Tuesday, November 30, 2010

February 26: Just 88 Days Away

And that day is the opening of the Red Sox Spring Training schedule, and on February 26th, they will play the traditional doubleheader with Boston College and Northeastern at Ft. Myers.

They open the MLB portion of it the next day against the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium. The Sox will play the Yankees twice, the Mets on St. Patrick's Day, and will close against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on March 30 and 31.

Here is the complete schedule, courtesy of Extra Bases:

More Idiotic Nonsense From CHB On Captain Tange

Dan Shaughnessy, everyone's favorite sportswriting villain, is at it again, now all in favor of the Red Sox signing Derek Jeter, and at any cost. Yeah, it's not his cash that would pay for an aging, declining shortstop.

(Of course the Hot Stove League is what some pundits call "The Silly Season," and NESN isn't much better than CHB with this article either. Don't these people know that the Red Sox have no interest in Captain Intangibles and are sitting back and enjoying watching the Yankees and Jeter slug it out in the press like most of Red Sox Nation is right now? Memo to NESN and the Curly Haired Bastard: Tange is staying in New York. Period. Full stop. It's just a matter of how many years of the contract they can agree on. As far as I am concerned, the more that Jeter can get, the better. The MFY will have a statue playing SS by the time it ends.)

My friend Adam refutes this stupid nonsense (CHB's quotes are in italics):

CHB's article solidifies his place as the biggest moron currently writing about baseball. His article really belongs in The Onion. Here are some "highlights":

Dissing Jeter is not a winning strategy, but the Yankees can get away with it because they know that no team is going to make a serious offer for the iconic shortstop.

How have the MFY "dissed" Tange? A 3-year/$45 million for a rapidly decomposing player, who can't play defense at a premium position, is more than fair. It's charity. The MFY are willing to overpay Jeter because of the past--even though they've already paid a premium for his services.

Which brings us back to John Henry. Suppose the Red Sox step up and shock the world? There is simply no downside to making Jeter a massive offer. In the worst-case scenario he calls your bluff and you get the Yankees captain.

No downside? What is CHB drinking? Any contract of more than $5-7 million is all downside. Jeter was an adequate SS last year. Imagine what he'll be over the next 3-4 years? He isn't getting any younger. CHB's worst-case scenario would be a disaster for the Sox, who already have a SS as good as Jeter: Marco Scutaro. Scoot makes $5 million. Why pay $15+ million for roughly the same player?

I don’t care if Jeter is way past his prime or if the Sox would have to wildly overpay a player of his diminished skills.
I say offer him the world. Forget about Jayson Werth. Blow Jeter away with dollars and years. At worst this would just mean the Sox would jack up the final price the Yankees must pay. It could be sort of like Mark Teixeira-in-reverse.
And if Jeter actually signed with Boston, the damage to the Yankees’ psyche would be inestimable.

I have trouble believing that CHB is dumb enough to actually believe that losing Jeter would damage the MFY.

Jeter finishing his career in a Red Sox uniform would be the 2004 American League Championship Series all over again for the hated New Yorkers. Think of how you’d have felt if
the Knicks had signed Larry Bird at the end of his career.

Actually it'd be more like Babe Ruth finishing is career with the Boston Braves.

What’s the harm in offering Jeter $20 million a year over three years? If you can pay J.D. Drew $14 million per year . . . if you can pay a Japanese team $50 million just for the right to speak with Daisuke Matsuzaka . . . if you can buy a futbol club for $476 million, why not spend $60 million to bust pinstripe chops for all the ages?
Jeter is closing in on 3,000 hits. Imagine if he gets his 3,000th hit as a Red Sox . . . at Fenway . . . against Mariano Rivera?

Why pay Jeter $6 million more than JD Drew? The posting money for Dice-K doesn't count against the Luxury Tax. All that matters from an operational standpoint is the annual value of Matsuzaka's 6-year/$52 million contract. In other words, the Sox are on the hook each year for $8.67 million for a pitcher worth 2.5 WAR last year. Jeter was also a 2.5 WAR player last year. Tange will be 37 years old next year, so the chances are slim that he'll get better--and CHB wants to pay him $20 million!

Dice K is 6 years younger than Jeter. When Matsuzaka pitches 150+ innings, he has been a 2.5 to 3.9 WAR player. That's as good or better than what can be expected of the aging Jetes. What are the odds that Jeter is worth a combined 10 WAR over the next three years? $20 million a year is a lot to pay for 3 wins max. When you factor in Scutaro/Lowrie, CHB's idea is even dumber. At SS, Scutaro and Lowrie were worth 1.4 more wins than Jeter last year.

Since we are pretty certain Adrian Beltre is gone, the Red Sox have a big hole at third base. Jeter could play third. Or you could trade Marco Scutaro and put Jeter at short.

Jeter has a huge ego. If he wouldn't move to 3B to accomodate A-Rod a better SS, what makes CHB think he'll move to 3B for Scoot or Lowrie?

This certainly would make the Sox less boring. In an era in which NESN ratings are routinely beaten by reruns of “Everybody Loves Raymond,’’ Derek Jeter could make the network more interesting.

Yep, making the team worse would be exciting. Who wants to watch winning baseball!

Monday, November 29, 2010

11/30 History On Tuesday

This Tuesday night, we will have as our Special Category, "November 30th Trivia." It is the "This Day In History" category we do every so often. It will be seven questions connected to November 30th in some way, shape or form.

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

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
Appomattox Court House, where the Civil War ended, is located in what US state?

We get going at 9 PM on Tuesday night. Remember that we have prizes not only for first place, but for second and third place as well. I hope many of you can come out and join in on a great night of Trivia.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Godspeed Dr. Rumack. And Lt. Drebin.

I was really saddened tonight to learn that one of the great actors of our time, Leslie Nielsen, passed away today in Florida at the age of 84. He was a "serious" actor until 1980, when the producers of "Airplane!" came up the genius idea of putting actors like him in comedic roles, and he just shined in the role of "Dr. Rumack." He was a big part of why "Airplane!" is all-time comedy classic.

It led to a new career for Mr. Nielsen, who starred in the great series "Police Squad." It ran for just six episodes in the summer of 1982, but it was superb. It spawned the "Naked Gun" films.

So in honor of the legend of Leslie Nielsen, here is one of my all-time favorite comic scenes in any movie. It never ceases to make me bust out laughing, even after seeing it about 200 times:

Thanks for all the memories and all the laughs, Mr. Nielsen. Godspeed.

Getting a Little Dignity Back

The Minnesota Vikings opened the Leslie Frazier Era with a win against the Washington Redskins, 17-13, on Sunday at FedEx Field.

It wasn't an awe-inspiring win by any stretch of the imagination. It was to be kind "a defensive struggle" (a snoozer in laymen's terms), and a 7-7 tie at halftime. Both teams scored on their opening drives and that was it until the third quarter.

Adrian Peterson left the game at the half with an ankle injury. He also went over the 1,000 yard mark in rushing for the fourth consecutive year, getting 36 yards on the ground and a TD on the day. I didn't have a good feeling about it, but Toby Gerhart did a nice job filling in for him, rushing for 76 yards on 22 carries and the last TD the Vikings scored, early in the third.

The Vikings defense rebounded nicely from last week's disaster, holding Washington to just 25 yards rushing and they had three sacks and an interception.

