Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Last Nine Innings: A book review

I don't normally do book reviews here but I recently finished reading a very interesting and extremely enjoyable book entitled, The Last Nine Innings by Charles Euchner.

The Last Nine Innings uses Game Seven of the 2001 World Series between The New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks as a dramatic backdrop to discuss the game of professional baseball as it is today.

The book follows each inning of the climactic game of one of the most exciting World Series to take place in recent years and on it's way, describes some of the changes that have taken place in the game of baseball, such as the increased usage of statistics to help Managers make critical in-game decisions, the internationalization of the game that has come from the influx of players from regions such as Latin America and Asia, and the advanced training techniques used by today's baseball players to keep their bodies in top shape over the course of a 162 game season. I found Euchner's interview of Steve Finley and his description of the workout regiment Finley uses in order to increase his overall body strength and flexibility to be extremely interesting.

There were several parts of this book that I particularly enjoyed, such as it's description of the ever increasing mix of statistics along with old-school gut feelings during games and how the two work together to shape the outcome of a game.

Euchner details the training methods and thought processes of the athletes that played in the 2001 World Series. Through player interviews intermixed with descriptions of the game's action, he talks about what they are thinking when they come to the plate, their different swinging styles, hitting stances, and how a player will use the position of their hands on the bat to affect how and where a ball will land on a hit. He describes how a player positions himself in the field, and how, as a pitcher throws to the plate, fielders keep their bodies prepared to be able to run, catch, field and throw the ball in order to make the necessary plays to win the game.

The part of the book that I most enjoyed was Euchners' descriptions of the thought processes and methods that dominant pitchers such as Curt Shilling, Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson use when facing batters throughout the game. From training, pre-game preparation, and in-game strategies, pitch to pitch, Euchner describes what these great pitchers do in order to get strikes, or to get a ball to ground out or pop up to where they know their defense can catch it for an out.

Euchner devotes entire chapters to Shilling, Clemens and Johnson. As a Red Sox fan, it was great to read about Curt Shilling's approach to every game, and how he goes into every game looking for perfection. He starts every game trying for a no-hitter. If someone gets on base, he strives for a one-hitter, and then moves on from there.

The Last Nine Innings was an enjoyable read that I think will fascinate both the casual baseball fan and the hard-core fan that never misses a game. Whichever group you happen to fall into, I can tell you firsthand that you will learn something from this book and after reading it, you will watch the game of baseball with a new insight and perspective.

For baseball fans who are waiting for Spring Training to arrive, this is a great book to help get you through the winter. Check it out if you get a chance.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

NFL Week 8 picks...

It's week 8 in the NFL! I hope you will stop by 'The End Zone' over at Faster Than the World and check out my weekly story as well as lay witness to a truly incredible feat as I pull this week's game winners right out of my ass.

That's right. You heard me. Right out of my ass folks. Subjectively of course...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

NFL Kickoff...

Well the NFL kicks off the '06 season in a few minutes and I'm pretty happy to have football back. I'd be ecstatic if I was not so damn tired. I had a long day today. I was tired when I got home from work and I came through the door to find all of the kids were sick with upset stomachs. Not fun. After everybody was put to bed, I wound up eating a few super-heathly pretzels and a beer for dinner.

I am curious to see how NBC's coverage will be during this game. I gotta say I'm a little skeptical. I'm not a big fan of Al Michaels and John 'The Animatronic Muppet' Madden but, whatever. NBC has decent NASCAR and NHL coverage, so hopefully it will be alright.

Ok, NBC has mangled a perfectly good Joan Jett song and the big Pittsburgh Steelers love-fest is finally over. We are almost ready get on with the game.

The game has started and I am glad to see that NBC has finally caught on to the fact that people want to see the score during the game. I remember several years ago, when NBC was still covering the games, before they lost the NFL TV contract to CBS, they stubbornly refused to show the scoreboard during the games. Why? They didn't want people checking the score and then turning the channel. They wanted you to hang around till the commercials started, then they'd flash the score of the game. Bitches. I practically jumped for joy when CBS took over the AFC games from NBC.

Now that the game is underway, I've got to say this: I fucking can't stand the Steelers. They have to be the most obnoxious team in the league and I'm hoping for a Miami upset in this game. I'll be pretty surprised if Miami wins this one, but it would be nice to see.

Do any of the new shows NBC is pushing look interesting... at all? That would be an emphatic, no.

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Check out my first football post over at Faster Than The World..

Hey if the NFL can hype itself, why can't I?

Football season finally kicks off tonight and my first post in 'The End Zone' is now up over at Faster Than The World. Swing by and check it out! Hope you like it.

I'll have a regular slot every Sunday morning at FTTW so head over there before the games start to get a full dose of, well, whatever you want to call this stuff that I write.

And don't forget to look at all the other cool stuff that's over there too. There's a ton of stories, buttons, links and pictures for you to click on and explore, so dive in and have fun!

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dude, what day is it?

Hey whas up yo? What is this here computre thingy anywayz?

I got back last night from a trip to the White Mountains of N.H. with my family. It was a lot of fun, at times, agonizing and also, surreal. I never thought I'd be uttering the words, 'IF I HAVE TO STOP THIS CAR RIGHT NOW...', but I did. I actually did.

Thankfully I've got another day to recover before returning to work, because I'm kind of exhausted. Today would have been a day of relaxation, but for some crazy reason, I thought my kids might like to take in their very first real, live baseball game.

We had tickets to see the Worcester Tornadoes this afternoon. The problem? Non-fucking-stop rain. In the hours leading up to the game, I was looking on the team site and calling the hot-line phone number, trying to see if the game would be called. It was friggin pouring out so it had to be called, I mean, it had to be, at least that's what I kept telling myself.

Time clicked by but no update on the team phone number or their website. Finally I said well, I guess we're going to the game. I don't know what had come over me, I really don't, but we all got our raincoats on and headed out into the rain to watch some baseball.

My wife dropped me and the kids off at the ball park. My daughter was wearing her ladybug raincoat, which is red with black spots, just like a ladybug, along with matching boots, with eyeballs and antennae popping out on the front toes, and my son was dressed up in his frog raincoat and boots; green with yellow spots also with matching green boots and eyeballs popping out of the front toes.

As I walked up to the gate I asked the guy taking the tickets, 'Are they gonna call this game?', still not quite believing that I was actually there.

'No way to know,' was his reply.

Well, I have to give credit to my kids because they were super-good; standing around in the rain, eating a pretzel and pop-corn and looking at the covered up infield of the ball park, asking when the game was going to start while I drank a beer, wondering what the hell was wrong with me to actually think we were going to see a baseball game today.

They were starting to look at me with one of those, 'Dad, what are you doing, are you nuts?' looks. I'm sure they'll be recounting this story to the amusement of others in a few years. I can hear it now, 'Remember when Dad took us to see our first baseball game.... in the RAIN?'

I bought them each a baseball to cheer them up and that seemed to make them both much happier.

Mercifully, there was an announcement over the loudspeakers that the game was going into rain-delay mode. My wife came and picked us up in the van and we all thankfully climbed in.

That was not exactly what I was hoping for when I was planning to take my kids to their first-ever, real-life baseball game. I was kinda hoping for blue skies and sunshine. I guess maybe we'll get another shot tomorrow when the Tornadoes try to make up the game in a day night double-header...

Friday, August 04, 2006

New NFL rules, referees got style

Have you seen the new uniforms for NFL referees? So stylish. Phht. Sometimes the NFL is a little ridiculous with this stuff. Whatev.

Speaking of changes I don't like, what's with this new rule change regarding instant replay? Instant replay can now be used to determine if a player is down by contact. Coach Belichick talked about it earlier this week:

“You can’t really play to the whistle any more. You have to play to the ball, because the whistle really might not be the end of the play. I think in this particular rule, we’re kind of going into an area that we haven’t gone into. The old adage of play to the whistle might not be good enough any more..."

That does not sound good to me, but every team will have to deal with it this season. That's the NFL, always tinkering.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

I love this site: Barstool Sports

A few weeks ago I stumbled across this website, Barstool Sports.

I am not sure where I found this site, but it has quickly become one of my favorite places to go on the internets.

It's funny and sarcastic and it's all about Boston Sports, with occasional pics of scantily clad women thrown in. Bonus!

Monday, June 19, 2006

20 Minutes Away...

Stanley Cup Finals. Game 7. Game fucking seven. Go Whale. Why win the series in 5, when you can take it in 7?

