't list them here. What he said about the Rutgers team touched a raw nerve because they were a feel-good sports story, an underdog (as well as local to New York team) that fought their way to the NCAA women's final against Tennessee against some long odds, but which they ultimately ended up losing. They were a nice story, but Imus had to find some way to ridicule them, as he does to most things of this nature.

And since race played a big factor here, it made it all the more incendiary. I believe that Imus had thought himself bulletproof when it comes to controversies like this, and in his mind he figured it would all blow over. I'm sure he figured with his standing with Washington's elite politicians who come on his show to take his abuse, "The I-Man" had nothing to fear.

But the fact he went after young college girls like this really pissed too many people off. And also the fact he didn't apologize for 48 hours after he said what he said didn't help matters any either. And of course the fact that all but two of the women on the team are black made it a real firestorm.

Imus made an absolutely fatal mistake by going to the altar of that "paragon of virtue" and notorious racist hustler, Al Sharpton, and basically grovelled at his feet and apologized to him, thus starting "The Imus Apology Tour." (I refuse to refer to Sharpton as "Reverend," as that is an insult to all decent men of the cloth everywhere.) It was a pathetic attempt by Imus to salvage his career by going to Sharpton and trying to convince him and his radio audience that he's not at all a racist. Sharpton refused to accept his apology, as he thought Imus wasn't "sincere enough." (How ironic in that Sharpton was behind the Tawana Brawley hoax, and ten years after it ended was found guilty in court of defaming Steven Pagones, an upstate DA who he accused of raping the woman. Sharpton never once apologized to Pagones, or paid a dime to him as ordered by the court. His buddies paid the tab for it.)

But make no mistake about it. Imus might have survived, but when his sponsors at CBS Radio started bailing out on his show (the number was rumored to be close to 100 by Thursday), he was done. Don Imus began costing his company money. That's the bottom line, and when that happens, he's got to go. Forget all the self-serving nonsense from CBS and MSNBC with their reasons why they let him go. When they start losing money, there's a problem and heads have to roll.

I'm not crying over Imus' firing. He crossed the line of common decency, picked on a target he absolutely should never have, and now pays the price. Now Imus gets to go back to his ranch in New Mexico and count his millions. He could possibly pop up back on satellite radio, which is outside of FCC control and rant all he wants to. I bet he disappears for a while until all of this dies out. Imus has been down and out many times before and come back stronger. But he is 67 now, and maybe his time has come and gone. We'll see.

He's out of radio for now. I guess the world's a much better place now, right?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dice-K vs. Pat Metheny

Back in early March, I was able to land a ticket to see Pat Metheny at Carnegie Hall on April 11. When I first got it, I went to my Red Sox schedule, as I wanted to see who they were playing and at what time that day. It was the Seattle Mariners at 7:05 that night. I figured it was one night I'd pass on the Red Sox to see the show, and I hoped it wouldn't be an important game. It being an early season contest, I hoped for the best.

Oh well.

Last night turned out to be the Fenway Park debut of Daisuke Matsuzaka. I made a decision earlier this week that I would go into Professor Thom's for the first inning to check out Dice-K's start, and then head up to Carnegie Hall to see the Pat Metheny show, which fortunately didn't start until 8 PM.

The bar was jammed by game time. The game had the feel of a postseason game or a game against the Yankees, as so many people wanted to be together to the see Dice start. And of course, the first hitter to the plate for Seattle was Ichiro Suzuki. The flashbulbs were a-poppin' when Suzuki took the first pitch for a strike. He would ground back to the mound, the most popular ground ball back to the mound since Edgar Renteria hit one back to Keith Foulke on a memorable October night in 2004. Jose Vidro singled with two outs, and I thought, "Well, he won't pitch a no-hitter tonight."

After the top of the first I took off for Carnegie Hall by subway. I made it with plenty of time to spare. I had a tremendous seat, in the 11th row off the stage on the main floor. I've been to Carnegie Hall once before, to see Eric Idle do a one-man show in 2000. Before the show began, I checked my cell for the Sox game score, and it was 1-0 Seattle in the third. "It's early" I thought.

Pat Metheny is a world-class jazz guitarist whose been making great music since 1975. He's probably best known to many for his work on "The Falcon and The Snowman" soundtrack with longtime friend and keyboard player Lyle Mays, and the song, "This Is Not America" that he did with David Bowie, and was actually a hit song in 1985. (He's also well-known for the shaggy hairstyle he's always had as well.) He opened the concert with pianist Brad Mehldau, and they did a 35-minute, three song acoustic opening. Then their bassist, Larry Grenadier and drummer, Jeff Ballard, came on stage. They then did four songs, mostly from the last two Pat Metheny albums.

