Friday, March 30, 2012


Anyone who knows me, knows I love music. It's always been a big part of my life. I worked in the music industry for nearly 20 years. And for a long time, I resisted getting an iPod. What was I thinking?

I finally got one in 2008. And I think it is one of man's greatest inventions. The music you want to listen to, right at your fingertips. I caught the "iPod disease" right after I got it. It made me go out and get a lot of the music I didn't own, first through iTunes, but then I went out bought a whole slew of used CDs from different places. The two best I can recommend is Academy Records in Manhattan (on W. 18th Street), and I've picked up some great stuff from Amazon for as low as one cent (with a $2.99 shipping charge).

I'm now on my third iPod, and I got the 160 GB Classic silver one in October 2010. I've been filling it up, and a couple of months ago I reached the 15,000 mark in total songs. (This iPod can hold at least 20,000 songs when it reaches its capacity.) My musical tastes are all over the map. Lots of classic rock, classic jazz, soundtracks, and stuff from the 60s, 70s and 80s. (Although I have no rap songs in it. Never acquired a taste for it.) The Beatles have the most songs in my iPod, with 433.

About 95% of the time I like to put my iPod on shuffle and just see what pops up. That's always fun. Last year I realized there were so many songs that I put in the iPod that had never played before on it, so I set up a section called "Never Before Played" and stuck them in there. I would put the new CDs I would get in there as soon as I downloaded them in.

A month ago, I still had about 1600 or so songs that had never played. (I froze the total number of songs I had at 15,374.) So I decided to play them all at least once. So I went about listening to them all. I carefully went through my iTunes library and found every song not played. Even yesterday I found three songs that somehow fell through the cracks and wasn't in the list. (For individual artists that still had many songs left, I played them in blocks. That was fun. But the shuffle method was the preferred method, even in those blocks.) And I also wondered, what song would be the last one played?

Late last night, I was down to the last 25. And shortly before midnight, "Nature Boy" by George Benson was the very last song in my iPod that had never been played, and I was finally done. (BTW, the first song I ever played on my first iPod was "One Way Out" by The Allman Brothers back in late 2008. On this iPod, "Aqualung" by Jethro Tull was first in 2010.)

Now as I write this, my iPod is on (shuffling the entire catalog, of course). I love the fact that anything from Steely Dan to Chet Atkins, or Bob Marley to John Lee Hooker can pop up at any time. And I will be adding more music to the collection, until at least I fill up this iPod.

The iPod is a beautiful thing. Thank you, Steve Jobs, wherever you are.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Reason #4627 Why I Detest Sports Radio

I was coming home on the subway late last night, and I looked up at the ads they have posted on the trains, and came across a real beauty, from the "Boomer and Carton" morning radio show that airs on WFAN:

"Always Give Your Seat To a Pregnant Woman, Unless She's Wearing a Red Sox Hat."


Sports talk radio: A haven for imbeciles. Always has been. Always will be.

So, Will The Sox Play At Anfield One Day?

Liverpool announced yesterday they will play an exhibition tour of North America this summer, and one of the dates announed will be a match at Fenway on July 25th against Roma of Italy.

It will be Liverpool's first appearance in the United States since 2004.

Here's more from ESPN Boston.

The sewer that is the collectibles industry seems to be a bottomless pit, and Pete Nash at Hauls of Shame has another story about a so-called Walter Johnson-autographed ball that eBay's Fraud Team pulled off eBay because of "authenticity issues." And the seller wanted $80,000 for it. The scams never end.

And speaking of scams, it appears the Chris Carpenter the Red Sox picked up from the Cubs as compensation for Theo Epstein will have elbow surgery today. He's having a bone spur removed. Very curious...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Trivia Q&A: March 27

We had 18 teams in on Tuesday night, and it was a rather quiet night compared to the huge crowds Thom's has had in the previous six weeks on Trivia Night.

It was definitely a tougher night in terms of scores than it has been over the past few weeks. It was also a rare night in that not one team all night had a perfect score in any round. But it was still a competitive night, and we had seven teams separated by six points going into the IQ Trivia round. The team in fourth place, Pian's Late and We're An Answer Short, leaped into first place and the victory by being the only team to get 4 of 5 correct in the round. They finished with 46 points and the win. Nice job as always by Emily and her friends.

Second place went to Women's College Basketball (who tied for the lead most of the night) with 41 points, and third place went to Sit On My Facebook with 40 points.

Best Team Name: Please Stop The Bus and Let My Brother Jack Off

Current Events
1. Which Oscar-winning actor apologized last week after saying "Do you really think our country is ready for a white First Lady" at an Obama fundraiser?
2. According to the latest survey by HSBC of American expatriates, what Asian country was ranked as "The Best Country to Live and Work Abroad" for 2012?
3. What New York state university caused an uproar last week when they announced that in the next school year they will schedule classes on religious holidays, such as Passover and Good Friday?
4. President Amadou Toumani Toure was ousted in a coup d'etat in what West African country last Friday?
5. What country called it a "scandal" when instead of its national anthem played at a sporting event in Kuwait last week, a "spoof" anthem from the film "Borat" was played?
6. What film director became just the third person in history to reach the Earth's deepest point, seven miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean?
7. What late night star was recently selected to be the host of the 2012 Emmy Awards on September 23rd?

