MLB Trade Deadline

Sunday, October 31, 2010

On The Road To Oblivion: Leave Favre & Childress There

It was an absolutely awful loss by the Minnesota Vikings today that dropped them to 2-5, and their chances of going to their first Super Bowl since 1977 look mighty slim now. The Vikings have now lost more games in 2010 (5) than they lost in all of 2009 (4).

Brett Favre got knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter, the defense looked old and slow at times, and many on that team look like they need to go back to tackling school.

I never thought I would welcome Tarvaris Jackson back at QB.

Patriots 28, Vikings 18. I missed the first half, but caught the second half at Professor Thom's with many happy Pats fans.

I am now totally convinced of one thing. The Vikings will never win a title with Brad Childress as a head coach. As I said to a Pats fan during the game, "The two head coaches in this game are from different planets. One knows how to win and the other doesn't."

Childress made another head-scratching move near the end of the first half in going for a TD on 4th and 1 at the one yard line, and not kicking the field goal and getting points. (The game was 7-7 at the time.) I believe he is simply a lousy head coach, and the Vikings would be wise to get rid of him as soon as possible. And Randy Moss isn't winning many friends on his second tour in Minnesota.

This season appears to be beyond saving, unless the Vikings run the table and win the final 9 games. The Vikings should start looking at 2011, and leave two mistakes they made by the side of the road: Favre and Childress.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Bad Day In South Bend

The University of Tulsa, not exactly one of your college football powerhouses, stunned Notre Dame today with a 28-27 win.

A moment of silence was observed before the game for Declan Sullivan, the Notre Dame student who was killed last Wednesday when the tower he was filming practice on collapsed and he fell to the ground. (A classy move by Tulsa to have all their players wear a "DS" in a shamrock, as did all the Irish players.)

Dayne Crist was hurt in the first quarter on a hit by a Tulsa defender after running 28 yards for a first down. And the news was really bad when it was learned he ruptured a patella tendon in his left knee and is lost for the season. He joins a cast of injured offensive players, like Armando Allen and Kyle Rudolph.

Freshman backup QB Tommy Rees came in and did an admirable job. He threw four TDS, but was picked off three TDs. It was a big day for Michael Floyd, who caught 11 passes and 2 TDs from Rees.

The third interception proved the costliest, as it was in the end zone with 36 seconds left (pictured). ND was in field goal range at the Tulsa 19.

It was the biggest win in Tulsa's football history and their first win ever over a BCS school.

And if that isn't depressing enough, Notre Dame takes on #8 ranked Utah at South Bend in two weeks. The Irish are now 4-5 on the season.

It's still a long way back, folks.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Could This Really Be a Time Traveler?

As I was watching last night's World Series game, some friends pointed out a fascinating clip from YouTube that's left me stumped.

A filmmaker from Belfast named George Clarke discovered on the DVD of Charlie Chaplin's classic film "The Circus," an extra that is hard to come up with an explanation for exactly what it is. There's a lady walking by holding something up to her left ear and she's merrily chatting away. It appears it could be some kind of cell phone-like device. But the movie was filmed in 1928, long before the age of the cell phone.

Mr. Clarke comes to the conclusion it is some kind of time traveler in this video. My first thought was this woman was somehow added into it as some kind of inside joke, but if she was really part of this production in 1928, what exactly is she doing as she walking by?

Your guess is as good as mine.

The clip is has now gotten over 2.7 million hits on YouTube, so if you haven't seen it yet, here it is:



A time traveler? I report, you decide.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wake Wins The Clemente

Tim Wakefield won the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award for 2010 for all his charity work off the field. The classy veteran will get the award before tonight's Game 2 of the World Series.

Wake is the first Red Sox player to ever win the award.

And also, my friend Pete Nash has another in a series of fascinating articles over at the Hauls of Shame web site about a Mickey Mantle jersey from his rookie year of 1951 that was donated by the late Barry Halper in 1998 to the Hall of Fame that may actually be a fake, despite the fact that Mickey Mantle himself signed a card stating that it was authentic.

And Three Years and One Day Later...

These anniversaries make this one of my favorite weeks of the year.

Number Two in my lifetime.

Three years ago today.

The final out:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It Never Gets Old. Ever.

Six years ago today.

From a Red Sox fan behind the Sox dugout recording the final out of the 2004 World Series for posterity:



Thank you, Red Sox. Always.

Trivia Q&A: October 26

It was a bizarre night on Tuesday at Professor Thom's, as the Celtics had their opening night game against the Miami Heat, and that brought out a large throng of Celtics supporters. At first we thought the game was tip off at 7 PM, so there would be no problem with Trivia Night, as we would get rolling around 9:30 PM or so.

But the NBA scheduled the start for just after 7:30, so I thought we were screwed for the night, and we'd have to bag Trivia for this week. But many of the regulars appeared and were gracious enough to wait it out, so we went ahead with it. The game didn't conclude until almost 10:15 PM. So after setting everything up, we got going at the latest starting time ever: 10:30 PM.

12 teams took part, and we decided to forgo both the Special Category and The Q Train this week. So, for the first time, we did just three categories, our three staple categories.

Things actually look like a disaster from the beginning, as we had trouble with the mic and a lamp that I need to do my questions. But we got through it, and the team of "You're Mother's a Whore, Meg Whitman" wound up winning by three points. Second place went to "Paul the Octopus Said Trivia Would Start at 9. And Then He Died". Third place was a tie between "Frenchies" and "LeBron is the A-Rod of the NBA (And F The Yankees)".

Once again, let me say how appreciative I am to all of you who stayed and took part. (We finished shortly after 11:30 PM) I promise you that this was an aberration, and next week we should get back to the normal time of 9 PM and five categories.

Best Team Name: LeBron Is The A-Rod of the NBA (And F The Yankees)

Current Events
1. What former member of the 1980s group "The Brat Pack" was recently honored as the 2010 Travel Journalist of the Year for his work in his new profession?
2. What car manufacturer announced a recall of nearly 1.5 million vehicles worldwide last week over problems with breaks?
3. Health officials in Texas closed a processing plant and ordered a recall after four people died while eating what kind of contaminated vegetable?
4. What Hollywood superstar actor's cameo in the "Hangover" sequel was recently cut from the film after there were complaints from the cast and crew about his appearance?
5. Randy Quaid and his wife, who were arrested in CA on burglary charges a couple of months ago, applied last week to what country's immigration board, seeking refugee asylum there?
6. David Thompson, the prime minister of what Caribbean island nation, died of pancreatic cancer last Saturday at the age of 48?
7. Sony announced yesterday that they will no longer produce what iconic 1980s electronic device after selling over 220 million since 1979?

