MLB invades a Nation

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04.25.05: New York Stories. From The New York Times 4.21.05:

The Upper West Side, like all New York neighborhoods, moves to it's own rhythms, fueled in large part by population density, acute parenting, entitlement, and retail. Some weeks, you feel there is something in the air, a pinched intensity pushing everyone within a 20 block radius just an inch off the platform of reasonable behavior.

"On Monday, on Broadway near 90th Street, a mother in low-rise jeans stood waiting for the light lecturing her son, who appeared to be about 5 years old. "If you want to root for the Red Sox, that is your choice," the mother said, "but you may not sit with the rest of the family during the games.

The pained child protested. "But we are Yankees fan," mom replied, ticking off the names of each member of the family as they hurried across the street. The child tripped, fell and dissolved into tears. Mom scooped him up. They made the light.

"What a disgrace this mother is. How can we get this kid to know that it's ok to be a Sox fan and not have his mother yell at him. Invite him into the family with a invitation on your website. Someone who knows the kids is bound to see it. Thanks! Rob Maynard"

MLB invades a Nation. If you are one of the nearly 100 blogs and websites that uses "Red Sox" in your url, or any other MLB nickname for that matter, lookout because Goliath is eating David again and MLB is going to bring the hammer down on you next. A California kid named Will Markham had a homegrown Red Sox site named RedSoxNation.com, after the term that the Boston Globe's Nathan Cobb coined in the 1980's. As you now know, the Red Sox needlessly took over the fan term for their little $10 "membership" cards, but they didn't stop there. Per Will "Yes, MLB Properties contacted me in November and threatened to take me to arbitration over the use of the name and over the issue of cyber squatting -- which by definition I was not doing. I consulted with a couple of lawyers and given that the Red Sox owned the name since the early 1900's and due to my limited resources against MLB it just wasn't worth it. I argued that I actually started using the phrase Red Sox Nation before the team used it as a marketing tool or as a way to sell membership cards but to no avail. I actually bought the url in the early 90's. Anyway, I stood a chance of a $100,000 fine plus expenses. I tried to explain that it was just a fan site and really small time -- I am talking 750 hits a day before the wonderful days of October -- but they didn't care. It was fun while it lasted and a kick to get emails from all over the world."

Shameful doesn't begin to describe.

Fenway Fever. Ian Failes has a website called vfxblog.com that focuses on visual effects in films. Check out how the vfx artists transformed Fenway Park back to the 1980's look.

A-who? Incoming: "I'm sure you've heard about this but I'd love to hear your take on this punk A-Rod and what he said today! "Run him over! Run him over!" Rodriguez yells at Sheffield, imploring him to barrel through Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. Sheffield scores, and Varitek turns to Rodriguez. "You would never do it," Varitek replies sneeringly." ...Maybe "Run him over!" was what A-Rod was yelling at the truck driver doing "40-50 mph" (yeah right) on Newbury Street before he realized the kid was a Yankee fan?

United States of Baseball. "I wanted to write to let you know about the new United States of Baseball web site. The site features articles from my local newspaper column, ranging in subject from baseballís continuing status as Americaís favorite game (More Than Ever, Itís The National Pastime) to Ďout of controlí player salaries (The Case Against Fiscal Sanity). There's a big section on the steroid controversy as well, one with pieces on drugsí dire performance effects (Steroids, 'The Miracle Drugs'), confessed steroid users' ruined health (Losers), and overall press coverage (The Mediaís Performance Enhancers). An archive can be found here. The emphasis of the bi-weekly columns, and daily blog postings starting this upcoming week, is on issues that matter to fans everywhere. The site brings a contrarianís perspective on the state of the game, one with a special focus on baseballís often overlooked and/or misunderstood strengths."

Check out SoxStats.com too before MLB shuts it down. And Yankee-Empire if you're so inclined. And The Rivals, which is what else, a Sox fan and a Yankees fan chiming in. The self-proclaimed Fan's Commish has a Sox blog called Around the Horn. Weild Baseball is working our side of the street with NY Post sized headlines. Lastly, check out Digital Derek's Sox blog. Oops, one more BostonSportsMassacre.com, a Sox podcast is now live.

There's a draft in here. I'd rather watch the horrific 50 First Dates 50 times than waste 10 minutes of a weekend watching the biggest non-event of the century, the NFL draft.