2nd period intermission: "You are 20 minutes away from the Stanley Cup."

You can almost feel the electricity as we wait for the 3rd Period to start..

The NHL may not be the most popular sport in North America, but in my opinion, there is no other competition that requires so much of an athlete than the NHL playoffs. There is no other game that has the same level of speed, skill and brutality required to win the Championship and to hoist the Trophy at the end. The only thing that comes close to the skill and physicality involved to win is the NFL playoffs, but to win the NFL Championship, you only have to win 4 games, or in many cases, if you are a team that earns a bye week, 3. In the NHL you have to win 16 games. 16 games. That's a lot of tough hockey.

And you know what's really cool? They all shake hands and congratulate each other at the end. You beat the hell out of each other for an entire playoff series and when it's over you shake hands and say, 'good game'.

No other North American professional sport has that great tradition.

We are about to witness twenty minutes of the most intense hockey of entire the season. Carolina has a 2 goal lead but Edmonton is going to come out with everything they've got. Carolina needs to smother Edmonton in the 3rd. Expect to see balls-out, nothing left to lose hockey out of The Oilers...

1:03 into the 3rd and Edmonton scores to make it a 2-1 game. Edmonton is right back in it... See? What did I tell ya... Now they'll ratchet it up another notch. Did I say Go Whale already?

Oh yeah, I did.

Carolina wins, 3-1. Nice job you guys.

(AP Photo/ National Hockey League/Doug MacLellan)

Skate it baby, skate it!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Random thoughts during last night's Yankees batting practice session...

- Who kidnapped Josh Beckett and replaced him with this horrible, sucky, look-alike impostor version of Josh Beckett, and, more importantly, why is Francona leaving him in this game?

- I thought batting practice was before the game, not during the game.

- It's the eve of the most evil day ever, 6/6/06. That has got to have something to do with how bad the Sox are playing right now. Satan obviously wants his team to win.

- NESN needs to stop showing that damn Mike Lowell / Kevin Youkilis, 'The Guardians of the Lines' promo. 'You want them at the corners, you need them at the corners...' That thing is a fucking jinx. Ever since NESN started showing that promo, the infield errors have been mounting. STOP IT NOW NESN!

- Well, at least I don't have to worry about annoying the wife by flipping back and forth between this and the Stanley Cup Finals... (Go WHALE!)

- That's gotta suck, losing your goalie in the 1st game of the Cup Finals (we've switched to hockey now, in case you are wondering what's going on.)

- OH MY GOD HE BLEW IT!! FUMBLLLLLLE! (as a 'miscommunication' betweeen Edmonton goalie Ty Conklin and defenseman Jason Smith allowed Carolina to score the game winner).

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It's called Bruins...

So let me get this straight... The Bruins have hired a new GM, Peter Chiarelli, but inexplicably, he can't come to work for the Bruins for another month. He's got to continue working for his current team and The Bruins divisional rival, The Ottawa Senators. So... if I understand this right, before Chiarelli can get to work on improving the floundering B's, he's got to work on improving one of our division rivals first? Ummm... WHAT?? I hate bashing the B's but what the hell kind of screwed up deal is that? It's called Bruins.

In the long run though, I am hoping Chiarelli can help turn things around for the B's. This team desperately needs some new blood in the front office. Once Chiarelli gets to work, I am looking forward to some changes for the better for the Bruins.

Meanwhile, there's 2 min and change left in the Eastern Conference finals and the 'Canes are up 3-2 over Buffalo... Game 7 baby. Nothing like it. LETS GO WHALE!!!

14 seconds left and Carolina is up 4-2. It's going to be an Edmonton / Carolina Stanley Cup Finals and this is gonna be good...

I like both teams so it's really a no-lose situation for me, but I'll mainly be rooting for the old Hartford club to hoist it at the end.

(AP Photo/ National Hockey League/Doug MacLellan)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Go pick a different number rook... Bush loses numbers game; back can't wear No. 5.

I don't know why this whole thing got under my skin so much, but for some reason this little, 'jersey number 5', drama that went on with Reggie Bush really bugged the shit out of me.

Maybe the reason I found this story so annoying was because of the fact that Bush has not fucking done anything in the NFL yet?  Bush had a great college career but he's in the NFL now, meaning what he did in college now means shit as far as I'm concerned.

Respect is something you have to earn in the bigs rookie, they don't just hand it out with your new jersey. Now go wash some jock-straps, and when you're done there's some veteran players over there who need you to pick up their shit and carry it out to the practice field...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Quest for the Cup: Best possible scenario at this point...

Now that my 'B' team, the Colorado Avalanche, has been swept out of the Stanley Cup playoffs, I can now start looking ahead to a potential best case scenario, from my perspective that is, as to how the rest of the playoffs will turn out:

In the West: The clear choice for me here is for San Jose to advance to The Stanley Cup Finals, but first they have to get past Edmonton and then Anaheim.

In the East: The Sens are the team that I have been rooting for the most in the East, but they are down 3-1 in their series with Buffalo. If Ottawa comes back from being down 3 games to win their series I will be amazed. Of course anything is possible and I would like to see them do it but I don't see it happening.

Assuming that Buffalo does not pull a 'Boston Bruins vs Montreal' [choke, cough, ahem.], The Sens will eventually be eliminated, meaning I must go to my backup team in the East, The Carolina Hurricanes. Hopefully the 'Canes sweep NJ and then get past Buffalo, leading to a San Jose vs. Carolina Stanley Cup final.

At that point, I would be happy with either team winning.

I'd like to see the former Hartford Whalers win a Cup, but I'd also like to see Joe Thornton raise Lord Stanley's Cup overhead as well, and not because I am a bitter Bruins fan who has it out for The Boston Bruins management (even though that is an accurate description), but because I like Joe and would like to see him get his name etched onto The Cup, not to the same extent that I wanted to see Ray Bourque win a Cup Championship, but in that same vein.

We'll see what happens...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Quest for the Cup: Round 2 Picks...

Well I think I did ok with my picks for the 1st round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I went 2 for 4 with my picks for the East and 3 out of 4 with my pics for the West.

Now it's on to Round 2 and things get considerably more difficult for everyone involved. With each round of NHL playoffs, the hockey gets better and better (statements of the obvious, yes, that is my forte.)

On to my picks for the Semis:

Ottawa / Buffalo - Ottawa - I like Ottawa, I don't really like Buffalo. The choice is simple.

Carolina / NJ - Carolina - See above.

San Jose / Edmonton - Gotta continue to go with the Sharks and support those who have brought AHL Hockey back to Worcester.

Anaheim / Colorado - My 'B' team or Mickey's team. Hmmm? Obviously, I'll go with the Avs. That took all of a nano-sec. (I don't actually have it out for Anaheim, but you've got to root against somebody, right?)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

NHL Playoffs: Quarterfinal Picks

Ok, I know I'm pretty late in posting this, but here's the list of who I'm rooting for in the NHL Quarterfinals. Even though The Bruins are not in the playoffs, I still enjoy playoff hockey. How can you not? The players kick it up to a whole new level for the playoffs.

Winning the Stanley Cup is probably the most difficult achievement in professional sports.

Here's my picks:

Ottawa / Tampa Bay - Ottawa - (The Sens currently hold a 3-1 lead in the series.) - I gotta root for the Canadian team over the Florida team. Plus TB won it last year, or two years ago to be exact... Update: Prior to my posting this, Ottawa won tonight and took the series 4-1.

Carolina / Montreal - Carolina - (series is currently tied 2-2.) - Well, first off, no matter who they were playing, I'd be rooting against Montreal because I fucking hate the Habs, but I also like to root for the 'Canes (formerly known as The Hartford Whalers). They are kind of one of my backup teams.

New Jersey / NY Rangers - Rangers - Doesn't matter at this point since the Rangers got swept...

Buffalo / Philly - Philly - (series is tied 2-2.) - Gotta go with the Flyers here. I've always liked them as long as they were not playing the B's.

Detroit / Edmonton - Edmonton - (Edmonton leads series 3-2) - It's more that I'm rooting against the Wings than rooting for the Oilers here...

Dallas / Colorado - Colorado (Colorado has a 3-1 lead in the series) - The Avs have been my 'B' team ever since Ray Bourque got traded out there.

Calgary / Anaheim - Calcary (series is tied 2-2) - I gotta go with Calgary over Disney's team.