General Knowledge
1. According to the 2000 US Census, what is the most common surname in the US? ( 1 pt)
2. Ted Kaczynski is better known to the public by what nickname? ( 1 pt)
3. James Naismith invented what popular sport? ( 1 pt)
4. What evangelist retired from public life in 2005 following a last "crusade?" ( 2 pt)
5. The US Navy frigate Constitution, launched in 1797, was better known by what nickname? ( 2 pt)
6. What Rock and Roll Hall of Famer wrote Aretha Franklin's signature song "Respect?" ( 2 pt)
7. What city did the NBA's Lakers move to Los Angeles from in 1960? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What retail outlet is the largest retailer of fine wine in the world? ( 4 points)
2. Besides Orson Welles, who is the only other actor to be nominated for both Best Actor and Best Screenplay Academy Awards before the age of 30? ( 3 points)
3. What 1997 Oscar-nominated film was released in China under the title "His Great Device Makes Him Famous?" ( 5 points)
4. The father of John Wilkes Booth, Junius, once threatened to kill what US president? ( 4 points)
5. What famous entertainer once had three ex-wives named Joan, Joanne and Joanna? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Andrew McCarthy; 2. Toyota; 3. celery; 4. Mel Gibson; 5. Canada; 6. Barbados; 7. Walkman.

General Knowledge
1. Smith; 2. The Unabomber; 3. basketball; 4. Billy Graham; 5. Old Ironsides; 6. Otis Redding; 7. Minneapolis.

IQ Trivia
1. Costco; 2. Matt Damon; 3. "Boogie Nights;" 4. Andrew Jackson; 5. Johnny Carson.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Free Money From The Boss!

Today I got an email that absolutely left me in stitches. This is too good not to share:

Compensation From Bruce Springsteen:

I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund out of my bank to someone else account who was capable of assisting me in this great venture. Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trust worthiness you showed at the course of the transaction, and in view of what you have lost during the transaction, I want to use this opportunity to compensate YOU and show my gratitude to you with the sum of US$370,000.00 (Three Hundred and Seventy Thousand United States Dollars) And I have authorized the Malaysia Bank, where I deposited my money, To draft an international Certified Cashier's Check, for YOU, worth US$370,000.00 cash able anywhere in the world and has be issue in your favor, as a Compensation from me to YOU. My dear friend I will like you to contact (Director Reserve Bank Foreign Remittance Dept) for the collection of this international Certified Cashier's Check, And I have authorized to release the international certified bank draft to you as soon as you contact THEM regarding this issue.

Contact details as follow!
Remittance Head officer
Mr. Rod Stewart (Director Reserve Bank Foreign Remittance Dept)
Telephone Number: Tell: +601 4634 6827
Email: daniel@wandata.com

At these moment, I'm very busy here because of the investment projects which myself and my new partner are having at hand.

Please; Don`t forget to send him your

Full Name:
Telephone number :
Your address :
Your Country :

where you want him to send the draft to you.
Please; I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart. Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hope to hear from you soon.
Best Regards,
Bruce Springsteen


Yes, I got an email from Bruce Springsteen that he and his partner Rod Stewart want to give me money. This made my day!

Will We Finally Have Flying Cars In 5 Years?

It was 25 years ago today that Marty McFly took a fateful ride in Doc Brown's DeLorean and landed back in time to 1955. He returned back to 1985 and then went ahead another thirty years.

So, are those flying cars finally going to become a reality? The clock is ticking.



On the same day 25 years ago, Don Denkinger made one of the worst calls in the history of the World Series, calling Jorge Orta of the Kansas City Royals safe at first, and it propelled the Kansas City Royals to a ninth inning win in Game 6, and they won their first and only title the next night, 11-0 over the St. Louis Cardinals. (The Cardinals became so unglued after the Game 7 loss that they destroyed all the toilets in the visitors clubhouse, and it would take another 21 years before the won another World Series.)

Happy Anniversary, Marty.

And you too, Don.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Farrell To Jays; Favre Breaks Ankle

As expected, the Toronto Blue Jays have officially made John Farrell their new manager, succeeding the retiring Cito Gaston.

Farrell has no managing experience at any level, and has an excellent reputation as one of baseball's best pitching coaches. He becomes the second of Terry Francona's coaches to get a managing job the last two years, with Brad Mills going to Houston this past season.

No indication on who would be Farrell's successor as Red Sox pitching coach.

Let's see. A respected pitching coach taking over as manager with no experience. I won't compare Farrell to Joe Kerrigan, but I can't helping thinking of that utterly bizarre move Dan Duquette made in August 2001.

And speaking of utterly bizarre, the Minnesota Vikings utterly bizarre season took another crazy turn today, as it was revealed that Brett Favre actually broke two bones in his ankle in last night's loss in Green Bay. He's wearing a boot on that left ankle, and won't need surgery on it. But incredibly, he has not yet been ruled out of Sunday's game at New England.

I honestly can't say if this is good news or bad news. I'll get back to you on that.

How Many Days Until Spring Training?

I'm watching yet another Minnesota Vikings season going down the drain.

Brett Favre was picked off three times last night, as he probably played his final game at his onetime home stadium, Lambeau Field, as the Packers pulled out a 28-24 win.

The Vikings are now 2-4, with a date with the New England Patriots at Foxboro looming this coming Sunday.

Favre suffered an ankle injury during the game, but gutted it out the rest of the way. Should he have come out after the second half injury? Lots of folks are asking that question today.

Adrian Peterson was a bright spot last night, running for 131 yards and 28 carries, and one TD.

But this was a must-win game for the Vikings, and now are 1 1/2 games behind Green Bay and Chicago. The road gets no easier as the next four weeks feature New England, Arizona, Chicago and a rematch with Green Bay.

Count me in the group that isn't optimistic about the rest of this season. They hitched their wagon to Brett Favre, and it doesn't appear it will end well.

And if that's not bad enough, most Minnesotans feel the Vikings should stay in the Metrodome, according to a new poll.

Finally, to answer the question this post asked: 111 and counting.

It can't come soon enough.

"Q Are You?" Returns On Tuesday

Trivia Night on Tuesday will feature the October edition of "Q Are You?" which for those of you who don't know, is the category where I give you a number of clues to the identities of seven celebrities, and you have to tell me who they are. They are all current ones as well.

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

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
According to the 2000 census, what is the most common surname in the United States?

We get going at about 9 PM on Tuesday. The World Series will begin on Wednesday night, so we won't be interrupted by any baseball games. I hope many of you can come out for a great night of Trivia.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Still a Long Road Back For ND

The days of Notre Dame using Navy as a patsy in their schedule is long over, as the Midshipmen dominated yesterday's game in coasting to a 35-17 win at the Meadowlands.

It was going to be a lousy day for the Irish from their first drive. It was a pretty methodical one going down the field, and it was fourth and goal at the one yard line. But Dayne Crist tried to sneak it in and the Navy defense stopped him. And six plays later, Navy was on the board with a TD, on a 31-yard pass from Ricky Dobbs to Alexander Teich.

