It was an amazing week for the New York Mets, who thoroughly embarrassed their crosstown rival Yankees with a 3-1 win last night, taking all four games against them.
The Red Sox win in Philadelphia gives the Sox a two-game lead.
Good for the Mets and their fans. It's been another trying season for them, as their inept management seemed to doom them to another also-ran season. It looked like they might be on their way to another 100 loss season.
And if you read the New York papers coming into this week (I don't, but I saw the headlines), the Mets shouldn't even have bothered showing up for these four games. It's clear the Yankees were the ones who didn't. Last night I fell into a Yankees blog site (I avoid them like the plague normally) and the writer there was pissed off because Mets fans were "celebrating like they just won the World Series." For the Mets fans, this WAS their World Series. The Mets don't have a good team, but this week brought their supporters some joy. The Mets exposed the Yankees this week, and their fans know it. The AL East is up for grabs. And with all the crap Mets fans have taken over the years from obnoxious Yankee fans, they have every right to shove this back in their faces.
And the Red Sox took advantage last night, as Jacoby Ellsbury ran wild, stealing a club record five bases in a 9-2 win. (Classy move by the Phillies giving Jacoby a base to mark the occasion.) Franklin Morales came off the DL to pitch five innings and get the win. The Sox scored early and late, and David Ortiz and Jonny Gomes both went deep.
Now it's off to the Bronx, and just one win will keep the Red Sox in first after the weekend is over. Let's see if the Red Sox can pick up where the Mets left off last night.
But first, for me, I'll be doing Red Sox trivia at The BLOHARDS meeting at the Yale Club today. That should be lots of fun!
Friday, May 31, 2013
It was an amazing week for the New York Mets, who thoroughly embarrassed their crosstown rival Yankees with a 3-1 win last night, taking all four games against them.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 9:50 AM
Thursday, May 30, 2013
I've always been fascinated by oldtime baseball, and recently I acquired a new book by Tom Dunkel called "Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball's Color Line."
It is the story of a team from Bismarck, North Dakota that played with white and black players together about a dozen years before MLB disbanded the color barrier in 1947. Like the title suggests, it is a largely forgotten semi-pro team, and I had no idea who they were until I started reading the book.
They were a "town ball" team, who played games against other semi-pro teams, and were put together by a car dealer from Bismarck named Neil Churchill. He brought many Negro League stars to North Dakota in the early 1930s, at the height of the depression. And they included some very famous names: Satchel Paige, Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe, Quincy Troupe, and Hilton Smith. And in a region that overwhelming white, they certainly stood out among the folks.
The Bismarck team became a powerhouse, and regularly thrashed opponents, and the height of their glory was winning a national semi-pro tournament in Wichita, Kansas in 1935. Of the 32 teams that competed, the Bismarck club was the only one that featured an integrated team. (Unfortunately, it didn't last for Bismarck, as by the end of the decade, the team had disbanded, and were largely only remembered by those who saw them play.)
"Color Blind" examines that team, through both the best Negro League and white players on the Bismarck club. It's portrait of team that got along well, in a society where conflict between black and white was more the norm. It is a baseball story, but also of a time where baseball meant so much to people of a region that was going through some very bleak times.
Churchill may have been something of a visionary, but making money was still his priority. "Color Blind" takes a fascinating look at the world of independent baseball, and some of its colorful characters.
It's a shame this team is largely forgotten. (The above picture is actually the only team picture that still exists, and there is very little in terms of memorabilia of the Bismarck team still known to be around.) The book also shows sadly that some of baseball's greatest players never got a chance to play in the big leagues, but were able to play together with other white players at a time when that was largely thought of as impossible, and play well enough to win a title.
"Color Blind" is a fascinating and unique story. A dozen years before Jackie Robinson integrated MLB, there was the Bismarck team. It's a story worth telling, and author Tom Dunkel has done a terrific job in doing just that.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 11:29 AM
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
The Red Sox ran into a buzzsaw named Cliff Lee at Fenway last night, and came out on the short end of a 3-1 loss.
Games like this don't bother me that much. Lee is still one of MLB's quality pitchers, and it was on display last night. The Red Sox managed just 4 hits off him in 8 innings.
Jonathan Papelbon made his return to the mound at Fenway last night to a crowd mostly lustily booing. (The Red Sox had a video montage of his greatest hits that they played on Monday night, and that got a very different reaction. But Pap is an enemy now...) The Sox went 1-2-3 in the ninth, and it looked like they would no longer be alone in first.
But the Mets staged an amazing comeback against the so-called greatest closer of all-time, Mariano Rivera, as they strung together three straight hits without Rivera getting an out in the ninth, as the Mets swept the two-game series at Citi Field with a 2-1 win. It was Rivera's first blown save of 2013.
Thank you again, Mets.
The Red Sox still lead the AL East by one game. They now head to Philly to complete the four-game interleague series with their longtime hated NL rival. (That was a joke.)
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 11:28 AM
Monday, May 27, 2013
Just a reminder that Tuesday Night Trivia is taking this week off at The Mad Hatter, as the bar is undergoing renovations this week, and will be closed until at least Thursday.
Trivia will return on Tuesday night, June 4th at 8 PM. I will be posting the Sneak Peek and Special Categories here on the blog next Monday, and at my Facebook Trivia page this coming Saturday.
I hope you all enjoy the Memorial Day holiday, and please say a prayer for all of those brave men and women who have given their lives over the years for the freedom which we enjoy. God bless them and their families.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 11:23 AM
Sunday, May 26, 2013
It was a terrific weekend for the Red Sox, as they pulled off two memorable comeback wins the last two days, and are now sharing first place with the Yankees, who lost in St. Pete today.
Old friend Terry Francona rolled into town with his hot Cleveland Indians club, and left losing three of four. The Sox were losing most of Saturday afternoon, but scored four runs in the eighth inning to win, 7-4. (The Sox have now beaten Francona and his Tribesmen 6 of 7 times this season.)