Millar is The Man. More from the email bin: "Hey, I was privileged enough to receive opening day (in New York) tickets from my friend's dad, championship box right behind the visitor's on deck circle, easily worth $500 bucks on eBay. I am a huge sox fan from Jersey which is hard enough as it is. I went to the game two hours early, and when I got in with my friends we stood first row right next to the sox dugout, it was awesome seeing all the players come out and talking to them. Kevin Millar was the first man out, and he instantly came up and yelled something at a guy in the CEO seats behind home plate, a Yanks fan. The fan cursed him out and said go back to Boston and Millar said "(expletive) you" to the fan and laughed in his face, it was amazing. I yelled at Kevin that I had a bottle of jack for him and called him Kentucky Fried Kevin and he came out and nodded at me, it was insane. I just thought you might want to know how big a bad ass Millar is." -- Chris Mezzacappa"

No magic link for this crew. "Here's a photo of the Dirt Dog frontrunners in line for day of game tickets yesterday (Fenway opener). We starting arriving at 5pm Friday through the night into Saturday early morning. Mostly locals with a couple of us who came in on the 3:00am Amtrak from NYC. We all got in at about 12:45 and got seats in RFGS 1 and 2." -- Ryan St. Germain
Fordham University

Home opener

He's not feeling good about Hood. "I am watching the Sox game and was actually listening to one of those Hood announcements. They say Hood donates $1,500 whenever the Red Sox win. OK first off $1,500 is not THAT much money, so why only when the Red Sox win? Are there children sitting around watching the Red Sox thinking, "Please hit a homer Manny, I need food and clothes" Come on Hood, give the poor kids $1,500 even if the Red Sox lose, that way at least the kids win. From a fellow Bostonian and non Red Sox Nation $10 card holder."

Left-handed compliment. I couldn't bring myself to correct him: "In regards to the photo of Schilling and Kerry hanging out on Boylston... Schilling is a hero, who cares if he is a left winger and a Liberal, he could be a Satanist and a communist for all I care as long as he is still the pitcher he has been. People need to lighten up. I love the webpage and everything you do on it. Keep up all the good work. -- Michael Haggerty."

Boycott the Riveria in NYC. SoSH's Jneen writes "Can you do me a favor and edit out your recommendation that fans go to the Riv in NYC for games? As you may have heard by now, bartender Jim who turned the place into a Sox venue in the first place was fired the other day by the a-hole bar manager, so we'd like to get the word out that people should avoid the place and go to Boston212 instead." While a couple of SoSH'ers are bartenders at Boston212, there was a negative review on the boston.com message board: "Hey everyone, this is to alert y'all to a giant SCAM that someone is trying to perpetuate on the Nation. The New York City chapter of Red Sox Meetup has been taken over by a businessman who is trying to make some money off the Yanks/Sox rivalry by promoting this "Boston (212) cafe." Only, this is not a sports bar or a decent place to watch a game. It's the basement of a restaurant (Scopa) with zero charm, zero ambience and no character. It looks like it could be hold a wedding reception with a little bit of work ... it's really insulting that anyone would try to foist this off on discerning Sox fans. Anyway, any Sox fans visiting (or living in) da city can do a lot better than this dump. I'd encourage y'all to check out Harrisons or the Hairy Monk." Sox fans should also check out Foley's in Midtown/Murray Hill.

Not Sweet Caroline. There's a "tribute" song about the 2004 Red Sox

Still mad at Moose. See the sign if you thought Sox fans were harsh.

Opening not closed. Still no word on why the '75 World Series hero, Bernie Carbo, was a no-show at the ring ceremony on opening day at Fenway. Same goes for the architect of the World Series champs, Dan Duquette.

Vinnie from the Bronx. A caller into WEEI last week was lamenting the Yankees demise and how the hired-gun approach wasn't working saying "I want dirt dogs not individual all stars. Dirt dogs win championships."

Maybe he should keep The Ball. "If they punish the normal fan, it's not fair,'' he said. "You can't lump two or three morons in with everybody else. They're the best fans in the world. They don't get much better than Red Sox Nation.'' The "he" is none other than Doug Mientkiewicz.