Q-Tip Trivia
1. Which of these Caribbean island nations have at least one million in total population? a. Jamaica; b. Haiti; c. The Bahamas; d. Barbados.
2. Which of the following were cabinet positions in George Washington's first term in office? a. Secretary of the Treasury; b. Secretary of Commerce; c. Attorney General; d. Secretary of Agriculture.
3. Which of the following cities in California are in the top five in population in the state as of 2010? a. Fresno; b. Sacramento; c. San Diego; d. San Jose.
4. Which of the following countries currently use the peso as a form of currency? a. Cuba; b. The Philippines; c. Chile; d. Argentina.
5. Which of these sports were not a sport at the original Winter Olympics of 1924? a. hockey; b. bobsled; c. skiing; d. luge.
6. Which of the following performers were part of the original cast of "Saturday Night Live" in 1975? a. Bill Murray; b. Garrett Morris; c. Joe Piscopo; d. Eddie Murphy.
7. Which of these US presidents died in office but were not assassinated? a. Chester Arthur; b. John Tyler; c. Grover Cleveland; d. Benjamin Harrison.

Total Oscars Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Kevin Costner
2. Judi Dench
3. Elizabeth Taylor
4. Jack Nicholson
5. Michael Douglas
6. Annette Bening
7. Meryl Streep
8. Leonardo DiCaprio
9. Sean Penn
10. Diane Keaton

General Knowledge
1. Michael Hutchence was the lead singer of what 1980s pop/rock group? ( 1 pt)
2. Mossad is what country's national intelligence agency? ( 1 pt)
3. In what US state is the Department of Defense headquartered? ( 1 pt)
4. "Love Apple" is a name given to what fruit? ( 2 pt)
5. The Delmarva Peninsula is found in what country? ( 2 pt)
6. "Club Obi Wan" is a nightclub in what famous 1984 movie? ( 2 pt)
7. Which 16th century explorer gave the Pacific Ocean its name? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. The Gallipoli Campaign was fought during World War I in what modern-day country? ( 3 points)
2. Which Middle Eastern city has been nicknamed "The Fragrant City" and "The Pearl of the Orient?" ( 5 points)
3. What ancient Greek historian was famously called "The Father of History?" ( 4 points)
4. As of 2012, which nation has the most proven oil reserves in the world, with 296.5 million barrels? ( 4 points)
5. What 19th century US president appeared on the front of the $20 bill before being removed in 1928 and replaced by Andrew Jackson? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Robert DeNiro; 2. Singapore; 3. Stony Brook University; 4. Mali; 5. Kazakhstan; 6. James Cameron; 7. Jimmy Kimmel.

Total Oscars Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. two; 2. one; 3. two; 4. three; 5. two; 6. none; 7. three; 8. none; 9. two; 10. one.

General Knowledge
1. INXS; 2. Israel; 3. Virginia; 4. tomato; 5. United States; 6. "Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom;" 7. Ferdinand Magellan.

IQ Trivia
1. Turkey; 2. Damascus, Syria; 3. Herodotus; 4. Venezuela; 5. Grover Cleveland.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Baseball Fantography"

I recently came across a fascinating new book that was written by Andy Strasburg, and put together by the fans. It's called "Baseball Fantography: A Celebration In Snapshots and Stories From The Fans."

Strasburg, who was a San Diego Padres executive from 1975-96, began the project when he found a picture of himself posing with Roger Maris at Yankee Stadium in 1966. He put out the word he was looking for fans with similar photographs and stories of meeting their heroes.

"Baseball Fantography" is a Who's Who of baseball greats from down through the years, and shown on and off the field, posing with fans, in the dugout, that sort of thing. You name them, they're here: Babe Ruth, Roberto Clemente, Gil Hodges, Carl Yastrzemski, Hank Aaron and Sandy Koufax, to name just a few. And you'll find a few players who you won't recognize or remember either.

It's a collection of never-before-seen snapshots, and you won't find them anywhere else. There are color and black-and-white shots, pictures from Cooperstown, players on the street and fascinating stories from the fans. There are also sections where players talk about who their idols were growing up and what their favorite places to play were.

Andy Strasburg has put together a nostalgic look back at baseball from the fans perspective, and seen through their lenses. The book will be released on April 1st and is available through Abrams Image.

Nice job, Mr. Strasburg.

Monday, March 26, 2012

This Special Couldn't Air Tonight? And Why Thursday at 1 AM?

There's a PBS special called "Inside Fenway Park: An Icon at 100" that debuts tonight on stations around the country.

I'm certainly interested in seeing it, but when I went to check the TV listings for my local PBS stations (WNET Channel 13), I discovered something interesting.

It won't debut on Channel 13 until this coming Thursday morning, March 29th at 1 AM. My DVR is set for it.

I don't believe in conspiracy theories, but the fact that a New York station (actually based in Newark, New Jersey, but close enough) won't air this special for another three days, and after midnight, sure makes me wonder.

Here is the link to find "Inside Fenway Park" in your local area.

With thanks to my friend Jere for the links to the special.

Q-Tip Returns

This Tuesday night, Trivia Night at Professor Thom's will feature "Q-Tip Trivia", which we have not done in quite some time. That is when I ask you seven multiple choice, general knowledge questions, and the answer can be 1, 2, 3, all 4 or none of the choices given. You will get a point for each correct answer given. (If it is "none" you get one point.) However, if you give even one incorrect one, you will get no points for that question, so you have to be careful.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Total Oscars Trivia." I will give you the names of ten famous actors and actresses and you have to tell me how many Academy Awards they have won in their careers.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Love Apple is a name given to what fruit?"

We get started just after 9 PM. UMass will be playing their NIT semifinal game just before we get going (starting at 7 PM), so hopefully we won't be delayed with the start of Trivia Night. The crowds have been heavy over the previous weeks, so I would suggest getting in early to secure a good table. See you all on Tuesday night.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Red Sox Beat Yankees, 4-4

I know Spring Training counts for very little, and I don't talk about it much here on the blog.

