Ellsbury Returns To Fenway

Sunday, July 31, 2011

2 of 3 From CHI & The Sox Return With Bedard

As the trading deadline was approaching at 4 PM today, the Red Sox pulled off a deal for a starting pitcher, getting Erik Bedard from Seattle, in a three-team deal with the Mariners and Dodgers.

The Red Sox send AA catcher Tim Federowicz, pitchers Steven Fife (AA) and Juan Rodriguez (A) to Los Angeles, and AA outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang to Seattle. The Mariners will receive outfielder Trayvon Robinson (AAA) from L.A.

The Red Sox also receive Josh Fields, a AA pitcher, from Seattle. (Not the White Sox infielder.)

And on the field today, Andrew Miller looked decent, going 5 2/3 innings, allowed 10 hits and 3 runs, walked 1 and struck out 8. He got out of a jam in the fifth, as the White Sox had the bases loaded with one out and could not add on runs. (I also heard that Miller has had just one 1-2-3 inning all season. He didn't have one today Could that really be true?)

He left behind, 3-2, but Alfredo Aceves came on and got the win when the Red Sox scored two in the seventh when Dustin Pedroia drove in two with a double. Adrian Gonzalez added an RBI in the ninth. The Sox scored their first two runs on Jason Varitek's two-run shot in the second.

Jonathan Papelbon dominated in the ninth, striking out the side for the save.

New York's win over Baltimore keeps the Red Sox lead at 2 games, as the Red Sox return to Boston to face the Indians for four games starting tomorrow night.

So How Many People Has Dusty Killed In Denver?


You have to love Dustin Pedroia. Here's his take on why he wouldn't have been traded last night in a deal involving Ubaldo Jimenez:

"I can't be in that trade because I'm wanted for murder in Colorado."

On The Other Hand...

Well, so much for a deal that just about done, and checking the medical records just being a formality.

The trade the Red Sox made last night to acquire Rich Harden fell through, as the Red Sox were not convinced after seeing his medical files that the oft-injured pitcher wouldn't stay healthy the rest of 2011.

Here's more from MLB.com.

The hunt continues, and the clock winds down to 4 PM.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sox Whip Sox & Acquire Aviles, Harden

The Red Sox got back to their winning ways, and also back into scoring double-digit runs, with a 10-2 whacking of the White Sox on Saturday night.

Chicago's Philip Humber retired the first eight Sox hitters, and 12 of the first 14 before the Red Sox reached him for four runs in the fifth and knocked him out.

Jon Lester was terrific, as went eight innings, struck out eight, and allowed just four hits, two of them solo home runs. He is now 11-4 on the season.

The Sox were up 5-2 in the 9th when they added five more for good measure, which featured homers by Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis.

The Sox are now two up, as New York took a twinbill from Baltimore.

The Red Sox added infielder Mike Aviles from Kansas City before the game for utility man Yamaico Navarro and minor league pitcher Kendal Volz. And after the game tonight, they traded for oft-injured starting pitcher Rich Harden from Oakland for onetime big prospect first baseman Lars Anderson and a player to be named later. Harden still has to pass a physical, but that is just a formality.

I like both moves. Harden has had injury problems, but is a free agent after the season. He's worth the gamble and can be an upgrade over Andrew Miller. Anderson was completely blocked in Boston at 1B, and his stock had fallen the last two years. Aviles can play 2B, SS and 3B and is a definite upgrade over Navarro as a utilty player.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Sound Of Silence

Tim Wakefield was denied his 200th career win tonight in Chicago, as he was outpitched by Gavin Floyd, as the White Sox won 3-1, in just 2 hours and ten minutes.

Win #200 would have been a nice early 45th birthday present for Wake (his actually birthday is this Tuesday), but the Sox could manage just three hits, one of which was a solo homer by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Wake went seven innings, and allowed all three Chicago runs, one on a sacrifice fly (after a wild pitch), and a two run shot by A.J. Pierzynski.

The Red Sox did little else against Floyd. They loaded the bases in the sixth, but Kevin Youkilis was caught looking, on a very dubious call. They did not get a man on base the rest of the night.

The hitting streak is over for Dustin Pedroia, as he went 0-for-4. It ends at 25 games.

Adrian Gonzalez sat out the game with a stiff neck, and is day-to-day.

Now, you might be wondering about the title of this post. It's not just the silent Red Sox bats. Well, for the first time in a very long time, I watched an entire baseball game on TV with no sound on (excluding being in crowded bars). Tonight's MLB Extra Innings package had the White Sox TV feed, and you know what that means: the worst duo doing a regular MLB team broadcast: Ken Harrelson and Steve Stone.

I absolutely, categorically, positively refuse to allow those homers to wave their White Sox pom-poms while I have to watch a Red Sox-White Sox game. They are an embarrassment to all good White Sox fans out there. So off went the sound. And it was quite enjoyable.

But I do have some good news for all of you who have the Extra Innings package for the rest of the series. Tomorrow's game will be broadcast on WGN for the White Sox, so that means the EI package will have NESN, as they never show any games that are on WGN. And on Sunday, EI will once again have the White Sox feed, but the Red Sox-White Sox contest will be also on TBS, on their Sunday afternoon weekly game.

Thank goodness.

One Hour & Thirty-Five Minutes I'll Never Get Back

As many of you may know, I am a huge, big time Beatles fan. Have been for as long as I can remember, and always will be.

I have every Beatles album, and they are the musical act I have the most songs in my iPod.

I have always been fascinated by the "Paul Is Dead" mystery that first came to the public's attention in October 1969. I've read a few books and articles on the subject. The story goes that Paul was killed in a car accident in November 1966 and replaced by a guy who had won a Paul McCartney lookalike contest so the band could continue. I even did something about it in my college speech class in 1982. My teacher gave us an assignment to give a "speech to convince" on absolutely any subject under the sun. I picked "Paul McCartney is Dead", and brought in all my Beatles albums and explained to my class that Paul was killed in 1966 in a car accident and was replaced by a double and that the current Paul was a fake.

It was all tongue-in-cheek of course, but my teacher, Mr. Levy, was a big Beatles fan and loved it, and gave me an A.

So, after all these years, I came to the conclusion that "Paul Is Dead" was really either a hoax or an elaborate joke by the group on its fans and media. (No one connected to the group has ever confirmed that it was all just a planned joke. It's just all too much to be a coincidence.)

Earlier this week, I discovered a documentary on NetFlix called "Paul McCartney REALLY Is Dead: The Last Testament of George Harrison", which claims that the documentary's producers (something called Highway 61 Productions) got some tapes sent to them in 2005 by persons unknown, and the tapes claim to be George getting the whole "Paul Is Dead" off his chest, and that it really happened and Paul was indeed killed in 1966 and replaced by a Paul lookalike named William Campbell.

The documentary, which is supposedly in George's own words (yeah right) claims an elaborate conspiracy was hatched by the Beatles and MI5, the British intelligence organization, to keep Paul's "death" a secret from the public, and that a mass wave of suicides would happen if Paul's death became public. They enlisted Campbell to be the fake Paul, or "Faul" as the film calls him. He supposedly has all kinds of plastic surgeries to become Paul.

This is just a very sloppily done documentary. They claim that there are clues on the Rubber Soul and Revolver album covers, as John Lennon was anxious to put them out there. But there is one problem with that: both albums came out BEFORE the alleged death of Paul, which they say happened on November 9, 1966. (Rubber Soul in December 1965 and Revolver in July 1966.)

(They also tried to connect John Lennon's murder in 1980 to the attack on George in his English mansion in 1999. They say that MI5 was behind both, and that they would get any of the band should any of the surviving Beatles ever go public with the conspiracy. They claim that John told George a week before his death he was going to go public and tell the world about it. This is beyond ludicrous.)

When I saw this, I knew this whole conspiracy theory they were pushing is a fake. I believe that 99% of all the conspiracy theories I have ever heard, whether about Pearl Harbor up to the 9/11 attacks, are complete BS. They give so-called "conspirators" way too much credit, and the "plots" almost always have tons of holes in them. And this film has more than tons of them.

I won't point out each one, but another that had me laughing was that Fake Paul McCartney was "forced" to marry the woman who had witnessed the original accident and that she eventually lost a leg in another accident years later: Heather Mills. One big problem with this: Heather wasn't even born yet in 1966. So there is plenty of unintentional comedy in this rubbish.

So if you want to watch this, watch "Paul REALLY Is Dead" the way I did: not believing a single word of what you're seeing. I'll never get back the one hour and thirty-five minutes I spent watching this nonsense, but at least it gave me a laugh or two.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

For a Minute There...

I thought that ball that Carl Crawford hit in the ninth inning would be his fourth game-winning (I prefer that term to the more commonly accepted "walkoff") hit of 2011. It died on the warning track in Jeff Francoeur's glove.

CC hit the ball to one of the deepest parts of Fenway. In most ballparks, it's into the seats. Fenway giveth, Fenway taketh away.

BTW, why did Tito let Yamaico Navarro bat after that out? I could swear I saw Marco Scutaro, who had the day off, wearing a helmet with a bat in his hands in the dugout. Navarro wound up striking out to end it. I can't say I'm overly impressed with this guy.

Josh Beckett had just one bad inning on Thursday, allowing a three-run shot to Billy Butler and two doubles that brought in four Kansas City runs. Luke Hochevar pitched even better, allowing just two runs in seven innings.

The 4-3 loss made it a split with those pesky Royals. They have always given the Sox trouble, and had the Sox won, the all-time season series would have been tied at 213 wins apiece. The last time the Sox were at .500 with KC was back in May of 1980. Pretty incredible if you think about it.

The best part of Thursday was Dustin Pedroia's final at-bat in the 8th inning with his 24-game hit streak on the line. The fans were so into, as the applause got louder and louder as the at-bat went on. On 3 and 2, Dustin lined a shot into the Monster seats to make it 4-3 and 25 straight. Terry Francona had a great quote about the fans, and it's on the right side of this blog under "Words To Live By."