And there was no stopping Navy. They led 21-10 at halftime. Crist and the Irish could move the ball, but he threw two key interceptions that Navy cashed in for points. Dobbs ran in two more for touchdowns, and by the end third quarter, it was 35-10 and many of the Subway Alumni at the Meadowlands had seen enough and headed for the exits. Navy rushed for an amazing 367 yards, the most ever against an Irish team by Navy.

Early in the game, I heard that the Midshipmen sprayed dirt from Iwo Jima and Afghanistan on the big "N" at midfield (it was neautral site game but Navy was considered the home team) to bring them luck. I guess it worked.

Notre Dame had beaten Navy 43 straight times until 2006, and that seems long ago. Navy has now won three of the last four meetings.

I wasn't expecting miracles this season, as it was going to be a serious rebuilding job for Brian Kelly. Next Saturday the 4-4 Irish play Tulsa (4-3) at Notre Dame Stadium.

2 Clubs With Names of NY Sports Teams Make The Series












And neither is called the Yankees!

One team that has never won a World Series in their current location and hasn't won one as a franchise since 1954, versus a team that has never appeared in one.

Two hungry teams from fan bases that haven't ever enjoyed the taste of ultimate victory.

I am going to just sit back and enjoy this series as a baseball fan.

Friday, October 22, 2010

How Goes The Parade Plans, Mayor Bloomberg?

Congratulations to the Texas Rangers on winning their first ever American League championship, with a convincing 6-1 win over New York tonight. All four of their wins were romps, as they outplayed the Yankees in every phase of the game.

I'm feeling good tonight for my friend Jaco, who is a Rangers fan who lives on Long Island, who has supported them through thick and thin. The Rangers absolutely deserved this title.

Happy Yankee Elimination Day to you all.

So much for that dimwit Michael Kay saying the Yankees had basically wrapped up a trip to the World Series with their "miracle" comeback win in Game 1.

And I guess Michael Bloomberg doesn't have to worry about World Series parade plans anymore.

Slappy sure didn't show up in this ALCS, and made the last out of the series by looking at a Neftali Feliz curveball. He will get hammered in the New York tabloids tomorrow.

The good times are back.

And good luck to the Rangers in the World Series. We in Red Sox Nation wish you all the best, and we thank you.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

35 Years Ago Tonight

A veterans counselor and therapist named Sean Maguire met his future wife Nancy in a bar, and he told his friends they'd have to get along the rest of the evening without him.

And Sean wound up missing this:



Thanks always, Pudge.

Fixing The Bullpen, Literally

The Red Sox announced the other day that they will be completing their 10-year plan of the renovation of Fenway Park this winter by expanding the bullpens, and adding new and improved seats in right field.

The Sox will also add new HD scoreboards, and are replacing seats down the right field line.

The club has to get permission to widen the pens, as Fenway Park is an historic landmark in Massachusetts. Two landmark commissions have to give them the go-ahead to do so.

Right now, the bullpens are 21 feet long, and the Sox want to make them 8-10 feet longer. Many players have complained about the lack of space out there, especially when two pitchers warm up at the same time. It will also be bringing the right field fence in about 9 or 10 feet. It will be interesting to see if this brings up the total of home runs hit by left-handed batters at the Fens, who now have one of MLB's deepest right fields.

So, the Red Sox bullpen will look a lot different than it did this year, in more ways than one.

Here's more from Redsox.com.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10-3. Again.

When was the last time the New York Yankees lost 10-3 in a postseason game at home, like they did to the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night?

Yes, October 20, 2004:

Happy 6th Anniversary, Red Sox fans.

Trivia Q&A: October 19

We had 16 teams in for Trivia Night on Tuesday, as the ALCS game was going on, most following it were Texas Rangers fans/Yankee haters. We had some strong scores for Current Events and for 1980s Trivia. I was surprised they tailed off a bit for 1980s Hit Songs in the audio round.

It was a dominant night for Our Team Is Too Damn High, who wound up winning by seven points. Nice job by Matt and his crew.

The changes were well-received by most of the Trivia players. The shots to the winners of the rounds went down well, but we will tweak that a bit in the next few weeks. And I think everybody likes the fact we have added a second and third place winner.

And speaking of which, second place went to Ellen's Angels, and third place went to It's The Stay Puft Marshmellow Men (who finished two points out of second). We will now list them every week.

Best Team Name: Mike Hunt's Honorable Discharge

Current Events
1. The UN & Food Agriculture Organization announced that rinderpest, a disease found in cattle, has been eradicated, making it the second virus to have been eliminated by humans. What was the first?
2. Mary MacKillop was canonized as a saint this past Sunday by Pope Benedict XVI, and she became the first saint from what country?
3. Laura Wells, a candidate for California's governor, was arrested last week outside of the theater where the CA governor's debate was going on, as she tried to use someone else's ticket to get in. What third-party does Wells represent?
4. A contract dispute between Cablevision and what TV network caused it to be pulled off Cablevision in NYC, New Jersey and the Philadelphia areas last week?
5. Typhoon Megi, a category 5 "super typhoon," and one of the strongest storms in history to make landfall, hit what Asian country on Monday?
6. The Gotthard Base Tunnel became the world's largest railway tunnel last week, as a drilling machine went through the last few feet inside what mountain range?
7. What comedy film took in an astounding $50 million at the box office in its debut this past weekend to become number one in America?

1980s Trivia
1. What 1980s TV show starred Tom Hanks in women's clothing?
2. Who sang "I Want My MTV" on Dire Straits' hit song "Money For Nothing?"
3. In 1982, Great Britain clashed with what country over the Falkland Islands?
4. "The Simpsons" first appeared as a series of cartoon shorts in 1987 on what TV show?
5. What musician was elected mayor of Palm Springs, CA in 1988 in response because he was angry that the city fathers wouldn't let him open a new restaurant?
6. What world leader announced a "fatwa" on author Salman Rushdie in 1989 after he wrote "The Satanic Verses?"
7. After 120 years, Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980. In what state is it located?

In Q's iPod: 1980s Hit Songs ("The Q Train")
1. High On You--Survivor
2. Glory Days--Bruce Springsteen
3. Smooth Operator--Sade
4. End of the Line--Traveling Wilburys
5. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For--U2
6. My Best Friend's Girl--The Cars
7. Here I Go Again--Whitesnake
8. Walk of Life--Dire Straits
9. Modern Love--David Bowie
10. The End of the Innocence--Don Henley

General Knowledge
1. In what American city were the 1996 Olympics held? ( 1 pt)
2. What occurs around June 21st every year when the sun is at its northernmost position? ( 1 pt)
3. Bart Giamatti was once commissioner of what sport? ( 1 pt)
4. What is the largest city in New Jersey by population? ( 2 pt)
5. Who led the Norman forces to victory at the Battle of Hastings in England in 1066? ( 2 pt)
6. Which longtime maestro of the Boston Pops Orchestra is honored with a bust on the Esplanade? ( 2 pt)
7. Which actress won the Razzie Award for Worst Actress for the decade of the 2000s for such films as "House of Wax?" ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. In 1939, Russian-born Igor Sikorsky was credited with inventing the first practical what? ( 4 points)
2. 19th century Irish post Thomas Moore is best known for burning the memoirs entrusted to him by what late poet? ( 5 points)
3. Colombo is the capital of what Asian country? ( 3 points)
4. Built in the early 1940s, Moton Field in Alabama has a national historic site honoring those from what famed group? (4 points)
5. What actress played Elvis Presley's mother in "Blue Hawaii" and Laurence Harvey's mother in "The Manchurian Candidate" despite being just a few years older than both? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. smallpox; 2. Australia; 3. Green Party; 4. Fox; 5. The Philippines; 6. Swiss Alps; 7. "Jackass 3D."