I was forced to check out Red Sox-Yankees on the YES Network last night, as it was blacked out on ESPN. I would have loved to have had that feed, as Terry Francona was doing his first game in the booth with his ex-club.

YES showed him a couple of times in the booth. I had no idea what they were saying, as I had the TV on mute. (I refuse to listen to any game that includes Michael Kay in the broadcast booth. But midway through the game I discovered the Yankee Shill was not part of the broadcast and that Kenny Singleton and John Flaherty, both I find rather tolerable, were doing it. But I still kept the TV on mute and listened to music on my iPod dock while the game was on.)

The Red Sox came from 4-0 down to score three runs in the 8th and tied it in the 9th on a suicide squeeze by Jason Repko. (Have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot of that this season.) But after the third out was made, Joe Girardi pulled the plug on the game, as he used the excuse he had run out of pitching. Despite the fact he still had pitchers available on the bench. (Singleton said after it was over that he thought Girardi wanted to get back to Tampa early because New York had a game early on Friday afternoon. I'm betting he's right on that. And yes, I did turn on the sound when the game concluded.)

Bobby Valentine wasn't terribly happy that the game ended after nine innings, as he had a pitcher throwing in the bullpen to bring in. The fans booed the decision, too.

Dustin Pedroia was hit on the arm with a pitch in third inning and Valentine pulled him out for precautionary reasons, and also because it was a meaningless exhibition game. X-rays were negative and he will play next on Saturday.

And Bobby Jenks (remember him?) was arrested this morning on five counts, including DUI and leaving the scene of an accident. He's been a terrific free agent signing, eh?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wake On The Big Screen

A couple of months ago, I read Tim Wakefield's book, "Knuckleball," and it was an enjoyable read about the great Timmeh's journey from a minor league first baseman who didn't have much of a bat to a World Series champion knuckleball pitcher. (I read just before he announced his retirement.)

Well it turns out that Wake's final year in the bigs will be coming onto the big screen, as filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg followed him around in 2011, as well as the Mets' knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (who will be the only knuckleball pitcher in MLB in 2012).

"Knuckleball" will make its debut at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival in New York City on April 28th. I'll do my best to be in the audience that night.

My friend Red at Surviving Grady has an interview about the movie with the filmmakers. My thanks to him for bringing "Knuckleball" to my attention.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mel Parnell: 1922-2012

I was saddened to learn this morning that the great Mel Parnell, one of the Red Sox all-time greatest lefties, died at the age of 89.

He pitched ten seasons with the Sox, from 1947-56, and was the last Red Sox lefthander to win 20 games, 21 in 1953. His best season was 1949, when the Red Sox narrowly missed winning the pennant, and Parnell won 25 games, with an ERA of 2.77. He won 123 games in his career, and still holds the team records for wins, games started and innings by a lefty. A torn muscle in his pitching arm ended his career in 1956.

He was the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter for the Red Sox since Howard Ehmke did it in 1923 when Parnell pitcher a 4-0 no-no against the White Sox at Fenway in 1956. He was an announcer after his playing days were over, and did the Red Sox games from 1965-1968 on TV and radio.

Mel was elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1997.

When Jon Lester threw his no-hitter in 2008, he was the first Sox lefty since Parnell do it, and when Lester just missed winning 20 in 2010, Parnell's name came into the discussion, being the last Sox lefty to reach that plateau.

My sympathies to Mr. Parnell's friends and family.

Trivia Q&A: March 20

We were originally going to have Trivia this week on Monday, but we were able to move it back to Tuesday night just about 36 hours before it happened. So I had a feeling the crowd would be down after the amazing numbers we have been doing the last month. We had a good number of UMass basketball fans who came in for the NIT quarterfinal game (which UMass won in a great comeback), and 15 teams in for Trivia after it ended. It was exactly half the number of teams from last week. (And no one had any trouble getting a table.)

We had some decent numbers for Which Came First Trivia and True or False Trivia, and they were better for General Knowledge. But last week I promised harder questions for IQ Trivia and I didn't let the Trivia players down on that one. Only one team got as many as 4 of 5 correct, and that was the winning team of Lehigh? F'n Lehigh? who rolled up 49 points and won easily by 9 points.

Second place went to A Liberal, A Moderate and a Conservative Walk Into a Bar, The Bartender Said: "Hi Mitt!" with 40 points, and third place went to Everytime Gronk Plows a 16-Year-Old Girl In The Caribbean, They Get An Earthquake and An Angel Gets Its Wings with 38 points.

Best Team Name: Where's Quinn's Turtle Neck?

Current Events
1. President Obama was sharply criticized by the Presidential Center of what 19th century US president, after he said that his predecessor never liked the telephone, and "that's why he's not on Mt. Rushmore"?
2. What African country launched military attacks into the small neighboring of Eritrea last week?
3. What ex-politician began a 14-year sentence in a federal prison in Colorado on corruption charges last week?
4. Actor George Clooney was among many arrested last Friday protesting at what African country's embassy in Washington DC?
5. Rowan Williams announced last Friday he was stepping down as the head of what church he presided over since 2002?
6. What island nation is Pope Benedict XVI making his first ever visit to, next week from March 26-28?
7. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange announced last week he will run for a Senate seat in what country, despite the fact he is currently under house arrest in the UK?