San Jose / Nashville - SJ (SJ leads the series 3-1) - First and foremost, the new Worcester AHL team is the Sharks affiliate team, so they automatically get my support for bringing hockey back to Worcester. Second, Joe Thornton plays for San Jose and I hope it galls the shit out of The B's management to be sitting at home watching Thornton in the playoffs.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Rules? What rules?

File this one under: What a Tool...

ESPN: Reggie Bush wants the NFL to let him wear number 5.

The arrogance of this guy... After the NFL denies Bush's request, I hope he's then forced by the league to wear the number zero or even better, double zero.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Just curious...

I'm just wondering, is men's hockey still considered an Olympic sport? Because if it is, nobody seems to be covering it. I know that since there's no NHL at the moment, there are Olympic teams playing hockey somewhere. The question is, why is NBC not showing it on television?

Ok. I will admit that I am not sitting down every night and watching the Olympics, so I guess it could just be some kind of odd coincidence that the hockey games are being shown on TV on the nights that I'm not watching, but when I do watch, which is usually a couple nights a week, it seems like the only thing they are ever showing is figure skating, figure skating and occasionally figure skating, with a little speed skating thrown in...

The best thing about the Winter Olympics is hockey on the big ice and I have not seen a single game. My mind is boggled...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Hey what's up interwebs. I have not been writing too consistently lately. I have been spending my free time learning some songs for my new side job as a guitar player.

My assignments have been:
Foo Fighters - Times Like These
Pearl Jam - Last Kiss
7 Mary 3 - Cumbersome
Dylan - Knockin on Heavens Door
Goo Goo Dolls - Long Way Down
3 Doors Down - Kryptonite
Danzig - Do You Wear the Mark (this one was my addition to the list. I needed to balance out the Goo Goo Dolls a little... Heh.)

And I have to admit there has not been a whole lot going on in the world of sports that has inspired me to write much. The B's and C's are both on break for The Olympics and the NBA All-Star game. The Sox are starting Spring Training, which is exciting and all, but it's not enough to get me all riled up to write anything too substantial about it. I'm glad to know the boys are down in FLA, stretching out, playing some grab-ass and long toss, hitting some balls in the batting cages, working on their banter... (You know, it's a rough life those baseball players lead...) but beyond that, there's not much there for me to say about it. When Grapefruit League starts maybe I'll have more to write about...

On a completely unrelated note, my company recently moved to a new office and I'm really loving the change. My drive to get to the new place is both easier and shorter, and my desk is now located next to a window. Kick ass!! The lab even has a window in it, which is just incredibly great.

Small things like that make a big difference in improving a person's attitude towards the place where they lose spend 8 or 10 hours of their life every day...

And just to keep the theme of having completely unrelated items in one post going, this time next week I'll be a brand new Dad again. D-Day is Monday for baby number 3. I'm getting kind of nervous for the childbirth part of the whole thing. I'll be glad when that part is over and everybody is safe.

I've been telling my kids that they are going to be in charge of diaper duty. I told them I'd pay them a quarter per diaper. They just look at me like I'm crazy. (They've already got that look down. Oy.)

'Nooooo Dad, we're not changing any diapers, thats your job! We'll bring you the clean ones... '

Gee, thanks.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Awaiting Truck Day, NHL break and the Pro Bowl...

The other day I was listening to some random goodness on my iPod (welcome back little friend!) and 'Sweet Caroline' from Neil Diamond came on. It immediately got me thinking about The Red Sox and a warm, summer-time baseball game at Fenway Park.

Truck Day is rumored to be tomorrow. Hopefully this weekend's snow storm does not throw a wrench in the works. I can't say I'm one of those people who is climbing the walls waiting for baseball to start, but I am looking forward to baseball season and everything that comes along with it: green grass, warm weather, hangin' out in my backyard oasis with the fam, Joe and Jerry on the AM Radio and a T&T; close at hand... Nice.

Right now, I'm still coming down off of football season. Football is my primary sport and once it ends, it takes a little while for me to change over to baseball mode. Over the next few weeks I'll begin to switch over and I'll start wearing less of The Pats ball-cap and more of the Red Sox cap, but I'm not ready to get into full baseball mode quite yet.

The bridge between Football and Baseball for me is Hockey and now that football is over, I've been paying more attention to the Boston Bruins. The B's have been up and down all season and it's not looking like that is going to change any time soon.

The last few B's games have been frustrating to watch. There have been flashes of brilliance and excitement, but there have been too many let downs, with games that have started out promising only ending in disappointment. The B's are playing hard, but they need to learn how to finish a game. It's been one step forward, two steps back for the Bruins this year.

Friday's game vs. The Lightning was a perfect example of a game that was really frustrating to watch. Locked in a 4-4 tie midway through the 3rd, The B's got a spectacular short-handed goal to go up 5-4. They had the momentum and it was looking like they were going to roll to a win and get those much needed 2 points. Instead, The B's got conservative. Instead of staying aggressive and taking the game to Tampa in their offensive end, the B's started dumping the puck in and trying to run the clock.

Things fell apart with loose defensive play in their own end of the ice and The B's gave up 2 goals, eventually going down 6-5 to Tampa Bay. Instead of picking up 2 points and clawing one step closer to a playoff spot, they got nothing and wound up going backwards in the standings.

I still think The Bruins will somehow scratch their way into the playoffs this year, but I have a feeling it's going to be a fight the whole way. Now it's the 2 week break for the Olympics. I'm hoping I can catch a couple of the mens ice hockey games. I love Olympic Hockey on that big European ice... Wide Open.

Speaking of wide open, The Daytona 500 is next Sunday. Gentlemen, start your Engines. I have to admit, I paid very little attention to NASCAR last year.

The other day I got a catalog in the mail from Roush Racing that had Mark Martin on the cover. I was kind of surprised because I thought last season was going to be his last year running the circuit. Shows how much attention I have been paying. Look's like ol' Mark is going to give it one more go round.

I was glad to see he's no longer running with a sponsorship from Phizer. Even though Martin has been my favorite driver for many years, after the despicable Supreme Court decision in the Kelo vs. New London case last year, (still have not forgotten about that) I could no longer support Martin while racing with Phizer's sponsorship.

Now Mark is running with AAA as a sponsor. Much better. Definitely more agreeable.

I spent a little bit of time watching the Pro-Bowl today. I was not very interested in it, since there was not a single representative from The Patriots in the game, but still, it was football, even if it was a meaningless exhibition. With the Pro-Bowl, Football season comes fully to a close and baseball mode gets one step closer...

Monday, February 06, 2006

My lame Superbowl...

Various Superbowl XL afterthoughts:

- Every time I clicked over to the ABC's pre-game coverage, hoping to catch some Bill B, Super B pre-game analysis, they were showing a commercial or some ridiculous segment that I had absolutely no interest in.

- I tried to limit my Football intake yesterday, just to give my wife a break (I'm so thoughtful). After all, game coverage did start at like 10 PM Sat night...

- While watching the NFL Films Superbowl highlight shows, it seriously started to feel like nearly every other Superbowl had either The Cowboys, Steelers or The Steelers, Cowboys. It began to get a little sickening.

- I had forgotten how much I hated 'The Mile High' salute.

- I missed the pre-game ceremony featuring the MVPs from past Superbowls and I also missed Tom Brady doing the coin flip. I was watching the Superbowl 36 highlights, which ran till 6:30 PM, and I was so into it that I completely forgot the Superbowl starts at some weird time like 6:18 or something... I was kind of bummed that I didn't get to see Tom Brady and Dion Branch up there with all the other Superbowl MVPs and I really wanted to see Brady flip the coin. I was actually looking forward to that more than the game itself but when I switched the channel over to the game it had already started. Oh well.

- After looking forward to the Superbowl all week, I missed watching most of game and didn't even see the end of it.. Some time late Sunday afternoon I came down with some kind of 'stomach thing' (I'll spare you the details) and around the beginning of the 2nd quarter of the game I became so uncomfortable, I had to go up to my bedroom and lay down. I tried to watch the game for a little while in bed but the flickering from the TV screen was making me feel worse, so I shut it off.. I didn't know who won the game till this morning. I was hoping I would find out it was Seattle but I had a feeling it was going to be Pittsburgh... It was.

- I was reading some of the news about the game on the interweb this morning and I was pissed when I read that all the lame-ass Pittsburgh fans at the stadium had booed Dion Branch and Tom Brady during their MVP introductions and had booed Tom Brady during the coin flip. Pittsburgh fans are like school on Saturday. And to think I actually felt a small amount of pity for them last week. F U Steeler fans. I can't believe I actually felt a little bad for you guys. I hope you're finally satisfied. It only took your team 14 years to back up all the talk with an actual accomplishment.

