Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's That Time of Year Again!

Patriots v. Colts
Brady v. Manning
Winners v. Losers

Get the beer cold, the tv warm, the kid to bed and the jersey on. 8:30 Sunday night can't come soon enough. I'm almost excited to hear that God-awful Pink song, cause it'll mean that Pats-Colts is NEXT...

I love playing the Colts. There is no team in football at this point that I love to beat more than the Colts. My Manning-related feelings are pretty well known to those well known to me or this blog, and it's no secret that I love LOVE LOVE LOVE to watch Peyton get that confused, "Oh crap, I'm about to get my ass kicked and look really stupid on national television!" look that he gets. I hope it starts snowing right on cue, like it always does. I hope he throws five interceptions. I hope The Rookie Stud and ole Clock Killin' pound their helpless run defense and I hope Tom Terrific carves them up like he did to the sorry no-account Vikings last night. Talk about the Mannings all you want, talk about Vick or Delhomme, or anyone else you want to, but Tommy 12 is the best QB in football. He's won more games than anyone else since 2001. That's five years, and a pretty good sample size. Case closed. Brady is 10-0 in domes now. And he was fucking huge last night.

Hey Kim:

Friday, October 27, 2006

October 27

So, two years later, the Cardinals get to celebrate at (new)Busch on their own October 27. But we had the lunar eclipse. Congratulations anyway, and thanks for laying down in '04.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This Machine Kills Fascists

So everybody's sick of me talking about the Street Dogs, but their new album came out yesterday, which I got on pre-order, and it's amazing. The songs themselves sound good musically, but more importantly it's a true protest album in the spirit of Woody Guthrie and Billy Bragg (whose "There is Power in a Union" is covered here)- politically and socially incendiary. Great, well-written lyrics really form a unified front across the whole album, finished off with a haunting, very quiet and very punk anti-war song that's as good as I've heard in a great long while. I appreciate the way some people can engender an anti- feeling by painting a picture that makes you hate something as much as the author does, rather than just ramming a message down your throat. I think this song does that. It should be noted here, that Mike McColgan, the lead singer, is an Army vet of the first Gulf War, and an on-leave member of the Boston Fire Department, so he's not just some hippy liberal pissing in the wind off the side of some politically correct bandwagon. Anyway, here's the song, "Final Transmission"...

He had just turned nineteen yesterday
Wanted to be a school teacher someday
Came from a small and modest town
Had never before traveled abroad

He signed on the promise of a college fund
Pop and Mom begged him to stay at home
The last time they saw him was at an airport
He hugged his distraught mother a final time

He went abroad to serve when he was only nineteen
Reality caught up with him, stole a heart full of dreams

He's never gonna get a chance to chase all those hopes
Lost them all amidst this war and smoke
Can you hear the sound of youth negated?
Watch on TV names are taken
Mother, Mother
My final transmission

Paris Island was plain hell on earth
Got gunny yelling at him, "Better prove your worth"
Moved on to Baghdad about six months on
Caught an IED today, now he is gone

He went abroad to serve when he was only nineteen
Reality caught up with him, stole a heart full of dreams

He's never gonna get a chance to chase all those hopes
Lost them all amidst this war and smoke
Can you hear the sound of youth negated?
Watch on TV names are taken
Mother, Mother
My final transmission

Dad and Mom I am your only loving son
Hid a written final transmission under my helmet
Love you both in heart and mind
A better set of parents no boy could ever find

Weep for me and say thy prayers
Remember me through all your years
Only got to serve for six months on and
If you're reading this I have passed and gone

So I harbor a final request
A letter in my memory please send
Off to the President and all his men
Begging him with others to bring the troops back home
He's never gonna get a chance to chase all those hopes
Lost them all amidst the war and smoke
Can you hear the sound of youth negated?
Watch on TV names are taken

He's never gonna get a chance to chase all those hopes
Lost them all amidst the war and smoke
Can you hear the sound of youth negated?
Why are all these young lives taken?
Mother, Mother
My final transmission