It just makes me love Tito all the more.

The Sox now hit the road for three against the White Sox in Chicago. Tim Wakefield goes for number 200 tomorrow night.

Historic Night For Papi; Even Lackey Couldn't Screw It Up

Well, John Lackey got off a dubious start last night, allowing a three-run shot to Eric Hosmer in the first inning. 3-0 KC. Oh brother, here we go...

But the Red Sox powerful offense came to Lackey's assistance, as Jacoby Ellsbury both hit home runs: Ellsbury off the Pesky Pole and Pedey into the Monster Seats. Dustin now has hit in 24 straight games.

The Sox added three more in the second, and were off to the races. And the first Red Sox grand slam of 2011 (can you believe that?) was hit by David Ortiz in the five-run fourth inning, and that made it 10-3. It also marked his 1,000th RBI in a Red Sox uniform, just the sixth player in team history to reach that mark.

Lackey struggled to make it into the sixth, allowing base runners all over the place. It wound up a 12-5 final.

It was a great night for the usual suspects: Ellsbury, Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez each had three hits, and Gonzo 3 RBI, and Jacoby and Dustin with two each.

Carl Crawford missed last night's game, and today as well, with an elbow injury. It doesn't appear serious, and he hopes to be in the lineup in Chicago on Friday night.

Congratulations to the Seattle Mariners on breaking their 17-game losing streak, and doing it especially in the Bronx, with a 9-2 win. The Red Sox now lead the East again by three games, as Josh Beckett will take the mound against the Royals this afternoon.

JW's Trivia Q&A: July 27

We had six teams in for Trivia Night at Josie Wood's, and I was pleasantly surprised to see my old friend Billy's wife Danielle and her friend Linda in. Billy had supported me on my opening night and suggested his wife come out, and I thank them for it.

The teams were very enthusiastic and it was a terrific night, as everyone was really into it.

The team of Triv and Let Die wound up the winners, getting 38 points and winning by 8 points. Brosef Stalin finished second.

Best Team Name: Back Door Babes

Music Trivia
1. What Boston-based rock band won MTV's first Best Video Award in 1984?
2. The Beatles won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year just once, for what album?
3. What popular country singer's father once played for the 1969 Miracle New York Mets?
4. What US state was Michael Jackson born in?
5. What soul singer was shot to death by his father in 1984?
6. What future rap star was, as a 13-year-old youth, an advisor to Oakland A's baseball team in the 1970s?
7. Which R&B legend had hits with such songs as "Sex Machine" and "I
ve Got In My Pants?"
8. What legendary jazz musician was nicknamed "Satchmo?"
9. Of the four major awards, Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony, which one has never been won by Elton John?
10. What US city is Graceland located in?

Movies Trivia
1. Unforgiven, Crimson Tide, The French Connection
2. Wall Street, Major League, Platoon
3. Bonnie and Clyde, Network, Chinatown
4. Hannah and Her Sisters, Sleuth, The Cider House Rules
5. Titanic, Sense and Sensibility, The Life of David Gale
6. True Grit, The Quiet Man, Stagecoach
7. Patton, Dr. Strangelove, The Hustler
8. Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany's, My Fair Lady
9. Glory, Philadelphia, The Mighty Quinn
10. Bull Durham, Dead Man Walking, The Witches of Eastwick

General Knowledge
1. What is the longest river in North America? ( 1 pt)
2. What star sign would you be if you were born on October 1st? ( 1 pt)
3. What is the world's largest desert? ( 1 pt)
4. What is the largest Protestant denomination in the US? ( 1 pt)
5. What is the largest island in the world? ( 1 pt)
6. What city is the Wailing Wall in? ( 1 pt)
7. What country do the most tourists who come to the US come from each year? ( 2 pt)
8. In what field of endeavor is the Fields Medal awarded? ( 2 pt)
9. The rand is the monetary unit of which country? ( 2 pt)
10. Riga is the capital of what European country? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Aaron Burr, Garret Hobart and Hubert Humphrey all at one time held what position? ( 4 points)
2. The UN has estimated that what country may lose as many as 31 million people in total population by the year 2050? ( 4 points)
3. Earl Anthony, Mark Roth and Pete Weber were all champions and big money winners in the 1980s in what sport? ( 3 points)
4. The earthquake that registered the highest on the Richter Scale in US history (9.3 in 1964) occurred in what US state? ( 4 points)
5. What author had the best-selling fiction novel every year from 1994-2002, except for 2001? ( 5 points)

Answers
Music Trivia
1. The Cars ("You Might Think"); 2. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band;" 3. Tim McGraw; 4. Indiana; 5. Marvin Gaye; 6. MC Hammer; 7. James Brown; 8. Louis Armstrong; 9. Emmy; 10. Memphis.

Movies Trivia
1. Gene Hackman; 2. Charlie Sheen; 3. Faye Dunaway; 4. Michael Caine; 5. Kate Winslet; 6. John Wayne; 7. George C. Scott; 8. Audrey Hepburn; 9. Denzel Washington; 10. Susan Sarandon.

General Knowledge
1. Mississippi; 2. Libra; 3. Sahara; 4. Baptist; 5. Greenland; 6. Jerusalem; 7. Canada; 8. mathematics; 9. South Africa; 10. Latvia.

IQ Trivia
1. Vice-President of the United States; 2. Russia; 3. bowling; 4. Alaska; 5. John Grisham.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Offense Bails Out Struggling Miller

Another lousy start from Andrew Miller last night, but the Red Sox firepower against the less-than-stellar Kansas City Royals pitching staff gave the hometown boys a 13-9 win.

More and more Miller might be better suited in the bullpen, as Kansas City tagged him for 7 runs in 3 2/3 innings. When Clay Buchholz returns, the Sox have a decision to make about Miller (or maybe by the trade deadline?).

Trivia Night kept me from watching most of the Red Sox' comeback win, but Dustin Pedroia once again was simply superb hitting in the cleanup spot. He had four hits (a homer short of the cycle), with 3 runs scored and an RBI. He is now 17-for-31 lifetime as a cleanup hitter.

David Ortiz was also 4-for-5, and had 3 doubles and 5 RBI. The Red Sox batted around in the 4th and 5th innings, with 12 of 13 batters in both frames reaching.

It marked the 10th straight game the Red Sox had double-digits in hits. It is also the 15th time this season the Sox have been double digits in runs, an MLB high.

Alfredo Aceves came on for Miller and went three solid innings for the win. New York beat the Seattle Mariners last night (doesn't everyone these days?) and sent them to their 17th straight defeat. The Red Sox still lead the East by two games.

Another Umpiring Travesty


Once again, another crap call at the plate cost a team a game.

Another MLB umpire missed an obvious call. And this was such a travesty that I had to put up a post about it.

I was finishing my Trivia Night stuff when I put on the Pirates-Braves game, locked in an extra-inning battle. In the bottom of the 19th inning, Scott Proctor (relief pitcher, remember) hit a grounder to third, and the Bucs' third baseman tried to nail runner Julio Lugo (remember him?) at the plate. The throw to catcher Michael McKenry beat Lugo by five feet and the backstop tagged him not once, but twice. And ump Jerry Meals called him safe, giving Atlanta the win.

The Braves players were doing the usual "We just won the World Series" nonsense after the call, but they should have been celebrating with Meals.

It was one of the worst calls I have ever seen at the plate. How in the world could Meals miss it? Easy: it's because MLB umpiring on a whole, blows.

It has so much incompetence in blue, it is really pathetic. The Pirates were furious, and a few players had to be held back. I'm sure manager Clint Hurdle will vent to the press after the game, and of course, if he's not careful, he'll be fined. Because, as you know, you can criticize the President of the United States, but you dare not hammer an umpire.

MLB has an enormous problem with its umps, but refuses to do anything about it. They won't weed out the incompetents. It makes the game suffer. Meals should be suspended at the very least.

Absolutely pathetic. (With thanks to SBNation for the clip.)

PT's Trivia Q&A: July 26

This is my 3500th post in the history of my blog, and the first time a Trivia post was a milestone one. We had 20 teams on a hot and rainy night in New York, and we were joined midway through by my sister Maureen, my brother-in-law Jimmy and nephew Danny. It was a pleasure to have them check me out at Thom's for the first time.

We had strong scores in every round but in Q Are You?, as I think I made it a little more difficult. But the IQ Trivia were certainly better than usual, and we had the team of Silk Shorts On a Windy Day pull out a one-point win, as they ran the table and got a perfect 20 in the last round. They ended up with 47 points. Second place went to If You're Against Gay Marriage, Don't Get Gay Married finished with 46, and we had a tie for third between We Couldn't Get Into Shakespeare In The Park and Cornfields, who both had 42 points.

Best Team Name: I, John Quinn, Do Bachelorette Parties. Inquire Within.

Current Events
1. Buddy Roemer, former governor of what southern state, announced his candidacy for the Republican party's nomination for president last week?
2. Tech giant Apple recently signed a 10-year deal to open its newest NYC store, which will be the company's largest, where in Manhattan?
3. What former MLB star was ordered last week to stand trial on car theft and drug possession charges?
4. Troubled British songstress Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment on Saturday. What age was she?5. Elliot Handler, a 95-year-old toymaker, died last Thursday. He and his wife created Hot Wheels and the Barbie doll. What was their company name?6. The city of Newark, NJ set a new record for the highest temperature there ever during the heatwave last Friday. What was the temperature?
7. Cadel Evans became the first person from what country to win the Tour deFrance last Sunday?

