Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ben's Busy Day

Jon Lester to the A's was just a start of one of the busiest trading days in Red Sox history.

John Lackey was dealt to the Cardinals with minor league pitcher Corey Littrell for pitcher Joe Kelly and INF/OF Allen Craig.

Andrew Miller went to the Orioles for AA pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez. (He is their 3rd ranked player in the Baltimore system.)

And to top off the day, Ben Cherington actually found a sucker to take Stephen Drew off his hands: the New York Yankees. The Sox send Drew and cash to New York for infielder Kelly Johnson.

Since the Jake Peavy deal last weekend, here's who has come and gone with the Sox since. (With thanks to Sons of Sam Horn via The Joy of Sox for the listing.)

SP Felix Doubront
SP Jon Lester
SP John Lackey
SP Jake Peavy
OF Jonny Gomes
SP Corey Littrell (A+)
RP Andrew Miller
SS Stephen Drew

RP Heath Hembree (25, RH reliever, AAA)
SP Edwin Escobar (22, LH starter, AAA)
OF Yoenis Cespedes (28, RH batter, MLB)
SP Joe Kelly (26, RH starter, MLB)
OF/1B Allen Craig (30, RH batter, MLB)
SP Eduardo Rodriguez (21, LH starter, AA)
UT Kelly Johnson (32, LH batter, MLB)
PTBNL from Cubs
Competitive Balance Pick from A's

It's pretty clear that the Sox have punted the 2014 season, and are not blowing up the team, but retooling with proven MLB talent acquired elsewhere. The Sox have one of the deepest systems in baseball, and added some desperately needed offense. They now have only veteran starter in Clay Buchholz, but the Sox clearly will add a couple of veterans to their starting staff by next April. Could one be Jon Lester?

Lester & Gomes to OAK For Cespedes

The Jon Lester Era in Boston officially came to an end this morning as the Red Sox dealt their star lefty to the Oakland A's, along with outfielder Jonny Gomes and cash for star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and the second pick in the competitive balance Comp B round.

The speculation for days was that Lester was going, and for high end prospects. But the A's, the team with the best record in MLB, are truly going for it, as Lester will surely only be a two-month rental.

Cespedes has 17 HRs, 65 RBI and a .256 batting average in 2014. He is known for a strong arm and average outfield skills. He can also become a free agent after the 2015.

He also is tied with Jackie Bradley for the MLB leadership in outfield assists with 12.

Jon Lester was a great Red Sox pitcher, and is probably thrilled to return to his native West Coast and with a contender. I wish him all the best and thank him for being a big part of the 2007 and 2013 World Championship teams.

I hope to see him back in a Red Sox uniform, but I wouldn't bet the ranch on that happening, at least in 2015.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Trivia Q&A: July 29

We had another big crowd at the Caledonia on Tuesday night for Trivia, as nine teams were in and the bar was crowded. I thank you all for continuing to support our Trivia Night, as it is great to see it continue to get better and better.

The team of You Can Call Me Al wound up winning the night, as they led from start to finish and ended up with 34 points. Congrats to Matt, Monica and their friends on the victory.

Second place went to The Donkey HoTays with 29 points, and third place went to Hoo-Ah, Did I Spell That Right? You Talkin' to Me? with 26 points.

Best Team Name: Oops, I Quizzed My Pants

Current Events
1. Jon Stewart announced last week that he is launching a $10 billion Kickstarter campaign to buy what cable network?
2. According to a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, what major city was number one in their list of "Unhappiest US Cities?"
3. Actor Freddie Prinze Jr. absolutely ripped what TV/movie actor last weekend, saying working with him "made me want to quit acting" as he was "the worst unprofessional dude in the world"?
4. Fuad Masum was elected president of what Middle Eastern country this past week by that country's parliament?
5. The president of Liberia ordered his country's borders closed this past weekend due to a deadly outbreak of what virus in west Africa?
6. What action film opened the first week grossing over $43 million at the box office to become the number one film in the US?
7. An Air Algeria flight bound for Algiers last Thursday crashed in what African nation, killing all 116 people on board?

1980s Trivia
1. In 1982, Great Britain clashed with what country over the Falkland Islands?
2. What celebrity was elected mayor of Palm Springs, CA in 1988 in large part because he was angry that the city fathers wouldn't let him open a new restaurant?
3. When the Fox Network debuted in October 1986, who hosted their first show, a talk show called "The Late Show?"
4. What R&B legend was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987?
5. What championship NFL team had a rap hit in the 1980s called "The Super Bowl Shuffle?"
6. In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space as a crew member of what space shuttle?
7. Name 2 of the 5 highest-grossing films in the US in the 1980s.

