All-Star Game at Minnesota

Friday, February 29, 2008

Welcome to The Delusional World of Hankenstein

Hank Steinbrenner (pictured) has been shooting off his yapper once again.

And he's declaring war on the Red Sox and their supporters. He gave an interview to the New York Times where he basically trashed Red Sox Nation:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/02/sports/playmagazine/02play-bronx.html?_r=4&hp=&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Here's the rantings:
"Red Sox Nation?” Hank says. “What a bunch of [expletive] that is. That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans. Go anywhere in America and you won’t see Red Sox hats and jackets, you’ll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We’re going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order.”

Hey, George is insane, and I think his kid has flipped his noodle, too. Hankenstein just can't help but run off his big bazoo and look like a total fool. And boy, is this guy totally delusional. "This is a Yankee country?" So, has Hank ever been out of New York City in his life? "Restore the universe to order?" Tee-hee. Hey, Hank, the days of the arrogant, obnoxious Yankee fan's birthright to win the World Series every year is over, forever. Get used to it.

This is going to be a fun year, watching the Baby Boss self-destruct when watching the Yankees fall short yet again. It's been too long since we've had fun watching a Steinbrenner go ballistic over every Yankee loss.

So, you want a war, jackass? You've got one.

(Thanks to the "Yes, Joe, It's Toasted" web site for the link to the Times article.)

Words To Live By



A few weeks ago, I decided to put up a section right above the countdown clock called "Words to Live By." I was watching the movie "The Shawshank Redemption" (a great film), when I heard the line from Andy Dufresne to his buddy Red in a letter he left him under a tree about "hope being a good thing." I have always been a fan of quotes and quotations, so I decided to leave Andy's hope quote on my blog.

Since then, I have put new quotes in there every few days. The quotes are about anything, including baseball. I have been changing them randomly. The quote up there now is the famous speech James Earl Jones makes to Kevin Costner in "Field of Dreams" about why he should not sell his farm. I got to thinking last night, with spring training baseball just under way, why not put up the clip on YouTube from the movie?

So, here it is. In honor of the Red Sox first spring training game (against MLB competition), here is all 43 seconds of it.

A nice warm thought on a cold, Leap Day in February.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

John Kruk Stalks The Con Man?

From today's New York Post, as The Carpetbagger's leaving camp:



I would guess no one will ever accuse that guy behind Clemens of being on HGH...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Red Sox at the White House

The Red Sox were honored at the White House by President Bush on Wednesday for their second championship in four years. I loved these two photos: "My fellow Americans, I have seized power in a bloodless coup today. You can now call me President Kick Ass of the F**k Yeah Brigade!"

"I knew if I delivered all of you in Red Sox Nation another championship, you'd make me president! And I'm the president, not Beckett. Because I've got the seal!!"


More photos of the Red Sox meeting with President Bush, courtesy of the Boston Globe:

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/gallery/02_27_08_white_house_visit/

The Ball Gets Rolling In D.C.

Congress today officially sent a letter to the Justice Department, and recommended that they launch an investigation into the possibility of bringing perjury charges against Roger Clemens. They said nothing about investigating Brian McNamee. It was a bi-partisan letter to the DOJ.

The Texas Con Man was expecting it, as was the rest of the country. Clemens continues to try to blow off the media as he pitches batting practice to Houston Astros players at spring training in Kissimmee, Florida.

It's the beginning of the end for Clemens, and he knows it.

Welcome to the Hall, Spaceman

I was pleased to hear yesterday that Bill Lee, one of the Red Sox most colorful players of all-time and a semi-regular at Professor Thom's who I've had the pleasure of meeting and talking baseball with, was selected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

The Spaceman joins pitcher Wes Ferrell, Mike Greenwell (another favorite of mine; glad he's in, too), infielder Everett Scott, pitcher Frank Sullivan, Mo Vaughn, scout George Digby and team executive Edward Kenney Jr. as the 2008 inductees.

The Hall of Fame induction dinner will take place on Friday, Nov. 7 at Boston's Marriott Copley Hotel.

He'll never make it to Baseball's Hall of Fame, but my congratulations to Bill on this honor by his former club. For a long time there was a strained relationship between the Spaceman and the Red Sox, but the ownership of the team led by John Henry reached out to him, and brought him back into the fold. (I'll never forget at the birthday party we had for Bill at Thom's in 2006, he referred to the Red Sox as "we.")

That should be quite an interesting night this November when Bill is inducted. I wonder if he'll mention "gerbils" or "brownshirts" in his acceptance speech...

Trivia Q&A: February 26

We had another huge crowd on a night with some adverse weather, as 19 teams participated again this week. The scores were generally good throughout the night, and the 1990s Trivia category had some very good numbers. Four teams battled for most of the night, and we had 10 teams withing four points of the lead heading into IQ Trivia.

Two questions in IQ Trivia were particularly tough, the General Custer and Phrygians ones. (Nobody got the latter answer right.) A team called Guess Who's Coming to Trivia got 19 points out of 25 in that round and finished first by two points, but they were disqualified from winning the contest and taking the first place prize because their team had too many players. (I had spoken to one of the players, my friend Mariangela, and we had agreed since they would have about nine players and did not want to split into two, they could not win first place.)

This was the first time this had ever happened, so the second place team, No Country For Fidel Castro, was awarded the championship for the night. (They have won many times under various names.) Congratulations to them on their victory.

Current Events
1. This actress won two "Razzie" awards on Saturday for playing twins in the film, "I Know Who Killed Me."
2. A birthday bash in NYC earlier this month for this actor sparked a scare because the bartender there came down with hepatitis, and anyone who was at it was encouraged to get a vaccination.
3. A B-12 stealth bomber, which cost $1.2 billion to build, crashed on this Pacific island on Saturday, with none of the pilots suffering injuries.
4. This Internet giant is offering $30 million in prizes to anyone who can get a robot to the moon and send back pictures and other data.
5. This country launched a ground incursion against the Kurdistan Workers Party in Northern Iraq on Saturday.
6. This perennial independent presidential candidate announced on Sunday he will make a bid for the White House this year.
7. Officials of this Asian country have blocked access to YouTube in their nation, due to concerns about cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.
8. The New York Philharmonic is playing a concert in this isolated country on Tuesday, and it will be broadcast on state-run TV and radio.
9. Two grandparents from Georgia won a Mega Millions lotto jackpot on Saturday. Within $10 million, how much was it?
10. This western US city was the surprising winner of the nation's tastiest tap water in a competition held last weekend.

Answers: 1. Lindsay Lohan; 2. Ashton Kutcher; 3. Guam; 4. Google; 5. Turkey; 6. Ralph Nader; 7. Pakistan; 8. North Korea; 9. $270 million; 10. Los Angeles.

1990s Trivia
1. On October 3 of this year, OJ Simpson is found not guilty on charges of the double murder of his ex-wife and her friend.
2. President Clinton famously wags his finger and denies he had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky on January 26 of this year.
3. The Summer Olympics are held in Barcelona, Spain from July 25-August 9.
4. Two teenagers open fire on teachers and classmates at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO on April 20, killing 13 people.
5. Nelson Mandela is freed from prison in South Africa after being jailed for nearly 27 years, on February 11.
6. MLB players walk out on "strike" on August 12, and the World Series that year is eventually canceled.
7. Bob Dole is defeated by Bill Clinton on November 5, as Clinton easily gets a second term.
8. Operation Desert Storm begins on January 16 with air strikes against Iraq.
9. David Letterman jumps from NBC to CBS, and his "Late Show" debuts from the Ed Sullivan Theater on August 30.
10. Tony Blair becomes British Prime Minister on May 1, beginning what would be 10 years as the country's leader.

Answers: 1. 1995; 2. 1998; 3. 1992; 4. 1999; 5. 1990; 6. 1994; 7. 1996; 8. 1991; 9. 1993; 10. 1997.

True or False ("The Q Train")
1. In the 1992 movie, "White Men Can't Jump," Rosie Perez' character appears on the game show "Jeopardy."
2. A beekeeper would typically wear a surplice.
3. Grammy Award winner Jimmy Sturr is known by the nickname "The Polka King."
4. In the 2000 film, "Traffic," Michael Douglas plays a high-powered federal official in charge of fighting drugs.
5. A creature that eats both plants and animals is called a carnivore.
6. A neon tetra is most likely found in an aquarium.
7. Ron Popeil was the founder of the Hair Club For Men.
8. During LASIK corrective eye surgery, the lens is the part of the eye operated on.
9. German is the official language of Austria.
10. The Korean War came to an end in July, 1953.

Answers: 1. true; 2. false, a priest would wear it; 3. true; 4. true; 5. false, it is an omnivore; 6. true; 7. false, Sy Sperling founded it; 8. false, cornea is operated on; 9. true; 10. true.

General Knowledge
1. The federal statute that extends health insurance to former employees of a company is called what?
2. What South American country has the longest coastline?
3. When iron rusts, it has a chemical reaction with what gas?
4. What artist created the 1962 painting "Twenty Marilyns?"
5. The historic Oregon Trail begins in what midwestern state?
6. Before retiring in 2001, businessman Jack Welch served as CEO of what company?
7. The territory that a Catholic bishop oversees is called what?
8. On the TV series "Three's Company," what was the name of the main characters' favorite bar?
9. What movie studio's logo features a woman on a pedestal holding a torch?
10. In which Alabama city was Rose Parks arrested in when she wouldn't give up her bus seat in 1955?

