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Home » Category Listing » Quirky Things

April 3, 2008

Bird Brained

Truth is stranger than fiction: a 13-year old girl named Alexa Rodriguez was attacked at Fenway Park by a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). Could have it been the same hawk that killed Wily Crow Peña?

Last August the mythological implications of a squirrel climbing the foul pole at Yankee Stadium were explored. The hawk or falcon also is of import in Norse myth: Veðrfölnir (“the one bleached by weather”) perches upon the beak of an eagle in the crown of Yggdrasil, the World Tree. The wings of the eagle power the winds of the world while the hawk’s meaning is mixed. Some sources state it represents higher knowledge like Odin’s ravens Hugin and Munin while others say it symbolizes the union of man and woman.

September 12, 2007

Okajima Oki-Doki

Lovers at Fenway

TATAMI’s EP of Red Sox-inspired music called Lovers at Fenway is now available on iTunes.

Every dance song, not just TATAMI’s, seems to follow the same inevitable patterns. I haven’t missed much in the years away from the club scene. That these songs are inspired by a visit to Fenway does lends them a certain charm.

Along with the near-mythic song about the Red Sox set-up man there are three other tracks: “It’s All Right,” “Green Monster,” and “So Para Min (Just For Me).”

Of all the songs I liked the last track the best. A summery morsel, the tune reminded me of “The Girl from Ipanema” by way of Puffy AmiYumi.

On the whole it’s better than “Gyro Ball,” but that’s like saying Alex Cora is better than Royce Clayton.

August 31, 2007

Myth Information

Most of my exposure to Norse myths comes from a few chapters in Bulfinch’s Mythology vaguely remembered and allusions in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. I studied for a semester in Denmark and I enjoy many aspects of Scandinavian folklore and fairy tales, but their mythology was confusing to one weaned on the Greek and Roman pantheons. Frankly, Snorri left me snoring.

So, the mythic implications of the squirrel on the foul pole in the first game of the series eluded me, but Teddy Kidder of the New York Times provided a toothsome tidbit on the incident.

Believe it or not, the squirrel’s actions closely resembled those of Ratatosk, or “gnawing tooth,” a squirrel in Norse mythology that climbed up and down a tree that represented the world. Snorri Sturluson, an Icelandic scholar and poet, recorded the story in his 13th-century work “Prose Edda.”

June 28, 2007

Boys and Their Toys

Like Manny Ramirez, John W. Henry likes cars. Henry’s affection was manifest in his partnership with Roush Racing announced on Valentine’s Day this year. Today the resulting entity, Fenway Roush, unveiled the 99 Ford Fusion with Red Sox logo (along with a million corporate sponsors’ decals) and baseball stitching details.

Not everyone can afford their own NASCAR racing team, but there are more affordable and equally kitschy ways to enjoy the Red Sox through toys.

Redsoxpotatohead

It’s not a political commentary on the prevalence of Irish immigrants in Boston, it’s just a toy. Pawtucket-based Hasbro produces the Red Sox Mr. Potato Head. Wouldn’t it be natty if McCoy had a Pawsox Potato Head promotion one night?

Redsoxwoolywilly

How many of you broke open your Wooly Willy to play with the iron filings? (Guiltily raises hand.) Your parents won’t be there to scold you this time around, so get your Red Sox Wooly Willy without fear of reprisal. I think David Ortiz has had every single one of those beards portrayed except for the one on the bottom left.

Redsoxuno

Red Sox are numero Uno.

May 27, 2007

Water, the Source of All Life

Surely Daisuke Matsuzaka’s spots for Aquarius sports water won’t be as controversial as his Asahi Super Dry commercial was. The alcohol endorsement would not have raised an eyebrow outside of puritanical New England. All will be well as long as the league doesn’t have Japanese sports drinks on its list of banned substances.

In the special effects extravaganzas, Matsuzaka seemingly has the elements at his command. A drop of his sweat either parches the earth or kindles an inferno. With one of his pitches, however, he becomes enrobed in life-giving water.

Aquarius is a trademark of Coca Cola in Japan. As Gatorade pushes the science angle in a few of its commercials, so does Aquarius in Japan; there’s even a science lab section on the site.

Questionable science? Check. Eye-popping visuals? Check. Dramatic voice-over? Check. Matsuzaka is on the path to superherodom.

Get to the front through science. ス サイエンスで前ヘ。

Matsuzakaaquarius

May 12, 2007

Red Dux

flapTo distract myself from the local nine’s poor showing this evening, I made a set of Red Sox dock icons for Adium, my instant messenger client of choice. I can’t take credit for the original design, but will take credit for being obsessively compulsive enough to fix other versions’ incorrect use of the city name on the home jersey.