Al Pacino Movie Characters ("The Q Train")
1. Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice
2. Tony Montana
3. Lefty Ruggiero
4. Carlito "Charlie" Brigante
5. Mayor John Pappas
6. Lt. Col. Frank Slade
7. Ricky Roma
8. Lowell Bergman
9. Sonny Wortzik
10. Satan

General Knowledge
1. Ben Kingsley won an Academy Award for Best Actor for what film? ( 1 pt)
2. What two colors make purple? ( 1 pt)
3. What Spanish city would one find the Running of the Bulls? ( 1 pt)
4. In which century did Geoffrey Chaucer write "The Canterbury Tales?" ( 2 pt)
5. What ocean would you find the Republic of the Maldives? ( 2 pt)
6. What city is the capital of New Zealand? ( 2 pt)
7. "Bingo Bango Bongo" is a variant of what sport? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What central US state has recorded more 3.0 or above earthquakes in 2014 than any other state? ( 3 points)
2. The Battle of Caporetto occurred during which 20th century conflict? ( 5 points)
3. In 1983, which Ivy League college was the last to admit women? ( 4 points)
4. Hippophobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of what animal? ( 4 points)
5. "A Soldier's Song" is the national anthem of what European nation that was adopted in 1926? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. CNN; 2. NYC; 3. Kiefer Sutherland; 4. Iraq; 5. Ebola; 6. "Lucy;" 7. Mali.

1980s Trivia
1. Argentina; 2. Sonny Bono; 3. Joan Rivers; 4. Aretha Franklin; 5. Chicago Bears; 6. Challenger; 7. ET, Return of the Jedi, The Empire Strikes Back, Batman, Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Al Pacino Movie Characters ("The Q Train")
1. Dick Tracy; 2. Scarface; 3. Donnie Brasco; 4. Carlito's Way; 5. City Hall; 6. Scent of a Woman; 7. Glengarry Glen Ross; 8. The Insider; 9. Dog Day Afternoon; 10. The Devil's Advocate.

General Knowledge
1. "Gandhi;" 2. Red and blue; 3. Pamplona; 4. 14th; 5. Indian; 6. Wellington; 7. golf.

IQ Trivia
1. Oklahoma; 2. World War I; 3. Columbia; 4. horse; 5. Ireland.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Back to the '80s With Pacino Tomorrow

Tomorrow night at The Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category for Tuesday Night Trivia will be "1980s Trivia", seven questions about that decade in all types of ways, pop culture, sports, history, etc. We've done the 1990s and 2000s in recent weeks, so why not go a little further back?

And the Q Train lightning round will be "Al Pacino Movie Characters Trivia." I will give you the names of ten characters Pacino made famous on the Silver Screen, and you have to tell me the film. We did Robert DeNiro Characters last week, so why not Pacino this week?

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Ben Kingsley won an Academy Award for Best Actor for what film?"

We'll get the festivities going at 8 PM tomorrow night. The Caledonia is at 1609 Second Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We've been getting in some good crowds over the last month, so let's keep the momentum going! See you tomorrow night!

Friday, July 25, 2014

No Doubt Now: They're Sellers

It was a longshot at best.

The hot streak the Red Sox were on came to a crashing end in Toronto, as they dropped the final three games against the Blue Jays, with yesterday's being another day the offense simply failed to show up.

They had 14 runs on 18 hits in the Monday night rout. They had won 8 of 9 and it looked like the Sox could take full advantage of the hurt and struggling Jays. But by Thursday afternoon, they could just a single by Shane Victorino in the 7th inning in an 8-0 loss.

When they hit the road on Monday, I figured the Sox needed to win 8 of the remaining 10 games in July to realistically get back in the race and keep the momentum from the hot streak going.

Three losses kills that.

They play Tampa Bay this weekend, but the intensity is pretty much gone from that. Now it's a matter of turning the page on this year and start the building process for the 2015 season. There will undoubtedly be deals by nest Thursday afternoon, with the Sox moving MLB players while getting quality prospects in return. Time to take a closer look at youngsters like Garin Cecchini, Allen Webster, Anthony Ranaudo and a few others.

It's been a tough year, and I figured something like this could happen. A lot went right last year that hasn't in 2014. I'm still a fan and I'll be pulling for the Sox to do well.

It just wasn't a year the Sox were going to win it all. So be it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Trivia Q&A: July 22

We bounced back nicely on Tuesday night at the Caledonia, getting in a large, enthusiastic crowd after getting rained out the previous week. Every team had multiple players on it, and that was good to see. It was a close fight to finish between four teams separated by six points heading into IQ Trivia. But the team of The More Whisky Sours We Drink, The Better We'll Do got the victory by just a single point, with a total of 39 points. Congratulations to Pian and her friends on their first ever win at the Caledonia.