But they losing from the first inning on on Sunday, as the Tribe opened with two runs in the first off Felix Doubront. He gave up two solo dingers later in the game to Jason Kipnis and Nick Swisher (did you notice how Swisher was booed lustily all weekend?), and it looked for sure the Sox would gain just a split in the series.
But they pulled off a miracle in 9th, down by 5-2. Dustin Pedroia walked and David Ortiz doubled. Both scored on consecutive ground outs, and the Sox were down 5-4 with one out to go. But Jonny Gomes walked, Stephen Drew singled, and Jose Iglesias, in the best at-bat of the inning, drew a walk on a close 3-2 pitch.
That set it up for Jacoby Ellsbury. Tribe closer Chris Perez left the game with an injury to his pitching arm after the count got to 2-1. Joe Smith came on, and threw Ellsbury a strike, and he was waiting for it, driving the ball to left center, and two runs came in, and the Red Sox got the win.
They were losing since the top of the first, and only led after the last pitch of the game had been thrown. Amazing.
The Sox are now tied with New York for first place. They will face another old friend this week, as Jonathan Papelbon returns to Boston for the first time since he left in 2011 with the Philles, in a four game, two cities interleague series. (I actually like this format than the other one, as they cut down the six games against the interleague "rival" to four.)
But Clay Buchholz will NOT make the start tomorrow, as he has an irritation in the right AC joint in the collarbone area. It isn't serious and he may make his next start later this week. Alfredo Aceves will make the start instead. (God help us all.)
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 10:46 PM
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Did I actually read someplace that someone (I can't think of who it was) was wondering what kind of reception Terry Francona would get on his return to Fenway Park as an opposition manager this weekend?
I love these types who think the Red Sox fans would actually boo the Greatest Red Sox Manager In My Lifetime. Did they really think this was the return of Johnny Damon? I remember when Pedro Martinez came back with the Mets I was reading the same thing. (I'm honestly glad I cant remember these knuckleheads' names.)
Anyway, the Red Sox played a short video clip after the 1st inning on Thursday night of Tito's Boston time, and he got a thunderous ovation from the fans, as I expected. (Classy move by the Sox including all the current ex-Red Sox players on the Indians in it as well.) It would have been nice if NESN could have shown it live, as all we got was a few seconds of it during the second inning. Tito acknowledged it by tapping his heart and saluting the crowd.
So far this weekend, it's been a mixed bag for the Red Sox on Tito's return. Ryan Dempster looked flat again, and seemed to be going to full counts on everyone. (You have to wonder if he's pitching hurt.) The Indians scored early and often, and before you knew it, it was a 12-3 blowout. The Indians have a potent offense, and look like they will be around this summer in the AL east. I'm sure the mere presence of Francona has boosted the Indians chances. I still don't see them as a playoff team, but they are sure headed in the right direction.
It was a tough day to begin Friday as both Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks were placed on the 15-day DL, with Jose Iglesias and Alfredo Aceves recalled from Pawtucket. David Ross was also activated from the 7-day concussion list and Ryan Larvarnway was sent back down. Iglesias figures to see a good part of the time back at third base, a position he has only played in one game previously in his pro career.
John Lackey pitched another splendid game last night, pitching seven innings without allowing an earned run in the 8-1 win. While it's too early to make any pronouncements that Lackey is back, he avoided the one bad inning that's followed him in many of his starts this season. he was attacking the strike zone and getting lost of grounders last night. A very good sign. And Mike Carp's three-run blast off old Friend Justin Masterson was all he needed for his third win.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 11:11 AM
Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Red Sox ended a highly successful road trip with a 6-2 victory over the White Sox in Chicago last night, and return to Boston 6-3 over the nine games they were away.
Clay Buchholz improved to 7-0 with seven excellent innings.
The Sox are now 28-19, in second place and trail New York by just a half-game.
And tonight begins a much-anticipated series, as Terry Francona returns to Fenway Park for the first time as an opposition manager. He has been back at Fenway since he left as manager in 2011, namely with ESPN as a broadcaster and at the 100th anniversary ceremonies in April 2012.
I have no doubt the Red Sox fans will show The Greatest Red Sox Manager In My Lifetime a warm welcome back to the Fens tonight. But the Red Sox need to be aware of the Cleveland Indians: they have gotten off to a fast start this season, and are in first place in the AL Central with a 26-19 record. I don't think that will last too much longer, but the Indians are playing good baseball and aren't to be taken lightly. (Interesting stat: they have beaten 7 former Cy Young Award winners this season.)
The following clip may not be of Boston (it's of my neck of the woods), but the sentiment is the same. Welcome back, Tito:
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 10:48 AM
The crowd was down from last week at The Mad Hatter, probably due to the change of days, as it was the first time we had done Trivia on a Wednesday night at The Mad Hatter. I appreciate those of you who changed your schedules and were able to come out. Thank you always.
First place was won by I Made $40K and Lost $50K Today with 50 points. They ran the table in IQ Trivia and got the win. Second place was won by The Highlight of Our Week Is Trivia Night with John Quinn (Guess who won for Best Team Name?) with 45 points. And third place went to Hummus and Haggis with 26 points.
Special announcement about next week: The Mad Hatter will be undergoing renovations for most of next week and will be closed from Monday through Wednesday. So Tuesday Night Trivia will be taking next week off, and will return the following week, on Tuesday night, June 4th at 8 PM. I look forward to seeing you then!
1. What US state became the 12th state to enact a same-sex marriage bill when its governor signed it last week?
2. What Middle Eastern country's ruling clerics banned 30 women from running for the nation's presidency this coming June?
3. The mayor of what North American city was allegedly seen on a 90-second video smoking crack cocaine last week and it was captured by a man who supposedly supplied the drug to him?
4. What R&B singer is suing the British company Topshop for $5 million over her image appearing on a t-shirt they put out she says they didn't get her permission to be on?
5. A topless painting of what late TV sitcom actress was sold at auction in New York last week for $1.9 million?
6. What American regained the title of "World's Richest Person" with a fortune estimated at over $72 billion, and he last had that title in 2007?
7. Dick Trickle died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound last week at the age of 71. For what sport did Mr. Trickle make his name in?