1980s Trivia
1. "Bosom Buddies;" 2. Sting; 3. Argentina; 4. "The Tracey Ullman Show;" 5. Sonny Bono; 6. Ayatollah Khomeini; 7. Washington.

General Knowledge
1. Atlanta; 2. Summer Solstice; 3. baseball; 4. Newark; 5. William the Conqueror; 6. Arthur Fiedler; 7. Paris Hilton.

IQ Trivia
1. helicopter; 2. Lord George Byron; 3. Sri Lanka; 4. Tuskegee Airmen; 5. Angela Lansbury.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

An Infamous Top 10 List

My friend Pete over at the Hauls of Shame web site has a fascinating post up now: the Top 10 fake items from the late Barry Halper's baseball collection.

It includes such items as Babe Ruth's 1914 rookie jersey (as modeled by George Brett in this 1985 photo), a glove worn by Cy Young, Shoeless Joe Jackson's 1919 White Sox jersey, and even the shotgun that was used to kill Ty Cobb's father.

Definitely worth the time to check out this article.

Also, Cliff Lee is officially a beast.

And my buddy Jere had a really clever blog title over at his site today:
"Unlike Junior Seau, Yanks Didn't Drive Off Cliff" (Lee, that is)

A Happy 6th Anniversary to Curt Schilling's right Bloody Sock.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bringing Back The '80s & Some Changes, Too

This Tuesday night we will have as our Special Category for Trivia Night, "1980s Trivia." It will be seven questions about that special decade many of us remember and miss.

The Q Train lightning round will be the October edition of "In Q's iPod," when we play 10 songs and you have to identify the song and artist of that song. (Each one will be worth two points.) But this week's songs will be hit songs from the 1980s. So, both the Special Category and The Q Train will be on the '80s.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
What American city hosted the 1996 Olympics?

I am also announcing some changes to our Trivia Night. We are now awarding a second and third place prize to go along with the first place one. The overall winners will get $50 in gift certificates, the second place team will get $20 in gift certificates, and the third place team will get a free pitcher of Thom's ale.

Also, the winners of each round will get free shots from the bar. If there are ties, each of the tied teams will get shots as well.

Hopefully, everyone will enjoy these changes. We'll see how it goes.

We get going at 9 PM on Tuesday, and I hope to see many of you for Trivia then.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vikings Win The Desperation Bowl

It wasn't a thing of beauty, but the Vikings pulled out a 24-21 win at the Metrodome over Dallas in a game they really couldn't afford to lose. Both teams were 1-3 going in, and the loser faced a daunting chance of making the postseason, as just five 1-4 teams have gone to the NFL playoffs since 1990.

Adrian Peterson fumbled at midfield in the first quarter and Dallas converted it into seven points. The Vikings answered it back as the first quarter was ending as Greg Camarillo caught his first Vikings TD, a ten-yard pass from Brett Favre.

The Dallas defense battered Favre around pretty good on Sunday. His numbers were nothing to shout about it: 14-for-19, for 118 yards and 1 TD.

Dallas grabbed the lead, 14-7 in the second quarter, and took that into the locker room. But Percy Harvin took the opening kickoff of the second half and brought it back 95 yards to tie up the score. Adrian Peterson ran in from 1 yard to give the Vikes their first lead of the day with 5 minutes to play in the third. AP ran 24 times for 73 yards on the afternoon.

Dallas tied it again when Tony Romo hit Dez Bryant with a 31-yard TD with 10 minutes to play. Romo was intercepted twice by E. J. Henderson, and they led to 10 points, the last being with 7 minutes to play. Ryan Longwell kicked a 39-yard FG with 4 minutes left that gave the Vikings a 24-21 win.

Chicago and Green Bay both lost, so this was an enormous win for the Vikings. Bears are 4-2 and Packers are 3-3, and the Vikings head to Green Bay next Sunday for a showdown with their archrivals.

But before that, Favre will meet with NFL officials on Tuesday about all the off-field stuff that has occupied the headlines in the last week.

Let the Sixth Anniversary Remembrances Begin

And there's plenty over the next ten days. It all begins with Dave Roberts Day:



Let's hope Our Friend enjoys many more years of good health.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

She Knew Her Jive

Saddened to hear of the passing of actress Barbara Billingsley today, who was known to millions of TV fans for her role of June Cleaver in "Leave It To Beaver."

Ms. Billingsley had a long career as a TV and movie actress, but to me, she will always be that lady who understood and spoke Jive:



Thanks for the memories, Ms. Billingsley.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another Clueless Putz

And that's Tom Hicks, former owner of Liverpool Football Club.

He sees conspiracies and can't understand why the fans of Merseyside are pissed at him. He blames everybody for the predicament he was in except the man in the mirror.

Here's more from ESPN Soccernet.

Welcome to Liverpool, John Henry.

And to Hicks and Gillett: good riddance to bad rubbish.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hicks & Gillett Won't Go Quietly

The saga of the sale of Liverpool's beloved soccer team took another turn last night as Tom Hicks and George Gillett filed suit in a court in Texas to block the sale of the team to John Henry.

They are calling the deal "an epic swindle" and had a restraining order filed. Liverpool's board is currently back in court trying to throw out the validity of the restraining order, as the deadline for resolving the 237 million pounds debt of Liverpool is tomorrow. If a deal is not done, Liverpool faces the death sentence of administration and a nine-point penalty in their EPL standings.

John Henry was in London last night at a Liverpool board meeting when the news of the lawsuit came down. Here's more about what happening from Soccernet.

This to me sounds like a last-ditch effort by Hicks and Gillett to get more money out of the deal, as they know they are about to abandon ship. They are trying to make themselves out to be victims, when the real victims are the fans of Liverpool, who have watched these two carpetbaggers come in and let a once-great franchise rot away.

UPDATE: The High Court of London has given the Royal Bank of Scotland the go-ahead to sell Liverpool to John Henry and New England Sports Ventures, ruling against Hicks and Gillett's pathetic attempt to keep the club away from Henry, this afternoon.

