They're hot tickets over on Yawkey Way.
"Red Sox eye crackdown on ticket scalping" read the headline of the story on Larry Lucchino's new tough stance on illegal Red Sox ticket sales on the street. The AP article went on to say "Boston Red Sox officials are examining their ticket distribution system to see if there's a way to crack down on ticket scalping... team president and CEO Larry Lucchino ordered team officials to conduct 'a comprehensive study of all aspects of the organization which have the potential to interact with ticket selling and security,' public affairs director Dr. Charles Steinberg told the Boston Herald... The Herald said the review was initiated after the paper reported that scalpers, some with criminal records and ties to organized crime, conduct their illegal business openly around the ballpark. Lucchino asked Larry Cancro, vice president of sales and marketing, to collect all internal information on how scalpers get access to large blocks of tickets, according to Steinberg... Team executive vice president John Buckley told the Herald last week that the team spent $50,000 on police details last season, and that the officers 'do a good job' patrolling in and around the park on games days. But police records show the figure was $618,271, the paper reported, and that officers made just 11 scalping arrests at 81 home games."
Oh, forgot to mention that the date of the above report is March 29, 2002, a week after the highly-publicized Boston Herald three-part series that showed pictures of all the ex-cons and dime-store hoods who thrive in Kenmore Square, living in perfect harmony with the Boston Police department and Fenway security. So what happened? Fast forward to 2004, the same ticket scalping bums and thugs absolutely rule the streets surrounding Fenway Park, sometimes going all the way out to Storrow Drive to grab your extra tickets for pennies on the dollar. And it's the same guys who were supposedly "busted" in the Herald in 2002. Game after game, without any fear of reprisal, they verbally and sometimes physically assault Red Sox fans who roam around Fenway wondering if there are any tickets available. One mean-ass thug, when offered less than face value after the third inning of a Detroit game, screamed at us "I'll rip these tickets right up in front of you and be a man (rather than meet our asking price)!!" It was scary. And there was not a cop or Fenway security person for miles, just hordes of trashy meatheads yelling "selling tickets, need a ticket" every 10 feet. Presumably "security" were all in the park harrassing seat squatters as is their new MO. And what the hell happened to the "Fenway ambassadors?" Did they go the route of Righty and Lefty, the "new" Fenway mascots announced in 2002 as well? All I know is every night, hundreds of tickets go unsold in the hands of the Scalper Kings. Which mean hundreds of real fans don't have a shot of getting into Fenway.
Bottom line: three years later, there are more aggressive scalpers than ever. They've got fistfulls of tickets. And many times Iíve even seen the scumbag hucksters chatting with the BPD detail officers supposedly there to arrest them.
Meanwhile, while we await the findings of the Larry Lucchino led investigation in 2002, the Red Sox only action was to set up their own scalping business online where you pay $50 and a 24% markup on unused season tickets. Problem is, there are never any tickets in the system. They're already in the hands of the online and on-street criminals. And the suckers who signed up for Red Sox replay or whatever they call it this year, are out $50 bucks. And the ugly harassment of Red Sox fans by those dirtbags controlling the tickets continued throughout the 2002, 2003 and 2004 seasons. They force their way into the lines for opening day walk-up tickets. They rent out computer classrooms to grab as many tickets as they can for online sales. As a card-carrying Lucchino lapdog since 2001, words cannot describe how disappointed I am at Larry's BS investigation and three years of doing nothing about this disgusting problem. Oh, there's a new article today about how the Sox are going to crack down on scalpers for the playoffs now. Yawn. You can go on eBay right now and get Red Sox playoff tickets. They're all (scalpers, Red Sox, and BPD) in cahoots on this scam. John Henry offered more empty insight on the problem as well. From his WEEI call in from Oct. 10, 2002 "I haven't been involved. I've heard fans say thanks for getting rid of them. Larry has a crew on that." Yeah right. Three years later the loud, physically intimidating bums still control the streets and the tickets around Fenway. And families will continue to get harassed when they get near Kenmore Square. Shame on you Larry. I thought you had more guts than that.
Do you think the Red Sox do a good job cutting back on scalpers selling tickets near Fenway?
Yankee Doodle Kerry.