Matty to Earth: Get Over Kenny Rogers Already

I didn't see it cause I was working last night, but apparently Kevin Kennedy on the "Big Hair and More with Jeanne Zelasko" pregame show last night said that cheating is basically apart of baseball and it only matters if you get caught. And lots of people today are up in arms about. This is a head in the sand issue, if an acknowledgement of cheating being a big part of the game surprises anybody that much. It's always been such a wink wink hehe kinda thing in baseball. That's why I don't understand this righteous indignation, this "How dare you befoul the almighty World Series" blah blah blah. It happens all the time. Pitchers alter balls, hitters alter bats, players steal signs, groundskeepers grow the grass long when groundball pitchers pitch or water down the basepaths when a speedy team comes to town. It's all part of the game. It's a well documented part of the sport's history, and I welcome and applaud it. It's not an outrage till someone gets caught, and we all go, "SOSA CORKED HIS BAT!" Big deal. Steroids bother me. Old fashioned cheating, well, no biggie. Call me a hypocrite or whatever you want, but seriously. The guy pitched another seven scoreless innings. It's not like he wiped the secret sauce off his hand and then got shelled. Get over it people...It's baseball. The guy didn't take a whiz on the Constitution or anything.

Baseball's history is chock full of cheating, gambling, drinking and womanizing. And I'm all for that, except maybe the womanizing part (Hi, honey!). Then again, I eat red meat, drink black coffee, actually like Budweiser beer and put a twenty down on a game now and again. Somehow, to me at least, this is a different issue from steroids, and I can't explain how this cheating is different, it just is. BSM said it right over at Jere's place, when he said that the league is so tilted in favor of the hitters. This series reminds everyone of '68, when the mound was raised, and Gibson had a 1.12 ERA, McLain won 30, and Yaz won the batting title at .301. Those days are gone, man. Small parks, maple bats, steroids, weight rooms, tiny strikezones, low mounds; no wonder pitchers are looking for an edge. Imagine how unbalanced the game would be if no pitchers cheated. I'm not saying every guy that throws eight scoreless is scuffing it up, but if it happens once in awhile, who cares? Shit, Gaylord Perry's in the Hall, isn't he, and he didn't throw an honest pitch his whole life. If Kenny Rogers has some gunk on his hand on a Tuesday in May against the Rays, nobody could care less. Just cause there's a brighter light on it doesn't make it a bigger deal. Move on.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Loss of Productivity

So after spending nearly 12 hours (off and on) yesterday trying to figure out just how Kevin Seitzer adjusted his goddamned sleeves (italics to emphasize the glorious ridiculousness of it all), then finding out that Jere is planning 24 quizzes, I estimate that until Spring Training starts, I will waste approximately 288 or so hours trying to find out a bunch of crap that will never come in handy unless I find myself in a bar with all of you someday. This is sort of like Algebra for baseball fans. Completely useless until you stumble into that one wondrous moment in life where you're half way through a Guiness at the pub, and you hear two out of town idiots from Kansas City say, "No, man, I'm telling you, Seitzer used to tug up both pant legs between pitches!" And I'll go, "Actually..."

Now it's my turn...

"Way Back" in the day, when I was keeping it "Rheal" as a Sox Fan, I used to get up to Fenway at least once a year. I haven't been in "sev"eral years, but the last time I was there, the Sox lost by Teddy Ballgame, and a backup catcher, sharing a name with a Jesuit school in the hometown of the College World Series, had the same middle name as the first name of a Hall of Fame hitter in that game, who coincidentally, was born in the same town as the catcher's namesake. Not incidentally, the Sox starting pitcher shared the name of Cedric Diggory's love interest in the fourth Harry Potter book. What was the date of my last game at Fenway, and who was that Hall of Fame hitter?

That is a ridiculous question...the winner will receive a set of 10 Budweiser "Game Time" Red Sox coasters featuring the very tiny World Series Champions logo...They're a $0.00 value, since my friend Jeff stole a whole sleeve of them from Stoney's before it closed...have fun!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

History Lesson

I keep trying to leave comments on other people's blogs that turn out long enough to be a post here, so here goes with thoughts I was gonna leave on Peter's page.