Second place went to Keith Says Cash and Amex Only with 38 points, and third place went to Innis and Gunn Control (who won for Best Team Name) with 33 points.

Current Events
1. What Midwestern city was chosen recently as the site for the 2016 Republican National Convention?
2. A two-block stretch of West 121st Street in Manhattan will be renamed in honor of what late comedian, who lived there and died in 2008?
3. What drama series received 19 Emmy nominations recently, the most of any TV show in 2014?
4. Comedian Tracy Morgan is suing what company for damages over the injuries he suffered in an auto accident last month and it is the company the driver who struck his limo worked for?
5. What country music superstar announced he is releasing his first album in 13 years this November, and his catalog will be available digitally for the first time?
6. What Hollywood actor topped Forbes' annual list for the highest earning actors for the second straight year, earning an estimated $75 million?
7. Business Insider revealed that Harvey Mudd College will be charging the most for tuition and room and board for the upcoming school year. In what western state is Harvey Mudd College?

2000s Trivia
1. What female singer was awarded the title of "Top Radio Songs" artist of the 2000s by Billboard magazine in 2009?
2. In 2008, the Republic of Kosovo gained its independence from what European nation?
3. What American was given an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002?
4. What 2009 film was the highest grossing film at the box office in the US in the 2000s?
5. The 2000 Summer Olympics were held in what city in September of that year?
6. Daniel Pearl, the reporter who was murdered by Al-Qaeda in 2002, worked for what newspaper at the time of his death?
7. What punk band refused to attend their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2006, calling the Museum "a piss stain?"

Robert DeNiro Characters Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Jimmy Conway
2. Jake LaMotta
3. Ace Rothstein
4. Al Capone
5. Paul Vitti
6. Bruce Pearson
7. Jack Walsh
8. Rupert Pupkin
9. Travis Bickle
10. Jack Tiberius Byrnes

General Knowledge
1. The United States has shoreline on how many oceans? ( 1 pt)
2. The Pentagon Papers were 7,000 pages of documents regarding what war? ( 1 pt)
3. What is the most populous city in North America? ( 1 pt)
4. The ancient city of Machu Picchu is located in what South American country? ( 2 pt)
5. How many spikes are there in the Statue of Liberty's crown? ( 2 pt)
6. What country won the most total medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics? ( 2 pt)
7. What European country was named "The Most Tattooed Nation in the World" in 2012? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What novel, first published in 1925, still sells 500,000 copies a year and was on the best-seller lists for 2013? ( 4 points)
2. Which British TV series has been nominated for the most Emmy Awards in history? ( 3 points)
3. How many total answers are possible with the Magic 8 Ball? ( 4 points)
4. "The Red Vineyard" was the only painting sold during the lifetime of what famous painter? ( 5 points)
5. The Gold Coast was a British colony in West Africa that today is known as what country? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Cleveland; 2. George Carlin; 3. "Game of Thrones;" 4. Wal-Mart; 5. Garth Brooks; 6. Robert Downey, Jr.; 7. California.

2000s Trivia
1. Beyonce; 2. Serbia; 3. Rudy Giuliani; 4. "Avatar;"; 5. Sydney, Australia; 6. The Wall Street Journal; 7. The Sex Pistols.

Robert DeNiro Characters Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Goodfellas; 2. Raging Bull; 3. Casino; 4. The Untouchables; 5. Analyze This; 6. Bang the Drum Slowly; 7. Midnight Run; 8. The King of Comedy; 9. Taxi Driver; 10. Meet the Fockers.

General Knowledge
1. Three; 2. Vietnam War; 3. Mexico City; 4. Peru; 5. seven; 6. Russia; 7. United Kingdom.

IQ Trivia
1. "The Great Gatsby;" 2. "Downton Abbey;" 3. twenty; 4. Vincent Van Gogh; 5. Ghana.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two Touchdowns In Toronto

The Red Sox pitching, both starters and bullpen, have been very good all year. It was the hitting, especially in the clutch, that was killing this team's chances for the postseason.

But now, the bats are heating up and the pitching continues to shine. The Sox exploded last night in Toronto, 14-1, at the start of an important 7-game swing in Canada and St. Petersburg.

David Ortiz belted two home runs, and passed Carl Yastrzemski for 36th place on the all-time home run list. Mike Napoli and Syephen Drew also added home runs, and the Sox scored early and often to win their first blow out in some time.