- Even though I would have preferred watching the game instead of lying in the fetal position in bed, it sounds like I did not miss much of a game. I won't be surprised if the Superbowl XL highlight show is scheduled for an early morning time-slot on ESPN2 next year.

- 5 months till Training Camp starts...


Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Superbowl is a Holiday. Happy Superbowl!

Despite what my mother-in-law may like to believe, The Superbowl is a holiday, a great holiday and, as far as I'm concerned, the best holiday of the year.

Today is a day when everybody gets the same present, a (hopefully) great Football Game to watch with the two best teams in the NFL fighting for the right to be called 'Champions'. For fans of the eventual winner, it's a very special present indeed, for as a football fan, when your team wins the biggest game of all, there's nothing like it in the world. The feeling of seeing your team win The Superbowl can only be described as pure joy. It's a feeling of happiness that stays with you for months afterwards and you get a heart-warming feeling in your chest with every reminder of it. A smile will come to your face every time you see that Sports Illustrated ad featuring your team on the the cover of the hard-bound Superbowl Champions commemorative book.

As a Pats fan, I've considered myself to be very lucky these last few years, watching my team take home the Lombardi Trophy 3 times. I went through what I refer to as sports-inflicted torture during all 3 of The Pats recent Superbowl appearances, but the payoff at the end made all the writhing on the floor, acting like a complete lunatic and pulling out every insane superstition in the book worth it.

For me, Superbowl 36 (Pats / Rams) ranks beneath only my wedding and the birth of my children as one of my life's greatest moments. (My wife feels a little differently about that. 9 months pregnant at the time, she was literally moments away from calling an ambulance at the end of the game as I collapsed and lay sprawled motionless on the living room floor, reveling in the feeling of pure bliss.)

Of course, just because my team is not in The Big Game this year, that does not mean I won't thoroughly enjoy watching the Superbowl. Even when your team is not in it, the Superbowl is always a game to look forward to and the Superbowl games of last few years have been very exciting and enjoyable to watch.

Superbowl 34 was an incredible game, with the Titans missing the game winning TD by about 1 foot as the final seconds came off the clock. I didn't think a Superbowl could match that type of excitement until my Pats took on the Rams in what may have been the most exciting Superbowl ever played in SB 36.

Ok, Superbowl 37 may not have been considered 'exciting', but as a lifelong hater of the Oakland / La-La Land Raiders, I was quite happy to see the shellacking that the Tampa Bay Bucs put on The Raiders and, adding insult to injury, I appreciated the fact that the ass-whooping was applied by the team's former coach, Jon Gruden, only one year removed from his head coaching position at Oakland. I was also thankful to Oakland QB Rich Gannon for erasing Pats QB Drew Bledoe's name from the record books as the owner of the record for tossing the most interceptions in a Superbowl.

My team played and won in both Superbowl 38 and 39, so obviously, I am biased about those being great games, but I think even non-Pats fans would have to agree that both of those games were very exciting to watch. Superbowl 38 had it all: Defensive chess matches and Offensive firepower and in Superbowl 39, the game once again came down to the wire (and a near heart attack for me).

I'd like to wish the best of luck to the fans of both Pittsburgh and Seattle today. I'll be pulling for Seattle, but if Pittsburgh wins, that's ok too. Overall, I'm pretty neutral here. I'm mainly pulling for Seattle to win simply because they've never been in the big game before and also because Seahawks LB Lofa Tatupu is the son of one of my favorite Patriot players, Mosi Tatupu.

Yes, The Pats are not in the game this year, but at least there's a little bit of Patriots flavor in it. I'll be trying to catch Bill Belichick's pre-game analysis in between the NFL Films Highlight shows that air on ESPN2. And of course, there's the 'Patriots Hour' on ESPN2, with the Superbowl 38 and 36 highlight shows starting at 5:30 and Tom Brady doing the coin-flip to start the game.

Enjoy the Superbowl everybody. Let's hope it's a good one because after this it's a long stretch till August.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Playoff nightmares...

Last night I had a real hard time sleeping.

I had a crazy nightmare that I had tickets to a Patriots playoff game, but when I got to the stadium (for some reason carrying with me a life-size Tedy Bruschi cardboard stand-up), the guy manning (Freudian slip right there?) the gate would not let me inside.

I kept telling the nightmare gate-keeper that there was nothing wrong with my ticket, but he kept giving me the the run-around and made me do all kinds of silly things.

I had to go to the Pats front office and get my credit card checked and then, after I came back to the admission gate with a printout of my balances, the ticket guy was telling me that my card was maxed out, even though it was not, and because of that I could not use my ticket to get into the game. I had to go work it out with the credit card company if I wanted to get in.

The whole time I could see through the gate that the game was starting and I was missing it and I kept asking the burly ticket guy with the big handlebar moustache what any of this stuff had to do with my ticket to the game. My ticket was perfectly legit and real so let me in! But he would not let me in. I was barred from The Pats playoff game.

I tossed and turned all night, fitfully going back and forth between the admission gate and The Pats front office, calling the credit card company on some pay phone, and begging the admission gate guy to just take my ticket and let me in, all the while missing the Pats in the playoffs.

I think my sub-conscious has not yet come to grips with the fact that The Pats are not in the Superbowl this weekend. My wife just thinks I'm nuts.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A day without Football is like a day without Sunshine...

A weekend without football. It's not easy going cold turkey but it happens every year and every year it's not fun. The NFL should think about doing some kind of season recap during the off-week before The Superbowl. They could have a special multi-hour show featuring all of the best plays from the past season. I'd watch it.

Thankfully, in lieu of football, TLC was showing an Overhaulin' marathon which kept my lazy ass entertained for several hours. There was a lot I could have accomplished today, but instead, I watched Chip Foose create automobile art. And I don't feel bad about it.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Waz up yo? Nada. Very boring around here right now, eh? Yup. This is what we call, 'The Sports Lull' that exists during the week prior to the Superbowl. Not much goin' on at all... And this is just the primer. After the Superbowl, that's when things really slow down.

Thankfully, there is hockey this year. Last year's NHL lockout, in a word, sucked.

The B's face the Isles tonight and will go for 4 straight wins. After flailing around for the majority of the season so far, The B's are finally starting to figure out how to win games on a consistent basis. I don't want to get too excited about this, but it looks like The B's are beginning to get their shit togethah.

Actually there is other stuff goin' on, but it's stuff that I'm just not motivated / interested enough in to write about. Theo's back. Yay. I was pissed when he left and I'm glad that he's back. Now get to work building the 2006 Red Sox. That pretty much sums up my feelings about the whole 'Theo' thing.

I love the Sox but I really can't stand all the off-field drama. I know some people think that the drama is what makes The Sox, 'The Sox', but personally I could live quite happily without it. Give me a well oiled machine [The Pats] any day of the week. Whatev...

The Sox have acquired a center fielder who should provide a reasonable replacement for Johnny Damon and I expect they will have a SS in place soon, possibly within a few days if reports are accurate. Whew, what a relief. Phht. The talk shows and papers sure did a great job whipping people into a frothing lather over this whole CF / SS situation.

I still have not told my kids that Damon is a Yankee. They were asking me about him the other day. I had told them that football was over and it would soon be time for baseball.

"OOOOOHHH! That means it's time for JOHNNY DAMON!!"

I'll wait till spring training to break it to them...

Finally, this is the last weekend in January and that is a great thing. The hardest part of Winter is in the rear-view mirror now. February is no picnic but it goes by quick. Then, before you know it, Springtime baby.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

ESPN2's NFL Films Superbowl Highlight Schedule...

Extreme thanks go to Ms. Brightside for finding this and pointing it out to me.

ESPN2's schedule for airing the NFL Films Superbowl Highlight shows on Super-Sunday can be found here.

Note to Pats fans:
Superbowl 31 (Pats / Packers) and 20 (Pats / Bears) air between Noon and 1 PM.
Superbowl 39 (Pats / Eagles) airs at 4:30 PM
Superbowl 38 (Pats / Panthers) and 36 (Pats / Rams) air between 5:30 and 6:30 PM.

Extra coolness: The schedule was based, partially at least, on a survey where people ranked the best Superbowls and picked the order in which they preferred to have them shown. I can't help but notice that Superbowl 36, Pats / Rams, will bring us right into the start of The Big Game. Nice.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Reasons to root for Seattle...