I know, I know, I’m missing the red piping along the collar and placket. I hope to remedy this on a future version. Until then, enjoy.

December 13, 2006

Safe Arrivals

Twenty years from now, thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, will say they were at Hanscom Civilian Air Terminal to welcome Daisuke Matsuzaka to Massachusetts. Only the hundred or so who were there with me can say this truthfully.

I work in Waltham, so Hanscom is not far. I left early knowing that I would get lost. My lack of navigational skills combined with the Bay State’s notorious lack of road signs conspired against the clock like Scott Boras’s negotiations tactics. The Google Maps route I had printed out was useless as I made a last-minute decision to use surface roads to get to 2A rather than 128 North because of traffic.

That maneuver saved me just enough time to get lost. I turned right instead of left at a crow-foot intersection onto a road that was helpfully labeled “2A.”

Alas, it was 2A East, not 2A West.

Fortunately, I had been lost in this area before. I reversed course and made my way to the air field. As I drove on 2A (in the correct direction this time), my friend Joe called. You might remember him from our post-game stalking sessions. I had convinced him to come, but it didn’t take much. Unlike me, he printed out the descriptive directions from Hanscom’s web site and read them out loud to me as I carefully cut through the dark Bedford night.

Joe took 128, so I beat him to the parking lot by a few minutes. While I waited, I attempted to get my bearings and decided the building marked “Hanscom Civilian Air Terminal” was the place to go. Luckily, he arrived and pointed out a conspicuous grouping of media vans replete with satellite dishes in the opposite direction. Inviting him was essential.

Since Joe is over six feet tall, I had to run to keep pace with his brisk walk. We made our way to the already-gathered crowd and saw John W. Henry’s Red Sox jet parked with stairs unfurled. Matsuzaka, Boras, Theo Epstein, and Larry Lucchino had already disembarked the plane.

We stood there grinning stupidly, me tiptoeing to try to see the dramatis personae get into their vehicles and Joe being able to see as much as the air traffic controllers in their tower thanks to his height. “Scott Boras sucks!” he pretended to yell.

A woman who probably worked for the Red Sox press relations office came by. “He’s in the first car after the police car. Cheer that one.” Fans with WEEI signs emblazoned with “youkoso,” which means “welcome,” began to stir. A few people toted hand-made signs.

“Cheer loud!” urged the PR martinet. But she couldn’t whip up a frenzy.

Instead, a quiet appreciation was extended. People applauded and a few exclaimed “Welcome to Boston!” I yelled “Welcome to Massachusetts!” and waved excitedly as he passed by. I chose that specific phrase because I didn’t want him to think this tiny airstrip was Boston proper. Right when he was in front of me, he waved...

To me? I like to think so.

His path to the Red Sox, like my drive to Hanscom, wasn’t arrow-straight. But we made it, and that is what matters.

Going to Hanscom

I work nearby, so why not? Unfortunately, I don’t have a camera with me to commemorate Daisuke Matsuzaka’s first visit to Massachusetts. But I’ll have the memories. More later.

November 19, 2006

I Lost a Bet

... and my dignity for a day. I had bet a Yankee fan that the Red Sox would win the season series in 2006. Said fan giggled uncontrollably as he took this picture. Note that the baseball ornament on the belt buckle spins. Had I not been traveling on Halloween, I could have worn this as my costume. To more accurately simulate a female Yankee fan, I would have teased my hair up, wore copious amounts of cosmetics, and cracked my gum loudly.

He was so overcome with glee he forgot to take a picture of the back of the t-shirt. It had 26 World Series trophies compared to six for the Red Sox with a caption that said something to the effect that it would take three centuries for Boston to catch up.

Since 2001, we’re 1-0 while the Yankees are 0-2.

lostbet.jpg

November 12, 2006

What’s in a Name?

Don’t be intimidated by Daisuke Matsuzaka’s name. It’s quite simple when you break it down into its constituent parts. Each character is linked to an animation of its stroke order. Writing these characters in this sequence is important to properly written Japanese.



まつ [ma tsu]
This kanji (Chinese ideogram used in the Japanese language) means pine tree, a symbol of longevity. Hideki Matsui’s family name also includes this kanji.



ざか [za ka]
This character, pronounced “saka” or “zaka” depending on which character precedes it, means hill.



だい [da i]
Many masculine names include this character for great or large.



すけ [su ke]
From the verb たすける [tasukeru], which means to help, to save, to rescue, to give relief to, to spare (life), to reinforce, to promote, or to abet. Hopefully he will be doing all of these things for the Red Sox, except the fifth. It would be fine if he were merciless against the boys in pinstripes.

September 29, 2006

Haughty Couture

No, Yankee fans aren’t obsessed with the Red Sox. It only goes one way. Really.