Answers: 1. COBRA; 2. Brazil; 3. oxygen; 4. Andy Warhol; 5. Missouri; 6. General Electric; 7. diocese; 8. The Regal Beagle; 9. Columbia Pictures; 10. Montgomery.

IQ Trivia

1. Which famous 19th century American general ranked last in his graduating class at West Point? ( 5 points)
2. What is the most popular first name for U.S. presidents? ( 4 points)
3. The legendary King Midas was based on a real king who ruled over what ancient peoples? ( 6 points)
4. Martin Luther King Jr. and his father were co-pastors of what Baptist church in Atlanta? ( 5 points)
5. The impressionist art movement was named after the painting "Impression: Sunrise" by what artist? ( 5 points)

Answers: 1. George Armstrong Custer; 2. James; 3. The Phrygians; 4. Ebenezer Baptist; 5. Claude Monet.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Somber 15th Anniversary

It's one of those days I will never, ever forget.

I was working for a company called TRIP, which stood for Tower Records Import Product. I was working that day in the Village, at the now-defunct Tower store on Broadway and E. 4th Street. I had just gone to lunch after working the morning in the store doing some inventories. It was a cold late February day in 1993, and some snow flurries were falling. I walked over to a deli on Waverly Place to pick up something. I walked out of the store and was heading down Broadway when I heard some police and fire sirens off in the distance. I looked up in the sky towards Lower Manhattan and I saw smoke in the sky. I knew something really serious was going on down there.

I got back to the office and put on a radio and I heard that there was an explosion at the World Trade Center. At first I didn't know what that was all about, but soon the news filtered out that a bomb had gone off in a parking garage beneath the North Tower. It was an act of terrorism that these shores had never seen before.

When I got home I heard that six people had lost their lives, and that over 1,000 people had been injured, mostly from smoke inhalation, and in the rush to get out.

It was a day all of us in America felt vulnerable. But that feeling would soon fade.

But it would return, 8 1/2 years later.

The photo I've enclosed in this post is from the memorial that was built in 1995 for the six victims of the 1993 bombing. Just a small piece with the name "John" survived after the 9/11 attacks. (That was from John DiGiovanni, one of the six victims.)

Please say a prayer for those victims lost 15 years ago today, as well as the 2,749 who perished at the World Trade Center eight years later. (The terrible irony for me was the person I was doing the inventories for that morning at Tower in 1993 was one of TRIP's sales reps, my friend Joyce, who lost her life at the WTC on September 11, 2001.)

The following words were from the inscription from the memorial for the victims of February 1993:

"On February 26, 1993, a bomb set by terrorists exploded below this site. This horrible act of violence killed innocent people, injured thousands, and made victims of us all."


May God rest their souls.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The 1990s: It Sure Wasn't Boring

This Tuesday night at Professor Thom's, we will be having a special round of "1990s Trivia," and it will be ten events that occurred in the previous decade. And in the round, you will have to tell me which year the event happened in. And like the 1980s Trivia category we did last month, none of the answers will be the same. (In other words, every answer will be a different year in the 1990s.)

We will have the other four categories as well, and we'll get going at the normal time of 9 PM.

This week's Sneak Peek question is:
When iron rusts, it has a chemical reaction with what gas?

We've been having some great turnouts on Tuesday nights, and I hope the possible rain we maybe getting tomorrow night won't keep you away!

The 1964 Phillies: Still the Gold Standard

Over the last few weeks, as spring training is just getting underway, I have heard over and over again about how the late-season collapse of the 2007 Mets was the "biggest choke in baseball history." I've heard it on the radio (WFAN naturally), and read it in the papers.

Let's get one thing straight here. The Mets collapse last year was simply awful and it was historic. And those who say it was the worst in baseball history are either Mets haters or just don't know their baseball facts.

It was not the worst collapse in history. Not by a long shot.

The worst collapse or choke in baseball history belongs to the boys who play across town. You may remember that the New York Yankees needed to win only one game out of four in the 2004 ALCS to take the pennant and go to the World Series. The Red Sox only staged the greatest comeback in postseason history to win the pennant, and went on to win the World Series.

But if we are limiting our discussion to the regular season, the gold standard for collapses still belongs to the Philadelphia Phillies of 1964. (And don't EVER let anyone tell you the 1978 Red Sox belong in the discussion. They don't. But that's for another time.)

Before I get into it, there is one team who no one remembers for a really historic end-of-the-season collapse: the 1987 Toronto Blue Jays. They were up by 3 1/2 games with seven to play in the AL East, and lost all seven, including the last three to the Detroit Tigers to give them division on the last day. That collapse seems lost to history.

I looked at both the '64 Phillies and the '07 Mets, and the Phillies collapse is still much worse. The Phillies had what looked like a totally insurmountable 6 1/2 game lead on September 20 with just 12 games to play over both St. Louis and Cincinnati, having beaten the Dodgers in LA that day. The Phillies had been a pretty consisent team all year, and their longest lead all year was 7 1/2 in late August. Their longest losing streak of 1964 going into September was 4 games, and they were in first place for most of the year.

They returned home for a seven-game homestand against Cincinnati and Milwaukee. They lost the first game 1-0, and then their pitching simply got hammered the rest of the homestand and they lost the remaining six games by a combined score of 48-26. After the final Milwaukee loss, they dropped into second place one game back of St. Louis. The Phillies went to St. Louis for three and got swept, and the third loss eliminated the Phillies from the race. They lost 10 straight, and found themselves out and in third place. They beat Cincinnati the last two games, which eliminated the Reds and gave the Cardinals the pennant. It was small consolation to a team that appeared to be coasting into the World Series just two weeks earlier.

The 2007 Mets were seven games up in the NL East with 17 games to play on September 12. That was basically their high water mark for the season (they were also up by 7 in late August). The Mets then lost 5 straight (their longest losing skid of the year), and the Phillies found themselves only 1 1/2 back. The Mets then appeared to right the ship, winning four out of five, the only loss being an extra inning loss at Florida. On September 23, the Mets were up by two games, as the Phillies kept pace with them.

The last week of the season was the killer for the Mets. Three teams that were playing out the season came into Shea Stadium and beat them, Washington, St. Louis and Florida, and the Mets lost five in a row again, and found themselves one game out after Game 160. The Mets hammered Florida in Game 161 while the Phillies lost to tie the division going into the final game of the year.

The Phillies won while the Mets lost 8-1 at Shea to give the Phillies the division. That may very well be the worst and most infamous week in Mets history. It will never be forgotten.

But it is not the worst collapse in regular season. The Mets still had a chance to go to the postseason on the final day of the season, while the 1964 Phillies were eliminated with two games still to play, after losing ten straight games. (The Mets may have had a half-game lead larger than the Phillies when their collapse began, but the Phillies lost their lead a lot quicker, with less games left in the season. The Phillies final two wins were just a band-aid on a gaping wound.)

It will be interesting to see if what happened last year affects this year's team in a negative way. A World Series title will make Mets fans forget what happened last year, and make it a virtual footnote in history. (F'n Boone's home run to win the 2003 AL pennant is now totally overshadowed by the Red Sox historic comeback of the following season, for example.) It took the Phillies over a decade before they got back into a legitimate pennant race, as they finally won the NL East in 1976.

So if anyone says that the Mets collapse was the worst in history, tell them they are wrong.

The Yankees of 2004 and the Phillies of 1964 own that indignity.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Red Sox Sign Colon

The Red Sox this evening reached an agreement with former Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon on a minor league contract. It had been rumored that Colon was all set to go to the Chicago White Sox, but that fell through last week.


Colon is insurance for the Sox, as Curt Schilling status to pitch this season remains a serious question mark. Colon has suffered through two injury-riddled seasons since he won the Cy Young Award as a 20-game winner with the Angels in 2005. It's also a minor league deal, so Colon has to prove he's healthy and still has something left.

Here are Colon's lifetime stats: http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/colonba01.shtml

I'll always remember Colon from the time the Red Sox were trying to get him in 2002 from Cleveland, but the Red Sox would not give up promising lefty Casey Fossum (remember him?) to complete the deal. Fossum eventually was traded in 2003 to Arizona in the trade for Curt Schilling, and now the Red Sox pick up Colon as a possible replacement for: Curt Schilling.


Talk about going full circle.

Tito's Staying in Boston Through 2011

The Red Sox finally cleared up some major unfinished business as earlier today they extended the contract of Terry Francona, who is easily the best Red Sox manager in my lifetime, to a three-year extension, with two club options.

All the details have not been confirmed yet, but Tito will remain as Red Sox skipper through the 2011 season. An official announcement should happen soon. His current deal was set to expire after this season. It is believed the two-time World Series-winning manager will earn between $3 million and $4 million per year. This will make him the seond highest paid manager in the game, right behind the Dodgers' Joe Torre.

Great move by the Red Sox brass. It's great to know that they've finally rewarded Tito, for all of his hard work. He's a great handler of players and the media, and clearly deserved a corresponding boost in salary.

Congratulations, Tito. Glad you'll be around for at least another four years.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Leatherman Meets The Liar


Which one of these two guys do I despise more? The Texas Con Man or You're With Me, Leather?

As much as I can't stand Berman, The Carpetbagger's in a category by himself.

(Thanks to Awfulannouncing.com for the pic.)

Sox Invade 1600 Pennsylvania Av. Wednesday

Just some odds and ends today. This morning, we got our 80,000th visitor to The Mighty Quinn Media Machine since I added the Site Meter back in April 2006. That person was from Burnsville, Minnesota and found the site through a Google search of Adrian Peterson's winning the Pro Bowl MVP award. The person was obviously a Vikings fan. (I was in Burnsville, Minnesota back in 1999 when I saw both the Vikings and Twins play at the Metrodome, and it is a suburb of Minneapolis.)

