MLB Trade Deadline

Thursday, June 30, 2011

700

The Phillies may have a buzzsaw in Cliff Lee, but the Phillies met the Red Sox version on Thursday afternoon in Jon Lester.

The Phillies couldn't lay a glove on Lester, who went seven strong innings, allowed just two hits and two walks in seven innings for his 10th win. Daniel Bard pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, but the disaster area known as Bobby Jenks gave up a two-run shot in the ninth before Jonathan Papelbon got the last two outs for a 5-2 win.

Jason Varitek belted two homers and Dustin Pedroia also went deep to cap the Red Sox scoring. Kevin Youkilis did not play due to a sore ankle, but will probably play on Friday.

Congratulations to Terry Francona, who won his 700th game as Red Sox manager today.

New York's win over Milwaukee this afternoon (nice of the first-place Brewers to roll over like dogs this week in the Bronx) keeps the red Sox at 2 1/2 games back in the AL East.

And I wish all the best to Mike Cameron, who designated for assignment today. He's a class guy all the way but it really looks like his career is coming to a close, as he was batting just .149 on the season. The Sox brought up infielder Yamaico Navarro to take his spot.

And as the travesty known as interleague comes to an merciful end this weekend for the Red Sox in Houston, I couldn't agree more with this Boston Globe writer who feels it should just die. Sooner the better.

OK, Lackey Wasn't Terrible On Wednesday

Yeah, John Lackey went 7 2/3 innings, and allowed just two runs, and took a tough loss. 2-1.

Lackey was also the total Red Sox offense, as he drove in the lone Red Sox run with an RBI double.

Papi played first, and Gonzo played right field.

This interleague crap can't end fast enough to suit me.

JW's Trivia Q&A: June 29

On our second Trivia Night at Josie Wood's, we had six teams come out and enjoy the festivities. We had a small but enthusiastic crowd,and hopefully this will build into a successful night the way Tuesday night at Professor Thom's has become.

The Team of What's The Red Sox/Phillies Score? (which featured my friend Dave, a huge Phillies fan) wound up the winners, with 44 points. The second place team was Honey On My Nuts (which also won for Best Team Name) finished with 39 points, and Mortal Wombat, last week's winners, wound up with 35 points.

I want to thank all of you who came out on Wednesday night, and I hope to see more of you as the weeks progress.

1-2-3-4 Trivia
1. Cancer is this number sign of the Zodiac.
2. Catcher is this number on a baseball team.
3. On a telephone, this number key is associated with the letters D, E, and F.
4. The number of US presidents who have been impeached.
5. The number of MLB players who have hit at least 700 HRs.
6. This is the number of Super Bowls won by the New York Giants in their history.
7. The number of US state capitals named after US presidents.
8. This number was a hit song for the Bee Gees, Faith Hill and U2.
9. This is the atomic number of helium.
10. The total number of Oscars won by Al Pacino in his career.

True or False Trivia
1. The original McDonald's restaurant opened in the state of California.
2. John D. Rockefeller co-founded US Steel.
3. Almost all clouds are formed in the troposphere.
4. New Zealand was the first nation to grant women the right to vote.
5. Bananas originated on the continent of Africa.
6. Isaac Stern is famous for playing the piano.
7. M in FM stands for modulation.
8. Microsoft's headquarters are in the state of Washington.
9. The most widely sung song in the English language is "Happy Birthday to You."
10. Panama hats are actually manufactured in Panama.

General Knowledge
1. What language contains the most words? ( 1 pt)
2. How many feet deep is a fathom? ( 1 pt)
3. What famous gangster was shot dead by FBI agent Melvin Purvis in 1934? ( 1 pt)
4. What famous rock group was originally called The Quarrymen? ( 1 pt)
5. What country has won a record five World Cup soccer titles? ( 1 pt)
6. "Eureka" is the motto of what US state? ( 1 pt)
7. What is the largest lake in North America? ( 2 pt)
8. What comedian wrote the novella "Shopgirl?" ( 2 pt)
9. The Rio Grande river originates in what US state? ( 2 pt)
10. Only once in history has both England and France had a king with the same name at the same time. What was the shared name? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. If you travel due eat of New York City all the way to Europe, what country will you hit first? (4 points)
2. What famous athlete once declined to take a stand on a certain political issue by saying, "Hey, Republicans buy sneakers too!" ( 4 points)
3. What individual, who owns over 2 million acres, is America's largest landowner? ( 4 points)
4. How many time zones are there in North America? ( 3 points)
5. What did Russian Valentina Tereshkova do in 1963 that made her world famous? ( 5 points)

Answers
1-2-3-4 Trivia
1. four; 2. two; 3. three; 4. two; 5. three; 6. three; 7. four; 8. one; 9. two; 10. one.

True or False Trivia
1. true; 2. false, Standard Oil; 3. true; 4. true; 5. false, Asia; 6. false, violin; 7. true; 8. true; 9. true; 10, false, Ecuador.

General Knowledge
1. English; 2. six; 3. John Dillinger; 4. The Beatles; 5. Brazil; 6. California; 7. Lake Superior; 8. Steve Martin; 9. Colorado; 10. Henry.

IQ Trivia
1. Portugal; 2. Michael Jordan; 3. Ted Turner; 4. eight; 5. First woman in space.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

At Least He Wasn't Wearing a Yankee Uniform

Cliff Lee was simply overpowering on Tuesday night as the Red Sox could manage just two hits against him as the Phillies rolled, 5-0.

I really thought Lee was going to throw a no-hitter. (I was waiting for the name "Chris Bosio" to surface during the NESN broadcast but fortunately it didn't. He threw the last no-hitter against the Sox, in Seattle in April 1993.)

But Marco Scutaro broke up the no-no in the sixth with a clean single. Darnell McDonald had the other hit, a double in the eighth. But Lee allowed nothing else, and pitched another shutout, his third straight, and extended his scoreless string to 32 innings. Amazing.

Josh Beckett went six innings, allowed all five runs, and took the loss.

And speaking of that team I'm glad he didn't sign with, they won over Milwaukee, 12-2, and now the Red Sox are 1 1/2 games back in the AL East.

Rumors are now flying that David Ortiz will play first base on Wednesday, and Adrian Gonzalez may make his second ever start in right field (the other was in 2005).

BTW, why is it that EVERY TIME the Red Sox play a series in Philadelphia, some dumbass Philly writer has to write a column that I would line my cat's box with about how spoiled the Boston fans are, or comparing how awful both fan bases are? (I won't dignify those columns by placing a link to them.)

Once again, I believe that sportswriters are in the same league with politicans and lawyers in the "trust" category.

PT's Trivia Q&A: June 28

We had 20 teams in for Trivia Night, and the bar had a nice crowd watching Cliff Lee take a buzzsaw to the Red Sox lineup. But it was still a great night of Trivia, and it was nice to see some old friends back at Thom's I hadn't seen in a while.

It was also The Night of The Long Team Names. A few will follow.

We had some strong numbers for July 4th Trivia, and especially for Red, White and Blue Flags Trivia, as about half the teams got perfect scores.

The Top 5 teams were only separated by 4 points heading into IQ Trivia, but the team in the lead, Friday Night I Was at the Gym In Chelsea With Kathy Griffin Listening to Cabaret On My iPod. Did I Miss Anything? got 4 of the 5 questions correct and wound up winning by three points, with 48 overall.

Second place went to Whitey Bulger? Isn't That What Anthony Weiner Calls His Package? with 45 points, (they also copped Best Team Name) and third place went to Suck It Pi! School's Out! with 44 points.

Current Events
1. What troubled Hollywood star canceled an interview last week with Matt Lauer of the Today Show just before the cameras were set to roll?
2. What superstar actor last week was promoting his new film on Spanish-language Univision and danced while doing the weather, getting big play on the Internet?
3. Ryan Dunn, who starred on what cult cable TV show, was killed last week when his car, going over 130 MPH, flew over a guardrail and crashed into a ravine?
4. Whitey Bulger, who spent 12 years on the Ten Most Wanted List and was on the lam for his involvement in 19 murders, was captured last week in what US city?
5. Nearly 50 gay couples exchanged vows in what country in a bid to set a new world record for mass gay weddings?
6. Congressmen Ron Paul and Barney Frank were among many who introduced legislation last week to let individual states deal with what issue?
7. What American comic legend had to cancel a sold-out tour in Sydney, Australia after collapsing from exhaustion as he was about to take the stage?

July 4th Trivia
1. On this day in 1826, what two former US presidents both passed away on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence?
2. In 1863, the city of Vicksburg, MS surrendered after a 47-day siege to what Union general?
3. On this date in 1976, Israeli commandoes rescued hostages on an Air France jetliner at Entebbe Airport in what African country?
4. What Asian country gained their independence from the US on this day in 1946 after nearly 400 years of near-continuous rule by various powers?
5. Al Davis, the longtime owner of what NFL team and three-time Super Bowl champion, was born on this date in 1929?
6. On this date in 1894, a short-lived republic was proclaimed by Sanford Dole in what future US state?
7. On this date in 1826, what American songwriter, best-known for "Camptown Races" and "Oh Susanna" was born in Lawrenceville, PA?