1. What female singer was awarded the title of Top Radio Songs artist of the 2000s by Billboard magazine in 2009?
2. What NFL team won the Super Bowl three times in the 2000s?
3. What country launched its first manned space mission in October 2003?
4. In 2008, the Republic of Kosovo gained its independence from what European country?
5. The first iPhone was released by Apple in what year of the last decade?
6. In 2000, what rocker won 8 Grammy awards, tying Michael Jackson's 1983 record for a single performer?
7. Name 2 of the top 5 grossing films of the decade of the 2000s in the US.
Comedy Film Characters Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Jonathan Mardukas
2. Dottie Hinson
3. Ron Burgundy
4. Mona Lisa Vito
5. Al Czervik
6. Dr. Peter Venkman
7. Clark Griswold
8. Axel Foley
9. Penny Lane
10. Hedley Lamarr
1. What is Queen Elizabeth II's husband's name? (1 pt)
2. "On the Origin of Species" was written by what 19th century Englishman? ( 1 pt)
3. How many moons does Mars have? ( 1 pt)
4. James Oglethorpe founded what southern US state in 1731? ( 2 pt)
5. What heavyweight boxing champion was nicknamed "The Brown Bomber?" ( 2 pt)
6. "Alligator pear" is another name for what type of fruit? ( 2 pt)
7. A person who is a polemicist is skilled at what? ( 3 pt)
1. In 2008, what western US state had the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the US, 93 per 1,000 teens? ( 5 points)
2. What American film studio was co-founded by Charlie Chaplin in 1919? ( 4 points)
3. What R&B/jazz legend holds the record for the most Grammy nominations in a career with 79? ( 4 points)
4. "Rubber" and "duplicate" are the two most common variants of what game? ( 3 points)
5. What is the predominant religion practiced on the Indonesian island of Bali? ( 4 points)
1. Minnesota; 2. Iran; 3. Toronto; 4. Rhianna; 5. Bea Arthur; 6. Bill Gates; 7. Auto racing.
1. Beyonce; 2. New England; 3. China; 4. Serbia; 5. 2007; 6. Santana; 7. "Avatar", "The Dark Knight," "Shrek 2", "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," "Spiderman."
Comedy Movie Characters Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. "Midnight Run;" 2. "A League of Their Own;" 3. "Anchorman;" 4. "My Cousin Vinny;" 5. "Caddyshack;" 6. "Ghostbusters;" 7. "Vacation;" 8. "Beverly Hills Cop;" 9. "Almost Famous;" 10. "Blazing Saddles."
1. Prince Philip; 2. Charles Darwin; 3. two; 4. Georgia; 5. Joe Louis; 6. avocado; 7. debating.
1. New Mexico; 2. United Artists; 3. Quincy Jones; 4. bridge; 5. Hinduism.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 12:29 AM
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The news of the killer tornado in Oklahoma yesterday was just devastating. More than 50 people have been killed (many of them children), and the death toll my rise even higher.
Hearing this terrible news made me think of the many people I have met from Oklahoma City. As many of you know, I have been to every 9/11 remembrance at the World Trade Center site, and especially in the early years, I had the pleasure of meeting many of the people who lost loved ones at the 1995 bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, which killed 169 people.
Over the last decade, the people who lost loved ones from Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center have reciprocated visits on the anniversaries of the respective terror attacks. Those loved ones from Oklahoma told us of their experiences dealing with their grief over the years, and I was very touched by their concern, and their strength and courage was simply very inspiring to me.
I remember meeting a chaplain from the Oklahoma City Police Department, a very nice Southern Baptist minister, back in 2004. We went down into the WTC site together, and along with a rescue worker I met there, we formed a circle and the chaplain led us in prayers for my lost friend Joyce. It was a highly moving and emotional moment I will never forget. The chaplain also gave me a beautiful 9/11 medallion, which I still have and treasure.
So, on this day, my thoughts and prayers are with all those wonderful people in the great state of Oklahoma. They have been there for us, and today we will be there for them. Please say a prayer for all those affected by the devastating tornado.
And you can donate $10 to The American Red Cross by texting "red cross" to 90999. Or follow this link for other ways to do it.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 10:49 AM
Trivia Night at The Mad Hatter is happening this week on Wednesday, May 22nd at 8 PM (aka tomorrow night). The bar is being taken over by the Manchester City soccer fans tonight, as they are having a gathering ahead of Man City's exhibition match against Chelsea at Yankee Stadium this Saturday.
So we decided to have a Wednesday edition this week. This is a one-time only thing, as we will move back to the usual Tuesday night edition next week.
Wednesday night will feature "2000s Trivia," seven questions about the decade from 2000-2009 in pop culture, sports and history. The Q Train lightning round will be "Comedy Movie Characters Trivia." I will give you the names of ten famous comedy movie characters (most from the recent generation) and you have to tell me what movie they come from.
The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"James Oglethorpe founded what US state in 1731?"
I hope many of you can make it out this Wednesday at 8 PM. The Mad Hatter is located on 3rd Avenue and 26th Street. I appreciate all of you who can rearrange your schedules for this week. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow night.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 10:14 AM
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Pick an adjective to describe last night's Red Sox win. Mine would be "laborious."
It was a 3 hour and 53 minute game that seemed to last more like three days. Ryan Dempster was all over the place, walking six batters and allowing five runs. He was one out short of getting a shot at the win, but John Farrell pulled him before he could allow any further damage. (Farrell came out to see Dempster the previous batter and rolled the dice and left him in. It almost cost him dearly.)
David Ortiz belted two home runs, Dustin Pedroia made a sensational catch and throw to the plate in the 6th to kill a Minnesota rally. It looked like the Twins would take the lead, but the Sox held on, and the bullpen shut the Twins down over the final four innings.
Pretty it was not, but the Sox took the series from the Twins, winning 12-5.
I'll take every laborious Red Sox win I can get. The last two nights in Minnesota showed how this Red Sox team will grind it out and come on top. The road trip record is now at 4-1, and they need just one more win over the last four games for it to be a winning one.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 11:19 AM
Friday, May 17, 2013
I just completed reading a new book called "Trading Bases: A Story About Wall Street, Gambling and Baseball" by Joe Peta. It's an interesting mashup of Las Vegas meets Sabermetrics.