Once again, I thank all of you who come here, especially those who come here regularly. We've been getting 150-200 hits daily on a pretty regular basis. It's very much appreciated.

I saw at a web site called The Biz of Baseball (thanks to them for that cool photo I have here) that it was announced today that the Red Sox will be meeting with President Bush on Wednesday, February 27, at 3 PM, in the annual visit of baseball's World Series champions to the White House. Of course, they met with him back in March 2005 to celebrate their 2004 title.

Wouldn't it be nice if the Red Sox were able to pay a visit to John McCain, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton at the same address this same time next year?

The Red Sox confirmed that Manny Ramirez has switched agents, and he is now represented by the Devil Incarnate himself: Scott Boras. He becomes the seventh Red Sox player who have him as an agent, joining J.D. Drew, Alex Cora, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jason Varitek, Julian Tavarez and Jacoby Ellsbury. This is Manny's last year under the eight-year deal he signed in 2001, but the Red Sox still hold two option years for $20 million they will probably exercise, barring some unforseen circumstance. So, as much as it's never good news to see Boras reaching his tentacles into players like Manny, there's no concern for a couple of years at least.

I see that an 11-year-old boy claims to have taken a picture of Roger Clemens at that now-infamous BBQ that Jose Canseco threw in 1998, the one Clemens swore under oath he was not at. The boy's father saw the way Congress roasted Brian McNamee, and decided to come forward with the pic and turned it over to the investigators.

And now that horse's ass of a lawyer that Clemens has, Rusty Hardin, yesterday conceded that Clemens just might have been present at the barbeque.

Now, it's just a matter of when The Texas Con Man will be indicted for perjury, not if.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Red Sox Spring NESN/ESPN Schedule

My friend Jules passed along to me today the updated Red Sox spring schedule on NESN. The network is showing just seven Grapefruit League contests, along with the two regular seasons games being played in Japan this year. Here is the schedule:


Friday, February 29 vs. Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium, Ft. Myers, FL 7:00 PM
Sunday, March 2 vs. Minnesota Twins at Ft. Myers, FL 1:00 PM
Sunday, March 9 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers at Vero Beach, FL 8:00 PM
Sunday, March 16 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates at Bradenton, FL 6:00 PM
Monday, March 17 vs. New York Yankees at Tampa, FL 1:00 PM
Wednesday, March 19 vs. Toronto Blue Jays at Ft. Myers, FL 12:00 PM
Saturday, March 29 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers at LA Coliseum, 10:00 PM

And the two games to start the regular season in Japan:
Tuesday, March 25 vs. Oakland Athletics at Tokyo, 6:00 AM
Wednesday, March 26 vs. Oakland Athletics at Tokyo, 6:00 AM (Both games will also be broadcast on ESPN2.)

ESPN will also be showing two games involving the Red Sox in spring training:
Thursday, March 6 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers at Ft. Myers, FL 1:00 PM
Wednesday, March 19 vs. Toronto Blue Jays at Ft. Myers, FL 12:00 PM

SportsNet New York has one game featuring the Red Sox:
Monday, March 10 vs. New York Mets at Port St, Lucie, FL 1:10 PM

Here's the rest of the NESN regular season schedule:
http://www.boston.com/sports/nesn/programming/schedules/redsox/

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Clemens Post With No Mention of Steroids

My friend Adam sent me an email the other day about the alleged "the greatest pitcher of the modern era" Roger Clemens, and his postseason numbers with the Red Sox. As most of you Red Sox fans know, he had a very mediocre record for the Sox in his postseason appearances of 1986, 1988, 1990 and 1995. His record was 1-2, with an ERA of 3.88. He had only one shining moment in the postseason for the Red Sox: winning Game 7 of the 1986 ALCS to get the Red Sox into the World Series. But he also got hit hard in that World Series in Game 2, but the Sox hit Dwight Gooden harder and won. He pitched decently in Game 6, but he famously asked out after 7 innings (or did he?), as the Mets tied the game in the eighth, and...you know the rest.


His most infamous postseason Sox moment was Game 4 of the 1990 ALCS against Oakland, as he wouldn't shut up on the mound over a call in the second inning and got his ass tossed by home plate ump Terry Cooney (pictured), and the Red Sox wound up getting swept. His record after leaving the Red Sox, in the postseason with New York and Houston, is: 11-6, with an ERA of 3.70. (Of course, this was also the time when Clemens has since been accused of taking, oops, I promised not to mention that word. Sorry.)

Adam sent me a list of Red Sox pitchers who have started and won more than one postseason game since 1975, with the pitchers who've won the most games listed first:

Curt Schilling (6 series/8 GS) 46.2 IP 6-1 3.28 ERA
Pedro Martinez (8 series/ 11 GS/2 RA) 79.1 IP 6-2 3.40 ERA
Josh Beckett (3 series/4 GS) 30 IP 4-0 1.20 ERA
Derek Lowe (8 series/6 GS/ 11 RA) 62 IP 4-4 3.05 ERA
Bruce Hurst (3 series/7 GS) 51 IP 3-2 2.29 ERA
Luis Tiant (2 series/4 GS) 34 IP 3-0 2.65 ERA
Tim Wakefield (9 series/8 GS/7 RA) 51.1 IP 3-6 7.19 ERA
Rick Wise (2 series/2 GS/ 1 RA) 12.2 IP 2-0 4.97 ERA
Daisuke Matsuzaka (3 series/4 GS) 19.2 IP 2-1 5.03 ERA

Tied with Clemens:
Jon Lester (2 series/1 GS/2 RA) 9.1 IP 1-0 1.93 ERA
Oil Can Boyd (2 series/ 3 GS) 20.2 IP 1-2 5.66 ERA

It would have been nice if Clemens had shown up more often than not for the Red Sox in the four postseason years he pitched for them. He could have helped.

By the way, in researching some of Clemens' numbers on the Baseball Reference web site, did you know it costs an amazing $440 to sponsor The Texas Con Man's page for one year? (That's one part of the "Clemens Market Crash" hasn't been affected yet.) And what a surprise, NO ONE is sponsoring it now.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Entitled to Their Opinion, I Guess

Last Sunday, there was an article in the New York Post about that Penn study of MLB shortstops that said that Derek Jeter was the worst defensive shortstop in baseball. Well, you knew that would bring in the letters from those enraged Yankee fans. Well, the Post had a few today, and one of them caught my eye, so I thought I'd reply to it here.

For your perusal:
Jeter has won multiple Gold Gloves, Rookie of the Year honors, All-Star and World Series MVP designations and he has four World Series rings.
I do not remember Alex Rodriguez diving into the crowd for a foul ball, but was watching as Jeter did.
I also do not recall Clint Barnes or Jason Bartlett holding the record for hits in the post-season or wearing the captain's "C" for the most famous sports franchise in the world.
No matter where you go in the world, you always get a handful of jerks. It just seems they all converged on this one pathetic study.
George Brennan

Ridgefield, Conn.

Before I get going on the Jeter part of this goofy letter, let's get one thing straight here, Mr. Brennan. The New York Yankees are NOT the most famous sports franchise in the world. The Boston Red Sox are not, either. No American sports franchise is the most popular franchise in the world. That honor goes to Manchester United of the English Premier League, the most popular sports league in the world. They are a soccer team. You have heard of soccer, right?

Once again, I'm hearing about how the Yankees are the most popular/famous/renowned team in all the world. This has been coming out of the YES Network/Evil Empire Propaganda Machine for years, and it simply is NOT true. It seems like a lot of their fans buy into this palaver as well. Soccer is the biggest sport in the world, and no other sport comes even close, and that includes baseball. Soccer is the national sport in nearly 200 countries, whereas baseball is in about 6 countries. (I can think of the U.S., Venezuela, Taiwan, Japan, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.)

Manchester United's popularity is beyond staggering. Their matches are seen on every continent, either live or on tape, every week. (Can the Yankees, or any other sports team here make that claim?) They have fan clubs in many nations. Only Real Madrid, Spain's most popular soccer team, is higher in overall monetary value among world sports franchises. United's more popular than the Yankees and Red Sox combined.

And it pains me as a Liverpool fan to say all this, but it is true. I'm just tired of hearing this crap from these Yankee fans who think the whole world is in love with their team, and because they've won the most World Series, they are the biggest thing in sports around the world.

I love baseball, and it will always be my favorite sport. I am also a soccer fan, and nothing will ever reach soccer on a worldwide basis. People around the world may have heard of the Yankees or Red Sox, but for most people of Africa, South America, Asia and Europe, soccer is their burning passion, not some club with the largest payroll of any sports team in America that hasn't won a World Series in seven years.

Now, to Jeter. Mr. Brennan, the article was about Jeter's defense and range, not about his offense, the awards he's won or championships he's been a part of. (Being on four title teams doesn't make him the best SS in baseball necessarily.) The Gold Gloves don't mean anything, as it is a popularity award NOT based on statistics, and is little more than a joke. Clint Barmes (not Barnes as you wrote, get your facts straight) is the best on his range and defense, and it doesn't matter if he's never been on a championship team, worn the captain's initial, or has never "dived into a crowd for a ball." (By the way, Jeter caught that ball in 2004 against the Red Sox BEFORE he went into the stands, and his momentum took him into the seats. The catch Pokey Reese made earlier in that game was far tougher, as he had to REACH into the stands among Yankee fans to grab it. Pokey's catch was far better. Check it out the next time YES shows that game on "Yankee Classics.")