Red, White and Blue Flags Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Australia
2. Canada
3. Sweden
4. France
5. Spain
6. Russia
7. Dominican Republic
8. Argentina
9. Cuba
10. Italy

General Knowledge
1. In Internet shorthand, what does "LQTM" stand for? ( 1 pt)
2. Russell Crowe won an Academy Award for his role in what film? ( 1 pt)
3. What continent is divided into the most countries? ( 1 pt)
4. What actor provided the voice of Sideshow Bob on "The Simpsons?" ( 2 pt)
5. East Pakistan changed its name in 1971 to what name it is known today? ( 2 pt)
6. Yuri Andropov succeeded what man as the Soviet Union's president in 1984? ( 2 pt)
7. What rock band has won the most Grammy awards in their storied career? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What US city is represented by a professional baseball and football team each nicknamed for a different bird? ( 3 points)
2. In what European city is Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" set? ( 4 points)
3. The Tarsus bones are found in what part of the human body? ( 5 points)
4. Which state has the largest Amish population? ( 4 points)
5. Who is the only performer to be nominated twice posthumously for the Best Actor Oscar? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Lindsay Lohan; 2. Tom Hanks; 3. "Jackass;" 4. Santa Monica, CA; 5. Brazil; 6. marijuana; 7. Jerry Lewis.

July 4th Trivia
1. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson; 2. Ulysses S. Grant; 3. Uganda; 4. Philippines; 5. Oakland Raiders; 6. Hawaii; 7. Stephen Foster.

Red, White and Blue Flags Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. yes; 2. no; 3. no; 4. yes; 5. no; 6. yes; 7. yes; 8. no; 9. yes; 10. no.

General Knowledge
1. "Laughing quietly to myself"; 2. "Gladiator;" 3. Africa; 4. Kelsey Grammer; 5. Bangladesh; 6. Leonid Brezhnev; 7. U2.

IQ Trivia
1. Baltimore; 2. Athens; 3. feet; 4. Ohio; 5. James Dean.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trivia Returns to Josie Wood's on Wednesday

Our second Wednesday Night Trivia at Josie Wood's will be happening tomorrow at 8 PM, and the Special Categories will be "1-2-3-4 Trivia" and "True or False Trivia." The latter category will be ten questions where the answer will be the numbers one, two, three or four.


We will have General Knowledge and IQ Trivia to round out the four categories, and the top prize will be $25 off the winning team's bar tab. Second place will be a pitcher of beer, and that will also be awarded to the Best Team Name as well.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What famous rock group was originally known as 'The Quarrymen'?"

We get going right around 8 PM, so I hope many of you can come out to Josie Wood's, which is on Waverly Place and Mercer Street, for a night of Trivia on Wednesday.

Sad News From Raleigh

I was saddened to hear that Lorenzo Charles, the hero of the 1983 North Carolina State NCAA basketball championship game, was killed in a bus crash in North Carolina yesterday.

I always remembered Lorenzo because he brought some pride to us Brooklyn Tech graduates with his last second dunk that brought the Wolfpack the championship, as he went to my high school and graduated two years after I did. (And he was in the same graduating class, 1981, that Anthony Weiner was in at Tech.)

In his memory, here is the memorable finish to that game, Lorenzo slam dunking in the winner, along with the late Jim Valvano running across the floor looking for players to hug.



Godspeed, Lorenzo.

Monday, June 27, 2011

In Honor of Birthday Number 235

Since we are not having another Trivia Night at Professor Thom's until July 5th (after this Tuesday night, that is), I thought it might be a good idea to have a round of "July 4th Trivia" this coming Tuesday night. So that will be our Special category. It will be seven questions about the day of America's birthday in history.

The Q Train lightning round will be a bit of an unusual one, but in the same spirit we will be doing a round I'm calling "Red, White and Blue Flags Trivia." I will give you the names of ten well-known countries throughout the world, and you have to tell me if like the USA they have the colors red, white and blue in their flags, too.

The Sneak Peek question is:
What continent is divided into the most countries?

We will get going right around 9 PM. The Red Sox have a big game in Philadelphia going at the same time which could very well be a World Series preview. But we should get rolling with no problems. Hope to see many of you on Tuesday night.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Salvage Job

The Red Sox avoided the embarrassment of being swept this weekend by the Pirates by pulling out a 4-2 win on Sunday.

Nice job by Andrew Miller, who went six innings, and got the win. He allowed both runs. The bullpen was stellar in the final six innings, as Aceves, Bard and Papelbon allowed just a walk by Papelbon in the ninth. They ended a hideous four-game losing streak to some of the NL lesser-lights.

One thing I really missed this weekend is the announcing of Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy, as I was stuck having to listen to the brutal Pittsburgh announce team on the MLB package all weekend. Today was especially awful, as color guy Bob Walk said the Red Sox play in a "softball league" among other gems. He went on about how much he hates the DH, especially after the both benches were warned after Andrew Miller threw at the feet of the Pirates rookie catcher in the sixth inning.

I consider NL baseball to be an inferior brand of baseball. I love these announcers (mostly from NL teams) and so-called "traditionalists" who bemoan the DH, and how it takes away "strategy." BS. There's still plenty of strategy needed with a DH, and having pitchers hit causes the average manager more headaches.

And may I point out to Mr. Walk that the DH is going nowhere. It's here to stay. The Players Association would scream bloody murder if there was a legitimate movement to ban the DH in the AL. The National League is the only league in the baseball universe that DOESN'T use the DH. It's in Japan, Latin America, Australia, every minor league, the NCAA and high schools. And I love when I hear those so-called "experts" who keep saying "get rid of the DH." I reply to that: "So when the hell is the NL going to come into the 21st century (or even the late 20th century) and get with the program and put both leagues in synch with each other?"

I guess announcing a team that has had 18 straight losing seasons can do damage to your brains in some ways.

New York's win over the Rockies today keeps the Red Sox at one-half game back, and they play the Phillies in a three-game series beginning Tuesday night. Josh Beckett comes back from his flu to make the start.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Did They Really Lose a Series To The Pittsburgh Pirates?

Yes, they did. And I'm glad I missed it.

6-4. Four straight losses for the Red Sox. An unhappy return for Tim Wakefield to Pittsburgh.

Second straight series they've dropped to a lousy or mediocre team.

New York's win over Colorado now puts the Red Sox in second place by a half-game.

My friend Peter wrote me on Facebook tonight, and it began "162, John, 162." I know it's still a long year, but these are the series you should at least take two of three. And tomorrow, the Red Sox will try to avoid a sweep in Pittsburgh (did I really just write that?) with Andrew Miller taking the mound.

Let's just say my optimism is not at an all-time high right now.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Another Night of Waste

Three straight losses to the Padres and Pirates. Bloody hell.

And another night of leaving runners EVERYWHERE. One run scored, 11 men left on base, Sox were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Jon Lester retired the first six hitters, then struggled the rest of the night, giving up all three Pittsburgh runs. He suffered his first road loss of 2011.

These are the losses that REALLY drive me up a wall. Granted the Pirates aren't the NL doormats any more (Houston has that dubious distinction) and Paul Maholm pitched well. But the Sox had runners in scoring position with less than than two outs in four separate innings and came up with nothing. A beyond frustrating 3-1 loss.

Tim Wakefield faces his former team tomorrow night. New York loss tonight to the Rockies (how about Jason Giambi belting a homer?) keeps the Red Sox in first place by a half-game.

No More Sox Games For You!

The moment I heard that Whitey Bulger got nailed by the FBI in Santa Monica, my first thought was:

I wonder if he hung out at Sonny McLean's watching the Red Sox games?

And BTW, do you suppose he has brothers nicknamed "Honky" and "Cracker?" (That's an old Saturday Night Live joke. I remember seeing a picture of Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog at the 1985 World Series with his two sons, and SNL made a joke that went: "Here's Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog posing with his two sons: Honky and Cracker." Still makes me laugh.)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Useless, Useless

The dying words of John Wilkes Booth of April 1865 can certainly apply to one John Lackey of June 2011.

Another miserable performance by one of MLB's worst pitchers (Lackey now has the highest ERA, over 7.00, of any pitcher with at least 60 innings in MLB), this time against one of MLB's worst offenses. The Red Sox actually lost a series to the San Diego Padres, 5-1.

I watched the first inning, saw him give up a home run to Will Venable, his first of 2011 to lead off the game. Then I saw David Ortiz rap into a DP to kill a promising inning with the bases loaded. That's it, I've had enough and spent the day doing other things. I'm glad I did.

Four rain delays. The Red Sox left runners everywhere for the second straight game. Lackey walked in a run, hit a batter to force in a run and wild pitched a run in.

Do the Red Sox really need to score seven or eight runs a game every time Lackey pitches?

Horrific. He is simply stealing the Red Sox money. If his wife's illness continues to affect his head, the Sox should make up an ailment for him and disable him. I have all the sympathy in the world for what his family is going through, and I certainly don't wish cancer on anyone. But he has to go out there and do his job. And he's not doing that.

Say what you want about Barry Bonds, but when his father was dying, he went out there and continued putting up big numbers (with steroid help or not). He had a job to do and did it.

The Sox have little choice about what to do with Lackey. He is untradeable, and they won't cut him, as he is still owed close to $58 million on that putrid five year, $82.5 million deal he signed in 2010. With Clay Buchholz on the DL and Daisuke Matsuzaka gone for at least a year, they will have little choice but to march Lackey out there every fifth day.

It is Theo Epstein's worst free agent signing ever. Far eclipses Edgar Renteria, Matt Clement or Julio Lugo. And we have 3 and 1/2 more years of this loser to deal with.

JW's Trivia Q&A: June 22

Wednesday Night Trivia at Josie Wood's made its debut last night and I have to call it a successful one. We had seven teams come in for it, and that was exactly the number of teams who were in for my debut at Professor thom's in 2006.