Q Are You?
1. This man was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1937. He's one of his generation's most respected actors, winning 2 Oscars, 5 Golden Globes, 3 Drama Desk Awards and an Emmy Award, and he's portrayed many antiheroes and vulnerable characters in his films.
2. This man was born in Massapequa, NY in 1958. He made his TV debut on Knots Landing in the late 1980s, but gained fame from his movie roles in the '90s. he garnered his first and only Oscar nomination in 2003, but since 2006 has won 2 Emmys, 3 Golden Globes and 6 SAG Awards.
3. This man was born in Baltimore, MD in 1947. He's an author and part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles. Beginning in 1984, he's written a number of spy and techno thrillers that have been turned into films, with Jack Ryan his best-known character.
4. This woman was born in Saint Michael, Barbados in 1988. She is the youngest artist in Billboard history to have ten number one singles in the Hot 100. She has won 4 Grammy Awards and sold over 20 million albums worldwide.
5. This woman was born in Lynwood, CA in 1980. She has been the world number one women's singles tennis player on 3 occasions, won 21 Grand Slam titles, and 3 Olympic Gold medals, more than any other female tennis player.
6. This man was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1967. He's a TV host and comedian. He's produced a number of cable TV shows as well as hosted two, one of which garnered him a Daytime Emmy for Best Game Host in 1999.
7. This man was born in Aberdeen, SD in 1959. He played 10 years in MLB after winning the Golden Spikes Award for Best College Player in 1980. He became a coach, later managed an NL team with little success in the 1990s, but went on to another team and had great success in the 2000s.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Thomas Edison coined the term "hello" and introduced it as a way to answer the phone.
2. Only female turkeys can gobble.
3. There are more Americans on Facebook than there are Americans who have passports.
4. Poison ivy is not actually ivy.
5. If you mix Jack Daniel's and Jim Beam together, you are making a gin and tonic.
6. Robert E. Lee commanded the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.
7. Actor John Ritter was the son of country singer Tex Ritter.
8. Harry S. Truman is the only US president born in the state of Missouri.
9. Leonardo daVinci famously cut off his ear and gave it to his girlfriend.
10. Rubies and sapphires are exactly alike, except in color.

General Knowledge
1. "Synchronicity" was a number one album for what 1980s rock band? ( 1 pt)
2. Who directed the films "The 39 Steps" and "Frenzy?" ( 1 pt)
3. Henry Fonda won an Academy Award for what film? ( 1 pt)
4. Adlai Stevenson twice lost presidential elections to whom? ( 2 pt)
5. Ceylon is today known as what country? ( 2 pt)
6. "The Swoosh" is what company's logo? ( 2 pt)
7. What Minnesota city has the title "The Coldest City in the US?" ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What controversial rock guitarist, in 1986, made a $10 million bid to but Muzak, the background music company so he could shut it down? ( 5 points)
2. The Sandwich Islands in the Pacific Ocean are today known by what name? ( 4 points)
3. "The Time Machine" was written by what science fiction author? ( 3 points)
4. In Disney's "Snow White and Seven Dwarfs", which one of the dwarfs is clean shaven? ( 4 points)
5. El Azhar University, the world's oldest university, is found in what world capital city? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Louisiana; 2. Grand Central Terminal; 3. Lenny Dykstra; 4. 27; 5. Mattel; 6. 106 degrees; 7. Australia.

Q Are You?
1. Dustin Hoffman; 2. Alec Baldwin; 3. Tom Clancy; 4. Rhianna; 5. Venus Williams; 6. Jimmy Kimmel; 7. Terry Francona.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. true; 2. false, male; 3. true; 4. true; 5. false; 6. false, Army of Northern Virginia; 7. true; 8. true; 9. false, Vincent Van Gogh; 10. true.

General Knowledge
1. The Police; 2. Alfred Hitchcock; 3. "On Golden Pond;" 4. Dwight D. Eisenhower; 5. Sri Lanka; 6. Nike; 7. International Falls.

IQ Trivia
1. Ted Nugent; 2. Hawaii; 3. H.G. Wells; 4. Dopey; 5. Cairo, Egypt.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Movies & Music: The Special Categories On Wednesday

Wednesday Night Trivia returns to Josie Wood's tomorrow with the two special categories of "Music Trivia" and "Movie Trivia." And the movie trivia category will be: I will give you three movies from a famous actor or actress and you have to identify who that person is. Not complicated, right?

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What is the world's largest desert?"

We get going shortly after 8 PM. Remember that the winners get $25 off their bar tab and second place gets a free pitcher of beer. I hope to see some of you on Wednesday night.

Waste, Waste, Waste

When I heard Don Orsillo say that the rain began falling in the bottom of the 13th and that John Lackey had picked up a glove and was ready to go if needed, all I could think to myself was: The Sox better win it here right now.

They didn't. Wasted yet another golden opportunity with first and third and one out.

When you have to rely on guys like Yamaico Navarro and Randy Williams deep in extra innings, things won't end well.

And they didn't. Williams gave up 2 runs in the 14th to hand Kansas City the win.

The Sox simply wasted opportunity after opportunity. The Carl Crawford of last April made an unwelcome return appearance, coming up twice with shots to win it and striking out both times. The worst was the 12th, when Marco Scutaro singlehandedly f**ked up the bottom of the inning, as he missed the squeeze bunt sign and Josh Reddick was hung out to dry. (I simply can't remember the last time Terry Francona squeeze bunted. I hate it, and it should only be tried with an excellent bunter.) And if that wasn't bad enough, Scutaro ran the Sox out of the inning by trying to extend a single into a double.

And for good measure, he made the last out in the 14th as the tying run by striking out looking. Terrific.

The only good thing about extra innings tonight was Jerry Remy doing his "homer" act he rarely ever does. Very funny, and it shows what morons real-life homers like Hawk Harrelson truly are.

These are the losses to lousy teams that make me insane. I'm going to bed.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Celebrity Clues Dominates On Tuesday

This Tuesday night at Professor Thom's marks the return of a special category we once did regularly but haven't done in a while. "Q Are You?" is back, and that is where I give you clues as to the identity of a current celebrity and you tell me who I'm talking about.

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

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"'Synchronicity" was a number one album for what 1980s rock band?"

We we will get going right after 9 PM. The Red Sox take on the Kansas City Royals on the big screen in the bar. I hope to see many of you on Tuesday night.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

199

The Seattle Mariners did all they could to end this hideous 14-game losing streak they are on. It looked promising when Miguel Olivo hit a two-run shot off tim Wakefield in the first inning. Heck, even manager Eric Wedge shaved off his patented mustache to try to bring the club some luck.

No dice.

The Sox marched back in the first, scoring five runs, which included a two-run shot by Kevin Youkilis.

The Red Sox batted around twice, scored another five in the fifth, won 12-8, and now Seattle has dropped 15 in a row, a new team record. And now it becomes a national story.

Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and jarrod Saltalamacchia each had three hits (Salty had four RBI). Dustin Pedroia doubled in the 7th to extend his hitting streak to 21 games.

But the story of the day on Sunday was Wakefield. He gave up a grand slam to Brendan Ryan in the 7th that ended his day (when was the last time a Red Sox pitcher gave up a grand slam and left to a standing ovation?), but the run support was plenty, and he got his 199th career victory, and win number 185 with the Sox. He trails Cy and The Liar by just seven wins for first in team history.

Wake also fanned Mike Carp, former Brooklyn Cyclone, for strikeout number 2,000 in his Red Sox career. He is second behind the Texas Con Man, but trails him by over 560 strikeouts, one he will unfortuantely not reach.

The Sox have now won 9 straight home games and are 15-3 in July. The Seattle sweep now means they have won six straight series. New York's win over Oakland keeps the Red Sox lead at 3 games, as Jon Lester returns tomorrow night against Kansas City.

The Madoff Of Memorabilia

My friend Pete Nash has a great two-page spread on pages 14 and 15 of today's New York Post about Barry Halper, whose memorabilia empire has been exposed to include many fakes and stolen items.

Please do take the time to read Pete's article.

He also has a great web site that exposes fraud in the baseball memorabilia business called Hauls of Shame. That is always worth checking out, too.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Seventh Inning Lightning

It looked for a time that the Seattle Mariners would break their 13- losing streak on Saturday night, as they held a 1-0 lead over the Red Sox going into the 7th inning.

Rookie Blake Beavan was pitching a dandy, allowing just five hits. (I wonder what the "10-27-10" on his glove means? I guess last October 27th has a special meaning for him.) But then Jason Varitek singled and Marco Scutaro hit a ground-rule double. (I'm not as sure as Don and Jerry that the fan who grabbed the ball as it was going into the stands interfered, or that Tek would have scored had the ball stayed in play. But Red Sox security removed him anyway. Still, the fan should know better and let it go when hit by a Red Sox player.) Jacoby Ellsbury, probably the Red Sox MVP of 2011 so far, made it academic anyway when he singled in two runs, and later he scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-1.

The Sox have now scored 93 runs in the 7th inning, the most of any inning this season.

Josh Beckett pitched seven strong innings, and allowed just a home run in the 7th to former Brooklyn Cyclone Mike Carp.

Daniel Bard loaded the bases with no outs in the 8th, but he tried to nail a runner at third on a bunt, but the ump blew the call. Kevin Youkilis touched the bag before the runner did, but he was called safe anyway. Bard then got a fly ball to left, a strikeout, and a ground out to third to extend his scoreless string to 25 innings.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for the save, and the Mariners have now dropped 14 straight. They went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position. When it goes bad, it really goes bad.

The Red Sox are now three games up, as the Yankees lost to the A's, 4-3 earlier today.

Congratulations to Terry Francona, who won his 1,000th MLB game as a manager tonight, and his 715th in a Red Sox uniform. He continues to be second all-time in Sox history on the manager's win list behind Joe Cronin.

The Red Sox are now 61-37, and on a pace to win 100 games. Who would have thought that when they were 2-10 in April? They also reached 60 wins on Friday night in the fewest games since 1979.

The Sox are now 14-3 in the month of July. This is a helluva team, folks. Enjoy the ride.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lackey Hangs Unlucky 13th On Mariners

If I had told you that in the matchup tonight between John Lackey and Felix Hernandez at Fenway that one pitcher would go seven innings and allow one run, while the other would get tagged for six, who would you have guessed would have been the better pitcher?

It was Lackey, who allowed just a first inning run to Seattle, but scattered eight hits the entire game in the 7-4 Red Sox victory. This is just what the Sox need from Lackey: quality innings from him, with the two of their starting staff down with injuries.