This was a study that tells it like it is, not a "pathetic" one as you say. It was a four-year study based on every ball put in play over that time. It proved that Jeter had the worst range of any SS in baseball. (If you watched baseball at all closely, you'd know that.) Jeter's a terrific offensive player who will probably go to the Hall of Fame one day. But he is totally overrated as a shortstop. I guess you just can't accept that your best shortstop is playing third base.

Yes Jack, The Sox Won the Damn Series



I saw this YouTube clip the other day on the "Surviving Grady" Red Sox web site, and I thought I would share this with you. I have to admit,I've never watched the TV show "Lost," which is about a group of survivors of a plane crash on an island in the South Pacific. But this is still a great clip.

One of the main characters is Jack, played by Matthew Fox, and I guess he's a Red Sox fan, as he uses the phrase, "That's why the Sox will never win the damn series" on the show, which is set in September 2004. But on one episode, to prove to him that they have contact with the outside world, a guy named Ben plays him a tape of the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series.

I love Jack's reaction when he sees it.

Great stuff. Thanks to Surviving Grady: www.survivinggrady.com.

Prayers For a Young Friend

I was shocked to learn yesterday that Kaylee, a young lady who is a Red Sox and Patriots fan from Arizona and frequents my site often, has been diagnosed with bone cancer. Kaylee is 16 and a blogger, and has gone through a really rough time recently.

Last year she underwent heart surgery, and now has gotten some more devastating news. But she is a tough young lady, and she will get through this really difficult time in her life. I've often told her to think of the example of Jon Lester, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in September 2006. Just 13 months later, he was the winning pitcher of Game 4 of the Red Sox sweep of the 2007 World Series.

Kaylee has two blog sites, if you'd like to say hello to her:
http://kaylee2.wordpress.com/
http://kaylee-wwwtheworldaccordingtokaylee.blogspot.com/

It makes me think of the words of a brave man named Jim Valvano, the college basketball coach who stared down cancer with these inspiring words:

“Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. But it can not touch my mind and it can not touch my heart and it can not touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. Don’t give up! Don’t ever give up!”

Hang in there, Kaylee. We're all praying for you.

Trivia Q&A: February 19

We had another fine turnout for Trivia on Tuesday night, as 19 teams took part in the festivities. The scores were rather low on the Oscar Trivia (I got a nice hand when I announced the category though), and no one got the five-point question about Harold Russell (although a few were close).

The scores were good for True or False, as well as for General Knowledge. We had five teams within five points of the lead going into IQ Trivia, but the leaders, Don't Tell Mom I Gave the Babysitter, had a phenomenal IQ round, getting 21 out of a possible 25 points, and would up winning by one of the largest margins in Trivia Night history, 13 points.

They were the team who finished in a tie a few weeks ago, and wound up losing on the tie-breaking Mike Lowell question. My congratulations to them on avenging that loss.

Current Events
1. Vaclav Klaus was re-elected as president of what Eastern European country last week?
2. Abraham Lincoln was selected as the greatest US president in a recent Harris Poll. What 20th century president was selected second?
3. The USDA has ordered the largest recall of this product last weekend.
4. Ryan Newman won this sporting event on Sunday, considered to be the "Super Bowl" of its sport.
5. This war-torn country declared its independence on Sunday, and should shortly be recognized by the US and many European nations.
6. This science fiction film, which opened to many scathing reviews, was the number 1 film in the US last week.
7. This European country's government last week rejected a proposed underwater natural gas pipeline going from Germany to Russia.
8. David Groh, an actor to shot to fame as Joe Gerard, husband to the title character of this 1970s sitcom, died last week at age 68.
9. This company announced it was ceasing production of HD DVD equipment, conceding the HD format war to rival Blu-Ray Disc format.
10. This TV mogul's company announced today that they had bought the rights to TV chef Emeril Lagasse's franchise of TV shows, cookbooks and kitchen products for almost $50 million.

Answers: 1. Czech Republic; 2. Ronald Reagan; 3. beef; 4. Daytona 500; 5. Kosovo; 6. "Jumper;" 7. Sweden; 8. "Rhoda;" 9. Toshiba; 10. Martha Stewart.

Oscar Trivia
1. What was the first "R"-rated film to win the Oscar for Best Picture? a. The French Connection; b. The Godfather; c. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest; d. Klute.
2. Who is the host of this year's Oscar ceremony? a. Whoopi Goldberg; b. Chris Rock; c. Billy Crystal; d. Jon Stewart.
3. Which actor won the Academy Award three times? a. Al Pacino; b. Jack Nicholson; c. Tom Hanks; d. Marlon Brando.
4. Who was the youngest performer to win an Oscar? a. Shirley Temple; b. Judy Garland; c. Tatum O'Neal; d. Justin Henry.
5. Which film, along with "Titanic," was nominated for the most Oscars (14)? a. The Color Purple; b. All About Eve; c. Ben Hur; d. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.
6. Which actress has been nominated for the most acting Oscars (14)? a. Meryl Streep; b. Katherine Hepburn; c. Bette Davis; d. Ingrid Bergman.
7. What the last film to win the "Big 5" Oscars: Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director and Writing? a. Titanic; b. The Godfather; c. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest; d. Silence of the Lambs.
8. Who was the last actress to win consecutive Best Actress Oscars? a. Luise Rainer; b. Katherine Hepburn; c. Sally Field; d. Meryl Streep.
9. Who was the oldest person ever to win an acting Oscar? a. Jessica Tandy; b. Henry Fonda; c. John Wayne; d. Gloria Stuart.
10. Harold Russell did what at the 1946 Academy Awards that had not been before and hasn't been done since? (5 points)

Answers: 1. a; 2. d; 3. b; 4. c; 5. b; 6. a; 7. d; 8. b; 9. a; 10. He won two Oscars for the same role, in "The Best Years of Our Lives."

True or False ("The Q Train")

1. The first time instant replay was used in a sporting event was the Army-Navy football game in 1963.
2. Pan is the Greek god of the underworld.
3. The mythical harpy is part bird and part man.
4. The Hope Diamond is blue because it contains traces of boron.
5. The term "tour de force" means "a feat of strength, skill, or artistic merit."
6. In the 2000 movie, "Cast Away," the castaway is an employee of United Airlines.
7. Dr. Robert H. Goddard was a pioneer in the field of rocket science.
8. Samuel Morse's nickname was "The Wizard of Menlo Park."
9. The novel "The Jungle" is an example of muckracking literature.
10. Barack Obama was actually born in the state of Indiana.

Answers: 1. true; 2. false, Hades is; 3. false, it is part woman; 4. true; 5. true; 6. false, he was a FedEx employee; 7. true; 8. false, it was Thomas Edison's nickname; 9. true; 10. false, he was born in Hawaii.

General Knowledge
1. Founded in 1792, what publication called itself "North America's oldest continuously published periodical?"
2. In the 1996 movie "The Birdcage," what type of establishment is The Birdcage?
3. The South American region known as the Pampas is primarily what type of land?
4. In his 1997 song, "I'll Be Missing You," Puff Daddy pays tribute to what late rapper?
5. A torn rotator cuff is an injury to what part of the body?
6. The skyline of what US city is depicted in the opening of the TV series, "Frasier?"
7. Popular in the 1990s, the Jerky Boys are best known for doing what?
8. By definition, what is a grotto?
9. Donald Rumsfeld was Defense Secretary under George W. Bush and what other president?
10. Cholesterol is classified as a type of what compound?

Answers: 1. Old Farmer's Almanac; 2. nightclub; 3. plains; 4. Notorious B.I.G.; 5. shoulder; 6. Seattle; 7. making prank calls; 8. cave; 9. Gerald Ford; 10. lipid.

IQ Trivia
1. What two countries border Mexico to the south? (5 points)
2. Since 1930, the Nancy Drew mystery books have been published under what pseudonym? ( 5 points)
3. What is the name of the largest section of the human brain? ( 4 points)
4. The paintings of H.R. Giger were the basis for the creatures of what 1980s science fiction movie? ( 5 points)
5. Released in 2001, what actor's debut album is a mix of country, rock and R&B called "Private Radio?" ( 6 points)

Answers: 1. Guatemala and Belize; 2. Carolyn Keene; 3. cerebrum; 4. "Alien;" 5. Billy Bob Thornton.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Adam Jasinski Is a Big Fat Idiot (& a Braindead Nitwit)

I picked up this morning's NY Daily News and I read a story about some guy who is on the reality show "Big Brother" who made an incredibly lame and offensive comment on the show about autistic children.

Apparently, Adam Jasinski, who allegedly works with autistic children, said, "I want to open a hair salon for kids with special needs so the retards can get it together and get their hair done." When one of his "housemates" rightly called him out on such a remark, this jackass defended it by saying, "Disabled kids, I can call them whatever I want, okay? I work with them all day. I'm not saying anything offensive...I bust my ass to help these special needs children!"

I just thank God the overwhelming majority of people who really do work with autistic children don't have this asshole's attitude.

As many of you know, I have two nephews who have been touched by autism. They are beautiful boys, and I love them very much. I can't begin to say how offended I am by this cretin's crap. Autistic children are not "retards." An Autism advocacy group has demanded this show be cancelled because of this remark, but CBS won't do that, because the show makes money for them. They distanced themselves from what this moron said, but it rightly has many people angry.