Martin, Josie Wood's manager, solved a problem he had with the bar's sound system by buying a pink karaoke machine shortly before it started, and the sound was perfect!

A number of familiar faces were in, including some old friends from my Tower Records days, and that was such a nice surprise.

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I met the bar's staff and they couldn't have been nicer.

The folks in all had a good time, and the winners were Matt and Monica, who are Thom's regulars, and I appreciated their coming in on my first night. As Mortal Wombat, they won by eight points over Honey On My Nuts, who finished with 29 points. Third place went to Towering Inferno (my Tower friends) with 27 points.

Best Team Name: My Couch Pulls Out But I Don't

Music Trivia
1. In 1985, the Live Aid concerts were held in London and what US city?
2. What R&B legend was known as "Mr. Dynamite?"
3. What rock group were Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett a part of?
4. What year did American Idol debut on the Fox network?
5. The songwriting trio of Holland, Dozier, Holland wrote 25 Top 10 hits for what record label?
6. What rock singer once attended the London School of Economics?
7. Name 1 of the 2 artists to win 8 Grammys in one year.
8. What city has the nickname "Music City USA?"
9. Madonna won the first MTV Best Female Video award in 1987 for what song?
10. Bruce Springsteen won an Oscar and Grammy in 1994 for what song?

Movie Trivia
1. What legendary singer won an Oscar for the film "From Here to Eternity?"
2. What was the highest grossing film of the 1980s?
3. What two films did Clint Eastwood win the Oscar for Best Director?
4. What was Elvis Presley's first film?
5. Which film did Woody Allen win a best Original Screenplay Oscar for?
6. What was the name of the first James Bond film, released in 1963?
7. What city is featured in the films "Good Will Hunting," "A Civil Action" and "Field of Dreams?"
8. What movie earned Tom Hanks his third straight Oscar nomination in 1996?
9. The film "Platoon" was set during which war?
10. What 1975 film won the four major Oscars: Best Actor and Actress, and Best Dircetor and Picture?

General Knowledge
1. In what US state is Kent State University? ( 1 pt)
2. What nation was ruled by "The Sun King" from 1643 until his death in 1715? ( 1 pt)
3. Victoria is the capital of what Canadian province? ( 1 pt)
4. The island of Malta can be found in what sea? ( 1 pt)
5. Olympic Airlines is the national airline of what country? ( 1 pt)
6. Name 1 of the 2 teams to win the World Series in the decade of the 2000s. ( 1 pt)
7. What is the world's largest nation by population that's all in a single time zone? ( 2 pt)
8. When the Hindenburg crashed and burned in 1937, what type of gas was it filled with? ( 2 pt)
9. "The Libert Bell March' is the theme song to what classic TV show? ( 2 pt)
10. In terms of area, what is the world's largest principally Spanish-speaking country? (3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Founded in 1852, what is California's oldest prison? ( 3 points)
2. What artist died in the 19th century having sold only painting, but a century later one of his works sold for $82.5 million? ( 4 points)
3. What is the northernmost world capital city? ( 4 points)
4. A monument in which state claims to mark the geographic center of the 48 contiguous US states? ( 4 points)
5. What famous figure was the basis for the main character Oliver in the best-selling novel "Love Story?" ( 5 points)

Answers
Music Trivia
1. Philadelphia; 2. James Brown; 3. Genesis; 4. 2002; 5. Motown; 6. Mick Jagger; 7. Michael Jackson (1983) and Santana (1999); 8. Nashville; 9. "Papa Don't Preach;" 10. "Streets of Philadelphia."

Movie Trivia
1. Frank Sinatra; 2. "ET;" 3. "Unforgiven" and "Million Dollar Baby;" 4. "Love Me Tender;" 5. "Annie Hall;" 6. "Dr. No;" 7. Boston; 8. "Apollo 13;" 9. Vietnam; 10. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

General Knowledge
1. Ohio; 2. France; 3. British Columbia; 4. Mediterranean; 5. Greece; 6. Red Sox and Yankees; 7. China; 8. hydrogen; 9. "Monty Python's Flying Circus;" 10. Argentina.

IQ Trivia
1. San Quentin; 2. Vincent Van Gogh; 3. Reykjavik, Iceland; 4. Kansas; 5. Al Gore.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ace Walk Parade Dooms Sox

It was one of those nights.

Alfredo Aceves, subbing for the ill Josh Beckett, couldn't find home plate and gifted the San Diego Padres two runs in the second inning. He did something you rarely see: he walked five men in a row. And thoughts of the movie "Major League" creeped into my head when he issued 12 straights balls in a row. ("How could they lay off pitches that good?")

The Red Sox left 11 men on base and let upteen opportunities to score runs disappear.

Positive note: David Ortiz stole his first base in three years (pictured), as he caught the Friars napping in the fifth inning.

It was just the fourth Red Sox loss in seventeen games. With New York's rainout in Cincinnati, the Sox AL East lead is one game.

John Lackey stands between the Padres winning this series, as he takes the mound this afternoon.

PT's Trivia Q&A: June 21

We had another huge crowd in on Tuesday night, as 21 teams took part in Trivia night. It was a pleasure to see Kelly and Lindsey, who do comedy every other Monday in Professor Thom's Loft (and are doing a special benefit there on Friday night). And I also met fellow Red Sox blogger Derek Hixon, who has the great Sawxblog.com, and came down from Boston for Trivia and the Sox game.

It was a close night for the first three rounds, but the team of I Need My Astronaut Husband to Retire Like I Need a Hole In My Head pulled away with the win by 11 points with 52, after having a perfect IQ round. They also booed all night, as the team name turned a lot of folks off, but we gave them Best Team Name anyway.

Second place went to I'm Trying To Watch The Royals Game with 41 points, and third went to Three's Company, Too with 39.

Current Events
1. What southern city was named "The Dirtiest City In America" according to recent survey by Travel and Leisure magazine?
2. According to a recent survey by Thomson Reuters, what country was chosen as "the most dangerous in the world" for women to live in?
3. What onetime talk show host announced he is opening a medical marijuana dispensary in Sacramento, CA?
4. Which Asian country's government announced last week they will double sales tax over the next five years to fund rising social security costs?
5. Key staff members of which 2012 presidential candidate resigned last week?
6. A major Mexican drug cartel kingpin named Marco Guzman was arrested last week. What superstar Hollywood actor was he nicknamed for because Guzman allegedly looks like him?
7. Female activists in what Middle Eastern country drove cars last Friday in protest to the male-only laws about driving automobiles?

Which Came First Trivia
1. a. Survivor TV debut; b. American Idol's TV debut
2. a. First man walks on the moon; b. Mets win their first World Series
3. a. John Lennon is killed in New York City; b. US hockey team wins the gold medal at the lake Placid Olympics
4. OJ Simpson is indicted for double-murder; b. Baseball players walk out on strike and two months later the World Series is canceled
5. a. The Berlin Wall comes down; b. Chicago Cubs play their first night game ever at Wrigley Field
6. a. George H.W. Bush becomes president; b. New York Giants win their first Super Bowl
7. The Simpsons TV show makes its Fox debut; b. Seinfeld makes its debut on NBC

Classic TV Characters Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Monica Geller
2. Hawkeye Pierce
3. Dana Scully
4. Mr. Mackey
5. Woody Boyd
6. Frank Costanza
7. Phyllis Lindstrom
8. DJ Conner
9. Corky Sherwood
10. Lennie Briscoe

General Knowledge
1. The nation of Zambia is located on what continent? ( 1 pt)
2. What rock group had a hit song in 1984 with "Jump?" ( 1 pt)
3. How many strikes make a perfect 300 game in ten pin bowling? ( 1 pt)
4. What was the one-word name of the magazine founded by John F. Kennedy Jr.? ( 2 pt)
5. 90% of the world's fresh water is located where? ( 2 pt)
6. How many tablespoons are in a cup? ( 2 pt)
7. In Greek mythology, who was the father of Perseus? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What US president was the first to visit Europe while in office? ( 4 points)
2. Charles Kingsford Smith of Australia was the first man to accomplish what feat in 1928? ( 5 points)
3. What now standard piece of automobile equipment was introduced at the first Indianapolis 500 race in 1911? ( 4 points)
4. Within five points, what percentage of the world's population is right-handed? ( 3 points)
5. What novel, originally banned in the US, became a number one bestseller in 1959, 31 years after it was originally written? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. New Orleans; 2. Afghanistan; 3. Montel Williams; 4. Japan; 5. Newt Gingrich; 6. Brad Pitt; 7. Saudi Arabia.

Which Came First Trivia
1. a; 2. a; 3. b; 4. a; 5. b; 6. b; 7.b.

Classic TV Character Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Friends; 2. M*A*S*H; 3. The X-Files; 4. South Park; 5. Cheers; 6. Seinfeld; 7. Mary Tyler Moore Show; 8. Roseanne; 9. Murphy Brown; 10. Law and Order.

General Knowledge
1. Africa; 2. Van Halen; 3. twelve; 4. George; 5. Antarctica; 6. sixteen; 7. Zeus.

IQ Trivia
1. Woodrow Wilson; 2. Fly solo across the Pacific Ocean; 3. rearview mirror; 4. eighty-five; 5. Lady Chatterly's Lover.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A New Night of Trivia Debuts On Wednesday

I'm proud to say that my second Trivia Night will begin tomorrow night, June 22nd, at 8 PM at Josie Wood's, a bar located at 11 Waverly Place, right off the corner of Mercer Street, one block west of Broadway.