Brett Favre wasn't anything special, going 15 for 23 and 172 yards. He threw no TDs or interceptions, but one of the day's highlights was late in the game involving him. Vikes had the ball on the Redskin 24 yard line with 2 1/2 minutes to play, with a third down and eight yards to go for the first. Washington had just used their last time out, and the world was anticipating Favre giving the ball to Gerhart. But he faked the handoff and the Redskin defense was anticipating a pass. But Favre crossed up everyone and found a seam in the middle of the field and ran for 10 yards and a first down, icing the game, as the two minute warning had just happened. The Vikes ran out the clock and got Frazier his first win.

It wasn't anything special, but the Vikings will take it. It was nice to see the defense looking a lot better. I wouldn't say I saw a spark in the Vikings, but I'm sure more than one person will ask after this game, "Why wasn't Brad Childress fired sooner?"

It was just nice to see them get some dignity back after seeing this turn into a completely lost season.

The Vikings are now 4-7 and take on Buffalo at the Metrodome next Sunday.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

USC Owns The Irish No Longer

The long nightmare that was Notre Dame's losing streak against USC came to a merciful end tonight as the Fighting Irish pulled out a hard-fought win in the rain in Los Angeles, 20-16.

On the surface, it didn't look the Irish had any business winning this game, as quarterback Tommy Rees turned the ball over four times, three on interceptions and one on a fumble that USC cashed in for a TD.

Notre Dame led 13-3 at halftime, but a missed extra point on their first TD looked like it might come back to haunt them, as USC came back in the third quarter to tie the game.

USC grabbed the lead in the fourth 16-13 with about 6 minutes to play, but the Irish got the ball back and drove down the field, with impressive runs by Cierre Wood and Robert Hughes. Hughes scored the winning TD on a five-yard run with just over two minutes left.

USC got the ball and had a nice drive down the field. It looked like they were going to get lead back when QB Matt Mustain threw what looked like a TD pass to a wide open Ronald Johnson, who didn't have a defender near him around the ten yard line, but dropped it. A few plays later, Mustain threw an ill-advised pass that was picked off at the goal line by Harrison Smith. ND ran the clock out and got their first win over USC since 2001.

Once again, ND's defense looked superb, allowing just the first TD in the last 13 quarters, the longest streak by an Irish defense since 1980.

Notre Dame ends the regular season at 7-5, with three impressive wins at the end of the schedule. They are bowl-eligible and will play in either the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando or the Las Vegas Bowl.

A Brainless Buffalo Stampede

It was just a matter of where, not if.

Those of you who had "Buffalo, NY" in the "In What City Will There Be a Group of Mindless Idiots Charging Into a Store at 5 AM on Black Friday to Get Junk at a Slight Discount and Someone Will Get Injured In the Process and Most People Present Won't Give a Damn" pool, consider yourselves a winner. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt while being trampled. (Remember last year when a security guard on Long Island was killed in one of those early-morning Black Friday cavalry charges?)

But I bet Buffalo was far from alone.

I prefer to think of these guys when it comes to "Black Friday":

Friday, November 26, 2010

"Santa Claus, Bring Me a Lady"

My friend Rocco, who runs the Saturday night softball league I belong to in the West Village, hosts a cable access show that is on in both Manhattan and Brooklyn on Friday nights. And recently, he and some friends put together a cool little Christmas song that aired on his show, and I thought I post a clip of it here from YouTube.

It is called "Santa Claus, Bring Me a Lady," and it's really catchy, done in a "doo-wop" sort of style. This clip runs just over 3 1/2 minutes. Rocco is dressed in the Santa suit on the far right. Great job, guys.


Thursday, November 25, 2010


On this Thanksgiving Day, I want to say my thanks to all of you who come to this site and have made it the success that it is. I am extremely thankful for many things in my life: for my good health, many great friends and a wonderful family.

God has given me many wonderful gifts, and as I get older, I am more and more appreciative of them all. Thanksgiving is a day to count your blessings, and I am very aware that things could have been a lot worse in this life.

To me, Thanksgiving Day has always been about family, turkey, pumpkin pie, football, Santa Claus coming down Broadway in the parade (and that is the official start of the Christmas season, and not one second earlier), and "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie (which I listen to every Thanksgiving Day at noon on Q104.3 FM here in New York and haven't missed in a very long time).

I wish all of you out there a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving Day, wherever you are.

I'll let the Peanuts gang, from my favorite Thanksgiving special, have the last word:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It Ain't Happening

There is simply no chance of the photo in this post becoming a reality.

But naturally, the New York Post plays it up to sell newspapers.

Derek Jeter will be in a New York Yankees uniform in 2011 and beyond. Count on it.

The Yankees did not offer Jeter arbitration yesterday, and basically told him that their offer of three years and $45 million is firm and to look elsewhere for a better offer.

He's not going to find one. Especially not in Boston.

The Red Sox lost Victor Martinez yesterday and it appears that Adrian Beltre is walking out the door soon as well. So they will be active in both the free agent market and the trading one as well. But Jeter? No, they will not throw money at a declining shortstop who never had very good range to begin with.

I said during the summer that the Yankees hold all the cards in this negotiation, and they still do. Jeter has no leverage because no MLB team will offer him more than the Yankees are right now. They are right to tell him to find a better offer, as they have nothing to worry about.

Jeter wants a five or six year deal, but the Yankees are smart not to go beyond three. He is very well on the back nine of his career, and at some point they will have to move him off shortstop. But right now, they can't move him anywhere, as any position they could move him to is being occupied by someone else they can't move (Teixeira, Cano, Slappy, Posada).

And if Jeter is such a "team player" as he's made out to be, why is a three year deal not good enough? It's because of his "former best friend" playing third base, who still has seven years left on his deal and makes a ton more moolah than he does. Joel Sherman of the New York Post had a great take on all this the other day.

It's all ego with Jeter. Or as Sherman wrote: "I'm Derek Jeter. Pay me." Forget all that "Captain Intangibles" crap. He wants one final mega payday because he's Derek Jeter. He wants to get paid for all his Yankee accomplishments, but the team knows he's on the beginning of the down side of his career.

Jeter in a Red Sox uniform? Absolutely no chance. While I am enjoying all the rancor going on in this entire mess (as are most Red Sox fans), a deal will get done at some point. The Yankees can't afford the PR disaster that would occur if Jeter should bolt. Both sides will compromise in the middle somewhere. Count on that, too.

Trivia Q&A: November 23

We had 11 teams in at Professor Thom's on Tuesday night. I figured the crowd would be off a bit, with the coming Thanksgiving holiday.

Fortunately, a few of the regulars did turn out and we had a great night of Trivia. The scores started out kind of slow in the first two rounds, but they picked up with "In Q's iPod." We had two perfect scores in General Knowledge, and the top three teams separated by just four points heading into IQ Trivia.

The team in first place, Kim Jong-Ill Communication, had the best score of the round, 12 points, and wound up winning by three points. It was their first ever win on Trivia Night. Second place went to Cathie Black Is Our Thanksgiving Turkey, and third place was a tie between Heywood Jablome and Cheaters, who were both six points out of second.