Peta was a 15-year veteran of Wall Street, a trader who lost his job when Lehman Brothers famously collapsed in 2008. In early 2011, he was injured on a New York City street with a severely broken leg. He was confined to a wheelchair for several months, and hit upon an idea while he was recovering: make money by using sabermetrics to bet on the entire 2011 MLB season.
He swears it's better than betting on football or basketball.
Peta created an investment model based on the sabermetrics favored by Bill James. He made season projections for every MLB team, and took on the Las Vegas betting line.
"Trading Bases" is really for the statisical nerd in all of us. I'm not the biggest proponent of sabermetrics. It definitely has its place but I'm not a slave to it (I'm not one who thinks like Joe Morgan once said, about how sabermetrics is "ruining the game"), but I did like many of Peta's stories of working on Wall Street and his little asides. (Although I take umbrage with his swipes at Red Sox fans, and the section when he becomes a Yankee fan, after being a lifelong Phillies fan, in 1996 made me cringe.)
Peta made money off his model in the end, including the 2011 playoffs. He did have times when he lost money in this venture (especially midway through the regular season). But in the long run, over the course of an entire season, he made money. I got the impression that this is something you'd have to be committed to for a long stretch of time to see any real cash.
So, if betting on sports is your thing, you're into WAR and PECOTA, and think Bill James is god, then "Trading Bases" is definitely for you.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 11:39 AM
The offense was shut down again last night, this time by Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb. Felix Doubront was better than he's been, but walked six in 5+ innings, and the Rays broke a 1-1 tie right after he departed.
The Sox had split the first two games in St. Pete, and beginning a nine-game road trip. it was 3-1 in the ninth, and they fortunate to run into Fernando Rodney, who is not having the stellar year as a closer he had in 2012.
The inning was feast or famine for Rodney. He walked the bases loaded and struck out two. He went to 1 and 2 on Will Middlebrooks before he slammed a pitch into the gap in left field to clear the bases and put the Red Sox out front for the first time on the night.
Junichi Tazawa, who pitched the 8th inning, got the win. He allowed two singles in the ninth but held on.
Had the Sox lost, they would have dropped the series, but due to Middlebrooks' heroics, they start a nine-game road trip with a series win. I looked at the nine games before it began and figured they needed to win five. Now they are off to Minnesota for a weekend series, and then to Chicago.
New York's loss last night but the Red Sox in second place, one game back.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 10:48 AM
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Right after Trivia Night at The Mad Hatter last night, I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with a Red Sox fan named David Rubin. David was telling me about a video he recorded of his 97-year-old father Lawrence telling him about his first trip to Fenway Park as a youngster in 1924, when he was 11.
Those were some lean times in Red Sox history, probably the worst era in team history. The Sox finished 7th that year, the only time between 1922 and 1930 they didn't finish last.
Anyway, Mr. Rubin tells his son about a doubleheader he attended in 1924 against the Washington Senators, and David told me that everything his dad said turned out to be 100% correct. (The Senators went on to win the 1924 World Series that year, the first in team history. They wouldn't win their next until they were the Minnesota Twins in 1987.)
And in the background you can hear the NHL Outdoor Classic going on (the clip was made on January 1, 2010). It was happening at Fenway Park that year, and Mr. Rubin was shocked to a hockey game going on at the Fens!
My thanks to David Rubin for telling me about the clip. Mr. Rubin has since passed away since the video was made.
Here it is:
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 10:13 AM
Trivia at The Mad Hatter brought out another nice crowd, including a team that was celebrating one of their teammates' birthday. I rewarded them by giving them the Best Team Name (see below).
It was a close night throughout, but the team of Our New Waitress Is Humorless wound up the winners, with 49 points, and by the slimmest of margins. They edged out Direct TV Sucks (we had the TVs go out briefly before we started last night), who wound up with 48 points.
Third place was a tie between Too Late To Think Of a Name and Now The Browns Are Only The Second Most Notorious Bunch of Cellar-Dwellers From Cleveland, both with 39 points. We broke the tie with "How many movies did Elvis Presley star in in his film career?" It was 33, and Too Late To Think Of a Team Name was closest and took third.
An important announcement for all Trivia players: Next week we will be doing a special Wednesday night edition of Trivia at The Mad Hatter, as the bar will be hosting a Manchester City supporters party next Tuesday night. So we will be doing Trivia next on May 22nd at 8 PM. We go back to the usual night and time the following week.
Best Team Name: Wendy's Nuts Dragon Your Face
1. What eastern state became the 11th state to enact a same-sex marriage law last week?
2. The silver spire was officially put on 1 WTC last Friday, making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. What building was the previous tallest building in the US?
3. Forbes magazine named what NFL player as its "2013 Most Influential Athlete?"
4. 19 people were injured on Sunday in a shooting during a Mother's Day parade in what US city?
5. What world leader took a lot of heat last week after it was revealed he had a bed worth $127,000 (at taxpayer expense) installed on his plane for a five-hour flight to attend Margaret Thatcher's funeral?
6. What comedian will succeed Jimmy Fallon as the next host of NBC's "Late Night" show when Fallon takes over as host of "The Tonight Show" next year?
7. Former president Efrain Rios Montt, of what Central American country, was found guilty last week of genocide and crimes against humanity?
1. In 1994, what musician was found dead at his home by an electrician who had arrived to install a security system?
2. What MLB team won back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993?
3. Edwina and Patsy were the two main characters in what 1990s British sitcom?
4. Who was Bob Dole's running mate in his failed 1996 presidential bid?
5. In 1994, Israel signed a peace treaty with what Middle Eastern country, ending a state of war between them since 1948?
6. In 1992, the Euro Disney Resort opened in what country?
7. Name 2 of the 5 top grossing films of the 1990s in the United States.
5,6, 7 or 8 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. The total number of US presidents that have died while in office.