I'm really excited about doing a Wednesday Night Trivia, and it will be slightly different from the Trivia I do at Professor Thom's. There will be four categories instead of five. There will be the old favorites General Knowledge and IQ Trivia, and the other two categories will be on a rotation basis as we start. This week we will be doing "Music Trivia" and "Movie Trivia" as those two.

IQ Trivia will be just like Thom's, as it will conclude the night, with five difficult questions worth 20 points. The other three categories will all be ten questions. General Knowledge will be a 15 point round, with the first six questions worth a point, the next three worth two points, and one final question worth three.

We will be giving out prizes on the night, still to be determined as I write this. We will also be giving away a free pitcher of beer to the best team name.

I will be putting up the Sneak Peek question up here along with the two rotating categories every Tuesday. The opening week's Sneak Peek question is:

The island of Malta can be found in what sea?

And for those of you wondering, NONE of the questions I do at Professor Thom's on Tuesday night will be used the next night at Josie Wood's!

I hope you can come out and join me at Josie Wood's on Wednesday night at 8 PM. It's a nice bar smack in the middle of the NYU community, and I hope it will be as much fun as Thom's Trivia Night is!

Once Again The Sox Stomp Their Foes In The 7th

Andrew Miller made his Red Sox debut on Monday night and made a decent accounting of himself, pitching five scoreless innings. But he allowed a three-run shot to Orlando Hudson, who hit his first home run of the season for the Padres. Miller wound up with a no-decision, as he left in a tie game.

The Red Sox squandered some golden opportunities early, as they came up with single runs when they easily could have been putting crooked numbers up on the board.

It remained tied into the bottom of the seventh, when the Red Sox exploded for 10 runs, as 14 men came to the plate. They did it getting just five hits, but four men walked, and two were hit by pitches in back-to-back at-bats. It was the first time the Red Sox scored 10 in an inning since they did it to the Indians in 2009. this season, and the most of any MLB team in the 7th. The Sox have now scored 64 runs in the 7th inning, the most in any inning by the team, and they lead all MLB teams in scoring in the 7th.

Adrian Gonzalez got two of those hits, and he drove in three runs against his former Friar mates. Kevin Youkilis, Josh Reddick and David Ortiz also had two RBI on the night.

Josh Beckett was scratched from his Tuesday night start, due to that evil "intestinal termoil" once again. The bug seems to be affecting a few players, but you wouldn't know it from the way the Sox are swinging the bats.

Alfredo Aceves will make the start on Tuesday. No word on when Beckett's next start will be.

Monday, June 20, 2011

No Chicken Or The Egg Questions On Tuesday

The Special category this Tuesday night at professor Thom's Trivia Night will be "Which Came First Trivia." I will give you two events that happened relatively close to each other and you have to tell me which occurred first.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Classic TV Characters Trivia" and I will give you ten famous TV characters and you have to tell me which show they debuted on.

The Sneak Peek question on Tuesday night is:
What rock group had a 1984 hit song called "Jump?"

We should get going at the usual time of 9 PM on Tuesday night. Please do keep in mind that my new Trivia Night will make its debut on Wednesday night at Josie Wood's pub at 11 Waverly Place (at Mercer Street) at 8 PM.

I'll have more on that, including a Sneak Peek into Wednesday night, here on the blog on Tuesday.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wake Keeps On Rolling Along

Clay Buchholz was placed on the 15-day DL before Sunday's game with a stiff back. It was necessary due to Buchholz having left the last few games early, and with Andrew Miller being brought up on Monday to me=ake the start versus the Padres at Fenway.

After that it was all good news.

The Bruins made an appearance at Fenway with the Stanley Cup, as they paraded on the duckboats around the park. They placed the Cup on the pitchers mound, and all the Bruins players, all wearing Red Sox hats, threw out the first pitch to all the Red Sox players wearing Bruins hats. It was really a very cool moment.

Tim Wakefield took the mound after the Bruins left with the Stanley Cup, and the Sox exploded for six runs in the first, which included a three-run blast by Kevin Youkilis. Marco Scutaro added a two-run home run later in the game, Dustin Pedroia a solo shot and even Adrian Gonzalez hit a triple (a rare event) into the Triangle.

Wake was in command the entire game, and allowed just a two-run cheapie home run down the right field line by Nyjer Morgan. He pitched eight innings as the Sox coasted to a 12-3 win.

Timmeh got his career 197th win, and his 183rd as a Red Sox player. He now needs 10 wins to reach the all-time Red Sox record.

Godspeed Big Man

We'll miss you Clarence. Here he is at his best, from Emirates Stadium in London in 2008 doing one of his most famous solos, on "Born to Run":



Thanks for all the wonderful, unforgettable music, Mr. Clemons.

A Fine Day For Boston Ends Badly

The day began in triumph for Boston, as the Bruins showed off their Stanley Cup to a million fans on the streets of the city.

But as the day progressed, the news just got worse, as Carl Crawford was put on the DL with a hamstring strain. It is not considered serious, and he hopes to return as soon as the 15 days are up.

Josh Reddick returned from Pawtucket to take his place.

I missed the entire game on Saturday night, as I had tickets to the Brooklyn Cyclones home opener at MCU Park in Coney Island. The Cyclones opened with a win over the Staten Island Yankees in Staten Island on Friday. But the Cyclones bats were shut down on Saturday night and Staten Island pulled out a 3-2 win.

I followed the Sox-Brewers game on my cell, and the news was always bad. Jon Lester gave up three solo shots (one to ex-Sox catcher George Kottaras; did I read that right?), two in the first inning, and they trailed for most of the entire night.

Milwaukee wound up with a 4-2 win. The news was further lousy when New York and Tampa Bay both were victorious, so the Red Sox now lead the East by 1 1/2 games.

Tim Wakefield takes the hill on Sunday to try to get a series win. The Stanley Cup will also be on hand as the Sox will honor the NHL champions before the game.

At least they had a memorable day on Saturday.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Close Early, Rout Late

Friday night's game had all the makings of a 10-9 game, as the first inning took 45 minutes to play, with the Red Sox and Brewers each scored two runs. And with John Lackey giving up 4 in the first three innings, I could see a four-hour game on the horizon. It was 4-4 after 3 innings.

But Lackey settled down and retired 15 straight hitters at one point, and the Sox beat up on Milwaukee pitching. Adrian Gonzalez continued his torrent hitting, as he had three hits including a home run that just made it over the Monster. He was just a triple short of the cycle, and he walked in his last at-bat. I knew a triple was just a pipe dream, unless all three outfielders collapsed in a heap.

Kevin Youkilis left with "intestinal turmoil", which sounds like the trots to me. But he drove in two runs before the bug got him. But in rather more distressing news, Carl Crawford left with a left hamstring strain after legging out a single in the first, and was replaced by Darnell McDonald. No word yet on how severe the injury is.

The Sox put the game away late with three runs in the seventh. Lackey went 8 innings, and ended strong.

New York's loss to the Cubs in the afternoon now extends the Red Sox lead to 2 1/2 games.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jed to the DL; Pap Sits For Two

The Red Sox placed Jed Lowrie on the 15-day disabled list today with a shoulder injury, and recalled Drew Sutton to backup Marco Scutaro at shortstop.

Clay Buchholz' next start is being pushed back a couple of days because of his recurring back problems, and Andrew Miller will be brought up to pitch against the Padres at Fenway on Monday.

And Jonathan Papelbon will serve a two-game suspension for bumping up Tony Randazzo (he should have slugged him, but that's another story) during that crazy game with the A's at Fenway on June 4th. Pap will sit tonight and tomorrow, and Daniel Bard will take over the closing duties in his absence.

8-1

I would have been satisified with a 5-4 road trip through the AL East for the Red Sox these past ten days.

But last night the Sox put the cherry on top of the sundae with a 4-2 win over Tampa Bay and will return to Fenway with just one loss in the last nine road games. It was the best Red Sox road trip with at least nine games played since 1977.

The Sox scored three runs in the first two innings while leaving the bases loaded in both innings. But Clay Buchholz gave the Sox five solid innings before leaving with a stiff back.

Adrian Gonzalez went deep in the ninth to make it 4-2, and Jonathan Papelbon put the first two men on before getting ther Rays out without any further difficulty.

New York's win over Texas kept the Red Sox lead at 1 1/2 games. The spectre of interleague rears its ugky head again as the Milwaukee Brewers come to Fenway for three games starting tonight.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Trivia Empire Is Expanding

I'm proud to announce that I will now be doing a second night of Trivia every week.

I will be the Trivia host at Josie Wood's, a cool bar in Greenwich Village that is located on Waverly Place, just off the corner of Mercer Street. It's exact location is 11 Waverly Place, and it is one short block west of Broadway, and one block from the 8th Street subway station. It is right in the heart of the New York University area. It is also just a few blocks north of my former Tower Records store.

I will be doing the Trivia there every Wednesday night, and it will begin at 8 PM. It will be slightly different from the version I do at Professor Thom's. We will do four categories instead of five, and the first three categories will be 10 questions instead of 7. But we will have an IQ Trivia round of five difficult questions to end the night. We will be doing a General Knowledge round, a Special category round, and another round that will shortly be determined.

I will debut at Josie Wood's next Wednesday night, June 22nd, at 8 PM.

We will be giving away prizes to the two top teams and to Best Team Name.

The bar has plenty of sports on the tube, and pool tables in another side of the bar.