Notobsessed

February 23, 2006

Ah, Humor! (Arr! Arr!)

Humor being in the brain of the beholder, I am not wont to criticize others for their forays into the realm of comedy. (And why should I, especially since I have a category labeled “Humor,” which is about as subtle as adding a laugh track to a sitcom.) But I came across this Red State entry that likens certain Red Sox players to Republican figures which for me fell somewhere between an episode of "Small Wonder" and a Jeff Foxworthy monologue on the scale of amusement. One definitely needs to be on the author’s side of the political spectrum to get a chuckle out of the piece. Instead of partisan persiflage, I prefer to engage in breakfast badinage.

Curt Schilling: Western omelette with lots of ham.

Manny Ramirez: It would have been easy to say something like Froot Loops, but I actually learned about yaniqueques and mangú.

Terry Francona: Creampuff. Light as air, but after long exposure his lessons stick with you.

Theo Epstein: Waffles.

David Wells: One dozen Krispy Kreme hot originals. And a beer.

Mike Lowell: Oat bran muffin in the “day olds” bin, except not as cheap.

Keith Foulke: Oatmeal. Plain at first blush, but you can add ingredients to change things up. Allegedly reduces the risk of heart disease.

David Ortiz: Remember when you had pancakes and made a smiley face out of syrup and used pats of butter for the eyes? That’s Big Papi.

Jason Varitek: Three eggs over easy, two pieces of toast with butter (not margarine), bacon, and link sausage.

Jonathan Papelbon and Craig Hansen: Organic dried blueberry granola and green tea. They usher in the New Age of breakfasts, replete with anti-aging properties.

Alex Rodriguez: He’s toast.

December 1, 2005

AT-AT, Episode 3

By way of the miracle known as Frappr, you can see the towns that comprise the AT-AT Team via satellite. If the small size of the map below annoys you, just click on the Frappr link for the full map.

It’s a nifty web application, but note that it defaults to the town with a post office nearest to a given zip code. Not all of the towns below have post offices, so you would need to zoom in on the player’s tag to see his correlating town.

Special thanks to NU50 for helping me compile the zip codes. He makes a strong case for being tapped as the next Red Sox GM, by the way.

Update: Apparently the Frappr script doesn’t work on Microsoft Internet Explorer since Frappr is inherently good and MSIE irrevocably evil, so never the twain shall meet. Just click here to see the map, and download Mozilla’s Firefox while you’re at it.

November 30, 2005

AT-AT, Part II

I am abashed. I missed three players for the Massachusetts town name team: Garry Hancock, Fred Hatfield, and Al Worthington. I have amended the list and made amends by taking on a task no reasonable person would consider undertaking.

How did I discover the missing three players, you may ask? Okay, you’re not actually asking yourself that, but I’ll pretend that you did anyway. Love for the Red Sox is not limited to Massachusetts, I realized, and decided to expand the team into the entire New England region (even those poor Yankee-deluded fools in the nether regions of Connecticut).

I didn’t realize how utterly insane this project would be until I found out that tiny New Hampshire has over 250 towns and an additional 20 or so “unincorporated places.” In comparison, Massachusetts, with six times the population, has 351. Maine’s municipality count weighs in at just over 500, is 35,384 square miles, dwarfing Rhode island’s 40 towns and 1,545 square miles.

Who needs to follow the hot stove shenanigans and GM-hiring hijinks? Relive Red Sox history and explore the quaint boroughs and hamlets of our region all in one table.