2. The number of judges needed to make a majority decision in the US Supreme Court.
3. This is the number of pitches an MLB pitcher gets to warm up before every inning.
4. This is the number of "deadly sins."
5. This is the atomic number of carbon.
6. This is the Interstate highway number that runs from San Diego, CA to Blaine, Washington.
7. This is the number of gb in the first iPod Apple released in 2001.
8. John Quincy Adams was this number US president.
9. In Hinduism, there are this number of chakras.
10. The Pittsburgh Steelers have won this record number of Super Bowls.
1. What is the sixth planet from the sun? ( 1 pt)
2. Mt. McKinley is located in what US state? ( 1 pt)
3. What city did the NBA's Lakers move to L.A. from in 1960? ( 1 pt)
4. Al Capone was convicted of what crime in 1931? ( 2 pt)
5. Elvis Presley made his acting debut in what 1956 film? ( 2 pt)
6. Who was the first author to become a billionaire from their books? (2 pt)
7. The Orkney Islands are found in what country? ( 3 pt)
1. What 19th century US president also served as president of the NRA after his time in the White House? ( 5 points)
2. The movie "Fierce Creatures", which was originally called "Death Fish II," was at first conceived as a sequel to what 1988 comedy film? ( 4 points)
3. In 1887, Oregon was the first state in the US to establish what holiday as a legal holiday, seven years before it became a nationwide one? ( 4 points)
4. Name 1 of the 2 teams that are the only charter members of the NFL, from its inaugural season of 1920, still in existence today. (3 points)
5. What actor has won the most Golden Raspberry ("Razzie") Awards in its history with 10, and in 2000 was named "Worst Actor of the Century?" ( 4 points)
1. Delaware; 2. Willis Tower; 3. Tim Tebow; 4. New Orleans; 5. Benjamin Netanyahu; 6. Seth Meyers; 7. Guatemala.
1. Kurt Cobain; 2. Toronto Blue Jays; 3. "Absolutely Fabulous;" 4. Jack Kemp; 5. Jordan; 6. France; 7. Titanic, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Jurassic Park, Independence Day, The Lion King.
5,6,7 or 8 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. 8; 2. 5; 3. 8; 4. 7; 5, 6; 6. 5; 7, 5; 8. 6; 9. 7; 10. 6.
1. Saturn; 2. Alaska; 3. Minneapolis; 4. Tax evasion; 5. "Love Me Tender;" 6. J.K. Rowling; 7. UK.
1. Ulysses S. Grant; 2. "A Fish Called Wanda;" 3. Labor Day; 4. Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals; 5. Sylvester Stallone.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 12:09 AM
Monday, May 13, 2013
We did "1980s Trivia" last week for Tuesday Night Trivia at The Mad Hatter, so this week we'll be doing "1990s Trivia." It will be seven questions about the Roaring '90s, in pop culture, sports and history.
The Q Train lightning round will be "5,6, 7 or 8 Trivia." I will ask you ten questions where the answer will be one of those numbers.
The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Mt. McKinley is located in what US state?"
We get going at the usual time of 8 PM on Tuesday night. A reminder that next week we will be doing a special Wednesday night edition of Trivia at 8 PM on May 22nd, as The Mad Hatter will be hosting a party for the Manchester City soccer fans next Tuesday night, ahead of their exhibition game in the Bronx the following Saturday.
Hope to see many of you on Tuesday night!
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 10:41 AM
Saturday, May 11, 2013
The whole baseball world knows of the travesty that occurred in Cleveland last Wednesday night when the umpires botched a ball that the A's Adam Rosales hit which was originally called a double, but on replay was clearly a home run that cleared the wall.
The crew chief was the infamous Angel Hernandez, who is generally agreed to be the worst umpire in MLB (and maybe of all-time). Anyone with half a brain can see it hit the railing three feet above the wall and came back on the field. And you can't blame the TV equipment in Cleveland, as their TVs are in HD, and should even be clearer.
Peter Gammons went on the Dan Patrick Show and had an interesting theory: that Hernandez deliberately botched the call in protest to the current replay system in place.
If there is any truth to this, Angel Hernandez should be fired immediately. Replay is part of the rules of the road, and will probably be expanded in the future. Hernandez should find another line of work if he can't handle modern technology. And if there is NO truth to it, it proves what a disaster he is as a umpire.
Again, if it's true, what Hernandez did was deliberately cost the Oakland A's a possible win, and it's as if he had bet money on the Cleveland Indians to win. The integrity of MLB is one the line if they keep this incompetent on the field with his track record. How in the world did he become a crew chief? Must have been as a birthday present. (In 2006, a Sports Illustrated poll of players had him ranked as one of the worst of all MLB umps. So naturally, he becomes a crew chief.)
There's a big difference between Hernandez and Jim Joyce, who famously cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game in 2010. Joyce (who is generally considered one of MLB's best umps) was simply heartbroken over the missed call and immediately apologized. It was a classy move by a good ump. Hernandez is an arrogant SOB generally disliked by many players and still hasn't admitted the error from Wednesday night.
MLB has a serious problem with incompetent umpires, as we saw again in Houston on Thursday night. Crew chief Fieldin Culbreth was suspended two games for that botched pitching change, but MLB has still done NOTHING in regard to Hernandez. And it seems that becoming an umpire is like becoming a Supreme Court justice. You have the job for life, and no matter how incompetent a job you do, nothing can touch you.
It simply boggles the mind. Hernandez simply has no business being an umpire any more.
And it hurts the game of baseball.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 11:24 AM
He faced just one man over the limit, and retired the first 17 hitters before Maicer Izturis doubled down the left field line in the sixth. He then retired the next 10 to complete a masterful performance. It was as good as his 2008 no-hitter, when he faced just 29 hitters that night.
Lester struck out just four, but didn't go to many 3-2 counts. It was exactly what the Red Sox needed, having dropped six of their last seven. Both he and Clay Buchholz (who pitches today) have been pitching like aces, stopping losing streaks. Lester is now 5-0, and it was his 10th career complete game.
The Sox scored four in the seventh to ice the game, after struggling most of the night with runners on base. Daniel Nava got the key hit, a two-out double that scored Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia.