Which Came First Trivia
1. a. American Civil War ends; b. Canada becomes an independent nation.
2. a. Watergate break-in occurs; b. "The Godfather" film is first released.
3. a. Bill Clinton is elected president for the first time; b. The World Series is canceled for the first time by a strike.
4. a. Charles Lindbergh flies solo across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time; b. The stock market crashes and the Great Depression begins.
5. a. Saigon falls and Vietnam reunifies; b. Richard Nixon resigns and Gerald Ford becomes president.
6. a. Bernie Madoff is arrested for running a Ponzi scheme; b. Barack Obama is elected the 44th US president.
7. a. The Berlin Wall comes down; b. Iraq invades Kuwait.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. When you sneeze, all your bodily functions stop, including your heart.
2. Ostriches stick their heads in the sand to search for water.
3. The average housefly lives for one year.
4. Babies are born without kneecaps.
5. Cary Grant was once offered the role of James Bond.
6. The can opener was invented nearly 50 years after the tin can was.
7. California is the US state with the most national parks.
8. Ronald Reagan was the first choice by Warner Brothers to play Rick Blaine in "Casablanca."
9. Andrew Johnson is the only US president who was once held as a prisoner of war.
10. The zipper was invented before the toothbrush.

General Knowledge
1. Montego Bay is the fourth largest city in what Caribbean island nation? ( 1 pt)
2. Tony Hawk is known as one of the most successful pioneers in what activity? ( 1 pt)
3. Who was the only US president born during World War I? ( 1 pt)
4. What country's national flag symbol is two congruent blue equilateral triangles overlapping each other? ( 2 pt)
5. What is the only non-contagious disease that children can be vaccinated against? ( 2 pt)
6. Actor Bill Cosby earned his doctorate degree in what field? ( 2 pt)
7. Which state is home to the Arizona Beverage Company, producer of iced tea and energy drinks? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What US state's flag has a covered wagon and two boats on one side, and a beaver on the other? ( 4 points)
2. What is made up of parts including the gorget, the hauberk and the cuirass? ( 5 points)
3. The Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was a failed assassination plot against what English monarch? ( 4 points)
4. Besides seeds, spermology is the study of what? ( 4 points)
5. What alcoholic drink is made of vodka, orange juice and galliano? ( 3 points)

Current Events
1. Rutherford B. Hayes; 2. Ethiopia; 3. Rod Blagojevich; 4. Sudan; 5. Anglican (Church of England); 6. Cuba; 7. Australia.

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

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. true; 2. true; 3. false, one month; 4. true; 5. true; 6. true; 7. false, Alaska; 8. true; 9. false, Andrew Jackson; 10. false.

General Knowledge
1. Jamaica; 2. skateboarding; 3. John F. Kennedy; 4. Israel; 5. tetanus; 6. education; 7. New York.

IQ Trivia
1. Oregon; 2. medieval suit of armor; 3. James I; 4. trivia; 5. Harvey Wallbanger.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lester Gets The Ball On April 5th

Bobby Valentine announced today what every Red Sox fan had pretty much known: Jon Lester will start the Opening Day game in Detroit on April 5th.

Josh Beckett will start the Fenway Park opener on April 13th against Tampa Bay. That is the seventh game of the season, and it will be Beckett's second start of 2012. Yours Truly will be in attendance that day, my second ever Fenway opener in person.

They are both pitchers with a lot to prove in 2012.

The Mets: NY's Other Team For Years To Come

It's a very dark day for Mets fans everywhere today.

The news came down today that Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, the owners who have successfully run the New York Mets into the ground, have settled the lawsuit brought against them over the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.

The Mets owners will pay $162 million, and won't have to do it for three years.

This settlement tells me that they would have lost this suit, and probably would have been forced to sell the team.

Yes, these clods will continue to run the Mets, and like a small-market team.

Here's more from ESPN New York.

The Mets will continue to be The Other Team In New York for the foreseeable future.

Very sad.

Trivia Moved Back To Tuesday This Week

Trivia Night at Professor Thom's will be happening on its regularly scheduled day and time this week: Tuesday night, March 20th at 9 PM.

We were originally having it tonight at 8:30 PM, due to the Red Sox Hot Stove event we were going to have on Tuesday night. But that has been postponed, so Trivia Night will return to its usual night and time, and will not be happening on Monday night.

I apologize to you all for the late notice, but I just found out about it this morning.

I will also let you know when the Red Sox Hot Stove event is rescheduled for when that information becomes available to me.

See you all tomorrow night at 9 PM for Trivia!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

"Which Came First" On a Special Monday Night

We will be having a special Monday Night edition of Trivia Night tomorrow, as there will be a special "Red Sox Hot Stove Night" happening on Tuesday. We will also start a little earlier on Monday, at 8:30 PM.

The Special Category for this week is: "Which Came First Trivia." I will give you two famous events from history (not necessarily related to each other), and you have to tell me which occurred first. (And no, "the chicken or the egg" will NOT be a part of it).

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

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Who was the only US president born during World War I?"

Once again, we get going just after 8:30 PM on Monday night. We return to the usual day and time on Tuesday night, March 27th at 9 PM. I would safely bet that getting a table tomorrow night shouldn't be the problem it was last Tuesday night. Hope to see many of you on Monday night.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Classy Ladies of South Boston Wish You a Happy St. Patrick's Day

My friend Robert sent me this YouTube clip yesterday: "The Real Housewives of South Boston-St. Paddy's Day."

Nothing but class, eh?

A Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Toast To The 2012 IAB HOF Nominees

On this appropriate weekend, the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame announced the nominees for the class of 2012, and the winners will be announced later in May.

The Hall is based at Foley's NY Bar and Restaurant, the great watering hole on 33rd Street in Manhattan.