Seattle had lost 12 straight going in, and that always scares me a little because you know a streak like that has to end soon. And with Lackey going, I thought it might end on Friday.

No such luck for the Mariners, as Jacoby Ellsbury blasted his 16th home run of the year, a bomb that landed in the right field bleachers. Ellsbury now has 7 HRs in his last 12 games. Dustin Pedroia continued his hot hitting too, as he had three hits and now has hit in 19 straight games.

Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis had RBI hits in the five-run seventh.

Jonathan Papelbon needed just seven pitches in getting the save.

New York's win over Oakland keeps the Red Sox lead at 2 games. The Sox have now won 11 of their last 13.

"The Way Of Baseball: Finding Stillness At 95 MPH"

I just completed reading "The Way Of Baseball: Finding Stillness At 95 MPH" by Shawn Green, the former All-star outfielder who recently penned this tome about his life in baseball.

I never would have figured Green for writing a book about his time in baseball, but I found it an interesting read. He comes across as a very intelligent and thoughtful man who cared about the game and the fans.

The book is a sports memoir, but it's also a spiritual journey that Green takes his readers on. He clearly doesn't get caught in many of the trappings that the average baseball player gets into. His family means a lot to him (and that's why he retired at the relatively young age of 34).

He begins his journey as a struggling part-time member of the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997, and he's not happy with his role or manager Cito Gaston. But he takes action, and working with a batting tee in the cage at the SkyDome turns into something of a transcendental experience for Green. The simple act of repetition helps Green take the next step, and he becomes an All-Star outfielder and one of MLB's best hitters.

He moves to his home in Los Angeles with the Dodgers and he struggles with a big contract and bigger expectations. His personal life began to struggle too. But a trip to Japan with MLB All-Stars transforms his life, and he rediscovers his "Zen."

Green touches on his being Jewish, and the pressures that come with being a star of that faith in Los Angeles, with comparisons to the immortal Sandy Koufax. He talks of the struggles and how he overcame them.

By the time he plays in Arizona and later with the New York Mets, Green is clearly a different man, content with life and just enjoying the ride. He talks of his relationship with longtime teammate Carlos Delgado, and how he was the first person to let him in on his retirement plans.

Shawn Green is clearly a very grounded individual, and the book clearly reflects that. Baseball was clearly more than just a sport to him, and "The Way of Baseball" is a quick but interesting read from a man who enjoyed his time in baseball, but it clearly wasn't his whole life.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Have Glove, Will Travel"

My friend Brett Rapkin, a noted filmmaker I had the pleasure of working with back in 2006 on the terrific documentary "Impossible to Forget: The Story of the '67 Boston Red Sox", has as his newest project a new independent film about the great former Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee called "Have Glove, Will Travel" and knowing what I know about The Spaceman, it's sure to be another worthy effort.

Brett also did the great documentary about The Spaceman and his travels to Cuba a few years back called "Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey."

At this point, Brett is looking for people to help him with the backing of the film, and he is doing it through Kickstarter.

Brett has a goal of $37,000 by August 25th, and is still a ways away. You can contribute any amount you like to the cause, and you will be rewarded if you contribute certain amounts.

"Have Glove, Will Travel" just had a nice article written about it at the Boston Globe.

And here is a short clip about the film:


I encourage all of you who are Red Sox fans, as well as Bill Lee fans, to help out with this project. Brett is a terrific filmmaker, and this is something that I personally can't wait to see happen.

10th Shutout Ends a Successful Trip

A whole lot to like about what happened on Wednesday afternoon in Baltimore.

The Red Sox completed their 10th shutout of the 2011 season with a 4-0 whitewash of the Orioles. Andrew Miller wasn't stellar, as his walk parade on hand for all to see. He walked seven, but allowed just two hits in 5 2/3 innings, and got his 4th win. The Red Sox concluded the road trip at 4-2, and have now won five straight series.

Jacoby Ellsbury blasted two solo shots, and now has 15 home runs on the season. Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 18 games, and so much for the worries about Adrian Gonzalez and the "aftereffects" of Home Run Derby. He had four hits and scored a run.

Daniel Bard extended his MLB-leading scoreless streak to 22 2/3 innings. And the bullpen allowed just a walk in 3 1/3 innings after Miller departed.

Jon Lester had a bullpen session today with no problems. He appears ready to make his return against Kansas City on Monday.

New York's win over Tampa Bay puts the Red Sox still 1 1/2 games up, as they return to Fenway Park to face Felix Hernandez and the Mariners on Friday night. (They will be either one or two up by then as New York plays Tampa Bay again on Thursday.)

JW's Trivia Q&A: July 20

We didn't have a big crowd in again at Josie Wood's (the crowds probably won't be appearing in any big numbers until the NYU students return in September), but it sure was a spirited one. The winning team this week was Harry Potter Is Dead, who scored with 42 points. (One of the winning team's members was a one-time winner at Professor Thom's Trivia Night, which was nice to see.) Second place went to Warrior Princesses with 36 points.

It was a pleasure to meet Lauren from Lionshead Beer tonight, and I have to say it's a pretty good brew!

Presidential Trivia
1. Who was the last US president elected to two terms who failed to complete the second term?
2. What number president was John F. Kennedy?
3. Who was the only president who did not live in the White House?
4. Who was the shortest president?
5. Who was the last president born in the 19th century?
6. What 20th century president studied nuclear physics at the Naval Academy at Annapolis?
7. Who was the tallest president?
8. What Elvis Presley tune did Bill Clinton play on the sax when he appeared on "The Arsenio Hall Show" in 1992?
9. What US president was the only person named Time's "Person of the Year" three times?
10. Who is the only president to win the Pulitzer Prize?

Who's Older Trivia
1. Oprah Winfrey or Whoopi Goldberg?
2. Alex Rodriguez or Derek Jeter?
3. Al Pacino or Robert DeNiro?
4. George W. Bush or Bill Clinton?
5. Jay Z or P. Diddy?
6. Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears?
7. Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger?
8. Stephen King or John Grisham?
9. David Letterman or Jay Leno?
10. Madonna or Sharon Stone?

General Knowledge
1. John Pemberton invented what soft drink in 1886? ( 1 pt)
2. According to the proverb, what is the mother of invention? ( 1 pt)
3. How many states comprise the section known as New England? ( 1 pt)
4. John Fogerty was the lead singer of what 1960s rock group? ( 1 pt)
5. AL is the postal abbreviation for what US state? ( 1 pt)
6. Which of the world's oceans goes to the deepest depths? ( 1 pt)
7. George Takei played what character in the original TV series "Star Trek?" ( 2 pt)
8. In 1932, Iraq gained its independence from what European country? ( 2 pt)
9. Manuel Noriega was deposed a dictator of what country by a US invasion in 1989? ( 2 pt)
10. The 1981 film "Endless Love" was the first movie role for what current Hollywood superstar actor? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Pierre Omidyar and Michael Dean Johnson founded what current online company in 1995? ( 4 points)
2. What TV and movie actor became the first person using Twitter to have one million followers, in 2009? ( 4 points)
3. In 1982, Charles Brooks became the first person in the US to be executed by what method? ( 3 points)
4. What famous event occurred at 2122 North Clark Street in Chicago? ( 5 points)
5. Lara Lor-Van was the biological mother of what famous fictional character? ( 4 points)

Answers
Presidential Trivia
1. Richard Nixon; 2. 35; 3. George Washington; 4. James Madison; 5. Dwight D. Eisenhower; 6. Jimmy Carter; 7. Abraham Lincoln; 8. "Heartbreak Hotel"; 9. Franklin D. Roosevelt; 10. John F. Kennedy.

Who's Older Trivia
1. Winfrey; 2. Jeter; 3. Pacino; 4. Bush; 5. Diddy; 6. Aguilera; 7. McCartney; 8. King; 9. Letterman; 10. Stone.

General Knowledge
1. Coca-Cola; 2. necessity; 3. six; 4. CCR; 5. Alabama; 6. Pacific; 7. Mr. Sulu; 8. UK; 9. Panama; 10. Tom Cruise.

IQ Trivia
1. eBay; 2. Ashton Kutcher; 3. lethal injection; 4. St. Valentine's Day Massacre; 5. Superman.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Weiland Wasn't Bad, But Guthrie Was Better

Kyle Weiland didn't pitch badly in his second start of his MLB career, going six innings and allowing three early runs. But he settled in and got the Sox to the seventh inning.

But the Red Sox bats were cooled off by Jeremy Guthrie, he of the 3-13 record. He's actually a better pitcher than that and showed it last night, going seven innings to get the win.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia was most of the offense last night, belting a two-run home run. Adrian Gonzalez went 0-for-4, and is now 2-for-24 since his turn in the All-Star Game. Just a slump folks. Happens to ALL great hitters. It just happens to be going on with Gonzo right now.

Josh Reddick had three hits and continued his torrent hitting. Speaking of hot hitters, Dustin Pedroia had another hit and has now hit in 17 straight games, and reached base in 29 consecutive.

The Red Sox remain 1 1/2 back, as the Rays beat the Yankees last night.

Interesting that in today's Baltimore finale, Reddick is back in the lineup in RF, and not J.D. Drew. The rumors are starting that Drew's time in Boston may very well be in its final days.

PT's Trivia Q&A: July 19

We had 20 teams in on Tuesday night for Trivia, and it was another lively night. I thought the first four categories were a bit on the easier side, and the scores reflected that. We had many perfect scores, especially in the Q Train and General Knowledge rounds.

IQ Trivia was very interesting, as there were two teams that got perfect scores, and four teams that got no points at all. But one of those teams with a perfect score, Fortress, wound up the winning team by three points. We had a tie for second place between No One Dies a Virgin, Life Screws Us All and World Champion Bruins, with 50 points.