An argument started in the comments section here, and at the risk of annoying Peter, or making him think I'm not on his side, I'll respond here to him saying that, "...and the '86 Mets..they were a good team, but far from the best." I think it's way off base and here's why:

The Mets won 108 games and were prohibitive favorites going into the '86 series...clearly the best team in the league all year. The '67 Cards (101 wins), the '75 Reds (108 wins) and the '86 Mets all won the most games of any team in their league for their respective decades...not only were the Mets the class of '86, no other NL team won more than 108 games during all of the '80's, so it's a lock to say that they were the best team of that decade. And not only that, but the '86 Mets and the '75 Reds won more games in a season than any National League team since the 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates, winners of a 110 games, so it's safe to say that, at least in the regular season, the '86 Mets were historically good. That whole '86 series was poorly played and managed. Davey Johnson and Johnny Mac just went into brain freeze for two weeks. The Mets ended up being good enough to expose a suspect bullpen and poor team defense and base running, and Hurst just ran out of gas. Should the Sox have put that series away? Yeah, and they could have done it in five games. But they didn't. All this talk this post season of "Did the better team win?" and '86 is a clear example of a year when yes, the better team won, just as the better team won in '67 and '75. For the Red Sox to even take those series the distance was unexpected at that time. Now 2003, the better team DID NOT win the ALCS. But when it comes to the Series, the Sox have had the unenviable challenge of bumping into the best team of the decade. Even in '04, the Cardinals had a better record: 105-57, so it's conceivable and even highly probable that they'll end up with the winningest season of this decade. That team proved not to be the better team, despite having the better record. Thus endeth the lesson. But I will say, Peter, that anonymous posters drive me batty, too.

I'm a Big Loser

So, I apologize to the seven of you who might have been interested enough in the "Major Announcement" to keep coming back all week...you'll have to keep waiting. But rest assured, I don't have any secret info that Clemens is coming to Boston, or that Pluto's getting reinstated or that I'm quitting my job to go sell Italian wine or anything...ok? So sorry about that...I just can't discuss the major thing yet...ok, here's a completely unrelated non-secret to placate the howling masses- we've decided that Garreth Eamon will be the name of our son when he's born in early Decemberish...obviously I got outvoted on the whole Gargamel thing...maybe next time.

So everybody's sick at my house. My wife and daughter of natural causes, me of the Cardinals. Beating the Mets isn't some heroic thing; going into that series I thought the Mets would lose- the only real starter they had was 89-year-old Tom Glavine. Who knew Maine and Perez (who I've seen set fire to PNC park on a few occasions) would step up like that? But still, the Mets squandered so many chances in that whole series, they were bound to lose. And Beltran had maybe the worst big at-bat I've ever seen. Just ridiculous that your season ends with the bat on the shoulder of your best player when everyone in America, probably including McAssery, knew that the deuce was coming. Why the hell would anyone throw him a fastball in that situation? Two run lead. Nibble with the hook and if you walk in a run, go get the next guy. Jesus, if I know this, how can Beltran and Yankee Willie not know it? If I were a Mets fan, and thank God I'm not, I'd be absolutely disgusted. Hell, as a baseball fan I'm disgusted...Loading the bases and striking out looking to end a game 7 is like making out with a totally hot chick who's completely out of your league, getting all her clothes off, going in for the kill and then she says, "I'm not that kind of girl..." What a waste of time. Just go three up three down next time and let me get to bed earlier. The Mets. Whatever. They oughtta just make this World Series best of 5 or something. These two teams combined in their last 50 games were like 40 and 60 or something. Make it best of five, or don't capitalize "world series" on any logo, shirt, graphic, etc. I thought I was gonna watch it if it was Tigers-Mets, but the Cardinals to me are about the most boring team ever. EVER. Please, Detroit- just sweep. Take the Pats at Buffalo, give the 5.5 and let's get on with our lives. It'll be February soon enough. Besides, I don't need Joe Buck in my life that bad...

I'll be back tomorrow, and I hopefully won't be so cranky...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Here's the Round-up, Y'all

So since last Wednesday...

Thursday, Sarah and I went to the Black Cat to see the Street Dogs and Bouncing Souls. The Dogs were great as usual, didn't get any pics this time, but believe me, Mike McColgan is the punkest dude I do declare. Super energy on the floor, great set list opening with the new "Not Without a Purpose," and the set was highlighted by the super-rare (even when he was in the Murphys) "Get Up," always Mike's (and my) favorite Murphys song, a terrific shout-out to SLF. It brought the club to a ridiculous high. I got up to sing with them again on "Strike A Blow," and Mike and Johnny Rioux came over and talked with us for a little bit. They remembered Sarah was pregnant last time she saw them, and said they'd only come to DC when she's pregnant now...I've said it a million times...go check out this band...