Jasinski allegedly runs a non-profit organization called United Autism Foundation, but the Daily News says that its web site says little about autism and just has pictures of this guy mugging for the camera. And apparently the foundation also doesn't show up with the Better Business Bureau or the IRS' databases of charities. This guy sounds like some sort of scam artist to me.

Here is his email address, from his web site, if you'd like to let him know how you feel about his thoughtless nonsense. (I sent him a few pointed words this morning): adam@bb9adam.com

I have called sports talk radio and the Grammy Awards both "a haven for braindead nitwits" but I think reality TV shows also fall into that category. I stay away from that genre of TV altogether (the only "reality TV" I watch is sports), as it attracts assholes like Jasinski who are so desperate for attention and will do ANYTHING to get on television. I'd rather watch mindless sitcoms than watch these reality "stars" acting like the stuck-up douchebags they really are. (Jasinski told a radio interviewer earlier this year: “I am an alpha male. I’m pretty much self-centered. I love myself.” What a shock, eh?)

Jasinski himself hasn't apologized to the families of autistic children, and I don't expect him to.

It would require too much thought and sensitivity for a braindead nitwit like him to do something like that.

Fidel Castro Resigns as Cuban Dictator

Castro (allegedly) finally bows out in Cuba. I couldn't help but think of these guys when the word got out:



"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss..."

Monday, February 18, 2008

Oscar Trivia on Tuesday

This coming Sunday night will be the 80th Academy Awards from Hollywood. So, to honor the biggest night in the movie industry, we will be having a special round of Academy Awards Trivia, to go along with the regular four categories we normally do.

The first nine questions in Oscar Trivia will be multiple choice, but the last question will be a special five-point version. It will be a tough one, and of course, it won't be multiple choice.

We continue to have some big crowds in for Trivia Night, and last week's bad weather certainly didn't scare many of the regulars away. I appreciate the dedication many of you have shown to our Trivia Nights. (For those of you looking for Oscar Trivia questions and answers, they will be posted on this blog on Wednesday morning.)

This week's Sneak Peek question is:
A torn rotator cuff is an injury to what part of the body?

I hope to see many of you on Tuesday night. Brush up on your movie trivia!

The Clemens Market Crash

The fallout from the Roger Clemens steroid scandal has now been felt in another area: memorabilia.

I read in today's New York Post that the market for Clemens stuff has literally fallen through the floor. The Post reported that an autographed Clemens jersey from his Red Sox days (pictured) had a suggested asking price on eBay of $160.27, and it sold for the meager price of $18.75. A mint condition Clemens rookie card from 1984 had an asking price of $75, sold for just $3.99.

So, if you're holding on to any Clemens memorabilia, you'll be taking a serious bath if you try to move it now.

David Kohler, a memorabilia expert, was asked what could bring the Clemens stuff back to its former value. He had a very interesting reply.

"His death."

Ouch.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

No, They're Not Kidding

Page 3 of today's Sunday New York Post has this screaming headline: "You've Got To Be Kidding!" in a story about how researchers at Penn have concluded that the worst fielding shortstop in baseball is none other than... Derek Jeter. (My friend Jim from Professor Thom's will probably be ecstatic when he reads it.)

If you've been watching baseball closely at all the last few years you already knew that.

The researchers used a complex formula to come to that conclusion, based on a study of all balls put in play from 2002-05. It's also based on three things: the ability to field fly balls (33%), line drives (25%) and ground balls (42%). Jeter's lack of range is certainly nothing new, but in an interesting twist, guess who finished second overall in the study?

Yes, the best shortstop on the New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez. (Clint Barmes of the Colorado Rockies was overall the best.) Here is the article: http://www.nypost.com/seven/02172008/news/nationalnews/youve_got_to_be_kidding__98050.htm

"The Yankees have one of the best defensive shortstops playing out of position in deference to one of the worst defensive shortstops," said Penn researcher Shane Jensen.

And in this article, I love all the anger coming from Yankee fans when informed of this study. Let's face facts, Derek Jeter is a terrific offensive player. Of all the Yankees, he's the one I guy I hate to see come up when they need a big hit with men on base. I've always believed he is way overrated as a shortstop. And the fact he has won three Gold Gloves means nothing. The Gold Glove award is the most overrated award in all of sports, and little more than a joke. It's voted on by managers and coaches, and they generally vote for the guys who've already won before or who live off their reputation, whether they deserve the award or not. Too many guys who should win, don't. And Jeter did NOT deserve to win the award in any of the three years he got them. (Orlando Cabrera, who finally won it in 2007, really should have won in 2005 and 2006.)

But you know that since Jeter is the Yankee captain, he will NEVER move off of shortstop, and especially with Rodriguez playing directly to the right of him.

Yankee fans may be in denial about this, but their best shortstop isn't playing the position, and probably never will be.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Shocker at Anfield

In a last-minute shocker, Liverpool was knocked out of the FA Cup 5th Round by Championship (second division) club Barnsley, 2-1, before a disbelieving throng at Anfield on Saturday.

I caught most of the match on Fox Soccer Channel. Liverpool had most of the play, as Dirk Kuyt scored in the 32nd minute to put the Merseysiders up 1-0. It stayed that way until Barnsley's Steve Foster scored in the 57th minute (pictured) off a beautiful cross. It looked for all the world like a replay at Barnsley was going to happen, until Barnsley captain Brian Howard scored with 35 seconds to play in added time to give Barnsley an incredible upset win and a birth in the FA Cup quarterfinals. (Barnsley is currently in the middle of the pack of the Championship, 29 places beneath Liverpool.) The Liverpool faithful booed the home side lustily at the final whistle.

This is one of the those losses Liverpool have only themselves to blame. They had many great chances to add to their lead, but every chance came to nothing. Barnsley's goalkeeper, Luke Steele, who was an emergency callup, played a phenomenal game in the net, and the Barnsley defense bent but didn't break, so all credit to them.

No league title, no FA Cup for Liverpool this year. The Champions League is all they have left, and an important match against Inter Milan on Tuesday.

Friday, February 15, 2008

"Steroids will follow this guy to his grave"

Last December, just before Christmas, I was contacted by a reporter named Lance Pugmire from the Los Angeles Times about a story he was writing about Roger Clemens and former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette. He contacted me through the fine Red Sox site I write for, Bornintoit.com.

I spoke to Lance for about 15 minutes. He asked me about being a Red Sox fan in New York, and for his article, what Red Sox fans thought about Roger Clemens since the Mitchell Report came out. He also asked me about how Duquette was viewed by us now that Clemens' legacy was severely tarnished.

I didn't see the article on the Los Angeles Times web site for a long time, and I figured maybe he decided to either postpone or not write the article at all. But I was doing a search tonight, and I discovered that Lance had indeed written the article, and 17 days ago, on January 29. I had no idea it ran, but it is a good article, entitled, "Clemens' Twilight Revisited."

Here it is: http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-clemens29jan29,1,7265251.story?track=rss&ctrack=1&cset=true

I am quoted at the end of page 1, and I'm proud to be a part of it.

For those of you who might not have been able to read the article, here is my part in it:

"The one person who comes out the best from the Mitchell Report is Dan Duquette," said John Brian Quinn, 45, a self-described "hard-core" member of Red Sox Nation who writes for the fan website bornintoit.com. "It seems clear now that Roger Clemens was a big-time juicer. Now, the fact is, we're thinking, 'Thank God we didn't bring him back, and that he's not associated with the Red Sox anymore.'

"Steroids will follow this guy to his grave."

My media empire continues to expand.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Spring Arrives as a New Countdown Begins

Spring has sprung! Well, the actual beginning to spring is still over five weeks away according to the calendar, but today is the day when pitchers and catchers report to spring training for the Red Sox at Fort Myers. Many of them have already arrived ahead of time, like Daisuke Matsuzaka (pictured, sporting a new mullet) and Jon Lester. The first workouts begin this weekend, and the first spring training games begin in two weeks.

Enough of all the talk of illegal drugs and lowlifes like Roger Clemens. Now is the time for baseball. Thank God it's about to return.

I've also updated my countdown clock at the top of the blog. The count is now on for the first regular season game, the opener in Tokyo on March 25th against the Oakland A's. Just under six weeks to go, and I'm sure it will be here before you know it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Former Future Hall of Famer Testifies

The circus is over. Bring on the Justice Department, and more importantly, the 2008 baseball season.

Clemens Admits Steroid Use?



Well, not really. My friend John in Omaha, NE sent me this very funny YouTube clip of that video that The Texas Con Man put out on the Internet back in December after the Mitchell Report first came out where he absolutely denied everything regarding his alleged steroid use.

This clip is a very funny and creative edit, and in honor of Clemens' Congressional appearance today, I thought you might enjoy this,which lasts a little less than a minute and a half.

Trivia Q&A: February 12

On a snowy night in New York City, we had an amazingly good turnout of folks at Professor Thom's on Tuesday night. We have an incredibly loyal following who must have their trivia! I appreciate all of you who made it, as we had 14 teams take part.

The scores for the first two rounds were generally on the lower side, especially for Presidents Trivia. (BTW, every single team answered "John F. Kennedy" to question #9 about the only president to take the oath of office on a Catholic missal. Only one other person in the bar knew it was Lyndon Johnson.) The scores of the other rounds were much better, and we had four teams seperated by three points going into the last round.

A team called Herbie Rides the Q Train got 15 points in the last round, and held on to win by the slimest of margins: one point. It was a good final round, as six teams got at least 10 or more points. (Nice job by Jerry's Squids getting 30 points in the last two rounds to finish a strong second.) The Herbie team has won many times, and my congratulations to them on their win.