Best Team Name: I Lost My Luggage and My Virginity at the TSA Checkpoint

Current Events
1. Mel Gibson's cameo role in "The Hangover" sequel was recently nixed by the film's producers, but who was announced last week as his replacement in the role?
2. What 1960s legendary NBA player was among the recipients of the 2010 Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor?
3. "Back to the Future" director Robert Zemeckis denied last week he was in talks to direct a remake of what classic 1939 film, using its original script?
4. A hybrid car, owned by what classic rock star, recently caused a warehouse fire in San Francisco and an estimated $800,000 worth of damage?
5. What classic female rock star won the National Book Award for nonfiction for her memoir "Just Kids" for 2010?
6. What Hollywood star was awarded the Ripple of Hope award last week in recognition of his humanitarian work in Darfur and Haiti?
7. Steven Spielberg is planning to do a film on the life of Abraham Lincoln and recently announced that what foreign-born Oscar winner will play the 16th US president?

Thanksgiving Trivia
1. In what year was the first Thanksgiving celebration? a. 1493; b. 1609; c. 1621; d. 1776.
2. What jazz musician composed the music to the TV special "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving?" a. Miles Davis; b. Vince Guaraldi; c. Dave Brubeck; d. Bill Evans.
3. In what country was the turkey first domesticated? a. Mexico; b. China; c. England; d. Turkey.
4. Where was the first modern Thanksgiving held? a. Jamestown, VA; b. Plymouth, MA; c. Boston, MA; d. New York, NY.
5. Sarah Hale is credited with encouraging what president to set aside the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day? a. Abraham Lincoln; b. Teddy Roosevelt; c. George Washington; d. Thomas Jefferson.
6. Canada celebrates its Thanksgiving in what month? a. November; b. December; c. September; d. October.
7. True or False: Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin ate a turkey dinner on the moon.

In Q's iPod: In The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or Not? ("The Q Train")
1. Hall and Oates
2. The Police
3. Bob Marley
4. Peter Frampton
5. AC/DC
6. Kiss
7. Prince
8. Chicago
9. Bob Seger
10. Boston

General Knowledge
1. The Sahara Desert is located on what continent? ( 1 pt)
2. What is the fifth planet from the sun? ( 1 pt)
3. Who was the first Republican President of the US? ( 1 pt)
4. Wellington is the capital of what country? ( 2 pt)
5. Ralph Bunche was the first African-American to be awarded what honor? ( 2 pt)
6. The world's largest library by the total number of books is located in what US city? ( 2 pt)
7. In what South American country did the Rev. Jim Jones lead over 900 of his followers to a mass suicide in 1978? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. The Battle of Palmito Ranch was the last land battle fought in what war? ( 4 points)
2. The Gurkhas are the original inhabitants of what Asian country? ( 5 points)
3. What TV show had the highest average Nielsen rating during the 2009-10 season for the sixth time, beating "All in the Family's" record of five straight seasons? ( 3 points)
4. The Los Angeles Police Department retired its badge number 714 to honor the death of what TV actor? ( 4 points)
5. Saint Anthony Falls is a waterfall located in what US city? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Bill Clinton (I also accepted Liam Neeson); 2. Bill Russell; 3. "The Wizard of Oz;" 4. Neil Young; 5. Patti Smith; 6. George Clooney; 7. Daniel Day-Lewis.

Thanksgiving Trivia
1. c; 2. b; 3. a; 4. b; 5. a; 6. d; 7. true.

In Q's iPod: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or Not? ("The Q Train")
1. no; 2. yes (2004); 3. yes (1994); 4. no; 5. yes (2003); 6. no; 7. yes (2004); 8. no; 9. yes (2004); 10. no.

General Knowledge
1. Africa; 2. Jupiter; 3. Abraham Lincoln; 4. New Zealand; 5. Nobel Peace Prize; 6. Washington, DC; 7. Guyana.

IQ Trivia
1. American Civil War; 2. Nepal; 3. "American Idol;" 4. Jack Webb; 5. Minneapolis.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Martinez Heading to Detroit

The Detroit Tigers are about to sign Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez to a four-year, $50 million deal, according to ESPN Boston.

I guess Theo Epstein will put Plan B into effect for the catching position.

I still don't see Jarrod Saltalamacchia as the number one guy next year. Stay tuned.

And the Mets have named Terry Collins as their new manager. A guy who quit on three teams on two continents. I don't have a good feeling about this.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Brad. Fired. Finally.

The long national nightmare that was the Brad Childress Era of Minnesota Vikings football has finally ended, as he was mercifully fired by the Vikings this morning.

Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was named interim head coach for the remainder of 2010. Linebackers coach Fred Pagac will take over as defensive coordinator for the rest of the season.

Now let's show Brett Favre the door (or at least the bench) next.

Stuff Associated With Turkeys For Tuesday

This Tuesday night, Trivia Night will feature as the Special Category: "Thanksgiving Trivia," seven questions connected with the favorite eating holiday of America. The questions will also be of the multiple choice variety.

The Q Train lightning round will be "In Q's iPod," which is our monthly audio round. This month it will be "Are They In the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?" You have to tell me if the artist whose song I play is currently a Hall of Famer or not.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
The Sahara Desert is located on what continent?

We will get going at the usual time of 9 PM on Tuesday night. It was nice to see a big crowd last week, and I hope to see many of you on Tuesday night.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Vikings Torch Another Season, Embarrass Loyal Fans

Once again, I'm glad I missed another Minnesota Vikings game on Sunday.

It was another low point in the history of the franchise.

They were whacked by their division rival Green Bay Packers, 31-3, at home in the Metrodome, their worst home loss in 9 years. (And that game cost Dennis Green his job that year. A portend of things to come?) They are now 3-7, and 10 losses is a possibility from a team that many predicted would win the NFC North. Absolutely abominable.

It will now be 34 years and counting since their last Super Bowl appearance.

The players have basically quit on a terrible coach. And they were seen sniping at each other on the sidelines during this awful loss.

When will Zygi Wilf finally act and pull the plug on the Brad Childress Era? I'd really be surprised if Childress is still employed at this time tomorrow.

Again, I'm embarrassed to call myself a Minnesota Vikings fan.

The Other Joint Had The History

Notre Dame played Army at the new Yankee Stadium last night, and were eight point favorites. They gave up a field goal in the first Black Knights drive, but the rest of the way the Irish shut them down, and scored 27 unanswered points as Notre Dame put their 2010 record at 6-5.

The Irish are now bowl-eligible and will play USC next Saturday night in Los Angeles to conclude their regular season.

I knew that watching the game last night from the new Yankee Stadium would be loaded with references to the Yankees and the history of Notre Dame-Army football. The two teams had not met in the Bronx since 1969.

And I also knew that we would have some nonsense spewed as well. Notre Dame color commentator Mike Mayock, on going to a commercial early on, said the game was coming from "historic" Yankee Stadium.

No, Mr. Mayock. This game was NOT coming from a historic ballpark, as it just opened in April of 2009. I don't know how any 18-month old stadium can be called "historic." The "historic" Yankee Stadium met the wrecker's ball last year.

I'll let my friend Jere of "A Red Sox Fan From Pinstripe Territory" have the final word, from a blog post he recently put up about the confusion many people seem to have when it comes to the Yankee Stadiums:

"Yankee Stadium was torn the f**k down. It's f**king gone. Not f**king there. Any f**king more."

Thanks, Jere.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What Do Pedro & The Electric Company Have In Common?

They both made their debuts on the exact same day: October 25, 1971.

I discovered this not long ago, when I was reading an article online about "The Electric Company." The day it made its PBS debut (on Channel 13 here in New York) rang a bell with me, and I went to Pedro's profile on Baseball Reference and confirmed that Pedro was born in Manoguayabo, Dominican Republic on the day the world first saw the show.