Welcome to the Nation, Liverpudlians!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's a New Day In Liverpool

Judge Christopher Floyd of London's High Court ruled against disgraced Liverpool owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, and now the path is cleared for Liverpool FC to be sold to New England Sports Ventures and John Henry.

I'm sure there's dancing in the streets of Merseyside, and I'm also sure a few are singing a version of "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead."

This evening, Liverpool's board will meet and officially approve the sale, for $476 million.

Judge Floyd heard 5 hours of arguments on Tuesday, and said that Hicks and Gillett have "no absolute right to veto a sale." The judge also said it would be inappropriate for the owners to appeal his ruling.

It's been a lousy last 24 hours for Hicks, as his former team, the Texas Rangers, just won their first-ever playoff series, and now he's losing Liverpool.

Henry now says that NESV has a "binding agreement" to buy Liverpool and expects it to happen. Here's more about today's court ruling.

On Twitter yesterday, Henry posted this video to all the Liverpool fans, basically introducing himself and his current growing empire.

I had the pleasure of meeting him and Tom Werner at Professor Thom's in 2007 while they watched a Red Sox game, and I was impressed at the way they handled themselves.

Liverpool fans, I'm sure this will work out just fine. Keep the Faith, Merseysiders.

Trivia Q&A: October 12

We had 15 teams in for Trivia Night on Tuesday. Not a bad crowd, and it was nice to see my old friends Will and Sam back with their old team "Table One." They were back in the US from London for a wedding. Nice when my old players return for a visit and a night of trivia.

It was also a night when Brett Favre was a popular choice for team names. (See Best Team Name below.)

The numbers were a bit low for Current Events, but were generally fairly strong for the rest of the categories, especially Q-Tip Trivia. They were pretty decent for IQ Trivia, and the team of You're Mother's a Whore, Carl Paladino got 4 of 5 correct in that round to win the night by five points.

Congratulations to them on their second straight win.

Best Team Name: Bobby Cox Retires, But Brett Favre's Doesn't

Current Events
1. A study by Social Business Report picked which American city as the Top Twitter City, with the most active businesspeople on that blogging site?
2. What hard rock band was chosen recently as "The Best Band in the World" in a recent poll on Myspace?
3. What woman was selected as Forbes magazine's "Most Powerful Woman in the World", and bumped Oprah Winfrey down to number 3?
4. Which female R&B singer filed for bankruptcy for the second time last week, and it's estimated she may owe as much as $50 million in debts?
5. Peruvian-Spanish Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded the Nobel Prize in what field of endeavor?
6. Which MLB Hall of Fame outfielder revealed last Saturday that he is suffering from cancer of the perotid gland, which he believes was caused by his use of smokeless tobacco?
7. The owners of which MLB team are trying to buy Liverpool FC of the EPL for $430 million, but are currently being blocked by the club's current American owners?

Q-Tip Trivia
1. Which of the following states first joined the Union in the 20th century? a. Wyoming, b. Utah; c. New Mexico; d. Arizona.
2. Which of these films did Paul Newman appear in? a. Somebody Up There Likes Me; b. Slap Shot; c. Earthquake; d. Cool Hand Luke.
3. Which of these teams play in the NL Western Division in MLB? a. Arizona Cardinals; b. Colorado Rockies; c. Seattle Mariners; d. San Francisco Giants.
4. Which of these neighborhoods are found in the borough of Brooklyn? a. Bay Ridge; b. Williamsburg; c. Sunset Park; d. East New York.
5. Which of these albums were recorded by Led Zeppelin? a. Sticky Fingers; b. Face Dances; c. Highway to Hell; d. Houses of the Holy.
6. Which of the following TV series are currently on HBO? a. Boardwalk Empire; b. Mad Men; c. Dexter; d. The Closer.
7. Which of the following statesmen won the Nobel Peace Prize? a. Winston Churchill; b. Franklin D. Roosevelt; c. Martin Luther King; d. Yasser Arafat.

10-100 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Ulysses S. Grant is on this number monetary bill.
2. In years of marriage, pearl is this anniversary.
3. NFL Hall of Fame WR Jerry Rice wore this number.
4. Bases in baseball are this many feet apart.
5. Ronald Reagan was this number US president.
6. A standard dartboard has this many segments.
7. Babe Ruth hit this many hRs in 1927, establishing a record that stood for 34 years.
8. The boiling point of water is this many degrees Celsius.
9. Dudley Moore starred in a 1979 film with this number in the title.
10. The national speed limit in the UK is this number miles per hour.

General Knowledge
1. Which country hosted the 2008 Olympics? ( 1pt)
2. Which metal is heavier, silver of gold? (1 pt)
3. In 1890, which church outlawed polygamy? ( 1 pt)
4. Which instrument did the legendary jazz musician Miles Davis play? ( 2 pt)
5. Which is the smallest ocean in the world? ( 2 pt)
6. What author wrote "Alice in Wonderland?" (2 pt)
7. What former US president won a Grammy award for his participation in a recording of "Peter and The Wolf?" ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. The Washington Post once said that what late journalist coined the phrase "red and blue states" during the 2000 presidential election? ( 4 points)
2. What notorious 20th century despot was once quoted as saying "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration"? ( 4 points)
3. The president of France is, by law, also the co-prince of what other nation? ( 5 points)
4. Where on your body would you wear brogues, Bluchers and Balmorals? ( 3 points)
5. According to legend, what famous object was forged on the isle of Avalon? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. New York City; 2. AC/DC; 3. Michelle Obama; 4. Toni Braxton; 5. literature; 6. Tony Gwynn; 7. Boston Red Sox.

Q-Tip Trivia
1. c & d; 2. a, b & d; 3. b & d; 4. all; 5. d; 6. a; 7. c & d.

10-100 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. 50; 2. 30; 3. 80; 4. 90; 5. 40; 6. 20; 7. 60; 8. 100; 9. 10; 10. 70.

General Knowledge
1. China; 2. gold; 3. Mormon; 4. trumpet; 5. Arctic; 6. Lewis Carroll; 7. Bill Clinton.

IQ Trivia
1. Tim Russert; 2. Adolf Hitler; 3. Andorra; 4. feet; 5. Excalibur.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Complete "Monbo Time"

Here is the finished video for "Monbo Time," the video put together featuring the cool song by The Remains. Enjoy:

Playoffs? Playoffs?

The Minnesota Vikings sure didn't look like a team that's going to the playoffs this season, with an awful performance that they gave last night, a 29-20 loss to the Jets at the New Meadowlands Stadium.

Dumb penalties, lousy special teams play and an offense that looked anemic until late in the third quarter didn't boost my confidence in this club. It rained for most of the contest (it was delayed 35 minutes because of lightning) but that's no excuse, as the Jets had to play in the same conditions, too.

Brett Favre may have reached two milestones last night: his 500th career TD (and 501 after that) and a total of 70,000 career passing yards. But most Vikes fans will remember the interception he threw in the final two minutes to Dwight Lowery, who ran it back for a TD, to ice the game.