New York and Baltimore both won last night, so the Sox remain tied atop the AL East with both of them today.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 10:50 AM
Friday, May 10, 2013
I had a feeling the Red Sox run of good luck wouldn't last very long.
The 5-3 loss to the Twins last night means that the Red Sox have now lost 6 of 7 (and 3 of 4 to Minnesota) since taking a series from the Blue Jays in Toronto last week. John Lackey pitched well again for five innings, but his error on a possible double play ball opened the gates for a big inning, and Minnesota took advantage, scoring four runs.
The starting pitching has slumped, and it looks like the Sox have lost Joel Hanrahan for the season, as Tommy John surgery maybe looming for him. He was placed on the 60-day DL yesterday, and he was visiting Dr. James Andrews in Alabama today for a second opinion on his injured right elbow. (That visit is never a sign of good things ahead.)
Junichi Tazawa has been named closer until the other injured closer, Andrew Bailey, returns from his bicep injury.
The bullpen was an early strength, and now it is going through a difficult time.
David Ortiz' hitting streak ended at 27 games on Wednesday night. And he also had to deal with that jackass (who will not be named here) from the Boston Globe throwing brick bats at him, accusing him of being on PEDs because of Papi's hot start. I didn't think my contempt for this individual could get any worse. Now it has. The guy is a shit stirrer, plain and simple, and relishes causing controversy. (And that Papi is 0-for-his last-13, is he now off the juice? Rat bastard.) There's no evidence to go on, just Papi's hot return to the lineup. He reminds me of one of those "9/11 Truther" assholes, the ones who throw around totally baseless accusations without a shred of proof, and it's up to those accused to prove they are innocent.
The Sox play the Blue Jays this weekend, sitting on a 21-14 record. They are in a tie with New York and Baltimore for first place. There's still a long way to go, and overall the Sox have played well over the first 35 games.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 12:06 PM
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
We had a small but enthusiastic crowd in The Mad Hatter for Trivia on Tuesday night. And it was a night for team of There's Something Funny About Chemical Warfare, as they won the night with 41 points and also took Best Team Name. Congrats to Alex's friends, who were victorious without Alex.
Second place went to Ship of Fools with 40 points, just missing the top by one point. And third place went to Roy G. BIV deVoe with 28 points.
1. Chris Kelly, who was a member of what 1990s hip-hop group, died of an apparent drug overdose last week at the age of 34?
2. The governor of what US state signed a same-sex marriage bill last Thursday, becoming the 10th state to do so?
3. Jeff Hanneman, lead guitarist for what heavy metal group, died last Thursday from what is believed to be an infection caused by a spider bite two years ago?
4. What controversial rap star was dropped by Mountain Dew as a spokesman after making a crude lyrical reference to Emmett Till, a civil rights figure slain back in 1955?
5. What NBA star is suing his mother to stop a memorabilia auction she is involved with, as it will sell off over 100 items from his pro and high school career?
6. The reality TV series "Cops", which spent 25 seasons on the Fox TV network, will be moving to what cable network this fall?
7. What Oscar-winning actress, dressed as Queen Elizabeth in a play in London, recently ran out on to a street and cursed at musicians from a gay pride parade whose music was disturbing her performance?
1. At what age did Mike Tyson become the youngest heavyweight champion of all-time in 1986?
2. At the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, what country made their first ever appearance in the bobsled event and became fan favorites?
3. In 1987, Manuel Noriega was charged with drug smuggling and money laundering while being the leader of what country?
4. What tragic event made worldwide headlines on April 26, 1986?
5. The 1985 Live Aid concerts took place in what two major cities?
6. What star of the film "The Breakfast Club" was also part of the original cast of the TV series "The Facts of Life?"
7. Name 2 of the 5 highest-grossing films of the 1980s.
True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Philophobia is the fear of libraries.
2. Apple was the world's most profitable company in 2011.
3. Bananas are radioactive.
4. Saddam Hussein was forced to watch the South Park movie over and over again after his capture.
5. "Evan Almighty", made in 2007, is the most expensive comedy film of all-time.
6. After overeating, your hearing becomes more sharp.
7. You would have to consume over 1500 pounds of marijuana to overdose.
8. Adolf Hitler's nephew fought in the US Army during WWII.
9. The largest bill ever created by the US was worth $250,000.
10. Every night after closing, Disneyland releases 200 cats into the park to keep the rodent population under control.
1. Paper was invented in what Asian country? ( 1 pt)
2. The Mojave desert is located in what US state? ( 1 pt)
3. Who was the first Supreme Court Chief Justice? ( 1 pt)
4. What 19th century author wrote "Anna Karenina?" ( 2 pt)
5. The Zambezi River is located on what continent? ( 2 pt)
6. What human organ stores bile? ( 2 pt)
7. Who was the first English monarch to live in Buckingham Palace? ( 3 pt)
1. What soap opera ended its run on TV in 2009 after a 72-year history that began on the radio in 1937? ( 4 points)
2. Mount Mitchell, the highest point in the US anywhere east of the Mississippi River at over 6600 feet, is located in what state? ( 4 points)
3. In which Shakespearean play does the gift of a chest of tennis balls provoke a declaration of war? ( 5 points)
4. For which novel did Ernest Hemingway win a Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954? ( 4 points)
5. What is the only NFL football team that is publicly owned? ( 3 points)
1. Kris Kross; 2. Rhode Island; 3. Slayer; 4. Lil Wayne; 5. Kobe Bryant; 6. Spike TV; 7. Helen Mirren.
1. 20; 2. Jamaica; 3. Panama; 4. Chernobyl nuclear disaster; 5. London and Philadelphia; 6. Molly Ringwald; 7. "ET", "Return of the Jedi," "The Empire Strikes Back," "Batman," and "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. false, falling in love; 2. false, Nestle; 3. true; 4. true; 5. true; 6. false, less; 7. true; 8. true; 9. false, $100,000; 10. true.