Here is the official list of nominees, and they come from six different categories:

Hall of Famers and Legends
· Roger Bresnahan: "The Duke of Tralee" who pioneered the use of shin guards and batting helmets
· "Big Ed" Delahanty: One of the great early power hitters of the game, his lifetime .346 average ranks fifth all-time
· "Wee Willie" Keeler: Dead Ball Era star, holds the 2nd longest hitting streak at 44 games
Former Players
· "Super Joe" McEwing: Popular utility player for the Cardinals, Mets, Royals, Astros and White Sox
· Dale Murphy: Two-time National League MVP for the Atlanta Braves
· Jeff Nelson: Longtime reliever for the Yankees; four-time World Series champion
· Tom Kelly: Twins manager who won World Series titles in 1987 and 1991
· Jack McKeon: Two-time NL Manager of Year whose 2003 Florida Marlins won the World Series
· "Walpole Joe" Morgan: Popular former player, scout and a manager of Boston Red Sox
· Gene Michael: Scout and former Yankees GM
· Peter O'Malley: Former owner of the LA Dodgers and longtime supporter of Baseball Ireland
· Charles Comiskey: Famed owner of the Chicago White Sox
· Jimmy Breslin: Veteran New York sports writer
· Ed Coleman: New York Mets radio broadcaster
· Hal McCoy: Cincinnati Reds beat writer
· Jimmy Fallon: Star of Fever Pitch
· Rosie O'Donnell: Co-star of A League of Their Own
· Amy Madigan: Co-star of Field of Dreams

This will be the fifth class to enter the Hall, and here are the four previous ones:

The "Starting Nine" inductees in 2008 were: the late Mets and Phillies reliever Tug McGraw, Yankee announcer John Flaherty, sportswriter Jeff Horrigan, NY Mets groundskeeper Pete Flynn, retired sluggers Mark McGwire and Sean "The Mayor" Casey, Kevin Costner, star of Field of Dreams and Bull Durham, legendary owner-manager Connie Mack, and longtime official scorer and sports columnist Red Foley.
2009 inductees: Walter O'Malley, longtime Brooklyn and LA Dodgers owner (Executive category); sluggers Steve Garvey and Paul O'Neill (Players category), Jim Joyce (Umpire); veteran sportscaster Vin Scully, and Ed Lucas, a blind reporter who has covered the Yankees and Mets for four decades.
2010 inductees: Tim McCarver, veteran TV analyst and former player; Bob Murphy, longtime Mets announcer (Media category); Michael "King" Kelly, the game's first superstar (Hall of Famers and Legends category); Yankees GM Brian Cashman (Executives category); Bill James, famed statistician and an advisor for the Boston Red Sox (Executives category).
2011 inductees: Nolan Ryan, baseball's all-time strikeout king, Big Ed Walsh, baseball's all-time ERA leader, legendary New York Giants manager John McGraw, New York Yankees trainers Gene Monahan and Steve Donohue, "Baseball's Balladeer" Terry Cashman, and Chuck Lennon, former player, coach and lifetime fan of Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball.

The induction ceremonies will take place on July 27th at Foley's at noon. Good luck to all the nominees!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Can You Have a "Hot Stove Night" When It's 70 Degrees Outside?

Of course you can.

This coming Tuesday night, we will have a special night at Professor Thom's, and our Trivia Night will move over to Monday to make room for it.

We will have "Red Sox Hot Stove Night" at the bar (just in time for the start of spring, and it will be 70 degrees on Tuesday), and we will be giving away Red Sox-themed prizes like t-shirts and many more cool gifts to those of you in attendance. I will be doing Red Sox trivia, and those of you smart enough to know them will win the prizes.

The Red Sox will be playing the Toronto Blue Jays on NESN live that night from Ft. Myers.

I'll have more information about the night when I receive it.

Trivia Night will be taking place on Monday night, March 19th at 8:30 PM, and will return to Tuesdays on March 27th at 9 PM.

Hope to see many of you both nights next week!

UPDATE: The Red Sox Hot Stove Event was postponed from original date of March 20th. No makeup date has been announced, but when it is decided upon, I will pass along the information.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Trivia Q&A: March 13

It was yet again an amazing night at Professor Thom's, as for the third time in the last two months, and in two consecutive weeks, we set another new record for teams, with 30. The bar was simply packed, and again it reminded me of a Red Sox playoff game. We had a group of 30 who came in and divided into six teams, and that is a new record too!

The scores were generally very good throughout the night, but they were especially good in IQ Trivia, as we had 10 teams got all five correct. That is also a new record, and I guess I made those questions too easy. (I promise you next week's IQ Trivia will be harder!)

The team of Run, Dorothy, Run! won the night, with 59 points. Second place went to We're So Brooklyn, who won a tie-breaker against Razzmataz Jungle. Both teams ended the night with 52 points. (They were closest to the question: "How many delegates were at stake during last week's Super Tuesday?" The answer was 419.)

A reminder next week that Trivia Night will happen on Monday, March 19th at a special time: 8:30 PM. We are doing a special event called Red Sox Hot Stove, next Tuesday night. We will return to Trivia on Tuesday night on March 27th at 9 PM. And I promise you there will be more tables available next week!

Best Team Name: Run, Dorothy, Run!

Current Events
1. Two rock groups and one rock solo artist have requested that Rush Limbaugh take their songs off his show in the wake of his remarks about Sandra Fluke. Name one of the three artists.
2. The Kraft company pulled its ads last week after receiving complaints from viewers of what controversial new TV series?
3. Rocker John Mellencamp has hooked up with what prolific author and created a musical play that will debut in Atlanta next month called "Ghost Brothers?"
4. What Japanese carmaker recalled over 700,000 cars in the US last week due to manufacturing defaults?
5. The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked which city, out of 120 major cities worldwide, as "The World's Most Competitive City" in a recent report?
6. Facebook was slapped with a lawsuit yesterday by what multinational internet corporation over ten patents that included systems for advertising on the Web?
7. What superstar rock frontman recently ripped his bandmates during a recent "60 Minutes" profile, saying "they ride my coattails" and "they don't like me?"