Reasons to root for The Seattle Seahawks to win the Superbowl.

1. Seattle has never been to the Superbowl. I would rather see a team that has never won before win The Superbowl, as opposed to a team that has won the big game 4 times. (Yes, I realize that is somewhat ironic coming from a person who's team has won the Superbowl 3 times in the past 5 years.)

2. Lofa Tatupu, son of famed, former Patriot, Mosi Tatupu, plays linebacker for Seattle. Mosi Tatupu was one of my favorite Patriot players back in the 80s. Mosi got to the Superbowl with the '85 team but, as we know, did not win it. This is the 20th Anniversary of that '85 team. I think it would be cool to see Mosi's son win a Superbowl.

3. Seahawks QB, Matt Hasselbeck is from New England and his Dad, Don Hasselbeck, used to play tight-end for The Pats.

All that being said, if The Steelers win, that's fine too. I get worked up about the Pats' AFC rivals during the season, but now that that the Pats are out of it, I have taken a mellower (is that a word?) outlook towards The Steelers. The way they have played down the stretch has been impressive. I won't be upset if Pittsburgh wins the Superbowl (and I'd rather see Pittsburgh win it than Denver or Indy).

Honestly, regardless of who wins, I just want The Superbowl to be a good game. It's the last football game of the year, so I'm hoping it will be an exciting one.

One of the best things about Superbowl Sunday is the NFL Films shows that ESPN2 plays throughout the day. They used to show the Superbowl shows in chronological order but this year they are mixing up the order of the shows, with the least popular being shown first and the most popular shown last. I'd love to know what order they are showing the games in. Anyone know where to find out?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

AFC / NFC Championship games...

Two weeks in a row of rooting for the Steelers? It was a surreal experience to be sure, but since there is no other team in the NFL that I dislike more than The Denver Broncos, it came down to a making a choice between the lesser of two evils.

Before the game began, the announcers noted that it was a beautiful day for a football game in Denver. One of the people I was watching the game with commented that it was a beautiful day for a game here in Massachusetts as well.

Hey, I didn't say it.

I've pretty much come to terms with the fact that The Pats are done for the year, but I'll admit to feeling a pang of bitterness at the start of the AFC Championship Game when it was The Denver Broncos taking the field at Invesco Stadium and not The Pats running out onto the field at The Razor. I shoved it down and cast it aside. The Pats' season is over. End of story. Move on.

The Steelers pretty much dominated the Denver Broncos in front of their own fans, sending Denver off the field to an embarrassing chorus of boos at half-time, down 24-3. Although I enjoyed watching the Broncos get a beat down at the hands of the Steelers, one thing I've never understood is how a fan could boo their own team, especially on a day when they're playing for a chance to get into the Superbowl. Lame.

I took vindictive pleasure in the fact that Denver gave up 4 turnovers, 3 of which which the Steelers converted into points, but I also found myself wishing that those Denver turnovers had taken place last week (it always comes back to The Pats for me).

The final score of the AFC game was 34-17, Steelers. Although I would have loved to have seen it, I missed Shannon Sharpe's reaction to the final result of the game. I like to imagine that Boomer Esiason leaned over to say, "Call The National Guard because The Steelers just killed The Broncos..."

In the NFC game, the Seahawks rolled over the Carolina Panthers. It was barely even a contest, with the 'Hawks winning the game easily, 34-14.

So it looks like my hoped for Superbowl scenario is set. Seahawks vs. Steelers. Whew. Now I can finally stop rooting for The Steelers, which has made me feel all icky.

I think this match-up actually has the potential to be a pretty competitive Superbowl. I'll be hoping for a Seahawks win. Now the big question is, what do we do between now and February 5th?

Monday, January 09, 2006

It's official: Worcester Sharks

It's official. The AHL will return to Worcester next season with The Worcester Sharks.

Here's a short article with the news.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

AHL Hockey returning to Worcester?

It looks like there is a good chance that we will see the return of the AHL to Worcester, MA next year. According to this article in the Telegram and Gazette yesterday, The San Jose Sharks will be moving their AHL franchise from Cleveland to Worcester for the 06-07 season.

According to the article, the news is not 'official' yet, but if you read the story you will see that the officials involved discuss all the details that are going into bringing the AHL back to Worcester. The only piece of information they oh so subtly leave out in the story, is the actual statement admitting that it is happening. So subtle... ha.

Apparently there is going to be a press conference on Monday afternoon and hopefully it will officially become 'official' news then.

I am excited about this. I was a big Worcester IceCats fan. I used to go to several games a year and they were always great fun. I was very sad when the IceCats left and I have missed having the AHL in Worcester this year. Winter is long and the IceCats provided a great outlet to do something fun.

Yes, there are still several teams nearby in Providence and Lowell and Springfield, but those teams are all over an hour away. If I'm going to drive an hour, I may as well go see the B's in Boston.

I'll be looking forward to the press conference on Monday for the official word that The Sharks will be swimming in Worcester.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Just because...

Take me back...

My fucking snowblower is headed back into the shop tomorrow. I have just the right tool for it, a sledgehammer. So frustrating...

I was rooting for SC last night, mainly because of the Patriot connection with Pete Carroll and also it being Willie McGinnist's alma-matter...  I did not watch the whole game. I just got the update from the sports report on the radio this morning. Sounds like it was an exciting game to watch.

I've had to listen to the radio a lot more lately because my iPod is getting its battery replaced. It's been gone for almost 3 weeks now. I hope it comes back soon. In the meantime I've been listening to CD's and occasoinally the radio. WEEI was somewhat tolerable in short durations during the holidays because all the regular hosts were on vacation. Now they're all back. I had almost forgotten how truly awful that station is. I can't believe people actually listen to Dennis and Callahan and The Big Show for enjoyement. Come back soon iPod!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Pats / Sox Nation Frapper Map...

After I got sucked into this whole Frapper thing by Beth, I decided to make a map on Frapper for Patriots and Red Sox fans to post their locations (Bruins and Celtics fans are also welcome!)

This map is just for fun and is up there for anybody to enjoy and use. If you want to display the button for it on your site, you can get the code in the widgets section on Frapper. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I guess this is just the week for bad things to happen...

Matt Light is now the 10th Patriot player on the IR this year. Not that this comes as a surprise, but it still sucks. It would have been nice to have Matt back for the playoffs.

On the subject of injuries, is there something wrong with my eyes or are there only 2 Patriots listed on the injury list this week? (Tom Brady, questionable and Matt Light, out.)

I don't usually talk about news regarding rival football teams, but the news that Wayne Chebret is retiring due to his head injuries is sad.

I have a lot of respect for Chebret. He burned the Pats and had me swearing up and down at the TV almost every time The Pats faced off against the Jets. Chebret was a guy that always came up with a big catch when it was needed. He pissed me off because it was always against my team, but the guy was good. Wayne Chebret was a football player, that is for sure. Too bad his career had to end on this note. Best of luck to you Wayne.

Condolences to the Dungy family...

I would like to offer my heart-felt condolences to Tony Dungy and his family. There are no words for the kind of tragedy that has befallen him. I can only offer my sympathy and say that I am truly sorry to hear the news about Dungy's son.

Here is the ESPN story for those who are new to the situation.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Go Bolts!

I'm sitting here working on Christmas cards (The 4th thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me...) and my wife put on the TV.

"Oh, you wanna watch some Football??"

"Ahhh. No." she says, as she switches to TLC 'What Not to Wear'.

"Ohhhh, Maaaaan," I say.

I get the 'puter and get a quick score check. Hey, the Bolts are beating Indy, 16-3. YAAAAHH.

"Hun. Can we just watch the 4th quarter of the Indy game, pleeeeeeezzze??" Doing my best 3 year old kid imitation...

"We'll see."

The very gay sounding guy on 'What Not to Wear' says, "Ugh. Your wardrobe looks like what you wore in the 7th grade..."

"Hey that kind of reminds me of you," the wife says.

"Humph," I humph.

"Though I think I've got most of that stuff cleared out at this point," she continues.

"Humph," I humph.

Now she's on the phone with her mother ragging on me about how I thought 'Patricia' would be a nice middle name for our daughter once she is born. Apparently she does not like the reasoning that Patricia has "Pat" as in "Pats", as in "Patriots", in the name...

Dang woman.

Score check: FUCK. Now its 16-10 Bolts. Come on you stupid Chargers!!!

Score check: The Hell?? The Colts just scored like 17 points in 5 min. Damn you TLC WHAT NOT TO WEAR I'm MISSING THE GAME!!