Player Position(s) Years with Red Sox Corresponding Town
Adams, Bob
Adams, Terry
RHP
RHP
1925
2004
Adams, MA
Alexander, Dale
Alexander, Manny
1B
IF
1932-33
2000
Alexander, ME
Beckett, Josh RHP 2006-? Becket, MA
Benton, Al* RHP 1952 Benton, ME and NH
Bolton, Tom LHP 1987-92 Bolton, CT and MA
Bradford, Chad RHP 2005 Bradford, NH
Bradley, Herb
Bradley, Hugh
RHP
1B/OF
1927-29
1910-12
Bradley, ME
Brandon, Darrell RHP 1966-68 Brandon, VT
Brewer, Tom RHP 1954-61 Bradley, ME
Carroll, Ed RHP 1929 Carroll, ME and NH
Chaplin, Ed C 1920-22 Chaplin, CT
Chapman, Ben* IF/OF/RHP 1937-38 Bradley, ME
Clinton, Lou OF 1960-64 Clinton,
CT, ME, and MA
Cooper, Cecil*
Cooper, Guy
Cooper, Scott*
1B/DH
RHP
IF/DH
1971-76
1914-15
1990-94
Cooper, ME
Crawford, Steve RHP 1980-82, 84-87 Crawford, ME
Durham, Ed RHP 1929-32 Durham, CT and NH
Ellsworth, Dick*
Ellsworth, Steve
LHP
RHP
1968-69
1988
Ellsworth,
ME and NH
Everett, Carl* OF/DH 2000-01 Everett, MA
Foster, Eddie
Foster, Rube
3B
RHP
1920-22
1913-17
Foster, RI
Gardiner, Mike RHP 1991-92 Gardiner, ME
Gardner, Billy
Gardner, Larry
Gardner, Wes
2B/3B/SS
3B
RHP
1962-63
1908-17
1986-90
Gardner, MA
Gray, Dave
Gray, Jeff
RHP
RHP
1964
1990-91
Gray, ME
Hammond, Chris LHP 1997 Hammond, ME
Hancock, Garry
Hancock, Josh
RHP
RHP
1978, 80-82
2002
Hancock,
ME, MA, and NH
Hansen, Craig
Hanson, Erik*
RHP
RHP
2005
1995
Hanson, MA
Hatfield, Fred 3B 1950-52 Hatfield, MA
Hudson, Joe
Hudson, Sid*
RHP
RHP
1995-97
1952-54
Hudson,
ME, MA, and NH
Jackson, Damian
Jackson, Ron
IF/OF
1B
2003
1960
Jackson,
ME and NH
Jefferson, Reggie DH 1995-99 Jefferson,
ME and NH
Johnson, Adam
Johnson, Bob*
Johnson, Deron
Johnson, Earl
Johnson, Hank
Johnson, John Henry
Johnson, Roy
Johnson, Vic
RHP
OF
1B
LHP
RHP
LHP
OF
LHP
1914
1944-45
1974-76
40-41, 46-50
1933-35
1983-84
1932-35
1944-45
Johnson, VT
Johnston, Joel RHP 1995 Johnston, RI
Lee, Bill*
Lee, Dud
LHP
SS/2B
1969-78
1924-26
Lee,
ME, MA, and NH
Lowell, Mike* 3B 2006-? Lowell,
ME, MA, and VT
Lynn, Fred* OF 1974-80 Lynn, MA
Maynard, Chick SS 1922 Maynard, MA
Meredith, Cla RHP 2005-? Meredith, NH
Montgomery, Bob C/DH 1970-79 Montgomery,
MA and VT
Morris, Ed RHP 1928-31 Morris, CT
Nelson, Bryant
Nelson, Joe
IF/OF
RHP
2002
2004
Nelson, NH
Patten, Casey LHP 1908 Patten, ME
Paxton, Mike RHP 1977 Paxton, MA
Phillips, Ed RHP 1970 Phillips, ME
Plympton, Jeff RHP 1991 Plympton, MA
Porter, Dick OF 1934 Porter, ME
Reed, Jerry
Reed, Jody
RHP
2B
1990
1987-92
Reed, ME
Ripley, Allen
Ripley, Walt
RHP
RHP
1978-79
1935
Ripley, ME
Russell, Allan
Russell, Jack*
Russell, Jeff*
Russell, Rip
RHP
RHP
RHP
1B/IF
1919-22
1926-32, 36
1993-94
1946-47
Russell, MA
Rye, Gene OF 1931 Rye, NH
Scarborough, Ray* RHP 1951 Scarborough, ME
Spencer, Tubby C 1909 Spencer, MA
Sprague, Ed* 3B 2000 Sprague, CT
Sullivan, Denny
Sullivan, Frank*
Sullivan, Haywood
Sullivan, Marc
OF
RHP
C
C
1907-08
1953-60
1955, 57, 59-60
1982, 84-87
Sullivan,
ME and NH
Vernon, Mickey* 1B 1956-57 Vernon, CT
Wade, Jake LHP 1939 Wade, ME
Wakefield, Tim RHP 1995-? Wakefield,
MA, NH, and RI
Warner, John C 1902 Warner, ME
Webster, Lenny
Webster, Ray
C
2B
1999
1960
Webster,
ME, MA, and NH
Winn, George LHP 1919 Winn, ME
Wolcott, Bob RHP 1999 Wolcott, CT
Worthington, Al RHP 1960 Worthington, MA
York, Rudy* 1B 1946-47 York, ME
*All Star

For something funny, see what the sponsor of Dick Porter says.

November 28, 2005

Our Towns

Inspired by Andrew’s recent quiz on 12eight, I compiled a list of Red Sox players whose names corresponded with Massachusetts town names. Throughout history there have been 31 players whose names were more or less the same as 20 townships, with four “Gardners” and “Russells” tied for the highest number of players. I bent the rules a bit by allowing the town “Becket” to be matched with the new right-handed pitcher Josh Beckett, Mike Gardiner with “Gardner,” as well as “Hanson” to count for Craig Hansen.