March 17th Trivia
1. On this day in 1776, the British forces evacuated from what city after George Washington placed artillery in positions overlooking the city?
2. In 1985, Richard Ramirez, aka "The Night Stalker", committed two murders in his serial murder spree in what US city?
3. On this date in 2008, Eliot Spitzer, New York's governor, resigns after a scandal he was involved in with a prostitute. Who succeeded him as governor?
4. Pattie Boyd, an English model and photographer, was born on this day in 1944. Name 1 of the 2 rock superstars she has been married to in her lifetime.
5. Cito Gaston, MLB player and manager, was born on this day in 1944. He became the first black manager to win a World Series with what team in 1992?
6. On this day in 1990, which former Soviet republic became the first to declare their independence from the Soviet Union and reject a demand from the Russians to renounce it?
7. In 2000, Julia Roberts became the first woman ever to command $20 million per movie, with the release that day of what popular film of hers?

Name the Decade Trivia: First Albums ("The Q Train")
1. Dave Matthews Band
2. Van Halen
3. Hootie and the Blowfish
4. Bruce Springsteen
5. Black Eyed Peas
6. Nirvana
7. Led Zeppelin
8. Alicia Keys
9. Jackson Five
10. Britney Spears

General Knowledge
1. What is the Zodiac sign of the goat? ( 1 pt)
2. Billie Joe Armstrong is the lead singer of what rock band? ( 1 pt)
3. Which heavenly constellation is depicted as the hunter? ( 1 pt)
4. Neil Diamond had a hit duet song in 1978 called "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" with what female singer? ( 2 pt)
5. The renal artery supplies which organ in the body with blood? ( 2 pt)
6. Which of the planets in our solar system takes nearly 12 years to travel around the sun in its orbit? ( 2 pt)
7. In what part of the atmosphere is the ozone layer? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. The swastika, the infamous symbol of Nazi Germany, was actually a symbol from what country long before the Nazis came to power? ( 4 points)
2. With more than 2 million "thumbs down", what pop singer has the most "disliked" video on YouTube? ( 4 points)
3. What rock band provided the theme songs for the "CSI" crime series and its spinoffs, "CSI: Miami" and "CSI New York?" ( 3 points)
4. The fabled city of Troy is located in what modern country today? ( 4 points)
5. "The Religious Society of Friends" is better known by what other popular name? ( 5 points)

Current Events
1. Rush, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Peter Gabriel (I also accepted Rage Against the Machine, as they became the fourth); 2. "GCB;" 3. Stephen King; 4. Toyota; 5. New York City; 6. Yahoo; 7. Steven Tyler.

March 17th Trivia
1. Boston; 2. Los Angeles; 3. David Paterson; 4. George Harrison and Eric Clapton; 5. Toronto Blue Jays; 6. Lithuania; 7. "Erin Brockovich."

Name the Decade Trivia: First Albums ("The Q Train")
1. 1990s (1994); 2. 1970s (1978); 3. 1990s (1994); 4. 1970s (1972); 5. 1990s (1998); 6. 1980s (1989); 7. 1960s (1969); 8. 2000s (2001); 9. 1960s (1969); 10. 1990s (1999).

General Knowledge
1. Capricorn; 2. Green Day; 3. Orion; 4. Barbra Streisand; 5. kidney; 6. Jupiter; 7. stratosphere.

IQ Trivia
1. India; 2. Rebecca Black, "Friday"; 3. The Who; 4. Turkey; 5. The Quakers.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Six Great Years

It was six years ago today that Yours Truly woke up one morning and thought, "I should be a blogger." And poof! I was one.

I thank all of you who have made writing The Mighty Quinn Media Machine a real pleasure, especially to those of you who come back frequently.

Most folks come here for the Red Sox and Trivia stuff I write about, but I check the phrases that are googled every so often, and they run the gamut, from the New York Daily News' writer who calls himself "The Mighty Quinn" (that's not me), to "Adolf Hitler" (I still can't figure that one out). It's all over the spectrum.

And a special thank you to the guy who originally wrote "A Day In The Life of Doug Mirabelli", which is the most popularly viewed post in this blog's history. I have no idea who he is, but it has brought literally thousands of people here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

March 17th Is More Than Just St. Patrick's Day

This Tuesday night, Trivia Night at Professor Thom's will feature "March 17th Trivia," seven questions connected to St. Patrick's Day in history. A lot more than just parades and people drinking green beer has happened on the day.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Name the Decade: First Albums Trivia." I will give you the names of ten well-known pop artists, and you have to tell me the decade they released their first album. And if you can give me the exact year as well, I'll give you a bonus point.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Which heavenly constellation is depicted as the hunter?"

We will get started shortly after 9 PM. The Red Sox are playing the Yankees tomorrow night in a spring training clash on tv, but that shouldn't stop us from beginning on time. And I do encourage you all to get in a bit early, as the crowds have been so large recently that tables have been snapped up quickly. And I certainly appreciate all the support lately, and look forward to seeing all of you on Tuesday night.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Nobody Ever Said Crooks (Or Auction Galleries) Were Smart

My friend Pete Nash has an interesting article over at Deadspin about a Ty Cobb autograph on baseball that that was once up for bids at an auction house in Dallas. The reason why it was no longer up for bids is that the ball was discovered to be made at least 15 years after Cobb's death in 1961!

It was a really pathetic attempt at a forgery, and somehow the Heritage Auction House actually had it up for bids at one time.

Also, Allan at The Joy of Sox has his annual contest up and running, and if you can guess the correct Red Sox record for 2012, you can win the 100th Anniversary coffee table of Fenway Park that the Boston Globe is putting out. Go and check it out.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Fenway Is Finally "Historic"

Funny, I always thought it was.