John Kerry, sucking up to New York Democrats at a fundraiser Monday:
"At the fundraiser, Kerry reflected on his reborn
self. He praised the triple victories of the Jets,
Giants and Yankees and said: 'I came here to bask in
your glory, came here to grab onto that winning
As a member of Yankee Nation wrote in "What self-respecting 'Red Sox fan' would ever be
thrilled with the Yankees winning, particularly when
the Yankees beat THE RED SOX in the victory he's
referring to? Talk about a flip-flopper!"
Meanwhile, another emailer checks in on the Sox fan candidate:
"It's not your fault that George Bush doesn't make idiotic comments about the Red Sox. If Kerry can't get one of his lackeys to give him the info necessary to pretend to be a Sox fan, then he shouldn't say anything at all. Not to mention that on Letterman he claimed to be a great closer (as Election Day draws nearer) and said this is something the Red Sox were lacking last weekend. Well, John F, not to nitpick, but if your team gives up 9 runs in the first 2 innings, closing is clearly not the issue. Keep up the good work, DD, call 'em as you see 'em.
Speaking of politics, if you want a site that really mixes politics and baseball, check out my friend Allan's the Joy of Propaganda. Otherwise, why can't we all get along like the Red Sox do? A front office full of Howard Dean campaign staffers and left-handed liberals. While in the clubhouse you'll find more right-wing conservative flamethrowers than you would at a Zell Miller convention.
A player with the playas. From today's Inside Track: "And Red Sox cutie Bronson Arroyo helping P. Diddy, Naomi Campbell, Yankee Gary Sheffield, Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade and Tyrese plow through $5,000 in booze and food during the Bernard Hopkins-Oscar De La Hoya bout at Jay-Z's 40/40 club in the Apple." (I don't think you're gonna see that table of six having dinner together at Sonsie very often...)
Playing lefty righty.
When Dick Cheney dropped an F-bomb about a month ago, there was a current events bit on this page poking fun of the Vice President. No one said boo. But whenever we reference John Kerry in a timely bit, the opinionated readers feel obliged to chime in:
"I'm begging you please, please, please, let us enjoy your site without anymore smart-alec political commentary. I am so sick of this campaign already and am completely turned-off by the negative attack ads coming from both sides. I go to Dirt Dogs to try to get AWAY from all of this BS not to read petty epithets on the candidates - we've got Fox News for that.
Emily E. Baier"
"Hi there. My name is James Parkinson. I have spent time working for a sports website (fanstop.com) and I recently finished an internship with the Modesto A's (single A affiliate of the Oakland A's. I am from Boston originally, and as a die heard sox fan, I have been and avid repeat visitor of your web site with great regularity ever since the Curt Schilling acquisition. I am immensely impressed by the passionate, daily updates and hilarious headlines that make your website so colorful. Recently, you have started to post political messages on the site. The most recent one being a sports-related republican article criticizing John Kerry and Ted Kennedy's.
"I don't feel inclined to ask anyone to change their opinion, or to post ideas they do not believe in. However, I will allow my own voice to be heard. I am a very proud Democrat and a very proud Red Sox fan. Overall, the sports world is heavily dominated by those of the right wing, but I also know that progressives like myself also live and die with every Red Sox season. I love the dirtdogs, and I would hate to lose that love (especially in the heat of this pennant race) over an over-abundance of conservative viewpoints finding their way onto your website. Please consider your entire audience when you wander away from the topic of sports into other areas. Keep up the great work.
- James Parkinson"
"...it's best that Bush and Kerry focus on the things our country needs at this time, and if they focus entirely on that for a few days at a time without watching the latest baseball results - that's good for us - let 'em get their baseball facts mixed up from time to time and get our economy taken care of correctly and our education system and health care and national security going well also.
"I really think you owe it to people to print another viewpoint on the angry rant by the likely Bush voter. I like you guys a lot - I think you have to be fair with what you say (and what you reprint by other people in general is taken by most on your site as what you say), and you're calling a kettle black (that's really only light black in this case), when you're jet black on the same issue."
"Why Screw up Karma by injecting Politics on the sight??? Donít divide the Nation."