Favre's 500th TD was his first to Randy Moss, who caught four passes in his Vikings' return. Favre's elbow was clearly bothering him, especially in the second half. He claims it's no big deal. And for a team that just came off an off-week, they looked terribly flat out of the gate last night, on both sides of the ball. The defense kept the Vikings in game, shutting the Jets offense down and forcing them to kick five field goals.

Right now, the NFC is wide-open, with no one dominating. But the Vikings have a murderous schedule the next six weeks: Dallas, Green Bay twice, New England, Arizona and Chicago. No easy weeks any time soon. I could easily see them 3-7 or 4-6 by the time they finish Game 10.

Count me in the group that's not terribly optimistic about this Vikings team. Cue Jim Mora:



Prove me and Jim wrong, guys.

Monday, October 11, 2010

CHB's Newest "Cursed" Team

As if Dan Shaughnessy has created enough enemies by inventing stupid, idiotic curses that don't exist, he's now going after another MLB team with "curses": the Texas Rangers.

And he's blaming Ted Williams for this one.

Yes, the Curly Haired Bastard is at it again. I bet he sees another book in the offing, and another cash cow down the road.

In his mind, if a team hasn't won a championship in a long while (or in Texas' case, never won), there must be some supernatural forces at work keeping them from winning. Now in his current article in Sports Illustrated, CHB drags out all of the Texas Rangers postseason failures, starting with the fact that Ted was the first Texas manager in 1972. And because Ted spent his whole career in Boston as a player with a team that never won it all, there must be a connection to the Rangers' postseason losses.

Oh brother. What name will he come up with for this? If they lose to the Rays tomorrow night, I'm sure he'll come up with one.

With thanks to my friend Lisa Swan for alerting me to this stupid nonsense.

73-72

A very long baseball game was played this past weekend. No, it wasn't an ALDS game, but a 100-inning game that benefited ALS and the Walter Bentson Scholarship Fund.

It was the 7th annual game, and for the first time, it ended in the final at-bat, with a final score of 73-72, in favor of the Early Bird team over The Worm. The players were amateur players from the Boston area. Curt Schilling began the charity game in 2004, and was one of the team managers this year. The game, played at Adams Field in Quincy, MA, lasted over 33 hours and has so far raised over $10,000.

You can still donate to this very worthy cause by going here. Nice job by everyone involved!

Get Your Q-Tips Ready On Tuesday

This Tuesday night for Trivia, we will have the October edition of "Q Tip Trivia," the category where up to four choices for a multiple choice, general knowledge trivia question can be correct (it could also be none). And you get as many points for the number you get correct. But you have to be careful, because if you even pick one incorrect answer, you get no points for the question.

The Q Train lightning round will be "10-100 Trivia," each answer will be a factor of ten (10, 20, 30, etc.), and no answers will be the same.

The Sneak Peek for this week is:
Which country hosted the 2008 Olympics?

We will get started at about 9 PM. Game 5 of the Tampa Bay-Texas series will be on in the background as we play. I hope to see many of you for what promises to be another great Trivia Night.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Random Thoughts On 10/10/10

I was glad to see Notre Dame win their second straight yesterday. I caught the first half of their 23-17 win over Pittsburgh, and left when they had a 20-3 lead in the third quarter. Pitt gave them a fight in the fourth quarter, but the Irish held on.

David Ruffer set a new ND record for consecutive field goals made with 16, and Dayne Crist had another good game, passing and running for a TD, and completed 12 straight passes at one point. They are now 3-3, and face Western Michigan at South Bend next Saturday.

Nice comeback by Stanford on Saturday, winning a barn-burner over USC, 37-35, with a 30-yard field goal at the buzzer. Always happy to see USC go down. And Alabama will no longer be number 1, as they were upset by South Carolina, 35-21.

Sounds like John Henry's Liverpool deal may very well be in some trouble. If Liverpool has to go into bankruptcy protection, it will be deducted nine points in the EPL standings, and they could very well be relegated to the Championship, which is the second division of English football, after this current season. That would be a huge loss of revenue, and that would cause Henry and NESV to walk away from the deal. D-Day for Liverpool is next Friday. Here's more from NESN.

One of the best things about the ALDS is hearing our old friend Don Orsillo doing play-by-play with Buck Martinez in the Tampa Bay-Texas series. Almost makes it seem like a regular season Red Sox game. (Remember when Buck substituted briefly for Jerry Remy when RemDawg was out during the 2009 season?) Glad there will be a Game 4 today, as I've missed most of the series for various reasons. The other ALDS series? Don't get me started on the way the Minnesota Twins laid down like dogs in the postseason against You Know Who. Yet again.

And my sincerest good wishes go out today to one of baseball's classiest guys: Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who revealed yesterday that he is suffering from cancer of the perotid gland, which he believes was brought on by his use of smokeless tobacco as a player. He will undergo radiation and chemotherapy. Godspeed, Tony.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

2004 Wasn't That Long Ago

If there wasn't enough arrogance surrounding the New York Yankees, this just adds another reason why I detest them so much. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is actually planning their World Series victory parade, and they still haven't made it to the ALCS yet.

Listen, I know it's not something you can slap together overnight, but you should at least keep it quiet and not make it public this early.

Ugh. I really hope he's putting the whammy on them.

The Baseball Hall of Fame has also confirmed that the Joe Jackson jersey (pictured) they have is a fake, and now other items that were donated by the late Barry Halper's collection are under scrutiny, like the bat called "Black Betsy", a glove and a gold pocket watch. Here's more from Pete Nash's blog, Hauls of Shame.

And a happy 70th birthday to John Lennon today. Can it really be almost three decades since he left us?

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Liverpool Fans Are Pissed (And I Don't Mean Drunk)

Here's a YouTube clip of many fans of Liverpool FC who got together to let their displeasure of what Tom Hicks and George Gillett have done to their beloved club. There are a few famous faces in there, and one I recognized is Stephen Graham, who is currently playing Al Capone in the terrific HBO series "Boardwalk Empire."

(With thanks to Pete Abe of the Boston Globe for the clip.)



It's clearly time for Hicks to turn the keys of the kingdom over to John Henry. But it looks like he wants to take his case for keeping Liverpool to the High Court.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Halladay Makes History

Roy Halladay had never played in a postseason game in all his time with the Toronto Blue Jays. And his start in Game 1 against the Cincinnati Reds today would mark his first appearance in the postseason.

He made it very memorable, tossing a no-hitter, in a 4-0 Phillies win. Only one batter reached base for the Reds, Jay Bruce on a walk in the fifth.

It's just the second one ever in the postseason, along with Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series.

Halladay also becomes just the fifth pitcher to toss two no-hitters in one year, the first since Nolan Ryan in 1973. And he also became the first pitcher ever to throw a perfect game and another no-hitter in the same year.