BTW, I will NOT be doing any questions that I will have done the previous night at Professor Thom's. But like Thom's, I will posting the Sneak Peek info for Josie Wood's Trivia Night every Tuesday here on the blog.

So I hope you will come out to Josie Wood's on Wednesday nights, and at an earlier time as well.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

So How Do You Top This Night, Boston?

Congratulations to my all my friends who support the Boston Bruins, as they won their first Stanley Cup championship in 39 years with a 4-0 whitewash of the Vancouver Canucks on the road in Vancouver.

The Bruins become only the third team to win a Game 7 championship game on the road in the last 32 years, joining the Pittsburgh Penguins of 2009 and the Pittsburgh Pirates of 1979 in turning the trick.

Tim Thomas was named Conn Smythe winner as MVP.

BTW, did you know there was a lunar eclipse tonight? Yep, the Bruins win their first Stanley Cup in 39 years, and when the Red Sox won their first title in 86 years in 2004 the same lunar eclipse happened on both nights. Wow.

It was a truly embarrassing performance by the hometown Canucks, as the Bruins outplayed them in every facet of the game. The Bruins truly deserved this trophy, especially after the really embarrassing loss in the playoffs last year, when the Philadelphia Flyers came from 0-3 down in the second round to beat the Bruins four straight.

It's been an amazing last ten years in Boston-area sports, and guess which of the four teams now has the longest title drought? Yes, it's the Patriots, who have not won a Super Bowl since 2005!

The city of Boston is now the first city ever to have a team in each of the four major sports to win a title within seven years. Quite amazing.

And I'm sure many Boston sports fans might not have been paying close attention tonight, but Josh Beckett pitched his first career one-hitter, as the Sox turned the tables on Tampa Bay with a 3-0 win.

The Sox had only one hit going into the seventh inning, but Kevin Youkilis hit a three-run home run off Jeremy Hellickson to give the Red Sox all the offense they needed. Reid Brignac singled off Beckett in the third and that was all the TB offense for the night. Brignac was also the only man left on base by either team.

New York's win over Texas keeps the Red Sox lead at 1 1/2 games.

A Tim Thomas shutout brings a Stanley Cup, and Josh Beckett just misses a no-hitter. Not a bad night to be a Boston sports fan.

And let's hope this isn't the last title for the city of Boston for 2011.

All Good Things Must Come To An End

The nine-game winning streak is over. I had a feeling the Red Sox weren't going to win by double-digits three straight games.

They ran into a buzzsaw in James Shields, who pitched a five-hit shutout. Adrian Gonzalez had three hits, and everyone else had two.

Carl Crawford returned to St. Pete to a mostly positive reaction. Some boos, but he was shut down for the night, going 0-for-3.

New York won, so the Red Sox lead is 1 1/2 games, and 3 1/2 over third place Tampa Bay.

And this was an historic run by the Red Sox, as it was only the third time since the start of the 21st century that a team won nine straight and scored as many as 83 runs in those wins. And the first time the Sox have ever done it. (With thanks to Joy of Sox for that interesting tidbit.)

Trivia Q&A: June 14

We had 22 teams in for Trivia Night on its regular night again, and it was good to see so many of the regulars back. No worries folks, we are back on Tuesday night to stay!

The scores were generally high, and I think most of the questions before IQ Trivia were on the not-so-hard side. It was still a great night (even with that TV that was sitting next to my table, which was put there for the final two games of the Stanley Cup Finals).

The team of And Now, For One Week Only, No Pian (she was away, as she's one of my dedicated regulars) came out with a three point win, getting 4 of the 5 IQ Trivia questions correct and had a total of 52 points. Second place went to Team George Brett with 49 points, and third place went to It's Not The Heat, It's The Lack of Humility with 48.

I made no mention of it, as I kept it low-key, but this night was the 5th anniversary of me hosting Professor Thom's Tuesday Night Trivia. I first hosted it on June 14, 2006. Never would have guessed I'd still be doing it a half-decade later. But all of you who come out week after week make it a joy for me to do and I thank you so much for that.

Best Team Name: It's Not The Heat, It's The Lack of Humility

Current Events
1. What European country banned the words "Facebook" and "Twitter" from being spoken on TV or radio unless they are part of a news story in accordance to an old law?
2. What chocolate company issued an apology to supermodel Naomi Campbell that named and offended her in a recent ad?
3. What primetime network TV show had the highest cumulative audience for the 2010-11 season, with nearly 121 million viewers?
4. President Obama earlier today became the first sitting president to make an official visit to what place since John F. Kennedy in 1961?
5. What Academy Award-winning actor was awarded last week the CBE, or the Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth?
6. AEG Corporation said last weekend that they have spoken to the owners of 5 different NFL teams about moving to what city that has been without a team since 1995?
7. What Oscar winning actor apologized last weekend after he made comments on Twitter lashing out at the practice of male circumcision?

Q-Tip Trivia
1. Which of these US presidents served in the 19th century? a. Benjamin Harrison; b. W. H. Taft; c. Millard Fillmore; d. Grover Cleveland.
2. Which of the following actors/actresses won an Oscar in the decade of the 2000s? a. Jack Nicholson; b. Russell Crowe; c. Nicole Kidman; d. Susan Sarandon.
3. Which of the following books of the Bible are in the Old Testament? a. Leviticus; b. Deuteronomy; c. Romans; d. Philippians.
4. Which of these famous people lived to the age of 100? a. Bob Hope; b. Irving Berlin; c. George Burns; d. Strom Thurmond.
5. Which of these artists have had posthumous number one singles on Billboard's Hot 100 US chart? a. John Lennon; b. Jimi Hendrix; c. Michael Jackson; d. Elvis Presley.
6. Which of the following states entered the Union after the Civil War? a. California; b. Oregon; c. Minnesota; d. Michigan.
7. Which of the following cities are in the Eastern time zone? a. Milwaukee; b. Memphis; c. Nashville; d. Detroit.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. There are more chickens than people in the world.
2. You weigh less at the top of a mountain than at sea level.
3. Arizona is the only US state never to report a temperature of zero degrees F or below.
4. No piece of paper can be folded more than seven times. ( I tossed this question out, as I wasn't specific about how the paper was folded. I awarded everyone a point.)
5. The storytellers The Brothers Grimm were circus performers in their original profession.
6. Franklin D. Roosevelt never won a Nobel Peace Prize.
7. English is the official language of the African nation Ivory Coast.
8. The secret society Skull and Bones operates at Harvard University.
9. Invisible Woman was the only female founding member of The Fantastic Four.
10. Florence Nightingale first achieved fame while serving in World War I.

General Knowledge
1. How many zeros are in the number 20 billion? ( 1 pt)
2. In what city was the sitcom "Laverne and Shirley" originally set? ( 1 pt)
3. What novel features a character named Holly Golightly? ( 1 pt)
4. What actor played "The High Plains Drifter" in the movies? ( 2 pt)
5. What is the only letter of the alphabet not in the name of any US state? (2 pt)
6. Who was the original host of "The Tonight Show?" ( 2 pt)
7. What US state is the only one that borders just one other state? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What is the only US state with just one school district? ( 4 points)
2. What nation's coat of arms features a picture of Noah's Ark resting atop Mount Ararat? ( 4 points)
3. Rocinante was the name of the horse of what fictional character? ( 4 points)
4. Which "Seinfeld" character was the first to lose the bet regarding being "Master of Their Domain?" ( 3 points)
5. A person who is a toxophillist would compete in what sport? ( 5 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. France; 2. Cadbury; 3. "60 Minutes;" 4. Puerto Rico; 5. Colin Firth; 6. Los Angeles; 7. Russell Crowe.

Q-Tip Trivia
1. a,c,d; 2. b,c; 3. a,b; 4. all; 5. a; 6. none; 7. d.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. true; 2. true; 3. false, Hawaii; 4. true; 5. false, librarians; 6. true; 7. false, French; 8. false, Yale; 9. true; 10. false, Crimean War.

General Knowledge
1. ten; 2. Milwaukee; 3. "Breakfast at Tiffany's; 4. Clint Eastwood; 5. Q; 6. Steve Allen; 7. Maine.

IQ Trivia
1. Hawaii; 2. Armenia; 3. Don Quixote; 4. Kramer; 5. archery (hunting).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm Not a "Believer" Either

With all the genuflecting at the altar of Derek Jeter going on as he approaches the 3,000 hit mark, the Sporting News has a column called "Skeptic vs. Believer" and the topic is "Derek Jeter is the greatest shortstop in MLB history" and two writers take opposite sides of that statement. (Personally, I believe that Honus Wagner, Cal Ripken and Ozzie Smith are greater.)

My friend Dave, a huge Red Sox fan and big time stat cruncher, decided to answer back the "Believer" in the piece, some guy named Stan McNeal. He sent me an email about it, and it's done in a very "Fire Joe Morgan" style. I think you all might enjoy Dave's responses. (McNeal's column is in italics.)

Don't get me wrong; there's a case to be made that Jeter's the best shortstop in history (he's not, but the case could be made). But this -counterpoint by Stan McNeal ain't it. (For reference purposes ahead of time, here're the stats of Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken, Arky Vaughn, Honus Wagner, and Reggie Jackson.)