I'll admit to being a big fan of both, and always will be. "The Electric Company" (the original, not the hip-hop remake currently on) was simply the coolest kids show of all-time. You had to love such characters as Easy Reader, Mellow Mel Mounds and J. Arthur Crank. Even as I was growing up and long past the age that the show was targeted at, I would sneak a peak at the show.

And of course, Pedro Martinez is just one of the coolest guys ever to wear a Red Sox uniform. He's "One of the 25," and will live forever in the hearts and minds of Sox fans like me who simply marveled at the greatness he showed at his best.

And speaking of best, here are YouTube clips from both. The first is Pedro, from MLB Network, on his pitching what I consider to be the greatest game I have ever seen pitched: September 10, 1999 when he struck out 17 Yankees in New York and allowed just a home run to Chili Davis in a 3-1 Red Sox win. (Still the most amazing stat of the night was the fact that Scott Brosius grounded out to third to lead off the fifth, and it was the last fair ball New York hit on the night. Of the last 14 batters to face Pedro in the game, 12 struck out and the other two fouled out. Simply astounding.)

Second is "The Electric Company" opening titles from its sixth and final season in 1976-77.

They both came into the world on the same day, and left an amazing impression on most who saw them and will turn 40 next October. They were both the essence of cool, and may they both rock on forever.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pedroia Takes "True Grit" Award

It was really a season that Dustin Pedroia would like to forget in 2010, as he missed the second half due to a foot injury. But he was awarded "The Radbourn Award," a brand new one this year given for the first time to those MLB players that symbolize grit and toughness on the diamond.

The award is named for Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourn, the 19th century pitcher who won an astounding 59 games in 1884 for the Providence Grays. (A new book came out earlier this year about Old Hoss and that season called "Fifty-Nine In '84" by Edward Achorn.) He was elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1939.

Here is the complete list of winners, with one from each position:

P – Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants.

C – Ivan Rodriguez, Washington Nationals.

1B – Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals.

2B – Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox.

3B – Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays.

SS – Derek Jeter, New York Yankees. (What, another award for Captain Intangibles?)

LF – Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers.

CF – Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers.

RF – Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

King Tried To Screw Felix: Didn't Succeed This Time

Felix Hernandez won the AL Cy Young Award for 2010 today, despite winning just 13 games. He won and it wasn't close, as he far out-distanced David Price, who finished second. C.C. Sabathia finished third, Jon Lester was fourth and Clay Buchholz was sixth.

Hernandez got 21 of the 28 first-place votes, and topped Price by a whopping 56 points.

Courtesy of the Biz of Baseball, here is the voting results for this year’s AL Cy Young:







Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners







David Price, Tampa Bay Rays






CC Sabathia, New York Yankees







Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox





Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim






Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox





Cliff Lee, Seattle Mariners/Texas Rangers





Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay Rays




Trevor Cahill, Oakland Athletics




Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals



Francisco Liriano, Minnesota Twins



Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers



Because of the heightened interest in this award, the list of voters is below, grouped by which pitcher they listed first on their ballot:

Hernandez: Ken Rosenthal, Fox; Amalie Benjamin, Boston Globe; Michael Silverman, Boston Herald; Erik Boland, Newsday; Joe Smith, St. Petersburg Times; Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune; Lynn Henning, Detroit News; John Lowe, Detroit Free Press; Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star; Joe Posnanski, SI.com; Joe Christensen, Minneapolis Star Tribune; John Shipley, St. Paul Pioneer Press; Hirokazu Higuchi, Chunichi Shimbun (LA); Tim Brown, Yahoo Sports; Jorge Ortiz, USA Today; Ray Ratto, At Large (SF/Oakland); Kirby Arnold, Everett Herald; Larry Stone, Seattle Times; Richard Durrett, At Large (Dallas-Fort Worth); Anthony Andro, Fort Worth Star Telegram; Morgan Campbell, Toronto Star.

Price: Mel Antonen, USA Today; Tony Fabrizio, Tampa Tribune; Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune; Chris Assenheimer. Elyria (OH) Chronicle.

Sabathia: George King, New York Post; Bob Elliott, Toronto Sun; Sheldon Ocker, Akron Beacon Journal.

Yes, one writer voted Hernandez fifth. And that was the infamous George King of the NY Post, who screwed Pedro Martinez out of the MVP award in 1999 by leaving him off the ballot, using the faulty logic that pitchers don't deserve to be MVP (despite having voted for two pitchers for the same award the previous year).

Hernandez wins the award with the fewest wins ever for a starting pitcher, but he simply dominated in most of the major categories. With any decent support he could have easily won 20 games. Fortunately most writers knew that and gave Hernandez the award.

I'm sure dumbass King and bigger dumbass Murray Chass are not happy men tonight.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Trivia Q&A: November 16

We had 18 teams in for Trivia Night, a nice bounce back from last week. It was a rainy night, but that didn't keep many folks away from getting their Trivia fix!

The scores were very high for Q-Tip Trivia, and they also were for General Knowledge as well. The scores were a bit lower for Even Numbered Trivia, the Q Train category. I think I made it harder than I thought.

We had a tight race going into IQ Trivia, with two teams running neck and neck and separted by one point. The team in second place, Four Loko For Cocoa Puffs, got three of the five IQ questions correct and wound up winning by four points. Congratulations to them, as it was their very first win ever on Trivia Night.

Second place went to This Space Intentionally Left Blank, and third place went to Fruitless Pursuits, who finished two points out of third.

Best Team Name: This Space Left Intentionally Blank

Current Events
1. Forbes.com listed Oprah Winfrey as their highest-earning female celebrity for the last 12 months ending June 30. Which R&B singer finished second?
2. What group is urging the US to prosecute former President Bush after he admitted in his memoir he authorized the use of waterboarding?
3. What fast food restaurant last week radically changed their french fries, leaving the skin on and sprinkling sea salt on top?
4. What British singer, who was a former captain in the British army, claimed he may have prevented World War III in Kosovo in 1999 by ignoring an order to attack Russian forces by an American general?
5. A dispute between Nicaragua and what neighboring country was fueled recently when an island on the border was mistakenly shown on Google Maps as being part of Nicaragua and not the neighbor?
6. 42 people were killed in a fire in a skyscraper in what Asian city on Monday?
7. What TV series was renewed for a 23rd season last week?

Q-Tip Trivia
1. Which of these 19th century presidents served their terms before the Civil War? a. Franklin Pierce; b. Benjamin Harrison; c. Zachary Taylor; d. James Garfield.
2. Which of the following countries are NOT a member of the European Union? a. Switzerland; b. Ukraine; c. Spain; d. Turkey.
3. Which of the following films had a Best Actor Oscar winner that year it came out? a. Rocky; b. The Sting; c. Saving Private Ryan; d. The Deer Hunter.
4. Which of the following artists have had an album sell at least 40 million copies worldwide? a. Pink Floyd; b. Whitney Houston; c. Backstreet Boys; d. AC/DC.
5. Which of these planets are smaller than Earth? a. Mercury. b. Mars; c. Uranus; d. Neptune.
6. Which of these US cities has a subway system? a. Baltimore; b. Los Angeles; c. San Francisco; d. Minneapolis.
7. Which of these films was Morgan Freeman nominated for an Academy Award for? a. Unforgiven; b. The Shawshank Redemption; c. Driving Miss Daisy; d. Invictus.