1. China; 2. California; 3. John Jay; 4. Leo Tolstoy; 5. Africa; 6. gall bladder; 7. Queen Victoria.
1. "The Guiding Light;" 2. North Carolina; 3. "Henry V;" 4. "The Old Man and The Sea;" 5. Green Bay Packers.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 12:02 AM
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
It wasn't one of the more attractive wins of the season, but it's still a W.
Clay Buchholz didn't have it on Monday night, and was in big trouble in the first inning. Two runs in, bases loaded, one out for the Twins. He was having lots of trouble locating his pitches, but he struck out the next two hitters to escape putting the Red Sox in a real hole.
Buchholz settled down, but did allow two more runs, mostly on doubles. He went six innings, allowed four runs. He was due for an off night, after six straight wins.
The Red Sox grinded out some runs, getting them on solo home runs by Shane Victorino, Stephen Drew and Dustin Pedroia. (The Sox should have scored a run in the fifth, but umpire incompetence at a play at the plate nearly cost the Red Sox dearly.) Pedey's eighth inning blast put the Red Sox ahead, 5-4. But with Joel Hanrahan throwing in the pen (back as closer with Andrew Bailey put on the DL yesterday), I was thinking that might not be enough.
And sure enough, I was right. With one out, Hanrahan served up a meatball to Brian Dozier, and it was 5-5. He's allowed four HRs in four Fenway appearances. Later in the inning, Hanrahan left with right forearm tightness. The DL looks like a real possibility. I would guess Koji Uehara could become the interim closer until Andrew Bailey returns, as he closed for the Orioles a few years back.
Clayton Mortensen came on and pitched 2 1/3 innings, and got the win when the Sox got three straight hits with 2 outs in the 11th, and capped by Stephen Drew's fourth hit and third RBI of the night off the wall to give the Red Sox a tough 6-5 win. (Nice to see him interviewed on NESN afterward and not see him get that stupid "shaving cream-in-the-face" nonsense. The Sox have "been there before.")
David Ortiz doubled in the 8th inning, and extended his hit streak to 26 games.
The Red Sox again have MLB's best record at 21-11, and lead the AL East by two games.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 11:06 AM
Monday, May 06, 2013
The Q Train lightning round will be "True or False Trivia."
The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"The Zambezi River is located on what continent?"
We will get started at 8 PM. The Mad Hatter is located at 26th Street and 3rd Avenue, and I look forward to seeing many of you on Tuesday night for some great Trivia!
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 11:17 AM
It was a rotten weekend for the Red Sox in Arlington, Texas, as the Rangers swept the Sox. You knew that sooner or later a series like this would happen.
The offense was virtually non-existent, as the Sox were shut out on Friday, scored just once on Saturday, and could manage just three runs on two home runs on Sunday.
Felix Doubront allowed a staggering 12 hits in 4 innings on Friday, allowing 6 runs. (He really should have allowed just 1, as a swinging third strike to end the inning on Ian Kinsler was not called, and Texas went on to score 5 in the inning.) His velocity was noticeably down, and that is a worrying sign.
John Lackey wasn't terrible on Saturday, going 5 innings and allowing just 2 earned runs. But the offense couldn't back him up. And Texas strolled to an easy 5-1 win.
The best matchup of the weekend was Sunday: Jon Lester vs. Yu Darvish. The Sox got to Darvish early, on home runs by David Ortiz and David Ross. But that was basically it. Darvish settled in, allowing just one more hit and striking out 14 in 7 innings. Lester pitched well until the 6th, allowing a Nelson Cruz two-run shot in the sixth to tie it at 3.
The Rangers won it in the ninth on Adrian Beltre's RBI single off Clayton Mortensen.
Texas outpitched the Sox to the sweep, with most Red Sox hitters having tough weekends. David Ortiz did extend his hitting streak to 25 games (dating back to last July when he was injured, ending his 2012 season).
The Sox are now tied with Texas and St. Louis for the best record in MLB, and still lead the AL East by 1 1/2 games over New York. They now return to Fenway for four games with Minnesota.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 11:07 AM
Sunday, May 05, 2013
My good friend Matt (who was the only person I knew who predicted the Red Sox would come back from the 0-3 deficit in the 2004 ALCS) has a new smartphone app called "LovePowerup", about spreading love and peace to everyone you know.
It's a cool little app, free and available for iPhone and Android. And there's also a video that was made for it, featuring guys that look like Barack Obama and that wacky leader from North Korea:
We all need a little love in our lives...
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 11:41 AM
Friday, May 03, 2013
Now I really hope Jack Morris never gets into the Hall of Fame.
You've probably heard about this, but apparently Jack Morris, Blue Jays broadcaster and borderline Hall of Fame pitcher, accused Clay Buchholz, your AL Pitcher of the Month for April with 6 wins, of doctoring the baseball during the Red Sox 10-1 win in Toronto on Wednesday night.
Funny that no one else connected to the Blue Jays made the same accusation.
Morris didn't stop there, as he agreed with booth colleague Dirk Hayhurst (who?), as Hayhurst accused Junichi Tazawa of pulling the same kind of monkey business in Thursday night's win.
I watched the game on NESN last night, and didn't know anything about it until Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy were talking about it. And rarely have I heard RemDawg as angry as he was about it.
And Dennis Eckersley wasn't happy about it, either:
“When you throw a spitball, the ball falls off the table, and you know it right away. The hitters didn’t complain, but Jack Morris is. I think Jack Morris should zip it.”
Here is Eck and RemDawg on the postgame (courtesy of Barstool Sports).
Unless Morris can produce some doctored baseballs, or even get anyone else on the Blue Jays to back up his claims (and I still haven't heard anybody on Toronto talking about it), he should keep his suspicions to himself. He comes off sounding like one of those whackjob "conspiracy" theorists running around everywhere these days.
And oh yes, the Red Sox won another series last night, a 3-1 win over the Blue Jays, with Ryan Dempster going six innings and allowing just a Brett Lawrie leadoff home run. The Sox left runners everywhere, but Toronto couldn't push anyone else across. The Sox are now an amazing 20-8, the best record in MLB, and head to Texas for a weekend series with the Rangers.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 11:29 AM
Thursday, May 02, 2013
Clay Buchholz became MLB's first six-game winner last night, as the Sox pummeled the Blue Jays, 10-1, on five home runs. Buchholz struck out 8 and allowed just two hits in another dazzling performance.