I realize this is an advocacy piece, and McNeal's co-author writes the case why Jeter is not the greatest of all time, so it's not really so offensive that this is one-sided, but there are nevertheless glaring moments of inaccurate stupidity, or if that's too harsh, stupid inaccuracy:
Only Honus Wagner, widely considered the greatest shortstop ever, put up numbers at the position to compare with Derek Jeter.
Wrong. Jeter's offensive case is actually remarkably weak, given his reputation, when compared to the rest of his league (probably due to him competing against the players of the steroid era, but still). Jeter scores a really weak 6 on the black-ink test; he's led the league in offensive categories only five times, three times for plate appearances (thanks, New York Yankees, for batting me leadoff!), once in runs, once in hits. Ripken led in PAs and ABs multiple times, but also in runs, hits, doubles, and total bases, and he holds the record for consecutive games played. Vaughn led the league in games and appearances and also runs (3x), triples (3x), steals, walks (3x), average, on-base (3x), and slugging. Wagner led in runs (2x), hits (2x), doubles (7x), triples (3x), RBIs (5x), steals (5x), average (8x), on-base (4x), and slugging (6x), and he still has the best single-season win-share total and his baseball card is an iconic bit of Americana. It's absurd to say Jeter compares to Wagner, and dishonest to say nobody but Wagner compares to Jeter. Quite a few shortstops do.
Only Ozzie Smith, Omar Vizquel, Luis Aparicio and Mark Belanger won more Gold Gloves....
And every one of those Gold Gloves is widely ridiculed. Derek Jeter is the worst fielder at shortstop in history. During his time in the majors, no player has been worse at any position, excepting possibly Manny Ramirez.
.... and combined, that foursome did not hit as many homers as Jeter.
Pointless, at least out of context. Aparicio led the league in steals nine straight seasons, something Jeter's never done, and has a higher black-ink rating---does that mean Aparicio is better than Jeter, because of that one stat? Of course not, because an isolated stat doesn't give you very much of a complete picture.
And that's just talking about April-September. Even the statheads who believe Jeter is overrated have to admit he is in a class by himself in October (and November).
The November playoff game is a recent oddity; if you want to claim that Jeter is the best ever in that month, you're playing a pretty silly game. Also, you're losing: Jeter was .250 in November 2001; Steve Finley went 5-for-8 with a homer and two walks during that month.

In October, the argument is positively inane. In playoff history, Jeter is not in the top 10 in any rate stat---average, on-base, slugging, or OPS. He does lead several count stats---runs (by 18), hits (by 57), singles (by 54), doubles (by 1), and total bases (by 60). This of course obscures the real story; Jeter played his whole career in the era of long playoffs, whereas Ruth, Cobb, etc. only had seven games at most per postseason. Jeter hit leadoff or second for the Yankees, and accordingly had the most chances to get those hits, leading the list of plate appearances by 134 (no. 2 is Bernie Williams). Even with all those extra chances, he doesn't have the most triples or home runs, nor RBIs, walks, or steals. He does have the most strikeouts.

But why call him "in a class by himself"? His very nickname clearly puts him in a class with Reggie Jackson---to whom he's demonstrably inferior, at least in the postseason. Mr. November is .321/.384/.449 in the World Series. Mr. October is .357/.457/.755. Jeter has 20 postseason home runs. Reggie Jackson has 18... in fewer than half the plate appearances.
That he still can handle the position 17 years into his career should be considered a plus.
Except he can't handle the position. He never could.
After all, when the Yankees traded for Alex Rodriguez, there was no doubt about who would man the 6 spot.
Poor team management by Joe Torre is a mark of excellence, it seems. Hey, I never knew that Scott Proctor was the best reliever on the Yankees!
The Orioles wanted Cal Ripken off shortstop years before he moved to third.
As has been widely reported in NY media, the Yankees have been looking for a way to move Jeter off short for years, too. But while we're ripping Cal Ripken, let's examine the season before he moved to third: He made the second most assists from shortstop in the AL. Prior to that, he'd been in the top five in assists every single year since 1983 and was #1 in seven years. Jeter led AL shortstops once (n 1997). He rated the top five twice. He did manage to lead the AL in putouts once, though. (Ripken did it six times.) Ripken was a great, great defensive shortstop.
Wagner never was regarded as a great defensive player and actually played 890 games at other positions.
Simply untrue. Honus Wagner has been called a great defensive player routinely. Here, I just Googled "honus wagner defense" and retrieved these squibs:
"A-Rod was fairly consisent but definitely not at the caliber of Honus Wagner in the defense department." "On defense, Wagner had a 'sixth sense of baseball,' McGraw claimed." "From 1900-10, Honus Wagner was arguably the best hitter, fielder, and runner in baseball." "There are too many good shortstops who could thrill with both offense and brilliant defense, starting with ... 1. Honus Wagner" "Would Williams' offensive advantage counteract Wagner's defensive dominance?" "'Honus Wagner can't play the entire infield,' he groused," "A concession can be made to Smith on defense, although when you compare Wagner..." "And he contributed mightily on defense. 'The only way to get a ball past Honus is to hit it eight feet over his head.'"
Again, that's just the front-page results from the one Google search I performed. Bill James considered Wagner an elite defensive player, calling him gold-glove quality. What's more, no matter his reputation, he actually was a good defensive player. He led NL shortstops in putouts twice and made the top five in assists eight times, so right there he's outdone Jeter, but he also led the league in range factor four times. Jeter made top five in range once. Wagner scored top-ten in defensive WAR, across all positions, seven times, and led the NL once. Jeter has never come in the top ten.

Weirdly, McNeal takes a gratuitous shot at stat-heads. I say weirdly, because Jeter's case for best-in-history really can be best made with the advanced SABR metrics that stat-heads are notorious for employing. Take a look at the analyses linked here, putting Jeter second or third. Posnanski puts Jeter third all-time, too, but he relies on WAR (can't find the link right now... may have been at the old blog that got hacked). Without those advanced stats, it's hard to see Jeter as anything but a very durable beneficiary of a lot of good luck (came up with the Yankees in the 1990s, kept at short by stubborn management and adoring fans, A-Rod moved to third, etc.) with a penchant for making big plays conspicuously. Best of all time? Sure, if it's a slow news day and the Post needs six inches. But if you're really asking the question? There's no way to make that case seriously, unless you're using WAR, etc.,... and then Jeter looks really pretty good.

This will, I hope, be taken as a swipe at the writer and not at the player. Jeter's of course a Hall of Famer on the first ballot; he deserved one MVP and possibly more; Joe Posnanski calls him the most underrated overrated player in baseball (in a really interesting bit of analysis). Considering his postseason success and the different eras Vaughn and Wagner played in, you can even make a plausible case for Jeter as the best at the position. (Again, I wouldn't agree with it, but it's plausible.) Which makes it all the more curious---and frustrating---to read a writer make such extensive use of obviously implausible arguments.

How Hot Are The Red Sox Right Now?

So hot that they gained ground on a night they didn't play, as both New York and Tampa Bay lost.

The Red Sox lead the AL East by 2 1/2 games, as they face the Rays in St. Pete tonight.

They are expected to activate Darnell McDonald from the DL tonight and send Drew Sutton back to Pawtucket. Carl Crawford returns to Tropicana Field for the first time in a Red Sox uniform, and I would think he'll get a nice ovation from most of the Rays fans. He didn't leave on bad terms.

Good luck to the Bruins as they play a Game 7 for all the marbles in the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday night. The game will be in Vancouver, and every home team has won in the series. Do you know the last time a Boston team won Game 7 on the road?

This might refresh your memory:



It NEVER gets old (especially seeing that long look on Billy Crystal's face). Bring home the Cup, Bruins.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back Where We Belong: On Tuesday Night

Trivia Night at Professor Thom's returns to Tuesday night to stay this week, and thank goodness for that. No more moving around!

Once again, I thank you all of you who followed Trivia Night to the various nights we had to move to (Sunday, Monday and Thursday) during these NHL and NBA playoffs. Your loyalty is great (and just wait until October when the Red Sox go to the playoffs) and I appreciate it so much.

This week the Special Category will be the return of "Q-Tip Trivia." That is where I ask seven general knowledge, multiple choice questions, and the answer can be 1, 2, 3 all 4 choices, or none of them. You will get a point for each correct answer you give (one point if the answer is none). However, if you give any wrong answers, you will get a zero for that question, so you have to be careful.

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

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
In what city was the TV sitcom "Laverne and Shirley" originally set?

We will get going at 9 PM. The smoking-hot Boston Red Sox have a big game against division-rival Tampa Bay, but that won't stop us from having a great night of Trivia on Tuesday. Hope to see many of you tomorrow night.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

No Prisoners Taken. Again.

Another day, another slaughter north of the border.

So, how do you top winning by 12 runs on Saturday? Win by 13 on Sunday.

The Red Sox continue to be the hottest team in MLB right now, winning their 9th straight game, 14-1 against the helpless Toronto Blue Jays.

It was as perfect a game as could be played.

Like I did yesterday, here's how much of a rout this was:
-Four bombs (Pedroia, Ortiz, Gonzalez and Youkilis, and none of them were cheapies)
-Five of the nine starters scored two runs
-Every regular scored a run except Drew (who went 0-for-5 and 4 Ks) and Saltalamacchia
-Six starters had at least two hits, and the first five batters in the order batted six times
-Jon Lester pitched eight innings and allowed just a home run to Jose Bautista and a scratch single. He's now the first 9-game winner in the AL.

The third straight Sox sweep was a 35-6 composite score. It was also the second time this season the Sox had back-to-back games where they scored at least 14 runs, and did it last month against the Indians and Tigers.