UMass mirror. The addition of Joe Torre to the original Rear View Mirror graphic was done by graphic designer Billy Knight (all-time Home Run leader at UMass-Amherst) down in Houston, Texas. He calls home every night to find out what's going on during every Sox game.
More love from the mailbag:
"I find it interesting that those who attempt to mediate the Nation seem to feel wearing Yankees Suck t-shirts will somehow visit bad karma on the Red Sox universe. That somehow we disgrace our very selves for expressing a perfectly natural and normal feeling, that indeed, the New York Yankees do in fact, suck. Well, they do win, thatís true. But they still suck, because they are the Yankees, and because of George and lotís of other silly or not-so-silly reasons...
"If I feel like expressing the fact I hate the gawd damn (donít want to offend anybody!) Yankees I am going to gawd damn well do it. And anybody who visits pseudo-judgment on me for wearing that shirt can wrestle with their own superiority complex now or later, it doesnít make a difference to me...
The few, the proud, the Red Sox Marines. Gotta love the mini Fenway replica the Cannoncockers of 3rd Battalion 11th Marine Regiment constructed at Camp Ramadi, Iraq.
Horse of a different color.
8.31.04: Let's hope our horse on the hill has a little more success than his horse on the track did yesterday. Schilling's trotter Thunder Storm, a nine-year-old gelded pacer owned by Curt, was the 5/2 morning line favorite Monday afternoon in the featured $7,000 Open Handicap Pace at Plainridge Racecourse in Plainville, MA. Trained and driven by John Podres, son of former major league pitcher and longtime Friend of Curt Johnny Podres, Thunder Storm made his Plainridge debut off an impressive 1:57.2 in his last start in a conditional event at Saratoga, August 21.
While Thunder Storm, who went off at $2.60, was in third place coming into the stretch, Schilling's trotter finished dead last in eighth place, seven lengths off the surprise winner ($7.70) Satin Time.
8.31.04: Steve Kettmann's new book "One Day at Fenway" is like the "24" of books as it chronicles the Red Sox experience one year ago when the Sox played the Yankees on August 30, 2004 (when a certain star player had some lingering flu-like symptoms and missed a doctor's appointment). Steve looks deep inside the personalities of the team by organizing a dozen reporters to spend the day with people from John Henry to Debi Litle. It's "Smallball" to Michael Lewis' "Moneyball." Even Billy Beane "was blown away" with how riveting this read is. "One Day at Fenway" goes on sale today in bookstores. (Boston.com gets a small % of every sale made through this page). Chat wrap: Steve Kettmann on boston.com
Since 1885, the Cape Cod Baseball League has been an important part of the Cape community, and for the past 40 years, it has served as a breeding ground for Major League Baseball. "Touching the Game" is the first film to tell the comprehensive story of the league and the people who make it the premier amateur baseball league in the nation. The feature length film was edited from more than 80 hours of footage, shot primarily during the summer of 2003. It chronicles college baseball players on the edge of stardom as they learn how to hit with a wood bat for the first time and watch their batting averages drop by roughly 150 points.
"You will definitely see some of the finest ballplayers in the country, but what makes the Cape Cod Baseball League really special is that it is town baseball," said Jim Carroll, producer and director of Touching the Game. "It's a sense of community that you often lose in big time professional sports." Jim Carroll chatted about the league and movie today on boston.com.
Condolences go out to Gary Tanguay of Fox Sports New England, who lost his dad Noah this week. And belated condolences to the family of longtime DJ and lifelong Red Sox fan Vinny Peruzzi who died on August 15.
Is it Pats Country or Red Sox Nation?
8.24.04: Here you go Gerry (Callahan)and John (Dennis). Never mind all the isolated TV ratings trickery and other assorted fallacies and red herrings that you use when you play this game every year. Bottom line, which team is more popular The Red Sox or the Patriots? Vote here.
I have no opinion on this other than to say it's not about the Nielsen ratings for the first televised game of the year John. Or radio listeners. Or waiting list policies on season tickets. Itís about the emotional, physical, monetary, time, passion investment over the long haul. Yankee fan Jan from Wellesley said ďThe Sox are like a marriage, day in day out, foreverÖ the Patriots are like a hot date on a Saturday night.Ē The first game against the Eagles two weeks ago Friday night was a hot date with the Pats. I was in Foxboro. The TVs also had the Sox on, which people were following, Olympics too. Sox are in the dog days of August. People are stretching out, watching movies in the middle of games, but it doesnít mean the Patriots own this town as you say every year.