Best Team Name: I Heard Mila Kunis Just Loves Marine Balls

Current Events
1. What actress accepted an invitation to attend the Marine Corps Ball from a soldier who invited her on a YouTube clip he made?
2. A rare manuscript from what early 19th century female author sold at auction for nearly $1.6 million in London last week?
3. What distant planet completed its first full orbit around the sun since its 1846 discovery recently?
4. The lawyer of what former NBA star last week denied a claim that the former player directed a one-time friend to kill several people?
5. Twitter celebrated the fifth anniversary of its launch last week. What pop singer currently has the most followers, with over 11 million?
6. Which R&B singer is now the most "liked" female celebrity on Facebook, with now over 40.7 million people "liking" her?
7. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is currently in what country getting treatment for cancer he was recently diagnosed with?

July 19th Trivia
1. On this day in 1863, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan attempted an unsuccessful raid at Buffington Island in what northern state?
2. In 1979, Sandinista rebels overthrew the Somoza government in what Central American country?
3. On this date in 1991, boxer Mike Tyson raped a contestant in the Miss Black America pageant named Desiree Washington. In what midwest city did the incident occur?
4. In 1898, author Emile Zola fled what country to escape imprisonment after being convicted in the notorious Dreyfus affair?
5. Frank McCourt, an Irish-American author and teacher, died on this day in 2009. What best-selling novel of his became a 1999 film?
6. On this date in 1799, the Rosetta Stone, a tablet with hieroglyphic translations into Greek, was discovered in what Middle Eastern country?
7. In 1985, Christa McAuliffe of NH was chosen to be the first schoolteacher in space aboard what ill-fated space shuttle?

Even Numbered Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. This is the number of carats representing 100% pure gold.
2. The freezing point of water in degrees Fahrenheit.
3. The pearl wedding anniversary is this number of years.
4. Andrew Jackson is on this number US denomination bill.
5. This is the total number of lines in a sonnet.
6. Arizona was admitted to the Union in 1912 as this number US state.
7. In the famous movie from 1957, this was the number of "Angry Men."
8. Paul Simon had a hit song about this number "Ways to Leave Your Lover."
9. In most US states, this number age is the minimum age that a person is allowed a beginners driver's license with parental consent.
10. Barack Obama is this number President of the United States.

General Knowledge
1. "The Old Man and The Sea" won a Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for what author? ( 1 pt)
2. Which university do Rhodes scholars attend? ( 1 pt)
3. What 17th century man discovered the law of gravitation? ( 1 pt)
4. What legendary actress was the first Playboy Playmate? ( 2 pt)
5. What was the codename of the military operation to eject the Iraqi army from Kuwait in 1991? ( 2 pt)
6. "Live Free or Die" is what eastern state's motto? ( 2 pt)
7. Rome's international airport is named for what famous person? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Pentheraphobia is the fear of what person? ( 5 points)
2. Lyme disease was named after a town in what US state? ( 4 points)
3. In which country is the Gallipoli peninsula? ( 4 points)
4. "The Long Walk to Freedom" was the famous person's autobiography? ( 3 p0ints)
5. What type of musical instrument is a dobro? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Mila Kunis; 2. Jane Austen; 3. Neptune; 4. Shaquille O'Neal; 5. Lady Gaga; 6. Rhianna; 7. Cuba.

July 19th Trivia
1. Ohio; 2. Nicaragua; 3. Indianapolis; 4. France; 5. "Angela's Ashes;" 6. Egypt; 7. Challenger.

Even Numbered Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. 24; 2. 32; 3. 30; 4. 20; 5. 14; 6. 48; 7. 12; 8. 50; 9. 16; 10. 44.

General Knowledge
1. Ernest Hemingway; 2. Oxford; 3. Isaac Newton; 4. Marilyn Monroe; 5. Desert Storm; 6. New Hampshire; 7. Leonardo daVinci.

IQ Trivia
1. Mother-in-law; 2. Connecticut; 3. Turkey; 4. Nelson Mandela; 5. guitar.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chief Executive Trivia On Wednesday

This Wednesday night, Trivia Night returns to Josie Wood's pub, and the two Special Categories will be "Presidential Trivia" and "Who's Older Trivia." In the latter category, I will give you the name of two current celebrities and you will tell me which is the older one. And the former category is what you think it is: ten questions about the men who have held the highest office in the land.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"How many states comprise the section known as New England?"

We will get going shortly after 8 PM. I hope to see some of you at Josie Wood's this Wednesday night. Remember the top prize is $25 off the bar tab!

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Sleep

After nearly six hours on Sunday night/Monday morning, I was expecting a rather flat performance from the Red Sox on Monday night in Baltimore. Silly me.

One run on five hits the night before. Last night? 15 runs on 16 hits against the hapless O's.

Unfortunately, Tim Wakefield did not get win #185/199, as he ran out of gas in the fifth and the Orioles snatched the lead away from the Red Sox at 7-6. Can't blame Tito for leaving him in as long as he did. He wants to get Wake the team win record as much as anyone.

The Sox took the lead for good with eight runs in the eighth. It was another great night for The Second Baseman Formerly Known As Laser Show, Mr. Muddy Chicken Dustin Pedroia. He extended his hitting streak to 16 games, and had three RBI, including a clutch hit in the 8th. ("Muddy Chicken?" I think I need an explanation for that one.)

Dan Wheeler was once again terrific in relief, going 2 1/3 innings in getting the win.

Carl Crawford made a successful return to the lineup, going 2-for-5 with 2 runs scored and an RBI. Kevin Youkilis and Darnell McDonald both had 3 RBI.

The Rays caved in to the Yankees at The Trop, so the Red Sox lead remains at 1 1/2 games.

David Ortiz will sit for the entire Baltimore series, as his suspension was reduced to three games, and it began last night. Kevin Gregg, who started the whole mess at Fenway last week, will likewise miss this entire series as well.

And apparently, a number of Red Sox starting pitchers Like Beer:

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 19th Stuff On Tuesday

This Tuesday night at Professor Thom's the Special Category will be "July 19th Trivia", seven questions on stuff that happened on that day in history.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Even Numbered Trivia." Every answer to ten questions will be a number between 1 and 50.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Which university do Rhodes scholars attend?"

We get going at 9 PM. The Red Sox have a game with the Orioles in Baltimore, so that will be the background as we have our Trivia Night. I hope to see many of you on Tuesday night.

Endured All 16 Innings

I've watched more enjoyable baseball games in my life.

Josh Beckett was simply superb in St. Pete last night, going eight innings and allowing just an Evan Longoria single in the first inning. So this season, he has pitched 17 innings at the Trop and allowed just two hits.

But Jeff Niemann was equally superb, allowing just two hits in eight innings. But the real fun didn't get started until extra innings.

The Rays bullpen walked an amazing ten Red Sox, and it wasn't until the tenth man walked that the Red Sox finally scored. They had runners on all over the place in extra innings. The 11th inning was the most infuriating. The Rays pitchers loaded the bases on walks with no outs. But Josh Reddick and Jason Varitek both struck out and Marco Scutaro fouled out. (He flung the bat down as it was happening, nearly hitting Rays catcher Kelly Shoppach as he made the play.)

As bad as the Rays pen was, the Sox pen was stellar. In eight innings they allowed just two hits while walking just one. Alfredo Aceves pitched three innings for the win. (He hit two batters in the 15th but pitched around that.)

Dustin Pedroia lined a single to right with two outs and runners on first and third with two outs in the 16th for the first and only run of the game. Pedroia had two of the Red Sox' five hits. Jonathan Papelbon got Tampa Bay 1-2-3 to end the marathon at 1:54 AM this morning.

The game set all kinds of records. It was Tampa Bay's longest game ever, and it was the longest game the Red Sox had been held scoreless in since 1916. The Sox left an incredible (and at times infuriatingly) 17 men on base, while getting just 5 hits (and 12 walks).

The Red Sox remained 1 1/2 games up, and now head to Baltimore to play three with the Orioles, and Carl Crawford will be activated for the game tonight.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Winning Disgustingly Ugly

John Lackey vs. James Shields.

I thought this was going to get ugly fast. And it did.

But it got really ugly for the Rays.

Lackey surrendered three runs in the first, and it made me glad I wasn't watching it. (The game wasn't shown in New York, thanks to Fox.) I followed it online, and heard that Lackey showed up Marco Scutaro by throwing his arms in the air when Scutaro made an error. So not only was Lackey stealing the Red Sox money, but he was acting really unprofessional on the mound. Beautiful.

But the game got uglier for Shields. The alleged "Big Game" pitcher (can you name one he's ever pitched?) got whacked, as the Sox scored two in the second on Josh Reddick's blast and three more in the third.

Lackey, on the other hand, settled down after getting out of a bases loaded, one out trouble in the second. He went 5 2/3, allowing three earned runs while striking out seven. And he was angry with Terry Francona when he was taken out in the sixth as well.

This guy is impossible to root for. And we're stuck with him for the next 3+ years.

The Red Sox went on to win, 9-5. New York's win in Toronto keeps the Red Sox at 1 1/2 games back. The series finale will be played tonight, as it was hijacked by ESPN. Josh Beckett takes the mound, and his last effort in St. Pete was a one-hitter earlier this year.

The Sox put Bobby Jenks on the DL for the third time this season with back problems. He's been a terrific pickup, eh? They recalled lefty Randy Williams from Pawtucket to take his place.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Thud Out of The Gate To Start The Second Half

I missed last night's second half opener, as I was attending my cousin's wedding reception in Manhattan (Congrats Tim and Danielle!), but every time I checked my cell for scores the news was very ungood.

Andrew Miller got lit up early, despite the Red Sox hitting four home runs of their own. Ben Zobrist's grand slam in the second put the Rays out front to stay. Allan at Joy of Sox points out that Miller has faced the last 49 batters without striking anyone out. Amazing.

The Tropicana Dome continues to be a House of Horrors for the Red Sox, as they've lost 22 of their last 32 in that place.

The Red Sox did nothing with runs in scoring position, and three of the four home runs they hit were solo shots. They struck out 11 times, and the pitching staff walked 7. Not exactly a winning combination.

The Yankees loss in Toronto keeps the Red Sox in first by 1 1/2 games.