Last season, Buchholz, in his first six starts, had an ERA of 9.09. This year, it is an amazing 1.01.
So, do you think the presence of John Farrell made a difference with this guy or what?
Mike Napoli hit two bombs last night (and they both went up decks in the Rogers Centre), and Mike Carp, Daniel Nava and Stephen Drew (his first Red Sox home run) also went deep. The Red Sox have hit 31 home runs on the season, and an amazing 16 have been against the Blue Jays in Toronto. Balls are just flying out of the Rogers Centre so far this season.
The Sox won the same night that the Celtics won Game 5 in their playoff series with the Knicks. The Knicks won the first three game of the opening round series, but the Celtics won Game 4 in overtime, and took last night's game to make it 3-2 Knicks.
No team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win a playoff series in NBA history.
And with their win last night, the Red Sox' 2013 overall record is 19-8. (Remember Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS?)
So, are the stars aligning here for the Celtics? We'll see.
Anyway, the Red Sox begin business on May 2nd with the best record in baseball. The last two times the Red Sox had baseball's best record going into May? 2004 and 2007. We all know what happened in the end in those two years.
Does 2012 seem like lights years away now?
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 11:55 AM
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Our last Trivia Night for the month of April brought out a nice crowd, and the numbers on the night were fairly strong throughout.
They were especially strong for General Knowledge, in which most of the teams aced all the answers. (That happens every once in a while. That just means that that category will be a little tougher next week!)
The top two teams were seperated by just one point heading into IQ Trivia, but the team of May Day! was the only team to get 4 of 5 correct, and wound up winning the night with 47 points, by a comfortable 12 point margin. Congrats to Pian, Charles and the gang on their win.
Second place went to Handsome Refugees with 35 points, and third place was tie between Ship of Fools and The Sloppy Latecomer, both with 32 points. The tie-breaker question was "What is the estimated population of Canada for 2013?" It is 35,600,000, and The Sloppy Latecomer was closest, and took third. Nice job by Dave, who missed the first round but wound up in the money.
Best Team Name: I Thought All the Basketball Players Were Gay
1. What Oscar-winning actress did People magazine select as their 2013 "Most Beautiful Woman?"
2. More than 300 people were killed last week when a building collapsed in what Asian country?
3. Three men from the United Arab Emirates were deported last week from what Middle Eastern country because authorities there thought they were "too handsome" and "feared women could be too attracted to them?"
4. What female pop singer did Elton John select as godmother to his new adopted son Elijah?
5. What classic rock band surprised fans in LA last Saturday by playing a small club there ahead of their upcoming tour starting next month?
6. The prime minister of what country survived an assassination attempt on Monday when a bomb went off near his convoy, killing one of his bodyguards?
7. Eric Fisher, an offensive tackle from Central Michigan, was the number one pick in last week's NFL draft taken by what team?
April 30th Trivia
1. On this date in 1812, the Territory of Orleans became the 18th US state under what name?
2. In 1939, the first New York World's Fair opened. In what year did the second New York's World Fair open?
3. On this date in 1980, Queen Beatrix ascended to the throne of what European country?
4. Former vice-president Alben Barkley died on this day in 1956. Under what president did he serve as vice-president?
5. In 2009, what American automaker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy?
6. Actress Jill Clayburgh was born on this day in 1944. Name 1 of the 2 late 1970s films she was nominated for Best Actress Academy Award for.
7. On this day in 1993, what tennis star was attacked and injured by a deranged fan during a match in Germany?
Oscar Winning Characters Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Clarice Starling
2. Roger "Verbal" Kint
3. Frank Slade
4. Velma Kelly
5. Daniel Plainview
6. Virginia Woolf
7. Brandon Teena
8. Det. Alonzo Harris
9. Katherine Hepburn
10. Dr. Sean Maguire
1. What was the currency of Italy prior to the Euro? ( 1 pt)
2. America's first public park was founded in the 17th century in what major city? ( 1 pt)
3. The musical "Man of La Mancha" is based on what 17th century novel? ( 1 pt)
4. The characters of the TV series "Desperate Housewives" lived on what street? ( 2 pt)
5. What movie beat out "The Wizard of Oz" for the Best Picture Oscar in 1939? ( 2 pt)
6. 90% of all lobsters trapped in the US are caught in what state? ( 2 pt)
7. The flag of Sweden is what two colors? ( 3 pt)
1. Christiania was the original name of what northern European capital city? ( 3 points)
2. What best-selling author got back at a critic of his 2004 novel "State of Fear" by naming a child molester in his next book after the critic? ( 5 points)
3. What day of the week is named after the wife of Odin, the Norse god? ( 4 points)
4. Patrick Lucey was the running mate for what 20th century independent presidential candidate? ( 4 points)
5. In 1949, which eastern Canadian province became the tenth and last one to join Canada? ( 4 points)
1. Gwyneth Paltrow; 2. Bangladesh; 3. Saudi Arabia; 4. Lady Gaga; 5. The Rolling Stones; 6. Syria; 7. Kansas City Chiefs.
April 30th Trivia
1. Louisiana; 2. 1964; 3. Netherlands; 4. Harry Truman; 5. Chrysler; 6. "An Unmarried Woman" and "Starting Over;" 7. Monica Seles.
Oscar Winning Character Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Jodie Foster; 2. Kevin Spacey; 3. Al Pacino; 4. Catherine Zeta-Jones; 5. Daniel Day-Lewis; 6. Nicole Kidman; 7. Hilary Swank; 8. Denzel Washington; 9. Cate Blanchett; 10. Robin Williams.
1. lira; 2. Boston; 3. "Don Quixote;" 4. Wisteria Lane; 5. "Gone with the Wind;" 6. Maine; 7. blue and yellow.
1. Oslo; 2. Michael Crichton; 3. Friday; 4. John Anderson (1980); 5. Newfoundland.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 12:25 AM