OK. TLC is finally over. 2:36 left, Bolts up 19-17. Come on you stupid Bolts!!! SHOTTENHIEMER!!! DONT SCREW THIS UP!


26-17 Bolts. 2:09 left in the game... Come on Bolts D!!! Hold em off! I wanna see that Peyton Manning Face.

Manning interception with 1:30 left. That's it. Uh-oh, Peyton is pouting on the sideline. Boo-hoo. Don't cry now Manning.

Thank you Bolts.

Denver won, so that wrecks The Pats chances for a bye I think. Oh well. We're in so that's all that counts.


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Astros or Other Sox. Tough choice...

So now that the World Series contenders have been settled, I've been trying to decide who to root for in the series.

On one hand you have the White Sox, who as we all know, have not won the Series since 1917. Red Sox fans all know how that feels... That sucks. It would be cool for those guys to win one after all this time.

On the other hand, you have the Astros who have not even been to a World Series since their inception in the early 60s... I'm sure it would make a lot of people down there happy to see The Astros get their 1st championship and be a big morale boost to all the hurricane weary people in the area too.


Other factors:

My wife has relatives in Chicago. I'm sure they would like to see a World Series championship...

Clemens is on the Astros. Like most Sox fans, seeing him win the whole thing as a Yankee really stuck in my craw, but I'm pretty much over that now. I guess I would not mind seeing him win another one. Plus it would piss off King George to no end I'm sure...

Pettite is also on the Astros: I have no animosity towards him, now that he's no longer a MFY. Frankly, I wish he were on the Red Sox. Plus, seeing him win a championship on another team would really piss of King George.

Hmmmm. Decisions, decisions... I guess I'm leaning towards Chicago, due to family ties influences...

I wanted the Astros to win the NLCS and that happened, so no complaining there, but dammit, I wish the RED Sox were in there facing off against the Astros and not the dang Other Sox. [Sigh].

My wife says I'm better off. She says I have enough going on without adding baseball stress to the equasion. I still wish it were the Red Sox playing anyway... (I have a feeling she is the one who feels better off for not having to deal with Red Sox related antics from me. Ha.)

I guess I will lean towards Chicago, but if the Astros win it, that's cool too. Yes, I'm being completely wishy-washy about the whole thing. Whoever wins, it's all good and it will be a good World Series for sure. Whatever.

(The Red Sox are not in it so who cares. [childishly stamps feet])

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Breaking down Week 1 in the NFL...

A quick breakdown of Week One's NFL results.

Yay! - Good
Eh... - Don't really care
Blah - Bad

NE 30 - Oakland 20: YAY! (Obviously)

KC 27 - Jets 7: Yay! K.C. Should have got the shutout. Pennington looked bad. Good!

Jax 26 - Sea 14: Eh...

Cincy 27 - Brownies 13: Blah. I was rootin' for RAC.

NO 23 - Car 20: Yay! The only people rooting for Carolina in this one were Panther's fans...

Buf 22 - Hou 7: Eh... Prefer to see Buffalo lose, just because it helps The Pats in the Division.

Wash 9 - Chitown 7: Eh...

Pitt 34 - Tenn 7: Blah. I always root against Pittsburgh.

TB 24 - Minn 13: Eh... I am ambivalent about both teams

Mia 34 - Den 10: Blah. No win situation here. Fucking hate both teams. Prefer a Denver win, just because it helps the Pats, division record wise.

San Fran 28 - St. Louis 25: Eh... I don't mind seeing Martz lose games.

Dallas 28 - SD 24: Yay! Ok. I hate Dallas and I generally dislike Parcells. Basically I just rooted for Drew to do good in this one and he did. Will he keep it up? Doubt it...

Giants 42 - Ari 19: Eh... Will Arizona ever have a decent year? They are literally the football desert.

Detroit 17 - GB 3: Eh... Staying neutral on this one. I generally always root against The Pack, but with everything going on with Favre, I can't in good concience root against him right now.

Indy 24 - Balt 7 - Blah. Another case of 2 teams that I generally distain playing each other. Believe it or not, there was a time when The Colts were one of my favorite 'backup teams'*, but the Manning Hype-Machine has ruined that. Now I always root against them, even when they play another team I dislike, The Ravens.

Atlanta 14 - Philly 10 - Yay! The Eagles used to be one of my favorite backup teams too, but I pretty much can't stand them anymore either. I'm sick of the McNabb Hype-Machine and T.O. overkill. Vick is over-hyped too but he is fun to watch play. Plus, Atlanta is my NFC Superbowl Pick.

* The 'backup team' is a hold-over from the Dark Times when The Pats used to suck. Every season I would pick a handful of backup teams to root for once the Pats chances for a successful season were officially dead. I always rooted for The Pats first, even when their season had gone down the tubes, but if The Pats lost, I could at least take solace if my backup team was doing ok. The Pats don't suck anymore, unless you are their opponent, then it sucks to be you but I still keep some backup teams, just for fun.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Great outing by Wake today...

Wakey got robbed today. He deserved to get the win but the offense just could not come through for him. It seemed like there was a chance for the Sox to at least tie it in the 9th, but it was not to be. Too bad. It was a magnificent effort by Wake.

Putting some positive perspective into the loss, it's bodes well for us to see Shilling's performance yesterday followed by Wake's performance today. Our pitching staff seems to be peaking at just the right time.

I was hoping to take 2 out of 3 against NY, but was willing to settle for 1 out of 3 and a 3 game lead over the MFY heading into Toronto and that's what we got... Ok fine. Meanwhile, the Skanks have to take on their nemesis, Tampa Bay. Lets hope those guys will help us out.

Is it ok to mention the magic number yet? I've heard people are arguing about wether it should be spoken out loud or not. I am as superstitious as the next guy but I think it is ok to state that the number is at 18. There's still a lot of games left against some tough opponents so The Sox can't let up.

Unrelated to Baseball, how great was it to have a Sunday afternoon with Football again? Even though the Pats were not playing, I watched a little bit of a few games. For me, September is always the toughest month for Football because the weather is still so nice. I just can't see spending a beautiful day inside watching TV. There will be plenty of time to stay inside in a few short weeks. It will be cold and miserable soon enough. I like to enjoy the nice weather while it lasts. When the Pats are on and it's a day like today, I tape the game and watch it later. That's what they made VCR's for. The key is to route the FM Radio into the VCR Audio inputs in order to get the full 'Gil and Gino enhanced' experience.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Tornadoes Baseball...

Last night my Wife and I had a nice night out and we went to see a Worcester Tornadoes game. As we arrived at Fitton Field, which is right next to Holy Cross College in Worcester, it started to lightly rain. It was pretty hot and muggy out so we did not mind it too much. It turned out to be a quick shower so thankfully the game was not stopped or delayed.

Our VIP section seats ($14.00 each) were very good. They were in the section right next to the visitors dugout and we were only about 5 rows back so the view was really nice. We could see all of the players and the action on the field very well.

They've done a really nice job with Fitton Field. The seats are comfortable, there's a wide concourse with lots of different types of beers and snacks, easy parking, and did I mention it's cheap? Of course, the baseball is not on the same level as MLB, but that's to be expected. It's still a fun, inexpensive night out. Spending a hot summer night at a ballpark watching a baseball game is what summertime is all about.

The crowd at the game was pretty good. Folks were not overly vocal in general, but when good things happened they would cheer and applaud loudly. One of the cool things the crowd at Tornadoes games seems to do, is when something good happens, everyone stomps their feet on the metal stadium flooring. This makes a very loud, Tornado-like, rumbling noise. Nice.

The game itself was great. The Tornadoes were playing the New Jersey Jackals. The Jackals took an early lead as the Tornadoes pitcher seemed to get behind in the count a lot, allowing men on base and giving up some singles and doubles that moved men along the bases and scored runs. Along with that, there were several costly errors on the Tornadoes part and they were down 7-2 at one point. As the teams went to their bullpens, things started to turn around. The Tornadoes pen was really good and David Byard pretty much put the clamp on the Jackals bats. At the same time, the Jackals pen allowed the Tornadoes to come back and they tied the game on a 3 run homer in the 9th. It was pretty cool.

The Jackals then got a go ahead run in extra innings but in the bottom of the 11th, The Tornadoes had two men on. The Batter, Keith Beauregard, came to the plate and hit a single to the 2nd baseman. It seemed like it would be an out but the 2nd baseman could not hold onto the ball. The error allowed the Tornadoes to score the winning runs. It was exciting and a lot of fun.