John Lackey was excellent, giving up just one run on two hits (the only base runners he allowed) in seven innings. He threw only 76 pitches in getting his 11th win, one more than he had in all of 2013.

Everyone in the starting lineup had at least two hits, except for Dustin Pedroia (0) and Christian Vazquez (1). It was a season high in hits with 18. Ortiz and Drew led the way with 4 RBI each. Brock Holt made a sensational catch in right field, robbing Colby Rasmus of extra bases with the score at 14-1 in the fifth inning.

It was just one of those perfect nights we have seen very little of so far in 2014.

The Sox have now won 4 straight, and are 8-1 in the post-A.J. Pierzynski Era. They remain 7 1/2 games back in the AL East in fourth place, as Baltimore won in Anaheim last night.

Monday, July 21, 2014

First Decade of the Century Trivia Tomorrow

Tomorrow night at The Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category for Trivia will be "2000s Trivia," seven questions about events that occurred in the first decade of the 21st century, in pop culture, history and sports.

Since Trivia was called off last week, we will give "Robert DeNiro Character Trivia" another go as the Q Train lightning round. I will give you the names of 10 famous DeNiro characters, and you have to tell me which film that character appeared in.

The Sneak Peek question once again is:
"The United States has shoreline on how many oceans?"

We will get going at 8 PM. The Caledonia is located at 1609 Second Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. The weather is supposed to be good tomorrow night, so I hope to see many of you then!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Six of Seven

Not getting overly excited, but the Red Sox won yet another one-run contest at Fenway, a 2-1 win over Kansas City.

This was the eighth straight one-run win at Fenway, and the boys have now won six of their last seven.

Mike Napoli hit his 11th home run of the year, and Rubby De La Rosa pitched seven strong innings. Shane Victorino came off the DL and had one hit, and Mookie Betts returned to Pawtucket.

Jackie Bradley turned his sixth double play of the season, and continues to show he is a Gold Glove outfielder right now. He leads all outfielders will 11 assists and no other outfielder has as many as three DPs. (Thanks to Allan at Joy of Sox for that fact.)

Two solid wins since the All-Star break. The Sox are 6-1 since A. J. Pierzynski (who has cleared waivers and was released) left the team. Draw your own conclusions.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

No Re2pect

Well, we all knew it was going to be "The Derek Jeter Show" at the All-Star Game last night, and it certainly was.

Fox made sure everyone knew this was the retiring Yankee captain's final All-Star appearance, with 100 mentions of him throughout the night. Listen, I have no problem with that. I thought John Farrell handled Jeter's leaving in the game in 4th inning perfectly, as he substituted Alexei Ramirez for him before the inning started, so Jeter could soak up all the applause. More than fine with all that.

Controversy sprang up late in the game when Adam Wainwright admitted he "grooved" a fastball to Jeter in the first inning, and he slammed it for a double, and later scored on Mike Trout's triple. Wainwright certainly isn't the first pitcher ever to do something like this, but in a game that now "counts", that wasn't the smartest thing to do, as it led to the AL's 5-3 win, and gives the AL team the home field advantage in the World Series.

I've always thought it was silly to have home field riding on this game, but MLB figured the game was slipping into irrelevance like the other three major sports' all-star games had, so they had to do something drastic. If you're playing to win, than play to win. (I've always thought it was overreaction to what happened in 2002, that 7-7 tie travesty.)

The All-Star Game was better when it was just an exhibition game, the AL vs. NL meeting for league pride. That is all gone, as now it has to "count." (Interleague also ruined it, but that's another story.)

But what bothered me most last night was the Fox coverage. Jeter was going to be the star of last night's coverage and you accept that. But with all the Jetermania, the incessant commercials about "Gotham", Fox stars "who just happened to be there", there was no mention of six great stars of MLB who died this year: Tony Gwynn, Ralph Kiner, Bob Welch, Jim Fregosi, Jerry Coleman and Don Zimmer (Gwynn, Welch and Zimmer all died within the last month).

How you can have a 3+ hour broadcast and have not a single mention of any of these great players is simply mind boggling. Especially of Zimmer, who was close to Jeter in his championship years. (I noticed that David Price touched his "ZIM" patch when he was introduced. No mention of that.) The losses of Zimmer, Welch and Gwynn were still fresh in the minds of baseball fans, especially Gwynn, who died at the very young age of 54.

Yes, "Fox Ruins Baseball" strikes again.

The Padres sure noticed Gwynn's snub, and after the game tweeted the above picture, with no caption. Very classy.

Last night was NOT Fox's best hour, as Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci should have known better. I'm waiting for the excuses Fox will come up with for dropping the ball on this one.