My dad was a New York football Giants fan, not a Patriots fan growing up. Just a nouveau Pats fan like the rest of us. And we saw Jim Plunkett play at Schaefer in the early '70s. And the Super Bowl wins recently. But itís still not the same.
My dad saw Ted Williamís play his last game (seriously). My grandfather saw Babe Ruth play. And I saw Doug Griffin patrol second and hit .260 in '72.
Thatís the difference.
Chicago hopes for a cure.
8.23.04 The Evening with Edes Jimmy Fundraiser was attended by about 170 Sox fans and friends in Chicago on Saturday night. It looks $20 grand was raised including a matching contribution from a willing corporate sponsor. Thanks for those who were able to make it and donate to a great cause.
Lobel as sixth starter?
8.23.04: Yesterday at mid-day, when ESPN was doing a live tease from US Cellular field featuring last night's Sox-Sox broadcast, Needham's Karl Ravech said "Freddy Garcia would be opposed by Bob Lobel." He quickly corrected himself informing the audience that the Sox starter was indeed Derek Lowe, not Lobie.
Beating Williamson with a dead horse.
8.20.04: Here we go again. Jeff Horrigan dusts off the old Schilling-Williamson tiff in today's Herald notebook:
"What happened inside the clubhouse hasn't been disclosed, but a comment made by Curt Schilling, who was in there at the time, led to an exchange of harsh words between him and Williamson. Williamson was sent back to Boston the following day, and rumors of an incident were rampant prior to the final game of the Yankees' three-game sweep.
"Schilling refused to discuss specifics of what happened, but did say: "We're grown men. There are going to be times when tension increases in this clubhouse because we're not doing well... This isn't about anybody coming in there and chewing anybody's ass out. This is about making sure the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back."
"Williamson still won't discuss what happened, but Schilling's quote infuriated him.
""When a guy says you have to play for the name on the front of your jersey and not the back, that hurts," he said. "I fight for my teammates. That's why I was trying to pitch through this."
"Williamson landed on the DL again with what was diagnosed as an impinged nerve in his right forearm, but the documented injury did not ease his hurt feelings. When asked if Schilling had apologized in any form, Williamson curtly said: "No and I didn't expect one.""
Let's get this straight for the last time. Curt NEVER questioned Williamson about the extent of his injury, his stamina, or anything related to Scott's health. Period. Steve Buckley "looks like Schilling got it wrong this time" and Sean McAdam "looks like Schilling picked a bad time to make those comments" are completely wrong in what they are assuming Schilling's private conversation with Williamson was about. Yet the misinformed opinions keep pouring out of the mainstream media on this tired subject.
As Schilling wrote himself on RedSoxNation.net back in July regarding these ongoing accusations "I never have, and never will, question a teammate being hurt, never. What you read in the papers (regarding the topic of discussion with Williamson) was false, wrong, and totally untrue."
Windy City Nation.
8.15.04: An Evening of Red Sox Baseball in Chicago with Gordon Edes to benefit The Jimmy Fund of the Dana-Farber Cancer Insitute
On Saturday, August 21st from 7:00-10:00pm, please join the Boston Globe's Gordon Edes to talk all things baseball at Jack Sullivanís in Lincoln Park in Chicago (Jack Sullivanís (773-549-9009), located at 2147 N. Clybourn, just south of Webster Avenue).
The cost of entry is a $20 donation, which includes three hours of unlimited beer and wine.
This evening will be a great chance to gain inside knowledge into the Red Sox in an intimate and casual setting. Everyone attending will get the chance to chat with Gordon, who will also host an open Q&A session as well as a game of Red Sox Jeopardy, where two lucky fans will get to compete for a special prize.
At the event, there will be several items up for auction/raffle. These include:
ē A Grand Prize Package (includes round-trip airfare tickets/hotel to a Red Sox game in Boston where Gordon will treat the lucky winners to a behind-the-scenes tour of historic Fenway Park);
ē A Curt Schilling model Wilson A-2000 glove;
ē Tickets to one of next yearís Red Sox-White Sox games at US Cellular Field in Chicago;
ē Autographed copies of David Halberstamís "The Teammates" (very rareÖsigned by each of Pesky, Doerr, DiMaggio and Halberstam) and "Summer of Ď49";
ē Other autographed memorabilia, bobbleheads, and more!