Current Events
1. This Midwestern state's Supreme Court ruled the electric chair unconstitutional las week, saying it was a "dinosaur more befitting the lab of Dr. Frankenstein than the death chamber."
2. Five people died in an explosion last week at a sugar refinery in this Southern state.
3. An autopsy on former child star and actor Brad Renfro concluded he died because of this.
4. Camden Market, an historic shopping and tourist site in this city, was hit by a devastating fire that damaged many buildings on Saturday night.
5. Harvard Lampoon Magazine selected this media star as its' "Woman of the Year" for 2008 last week.
6. This jazz legend won the Album of the Year Grammy on Sunday, the first jazz album to win the award since 1964.
7. Tom Lantos, a Congressman from this state and the only Holocaust survivor to serve in Congress, died of cancer Monday at the age of 80.
8. Paintings by Cezanne, Degas, Van Gogh and Monet were stolen from a museum Monday in this European city.
9. America's Line has now listed this presidential candidate as the 6-5 favorite to win election this November.
10. Gregg Bergensen, a Defense Department analyst, was arrested yesterday and charged with espionage after being accused of leaking American military secrets to this nation.

Answers: 1. Nebraska; 2. Georgia; 3. heroin overdose; 4. London; 5. Paris Hilton; 6. Herbie Hancock; 7. California; 8. Zurich; 9. Barack Obama; 10. China.

Presidents Trivia

1. Which set of two presidents were actually grandfather and grandson?
2. Who were the last two incumbent presidents to be defeated for re-election?
3. What state have the most presidents come from?
4. Before 1937, when January 20 became Inauguration Day, what day of the year was Inauguration Day held on?
5. Within $50,000, what is President Bush's current annual salary?
6. What did the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution change about the presidency?
7. What former US president once ran as a candidate of the Bull Moose Party?
8. Who was the first Republican elected president?
9. What US president was first sworn in not on a Bible, but on a Roman Catholic missal?
10. Name 2 of the 3 qualifications for a person to be eligible to be elected president.

Answers: 1. William H. and Benjamin Harrison; 2. George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter; 3. Virginia (9); 4. March 4; 5. $400,000; 6. The two term limit; 7. Theodore Roosevelt; 8. Abraham Lincoln; 9. Lyndon Johnson; 10. Born in the US; at least 35 years old; a resident of the US for at least 14 years.

True or False ("The Q Train")

1. In Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein's monster reads the book, "Paradise Lost."
2. The Kelley Blue Book is used to check the fair market price of securities.
3. Casey Jones, of railroad fame, was in fact a real person.
4. A frog is considered an amphibian.
5. The aqualung was invented by Benjamin Franklin.
6. Michael Jackson was born in the state of Indiana.
7. A new McDonald's restaurant opens every day in the world.
8. France produces the most wine in the world.
9. The fabric of the Lone Ranger's mask was made from his brother's vest.
10. The color of a bride's wedding dress in China is black.

Answers: 1. true; 2. false, it is of cars; 3. true; 4. true; 5. false, Jacques Cousteau invented it; 6. true; 7. true; 8. false, Italy does; 9. true; 10. false, they are red.

General Knowledge

1. On a ten-speed bicycle, the derailleur is a device used to do what?
2. Kala is the adoptive mother of what fictional character?
3. String theory is a modern advancement in what scientific discipline?
4. Singers Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield are known professionally as what group?
5. A sufferagette is a woman who campaigns for a woman's right to do what?
6. The Barbary Coast, famous for pirate activity, is found on what continent?
7. Which two countries fought the Hundred Years War?
8. A graphic equalizer is a common feature on what piece of equipment?
9. What rock musician wrote, produced and starred in the film, "Give My Regards to Broad Street?"
10. What 1970s TV series was based on the novel, "Cyborg?"

Answers: 1. change gears; 2. Tarzan; 3. physics; 4. The Righteous Brothers; 5. vote; 6. Africa; 7. Britain and France; 8. stereo system; 9. Paul McCartney; 10. "The Six Million Dollar Man."

IQ Trivia

1. What English outlaw's real name was Edward Teach? ( 6 points)
2. In the Oscar-winning film "Rocky," what was the name of Rocky's pet dog? ( 5 points)
3. What Renaissance artist was an apprentice to the sculptor Verrocchio? ( 5 points)
4. People with seasonal affective disorder become depressed due to a lack of what? ( 4 points)
5. Which legendary American showman actually asked a New York newspaper to print his obituary in their paper so he could read it before he died? ( 5 points)

Answers: 1. Blackbeard; 2. Butkus; 3. Leonardo da Vinci; 4. sunlight; 5. P.T. Barnum.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It's High Noon For Clemens

His appearance before Congress tomorrow starts at 10 AM, but it is High Noon for Roger Clemens on Wednesday, as he will plead his innocence before them that he never took any performance-enhancing drugs.

Let's face the facts. The Texas Con Man has boxed himself into such a corner that he has absolutely no choice but to do that.

You'd have to be blind or some kind of crazy Clemens fan to believe in his innocence. Right now he can't go before Congress and say that Brian McNamee supplied him and shot him up with PEDs. If he were to do that, he can kiss his Hall of Fame induction, his legacy and millions of dollars in endorsements goodbye. So he HAS to go before Congress and risk perjury and declare his innocence.

The case against him is just too strong. Two days after The Mitchell Report came out, Andy Pettitte came clean and admitted that McNamee shot him up (at least twice) with HGH. That was a near-death blow to Clemens, as the public simply won't believe that McNamee told the truth about Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch (who also came clean about his dealings with McNamee), but that McNamee was making some incredible lie about Clemens. Pettitte had plenty to lose, so he came out and admitted that the Mitchell Report was indeed truthful about him.

Brian McNamee had EVERYTHING to gain by telling the truth, and nothing to gain by lying. George Mitchell found the evidence he provided his committee to be so compelling that it became the centerpiece of his report. Mitchell was not about to put his hard-earned reputation on the line for something if he thought it was just circumstantial or without some merit. The Feds were in the room as McNamee told his story, and the threat of serious jail time hanging over his head if he lied. So why on earth would he come clean about everyone but Clemens?

McNamee also saved some syringes and other evidence he said he used to shoot up Clemens years ago. I can only imagine he held on to them as a sort of "get out of jail free" card, as he knew what he did was illegal, and if law enforcement ever caught him, he could use it for his own benefit. But if this is true, why didn't McNamee turn it over to the Mitchell Commission, or even mention he was holding on to it? I'm curious to see if anyone in Congress brings that up tomorrow.

You may also have seen Clemens "glad handing" members of Congress last week, as he met with 19 Congressmen on Capitol Hill who will be involved in Wednesday's proceedings. This strikes me as more than a little odd. And like the hearings of 2005, these lawmakers seemed to turn into schoolboys at the sight of seeing such a famous athlete. They asked for autographs and had pictures taken with him. This makes Wednesday's proceedings seem almost compromised. How would it look if someone who was about to go on trial for a serious crime was seen palling around the jury just before the trial began? (Clemens WILL be on trial on Wednesday, and in the court of public opinion especially.) It will turn into even more of a pathetic circus than it already is.

Last night, the shocking news came down that Pettitte will not testify tomorrow, as he doesn't want to badmouth his onetime buddy and teammate before the whole world. He's already given a sworn deposition before Congress, so that is on the record. Rumors are swirling that Pettitte was a terrible witness, contradicting himself, but he especially backed up a lot of what McNamee claims about Clemens.

Clemens has also done himself a disservice with this screwball attorney of his, Rusty Hardin. He's dug Clemens even further into a hole, with that taping of the phone call between Clemens and McNamee and releasing it to the public. (That may have been the move that made McNamee take off the gloves and declare war.) Hardin's statement about how Clemens will "eat the lunch" of investigator Jeff Novitzky got him into trouble with Congress. And the way he's attempted to besmerch McNamee (he still hasn't explained why Clemens stayed with McNamee after a 2001 investigation regarding McNamee and a Florida woman over a possible date rape was dropped, if McNamee was of such low character) has made himself look like a real low-rent character.

One observer may have put it best about Wednesday's hearings. It's like watching two speeding trains heading right for each other on the same track. We do know one thing. If both men testify to what they said in their depositions, someone is lying through their teeth. It is rumored that Congress will turn the case over to the Justice Department right after it's over, and they will persue a perjury charge against the man they think is lying. (They won't be afraid to put Clemens behind bars. Uncle Sam doesn't like being lied to. Remember Martha Stewart.)

The circus comes to Washington on Wednesday morning. It will be must-see TV to see both Clemens and McNamee together in the same room talking about steroids and PEDs.

It's High Noon for Roger Clemens.

Everything, EVERYTHING is on the line for him on Wednesday.

I'll be watching. And I sure as hell won't be rooting for him.

Monday, February 11, 2008

In Honor of Honest Abe

This week's special category for Trivia Night will be Presidents Trivia, in honor of the 199th birthday of our most beloved president, Abraham Lincoln. And since the Presidents Day holiday follows next Monday, why not do something special to honor those 42 men who've held the highest office in this land?

We will also have the usual four categories to go along with it, and we will get going at the standard time of 9 PM.

The Sneak Peek question for Tuesday night is:
A graphic equalizer is a common feature on what piece of equipment?

I hope to see many of you for Trivia on Tuesday night.