Even Numbered Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. This is the number of inches in one yard.
2. In tennis, this number represents the third point gained in a game.
3. This number is retired for MLB Hall of Famers Tony Perez, Rickey Henderson and Willie Mays.
4. This is the number of holes in a stipulated round of golf.
5. Barack Obama is this number President of the United States.
6. The Roman numeral "L" signifies this number.
7. This is the number of dominoes in a standard dominoes set.
8. The current Roman Catholic Pope, Pope Benedict, is this number.
9. This number parallel north separates North and South Korea.
10. Virgo is this number astrological sign of the Zodiac.

General Knowledge
1. Who is the last surviving member of TV's "Golden Girls?" ( 1 pt)
2. What Peanuts character famously played the piano? ( 1 pt)
3. Columbia is the capital of what US state? ( 1 pt)
4. November 11th became a holiday in remembrance of war veterans following the conclusion of what war? ( 2 pt)
5. How many hours difference is there between Pacific Standard Time and Atlantic Standard Time? ( 2 pt)
6. Who succeeded King George VI as England's monarch? ( 2 pt)
7. What hit film was based on a book called "The Accidental Billionaires?" ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What Oscar winner wrote a 1987 memoir subtitled "How I Went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind?"( 4 points)
2. What national capital is the oldest European-founded city in the Western Hemisphere? ( 4 points)
3. What does a person called a tasseomancer do for a living? ( 5 points)
4. Which is the only American League baseball team that has never appeared in a World Series? ( 3 points)
5. Of whose death did General Robert E. Lee say, "I have lost my right arm?" ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Beyonce Knowles; 2. Amnesty International; 3. Wendy's; 4. James Blunt; 5. Costa Rica; 6. Shanghai, China; 7. "The Simpsons."

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

Even Numbered Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. 36; 2. 40; 3. 24; 4. 18; 5. 44; 6. 50; 7. 28; 8. 16; 9. 38; 10. 6.

General Knowledge
1. Betty White; 2. Schroeder; 3. South Carolina; 4. World War I; 5. four; 6. Elizabeth II; 7. "The Social Network."

IQ Trivia
1. Katharine Hepburn; 2. Santo Domingo, D.R.; 3. Reads tea leaves; 4. Seattle Mariners; 5. Stonewall Jackson.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sox Corner The Market On Guys Named Buchholz

The Red Sox claimed reliever Taylor Buchholz off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday. And yes, he's related to Clay, as he confirmed with Nick Cafardo last season that they are distant cousins.

Too bad Horst (pictured) isn't still around, as the Sox could have gotten him on the payroll somehow and made it a Buchholz Hat Trick.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The November Q-Tip Edition

This Tuesday night we will have as the Special Category the November edition of "Q Tip Trivia," that is the category where I ask you a question that has four possible answers, and it can be any, all or none of the four choices. The questions are all general knowledge in nature, but you have to be careful with your answers, because even one wrong guess gets you a zero for the question. (And you will get a point for reach right choice you make.)

The Q Train lightning round will be "Even Numbered Trivia," 10 questions where each answer will be an even number between 1 and 50. (OK, 2 and 50.)

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
Who is the last surviving member of TV's "Golden Girls?"

We get the Trivia going at 9 PM on Tuesday night, so I hope to see many of you then.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Curtain's Coming Down

Brett Favre was picked off three times in the second half on Sunday. That should be all you need to know.

I missed this game, as I was again working as an extra on a movie in Manhattan. Boy am I glad I did. I followed it on my cell phone, but I didn't have a good feeling about it at all.

The Bears won easily, 27-13. The Vikings are now 3-6 and any chance of a playoff berth appears to be almost nil now. They trail Chicago by three games.

The plug will be pulled on Brad Childress soon, that's for sure.

Favre was interviewed by the NFL Network earlier this week and said he was not returning for next season.

Why bother waiting, Brett. Bag it now. The rest of your teammates sure look like they have now.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Around The Wide World of Sports

This has been a crazy weekend for me, as I am working a movie in my background acting job, in Manhattan on Madison Avenue called "Man On a Ledge." I'm doing it over four weekends, and I have completed three of the six days I am doing it. (I have to be on set at 5 AM both Saturday and Sunday mornings, which is a real thrill. But I get to see many actors I have become friends with and share stories.)

So, here are a few things in my sports world with links that are going on:

Notre Dame upsets 15th ranked Utah in their final game at home in 2010. And I'm sorry I missed it.

Red Sox maybe interested in signing both Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre. Very problematic with Beltre having Doctor Evil as his agent and mouthpiece.

Sox trade Dustin Richardson to Florida for lefty Andrew Miller. I guess Miller's worth a shot. Didn't cost them that much.

Adrian Beltre wins the Silver Slugger at 3B. Well-earned.

Captain Intangibles Wins the Gold Glove. OK, I'll stop beating a dead horse. But I'll give Denton from Surviving Grady the last word.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You. Always.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, World War I came to a merciful conclusion. And we remember that day every year as Veteran's Day.

To all those who have served or continued to serve our great country, and especially to those who made the Ultimate Sacrifice: thank you for all you do. I will always admire your courage and sacrifice. You are all in my thoughts and prayers every night.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What The Hell, He's a Winner, Right?

Baseball's joke of an award, the Gold Gloves (and not the Golden Gloves, as that is a boxing tournament), were announced yesterday for the American League, and once again the voters saw fit to award Derek Jeter one for shortstop, and for the fifth time in his career.

Simply beyond ludicrous.

Allan at The Joy of Sox pointed out today that Jeter is ranked 27th out of 28 shortstops, according to this ranking at Baseball Reference. And the good folks at The Fielding Bible took a survey of writers and broadcasters to rank MLB shortstops from 1 to 10. Twenty shortstops received at least one vote. How many did Jeter receive?

None. Nada. Zilch.

Listen, this post isn't a rip at Jeter. He didn't ask or campaign for this award. And of course, he shouldn't decline the award. But a good majority of the baseball world knows that he is a below-average shortstop. His range has never been good and it isn't getting better.

Managers and coaches vote for the Gold Gloves. And historically they have made some awful selections. Like when Rafael Palmeiro won the award at first base despite playing less than 30 games there one year. And in the early 1990s when Benito Santiago won the award for catchers despite leading the NL in BOTH errors and passed balls. The award is simply a popularity contest, pure and simple.

I can only imagine that the managers and coaches are handed the ballots in mid-to-late September, and I also bet that most don't give more than 30 seconds of their time to filling it out. They see a player who has been having a fine year at the plate and vote for him at his position whether the stats say he has been having a good year in the field or not. Or they feel a sense of respect for one player, or since he's won before, what the hell, give it to him again.

The system for picking the Gold Gloves has to amended. Letting it go to this vote has proven to be a mistake. The voters simply don't look at numbers, or just don't care about them. I am hesitant to turn the balloting over to sportswriters, but maybe MLB should get the sabermatricians in on it, like the guys from The Fielding Bible, who know their stuff in this area. The award should be based on some merits of the year, not some bowing down before players who don't deserve the award.

It is a complete and utter travesty, and has been long before Derek Jeter ever stepped on a baseball field.

Trivia Q&A: November 9

It was a light night on Tuesday, as we had just 10 teams in for Trivia Night. Don't know what kept many folks away. Maybe they are sending me a message? I hope not.

We had some strong scores from those folks who came out, especially for Time Zones Trivia and General Knowledge. It was a close match throughout the evening, and going into the final round, the top five teams were separated by just five points.