They can't win by 14 runs tomorrow, only because the Red Sox have an off day on Monday, and face the Rays in St. Pete on Tuesday night on what will be Carl Crawford's return to Tampa. The Sox AL East lead, now the largest in MLB, is still at two games, and they trail the Phillies still by 1/2 game for the best record in all of baseball.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Runaway Freight Train

That would be a good description of the Boston Red Sox right now, as they totally dismantled the Blue Jays today, 16-4, in Toronto.

It was a good day to score a lot of runs, as John Lackey took the mound. But he wasn't bad at all. He allowed four runs in six innings, while striking out eight.

So, how much of a slaughter was this?

-Every Red Sox starter drove in at least one run. And scored at least one run (except for Jed Lowrie).

-Jason Varitek and David Ortiz both hit three run shots. In the 6th inning.
-Six Red Sox starters scored at least two runs.
-Six Red Sox starters had at least two hits.
-The Red Sox batted around twice.
-J.D. Drew, the number 8 hitter, batted six times.
-Kevin Youkilis and Jarrod Saltalamacchia did not play.
-Mike McCoy, Blue Jays infielder, pitched the ninth inning (and retired the Sox 1-2-3).

18 hits for the Red Sox today, and they have now won eight straight. Before the road trip started, I was hoping the Red Sox could win 5 of the 9 games in New York, Toronto and Tampa Bay. They can now do no worse than that, as they are 5-0 on the trip.

New York beat the Indians again (are they falling to earth with a loud thud or what?), so the Sox continue to lead by two games.

At Least One Boston Team Won In Canada Last Night

Clay Buchholz shrugged off the tightness in his back and gave the Red Sox seven solid innings last night. He struck out six and gave up just one run on three hits.

Seven straight wins, as the Red Sox went into Toronto with very little sleep and beat the Jays, 5-1.

The top of the order was tremendous, as both Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin (No Knee Surgery For Me) Pedroia both got three hits, and the Machine Known As Adrian Gonzalez drove in two more to increase his MLB lead in RBI to 57.

Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon both looked sharp, and with New York beating the Indians the Red Sox remain two games up in the AL East.

Can good fortune remain with the Red Sox? John Lackey takes the ball at Rogers Centre this afternoon.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Nobody Ever Said Sportswriters Were Smart

I was enjoying the Yankee schadenfreude over at Joy of Sox this morning, when Allan put up this quote from some New York Times writer named Ben Shpigel:

Babe Ruth was a 17-year-old pitching prodigy at the St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys. The Red Sox had yet to win a World Series, and the Yankees did not exist. They were still called the Highlanders, playing not in the Bronx but in Manhattan, at Hilltop Park and the Polo Grounds.

What's wrong with this quote? Well, the Red Sox had already won a World Series, the first World Series in 1903 under the name "Pilgrims." But it is still the same franchise. The Yankees did exist, under the name Highlanders, which they changed to Yankees in 1913.

A team isn't different because they change their nickname. It's the same franchise.

And another writer named Tim Smith of the NY Daily News wrote this gem:

[Sabathia] served as the big enforcer when he nailed David Ortiz in the thigh with a fastball in the fourth inning ... [I]t was what they needed most from one of their strongest performers. It will reverberate long after this series is over. ...

Papi had a wry smile on his face after getting plunked, which said "we'll see who's laughing last." And he hit a single and double, scored a run and drove in two in the seven-run seventh.

So how did that work out, Tim? A great Yankee moral victory, eh? Smith spends a good part of his column blabbering how Papi getting hit was a really great thing for New York.

No, no one EVER said sportswriters were smart.

Especially me.

A Bronx Massacre. Once Again.

Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

Another sweep. In the Bronx. Another ass kicking.

Red Sox score seven in the seventh against New York's ace after a 3 1/2 hour rain delay.

8-3 final. 25-13 in the series. The Sox win the last two games by five runs apiece. It's the first time the Sox have won six straight in New York since 1912.

The highlight of the night for New York fans was David Ortiz getting plunked for the first time EVER by New York in the fourth inning. Papi took it in stride, smiling on the way to first. But you know he had to be thinking "I'll get the last laugh." And he did, with a single and double (and two RBI) in the 7th. Another stellar performance by Josh Beckett, who threw seven innings, and just one bad pitch to Curtis Granderson kept him from another shutout against them.

I can't wait to hear Mike (Fatso) Francesa at 1 PM on WFAN on Friday.

8 wins out of 9 against New York this season. Six straight wins right now. A two-game lead in the East, and they trail the Phillies by just a half-game for MLB's best record.

And the news on Dustin Pedroia is better than expected, as he has just a kneecap bruise, and should join the Red Sox in Toronto on Friday and may even be in the lineup against the Blue Jays.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

A Bizarre 25th Anniversary

My friend Chris Jaffe has a good article up at The Hardball Times about a truly strange injury Wade Boggs suffered on this day in 1986 that cost him a shot at hitting .400.

It involves him taking off his boots in a hotel room in Toronto and falling and suffering a rib cage injury. Check it out here.

Yep, 1986 was a truly strange year for the Red Sox, in more than just the obvious reasons.

Pete Nash of The Hauls of Shame sent me an interesting article from The Detroit News about how the Detroit Public Library is mishandling the late Ernie Harwell's great memorabilia collection and are putting it at risk for thieves.

And speaking of the Tigers, I was saddened to learn the passing of Tigers 1968 World Series hero Jim Northrup.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Is Pedey Out?

Rumors are flying that Dustin Pedroia may need knee surgery and be out a month.

Dustin is returning to Boston on Thursday to have his right knee examined and won't be available for the finale in the Bronx. The injury goes back to the one he suffered against the Orioles fielding a grounder on May 16th.

The Sox also put Bobby Jenks on the DL on Wednesday and recalled catcher Luis Exposito.

Daisuke Matsuzaka will have Tommy John surgery on Friday in Los Angeles. Rich Hill will have his TJ surgery tomorrow.

Guess who else was placed on the DL today? None other than Joba Chamberlain.

I'll find a way to hold back the tears reporting on that one.

Asses Kicked. Names Taken.

The Red Sox will be playing with the house's money on Thursday.

11-6 win in The House The Taxpayers Built on Wednesday night. Papi goes deep again in the first inning. Carl Crawford and J.D. Drew both also left the yard.

Tim Wakefield pitched into the sixth inning and gave up five runs, but left with an 8-5 lead. It was his third win of the year, and his 182nd in a Red Sox uniform, 10 away from the team record.

The Sox are now 7-1 against New York this season. It's the third straight series they've taken from NY in 2011. They've beaten them five straight times in the Bronx, and haven't done that since 1939. It's the first time they've won the first five games in New York to start a season since 1913. They've won five straight and are one game up in the AL East.

The Sox have won 33 of their last 49 games, and are an MLB-best 16-6 on the road since April 20.

The Boston Red Sox were 2-10 after 12 games this season. Tonight they have the best record in the American League.

Phil Dunphy's No Clown (Or John Sterling Fan)

My buddies at Surviving Grady put this YouTube clip up today, and I will also. The cast of "Modern Family" (one of the few network shows I watch with any regularity and is absolutely hysterical) appeared on Inside the Actors Studio and James Lipton asked Ty Burrell, who plays Phil Dunphy, the clown dad on the show, what sound he hates to hear. A classic response follows:




Don't know if Ty's a Red Sox fan or just a Yankee hater. Either way, cool.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

200 Means First Place

First blood drawn in the Bronx.

Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz go deep. Sox open with three in the first and never look back. Jon Lester goes six innings, allowed eight hits and three runs, is rather shaky but gets win number eight.

Alex Rodriguez goes 0 for 5 and strikeout against Jonathan Papelbon to end it. Pap is once again a ninth inning adventure, as he allows a run and Slappy was the tying run. But he nails down his 200th save of his career. (He was also suspended for three games over that ninth inning circus at Fenway last Saturday, but is appealing.)

The Red Sox are now tied with New York for the AL East lead. The Sox have taken six of the first seven meetings with the Yankees. Four straight wins now and Tim Wakefield tries to keep it going tomorrow night in The House The Taxpayers Built.

At Least I Haven't Seen Anyone Grade These Picks

The Red Sox drafted four players yesterday in the first-year amateur draft's first round (and supplemental round). And they are:

Matt Barnes-RHP, University of Connecticut (19th pick)
Blake Swihart-C, Cleveland High School, Rio Rancho, New Mexico(26)
Henry Owens-LHP, Edison High School, Huntington Beach, California (36)
Jackie Bradley-OF, University of South Carolina (40)

Not surprised to see the Red Sox took a catcher in the first round.

I gave this post that title because every year in the NFL Draft I see these knucklehead "experts" who like to give each team a "grade" on how they did picking players. How can you even think of grading teams on players who haven't played one professional game yet? Same here. It will be a long road to the majors for the majority of players picked in the MLB Draft, longer than the NFL Draft of course. In the NFL you have to wait at least one year to determine a draft's value, and even longer for the MLB one.

We maybe looking at four stars of the future, or four huge busts. Time will tell.

And with the latest "war to end all wars" to commence at Yankee Stadium tonight, I found this last week at Bleacher Report, and some guy wrote that "the rivalry is dead."

Is this guy kidding? Hey, the rivalry has gone through ups and downs over the years. Remember the early 1990s, when both teams were lousy? It wasn't intense at all, but was it dead? Of course not. It was as high as it ever could be in the mid-2000s, but it would have to level off. But what if both teams meet in the ALCS this year? Would it still be "dead" then?

Both teams have an excellent chance to make the postseason. This guy just sounds like he hates both the Red Sox and Yankees.