The band was very tight, and I was especially impressed with Jeff Ballard on drums. There was almost no chat with the audience until that set concluded, and Mehldau introduced the band. Then, Metheny brought out one of the most unusual instruments I have ever seen: a "Pikasso guitar." It has 42 strings on it, and it looks like (as well as sounds like) a cross between a guitar and a harp. (See the photo above, as it is Pat playing the Pikasso.) Metheny played a solo tune on it, and Mehldau explained that the guitar was especially made for Metheny.

The band came back on afterward and they played two more songs. I had my cell off during the concert, as there were parts of it (especially during the acoustic set) that if it went off, the whole concert hall would have heard it. Just before the encore started, my friend Steve sent me a text message: SEA 3, BOS 0. FINAL. Dammit, the offense went south again.

In all, the concert went two hours and fifteen minutes. I really enjoyed it, as Pat Metheny was in fine form, playing all types of guitars, and giving his fans their money's worth. He has always been a bridge between contemporary and traditional jazz, and his band was in great form as well. (For more, Pat's official web site is at: www.patmetheny.com)

When I got home, I discovered the Red Sox got only one hit the entire game, a single by J.D. Drew in the eighth. ("What, one goddamn hit?" as Bob Uecker famously asked in "Major League.") Felix Hernandez simply stymied the Sox all night long, and bested Daisuke in his Boston debut. Very frustrating to see the Red Sox bust out with 14 runs one day, and offense barely gets one hit the next. The Red Sox have now been shutout twice in eight games, and scored one run or less three times. I know it's very early in the season, but let's hope this isn't a trend. But the pitching continues to be very, very good.

As far as last night goes, I think I made the right choice to see Pat Metheny.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Two Touchdowns

It couldn't have been a more perfect day for the Red Sox on Tuesday afternoon.

The 1967 AL Champions were honored before the game, on the 40th anniversary of that incredible season, and they collectively threw out the first game balls. Nice to see so many of them together again. Robert Goulet was even there to sing, "The Impossible Dream," to honor the team and he did a nice job with it.

On a 43 degree day that would have been a better fit for the Patriots, the Red Sox scored early and often against Jeff Weaver, and the game was laugher after just two innings. Weaver couldn't find home plate, threw 70 pitches in two innings and was gone. It was 7-0, and it just got better for the Red Sox, and they coasted to a 14-3 win.

Julio Lugo reached four times in the first four innings, and J.D. Drew hit a home run to dead center that was simply amazing, the distance he hit with what looked like simple swing (the look on Weaver's face was simply priceless when he saw it go out).

Jason Varitek busted out with three hits, and Josh Beckett was masterful. In seven innings he allowed just one run on two hits. He threw just 84 pitches in dominating the Mariners, including striking out Ichiro Suzuki three times.

As the game was ending, there was some fireworks. After Brendan Donnelly struck out Jose Guillen to start the eighth, they started jawing at each other, and Guillen pointed the bat at him and made a move toward the mound. Cooler heads prevailed as Guillen was tossed from the game. Donnelly and Guillen have a bad history between them. Guillen, a known hothead and troublemaker, and Donnelly were teammates on the Angels in 2004 and didn't get along at all. That was also the year Guillen was sent home in September by Mike Scioscia in the middle of the pennant race for conduct detrimental to the club, despite having a fine year at the plate. He never returned to the Angels that year and was later traded. In 2005, while with Washington, Guillen had the umpires check Donnelly's glove in a game against the Angels that led to a an onfield confrontation between Scioscia and Frank Robinson that nearly got really ugly.

Donnelly then hit Kenji Johjima, the next batter, with a pitch and he was ejected. Donnelly later said that he didn't intentionally hit him. Well, no matter who you believe, don't invite Guillen and Donnelly to the same party.

Mike Timlin made his first appearance and wasn't sharp, gave up two runs to end the game at 14-3. It was a memorable Opening Day at Fenway, as it usually is.

And now the hype really gets going, as Daisuke Matsuzaka makes his Fenway debut tonight.

Trivia Q&A: April 10

We had 17 teams competing in the final Tuesday Night Trivia contest, as it will be moving to Monday beginning next week. I made the announcement of the switch before we got going, and there were some noticeable groans in the bar. There was a good crowd in the bar. I spent almost the entire day at Professor Thom's, as I spent the afternoon watching the Red Sox 14-3 mauling of the Seattle Mariners on Fenway's Opening Day. We had another fine night of Trivia, with the team known as Don Imus Fan Club pulling out a two-point victory.

The scores were a little higher than usual this week, as most teams seemed to do very well in The Q Train and General Knowledge (I guess I'll have to make them harder next week). Most teams got two of the five IQ Trivia questions right, and only one got "The Rubaiyat" question correct.