The team in third place, Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead! Good Riddance, Chancellor Klein! came from third place with a perfect 5 for 5 in IQ Trivia to win the night by eight points. No other team in the round got more than three correct.

Second place went to Now Joe Is Going To Make a Michael Jackson Noise, and third place went to Ol' School Bean Eating Chowderheadz, who finished three points out of second.

Best Team Name: The Team Formerly Known as Joe and Adam: The Bruins Win The Cup

Current Events
1. Forbes.com recently selected their "10 Most Powerful People in the World" and Barack Obama was picked number two. Which country's president was selected as number one?
2. What 1970s teen idol was arrested in Florida on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol last Thursday?
3. Sparky Anderson, the first MLB manager to win the World Series in both leagues, died last Thursday at the age of 76. Name 1 of the 2 MLB teams he won the World Series with.
4. A rare baseball card of MLB Hall of Famer Honus Wagner was sold recently for nearly $262,000 at auction. What group, who inherited the card, benefited from the sale?
5. What female author, an American of Irish descent who has sold over 80 million books in her career, was chosen as the Grand Marshal of the 2011 New York St. Patrick's Day Parade?
6. Outgoing Florida governor Charlie Crist said he is considering granting a pardon to what late rock star, who was convicted of profanity and indecent exposure charges in Florida during a show there in 1969?
7. What film, which debuted this past weekend, grossed over $47 million at the box office and became the number one movie in America?

Q Are You?
1. This man was born in Lynwood, CA in 1955. He's an actor, producer, director and musician. He's won 2 Academy Awards and 2 Golden Globe Awards, has released 2 CDs with a country rock band & was inducted into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008 for his work in films of that genre.
2. This man was born in Refugio, TX in 1947. He is a Hall of Fame baseball player, having pitched in a record 27 seasons for 4 teams, winning one World Series. He holds numerous records but never won a Cy Young Award. He is now part-owner of the last team he played for.
3. This woman was born in Memphis, TN in 1942. She's one of the most renowned singers of all-time, having won 18 Grammys in her career. She was the first female inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Rolling Stone ranked her #1 on its list of The Greatest Singers of All-Time.
4. This man was born in Newburgh, NY in 1947. He worked in advertising until 1996, when he became a full-time writer. He has been a prolific thriller author and holds the record for most titles ever on the New York Times bestseller list with 56, and his best known books feature a character named Alex Cross.
5. This man was born in Hayward, CA in 1972. He was a college football player on a national title team, but turned to his family's business after college, pro wrestling. By the turn of the 1990s, he was one of the world's best known wrestlers before turning to acting & dropped his ring name in films in 2007.
6. This woman was born in Santa Barbara, CA in 1984. She began her recording career with an unsuccessful gospel album in 2001. She released an Internet single in 2008 that was an international hit, and she's had two number one singles in the US in 2010.
7. This man was born in Schenectady, NY in 1952. He was a respected screen actor during the 1980s, but gave up his career to become a boxer in 1991. After that was unsuccessful, he returned to acting with little success until he received an Oscar nomination in 2008.

Time Zones Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Salt Lake City, UT
2. New Orleans, LA
3. Detroit, MI
4. Vancouver, BC
5. Las Vegas, NV
6. Cheyenne, WY
7. Toronto, ONT
8. Austin, TX
9. St. Louis, MO
10. Cleveland, OH

General Knowledge
1. What US state is nicknamed "The Cornhusker State?" ( 1 pt)
2. Which actress played Rachel Green on the TV series "Friends?" ( 1 pt)
3. Pete Best was the original drummer of what legendary rock band? ( 1 pt)
4. Haile Selassie was once emperor of what African country? ( 2 pt)
5. Margaret Mitchell won a Pulitzer Prize in 1937 for what epic novel? ( 2 pt)
6. The failed "Gunpowder Plot" is remembered every year in the UK as what holiday? ( 2 pt)
7. How many GB of hard disk space was there on Apple's first iPod launched in 2001?

IQ Trivia
1. World War II's Battle of the Coral Sea was the first naval battle in history that exclusively used only what? ( 4 points)
2. Who was the only king of France ever to be executed? ( 4 points)
3. Who famously took the photograph known as "The Blue Marble" in 1972? ( 4 points)
4. "Scousers" is a slang term to describe the inhabitants of what British city? ( 5 points)
5. Ronnie Van Zant was the lead singer of what 1970s rock group before he died in a plane crash? ( 3 points)

Current Events
1. China (Hu Jintao); 2. David Cassidy; 3. Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers; 4. Roman Catholic nuns; 5. Mary Higgins Clark; 6. Jim Morrison; 7. "Megamind."

Q Are You?
1. Kevin Costner; 2. Nolan Ryan; 3. Aretha Franklin; 4. James Patterson; 5. Dwayne Johnson; 6. Katy Perry; 7. Mickey Rourke.

Time Zones Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Mountain; 2. Central; 3. Eastern; 4. Pacific; 5. Pacific; 6. Mountain; 7. Eastern; 8. Central; 9. Central; 10. Eastern.

General Knowledge
1. Nebraska; 2. Jennifer Aniston; 3. The Beatles; 4. Ethiopia; 5. "Gone With The Wind;" 6. Guy Fawkes Day; 7. five.

IQ Trivia
1. Airplanes; 2. Louis XVI; 3. Apollo 17 astronauts; 4. Liverpool; 5. Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Does Bud Believe In The Tooth Fairy As Well?

My friend Pete Nash at Hauls of Shame sent me an interesting email the other day, about a letter that Commissioner Bud Selig wrote to an autograph collector named Ron Keurajian, who wrote to him about whether Abner Doubleday or Alexander Cartwright founded the game of baseball.

As you all know, Abner Doubleday founding baseball in Cooperstown, NY in 1839 is a complete fairy tale, made up as the 100th anniversary of the sport was approaching in 1939. Doubleday was a distinguished Civil War general, a man of good character. (One of his descendants, Nelson Doubleday, purchased the Mets with Fred Wilpon in 1980.)

But in this letter (pictured here, courtesy of the Hauls of Shame), Selig says that he really believes that the myth is fact. I can only believe that Selig is continuing to believe a party line is that is clearly wrong, and that few people put any stock into whatsoever.

I think Bud needs to clarify exactly why he thinks the Doubleday fantasy is true.

Here's more on it from Deadspin, Joe Posnanski and the Hauls of Shame web site.

Ken Tremendous Gets His Wish

The long nightmare that was Sunday Night Baseball is finally coming to an end, as the duo of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan, who have been doing the telecast for 21 years, is kaput.

Miller is going to ESPN radio for the broadcasts, and Joe Morgan is being dumped. Here's more from ESPN.

Ken Tremendous finally gets his wish.

Personally, I found them both unlistenable the last few years, especially Morgan.

At least I won't hear an announcer on that broadcast call Adrian Beltre, "Bel-tray" any more.

No word on the fate of Orel Hershiser, the third man in the booth, and an analyst I actually enjoyed hearing from at times.

Q Are You? Finally Returns

Two weeks ago, we were supposed to have "Q Are You?" as our Special category on Trivia Night, but that was the night the Celtics opened their NBA season at home against the Miami Heat, and it brought out a large crowd to the bar. We couldn't start Trivia Night until after the game concluded, so we had to shorten the contest, and that category got bumped.