Peterson Wins Pro Bowl MVP

Adrian Peterson of the Vikings capped off a truly amazing rookie season by leading the NFC to a 42-30 win in an entertaining Pro Bowl on Sunday in Honolulu.

Peterson rushed for 129 yards and scored two touchdowns in the second half to lead the NFC to a comeback victory. Peterson posed with the new car he won as Pro Bowl MVP at midfield after the game. He said his goal for the game was "to win the game and become MVP."

Mission accomplished.

It was a really spectacular way to finish off one of the best rookie seasons any running back has ever had in NFL history. Peterson set the rushing record against the San Diego Chargers with 296 yards, and became the first back ever to have two 200 yard rushing games in the same season. Now he became the second rookie ever to win the Pro Bowl MVP, joining Marshall Faulk, who did it in 1995.

Broncos safety John Lynch may have said it best about Adrian Peterson and the day he had on Sunday: "He's going to wreak havoc in this league for a long time."

I sure hope so. Congratulations, AP.

Roy Scheider Dies at 75



I was saddened to learn on Sunday night that the versatile actor Roy Scheider died at the age of 75 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He had been battling myeloma, but the exact cause of his death has not been revealed as of yet.

Mr. Scheider was originally from New Jersey, and best known for his roles in "Jaws," as police chief Brody, who utters the immortal line, "We're gonna need a bigger boat." And he was also nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor for his role in "All That Jazz."

But Mr. Scheider rose to prominence in one of my all-time favorite movies, "The French Connection," as Buddy Russo, the partner of Gene Hackman's Popeye Doyle. I have seen the film at least 50 times in my life, and Roy Scheider was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor. The film won Oscars for Hackman, and also won for Best Picture and Best Director, for William Friedkin in 1972.

So to honor the memory of Mr. Scheider, I have included a two-minute YouTube clip of he and Gene Hackman convincing their superior to form a special task force to nail a suspected heroin dealer. The superior is played by Eddie Egan, the real-life cop who uncovered the real-life French Connection in New York in 1962.

More on Roy Scheider's career: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Scheider

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Youk Agrees to One-Year Deal

The Red Sox and Kevin Youkilis avoided arbitration on Sunday and they agreed on a one year deal for $3 million. Youk was seeking $3.7 million and the Sox offered $2.5 million, so they basically met in the middle. It is a substantial raise for the Sox first baseman.

Once again Theo Epstein avoids arbitration with a Red Sox player, and in his whole tenure in Boston he has never gone to arbitration with any player.

More from the Boston Globe:
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2008/02/youksox_agree_t.html

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A Happy Truck Day to All of You

Today in Boston, the unofficial start of Spring Training kicked off when the annual ritual of the tractor trailer truck moving equipment from Fenway Park to Fort Myers, Florida occurred this morning. Yes, it's Truck Day in Red Sox Nation.

Most of America looks at Groundhog Day as the harbinger of the coming spring, but for Red Sox fans, the Truck means that the spring is not far away.

The Truck, from Atlas Van Lines, left Fenway at 10 this morning, and will spend most of the time on Route 95 going down south. It should reach Ft. Myers by Sunday or Monday. And courtesy of the Boston Globe and Google, here is the route the Truck will be taking on its nearly 1,500 mile journey to Florida:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=&saddr=2+Yawkey+Way,+Boston,+MA&daddr=2201+Edison+Avenue,+Fort+Myers,+FL&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=31.095668,59.238281&ie=UTF8&z=5&om=0

Hope you all have a Happy Truck Day. Raise a cold one tonight to the coming season, as spring is just around the corner.

"The Sign Man" Dies

I was saddened to learn on Friday night that Karl Ehrhardt, the one-time fixture behind the third base dugout at Shea Stadium for Mets games from 1964-1981, passed away at his home in Queens at the age of 83.

Mr. Ehrhardt was always at Shea from as far back as I could remember as I was growing up with the Mets. The one-time Brooklyn Dodger fan and World War II German prisoner of war translator seemed to have a sign at the ready for every occasion and for almost every situation. I will remember fondly some of the signs he held up during the 1969 World Series, such as when the Mets were about to wrap it up, he held up at the Baltimore Orioles: "Bye Bye Birdies" and when Cleon Jones caught the final out of the Series and the Mets were the champions, an appropriate one went up: "There Are No Words."

A nice article about Mr. Ehrhardt appeared in the New York Times two years ago about his run at Shea as "The Sign Man":
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/18/sports/baseball/18cheer.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

My sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Ehrhardt, and my thanks to Metsblog.com for a nice tribute on their site to "The Sign Man."

Friday, February 08, 2008

Another Classic Post Back Page


Here is today's back page of the New York Post.

Just some more "Clemens Schadenfreude" for your enjoyment.

Pedro Should Use Better Judgment

You may have heard about this "controversy" today. Apparently, a clip surfaced on YouTube of Mets star pitcher Pedro Martinez and Hall of Famer Juan Marichal were at a cockfight in the Dominican Republic two years ago, and both were there as "honored guests."

This has rubbed a lot of people in the US the wrong way, especially those PETA lunatics. While most folks here, including myself, find the act of two roosters battling to the death to be pretty repulsive, it is not illegal in the Dominican Republic, and it is something that seems to be ingrained as a sport for many of that culture. A good comparison would be that of bullfighting, which has a long history as a sport in Mexico and Spain. It is also something illegal in the US, and something that doesn't appeal to me as entertainment.

And I find the comparisons to Michael Vick and the dogfighting ring he led to be pretty ridiculous. The only thing they have in common is that both dogfighting and cockfighting are illegal in the US (however, New Mexico is still the lone state that hasn't banned cockfighting). Vick did something ILLEGAL, and made money off of it, and deserved to go to prison. If Martinez was RUNNING a cockfighting ring in the US (or even appeared at one here), that would be some serious trouble for him. Pedro probably showed bad judgment in going to that fight, even if it was totally legal in his home country. It's like a star athlete going into a strip club. It's not wrong by the law, it's just that it doesn't look good.

Apparently, PETA sent letters to Pedro, Marichal and Bud Selig, and wants Pedro to undergo "animal sensitivity training," the one that Vick had to after he was convicted on dogfighting charges. Fat chance of that happening. He issued a statement defending his appearance at it.

To me, this whole thing is a big non-issue. It doesn't impact baseball, and Martinez did not do anything illegal. He should use better judgment in the future, knowing that being at one of those fights will not endear himself to many people in the land where he made his name.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Schilling Out For 2008?

It was revealed today that the shoulder woes that shut Curt Schilling down for nearly two months in 2007 has resurfaced again, and it sounds like it might be a lot more serious than what ailed him last season.

It sounds like for sure he won't be ready for Spring Training, and right now Schilling and the team are in a dispute over whether he should have surgery for a possible torn rotator cuff. It is now also rumored the club attempted to void his $8 million deal for 2008 over his troubled shoulder.

Schilling saw the doctor who did surgery on his shoulder back in 1995, but he was not speaking publicly about it. Surgery was kill the 2008 season for him, and it might just be the end of his career as well. He just turned 41, and you have to wonder how much he could have left if he undergoes the knife.

If Schilling is out for any extended period, this might open the door wide open for Clay Buchholz. We will see what happens. 38Pitches should be interesting reading over the next few weeks.

Here is the Boston Globe's story about it:
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2008/02/07/schilling_sidelined_with_more_shoulder_issues/

Find The Losing Presidential Candidate

I have to admit, I find this funny. Topps is putting out a special card this year of Your 2007 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, and in the middle of it there is a superimposed picture of Rudy Giuliani, that "pseudo-Sox fan" joining in the middle of the celebration after the win in Colorado.

You may remember that Giuliani really pandered to voters in New Hampshire last October when he said he was pulling for the Red Sox in the World Series because he was "an American League fan." He came off as the worst type of politician, who'll say anything just to get your vote.

Wonder how he feels now that he's been shown in the middle of that pile of Red Sox players? He's got plenty of time to consider it these days, as he won't be welcoming the Sox, or any other team to the White House, as he won't be moving to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue any time soon.

Here's more about the card: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/baseball/mlb/02/05/bc.bba.giuliani.redsox.ap/index.html

10/16/99: Sox vs. Future Convicted Perjurer



Many of us in Red Sox Nation are really enjoying watching Roger Clemens squirm this winter, with the Mitchell Report, the denials, his jackass lawyer, etc. But here's a real blast from the past, courtesy of my friend Adam. This clip is from October 16, 1999, which was Game 3 of the 1999 American League Championship Series between the Red Sox and Yankees at Fenway Park. It is from the bottom of the first inning, when the Sox tagged The Carpetbagger for two fast runs, courtesy of a Jose Offerman triple and a home run from John Valentin.

That day is still one of my most favorite days ever in a Major League Baseball stadium. I was sitting behind third base with my friend Greg and his son. We got tickets from Willie Randolph, then Yankee third base coach. We sat in section of Yankees' players families, and I was about the only person in that section rooting for the Red Sox. (Unfortunately it would be the highlight of that series, as it was the only Red Sox victory in 5 games.)

I was proud to be one of those 33,000 or so fans who loudly serenaded Clemens that day, and it was a joy to watch him fall on his face before the fans he so betrayed.

And it will still be a pleasure to watching the Future Convicted Perjurer squirm some more, especially in front of the entire world, as this sorry saga goes on.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Kielty Signs With Sox; Coco Going?

The Red Sox came to terms last night with free agent outfielder Bobby Kielty on a one-year deal for about $800,000. The hero of Game 4 of last year's World Series originally said he did not want to return to the Red Sox if Coco Crisp was not traded, as he did not want to become a fifth outfielder.