Yesterday, Fenway Park was officially named a National Historic Landmark, as it was added to the National Register of Historic Places, on this its 100th anniversary year.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Trivia Q&A: March 6

We had yet another amazing night of Trivia on Tuesday night. We had a new record for teams: 29. The bar was nearly as crowded as it is for a Red Sox playoff game!

And I want to encourage all of you to try to get to Thom's a bit earlier in the coming weeks. The tables get taken quickly, and on Tuesday they were all gone by about 8:15 PM. Incredible.

The scores were very strong for Super Tuesday States Trivia and General Knowledge (I may have made them a bit too easy). IQ Trivia was a bit tougher, and the team of If Only It Were a Fluke was the only team who got 4 of 5 correct, and leapfrogged from sixth place to win by three points with 46. Another great job by Emily, Pian and their friends.

Second place was a tie between Boats and Hoes and Stupor Oozeday with 43 points. We broke the tie with this question: "How many delegates will a Republican presidential candidate need to win the nomination?" The answer was 1,144, and Boats and Hoes was just three off, to take second place.

A special reminder to all of you that Trivia Night will happen next Tuesday, March 13th at 9 PM, but the following week we will have a special Monday Night edition at a special time, on March 19th at 8:30 PM. We will return to Tuesday Night Trivia on March 27th at 9 PM.

Current Events
1. It was revealed that the Twitter symbol has a name, and it was named for what NBA Hall-of-Fame legend?
2. Paramount Pictures is planning a lawsuit against the estate of the author of what classic 1972 film over plans of a possible prequel to the movie?
3. The world's second tallest free standing structure, a TV tower 2,080 feet tall, was completed last week in what capital city?
4. What controversial radio host received a suspicious package at his home last week and called the bomb squad, and the package turned out not to be a threat?
5. The NFL revealed last week that which team had a secret bounty system that paid money to defensive players who intentionally injured opposition players over the last three seasons?
6. Actor George Takei of "Star Trek" fame said last week he plans to have lunch next month with what famous man in the hopes of changing his opposition to gay marriage?
7. What music superstar became the first person to have 20 million followers on Twitter last Saturday?

Saturday Night Live Trivia
1. What legendary comedian was the host of the very first SNL show in 1975?
2. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd both left the show after appearing on it for how many seasons?
3. "Matt Foley" was a memorable SNL character portrayed by whom?
4. What actor holds the record for hosting SNL the most times?
5. What SNL regular holds the record for the most seasons on the show, with 14?
6. What current SNL regular has been on the show the longest, now at 11 years?
7. There have been five SNL regulars who have been nominated for an acting Oscar after they left the show. Name two.

Super Tuesday States Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. This US state has the smallest population of any state capital, under 9,000 people.
2. The first subway system was built in this state, in its capital in 1897.
3. This state is the number one producer of three "P"s: peanuts, pecans and peaches.
4. The National Cowboy Hall of Fame is in this US state.
5. This US state's nickname is "The Gem State."
6. The first English settlement in the US was in this state.
7. This state is bordered by eight other states, the most of nay US state.
8. The discovery of gold in this state in 1880 ushered in a gold rush era.
9. The Wright Brothers, Paul Newman and Drew Carey were all born in this state.
10. This state has been nicknamed "The Sioux State" and "The Rough Rider State."

General Knowledge
1. Bourbon whiskey was first created in what US state? ( 1 pt)
2. The members of what musical act attempted a comeback in 1990 as "Rob and Fab?" ( 1 pt)
3. "Eat It" and "Like a Surgeon" were hit songs for what artist? ( 1 pt)
4. In what city was the 1983 film "Flashdance" set? ( 2 pt)
5. The cities of Kabul and Kandahar are found in what country? ( 2 pt)
6. The first 10 amendments to the US Constitution are called what? ( 2 pt)
7. What is the official language of the country of Senegal? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Who is the only woman who has ever appeared on US paper currency? ( 5 points)
2. The Brenner Pass links Austria in the Alps with what other country? ( 4 points)
3. What is the largest private employer in the world, having over 2 million employees? ( 4 points)
4. The Battle of Pork Chop Hill was fought during what war? ( 3 points)
5. "The Mountaintop" is a current Broadway hit and a fictionalized version of the last night in the life of what famous person? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Larry Bird; 2. "The Godfather;" 3. Tokyo; 4. Rush Limbaugh; 5. New Orleans Saints; 6. Donald Trump; 7. Lady Gaga.

Saturday Night Live Trivia
1. George Carlin; 2. four; 3. Chris Farley; 4. Alec Baldwin; 5. Darrell Hammond; 6. Seth Meyers; 7. Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Joan Cusack, Robert Downey, Jr.

Super Tuesday States Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Vermont; 2. Massachusetts; 3. Georgia; 4. Oklahoma; 5. Idaho; 6. Virginia; 7. Tennessee; 8. Alaska; 9. Ohio; 10. North Dakota.

General Knowledge
1. Kentucky; 2. Milli Vanilli; 3. Weird Al Yankovic; 4. Pittsburgh; 5. Afghanistan; 6. Bill of Rights; 7. French.

IQ Trivia
1. Martha Washington; 2. Italy; 3. Walmart; 4. Korean War; 5. Martin Luther King.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Test Your Sox Knowledge

My friend Harvey Frommer has a cool Red Sox quiz that he just posted at Bleacher Report. I encourage you all to check it out. And I am proud to say I contributed to the quiz, as I wrote some of the questions of the 18-question test.

Harvey is also the author of the fine "Remembering Fenway Park" book that I contributed to as well.

Good job as always, Harvey.