Today, the Red Sox play the Rays at 4 PM, but since it was hijacked by the Fox network, we in New York will be seeing the Phillies-Mets game instead. Second straight day of no Sox for me. Thanks for ruining baseball, Fox.

But then again, John Lackey is pitching for the Red Sox today...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Papi Sits For 4 Games

MLB handed out its discipline for the confrontation between David Ortiz and Kevin Gregg last week, and Big Papi and Gregg will sit for 4 games and pay a fine of $2500. Both are appealing, so neither is suspended yet.

Baltimore manager Buck Showalter was suspended one game for his ejection from last Friday night's game, and sat out last night's game against the Indians (manager's can't appeal suspensions).

Orioles pitcher Mike Gonzalez will sit for 3 games for throwing behind Ortiz in the same game, and will be fined $1500. Jom Johnson and Jarrod Saltalamacchia were also fined for the actions during the scuffle.

John Lackey was also fined for throwing at Derrek Lee in Saturday's game.

The Yankees opened the second half last night with a big time stinker in Toronto, as the Blue Jays walloped them, 16-7. The Red Sox lead is now 1 1/2 games, as they open a three-game series against the Rays in St. Pete tonight.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Those Guys Have All The Fun"

I just completed reading a fascinating oral history book about the world of ESPN called, "Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the World of ESPN" by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales.

The authors interviewed dozens of people who were associated in some way with the sports juggernaut, and it is told in their words. (The authors also include some text in their words as well.) Miller and Shales also wrote a comprehensive oral history of "Saturday Night Live" many years ago.

All the ESPN heavyweights from then and now you can think of are interviewed in this book: Chris Berman, Bob Ley, Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick, Stuart Scott, and many others, along with many coaches and players from the world of sports. Even President Obama cooperated with the book. And many of them don't hold back with their recollections. I never really knew much about ESPN's humble beginnings in Bristol, Connecticut, and I found that part interesting. (I didn't get cable TV until 1993, so I never watched ESPN on a regular basis until then.)

A lot of the controversy that the network has been embroiled in over the years is touched on, including the Rush Limbaugh experiment, Olbermann's stormy tenure, the network's poor treatment of women throughout the years, LeBron's James' "Decision" and many others. But the centerpiece of the book is its' most popular show, "SportsCenter" and many of those anchors who have been a part of it tell their experiences in their own words. (Olbermann and Patrick were always my favorites, and enjoyed reading all the stuff surrounding "The Big Show.")

The book goes into great detail how ESPN came to dominate the American sports landscape, with their acquisitions of NFL football, baseball, NBA basketball and numerous college sports. The book is over 750 pages, but I enjoyed reading it.

It's a great American success story, but "Those Guys Have All The Fun" dishes plenty of dirt as well. If you're a fan of ESPN, I'm sure you will enjoy this book, too.

Mistrial

The judge in the Roger Clemens perjury case declared a mistrial this morning.

The prosecution showed inadmissible evidence by showing the jury a video of Rep. Elijah Cummings reading from the affidavit that Laura Pettitte made stating that her husband Andy told her that Clemens used HGH.

Judge Reggie Walton called it an error made by "a first-year law student" and felt that Clemens could not receive a fair trial, and thus he declared a mistrial.

This doesn't necessarily mean the Texas Con Man is off the hook. A new jury could be seated and the whole thing would start all over again. Judge Walton will decide on September 2nd what will happen next.

Here's more from ESPN.

JW's Trivia Q&A: July 13

It was a night when just four teams in for Trivia Night at Josie Wood's, and it included Larry, who was on the defending champions last week, my brother-in-law Jimmy, an Australian girl named Toby, and the bar staff. But we had fun anyway, explaining baseball to Toby, and Larry wound up the winner, with 26 points. Jimmy finished second with 20.

Hopefully we'll have a bigger crowd next week.

U.S. Historic Places Trivia
1. Little Big Horn
2. Fort Knox
3. Mount Rushmore
4. Yellowstone National Park
5. Leavenworth Prison
6. Mount McKinley
7. Tombstone, Home of the OK Corral
8. The Space Needle
9. The Alamo
10. Antietam

1-10 Trivia
1. The number of interlocking rings in the Olympic Games symbol.
2. This is the atomic number of lithium.
3. From the book of Exodus, this is the number of plagues inflicted on Egypt.
4. NFL Hall of Famer John Elway and Yankee great Mickey Mantle wore this number.
5. Mars is this number planet from the Sun.
6. In astrology, Taurus is this number sign of the Zodiac.
7. This was the number of Chicago White Sox players banned from MLB after dumping the 1919 World Series.
8. This is the number of US Supreme Court members currently sitting on the bench.
9. This was the number of days Israel was at war with Egypt, Jordan and Syria in 1967.
10. This number US highway runs over 2000 miles from Key West, FL to Maine.

General Knowledge
1. What British unit of weight is equal to 14 pounds? ( 1 pt)
2. By what name was Erich Weiss more famously known? ( 1 pt)
3. In what country did the Boer War take place? ( 1 pt)
4. A solo performance in an opera is called what? ( 1 pt)
5. After the President of the United States nominates someone for the Supreme Court, who votes on the nomination? ( 1 pt)
6. What is the capital of North Carolina? ( 1 pt)
7. In what country would you find the Kashmir region? ( 2 pt)
8. What state was the Grant vs. Lee Civil battle of Spotsylvania fought in? ( 2 pt)
9. Who was the youngest man to become president of the United States? ( 2 pt)
10. Magyar is the official language of what country? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. The village of Panmunjom sits on the border of what two nations? ( 4 points)
2. Orology is the study of what? ( 5 points)
3. On which Hawaiian island is Pearl harbor located? ( 3 points)
4. "Rush to Judgment" was a national best selling book about what famous event? ( 4 points)
5. Who was the first Roman Catholic elected Vice-President? ( 4 points)

Answers
U.S. Historic Places Trivia
1. Montana; 2. Kentucky; 3. South Dakota; 4. Wyoming; 5. Kansas; 6. Alaska; 7. Arizona; 8. Washington; 9. Texas; 10. Maryland.

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

General Knowledge
1. stone; 2. Harry Houdini; 3. South Africa; 4. aria; 5. Senate; 6. Raleigh; 7. India; 8. Virginia; 9. Theodore Roosevelt; 10. Hungary.

IQ Trivia
1. North and South Korea; 2. mountains; 3. Oahu; 4. JFK assassination; 5. Joe Biden.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

PT's Trivia Q&A: July 12

Another big crowd came out to Professor Thom's on Tuesday, with many in for the All-Star Game (one of the only cheers went up for Adrian Gonzalez' home run). 21 teams took part, and it included Nick Stevens of the MLB Network (aka Paul "Fitzy" Fitzgerald), who came in for the game with a few friends.

We had some solid scores throughout the night. The two special categories produced some excellent scores. But for the first time in many months, we had a tie for first, between Mystery Science Jeter 3000 and Three Fingers of Bourbon and Lindsay Lohan. What a Night! both wound up with 47 points, so I pulled out a tie-breaker question: "How many countries are there currently in the continent of Africa?" MSJ3000 wound up winning, guessing the closest to the answer of 54.

Third Place went to Pray The Gay Away, Dr. Bachmann! with 44 points.

Best Team Name of the night went to: Derek Jeter's Hit Count Is Now Higher Than John Quinn's Sperm Count. (You might have guessed I was outvoted on this one. And you'd be right.)

Current Events
1. A statue of what former American president was unveiled last week at Grosvenor Square near the US Embassy in London?
2. What country was awarded the Winter Olympics for the first time recently, for 2018?
3. The New Musical Express, a British music magazine, ranked "Hurt," by what country music legend, as the greatest music video of all-time?
4. What British tabloid newspaper is being shut down permanently after a number of its reporters were caught in a phone hacking scandal?
5. What legendary talk show host will be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Emmy award later this fall?
6. The southern part of what African country officially seceeded last weekend and became a sovereign nation?
7. The final Space Shuttle mission was launched this past weekend. What shuttle made the final flight?

Your Mother Should Know Trivia
1. What was the name of the first satellite launched into space by the Soviet Union in 1957?
2. Who was Lyndon Johnson's running mate for vice-president when he was elected president in 1964?
3. Name 1 of the 2 actors to decline the Best Actor Oscar in the early 1970s.
4. Guitarist Brian Jones of what rock band was found drowned in a swimming pool in July 1969?
5. What teen idol portrayed Keith Partridge on the TV series "The Partridge Family?"
6. For what film did Frank Sinatra win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1954?
7. What was the most popular female baby name of the 1950s, and was also the most popular female baby name in the first half of the 20th century?

State Nicknames Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Bluegrass State
2. Centennial State
3. Grand Canyon State
4. Alligator State
5. Bayou State
6. The First State
7. Ocean State
8. Hawkeye State
9. North Star State
10. Beehive State

General Knowledge
1. Caracas is the capital of what country? ( 1 pt)
2. Forrest Gump's mother told him that life is like what? ( 1 pt)
3. In 1963, who famously said, "Ich bin ein Berliner?" ( 1 pt)
4. The Marquess of Queensbury Rules apply to what sport? ( 2 pt)
5. Patty, Maxine and Laverne comprised what female vocal singing group? ( 2 pt)
6. The Straits of Mackinac connect what two Great Lakes? ( 2 pt)
7. A female fox is called what? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. The Cliffs of Moher is one of the most visited tourist attractions in what country? ( 4 points)
2. Which playing card is also known as "the suicide card?" ( 5 points)
3. Which 20th century president was the first one born west of the Mississippi River? ( 4 points)
4. The Ginza is a shopping street in what world capital city? ( 3 points)
5. Janet Guthrie was the first woman to accomplish what sporting feat in 1977? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Ronald Reagan; 2. South Korea; 3. Johnny Cash; 4. News of the World; 5. Larry King; 6. Sudan; 7. Atlantis.

Your Mother Should Know Trivia
1. Sputnik; 2. Hubert Humphrey; 3. George C. Scott and Marlon Brando; 4. The Rolling Stones; 5. David Cassidy; 6. "From Here to Eternity;" 7. Mary.