But "Q Are You?" is back this week as the Special Category. For those of you who don't know, that is the category where I give you clues as to the identity of seven current celebrities and you have to tell me who it is.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Time Zones Trivia," in honor of the fact we just turned our clocks back this weekend. I will give you the names of 10 US and Canadian cities, and you have to tell which of the four mainland time zones they belong to. They will all be well-known places on this continent.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
Pete Best was the original drummer of what legendary rock band?

We will kick off the night at around 9 PM. I hope to see many of you this Tuesday night.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Childress Still Employed. For Now.

Brad Childress survived today. But just barely.

The Vikings fell behind 24-10 to the Arizona Cardinals today, and by the early part of the 4th quarter I was thinking that we were seeing the last of Brad Childress as Vikings head coach.

But the Vikings tied it, with TDs scored by Visanthe Shiancoe and Adrian Peterson. They won it in OT on Ryan Longwell's 35-yard field goal, 27-24.

I saw the game today at Bar None, the Vikings/Saints bar in Greenwich Village. As the Saints fans were enjoying a rout in Carolina, the Vikings struggled big time against a very flawed Arizona team. It was my first time in the bar in 2010, and many of the fans made their displeasure at Childress known, with a chant of "Fire Childress" early in the fourth.

I saw a few empty seats in the Metrodome, and I also saw some negative banners directed at Childress. "Waive Childress" and "Fire Chilly" were all over the place, and you knew a loss to the Cardinals would probably be the end of the line for Childress.

Brett Favre was up to his old tricks early, throwing two interceptions, one as the Vikings were threatening to score and one on the first drive. That one was brought back by Kerry Rhodes that looked like it would be a TD, but Greg Camarillo caught him from behind and knocked the ball out of his hands and it rolled out of the end zone for a touchback.

Favre actually had one of his best days as a pro, going 36-for-47 for 446 yards and 2 TDs. But once again the two interceptions hurt the Vikings.

Percy Harvin fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half and it was returned by Arizona for a TD. That put me in a bad mood for most of the second half, and I really thought the Vikings were going to lose. Favre's heroics in the final minute kept Childress employed for the time being.

The Vikings take on the Bears in Chicago next Sunday. They are 3-5, and can ill-afford any more losses. One at a time, everyone.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Sox Pick Up Option On Papi

The Red Sox are exercising the 2011 option they have on David Ortiz, according to NESN. Big Papi will be making $12.5 million for the upcoming season.

They will also pick up the option on Scott Atchison and decline one on infielder Felipe Lopez, so he is now a free agent.

Mad Dog Celebrates

For years on New York radio, Chris "Mad Dog" Russo was an outspoken, devoted San Francisco Giants fan. I was never his biggest fan, but I always respected his Yankee hatred, and I was curious how he reacted to the Giants stunning World Series win this week.

Actually on Mike Francesa's show on Tuesday, Francesa showed a lot of class by opening his show by congratulating his former partner and said that Russo was invited on to open his show, but Mad Dog's bosses at Sirius wouldn't allow it.

I would have loved to have seen Chris give it to the Pope.

But here is how Mad Dog opened his show on Sirius on Tuesday, talking about his love of the Giants and all the heartbreak he went through. I guess I can relate to it.

Here is the first 12 minutes from YouTube. And here is a link to the second half of his opening (5 minutes or so). Congratulations, Mad Dog. Nice job.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Moss Heads For Music City

The second Randy Moss Era in Minnesota is now officially over, as Moss was claimed off waivers today by the Tennessee Titans, the only team who put in a claim for him. The Titans have their off week this week, and don't play again until November 10th against Miami.

The only good thing about this is that the Titans now assume the balance of what Moss is owed for 2010, about $3.4 million.

Meanwhile, Clueless Childress now says he regrets that the Vikings made the trade for Moss on October 6th.

I really regret that Childress succeeded Mike Tice as head coach in 2006. And many Vikings fans are planning to bring red flags to the Metrodome on Sunday to the game against the Cardinals in protest against Childress and are demanding his ouster.

Meanwhile, on the Hot Stove front, the Red Sox added Curt Young as their new pitching coach, succeeding John Farrell, who is now the Blue Jays manager. Adrian Beltre declined his 2011 option with the Red Sox as expected, and is now a free agent. The Red Sox declined Bill Hall's $9.25 million option for 2011, so he's now a free agent. But the Sox are looking to sign him to a new deal. And it appears that the Red Sox will announce a decision on David Ortiz' 2011 option tomorrow, which is for $12.5 million. They actually have until midnight tomorrow night to do it.

Trivia Q&A: November 2

We had 15 teams in on an Election Night edition of Trivia Night. Crowd was a bit off and noticed a few regulars not in attendance. I guess maybe a few of them are political junkies and passed on coming in on Tuesday.

It was one of the closest Trivia Nights we've ever had, and in just one round there wasn't a tie for first. The scores were strong for Presidential Election Trivia and General Knowledge, but rather low for True or False.

It was tied going into the final round, and both of those teams got 3 of 5 right for 12 points, so we had our first tie-breaker in a long while. The question I picked was, "How many games did the UCLA basketball team win in a row to establish an NCAA record from 1971-74?" The answer was 88, and the team of "8th Street Hooligans 2: Electric Boogaloo" wound up guessing 79, just one ahead of "Oh, You Fancy, Huh?" to win the first prize. Third place went to the team of "I Voted For Your Mom," who finished four points out.

Best Team Name: We Took The Black Guy On Our Team

Current Events
1. What man recently eclipsed Elvis Presley as the "Top Earning Dead Celebrity"of the last 12 months, according to Forbes.com?
2. What pro athlete, at a book signing in NC for his new book last week, admitted "I played better when I was drunk?"
3. Bob Guccione, the founder and publisher of what adult magazine, recently died at the age of 79?
4. What mobile phone service last Thursday agreed to pay more than $52 million in refunds to consumers after making a deal with the US Treasury for overcharging them?
5. Dilma Rousseff was elected the first female president of what South American country on Sunday?
6. The US, UK, France and Germany all banned air freight from what country last Sunday at their respective airports after two explosive packages were discovered last week?
7. The president of Russia triggered a diplomatic flap with what neighboring country after he visited the Kuril Islands, which is disputed by the two nations, on Monday?

Presidential Election Trivia
1. Since 1948, which president won by the largest percentage of electoral votes?
2. Who is the only man to become president without having been on a winning presidential ticket?
3. Which Eastern state was the only state won by George McGovern in 1972?
4. Which Democrat challenged President Jimmy Carter for the 1980 presidential nomination but failed to win?
5. Who was the last sitting Vice President elected President?
6. In what year did Geraldine Ferraro run as a vice-presidential candidate?
7. True or false: Ronald Reagan received one electoral vote in the 1976 presidential election.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Director Tim Burton's first choice for the title role of Beetlejuice was Sammy Davis Jr.
2. The book "My Friend Flicka" was once banned from many school libraries because it used the word "bitch" to describe a female dog.
3. Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon with his right foot first.
4. Author Tennessee Williams was actually born in Mississippi.
5. A dentist invented the electric chair.
6. Twinkies have a shelf life of nearly 20 years.
7. Reno, NV is actually further west than Los Angeles, CA.
8. The first US satellite, Explorer I, actually weighed less than 10 pounds.
9. Harlequin prints a line of romance novels set in the world of NASCAR.
10. The Oscar statue is estimated to be worth about $1,000.