Postponed By Rain

Tuesday Night Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub didn't happen last night, as the heavy rains that hit New York City in the late afternoon and early evening kept just about everyone away, including all the regulars (except my intrepid friend Larry). So we called it off and watched the All-Star Game.

We will roll most of last night's Trivia to next week. We will have a new Special Category for next week.

Let's hope for better weather next Tuesday, July 22nd at 8 PM. And I hope many of you can make it then. Have a good week.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Why DeNiro? Why Not?

Tuesday Night Trivia this week will feature "MLB All-Star Trivia" as the Special Category, in honor of the Midsummer Classic game, which will be going on as we do Trivia. It will be seven questions connected to the players who've played in the game, and for those of you who aren't huge baseball fans, it will be multiple choice.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Robert DeNiro Film Character Trivia." I will give you the names of 10 famous characters that DeNiro brought to life on the big screen, and you tell me the film. No particular reason we are doing DeNiro films this week. Maybe only because he's Robert F'n DeNiro.

The Sneak Peek question this week is:
"The United States has shoreline on how many oceans?"

We get started at 8 PM tomorrow night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, which is located at 1609 2nd Avenue, which is located between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We have been growing as the weeks have gone by at the Caledonia, and I hope to see more of you tomorrow night for a another great night of Trivia Q&A!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Retrieving a Little Dignity

The Red Sox ended a lousy 10-game homestand with two wins in their final turn at-bat against the White Sox. They now lead the AL with 8 wins in the final at-bat, tied with the Mets for the MLB lead.

The Sox are now 2-0 since they jettisoned A.J. Pierzynski (coincidence? I think not). They didn't get their first base runner until the 6th inning yesterday (that has to be at least the sixth time the Sox have gone through the first three innings in a game without a base runner; seems more like 50).

Jon Lester was superb in 7 innings, but Koji Uehara, who has looked more human lately, gave up a two-run homer in the 9th to tie it at 3. Mike Carp's RBI single in the 10th won it for the Red Sox.

Two straight wins and a weekend series in Houston to wrap it up for the All-Star break. Can't get excited at all about this, but it would be nice to see the kids contribute the rest of the way.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

2004 ALCS Redux In Brazil

Germany stomped all over Brazil in yesterday's World Cup semifinal, 7-1. To say it shocked the sports world would be an understatement.

As the destruction was taking place, I was trying to find the best American equivalent to what was taking place. And I found it: Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS.

Germany scored early and often, and it was 5-0 by the 29th minute. On that memorable night in 2004, the Red Sox scored early and often, and it was 6-0 by the second inning. Both games were all over by those points but the shouting.

The Germans added on in the second half, and it was 7-0 by the 79th minute. The Red Sox added on, and by the fourth inning it was 8-1. Brazil added a late consolation goal, and the Yankees scored what amounted to runs that made the score look a little more respectable by the 7th inning, 8-3. But the Sox put it on ice late for a 10-3 win and a trip to the World Series.

The German win puts them in the World Cup Championship final on Sunday against the Netherlands-Argentina winner. (Technically the World Series isn't a World Championship series, although it is called one. Close enough.)

And of course, both losing squads were humiliated at home.

And if that wasn't enough, here's a cool clip of the great wrestling announcer Jim Ross, with his commentary put over yesterday's 7-1 German thrashing, courtesy of Deadspin. Good stuff.

Trivia Q&A: July 8

We had yet another nice crowd in at the Caledonia for Trivia on Tuesday night. We are building some nice momentum over the past month, and it was also nice to see Matt and Monica, two Trivia regulars from the old days, in for the first time at the new place. Always warms my heart to see such loyalty from such great folks.

We had a great three-team race last night, with the teams separated by two points heading into IQ Trivia. The winners on the night were The Confused State, who got 4 of 5 correct in that round and wound up with 48 points. Second went to Three Sheets to the Quinn! (Best Team Name winner) with 44 points, and third went to Carroll Hardy May Have Pinch Hit For Ted Williams, But He's Never Won at Trivia with 39 points.

Current Events
1. According to a recent poll from Quinnipiac, who was selected as the worst US president since World War II?
2. In a recent article from Consumer Reports, what fast food restaurant was ranked as having the worst hamburger?
3. What female pop singer and her record label was hit with a lawsuit last week by a Christian rap group, who claim she used part of a song of theirs on her 2013 album without permission?
4. The French bank BNP Paribas was fined a record $9 billion for violating US sanctions in its dealings with three sanctioned countries including money laundering. Name 1 of the 5 countries.
5. The NY Daily News selected which pop singer as number one in its recent list of "The 50 Most Powerful Women in New York?"
6. Nicolas Sarkozy, former president of what European country, was arrested last week on charges of bribery and influence-peddling?
7. What country recently regained the rank as the number one oil producer in the world from Saudi Arabia recently?