It is what it is. Incoming: "Thanks for your great coverage and your take on the whole House thing. Shows that true Sox fans no matter how spirited still have their priorities straight. Some things are bigger than the Sox, bigger even than 'hate the Yankees.' I lived in Boston five years and fell in love with baseball because of the Red Sox. Thanks for helping me reaffirm that I picked the right sport, the right team, and the right fan blog to follow. -- Bill Kayser, Portland, OR"

Beating a dead House. One more view "Dear Dog, It's obvious by looking at the replay what really happened. Sheffield starts running toward the guy before the ball leaves Gordon's hand. As he gets near the guy, the ball just happens to get hit over to where Sheffield is running. The guy, House, who was just before the play knitting a shawl for his poor grandmother, was minding his own business. His two friends, the woman and the guy in the Gap shirt were practicing for their church choir. All of a sudden Sheffield starts throwing haymakers at House. He stops to throw the ball back in and then continues, this time with a blackjack that he keeps in his back pocket. The guy in the Gap shirt, seeing Sheffield's steroid induced white hot rage, throws his beer on him so his shirt won't spontaneously combust. Finally, the security guy drives back Sheffield with high flying Kung-Fu kicks. Come on, it's obvious! If you can't see that, you're blind!"

Mother's Day in the Country. Country 99.5 has committed to partnering with one of Bostonís newest charities, Christopherís Haven. Together with Andover Country Club, we will host the ultimate Motherís Day promotion for charity. Christopherís Haven is working in conjunction with Massachusetts General Hospital to acquire a residence for families battling cancer. It will be a free place for the families to stay while the children undergo cancer treatment. We have secured country music star Tracy Byrd to play a 30-minute acoustic set on Motherís Day. (Sunday, May 8th) Country music newcomer Zona Jones will open the show. Afterwards Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar will join them on stage for photos with all of the guests. Tickets are on sale now through www.wklb.com.

100 Innings ALS fundraiser. Curt's Pitch special events coordinator Mike Lembo writes: "Thanks for all of your help in promoting the 100 Innings of Baseball Spectacular. I am pleased to say that it looks like we will have once again eclipsed the $100,000 mark when all is said and done. The final score was 88-79 in favor of Team Marciano over Team Hagler (as we played in Brockton) - Twenty-One players played the entire 100 Innings - Jimmy Kind recorded 11 hits (with Saturday marking his 50th birthday!!!!!!) - Matt LoPresti pitched a remarkable 18 innings - Mike Lembo, event coordinator, was the winning pitcher of record and co-event coordinator Brett Rudy caught the final out in left field."

10 things he hates about Seattle. You may remember Seattle's David Schoenfield's forgettable ESPN.com column "86 things I hate about the Red Sox" (no, I'm not re-linking it). Here's a humorous response from Thomas Gerber:

1. Great teams with long traditions (like the Yankees) are hateful. Good teams with tragic history (like the Red Sox) are Shakespearean. Bad teams with tradition (like the Cubs) are cuddly. Consistently mediocre teams that can't ever got it done - like the Mariners, Seahawks and Sonics - are just flat out boring.
2. Your biggest athletic hero is a retired, out-of-shape DH named Edgar.
3. Two words: The Boz
4. Bill Gates is an insufferable monopolist geek.
5. Dunkin Donuts kicks Starbucks' ass every day of the week.
6. Kurt Cobain is dead. Get over it.
7. Top sports columnist in Seattle = copy boy in Boston.
8. If Seattle is such a great place to live, how come Ken Griffey Jr., A-Rod, The Big Unit, Sweet Lou Pinella and many, many others can't wait to get the hell out of town?
9. You're uncomfortably close to the racist militias in Idaho.
10. Try as you might to convince us that you hate the Red Sox, we know you're actually green with envy.

BDD is a feature of Boston.com. All posts are by Steve Silva unless otherwise indicated.

Boston Globe:

Red Sox end losing streak > Shaughnessy: Debunking myths about the 2014 Red Sox > Cherington: Everyone needs to get better

Boston Herald:

Ortiz, Red Sox bats break out to end losing streak > Buchholz still bewildered > Memory loss haunting Red Sox

ProJo:

Lester was once a good hitter, now heading toward dubious record > Travis Shaw brings hot bat to Pawtucket > Ranaudo shines > Betts not a candidate for Boston, yet

NY Post:

St. Louis lets Ozzie Smith bid Jeter goodbye > Yanks prevail in extras again > Nonsense leads off in MLB broadcasts > Beltran elbow on mend

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The "Curtís Pitch for ALS" program is a joint effort by Curt and Shonda Schilling and The ALS Association Mass Chapter to strike out Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrigís Disease.

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