I was surprised to find that there were no Carvers, Chesters, Conways, Daltons, Dennises, Douglases, Dudleys (although there was a “Dud Lee”), Eastons, Ervings, Franklins, Gills, Hamiltons, Heaths, Holdens, Lincolns, Miltons, Monroes, Montagues, Montereys, Newtons, Nortons, Norwoods (although there was a Norwood Gibson), Palmers, Randolphs, Somersets (which was a past owner’s name), Sterlings, Townsends, Warrens, or Westons on the team, ever.

And who knew there were no towns in Massachusetts called Adkins, Agbayani, Agnew, Bailey, Bowsfield, Brickner, Byerly, Campbell, Dropo, Ferrell, Fullerton, Gosger, Heflin, Irvine, Kell, Littlefield, Litton, Newsom, Owens, Patterson, Runnels, Sheldon, Schofield, Stuart, Truesdale, Vernon, Willoughby, or Worthington. According to the list I got from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website, there are no towns that start with the letter “J,” either. There is a town called “Sheffield,” but thankfully the Red Sox don’t have a player with such a name.

The table below is compiled from a spreadsheet I made with the all-time roster (courtesy of Red Sox Diehard) and all the town names; if you’re interested in seeing it, I can e-mail it to you.

The Red Sox All-Time, All-Town team is heavy with right-handed pitchers and is a bit shallow in the outfield with only three ballhawks. The AT-AT team, as I like to call it, has 8 All Stars. Let’s hope George Lucas isn’t particularly litigious this holiday season.

Player Position(s) Years with Red Sox Corresponding Town
Adams, Bob
Adams, Terry
RHP
RHP
1925
2004
Adams
Beckett, Josh RHP 2006-? Becket
Bolton, Tom LHP 1987-92 Bolton
Clinton, Lou OF 1960-64 Clinton
Everett, Carl* OF/DH 2000-01 Everett
Gardiner, Mike
Gardner, Billy
Gardner, Larry
Gardner, Wes
RHP
2B/3B/SS
3B
RHP
1991-92
1962-63
1908-17
1986-90
Gardner
Hancock, Josh RHP 2002 Hancock
Hansen, Craig
Hanson, Erik*
RHP
RHP
2005
1995
Hanson
Hudson, Joe
Hudson, Sid*
RHP
RHP
1995-97
1952-54
Hudson
Lee, Bill*
Lee, Dud
LHP
SS/2B
1969-78
1924-26
Lee
Lowell, Mike* 3B 2006-? Lowell
Lynn, Fred* OF 1974-80 Lynn
Maynard, Chick SS 1922 Maynard
Montgomery, Bob C/DH 1970-79 Montgomery
Paxton, Mike RHP 1977 Paxton
Plympton, Jeff RHP 1991 Plympton
Russell, Allan
Russell, Jack*
Russell, Jeff*
Russell, Rip
RHP
RHP
RHP
1B/IF
1919-22
1926-32, 36
1993-94
1946-47
Russell
Spencer, Tubby C 1909 Spencer
Wakefield, Tim RHP 1995-? Wakefield
Webster, Lenny
Webster, Ray
C
2B
1999
1960
Webster
*All-Stars

November 15, 2005

Hi-Fi Phenom

I was an early adopter of Apple’s iPod; I bought the 5 gigabyte model when it first came out, before there were 10G or 20G configurations available. I loved every inch of it, from its distinctive 90-degree Lucite edges to its mechanical navigation wheel.

Only recently, however, have I started exploring the podcasting spectrum. As with other self-publishing ventures (this site included), the results can be mixed. You can find premium offerings put forth by National Public Radio such as selected clips of Bill Littlefield’s “Only a Game” or Robert X. Cringely’s “NerdTV” from the eponymous Public Broadcasting Service program. There are also the shows put forth by My Sports Radio, which can be uneven in execution, but do not lack for enthusiasm.

My Sports Radio’s Red Sox program, hosted by Alex Reimer, is called “Without a Curse”. Sean McAdam of the Providence Journal was a recent guest, engaged to speak about the Theo Epstein imbroglio. The week before, David Pinto of Baseball Musings was quizzed on possible offseason moves by the Red Sox and other teams. The host was congenial but unflinching, asking questions repeatedly if he felt his guest was skirting the issue.

Reimer, by the way, is 12 years old. In fact, the day he interviewed Pinto, October 31st, other kids his age were trick or treating or pranking their neighbors.

He’s been a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and he uses a clip from this appearance in his intro. Despite his years, I’d say he’s better at conducting interviews than the majority of the so-called talent on the airwaves at WEEI. He can hold his own in baseball discussions with some of the game’s notable personalities, which is more than can be said for WEEI mainstays such as Michael Felger or John Meterparel.