It was good seeing many of the regulars last night, but others were noticeably absent. I hope many of you can make it on Mondays from now until September (when Trivia Night will go back to Tuesday). I did hear from a few people that Monday isn't good for them, but with the Red Sox playing just about every Tuesday night, and the big crowds that they draw to Professor Thom's, a switch to Monday was inevitable.

Current Events
1. This prominent Republican said on Fox News Sunday this past weekend that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should resign over the firings of the US attorneys.
2. Radio talk show host Don Imus made controversial comments about this group last week, causing his two week suspension by CBS Radio on Monday.
3. This film was number one for the second straight week, taking in $23 million last week.
4. Johnny Hart, creator of this classic comic strip, died at his upstate New York home last Saturday.
5. Zach Johnson defeated Tiger Woods by two strokes to win this major golf tournament last Sunday.
6. Researchers say that tai chi may actually help prevent this painful skin condition in older people.
7. A nurse was arrested on Monday, accused of setting a fire that killed three people in a high-rise building in this city on March 28.
8. Four consecutive days of cold and snow wiped out an entire series of baseball games in this midwestern city over the weekend.
9. A cruise ship sank last week off the coast of this country, and two people are missing and presumed drowned.
10. A teenager and her mother were arrested in Illinois, accused of running an escort service through using an ad on this popular web site.

Answers: 1. Newt Gingrich; 2. Rutgers women's basketball team; 3. "Blades of Glory;" 4. B.C.; 5. The Masters; 6. shingles; 7. Houston; 8. Cleveland; 9. Greece; 10. Craigslist.

Quantity 1-10 Trivia
1. This amendment to the US Constitution is used to protect witnesses from being forced to incriminate themselves.
2. As of 2006, in our solar system, this is the number of bodies orbiting the Sun considered to be planets.
3. This number subway train in NYC runs from Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx to South Ferry in Manhattan.
4. This number was worn by baseball Hall of Famers Lou Gehrig and Earl Weaver.
5. In the Bible, this number day is the day God rested on after creating the world.
6. Julie Andrews starred in a 1979 film with just this number in the title.
7. Thomas Jefferson's portrait is on this numbered papered US bill.
8. This is the number of strings on a standard guitar.
9. This is the number of Beethoven's last completed symphony.
10. In astrology, Gemini is this number sign of the zodiac.

Answers: 1. five; 2. eight; 3. one; 4. four; 5. seven; 6. ten; 7. two; 8. six; 9. nine; 10. three.

True Or False ("The Q Train")
1. Rex is the Latin name for king.
2. Formica is made from plastic.
3. Miles Davis wrote the first jazz composition to win the Pulitzer Prize for music.
4. Socrates, the Greek philosopher, never wrote anything down.
5. Antarctica contains 70% of the world's fresh water.
6. Jazz musician William Basie was better known as "Duke."
7. The singer Prince's real first name is Harold.
8. The capital of Alaska is Anchorage.
9. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president.
10. The Loop is an historical center of downtown Los Angeles.

Answers: 1. true; 2. true; 3. false, it was Wynton Marsalis; 4. true; 5. true; 6. false, it was "Count," 7. false, his real first name is Prince; 8. false, it's Juneau; 9. true; 10, false, it's in Chicago.

General Knowledge
1. What was the title of the biggest hit song by the 1980s group The Weather Girls?
2. What crop is harvested by a thresher?
3. What is the only film released with an X rating to win the Academy Award for Best Picture?
4. In February 1999, what group acquitted President Clinton on all charges in his impeachment trial?
5. The Bay of Pigs invasion was designed to overthrow which political leader?
6. What city became the capital of Germany after the country's reunification in 1990?
7. Whose newborn son was featured on the 1953 premiere issue of TV Guide?
8. In 1976, Saigon was renamed in honor of which Asian world leader?
9. The Montagues and the Capulets are two feuding families in which Shakespeare play?
10. CAFTA, modeled after NAFTA, is an international agreement regarding what topic?

Answers: 1. "It's Raining Men;" 2. wheat; 3."Midnight Cowboy;" 4. US Senate; 5. Fidel Castro; 6. Berlin; 7. Lucille Ball; 8. Ho Chi Minh; 9. Romeo and Juliet; 10. free trade.

IQ Trivia
1. The region known as Patagonia is primarily located in which South American country? (5 points)
2. What classic poem features the line, "A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread and Thou?" (6 points)
3. During the US Civil War, what was the westernmost state in the Confederacy? (4 points)
4. Who sang the Oscar-winning song, "Things Have Changed" from the 2000 film, "Wonder Boys?" (5 points)
5. Felipe Calderon was elected president in a hotly contested election in which country in 2006? (5 points)

Answers: 1. Argentina; 2. "The Rubaiyat;" 3. Texas; 4. Bob Dylan; 5. Mexico.