Space is limited, so email [email protected] to get your tickets now. Each ticket purchased in advance will receive one free entry into the grand prize raffle (additional entries can be purchased in advance or at the event).
Let the music do the hitting.
8.15.04: Following are some of the Red Sox hitters music selections as they step into the batter's box. Thanks to Megan over at the Ivory Tower on Yawkey Way for pulling this together for us:
Let's start with Manny as he has the most music. Some come off of his own Latino mix CDs (no titles or artists) but he has some of the following as well:
Yeah - Usher
Encore - Jay Z
Way of Life - Lil' Wayne
Al Natural - Tego Calderon
PIMP Remix - Tego Calderon featuring 50 Cent
Damn! Pitbull Remix - Youngbloodz featuring Lil Jon, Pitbull
Ride Wit U - Joe
Cosa Buena- Tego Calderon
Celebrity Overnight - Twista
All Eyez on Me - Tupac
The Rubberband Man - T.I.
Dirt Off Your Shoulder - Jay Z
Game Over- Lil' Flip and the Clover G's
Tom Sawyer - RUSH
I Stand Alone - Godsmack
Soldier - Eminem
Method Man - Wu-Tang Clan
Freight Train - Metallica
Enemy - Sevendust
Welcome to the Jungle- Guns N Roses
Kernkraft 400 - Zombie Nation
The Game - Motorhead
Ortiz holds a smudge.
8.5.04: "Revenge served cold: Former Twin David Ortiz left a reminder of his visit with the Boston Red Sox over the weekend, in the form of an eye-black stripe around third baseman Corey Koskie's head and smudges on his face.
Ortiz, who vowed revenge on Koskie for a spring 2002 prank in which Koskie put peanut butter in Ortiz's shorts, spread the black gunk inside the band of Koskie's cap before he and the Red Sox departed Sunday. Koskie did early work on the field and at least one interview before discovering the mess."
Not so great Scott, Trot.
7.30.04: The consummate team player, Ironman Scott Williamson, started the eighth inning for the PawSox against the SkyChiefs at P&C Stadium in Syracuse last night and only lasted 1/3 of an inning. He walked three, hit a batter and gave up a bases-loaded three-run double. The good news is the guy who throws his coaches under the bus better than he throws a baseball didn't cost Theo $10 million like his PawSox counterpart BK (Bad Karma).
It's time to take a long, hard look at the Carolina conditioning program of Trot Nixon and determine what really led to his severe back and leg injuries that developed before he even set foot on a major league field in 2004. John Maynard, Trey Wyatt, and Jeremy Boone simply have to be held accountable for this disasterous off-season training regimen. The Mickey Mantle approach is obviously a better option than the Navy Seal program these guys have been putting him through in the winter. But unfortunately the horses have already left the barn as Trot's 2004 return to form remains in serious jeopardy.
Lucchinotes: Lowe hanging fruit.
7.29.04: Larry Lucchino made his weekly appearance on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan with Greg Dickerson and Michael Holley this morning and talked about the Sox trade bait, and the non-coddling of superstars:
I think Nomar is likely to be a member of the Red Sox on August 1, and I think weíre going to see a productive Nomar Garciaparra in the second half, thatís my expectation.
I actually think Derek has a history, a track record of having a productive second half and I think he has all the incentive in the world to show his teammates, to show the marketplace and to show himself what he can do. So I do think heís going to get his act together and be helpful. Do I think it will be with this team? I think itís possible that it will be with this team. I think that a lot of people are asking about him, a lot of people have an interest in him because he does have the history and heís got the kind of major league stuff that attracts other teams, so Iím not going to predict whether heís going to be here, or not be here, except my general expectation is, without more specific probabilities of departure, then the guyís likely to stayÖ I do think we have to remember there are 25 different people with 25 different personalities and some guys are more sensitive to some of these trade rumor talks than others. We canít do much about it because we do have a no-trade policy and people on other clubs know that and they can talk to us about any of our players, because they know that theyíre out there and theoretically are available. But do I think LoweÖ there is this notion that he is more sensitive about some of these things than others. I have no way of knowing first hand information, heís never complained to me directly about it. I donít know if heís complained to anyone in the front office about it. On the contrary, heís taken a sort of jocular approach to all this saying "well maybe Iíll be around, maybe I wonít be around, weíll see what happens." So his comments seem to suggest that he knows thatís part of the business.