Then Bouncing Souls came on, with The Pete's hair looking awfully puffy and McDermott wearing a shirt(!) and they jumped right into "The Gold Song," with a very muddled sound mix and not a lot of energy. Seven songs or so in, a guy ten feet in front of us throws a bottle at the bartender, another guy punches the bottle-thrower, and it's on...these two idiots were rolling right back towards us, so me and a guy behind me jump in to try to break this thing up, as house staff had yet to get there. We get on the two guys, we've got them pinned to the ground, they're still flailing around, and after about two minutes of this, Black Cat staff finally get there. Weak. They get the one guy out alright, but the other guy they've got to sit on for twenty minutes till DC Metro Police get there and haul the guy out. Weak. While all this is going on, the band has left the stage, all the pussies behind me that did nothing to help have backed up and someone stepped on Sarah's leg, and she partially dislocates her knee. By the time I get back to her, she's sitting on a stool with her leg up on another one, and the bartenders are getting ice for her. By now, I'm so pissed off I wanted to kill someone. The Souls came back after about 10 minutes, played another hour, but I didnt' really notice, I was so angry. At the guys for fighting, at the losers behind me for not helping break up the fight, at the Souls for doing "Say Anything" accoustic, at everything. We were all just waiting for it to be over. At least they played "Lamar Vannoy" to close, so that made Sarah a little happy. I got the car, Sarah got herself down the steps with help from our friends Rita, Declan and Noel and, in the words of the Swingin' Utters, "...we got the fuck out of that place..." I said it Thursday and I'll say it now, the wrong band headlined this tour...and if you're the type of person that goes to shows, don't start fights, or be too much of a pussy to break them up...

Saturday, I waited tables for the first time in like a year or something. We were short-staffed. The less said about that the better.

Yesterday, the ole Punky Moms (see link on right) had a little shindig at Queen Anne Farm in Mitchellsville, Maryland which lies somewhere between Bowie, MD and the end of the earth. Typical punkin' patch, hayride, million jars of apple butter for sale kinda autumnal deal. All told there were 7 adults and 5 kids. The kids loved the pumpkins, the chickens, the goats and the dog. The moms loved seeing the other moms. The dads loved finally getting somewhere (Applebees...Applebees!!!) that had a tv and beer. Traffic there and back was atrocious and Redskins game related, I broke a slat on the venetian blinds behind our table at the Applebees (Applebees!!!) and I think being outside with it being cool has sparked colds in Sarah and the wee one. Although the wee one had an absolute blast, so if she could, she'd probably tell you it was worth it. Sarah...mmmnnnyeah, maybe not so much. I don't know. Thanks to Tony P. for being there and giving me someone to talk to, and fuck you to the Pizza Hut on Rt. 50 in Bowie for being jerks.

Pretty standard family stuff really. I've seen next to no baseball, not by plan nor by accident, just by busy-ness. Saw no football yesterday, either. Did catch Magglio's walk-off on tv at the restaurant Saturday night. Walk-offs are sweet. Except for that one a few years ago. Not much planned now, until we go to Cirque de Soleil on the 29th, and you all know how much I can't wait for that...at least the last week has been almost completely McAssery free. So that's nice...

Stay tuned for a major announcement coming in the next couple weeks...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

No Time For Enemies

Cory Lidle
March 22, 1972-October 11,2006

Though he was a Yankee, he was also a husband and a father and somebody's son. May God bless all of them on this saddest of days.

Here's to hoping St. Peter was waiting for you with a red Phillies cap to replace the one you're wearing in that picture...

Mishka Mouska Mickey Mouse...Mouskatools!

If you didn't get the title of this post, you don't have kids. Do your Mickey Mouse Clubhouse dance....NOW!

Oh, by the way, this was my 100th post. Pretty stupid, huh? Making a big deal out of your 100th post is lame...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Can You Imagine? And, duh...

That Jim Caple is a pretty cool guy...check this out...

And still later, I discover that DJ Gallo knows his shit too...

Damn, ESPN is some funny shit, yo...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

...And We Celebrate (in haiku)

the colors you see
celebrate another choke;
may it never end

Friday, October 06, 2006

I wonder what Vera would think...

True story. You'll just have to believe me.