1990s Trivia
1. What MLB team won back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993?
2. Madonna earned her first Golden Globe acting award for what 1990s film?
3. In 1999, what Keanu Reeves film became the first DVD to see one million copies?
4. In what year was Nelson Mandela released from a South African jail after 27 years?
5. The 1992 Summer Olympics were held in what European city?
6. Who was the best-selling rap/hip-hop artist of the 1990s?
7. Edwina and Patsy were the two main characters in what 1990s British sitcom?

US States Nicknames Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. The Spud State
2. The Nutmeg State
3. The Equality State
4. The Razorback State
5. The Show-Me State
6. The Old Dominion
7. The North Star State
8. The Silver State
9. The Evergreen State
10. The Terrapin State

General Knowledge
1. Who was the first US Secretary of State? ( 1 pt)
2. What is the official language of Iran? ( 1 pt)
3. Who was the first MLB player to have his number retired? ( 1 pt)
4. The longest day of the year occurs every year on what month and day? ( 2 pt)
5. How many different letters are used in the Roman Numeral System? ( 2 pt)
6. Between Meryl Streep, Katherine Hepburn, Jack Nicholson and Daniel Day-Lewis, who has won the most total Oscars? ( 2 pt)
7. What sport takes place in a velodrome? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What is the world's top-selling tie color? ( 3 points)
2. In 1954, what was the first human organ to be successfully transplanted? ( 4 points)
3. The first nuclear test explosion took place in 1945 in what US state? ( 4 points)
4. In 1937, Great Britain became the first nation to establish what three-digit emergency services number, which is still in effect today? ( 4 points)
5. What famous author wrote the first novel ever written on a typewriter? ( 5 points)

Current Events
1. Barack Obama; 2. McDonald's; 3. Katy Perry; 4. Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Sudan; 5. Beyonce Knowles; 6. France; 7. United States.

1990s Trivia
1. Toronto Blue Jays; 2. "Evita;" 3. "The Matrix;" 4. 1990; 5. Barcelona; 6. Tupac Shakur; 7. "Absolutely Fabulous."

US States Nicknames Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Idaho; 2. Connecticut; 3. Wyoming; 4. Arkansas; 5. Missouri; 6. Virginia; 7. Minnesota; 8. Nevada; 9. Washington; 10. Maryland.

General Knowledge
1. Thomas Jefferson; 2. Persian; 3. Lou Gehrig; 4. June 21; 5. seven; 6. Katherine Hepburn (four); 7. cycling.

IQ Trivia
1. Blue; 2. kidney; 3. New Mexico; 4. 999; 5. Mark Twain.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Back to the 1990s On Tuesday

Tomorrow night at The Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category will be "1990s Trivia," seven questions about the last decade of the 20th century in popular culture, history, sports, etc.

The Q Train lightning round will be "US States Nicknames Trivia." I will give you popular nicknames of ten states and you have to tell me which state I am talking about.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Who was the first MLB player to have his number retired?"

We get started shortly after 8 PM. The Caledonia is located at 1609 Second Avenue, between E.83 and 84 Streets. It's been great to see the crowds increasing over the last three weeks, as our new Trivia home is taking shape. Remember that first place gets $50 gift certificate to the pub, $20 to second, and a free round of shots for third place. I look forward to seeing many of you for a great night of Q&A tomorrow!

Some Will Stay. Some Will Go.

Another uninspiring weekend at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox dropped another series at home, this time to the first-place Baltimore Orioles. A doubleheader split on Saturday, and an extra-inning loss on Sunday, after a 5-run comeback in the 7th inning that went to waste.

39-49. The Sox are now back in last, as Tampa Bay has gotten hot, winners of 10 of 12. The Rays are now 1/2 game ahead of the Sox in fourth.

I'm beyond the anger stage now. It's a hopeless situation, but now I am curious as to exactly what Ben Cherington will do over the next few weeks. The Sox figure to be one of the more active teams over that time period.

Jon Lester was the lone Red Sox selection for the All-Star Game in Minneapolis next week, and Koji Uehara seems like to go as a replacement for a pitcher that bows out before the game takes place.

Now it's just a matter of which Red Sox players are playing in the final month with the team before they get moved to a contender. All kinds of names are being floated out there: Jake Peavy, A.J. Pierzynski, Jonny Gomes, Andrew Miller, Koji Uehara. Even Jon Lester or John Lackey could be gone for the right deal.