If you live in the Central Mass area, definitely check out a Tornadoes game before summer is over.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Sports. Geek.

An actual conversation:

Me: Yoda sucks.

Other SW nerd: What's with you and your vindictive agenda against Yoda?

Me: Yoda is not clutch.

Other SW nerd: Not 'clutch'??

Me: Yeah. Everytime the Jedi really need him, he gets his butt whipped and then he runs away and escapes or whatever... He puts up a fight but when the chips are down and shit is on the line, you don't want to have to count on Yoda to come through for you.

Ortiz - Clutch. Vinatieri - Clutch. Yoda - Not Clutch.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Various topic quickie...

Multiple topics in this post.

First, The B's. Yes, that's right. The Boston Bruins. Hockey. Regardless of what the press wants you to think, a lot of people like hockey and I am one of them.

I was very happy to hear the news a few days ago when The Bruins signed Glen Murray. I'm used to reading about the B's losing guys like Murray to other teams because they're so effing cheap. This time the Bruins stepped up and did the right thing for the team. This is great news for the B's offense.

Then, in today's paper, I read that The B's have signed Brian Leetch. Another great move. It makes me think that the Bruins are actually trying to build a Stanley Cup contender. They even made a concerted effort to sign Mike Modano. Even though it didn't happen and Modano signed with The Stars, the fact that the B's were in the game was very cool. Very un-Bruins like, but I'm not complaining!

The Bruin's will open up the season against the much-hated Habitants, which is quite fitting. In case you forgot, the last time we saw them, they were sweeping us out of the 1st round of the Playoffs.

Next, The Sox. The Manny / Edgah collision last night was scary. The pucker-factor on that one was very high and I was seriously worried that they had hurt themselves. Thankfully both Edgah and Manny seem to be ok. Guys, don't do that again!

How about Manny holding onto the ball and getting the final out even after Renteria bashed into him? Awesome job by Manny. You're a gangstah!

Between this and Clement getting hit last week, that's 2 serious injury near-misses. No more horrifying, potentially terrible injury producing plays for The Red Sox please. We've had enough now. Thank you.

Saving the best for last, The Pats. Richard Seymour is back on the field and recently interrupted a meeting with the Offensive Linemen to tell them he's "been eating raw meat and gunpowder."

I'm tingling.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

New NHL Rules...

So the NHL is back (Yay!) and there are some new rules to go along with the new agreement. Some of them I'm not so sure about, but overall I don't really have any big complaints about the new rules.

One of the rule changes that immediately jumps out at me is the elimination of the 2 line pass penalty. In the new rules, the Red Center Line is basically ignored, meaning a team can make a pass from the defending blue line to the attacking blue line. To me this is a great change, as I think it will eliminate the incredibly boring 'trap' game perfected by teams like the N.J. Devils.

The 'trap' game is a sound defensive strategy, but I think even a hockey fan will tell you it's boring as hell to watch. There are very few scoring opportunities in this style of game. Both teams spend pretty much the whole game skating around in the middle of the ice. With this new rule, that is not going to happen anymore and that makes for more exciting hockey.

The neutral zone in the center of the ice has also been made smaller. This is another good rule change in my opinion. It means teams are going have more scoring opportunities.

The new 'tag up' rule will be interesting. Players that were in the offensive zone before the puck now can go back and 'tag' the blueline to stay onside. Sounds good. I have no problem with this one in theory. We'll see how it works in a real game.

One rule that I found a little strange was the limiting of where goalies can play the puck. In the new rules, there is a small area behind the net and that is the only area that goalies are allowed to play the puck. So that means a goalie can't play the puck in the corners anymore? That one makes me go 'hmmm'.

Also, decreasing the size of the goalies pads and other equipment seems a little strange. I understand the point of all this is to increase scoring and offense, but at the same time, a little defense is fun to watch too. Most of these new rules give a lot of advantages to the Offense. The Defensive guys are really going to have it a lot harder now (Kind of reminds me of the NFL.)

Does the NHL want to see double digit scores in hockey games? Will it come to that? I don't know but we will find out!

Other new NHL rules minutia:

If a team intentionally ices the puck, that team can no longer perform a line change. The players must stay out on the ice. Hmmm. Again, this rule is meant to make it harder on the defense and I think we're going to see some pretty winded guys out there. I'm not sure how I feel about this one. We'll just have to see how it works out.

No more tie games. If a game remains tied after an overtime period, there will be a shootout to determine a winner. That's cool. Under the old rules, a lot of times teams would intentionally play to hold onto or get the tie, just so they could get the point for the standings. This new shootout rule will eliminate that and I think this is a good thing. I know when I go to see a game and it ends in a tie, it's kind of a letdown. At the end of a game people want to see a winner. Now there will always be a winner at the end of every hockey game. This is a good move.

Game misconduct:
The NHL seems to be laying down the law as far as game misconduct goes. Now if a player screws up, he is automatically suspended for one game and the coach is fined too. That will prove interesting. I have no problem with this stuff. If it makes hockey a 'cleaner' game, it's fine with me.

Obviously, the reason behind all these changes is to make hockey a more offense-oriented and exciting game to watch, with increased scoring and up and down action on the ice. I was a big fan of the way Olympic hockey was played, so if these rules make the NHL more like Olympic style play, I am all for it.

It will remain to be seen how much these new rules improve the 'flow' of the game until we actually start seeing them in action, but most of the changes are positive in my opinion. Plus, it's not like these rules are now set in stone. They can be tweaked as it becomes necessary.

Like most hockey fans, I'm just glad to see that the NHL players and owners finally got their acts together and worked out a deal. It's good to have hockey coming back. I missed it. I think these new rules will make hockey a more fun game to watch.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Trying to be productive...

I have a list of things that need to be done but unfortunately, most of them are outside jobs that require things to be dry, which it is most definitely not. So, I'm trying to get some things taken care of inside the house, like laundry, dishes, vacuuming, yadda yadda. Just trying to be helpful around here...

I'm working on a banner for the site. I'm not even sure where to start but I've got nothing else to do now that the chores are done. I don't often have a chance to sit quietly and work on this kind of thing so I figured I'd give it a shot while the wife and kids are out...

Wow. This post is pure excitement huh?

Clement is pitching vs Texas today. Hopefully the Sox can get another win and make it 2 in a row. Also it was nice to see The Celts kick some butt and tie up their playoff series vs Indiana. Last night's win prompted Dan Shaughnessy to write an article comparing Paul Pierce to Larry Bird. All I can say about that is, WHAT?????

Monday, April 25, 2005

Final IceCats game and other annoyances...

There are a few things irritating me today.

- Ethernet cables with the plastic clip broken off of the end that cause me to think there's something wrong with my network connection but really it's just that the cable keeps falling out of the computer...

- Windoze update keeps hanging... Why does Windows have to be so sucky? I've tried to update this dumb machine 3 tries so far. It's gotta work the 3rd time. It's... GOT TO MISTER! If not I'll just... reboot AGAIN.

Then of course there's the fact that the Worcester IceCats played their final game ever last night. The team finished out of the playoffs, lost it's final game and now is moving to Peoria Illinois. Totally depressing. It's not easy being a hockey fan right now, especially if you are were an IceCats fan, that's for sure. I guess I'll just root for the Baby-B's now.

I am a total slacker

I am a complete and total slacker. I did not watch one sporting event this weekend. Not one. I watched the Sox come back and tie the game on Fri and then blow it in the bottom of the 9th. That's it.

I did'nt watch any of the NFL draft but then again, I can't think of a more boring thing to watch than the NFL draft, except for maybe poker.

The Celts are in the playoffs and I think I watched like 10 min of the game.

I guess I was too busy having a life to watch a lot of tv this weekend ;-)

I did, however, fix a leaky sink faucet, fix a door that was not closing right, fix my kid's bed, which also doubles as a trampoline, (thus the need for repair) and put some Pats and Sox licence plate holders on my wife's car, which I think she really appreciated. When I showed them to her I could tell by her facial expression and the way she rolled her eyes that she was overjoyed to have those cool Patriots and Red Sox licence plate holders on her car.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Sox dominate, Draft Weekend, Celts vs Pacers...

David Wells dominated the O's last night and after several scoreless innings the Sox bats errupted. The final score was 8-0, Red Sox. Wells went 8 innings and looked great against a scary Orioles team. Baltimore always makes me worried. For some reason they seem to have the Sox number so it was nice to see Wells shut them down last night.