In fact, in his show with McAdam, he said in a jaded tone, “I don’t listen to [“The Big Show”] much any more,” to which the beat writer quipped, “Was it something I said, Alex?” If you have qualms listening to a young kid talk baseball, just remember, you eventually got used to Tony Massarotti’s somewhat lacking timbre. What Reimer lacks in age he makes up in smarts and confidence. Check him out now before the Boston sports scene loses yet another young rising star to burnout.

July 23, 2005

It’s Time to Dress Up Right

Inspired by this post on Witch City Sox Girl, I embarked on matching Muppets to Red Sox and came across these:

Muppetanimalredsox

Muppetkermityankee

Before anyone gets morally outraged that Kermit should ever be portrayed cheering for such an ethically bankrupt organization such as the Yankees, note that you can get both Animal and the frog in either team’s garb. Those Muppets, such bandwagon jumpers.

June 20, 2005

Loco Mojo

LocomocoYou might think it’s expensive to go to Hawai‘i, but all you have to do is click here to visit the blog named after the 50th state. Actually, it’s a blog named after a guy whose nickname has it’s origins in the number he wore playing Ultimate... this is all too convulated, isn’t it? Anyway, get a heaping serving of pre-game mojo from the fevered imagination of an Ultimate-playing, pop culture reference-making guy from Northeastern giving Jose Melendez a run for the punchline. (Not placing too much pressure on him, am I?)

I should explain the title of this post. There is a dish in Hawai‘i called a loco moco that’s basically heaven in a bowl. I miss how Columbia Inn on Waialae makes it, but Sam Choy has some ono recipes here. (And I think the loco moco history page has the Hawaiian saying wrong; it should be “Eat ’til you sleep.” That’s how I remember it, anyway.) Anyway, go to Hawaii’s blog and read ’til you weep.

May 11, 2005

Out of Touch

Just wanted to let you folks know that I’m sorry for neglecting you. I was away on a retreat with my coworkers at an inn that didn’t have wireless internet access. Now I have an entire series to catch up on. Until then, enjoy some of my favorite links (in no particular order):

  1. BBSpot (Satire for smart people...and me.)
  2. news @ nature.com (Dave and I check this constantly.)
  3. Nihon Sumo Kyokai Official Grand Sumo Home Page (A fascinating sport once you learn more about it. I miss seeing the tournaments on Nippon Golden Network.)
  4. Good Morning Silicon Valley (A blog before blog was a word.)
  5. I, Cringely (Can there be such a thing as a curmudgeon technologist? If so, it’s this guy.)
  6. McSweeney’s (They rejected me. I’m over it.)
  7. Elizabeth Bishop (One of my favorite poets.)
  8. Animal Diversity Web (What genus was the red panda again?)
  9. Powers of 10 (A PBS classic. On this site, every order of magnitude has links to other pages, some of which are quite interesting.)
  10. Carl Zimmer (Why are all the good geeks taken?)
  11. Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (She needs a better agent; more people should know about this woman.)

Go visit them for a while. Come back later and hopefully there will be something new.

April 28, 2005

Deserving Comment

I have to say that my readers have been writing much more interesting things than I have lately. Be sure to check out their sites:

  • Read up on twitch’s research on replacement players being hit at a greater rate than other players here. I’m glad she took the time to look into the claim I made in the Tampa Bay hullabaloo game. Plus she knows about Harajuku EGL style.
  • NU50 outgeeked Dave on the trajectory of objects in flight. Not many can claim this. See his new puppy here.
  • Tim at Bullshit Memorial Stadium always has great game commentary as well as views on politics, music, and other sundry topics. He’s probably forgotten more about baseball than I’ll ever know.
  • If you’re like me, you anxiously await the new “Red Sox logos in nature” at A Red Sox Fan in Pinstripe Territory. Thanks to Jere for correcting me on some of the factual errors I’ve made lately. The check is in the mail.
  • I wonder who Sam at Blue Cats and Red Sox will cheer for at the Hall of Fame Game which pits the Tigers against the Red Sox?

Also, I’m in a bit of a quandry because of the rainout. When I recap games, do I contiue the numbering with “Game 22” or skip that number? I checked what Retrosheet does, and they just use the date. It’s sad. These are the things that keep me up at night.

April 21, 2005

Where Art Thou

Art arises when the secret vision of the artist and the manifestation of nature agree to find new shapes.
Kahlil Gibran

More compelling than Christo and Jeanne-Claude, earthier than Andy Goldsworthy, and edgier than the Red Sox exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Jere of A Red Sox Fan in Pinstripe Territory presents the first in his “Red Sox logos in nature” series.