"SNL" & "Super Tuesday" Trivia This Week

This week's Special Category for Trivia Night will be "Saturday Night Live Trivia," seven questions about the legendary late night comedy show, in honor of the 30th anniversary of the passing of John Belushi, which is today. (I was originally going to do "Q-Tip Trivia" this week, but that will be moved to a Trivia Night later this month.) They will be various questions about the show through its history.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Super Tuesday States Trivia." I will ask you ten questions about the 10 states that are voting on Tuesday in the primaries, and each answer will be a different state. I will also give you the names of the ten states in advance, so all you have to do is match up the state will the correct answer.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"In what city was the 1983 movie 'Flashdance' set?"

We get started shortly after 9 PM. We continue to get huge crowds for Trivia (and I thank you so much for that), so I would suggest you get in as early as you can to make sure you get a table. See you on Tuesday night!

A Terrible Waste of a Great Talent

The great John Belushi died 30 years ago today. He was another of those great talents who went too far overboard, and a lethal mix of cocaine and heroin took his life at the Chateau Marmont in L.A. It's a shame to think what he might have gone on to do had he lived. John was only 33 at the time of his death.

There are so many great Belushi clips to choose from, but here are two of my favorites, both brief ones from "Animal House." First, Bluto gives Kent Dorfman some advice. Never ceases to crack me up:

And a second, Bluto motivates the troops:

Thanks for all the laughs, John.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Gotta Start Someplace

The Red Sox beat up on the college boys in Ft. Myers yesterday: 25-0 over Northeastern and 6-3 over Boston College.

It was their first two-game winning streak since last August.

They take on real MLB competition today against the Minnesota Twins this afternoon (that is, until the guys with football numbers dominate the game) at 1:30 PM. The game will be shown tonight at 8 PM on the MLB Network.

And this is the 3,800th post in the history of The Mighty Quinn Media Machine. 200 to go until Four Grand. We should reach that some time this summer.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Sox Add Billy Buck & Get Mock(ed)

The Red Sox keep adding pitchers, and they added a guy with a familiar name: Billy Buckner.

No, he's not related to the guy you're thinking of.

Buckner's numbers are nothing to get excited about. He had an ERA over 6.00 for the Colorado Rockies AAA club last season, and his career ERA is 6.25 in over 138 career MLB innings.

The Sox also added Garrett Mock, whose numbers ain't great either. He last pitched for the Nationals AAA team last year, and his ERA was 6.28 in 12 starts. Both pitchers were assigned to the minor league camp.

The Red Sox will also begin the task of turning the page on 2011, as they will face Northeastern University this afternoon, and Boston College tonight in Ft. Myers, as they officially open JetBlue Park.

And for those of you outside New England, tomorrow's game against the Minnesota Twins will be broadcast on tape-delay on the MLB Network at 8 PM.

Friday, March 02, 2012

It Ain't Broke, So Break It Anyway

As you all know by now, MLB announced today that it is going to a format where ten teams will make the postseason in 2012, and not just eight. A wild card is being added to each league, and there will be a wild card playoff game between to the wild cards to determine who moves on to the division series.

I don't like it at all. It's an artificial money grab by MLB, and makes the regular season even less important.

My friend Adam, who has commented on my blog a few times in the past, sent me a terrific email today with why he doesn't like it. I agree with him 100%, and I'm sure many of you will too.

Why should the division-winners be rewarded and Wild Cards punished? With an unbalanced schedule, teams in weak divisions have an advantage. Last year, seven AL teams finished .500 or better. Four of those teams were in the AL East.

The Detroit Tigers won the AL Central with 95 wins last year. That seems pretty impressive until you look closer. The Cleveland Indians finished in 2nd place with an 80-82 record (.494 WP). The teams in the East and Central play 72 games in their division. That's roughly 44% of their schedule. Another 11% or so is taken up by interleague play (no two teams play the same interleague schedule). Detroit was in impressive 50-22 (.694) in their division. That's not surprising because they were the only good team in the Central. How good were they, though? The Tigers were a .500 team (45-45) against non-AL Central teams last year.

The Red Sox were on of three AL East teams to win at least 90 games last year. The East was clearly the toughest division in the AL last year. Boston finished 38-34 (.528) against their division and 52-38 (.578) against everyone else. One could make a pretty fair argument that the Sox would have won more than 95 games if they played in the AL Central like the Tigers.

The proponents of the new system are happy because it "punishes" the Wild Card teams. In my opinion, the WC was already “punished” enough because the WC team opens every playoff series on the road, no matter how many games they have won. Looking back from 1996 (1995 was a shortened season), the AL WC team almost always better than one (sometimes two) division winners. In 16 seasons, the WC was the 4th best team twice!! Only once did a WC team make the post-season with fewer than 90 wins (the 1996 Orioles: 88 wins). In 10 of 16 seasons, the WC team won 95 or more games. Over the same period, the 3rd best division winner only won 95+ games three times. Almost a third of the time (5 of 16 seasons) the worst division winning team won fewer than 90 games. Over the 16 full seasons with the WC, the AL WC team averaged close to 95 wins (94.6) while the 3rd best division winner averaged 91 wins.

The divisional system is inherently biased because there are tougher and weaker divisions. Teams playing in tougher divisions already start the season at a disadvantage. Divisions are arbitrary constructs loosely based on geography. WC teams were already at a disadvantage under the old system. Far more often than not, the AL WC has been better than at least one division-winner. The teams with the best records should get into the playoffs—and a 162-game season should only come down to a 1-game playoff as a tie-breaker. When you factor in the unbalanced schedule and how few good teams there are, the new system makes little sense. I feel that it makes the regular season meaningless to some extent.