It's time to retool for 2015, and give more of the youngsters at Pawtucket playing time in Boston. I'm guessing we'll see more of Jorge De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Garin Cecchini, Christian Vazquez and few others before the calendar strikes August.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Going From Bad to Even Worse

Just when you think it can't possibly get any worse, it does.

The Red Sox were swept by one of the NL's worst teams at home, allowing 16 runs in the process in last night's finale, an excruciating loss that took an unbearable 4 hours and 19 minutes to play.

I'll spare you all the gory details, only to say that Mookie Betts hit his first MLB home run over the Green Monster.

How many times have we heard the term "rock bottom" this year? I've lost count.

Just 7 1/2 months to go until the players report to Ft. Myers for Spring Training.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The Boys In Brazil Do The US Proud

The US went down to defeat at the hands of Belgium in the second World Cup yesterday, but left with their heads held very high.

I remember the World Cup draw from last December, and the groans from critics and fans alike from the draw the US got: Germany, Portugal and Ghana. Very few gave the United States much a chance to advance out of the Group Stage, and the group was deemed the infamous "Group of Death."

The first match was a win over Ghana, 2-1, and combined with Germany's rout of Portugal, 4-0, gave fans hope that the US could pull off at least a second place finish.

The US outplayed Portugal in their second match, but a last minute goal by Portugal in stoppage time gave the Portuguese a 2-2 draw and kept the US from advancing. No one gave the US much chance of beating the Germans, but they nearly did to them what Portugal did in the previous game: a draw with a goal in stoppage time. It was 1-0 defeat, but the US played well enough to advance by gaining second place, by beating Portugal on goal difference. (And a word about that. I found it absolutely laughable that some knuckleheads in the media couldn't understand the concept of a "round robin tournament." They simply couldn't grasp that you didn't need to win the last game, just finish in second place in a four-team group to move on to knockout rounds. I even read where some morons even accused the US of "backing in" to the second round. Ugh.)

Belgium won all three of their Group Stage matches, and were an underrated opponent. It was a tough match yesterday, but Tim Howard, the US goalkeeper, was unquestionably the "man of the match." He made 16 saves, the most by a World Cup keeper since 1966. Belgium could have had at least 5 goals easy, but Howard kept the US in the match. The US had their best chance in injury time, as substitute Chris Wondolowski shot a ball wide where he had an open goal to shoot at, and will probably see that in his dreams forever. It stayed scoreless for the first 90 minutes.

The Belgians scored two goals in extra time, one in each 15-minute period. It was all over until Julian Green scored in the 107th minute to make it 2-1. The US basically emptied all their guns, but ultimately came up short. Clint Dempsey had a glorious chance late, but was denied.

The US goes out having reached the Round of 16, but they leave having opened a lot of eyes. This team will be a force to be reckoned with in Russia in 2018, and brought some new fans to soccer with their run. They did their country proud yesterday, and we thank them.

P.S. To all those soccer haters who've gone to great lengths to say that "soccer will not now or ever take over America": you are correct. (We go through this crap every four years like clockwork, and we will again in the summer of 2018. Bank on it.) Baseball, American football, hockey and basketball have been so ingrained in the American culture for so long that that will never happen. Soccer is only looking for its niche in the United States, and continues to make those strides. MLS continues to grow steadily in popularity, and the good showing by the US in the World Cup only helps that along. You can put down your pitchforks now. You have nothing to worry about.

Trivia Q&A: July 1

For the third straight week, we had exactly eight teams in for Trivia at The Caledonia, and there were even more folks in the pub then either of the last two weeks. I take that as a hopeful sign that our new Trivia Night is growing by the week.

The team of Squam Rock Land Trust won the night, garnering 47 points and the win. They were tied with the second place team, And the Living Is Easy, going into IQ Trivia, but they got 4 of the 5 questions correct to pull into the winner's circle and take it by five points. The Macs were third with 35 points.

Best Team Name: Two Morons (It got laughs every time I said it!)

Current Events
1. What female pop singer recently offered to write a campaign song for Hillary Clinton if she should run for president in 2016?
2. Tim Lincecum, a pitcher for what NL team, threw the second no-hitter of his career last Wednesday against the San Diego Padres?
3. Howard Baker, former US senator from Tennessee, died last Thursday at the age of 88. Under what president was he the Chief of Staff?
4. Board members of what famous bridge unanimously approved a $76 million project to build a steel suicide barrier last week?
5. The son of what movie star, who has had his own problems with drugs, was arrested on cocaine possession charges last Sunday?
6. What rock icon's original draft of his most famous song, written in 1965, was recently sold at auction for $2 million?
7. What country is preparing to try two American tourists as spies, claiming they were "attempting to carry out hostile acts" against the country?