March 28, 2005

Thanks a Mil(l)iard

Everyone knows the British don’t like to use American words where the Queen’s English version would do:

  • flashlight=torch
  • gnarly=grotty
  • first floor=ground floor
  • tired=knackered
  • fries=chips
  • billion=milliard

Mike Miliard of the Boston Phoenix Sox Blog mentioned this site today, as have A Red Sox Fan in Pinstripe Territory, Bullshit Memorial Stadium, and The Joy of Sox. Cheers and ta, you’re a group of ace blokes and Bob’s your uncle. These sites are just the bees knees, and I’m not telling porkies. Click on the links and stop faffing around.

March 13, 2005

Lunar View

Jere from A Red Sox Fan in Pinstripe Territory has made a sublime movie commemorating our World Champion Red Sox. It’s must-see SV (streaming video).

Wseclipse

Photo of the World Series eclipse courtesy of Russell Croman. You can find more eclipse photos from October 27th at space.com.

New Feature: Quotables

Thanks to sites like Baseball Almanac, thinkexist.com, and some of my favorite baseball blogs, every time you refresh this page you’ll see a new quote. If you think of one that I missed, feel free to send it to me. In particular, I don’t have many contributions from John W. Henry, Larry Lucchino, and Theo Epstein. As I read Red Sox Nation: An Unexpurgated History of the Red Sox, I expect to add more from the ballclub’s past.

The range of people who enjoy baseball is vast: George F. Will, Stephen Jay Gould, Walt Whitman, George Carlin, Doris Kearns Goodwin, William Goldman, Simon Schama. I hope to amass a similarly diverse passel of thoughts for Quotables.

March 1, 2005

Lego My Minifig

Thanks to Hoo’s On First, I’ve had a productive Photoshop evening.

billmuellerfenwaylego

Hoo reminds me of a woman. (What woman?) Oh, the woman with the power. (What power?) Oh, the power of voodoo. (Hoo do?) Oh, you do, you do. (Do what?)

February 16, 2005

Rejected!

McSweeney’s didn’t select my Red Sox sestina for publication on their website. I think I was too earnest by half and didn’t tinge it with enough irony.

Hello [Name Deleted to Protect the Inept Sestina Writer] --

ThumbsdownThanks for sending this and letting us read it. I’d love to run a BoSox sestina, and yours is definitely skilled and uses the form well, but it just misses being right for the section. So we’ll have to pass. I’m sure this will find a home elsewhere. Do send more sestinas if the moment strikes you.

[Name Delected to Protect the Inept Sestina Writer Pointer-Outer]
Assistant Web Editor for Sestinas

“Moment”? It took me three days to write. Not a solid three days, but I just got sick of looking at the same six words and thinking of novels ways to use them.

Update: I wrote to NDtPtISWP-O to find out where I strayed.

Hi NDtPtISWP-O,

Thanks for the feedback. If you have any specific criticisms or suggestions you could pass on, I’d appreciate it. I’m always looking to strengthen myself as a writer.

[Inept Yet Insistent Sestina Writer]

I then received the following response:

[Inept Yet Insistent Sestina Writer] --

No specific criticisms -- the higher-ups -- and this is just a guess -- may not have wanted to go with another baseball sestina. We had a St. Louis one before. This is just a guess. They never tell me. But do know it was one of my picks, that I presented. Send more if you have ’em!

NDtPtISWP-O
Assistant Web Editor for Sestinas

I did a quick read of the Cardinals poem, and I don’t think the author actually followed the sestina format correctly. In the final stanza, she doesn’t use the proper word repetition pattern. Also, it isn’t recommended to use ending words that rhyme. Like all redbird fans, she got by with sheer enthusiasm and pom pom waving. She actually writes this: “Lord, does Cardinal Nation love baseball.”

They might have won the McSweeney’s Sestina battle, but we know who won the war. Still, I don’t like knowing that there is one baseball sestina on the site, and that the poem is dedicated to that St. Louis team. I plan to write another.

February 13, 2005

Quizzical

Everyone’s taking this, and now I have, too. My results:

  • Johnny Damon 77%
  • Theo Epstein 77%
  • Jason Varitek 70%
  • Curt Schilling 63%
  • Kevin Millar 57%
  • Mark Bellhorn 47%
  • Manny Ramirez 33%
  • David Ortiz 30%

I wish those percentages meant that I actually get that amount of that respective players’ net worth. Those would be some numbers I wouldn’t mind be connected with. But being Johnny Epstein is cool, too.

February 10, 2005

New Feature: Stop the Atrophy

RedsoxtrophyThe 2004 World Series Trophy of the Boston Red Sox adores its fans and revels in the attention it has been receiving. It’s been touring the nation, a traveling beacon of hope to its downtrodden citizens. Every piece of hardware has its hardships, however.