State Nicknames Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Kentucky; 2. Colorado; 3. Arizona; 4. Florida; 5. Louisiana; 6. Delaware; 7. Rhode Island; 8. Iowa; 9. Minnesota; 10. Utah.

General Knowledge
1. Venezuela; 2. A box of chocolates; 3. John F. Kennedy; 4. boxing; 5. Andrews Sisters; 6. Michigan and Huron; 7. vixen.

IQ Trivia
1. Ireland; 2. King of hearts; 3. Herbert Hoover; 4. Tokyo; 5. Race in the Indianapolis 500.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Historic Places Featured On Wednesday

Wednesday Night Trivia returns to Josie Wood's pub tomorrow night at 8 PM with the Special Categories: "US Historic Places Trivia" and "1-10 Trivia." In the first category, you will tell me what state the historic place is located at, and in the latter one, every answer will be a number between 1 and 10 (with no answers repeated).

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"By what name was Erich Weiss more famously known?"

We'll get going shortly after 8 PM. Remember that the winner gets $25 off the bar tab, and second place gets a free pitcher of beer. Hope to see some of you at Josie Wood's on Wednesday night.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cano Wins The Home Run Derby

If I really cared about this nonsense, I guess I'd be pissed.

All I care about is The Game.

At least they don't shove Chris Berman down our throats then.

It Has Nothing To Do With The Beatles

This Tuesday night, the Special Category for Trivia Night at Professor Thom's will be a category I am calling "Your Mother Should Know," seven questions from the 1950s, '60s and '70s, and that the average person's mother should have known. (I'm always out there looking for a different kind of category!) It will be of the general knowledge/pop culture variety.

The Q Train lightning round will be "State Nicknames Trivia." I will be give you the official (or unofficial) nicknames of 10 US states and you have to tell me what state it is.

The Sneak peek question for this week is:
"Forrest Gump's mother told him that life is like what?"

We get going at 9 PM. The All-Star Game will be on while we do Trivia Night, but it would delay anything. Hope to see many of you tomorrow night.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

At The Break: 55-35

The Red Sox finished off a four-game sweep of the Orioles on Sunday, 8-6, in a game where incompetent umpiring reared its ugly head once again.

Home plate ump Greg Gibson tossed out rookie starter Kyle Weiland and Terry Francona after Weiland hit Vladimir Guerrero in the fifth inning after both benches were warned shortly before. But there was no ill intent on Weiland's part, but the ump got it all wrong. Again, the umpiring in MLB continues to deteriorate. (Michael Gonzalez of the O's was also tossed with manager Buck Showalter after throwing a pitch behind David Ortiz in the 7th inning. That was clearly a message from Showalter, as no one on the Baltimore bench was the least bit upset with the dismissals.)

Weiland was brought up for just one start, and allowed all six Baltimore runs. Alfredo Aceves came on and retired the next nine hitters to earn the win.

The Red Sox came from 6-2 down in the second inning, scoring four runs on home runs by Marco Scutaro, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis.

The Sox added runs in the fourth and seventh innings, and Jonathan Papelbon earned save number 20.

The Red Sox hit the break at 55-35, and a one-game lead in the AL East. They are 53-25 since starting the year at 2-10. They are on a pace to win 99 games. They have the best record in the AL and the second best in MLB. The Red Sox end the first-half winning six straight and 9 of their last 10.

Amazing. Enjoy the break, everyone.

Maybe I Should Miss Lackey's Starts More Often

I played softball on Saturday night, as I do very often during the summer. I generally miss the Red Sox games if they are played at night, and seeing the name "John Lackey" as Red Sox pitcher, I figured it might be best if I did.

I followed the game on my cell, and every time I checked for a score, the Orioles always had a "0" in the run column.

What happened last night was probably Lackey's best start of 2011, going 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball, and the Fenway faithful rewarded his effort with a standing ovation as he left the game.

Now if Lackey could just do this on a little more of a regular basis...

The game was scoreless until the fifth, when the Red Sox scored three times, capped by Josh Reddick's two RBI double. Kevin Youkilis doubled in a run in the seventh. Jacoby Ellsbury had a single, double and triple in his first three at-bats (and a home run in his fourth would have given him a "natural cycle," but he grounded out.

Matt Albers, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon shut down the Orioles the rest of the way for a 4-0 win. New York's win over Tampa Bay keeps the Red Sox one game up, and guarantees them a share of first place at the All-Star break.

Rookie Kyle Weiland, Notre Dame grad, comes up from Pawtucket today to make the final start before the break, as the Red Sox look for a sweep of the struggling Orioles.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The Instrument Has Yet To Be Invented That Can Measure My Indifference To The Subject Of This Blog Post

Captain Ground Out joins the 3,000 hit club with a home run off the Rays' David Price.

Fireworks In The 1st, and The 8th

The Red Sox laid the hammer down on the Orioles once again at Fenway, laying down a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the first inning, and coasted to a 10-3 victory.

But a lot happened before the last out was made.

Josh Beckett went the first five innings, so he got the win, but left for precautionary reasons, as he has a mildly hyperextended left knee. Lord, just what the Red Sox need: another injured starter. But it doesn't sound too serious, and it appears he won't miss too much time (but probably won't pitch in the All-Star Game).

The bullpen backed up Beckett nicely, and it was 9-3 heading into the bottom of the eighth. Josh Reddick tripled in Dustin Pedroia to make it 10-3, and David Ortiz stepped in. Orioles closer Kevin Gregg threw three straight inside pitches, with the third just missing Papi. He moved toward the mound, both benches emptied, but nothing happened. Ortiz hit the next pitch to center field for an out, but Gregg shot off his big mouth to Ortiz to run to first, and Papi charged at him again, this time fists were flying. Nothing really landed, but both players, along with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and O's pitcher Jim Johnson were tossed.

I don't know if the Orioles took exception to Ortiz admiring his 1st inning homer, or were just tired of being beaten like red-headed stepchildren by the Sox. Whatever the reasons, fines and suspensions are sure to follow.

Also tonight, Alex Rodriguez bowed out of the All-Star Game due to a knee problem, and was replaced by Kevin Youkilis. Always nice when Yankees are replaced by Red Sox. Speaking of the team we all despise, they were rained out tonight and the Sox are now one game up in the East. (I found it interesting that the Yankees wanted to play a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, but the Rays said no. You don't think the Yankees wanted to do it this weekend so Captain Ground Out wouldn't miss another home game this weekend in his pursuit of Three Grand?)

For those of you who hasn't seen the film yet, here is a clip of the fisticuffs at Fenway tonight:

Friday, July 08, 2011

Bombing Back Into First Place

This was another game I missed tonight, as I had tickets to the Brooklyn Cyclones game at MCU Park. It was Irish Night, so I wore my green Red Sox hat. (I did see a couple of other people wearing Sox gear. I always do in Coney Island.)

The news from my cell was almost always good. It started with the Rays leading in the Bronx, but the Sox behind early at Fenway. The Rays would keep the lead all night, but the Sox would come back at Fenway, and in a big way.

(BTW, there was a John Wasdin sighting in Coney Island last night. "Way Back" is the pitching coach for the Vermont Lake Monsters, who defeated the Cyclones, 5-4, last night. There was one home run last night, and it was hit by the Cyclones. And it was "way back.")

The home run bats were let loose, first by Dustin Pedroia, then by Adrian Gonzalez and Jacoby Ellsbury. And my cell also told me that Big Papi, Josh Reddick and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit back-to-back solo shots in the seventh. So any hope the Orioles had of winning the series opener flew right out of Fenway. The last time the Red Sox belted six homers in a game was in September 2009 against the very same Orioles.

Andrew Miller is now 3-0, and the Red Sox are 4-0, in his four starts. He hasn't faced the cream of the bottle in terms of the teams he has faced, and has gotten a ton of runs in support. But he has done the job so far, and I can't complain about that.

New York's loss to the Rays put the Red Sox back into first by a half-game.

And it also looks like Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy had a good time on Thursday night, especially in the third inning (with thanks to my friend Andrea for alerting me to the clip):


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Dick Williams: 1929-2011

Dick Williams, who managed the Impossible Dream Red Sox in 1967 and led them to Game 7 of the World Series before losing to the Cardinals, died today at the age of 82.

In my opinion, he's the second best Red Sox manager in my lifetime. (You can take a wild guess as to who's number one.) Williams shook up many folks around Boston when he predicted the Red Sox team he was taking over in 1967, coming off many losing seasons, would "win more than we lose."

Was he ever right. The Sox went 92-70 and beat out Minnesota, Detroit and Chicago in one of the wildest finishes in AL history, and it was the birth of "Red Sox Nation" as we know it. He was Manager of the Year as selected by The Sporting News. He was Red Sox manager until he was fired late in the 1969 season.

Williams, who played for 14 years, was originally brought up as an outfielder with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951. But he achieved the Hall of Fame managing six clubs: Red Sox, A's (where he won 2 World Series), Angels, Expos, Padres (where he won the first San Diego pennant in 1984), and Mariners. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2008.

He is one of only seven managers to win pennants in both leagues, and one of only two managers to win 90 games in a season with four different teams (Lou Piniella is the other).

Godspeed Mr. Williams, and thanks for all you did to bring a great renaissance to Boston baseball in 1967.

Eight More For Wake

Tim Wakefield got his 198th career win on Wednesday night over Toronto, and the 184th in his Sox career, trailing by eight the great Cy Young and the Guy Currently On Trial For Perjury and Other Charges In Washington DC.

Wake went seven innings and allowed three runs. He struck out seven and walked one.

The Red Sox scored four in the fourth to put them up to stay, and wound up with a 6-4win. Jacoby Ellsbury had a leadoff home run and two doubles, and drove in three and stole a base as well.

Jonathan Papelbon had to make it interesting once again in ninth, but he slammed the door after allowing a run.

Indians beat the Yankees in Cleveland, so the Red Sox are now just a half-game back in the AL East.