So Kielty's return to Boston opens new speculation that Crisp will be dealt before the season starts. Gordon Edes, in Tuesday's Boston Globe, said there is no trade involving Crisp that is imminent.

I like the fact Kielty will be back. He's a good outfielder who can play all three positions and hits left-handed pitching extremely well. Coco was superb in center last year, but the future there is clearly Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury has had a history of injuries, so keeping Coco might be a wise move. Even if Ellsbury stays healthy, Terry Francona would still find a way to get Crisp 300 at-bats.

Trivia Q&A: February 5

It was another huge night of Trivia on Tuesday night, as 22 teams took part. The scores were generally good for True or False and General Knowledge, but Grammy Awards Trivia's numbers were not nearly as good. We had six teams with at least 30 points heading into IQ Trivia, and they were separated by only three points.

A group new to Tuesday Night Trivia called The Panty Droppers led for most of the evening, but slipped into second going into the last round. But they rebounded nicely, getting all 25 points in IQ Trivia, to take the crown by a full eleven points. My congratulations to them on their victory.

Current Events
1. NASA announced that they will beam this appropriately titled Beatles song throughout the galaxy to Polaris, the North Star, this week, and it will take over 431 years for it to reach its destination.
2. This Hollywood star was acquitted on tax fraud charges last week, but was found guilty on three counts of failing to file a tax return.
3. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen claimed recently that the genetic lineage of all people with eye color can be traced back to a single ancestor.
4. According to a recent poll in the UK, 58% of Britons surveyed said they thought this legendary fictional literary sleuth actually existed.
5. Google said over the weekend that this computer technology giant's proposed $42 billion acquisition of Yahoo could give it illegal control over the Internet.
6. Within $1 trillion dollars, how large a federal budget did President Bush introduce to Congress on Monday?
7. This automotive giant said last Saturday that it is recalling over 200,000 vehicles for the second time to address concerns about a cruise control deactivation switch.
8. This airline announced that beginning this May it will begin charging domestic fliers to check in a second piece of luggage if they are not part of its frequent flier programs.
9. This city was recently chosen as "America's Unhealthiest City to Commute In" by Forbes magazine.
10. Residents of a small town in this Eastern state will get to vote in March on a measure passed drafting indictments against President Bush and Vice-President Cheney for "crimes against the Constitution."

Answers: 1. "Across the Universe;" 2. Wesley Snipes; 3. blue; 4. Sherlock Holmes; 5. Microsoft; 6. $3.1 trillion; 7. Ford; 8. United; 9. Los Angeles; 10. Vermont.

Grammy Awards Trivia
1. In which city will this year's Grammy Awards be held in? a. Miami; b. New York; c. Los Angeles; d. Nashville.
2. Which rock group has won the most Grammys, with 22, in its history? a. Rolling Stones; b. U2; c. The Who; d. The Beatles.
3. Which individual pop music artist has won the most Grammys? a. Michael Jackson; b. Stevie Wonder; c. Madonna; d. Frank Sinatra.
4. Who won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 2007? a. Carrie Underwood; b. Corinne Bailey Rae; c. James Blunt; d. John Legend.
5. Which of the following artists has never won a Grammy? a. Paul Simon; b. Led Zeppelin; c. Bob Dylan; d. Eric Clapton.
6. Which rock group's LP "Two Against Nature" won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 2001? a. Radiohead; b. Santana; c. Steely Dan; d. REM.
7. Which artist won the award for Best R&B Album in 2007? a. Mary J. Blige; b. John Legend; c. Alicia Keys; d. India Arie.
8. Who was the first rock band, in 1968, to win the Album of the Year Grammy? a. Rolling Stones; b. Blood, Sweat and Tears; c. Simon and Garfunkel; d. The Beatles.
9. True or False: Comedian Bob Newhart once won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
10. Name one of the three music legends who've won the Album of the Year Grammy three times.

Answers: 1. c; 2. b; 3. b; 4. a; 5. b; 6. c; 7. a; 8. d; 9. true; 10. Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon.

True or False ("The Q Train")
1. The island group known as the Azores are found in the Pacific Ocean.
2. Marlon Brando portrayed Superman's father in the 1978 movie, "Superman."
3. The land that makes up the District of Columbia was donated by the state of Virginia.
4. The Ebola virus was named after a river.
5. The Evelyn Wood program is best known for teaching public speaking.
6. A cow has four compartments in its stomach.
7. A male moose sheds its antlers once a year.
8. In 19th century Japan, it was customary for women to dye their teeth black.
9. The primary characteristics of strobe lighting is a reddish glow.
10. Jakob Dylan, son of Bob Dylan, is the lead singer of the band The Wallflowers.

Answers: 1. false, they are in the Atlantic; 2. true; 3. false, Maryland did; 4. true; 5. false, it is speed reading; 6. true; 7. true; 8. true; 9. false, high speed flashing; 10. true.

General Knowledge
1. "Looking glass" is an old fashioned term for what?
2. If you lived in 6th century Europe, what historical time period would you be in?
3. The Broadway musical "Dreamgirls" is most often compared to the story of what real-life singing group?
4. What natural phenomenon produces a feature called "aa"?
5. What is the term for lowland areas, such as swamps and bogs, that are saturated with water?
6. What immortal literary character was created by Edgar Rice Burroughs?
7. The logo for the board game Candy Land consists of letters formed by what candy?
8. In the 1993 movie "Sleepless in Seattle," how does Annie first find out about the widowed Sam?
9. The Rastafarian religion recognizes what African leader as a god?
10. What character, in Shakespeare's "Hamlet," fatally stabs Hamlet with a poisonous sword?

Answers: 1. mirror; 2. The Dark Ages; 3. The Supremes; 4. volcanic eruption; 5. wetlands; 6. Tarzan; 7. candy cane; 8. radio talk show; 9. Haile Selassie; 10. Laertes.

IQ Trivia
1. Gymnophobia means a fear of what? ( 5 points)
2. The Fort McHenry flag that inspired "The Star Spangled Banner" had how many stars? ( 5 points)
3. In 1497, what explorer became the first to sail around Africa to India? ( 4 points)
4. The Credit Mobilier scandal of the 1860s in the US involved corruption in what industry? ( 5 points)
5. In 2000, a 48-foot stretch of what road was brought to the Smithsonian Museum of American history? ( 6 points)

Answers: 1. nakedness; 2. fifteen; 3. Vasco da Gama; 4. railroad; 5. Route 66.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Grammy Awards Trivia This Week

This week's special category for Tuesday Night Trivia at Professor Thom's will be Grammy Awards Trivia, and we will also have the usual four other categories to go with it. It will be all about past winners of the music business' highest awards.

There will be something a little different with the category however. The first eight questions will be multiple choice questions, but there will also be a True or False question as well as a "multiple answers" question in it as well.

This week's Sneak Peek question is:
What immortal literary character was created by Edgar Rice Burroughs?

We had a huge crowd for Trivia last Tuesday, and that was so great to see. We should get going around 9 PM, and I hope to see many of you then.

An Upset For the Ages

OK, I was wrong.

In a simply stunning and amazing game, the New York Giants, a 12-point underdog, won Super Bowl XLII by upsetting the previously unbeaten New England Patriots, 17-14, at Glendale, Arizona.

Eli Manning etched his name in the NFL record books by leading the Giants on a long drive that ended with a TD pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left to give the Giants an incredible victory. The drive reminded me very much of Joe Montana's historic drive in the final minutes to beat the Cincinnati Bengals nearly 20 years ago. Manning was voted the game's MVP.

Tom Brady was definitely not on his game, and especially, the Patriots offensive line was haggard all night by a swarming Giants defense, who might be the real MVPs of this game. The Patriots made many mistakes that came back to bite them, and were clearly outplayed by the Giants on Sunday night. Now, the 16-0 regular season will be overshadowed, and even forgotten, because the Patriots lost their only, and most important, game of the year. (They join the Chicago Bears of both 1934 and 1942 as the only NFL teams to go undefeated in the regular season and lose the title game.)

It is the third Super Bowl championship in Giants' history, going along with the 1986 and 1990 titles. The Giants also became the fifth Wild Card team to win the Super Bowl since the merger in 1970, joining the 1980 Oakland Raiders, 1997 Denver Broncos, 2000 Baltimore Ravens and 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers. The title is a clear validation for coach Tom Coughlin, and especially Eli Manning, who's had some very loud and vociferous critics. It was an historic run for the Giants, who won their first three games on the road in the postseason. My congratulations to Giants fans everywhere.

I watched the game at Professor Thom's, which was about 75% Patriots fans and 25% Giants fans. The Giants fans went into a frenzy at the final whistle, and a deep depression overcame my Pats fan friends. After the game, some guy began chanting "18-1" at the down Pats fans, which really wasn't a smart thing to do. Then we discovered that this guy wasn't even a Giants fan at all, just a Jets fan who despises the Patriots. That is the dictionary definition of a douchebag.

I feel very badly for my Patriot fan brethren. Many will have a very difficult day tomorrow facing their Giant fan friends and co-workers. I did my best before I left the bar to remind them I have been a Minnesota Vikings fan for 35 years and have yet to see my team win a Super Bowl. (I hope to see it happen before I die.) And I also recommended they do something before turning in tonight: have a stiff drink and put on either the 2004 or 2007 World Series videos (or both).

And, of course, keep a couple of things in mind:
10 days until pitchers and catchers report.
64 days before the World Series championship flag goes up the pole at Fenway.