July 4th Trivia
1. On this day in 1976, Israeli commandos raided Entebbe Airport in what African country and rescued hostages held by Palestinian terrorists?
2. In 1863, the Battle of Vicksburg was won by the Union in the Civil War. Which Union general did the rebels surrender to?
3. In 1855, "Leaves of Grass," the most famous book published by what American poet, was first released in Brooklyn?
4. On this day in 1881, Tuskegee University first opened in what US state?
5. In 1997, NASA's Pathfinder became the first US spacecraft in over decades to land where?
6. On this date in 1894, a short-lived republic was proclaimed by Sanford Dole in what future US state?
7. Name 2 of the 3 19th century US presidents who died on July 4th.

Odd Numbered Trivia
1. This is the number of days February has in leap years.
2. Alaska is this number US state.
3. This is the minimum age for a person to run for a seat in the US House of Representatives.
4. First base in baseball is represented by this number.
5. A soccer match contains this number of minutes in each half.
6. Prohibition was ended in the US with this numbered amendment to the Constitution.
7. This is the number of flavors of Baskin-Robbins ice cream.
8. The lunar month is approximately this many days.
9. The debut album from pop singer Adele was this number.
10. Jesus Christ is said to have been crucified at this age.

General Knowledge
1. What American city holds the oldest annual marathon in the world? ( 1 pt)
2. The headquarters for Amazon is located in what US state? ( 1 pt)
3. Hilary Swank won her first Best Actress Oscar for what film? ( 1 pt)
4. What car company owns the Lexus brand of automobiles? ( 2 pt)
5. What color is the number 3 ball on a standard pool set? ( 2 pt)
6. On which continent did the pineapple originate? ( 2 pt)
7. What actor/comedian was fired by MTV for dressing up as Bin Laden on the day after the 9/11 attacks? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. In the classic 1974 western "Blazing Saddles," what last name is shared by all the citizens of the town of Rock Ridge? ( 3 points)
2. What Caribbean country's president, Michael Martelly, became famous there in the 1990s as "Sweet Micky", a popular musician? ( 4 points)
3. Comedian Jack Benny was actually a skilled musician on what instrument, which he often made a gag of playing badly in his act? ( 4 points)
4. What is the only continent without an active volcano? ( 4 points)
5. What 19th century US president is remembered with a statue in Madison Square Park in New York City? ( 5 points)

Current Events
1. Katy Perry; 2. San Francisco Giants; 3. Ronald Reagan; 4. Golden Gate Bridge; 5. Robert Downey Jr.; 6. Bob Dylan; 7. North Korea.

July 4th Trivia
1. Uganda; 2. U.S. Grant; 3. Walt Whitman; 4. Alabama; 5. Mars; 6. Hawaii; 7. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe.

Odd Numbered Trivia
1. 29; 2. 49; 3. 25; 4. 3; 5. 45; 6. 21; 7. 31; 8. 29; 9. 19; 10. 33.

General Knowledge
1. Boston; 2. Washington; 3. "Boys Don't Cry;" 4. Toyota; 5. red; 6. South America; 7. Russell Brand.

IQ Trivia
1. Johnson; 2. Haiti; 3. violin; 4. Australia; 5. Chester A. Arthur.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The Inept Offense Returns Yet Again

The best thing I can say about last night's lifeless 2-0 Red Sox loss to the Cubs was I was proud to be a Red Sox fan seeing the deserved standing ovation Jake Arrieta got after leaving the game in the 8th inning. The Fenway Faithful proved again they are the best in baseball.

The Red Sox looked totally dead against Arrieta, who only gave up a walk to Mike Napoli in the fifth inning before Stephen Drew singled with two outs in the 8th.

Two inspiring wins to end the weekend series in New York, and the Red Sox started making me believe a run maybe coming. Silly me.

The offensive ineptitude returned again last night. Take nothing away from Arrieta. He was superb. But he's not exactly Clayton Kershaw.

When the Red Sox were held hitless for six innings a couple of weeks ago by Jesse Chavez in Oakland, I had the strong feeling that SOMEBODY will no-hit this team in 2014. I thought it might be last night, and as early as the third inning.

Last night was the 15th time in the month of June the Red Sox were held to less than 3 runs in a game. That's more than half of their games.

It was also the first game of an important 10-game homestand. And they were nearly no-hit by one of the worst teams in the majors.

Oh brother.