Jon Lester was put on the DL before the game, but will miss just two starts, due to the All-Star break. Scott Atchison was brought up to take Alfredo Aceves' spot in the pen, as he will move into the rotation. The Sox also announced that Carl Crawford will rejoin the team on July 18th, after a short injury rehab stint in the minors.

My friend Pete Nash wrote a terrific article on the late Barry Halper. He makes a comparison to Bernie Madoff, which is never a good thing. Check it out here: http://haulsofshame.com/index.php

JW's Trivia Q&A: July 6

We had six teams in again at Josie Wood's for Wednesday Night Trivia, but it was a larger and even more enthusiastic crowd than last week.

I enjoy lots of banter with Mel, a Yankee fan, who joined us for Trivia. It was all good-natured and I hope he joins us again next week.

The winning team was Cross Him Off, This One's dead with 43 points, and it was a comfortable win. Second place went to Oversized Giant Brains with 34, and we had a tie for third between Antiquarks and The Blind Prostitutes: You Gotta Hand It To Us (who also won for best team name).

Odd Numbered Trivia
1. Both the Mets and Yankees have retired this number in honor of manager Casey Stengel.
2. This is the number of years of marriage marked by a silver wedding anniversary.
3. The number of points required to win a game in badminton.
4. WWI ended on this day, hour and month number in 1918.
5. The number of flavors in Baskin-Robbins ice cream.
6. Jesus Christ is said to have been crucified at this age.
7. In tennis, this number represents the first point gained in a game.
8. In Islam, Muslims are required to pray this many times a day.
9. The number of letters in both the Turkish and Norwegian alphabets.
10. Hall of Fame athletes Wilt Chamberlain and Dan Marino wore this number.

Oscar Movies By Decade Trivia
1. West Side Story
2. Casablanca
3. Monster's Ball
4. Goodfellas
5. It Happened One Night
6. Glory
7. Ben-Hur
8. The French Connection
9. Ghost
10. The Deer Hunter

General Knowledge
1. Who was the author of "Gulliver's Travels?" ( 1 pt)
2. What is the state of Maine's most populous city? ( 1 pt)
3. Donald Fagen is the lead singer of what rock band? ( 1 pt)
4. How many sheets of paper make up a standard ream? ( 1 pt)
5. What was the first manned vehicle to touch down on the moon? ( 1 pt)
6. What country owns the islands of Elba and Capri? ( 1 pt)
7. The "Old Faithful" geyser is found in what US state? ( 2 pt)
8. Who was the president of the US during the Spanish-American War? (2 pt)
9. What musician's last public appearance was at Birdland, a NYC jazz club named in his honor? ( 2 pt)
10. What common household alloy must contain, by law, at least 11.5% chromium? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Since 1949, what immortal writer's grave has been visited annually by a masked stranger with roses and cognac? ( 4 points)
2. Harry Longabaugh was the real name of what Wild West outlaw? ( 5 points)
3. What Shakespeare character says, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark?" ( 4 points)
4. What current US territory or possession is larger in area than the smallest US state? ( 4 points)
5. What was the name of the inflatable autopilot from the classic comedy movie "Airplane?" ( 3 points)

Answers
Odd Numbered Trivia
1. 37; 2. 25; 3. 21; 4. 11; 5. 31; 6. 33; 7. 15; 8. 5; 9. 29; 10. 13.

Oscar Movies By Decade Trivia
1. 1960s (1961); 2. 1940s (1942); 3. 2000s (2001); 4. 1990s (1990); 5. 1930s (1934); 6. 1980s (1989); 7. 1950s (1959); 8. 1970s (1971); 9. 1990s (1990); 10. 1970s (1978).

General Knowledge
1. Jonathan Swift; 2. Portland; 3. Steely Dan; 4. 500; 5. Eagle; 6. Italy; 7. Wyoming; 8. William McKinley; 9. Charlie Parker; 10. stainless steel.

IQ Trivia
1. Edgar Allan Poe; 2. The Sundance Kid; 3. Marcellus; 4. Puerto Rico; 5. Otto.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Is Roger Clemens Incarceration Day On The Horizon?

The Roger Clemens trial begins in Washington, DC today.

Here's one Red Sox fan's six counts against the Texas Con Man.

Even if Clemens sees no jail time ultimately, it would please me to no end to see the words "convicted felon" on his resume.

Big Finish As Lester Leaves Early

From a few different angles, it appeared the Red Sox caught a break on the play at the plate that ended the game last night.

Darnell McDonald's bullet throw from left (may have been a good thing Carl Crawford wasn't out there) to Jason Varitek nailed Edwin Encarnacion to conclude the 3-2 win, after another rough ninth by Jonathan Papelbon. Tek blocked the plate enough to keep Encarnacion away from the plate, but it appeared his righ foot scraped the plate before Tek made the tag.

It's still a 3-2 win. Joy of Sox has some cool screenshots of the play (like above; my thanks to him).

Jon Lester left after four no-hit innings with a left lat strain. No decision has been made yet about the DL, but it looks like a possibility, as he may be out for two weeks. Alfredo Aceves will make Lester's start on Sunday against the Orioles.

The bullpen of Matt Albers, Franklin Morales and Daniel Bard was stellar until Papelbon, who gave up a two-run bomb to Jose Bautista.

New York's win over the Indians in Cleveland keeps the Red Sox 1 1/2 games back.

The Red Sox also traded Mike Cameron to the Florida Marlins before the game with cash for a player to named later.

And on the subject of Jason Varitek, there will be auction of the July 4th equipment he wore, which includes autographed shin guards, chest protector and mask. The proceeds will benefit Journey Forward, and you have until July 19th to enter the drawing. Here's more info about it.

And there's also time to be a part of Tek's Putt Putt tournament, which will be held on July 21st and tickets are $50. Click here for more information on tickets.

PT's Trivia Q&A: July 5

We had 17 teams in on the day after the holiday weekend concluded, but we still a large number of regulars in. Always nice to see that.

The scores were pretty strong throughout the night, even though I personally thought I might have made the Trivia Night rather difficult.

Heading into IQ Trivia, the top team was five points up on the next two teams, that were tied for second. But one of those teams had the highest score, four of the five correct, and wound up winning by one point. The Boxer Shorts Rebellion had a total of 47 points for the win, and Team Best Friends were second with 46. It's 1776, Dumbasses! fell from first to third with 44 points.

There were naturally some Casey Anthony team names, but the winners combined a few newsmakers into one: Love Child: The DSK and Casey Anthony Story As Tweeted By Anthony Weiner took the prize. (And I have a feeling Weiner will be around in team names for many weeks to come.)

Current Events
1. The only authenticated photo of what 19th century outlaw was recently sold at auction to a Florida billionaire for $2.3 million?
2. Nike re-signed what controversial athlete to an endorsement deal last week?
3. What rock star sent presidential Michelle Bachmann's campaign a cease-and-desist order not to use one of his hit songs at her campaign rallies last week?
4. A former personal assistant to what late rock star claimed recently that he was a closet Republican and he was embarrassed by his radical past at the time of his death?
5. The world's longest bridge over water, more than 26 miles long, opened last week in what country?
6. The New York Times sold off more than half its holdings in what MLB team last week for $117 million?
7. What midwestern state shut down its government before the July 4th holiday weekend, closing down state parks and other services?

Name The Decade Trivia
1. Jim Morrison dies suddenly in Paris from heart failure.
2. Roger Bannister runs the first mile under four minutes.
3. "Wings" wins the first Best Picture Oscar.
4. Sandra Day O'Connor becomes the first female Supreme Court justice.
5. The Red Sox play in Fenway Park for the first time.
6. Charles Lindbergh's young son is abducted and later found murdered.
7. The military is officially desegregated by presidential order.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Your foot is the same length as your forearm.
2. The cigarette lighter was invented before the match.
3. There has never been a Pope who was younger than 25 years of age.
4. There was once a 5 cents bill issued by the US.
5. A truffle is considered a fungus.
6. Hot water weighs less than cold water.
7. When the US bought Alaska from Russia, they paid 2 cents per acre.
8. Disneyland once used to deny admission to long-haired male guests.
9. The word "nylon" was formed from combining "New York" and "London."
10. The drug Premarin is produced from the urine of pregnant horses.

General Knowledge
1. According to Shakespeare, what is "the better part of valor?" ( 1 pt)
2. What was Disney's first full-length animated film? ( 1 pt)
3. What was Dorothy's surname in "The Wizard of Oz?" ( 1 pt)
4. What is the world's longest continental mountain range? ( 2 pt)
5. To the closest pound, how many pounds does a gallon of water weigh? ( 2 pt)
6. What is the only continent without an active volcano? ( 2 pt)
7. "The Bourne Identity" was written by what American author? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What actor, who won his Academy Award in 2004, is at 6'5" the tallest Oscar-winning actor in history? ( 4 points)
2. Ariel is the brightest and most massive of the 27 moons of what planet? ( 4 points)
3. Which US state has the nickname "The Empire State of the South?" ( 3 points)
4. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe were known as what 1980s musical duo? ( 4 points)
5. Which river flows through the largest number of European countries? ( 5 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Billy the Kid; 2. Michael Vick; 3. Tom Petty; 4. John Lennon; 5. China; 6. Boston Red Sox; 7. Minnesota.

Name The Decade Trivia
1. 1970s (1971); 2. 1950s (1954); 3. 1920s (1929); 4. 1980s (1981); 5. 1910s (1912); 6. 1930s (1932); 7. 1940s (1948).

True or False Trivia
1. true; 2. true; 3. false, youngest was 11; 4. true; 5. true; 6. false; 7. true; 8. true; 9. false; 10. true.

General Knowledge
1. Discretion; 2. "Snow White and Seven Dwarfs;" 3. Gale; 4. Andes; 5. eight; 6. Australia; 7. Robert Ludlum.

IQ Trivia
1. Tim Robbins; 2. Uranus; 3. Georgia; 4. Pet Shop Boys; 5. Danube.