And for those of you who root for the Phillies in New York, Professor Thom's is becoming a "Phillies bar" for this postseason. My buddy Mike is one of Thom's owners and a devoted Phillies fan. Thom's will have all the Phillies postseason games on their big screens (with sound), and will have $10 pitchers of Yuengling and authentic Philly cheesesteaks as long as the Fightin' Phils are in the playoffs.

Henry's Riding To Liverpool's Rescue

It's been a terrible start for Liverpool in the new English Premier League season. They are currently in the relegation zone, after an embarrassing home loss to newly-promoted Blackpool last weekend.

They have a ton of debts, incurred by their outgoing American owner Tom Hicks. And now comes word that New England Sports Ventures, headed by John Henry and Tom Werner, have made a bid for the historic English club for 300 million pounds ($477 million).

With Liverpool possibly looking at administration if the debts aren't settled soon, it looks like Henry and Co. are going to add another team in red to their family.

My favorite MLB team owning my favorite EPL team. An interesting concept.

The Liverpool fans are extremely upset at Hicks and George Gillett and are very suspicious of another group of Americans taking over the club. Back in 2002, there was plenty of doubters in Boston about Henry's group, and that they really didn't deserve to take over the Red Sox. But they silenced those doubters, bringing two World Series titles to Boston in the 2000s.

So I would suggest the Merseyside fans also give John Henry a chance. Liverpool FC and the Boston Red Sox could be a wonderful match.

Moss Returns To Minnesota

After successfully burning what I thought was all of his bridges in Minnesota, I thought we Vikings fans had see the very last of Randy Moss after the 2004 season.

But to my utter surprise last night, I heard the Vikings were close to reacquiring him from the Patriots. And lo and behold, today Moss is once again a Viking, as they traded their number 3 pick in the 2011 draft to get him.

Moss was unhappy with his contract status in New England, and could have walked as a free agent after 2010. The Vikings say they will try to work out a contract extension with him before season's end.

It's the biggest deal the Vikings have made since getting Brett Favre. It was quite clear they needed a big play wide receiver, at least until Sidney Rice returns in a few weeks.

Can Moss be as big a threat with the Vikings as he was his first go round in Minnesota? I admit I'm skeptical, but we will soon find out, as he will be in uniform for the game against the Jets on Monday night.

And won't the Vikings game on Halloween be interesting? Moss will return to New England that day, as the Vikes play the Pats.

Yes, That Was Me On ESPN


I was at Professor Thom's on Tuesday night for my usual night of Trivia, but before that aired, ESPN showed "Four Days In October," a terrific documentary about the Greatest Comeback in MLB History. The bar turned on the sound and a crowd gathered to watch it.

They showed each Red Sox win in detail, and when they got to Game 6, they resurrected some of the footage of Red Sox fans watching the games at The Riviera Cafe in the West Village. It was used in the 2004 World Series Film.

And front and center in it, was Yours Truly. I was really proud to be part of the footage (which was actually shot during the Game 5 win, but used in the World Series video as the Sox were about to win it all).

But there was lots of footage that was not used back then, and "Four Days In October" used it for Games 6 and 7. It was so cool seeing it while I was at Thom's last night.

And the above photo was taken by my buddy Ennis, who lives in Maine, and is a one-time Thom's regular. You can see me at the bar in this one after Game 5 ended, with my glasses off in a state of exhaustion. (And there was still plenty of great stuff to come.)

Again, I'm proud to be a part of a great documentary. Something I can show the grandkids one day. Something I can take to my grave with me.

Thank you, Red Sox. Always.

Trivia Q&A: October 5

We had 13 teams in for Trivia Night on Tuesday night. It was a bit of a light night for some reason. But I have to admit it was a great night, as just before we started, I checked out "Four Days In October," about the great Red Sox comeback of 2004, and they showed unseen footage that Yours Truly was a part of. (I'll have more on that in a post later on Wednesday.)

The numbers for Brooklyn Trivia and Yes or No Trivia were decent, but not great. It was a close match until the final round, but the team of 30 Is The New 29 wound up winning by eight points, as they were the only team to have as many as four of the five questions right.

My congratulations to them on a night well done.

Best Team Name: Shaqtastic

Current Events
1. What actor/comedian was arrested last week at LAX after an altercation with a photographer?
2. After a police and armed forces mutiny, President Rafael Correa declared a state of emergency in what South American country?
3. The Cincinnati Reds are currently under investigation by Cincinnati's health department after what happened in their clubhouse after they clinched the NL Central title last week?
4. Rick Sanchez, a news anchor, was fired last Friday for remarks he made about Jews, the media and Jon Stewart. What network fired him?
5. Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's Chief of Staff, resigned last Friday. For what reason did he leave?
6. What film that debuted last Friday and grossed over $23 million at the box office knocked out "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" and was the number one film in America?
7. Robert Edwards of England was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in what field this past Monday?

Brooklyn Trivia
1. What is the name of Brooklyn's only current professional sports team?
2. What county is Brooklyn in?
3. Brooklyn got its name from a town in what European country?
4. What year in the 19th century did the Brooklyn Bridge open?
5. In the movie "Saturday Night Fever," the character Bobby C. falls to his death from what bridge?
6. Between Al Pacino, Jerry Seinfeld and Barbra Streisand, which one was not born in Brooklyn?
7. What was the final year the Dodgers played in Brooklyn before moving to LA?

Yes or No Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Did Led Zeppelin ever win a Grammy Award?
2. Has Coca-Cola always been a brown color?
3. Was America the first country to use postcards?
4. Does a mouse have more bones than a human?
5. Does Rhode Island have the fewest counties of any US state?
6. Is the Great Wall of China the longest wall in the world?
7. Are mosquitoes actually toothless?
8. Does Finland own the island of Greenland?
9. Do The Beatles have the most US hit number one singles than any other musical act?
10. Do Brazil nuts actually come from a country outside of Brazil?

General Knowledge
1. Carrie Underwood was a winner on what reality TV show? ( 1 pt)
2. Billy Joel was married to what supermodel for nine years? ( 1 pt)
3. The US fiscal year begins in what month? ( 1 pt)
4. In the story of "The Three Little Pigs," the third pig built his house out of bricks. What material did the first pig use? ( 2 pt)
5. New York Municipal Airport is now currently called what? ( 2 pt)
6. For what film did Michale Douglas win an Oscar for Best Actor? ( 2 pt)
7. What US president's son once had a recurring role in the TV series "Baywatch?" ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What US president served the shortest amount of time as president before running for and winning re-election to the job? ( 3 points)
2. What singer/songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has directed a number of films under the pseudonym Bernard Shakey? ( 5 points)
3. The famous line "Once more unto the breach dear friends" comes from what William Shakespeare play? ( 4 points)
4. What distinguished American general once finished in fifth place in the Olympic pentathlon at the Stockholm Games in 1912? ( 4 points)
5. What group of islands are the most geographically isolated land mass in the world? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Russell Brand; 2. Ecuador; 3. They smoked cigars, violating a smoking ban; 4. CNN; 5. Run for mayor of Chicago; 6. "The Social Network;" 7. medicine.