Whatever.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Lackey: Not Bad Really

As John Lackey was making his return to Red Sox rotation today, I thought I was glad that the Red Sox had already won the series, as this one could get ugly, and I wouldn't be too upset.

But Lackey turned in a decent performance, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs. He hit two batters, but got two double plays as well, so I really can't complain too much.

With Brett Anderson going for Oakland, I really thought the A's would take this, as he has beaten the Red Sox four straight times, including Lackey earlier this year in Oakland.

But Anderson threw a breaking pitch in the middle of the strike zone to Carl Crawford and he killed it, sending it into the Red Sox bullpen with two on in the second. That made it 3-0, and the Red Sox were ahead to stay.

Adrian Gonzalez hit his 12th home run into the Monster Seats with one on, and that made it 5-2. Was he born to play in Fenway or what?

6-3 was the final, a sweep of the A's, and the Sox remain one back as New York won in Anaheim. Next up, the Yankees in the Bronx on Tuesday night.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Trivia Q&A: June 5

We had 26 teams in last Tuesday, and on Sunday night we had the opposite end of the spectrum: just 7 teams were in to play. That wasn't a great surprise, as we've had turnouts like that before on Sunday nights we have had to do it. But those who came out seemed to enjoy the night.

The night was won by That's Not What I Meant By "Organ Donor", Congressman, and they won by 11 points with 43. They held first place all night long, and were the only team to get more than two of the five correct in IQ Trivia (they had four right).

Second place went to Who Needs Church When You Have Trivia? with 32 points and third went to Four Dudes One Trophy with 31 points.

Thanks to all of you who rescheduled and came out with all the moving around. I really appreciate it. We return to Tuesday night next week, June 14th at 9 PM.

Best Team Name: That's Not What I Meant By "Organ Donor," Congressman

Current Events
1. What actor/comedian recently revealed that a painting he bought for $1 million in 2004 was actually the work of a German art forgery ring?
2. Sepp Blatter was re-elected president of what sport's governing body despite corruption allegations and no one running against him?
3. What NBA star announced his retirement last Wednesday on Twitter?
4. What European country closed eight nuclear plants recently and said they plan to abandon nuclear power by 2022?
5. James Arness, who rose to fame in what TV western that ran for 20 years, died last Friday at the age of 88?
6. The president of what Middle Eastern country and seven other government officials were injured in a rocket attack on the presidential palace during a skirmish with armed tribesmen?
7. The NHL's Atlanta Thrashers were sold last week and the new owners plan to move the team to what Canadian city that last had an NHL team in 1996?

2000s Trivia
1. The 2000 Summer Olympics were held in what city in September of that year?
2. What MLB team won the World Series in 2005, 88 years after their previous win?
3. Martin Scorsese won his first Academy Award for Best Director for what 2006 film?
4. Daniel Pearl, the reporter who was murdered by Al-Qaeda in February 2002, worked for what daily newspaper at the time of his death?
5. In 2004, what country banned the use of cell phones, but brought them back in 2008?
6. In June 2006, Montenegro declared its independence from what country?
7. What British punk rock band refused to attend their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2006, and called the Museum "a piss stain"?

Sunday Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. The 1976 movie "Black Sunday" is about a terror attack at what event?
2. "Bloody Sunday" was a 1972 incident when 13 civil rights protestors were shot and killed where?
3. "Easy (Like a Sunday Morning)" was a 1977 top 10 hit for what R&B group?
4. True or False: a month beginning with a Sunday will have a Friday the 13th in it.
5. "Low Sunday" is observed one week after what holiday?
6. Sunday Island is a small, low-lying island off the coast of what country?
7. "Sundays at Tiffany's" was a 2008 best-selling book by what popular author?

General Knowledge
1. The Pony Express operated between Missouri and what other state? (1 pt)
2. Cleopatra died after having been bitten by what? ( 1 pt)
3. Actor Audie Murphy was a real-life hero in what war? ( 1 pt)
4. The game of jai alai originated in what European country? ( 2 pt)
5. What MLB Hall of Fame player was killed in a plane crash in 1972? ( 2 pt)
6. What 19th century author wrote the classic novel "The Count of Monte Cristo?" ( 2 pt)
7. The duffel bag gets its name from a town in what European country? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What is the only US state that does not have a rectangular flag? ( 4 points)
2. Bedloe's Island is currently known today by what name, which was changed in 1956? ( 4 points)
3. Because of its shape, what European nation is known as "The Hexagon?" ( 3 points)
4. What TV personality was the first to show Abraham Zapruder's famous film of John F. Kennedy's assassination on national TV in 1975? ( 5 points)
5. "Fidelio" is the only opera by what immortal classical composer? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Steve Martin; 2. soccer; 3. Shaquille O'Neal; 4. Germany; 5. "Gunsmoke;" 6. Yemen; 7. Winnipeg.

2000s Trivia
1. Sydney, Australia; 2. Chicago White Sox; 3. "The Departed;" 4. Wall Street Journal; 5. North Korea; 6. Serbia; 7. The Sex Pistols.

Sunday Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Super Bowl; 2. Northern Ireland; 3. The Commodores; 4. true; 5. Easter Sunday; 6. Australia; 7. James Patterson.

General Knowledge
1. California; 2. asp; 3. World War II; 4. Spain; 5. Roberto Clemente; 6. Alexandre Dumas; 7. Belgium.

IQ Trivia
1. Ohio; 2. Liberty Island; 3. France; 4. Geraldo Rivera; 5. Ludwig van Beethoven.

Tony Randazzo's Flying Circus

OK, Jonathan Papelbon was awful in the ninth inning, and he was mostly responsible for Saturday's game going into extra innings. And Dustin Pedroia botched what looked like a sure double play grounder to end the game in the same inning. (I didn't see any of this. Once again, thanks to MLB Extra Innings. Please see previous post.)

But once again, incompetent umpires tried to make themselves a part of the game, and it nearly cost the Red Sox dearly. Tony Randazzo, another one who should be given his walking papers if MLB cared about quality umpiring, tossed out both Jason Varitek and Papelbon in the ninth inning. Tek questioned Randazzo's strike zone, and later in the inning, it appeared Randazzo was insulted by Pap turning his back on him, said something to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and then Randazzo sought out a confrontation with Pap. Papelbon went ballistic and was tossed.

After the game, a reporter from the Globe tried to get a comment from the umps and was rebuffed and told to talk to the league office. These umps are gutless cowards who avoid the press after any controversy happens during a game. And any player who talks about them after a game is sure to be fined by MLB. Yes, you can criticize the President of the United States, but don't you dare criticize any umpire!

Peter Gammons said it best on Twitter during the ninth inning:

"Does MLB have anyone administering umpires? Dreadful, with no interest in the sport's integrity."

Amen to that, Gammo.

It seems like being an MLB umpire is like being named a Supreme Court judge. You're there for life and have no accountability. MLB umpiring has become a bad joke, but MLB does nothing to weed out incompetents like Randazzo. And the on-field product suffers because of it.

And yes, the Sox came back and won in the 14th inning on J.D. Drew's single, 9-8.

Great job today by Alfredo Aceves, who pitched the last four innings and got the win.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

MLB Extra Innings Ruins Baseball, Too

The Red Sox have just begun their Saturday afternoon game at 1 PM with the Oakland A's, and I am not watching it.

I'm not seeing it because MLB Extra Innings isn't showing it.

The game was originally going to be broadcast at 7 PM, but the Red Sox graciously moved it to 1 PM to accomodate the Sox/Bruins fans who want to see the Bruins Stanley Cup Game 2 tonight. I have no problem with that, and I thought 1 PM would be a better time today anyway.

The Red Sox are NEVER bumped off MLB EI. (The Mets and the Yankees aren't either; the only three teams that I have seen left off.) This game was on the original schedule, but the time change probably changed all that.

I noticed earlier this year that as long as a game did not run into the Fox exclusive three-hour time on Saturdays (it is 4-7 PM today), games can be shown throughout the country on MLB EI. Today's blackout reminds me of earlier years when the first games on Saturdays could only be seen at 7 PM.

From the Extra Innings web site:
On Saturdays where the first FOX game is scheduled to start at 4:10pm ET, no games that start between 1:10pm ET and 7:05pm ET will be available in the package

So where is today's Sox-A's game, EI? It started at 1:10 PM, so it should be on my TV, but it isn't. Awful, rotten job by MLB Extra Innings today. Thanks for spoiling my Saturday.

Trivia On Sunday Night? Why Not?

As many of you know, the Bruins Stanley Cup run has played havoc with Tuesday Night Trivia, as we've had to move it to different nights when it falls on a Tuesday. This week they are playing on Monday (Game 3) and that will bring out a huge crowd. But we also have the Red Sox playing the Yankees on Tuesday (as well as Wednesday and Thursday nights), so we can't have Trivia on any of those nights.

So this week we will do it on Sunday, June 5th at a special time of 7:30 PM. Many of the regulars told me they like the idea of doing Trivia Night earlier, so we will try it even earlier tomorrow.

The Special Category this week is "2000s Trivia," seven questions about the previous decade. The Q Train lightning round will be "Sunday Trivia," seven questions about the day we are doing Trivia this week.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
The Pony Express operated from Missouri to what other state?

I hope to see some of you who can make it out on Sunday night. I appreciate very much all of you who can alter your schedule and make my Trivia Night the success it is. Thank you so much. Next week we return to Tuesday nights for good (or until at least the last week in August).