General Knowledge
1. In the Old Testament, the book of Genesis opens with what three words? ( 1 pt)
2. In what US city did Roland Macy open his first Macy's Department store in 1858? ( 1 pt)
3. What holiday is also known as Shrove Tuesday? ( 1 pt)
4. Admiral Nelson won what decisive 1805 naval battle but paid for the victory with his life? ( 2 pt)
5. Rolling Stone magazine named what Beatles album the greatest of all-time in 2003? ( 2 pt)
6. What European man was a Wimbledon singles tennis champion from 1976-80? ( 2 pt)
7. What Florida sports and concert venue was demolished in 2008? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What European country's parliament meets at Christiansborg Palace? ( 4 points)
2. What novelist is credited as the first to call Route 66 "The Mother Road?" ( 4 points)
3. The progressive rock band Yes was the opening act and got their big break at the farewell concert for what rock band in 1968? ( 5 points)
4. The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is an award presented every year in what professional sport? ( 3 points)
5. Pitcairn Island and The Cook Islands use what country's dollar as their currency? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Michael Jackson; 2. John Daly; 3. Penthouse; 4. Verizon; 5. Brazil; 6. Yemen; 7. Japan.

Presidential Election Trivia
1. Ronald Reagan (1984); 2. Gerald Ford; 3. Massachusetts; 4. Ted Kennedy; 5. George H.W. Bush; 6. 1984; 7. true.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. true; 2. true; 3. false, left; 4. true; 5. true; 6. false, 25 days; 7. true; 8. false, 31; 9. true; 10. false, $150.

General Knowledge
1. In the beginning; 2. New York City; 3. Mardi Gras; 4. The Battle of Trafalgar; 5. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; 6. Bjorn Borg; 7. Orange Bowl.

IQ Trivia
1. Denmark; 2. John Steinbeck; 3. Cream; 4. hockey; 5. New Zealand.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Fire Childress. Now.

As a long time Minnesota Vikings fan who suffered through the Super Bowl losses, the mediocre teams and awful trades this team has made since 1972, I appeal to owner Zygi Wilf to take action on behalf of loyal Vikings fans everywhere.

Fire that incompetent who currently is running this team, Brad Childress. And right now.

Please don't wait.

He's brought disrepute to this fine organization by dumping Randy Moss. He says it was done in the best interest of the Minnesota Vikings. No, it was done in the best of Brad Childress.

He was pissed at Moss for showing him up in that press conference after Sunday's game. Hey, Moss has a big mouth, but everyone knows that. You brought him in to get the team righted. But Moss isn't the big problem on the Minnesota Vikings.

Childress has lost control of this team. Many of the veteran players are surely very angry about this whole debacle, and I will be watching Sunday's game against Arizona to see just what kind of effort the team makes for Childress. I really wouldn't be surprised to see the Vikings go completely into the tank the rest of this season, and see them finish something like 6-10. I'm sure there's a lot of pride in the Vikings clubhouse, but I'll bet many are as anxious to see Childress gone as the fans are.

The team is run by a collection of inept clods. I was absolutely floored last night when I saw a blurb on ESPN that Wilf was "upset" to hear that his team has let Moss go.

The owner wasn't on board with this, and had no knowledge the Vikings were going to do this? What in bloody hell is going on here? Wilf has a right to be upset, as it has now cost the Vikings their third round pick next year, and they were on the hook for over $6 million of Moss' 2010 salary. Here's more from Access Vikings.

I don't see how Childress survives this fiasco. At Access Vikings, a poll of the fans has it now over 80% want him gone, and right now. Let me second that opinion. I have never been a fan of his coaching, and he's cost the Vikings this year on several occasions. I really hope they would give defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier a shot at the job, as he's been interviewed nine teams by other teams for their head coaching position in the recent past and deserves a shot.

Childress must go. He's embarrassed me and all loyal Vikings fans, and should be shown the door. Now.

The City By The Bay Has Its Championship

For the first time since 1954, and for the very first time in the city of San Francisco, the Giants were crowned the champions of the baseball world, as they beat the Texas Rangers, 3-1, to take the series, 4-1.

Edgar (Rent-a-Wreck) Renteria was named the series MVP, as he hit two big time home runs, the second a three-run shot to clinch the title.

Tim Lincecum won his second game of the World Series, pitching brilliantly over eight innings. He allowed just a solo home run to Nelson Cruz in the seventh.

The Giants won the World Series in 2010 the way the Red Sox won it in 2004, on the backs of their superb starting pitching. Texas had the highest team batting average in the majors, and were nearly shut out twice.

And one of the best parts of the Giants win is that Yankee dimwit announcer Michael Kay can no longer call his team "defending world champions." (Thanks Giants, just for that. And to the Rangers as well.)

Somewhere, the ghosts of people from John McGraw to Christy Mathewson, and Joan Payson to Mel Ott are smiling tonight. Congratulations to my friend Ken in Sacramento, my cousin Joey in Oakland, and to Giants fans everywhere. (Even to Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, who left WFAN a couple of years ago for the Siberia that is satellite radio. But he's still a big time Yankee hater, and I'm sure he's loving this. Wonder what his ex-partner will say on about this, or him, on Tuesday?)

But I'm especially thinking of my Uncle Paddy, who passed away in 1979, who lived in the Bay Area for many years and went to many Giants games as a fan at Candlestick. When I was little, he brought me back a Giants hat (I think I may still have it put away some place).

Wherever he is, I'm sure he's got a smile on his face.

Have a cold one for me, Uncle Paddy. I know you're enjoying this.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Chilly's Last Stand: Moss Waived

The ungodly mess that is the Minnesota Vikings took yet another bizarre twist as the club released Randy Moss today, just 26 days after re-acquiring him. And he wasn't cut because of his lack of production.

His comments about the love and respect he has for the Patriots after yesterday's loss in Foxboro undoubtedly pissed off soon-to-be-ex-head coach Brad Childress, and Moss also criticized the Vikings for not heeding his advice about certain plays to run against the Patriots in Sunday's game.

Moss' boycott of the media following games probably didn't win him any friends with management either. And some are speculating that a 4th quarter play that Brandon Meriweather was called for pass interference on Moss yesterday, and that Moss gave up on the rest of the play, may have led to Brett Favre's injury three plays later and the decision for the Vikings to cut him. You decide.

Moss had 13 receptions for 174 yards and 2 TDs in the four games he played with the Vikings.

This whole thing just seems to me like Brad Childress is trying to assert his authority on the team, and that he hasn't lost control.

It looks like Childress' last stand to me. The sooner he's gone, the better.

And all the crap that has gone on with this team this year makes me write the following sentence, something I have almost never felt in my 38 years supporting this club, and I am sad to so:

I am ashamed to call myself a Minnesota Vikings fan today.

Trivia About Our Fearless Leaders Tomorrow

Tomorrow is Election Day in the United States, so in honor of that day, we will have a round of "Presidential Election Trivia" as the Special Category for Trivia Night. Oh yes, I know we aren't electing a president for the next two years, but people know the presidents better than your average governor or congressman, so what the heck...

The Q Train lightning round will be "True or False Trivia," the category that was postponed last week after we had a shorter night of Trivia due to the lengthy Celtics opener.

The Sneak Peek question is:
What holiday is also known as Shrove Tuesday?

I promise that this week will get going at the regular time of 9 PM. Last week was an aberration, and the Celtics are in Detroit tomorrow night, but I'm sure that won't bring in any unusual amount of fans. Hope to see many of you on Tuesday night.