The Trophy is burnt out. The Trophy needs to unwind, relax, and rejuvenate itself. It needs hobbies, something to revive its flagging energy. Bizarre pastimes are especially appreciated, since it’s a unique bling bling. The last time the Red Sox won, trophies weren’t awarded, and the term “bling bling” certainly wasn’t considered for inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary. If you have a suggestion, e-mail it to the author (that’s me). Be sure to include a link, your name (if you wish be credited), and blurb about your diversion of choice. The best recommendations will be featured in “What’s the trophy doing today?”

Remember: only you can stop the atrophy.

February 2, 2005

Catch Him if You Can

YogiSomeone hold me back before I attain Yogasm. We should point out that he wasn’t even the correct answer for the definition of “Yogasm.” There are at least eleven catchers I can think of more likely to induce sexual ecstasy than Yogi Berra (and the list even includes the deceased):

  1. Carlton Fisk (who tied for the lead in triples in the AL in 1972, according to my handy Red Sox Page a Day Calendar)
  2. Jason Varitek (is there anything more alluring than this?)
  3. Kelly Shoppach (sending a little love to a Sox prospect)
  4. Paul LoDuca (admirable for his hustle, which may translate to other areas)
  5. Roger Bresnahan (his Hall of Fame plaque doesn’t do him justice)
  6. Josh Gibson (he would have dominated baseball in his time)
  7. Catcher I had a crush on (reigned supreme in Little League; name is lost in the mists of purposeful amnesia)
  8. Craig Biggio (is being singled out by Bill James akin to winning the Best New Artist Grammy?)
  9. Johnny Estrada (so fetching, like your cousin, Erik. Oh, they aren’t related?)
  10. Ivan Rodriguez (made more enticing by his on the mound kisses with Ugueth Urbina)
  11. Javy Lopez (whom I really can’t cheer for as he lights up Red Sox pitchers)

And those are just off the top of my head. Berra should feel flattered that his name is even remotely connected with amorousness. He might even be able to parlay this into an endorsement deal. Aren’t we all tired of seeing random, anonymous senior citizens bathing on secluded hilltops? Add in a Hall of Fame catcher and his wife to make it all the more compelling.

January 16, 2005

Stop. Sith. Stay.

DarthtaterHasbro announces Darth Tater, and the character that cut a terrifying figure in my childhood is now a mere spud.

Darth Vader, the Dark Lord of Sith, the man that slaughtered defenseless Tusken women and children, choked both Captain Needa and Admiral Ozzel to death merely because they were incompetent, and killed his own mentor in cold blood is now a Potatohead. I mean, Lord Potatohead, I guess. Now the only thing scary about him is that, although he is a potato, he is undigestable.

Warning: CHOKING HAZARD -Small Parts. Not for Children Under 3 yrs.

(You know I’ll be the first to buy one, make scale Yankee and Steinbrenner paraphernalia, and deck it up as an effigy of the Evil Empire, right? I just wanted to be clear on that.)

December 30, 2004

SOX4EVAH

Red Sox vanity plates abound according to Michael Demasi in the Boston Globe. This calls for... license plate haiku.

UNSTPBL SOX
MOTIV8 RDSXFAN2
SAYBBYE 2YANKS

December 25, 2004

Red Sox Monopoly Values

One of my presents was the Red Sox Monopoly game. I found the player values amusing:
Purple

  • RedsoxmonopolyTerry Francona: $60
  • Dave Roberts: $60

Light Blue

  • Bronson Arroyo: $100
  • Pokey Reese: $100
  • Doug Mientkiewicz: $120

Magenta

  • Doug Mirabelli: $140
  • Gabe Kapler: $140
  • Mark Bellhorn: $160

Orange

  • Bill Mueller: $180
  • Trot Nixon: $180
  • Jason Varitek: $200

Red

  • David Ortiz: $220
  • Orlando Cabrera: $220
  • Johnny Damon: $240

Yellow

  • Alan Embree: $260
  • Mike Timlin: $260
  • Keith Foulke: $280

Green

  • Derek Lowe: $300
  • Tim Wakefield: $300
  • Pedro Martinez: $320

Blue

  • Curt Schilling: $350
  • Manny Ramirez: $400

I think I heard Martinez whinging about how he isn’t a blue property like Schilling, and that this is one of the reasons why he didn’t re-sign with the Red Sox. Not being assigned blue is obviously a sign of little respect. Sabermetric analysis correlating Monopoly values and win shares to follow shortly....

December 19, 2004

Faux Fenway

Combining two of my favorite things, the Red Sox and Legos, here’s an auction of a scale model of Fenway Park.

Fenway_lego

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