Also, have I mentioned that I love 'Widescreen Wednestday'? The letterbox thing NESN does kicks ass. I wish NESN would do that for more than one game a week. It's not gonna make me buy a new HDTV set, but it's still cool.

Tonight it's Clement vs. Lopez. We'll see how Clement does tonight. I'm rooting for the guy but he has not inspired a lot of confidence in me so far...

Eric Wilbur has an article in The Globe today where he wonders which pitcher goes to the bullpen when Wade Miller joins the team. If Wake and Arroyo are still pitching like they are now, and Clement is still pitching like Rick 'Wild Thing' Vaughn (before he gets his eyeglasses), I don't see how you can put either Wakefield or Arroyo out in the pen and leave Clement as a starter.

That's all about a month away though, so we'll see what happens...

I'm looking forward to the NFL Draft this weekend. Even though I don't really follow college football and I have no idea who any of the players are, it will be cool to see which players The Pats end up picking and then learning about them after. It will also be interesting to see what kind of maneuvers they make to move up or down the draft board. Belichick never picks the player that the so called 'experts' expect him to. I'll be keeping my eye on the results as the Draft progresses. 

It turns out The Celts will go up against the Indiana Pacers once the playoffs start. That should be interesting... I'm not setting my expectations too high. If they get into the 2nd round I'll be happy.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Some statements of the obvious

The Sox swept the Rays this weekend. This is a good thing.

The Yankees got swept by the O's this weekend and Steinbrenner had a hissy fit. This is also a good thing.

The Celtics won the Atlantic Division for the first time in over 10 years. This is a good thing. Nice job guys. Now we have to wait and see who they'll face when they get to the playoffs. They had better not get swept like they did last year, or I'll be pissed.

I drop a lot of f-bombs in my posts. This is not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing but I will try and curb the amount of 'f-words' I use in my posts. I think it sometimes gets a little out of hand.

I am somewhat obsessed with the condition of my lawn. This can be a good thing because it means our yard stays nice, but it can also be a bad thing because I can get too fixated on it.

The weather this weekend was awesome and I was able to do a lot of jobs that needed to be done around the house. My hands are blistered and I have a feeling my back is going to be incredibly stiff tomorrow. I've still got a big list of jobs that need doing but none of them are terribly back breaking.

The weekends go by too fast.

3 Day Weekends should be the norm.

Going back to work blows. How come time does not fly by at work like it does when I am at home?

Monday, March 28, 2005

UNH eliminated... Sox countdown

I got my hockey fix yesterday and watched the UNH / Denver game.


UNH got outplayed most of the game and was lucky to even be in the game quite frankly. Thanks to some great plays by their Goalie (or Net-Minder, whatever) they managed to keep the score tied up going into the 3rd period on a flukey goal and a penalty shot.

In the end though, Denver played a much more physical game and eventually got the go-ahead goal to win the game and move on to the Frozen Four.

I was really rooting for UNH in this one since they were the lone representative from Hockey East left in the tournament. Now that they've been eliminated, I'll root for JoC's team, University of North Dakota.

We now have less than a week to go till opening day of Baseball Season and the excitement level is starting to build.

I've managed to get my ass out of bed in the mornings and start excersizing again. Since it was raining this morning, which is so much better than snow by the way, I watched NESN while walking on the treadmill (fuck jogging).

They had an interview with Edgaaahhh Renteria with a little bit of assistance from Manny. Edgar does not hablo ingles very well so Manny was there to help him out. During the interview, Manny was sporting some shades with bright white frames, which are beyond my ability to describe accurately. They were not on the goofyness level of Elton John sunglasses, but Manny looked pretty funny wearing them. When the interview was over Edgaahhh did the classic 'Manny two-handed point' to the camera, which I got a good laugh out of.

NESN also had a little blurb on the outcome of the Yankees pre-season game and I could not help but notice that Slappy McBlue Lips (A-Rod) is still wearing those dumb looking Mickey Mouse gloves.

I can't wait for Baseball Season to start.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

No Sports... No Problem

Overhaulin' is a re-run. The Celts have the night off. The Sox have the night off. I don't care about college basketball or poker. I'm too tired to practice or write anything substantial.

Thankfully, there's Chuck.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Just a whole bunch of nothingness...

Hey what's up?

It's only been a month since the Superbowl and I am already missing football badly... There's a good chance I'll be watching the Superbowl 39 DVD again tonight.

With no NHL, this is the Sports-lull to beat all Sports-lulls. I remember when I was bitching about the 2 week wait between the AFC Championship and the Superbowl. HA! That was nothing compared to this seemingly interminable space of time between the end of Football season and the start of Baseball season...

I have no interest in anything going on in sports right now so I hope you'll cut me some slack for the recent lame-ness of this blog. There's just nothing going on that I'm worked up enough to talk about right now.

The Celts? Yeah, whatevah.

NASCAR? Yeah, whateva...

Spring Training? What-ev-ahhhhh....

At least I have some mild interest in Spring Training. I don't care who wins or loses the games, but I like to hear the reports about who's coming along, how the pitchers are doing, etc.


One good thing about all this nothingness is that it has caused me to turn my attention to some new interests and I have started working on some other stuff. In my spare time, when I'm not shoveling snow, I've actually started writing a book. I'm just starting out and only have an idea, an outline and a few pages written, but hey, even Stephen King has to start writing somewhere.

For me, the hardest thing about writing is having the ability to let go of my self-conciousness. It's hard for me to not think about wether the stuff I'm writing is any good or not and just write. I used to be able to write some pretty good stories back in school when I was required to do stuff for my classes, but after years of not writing anything at all, I feel like I've lost that skill to just 'not care' what's coming out on the keyboard and just write anyway. The spigot of creativity was rusted shut and it's taken a lot of WD-40 to get it flowing again.

The lack of interesting stuff to write about on this blog has also given me the time to catch up with some old aquaintances, like my good freind pictured here:

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Miracle on Ice 25th Anniversary

"That win over the Russians in the semifinals (and the subsequent gold medal win) turned out to be unforgettable. Even today, most Americans who were alive in 1980 can tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when it happened."
- - Still A Miracle

25 Years ago I was watching the game with my Mom, Dad and Sister. We were on the edge of our chairs and absolutely glued to the TV. I remember the blue ice and the game clock superimposed on the screen, seeming like it was taking forever for the seconds to tick off, with the crowd chanting U-S-A! U-S-A! as it got closer and closer to the final seconds.

When Team U.S.A. won the game, it was a moment that I will never forget and I still remember it like it was yesterday. The ceiling in my parents' house is very low and when the game ended, my Dad was so excited he jumped up out of his chair and put both fists right through the living room ceiling. It was pretty funny.


Then they had to play another round for the Gold Medal against the Finns and we would joke around and say, 'Ok Dad, be careful this time' and that turned into a running gag for every big sports event. We still joke about it today. When The Pats won their first Superbowl we asked, "Did Dad put any holes in the ceiling?"

It took a while before they got around to fixing those holes and I remember people would always come over my folks' house and ask, "What's up with the holes in your ceiling?" and we'd tell them the story about what happened when the U.S.A. Olympic Hockey Team beat the Soviets, a moment I'll never forget.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Your safe harbor

I would like to announce that this is a Jose Canseco Free Zone. There will be no discussion of Canseco, his book or steroids in general here. Consider this your safe harbor from Jose Canseco / Steroid talk.

Thank you.

ESPN has a great picture on their site.

Look at these two fools. (Thats Bob Goodenow and Gary Bettman for you non-hockey folks).

This picture is just begging for some captions...

NHL Hockey is tettering on the edge of official, "Who gives a crap" status as far as I'm concerned. Exasperating is the best word to describe this whole 'negociation'. The owners are now offering a drop dead, final offer of a 42.5 mil salary cap. The players counter with 49 mil. Do these guys think they are negociating on a new car or something? What a bunch of fools. Just take the 42.5 you fucking morons or you are all going to lose in the end. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ bitches...

Drew Bledsoe has been sacked again. I would not be surprised to see him down in Dallas next year. The Browns may be another spot he could land in, but that is highly unlikely in my opinion. RAC is not that stupid.

And $top feeling $orry for Drew for cryin out loud. He'll land on hi$ feet. Tru$t me. Maybe if he had learned to pick up a blitz after 12 years, he would not be in this position. He'll be ok with Parcells in his face and constantly yelling at him again.

Pitchers and Catchers tomorrow.

Think Spring

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