I left work tonight about 11:15ish to go over to the Old Ebbitt Grill, one of my favorite local watering holes, where I've been enjoying the raw bar and beer for about 7 years now. We were going over for a fund-raiser for my buddy Mike Finnerty's wife, Linda, who suffered a brain aneurism(sp?) about 3 weeks ago. My friend Niki and I walk in and chat with my friend, Eric Marquis, a bartender I've known for years, and he says, "George Wendt from 'Cheers' is down the other end of the bar...weird, he's drinking beer at my bar! Life imitating art, or what?" Turns out George is in town for the Kennedy Center's production of "12 Angry Men," or some such. So we go to the back bar, where the fund-raiser is, hang out for a bit, drop our money in the donation bucket, and George is back there wandering around, looking a little tipsy. He talks to someone, he drops some money in the bucket, and goes back to the front bar. Niki leaves, I finish my beer, then go up front to call my cab to Virginia to go home. My cab calls, says they're outside, and as I'm leaving, I'm leaving right behind old Normie himself. And he tries to steal my cab! Says he's going to the Watergate hotel in DC, but my cab is a Virginia only, and he's on call for me, so he says no...I say, "Hey, George, we'll swing you by the Watergate..." then I ask the cabbie if that's ok. He says sure, and next thing I know, George Wendt is asking me to get in first, as he's not really comfortable sliding across a cab back seat anymore. And no wonder, because he's gotten really big. Like Bob Swerski plus a hundred pounds or so, really fat. So I'm in a cab with fucking Normie from Cheers...

So I call my buddy Chris Leavens in LA, who used to work at a Blockbuster in Studio City, where George used to go, and tell him I'm in a cab with Normie...we get to the Watergate, after talking about his show, my kid, my restaurant, etc and his fare is like $7, and what does he do? He just gets out, says he'll drop by Ceiba sometime, and rolls...didn't even offer his share of the fare! I didn't realize till the cab was like a mile down the road that he didn't pay. The cabbie says, "Was he a friend of yours?" And I said, "Not really..." then informed the driver who that fat guy was, and the cabbie was like, "Man, people in Hollywood are fat...that's how rich people are...I hope if he visits your restaurant, you make him pay full price." And I said, "Fuckin' A...that guy just cost me $7....he's paying the whole nine if he comes into Ceiba..."

So, my cab fare, with tip, was $25 instead of the usual $18. But, I now know that Norm actually was a drunk, he was really fat, and, aside from stiffing me on a cab fare, was really nice. So, I guess I got that going for me. Weird night, man, weird night.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hub Fans Bid Trot Adieu

The weather is obviously no dirt dog. It did a disservice to one Christopher Trotman Nixon yesterday, on a day when he deserved sunshine and a game that went the full nine. Instead, a long and soggy day ended for Trot when David Murphy ran out to right field to replace him. As he exited, the cheers that chased him to the dugout came from those who recognize and appreciate the singular way Trot has played the game for the Sox: with passion, dedication, loyalty and humility; with talent but more often determination; with a willingness to put his team before himself or his body. His postgame comments showed his appreciation for Boston and its fans. Trot was a stand-up, count-on-me guy since he was drafted in '93, even as he battled through injuries caused by hard training and harder playing, even as he aggravated those injuries trying to come back too soon to help the only Major League team he's ever known. I know there's no chance he'll be back next year, and that makes me as sad as I was excited on October 4, 2003- Trot's defining moment in Boston. I'll never forget that homer, the one that sent Fenway into hysterics (and this was before Papi's innumerable walkoffs, so this was still a real "Holy Shit!" kinda moment), the one that sent me leaping around our apartment on a rainy Saturday night. It was the most electrifying Red Sox moment since Hendu's blast in game five in '86. And he did it hobbling on a bum leg, pinch hitting for Kapler, a moment perfectly crystallizing his time in Boston even as the ball soared towards centerfield and into the jubilant, ecstatic, waiting arms of history. Though Trot has worn his dirty, dusty, pine-tar smeared Red Sox uniform for probably the last time, I'll continue to wear my beat-up old red Nixon #7 t-shirt, the one I was wearing on those two most magic of nights, Octobers 20 & 27, 2004, and everytime I do, I'll remember the player I called my favorite. He'd loathe the sentiment, but he'd probably appreciate the fact that the name and numbers on the back are cracking, showing wear and tear, showing age, but still there, where they belong, comfortable and strong.