Brooklyn Trivia
1. Cyclones; 2. Kings; 3. Netherlands; 4. 1883; 5. Verrazano-Narrows; 6. Al Pacino; 7. 1957.

Yes or No Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. no; 2. yes; 3. no (Austria); 4. yes; 5. no (Delaware); 6. yes; 7. no; 8. no (Denmark); 9. yes; 10. no (Bolivia).

General Knowledge
1. "American Idol;" 2. Christie Brinkley; 3. October; 4. straw; 5. LaGuardia Airport; 6. "Wall Street;" 7. Gerald Ford.

IQ Trivia
1. Lyndon Johnson; 2. Neil Young; 3. "Henry V;" 4. George S. Patton; 5. Hawaii.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Minaya, Manuel Both Out

It's about bloody time, especially in Minaya's case.

Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya will both be fired today, as the Mets clean house after yet another disappointing season in Queens.

I have to admit that while this is a step in the right direction for the Mets, having those jugheads the Wilpons running things still makes me less than optimistic for the Mets' immediate future.

It's an important off-season for the Mets, as they need to fill those two positions with the right people. Otherwise the Mets will continue to be the other team in New York.

The Wilpons remind me way too much of the Dolans, and that's NOT a good thing.

How Well Do You Know My Hometown?

This Tuesday night, the Special Category for Trivia Night will be "Brooklyn Trivia," seven questions on New York's greatest borough (and where Yours Truly was born and raised).

The Q Train lightning round will be "Yes or No Trivia," ten questions where the answer will be a simple yes or no.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
Carrie Underwood was a winner on what reality TV show?

We get started right around 9 PM. No baseball games to distract us on Tuesday night (after all, it is football season), so I hope to see many of you then.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

And That Wraps Up Another Baseball Season

The Red Sox ended their 2010 season with a win over New York, 8-4. The win gives the Tampa Bay Rays the AL Eastern Division title, and relegates New York to the Wild Card, and a tougher route in the postseason.

They also split the season series with their archrivals, 9-9, for the third straight year.

It's always nice to beat the Yankees, no matter what the standings may say.

Jason Varitek caught today's game, and in a really classy move, was taken out of the game in the top of the 9th before the first pitch was thrown, and received a tremendous ovation. Nice job by everyone involved, especially Terry Francona, who continues to be one of the classiest managers in the game.

The Sox finish 89-73. Considering the personnel who finished (and didn't finish) this season, it's a miracle the Red Sox were even that close to 90 wins. And I love the fact that the Red Sox kept fighting hard, all the way to the final out of the season. Speaks volumes about what a terrific job Tito did under all the adversity.

I'll have more on the wrap-up of the season later on. It's always a sad day when the season is finally finished. I always think of Bart Giamatti's wonderful short story "The Green Fields of the Mind" about when baseball finishes, on this day.

On my countdown clock, I now have the countdown to pitchers and catchers reporting. I hear that the first voluntary reporting date is February 13th, so that would make it 133 days and counting.

That, and Truck Day, are only 4 1/2 months away.

Lowell Rides Off Into The Sunset

Bill Hall booted a ball in the tenth inning of Game 1 of yesterday's twinbill that gave New York a 6-5 win, but made up for it by hitting a double (that I thought was going out) to center field, also in the tenth, and Eric Patterson singled him in to give the Red Sox a 7-6 win in Game 2.

The second game ended at 1:22 AM, due to two four-hour marathons. (I guess Joe West is laughing somewhere.) Game 1 had to begin after 4 PM because Fox had that game. They had to start the second game right around 9:30 PM.

That's what happens when you sell your soul to television.

But the day really belonged to Mike Lowell, who was honored before the first game. (I wish I could have seen that too, but Fox had the first game of the doubleheader...OK, I'll stop there.) He was given Fenway's third base, among the many gifts he received.

And he doubled in two runs in the first inning, walked in the third, and then singled off the wall, just missing a home run by a few feet, in the fifth. He was then taken out of the game, to thunderous applause. It would be his last at-bat, as Terry Francona said this would be the last game Lowell would play in.

Mike Lowell is all class to the end, and that was on display yesterday.

Enjoy your retirement, Mike. Thanks always for 2007. And bringing some class and dignity to a sport that doesn't always show it sometimes.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

The Personification of Style and Grace

Today the Red Sox will honor Mike Lowell as he plays the final games of his stellar 13-year career this weekend.

Lowell's been many things in his career. Four-time All-Star. Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Winner. Owner of three World Series rings. (Remember he played for the Yankees in September 1998?) World Series MVP.

He's been a cancer survivor. And also he's been the dictionary definition of a Major League baseball player. And he's played it with class and professionalism.

The Red Sox had to accept him as part of the Josh Beckett trade in November 2005. His career was reborn in Boston in 2006. He became a doubles machine in Fenway Park. Lowell was a huge part of the championship team of 2007, and after winning the MVP award in the World Series, he re-signed for three more years.

It's been a rough go the last two years for Lowell. He had to have hip surgery, and it made a mess of his last 1 1/2 years. The Sox wanted to trade him to Texas last winter, but a thumb injury killed the deal.

But no matter what life in and out of baseball threw at him, Lowell handled it with style. And now he walks away from the game he loves this weekend. He gave the fans one last thrill, back in August when he came off the disabled list and hit a home run in the first pitch he saw. As the fans gave him a nice ovation on his return, he returned the love.

I'm going to miss Mike Lowell, and the dignity he's brought to the game. I wish him and his family all the best on his retirement.

I end this post with a clip of Mike's introduction on Opening Night this year at Fenway, when the fans gave him a very warm welcome. I was there that night, and it made me proud to be a Red Sox fan.

Thanks for everything, Mike.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Beltre Takes The Collar, Makes $5 Million

Yes, Adrian Beltre went 0-for-3 with a strikeout last night in Chicago, and pocketed a cool $5 million. That's because his option kicked in, when he reached 640 plate appearances. His one-year deal for $5 million in effect doubled with that goal reached. I've never had a problem with incentive clauses like that, and he certainly deserves the cash, with the banner season he's had in 2010.

But it was a very disappointing night for Jon Lester, as he was rocked by the White Sox for eight runs in just over four innings. Paul Konerko hit a grand slam off him, the first Lester ever surrendered in his career, and his quest for 20 wins came to a tough end.

But it doesn't ruin what was a terrific year for Lester. He ends it at 19-9, and a 3.25 ERA. He struck out 225 in 208 innings. He's got a strong shot at the Cy Young Award, in what will be a crowded field.

This weekend will feature a number of activities at Fenway to wrap up the season, to honor Ted Williams' last home run and Johnny Pesky's 91st birthday tonight, Mike Lowell on Saturday, and the fans on Sunday. Here's more from Pete Abe of the Globe on the concluding weekend.