Superstar coddling: That is a much bigger issue in the mediaís mind than it is in the clubhouse. I donít there is this sense of resentment or concern on the part of the playersÖ there are 25 different personalitiesÖ we pay the manager to manage those personalities, and some guys have to be treated with a velvet glove, some guys have to be treated with a whip hand, some guys have to be treated with a sense of humor, some guys need a set of simple rules to follow. I think itís important that the manager recognize how he can get the most out of an individual player, and I really donít think there is this coddling of players. There an adjustment thatís made from time to time so that players are rested, and players can perform throughout the entire season. Thereís another basic premise: itís a grind, 162 games all the travel over a long season, itís a grind. Listen to the WEEI audio of Lucchino's interview here.
More revenue. Less sharing.
7.28.04: The DNC circus may not be the best thing for Boston, but itís certainly benefiting the Red Sox. Boston Dirt Dogs has learned that all week long, companies have rented Fenway Park for various functions, and most include allowing the guests to take batting practice (which is basically three swings), tour the warning track, take some hacks in the batting cage under center field, throw off the bullpen mound with a radar to clock their velocity, and free beer and food (mostly hot dogs and chicken fingers). Plus, some retired Sox players have been on hand to sign autographs. So far, Jim Rice, Luis Tiant, Jim Lonborg, Dwight Evans, and Rich Gedman (who is in MUCH better shape today than he ever was while playing), and Dick Radatz have stopped by. They've all been on their best behavior.
The groups also tour the clubhouse, which is rare. It costs these companies $250,000 for four hours, and that's a lot of coin. Any money the Sox receive from this is non-revenue sharing profit, which is why the Sox are really pushing for more functions in the .406 club, right field roof, etc. None of those activities count toward their revenue, as far as MLB is concerned. -- Lucchino confirms Boston Dirt Dogs report.
The Apocalypse is upon us.
The new star of the Olympia Sports commercial is daydreaming about appearing in the World Series with the Boston Red Sox when the sales guy shows him a new pair of size 11 cleats. The superstar takes his new shoes, then gives a deadpan crazy stare into the camera. He's a natural actor on camera. Better than Millar with his chicken. Or Curt hitchhiking to break curses (J. Walter Nonsense). Who is this new star of the silver screen? Who, but Manuel Aristides Ramirez.
No hate, just respect.
Schill is crystal clear on nyyfans.com: "The YH hat situation is a bit out of hand though, I wore it because someone gave it to me, and I am a Red Sock. I've stated many times that there is ZERO hatred on the field between these two teams, for the most part, zero. Probably as much respect as anything. FWIW I don't hate anyone, or anything for that matter.
"The hatred part is in the stands and in the media, they need that sorta stuff for material, and they make it into their own little story often times. What they don't make up, fans seem to give them willingly."
For the last time, real Sox fans donít wear that crap. And they donít promote curses.
Jerry-Edwards, thatís the ticket.
The chant was one of the loudest of the night "Kerry! ... Kerry! ... Kerry!" during the seventh inning of Sunday nightís game at Fenway. But looking down a few sections we could see that faux-fan John Kerry had not budged from Henrytown, where he was busy hugging and kissing and high-fiving all night. Why the chant? Suddenly it got louder, and it became clear that it was actually "Jerry! ... Jerry! ... Jerry!" for Jerry Springer, who sprung out of his seat behind the Sox dugout to get himself a hot dog and beer.
No surprise that Springer was there. The Fenway grandstand was a virtual Springer show set, full of morons and rejects with their Yankees and Jeterís sore throat chants, and wearing their trashy, petty "take your 26 rings and shove them..." shirts (wonder if these godawful t-shirts were designed by the ketchup heiress herself?). And those were the women.
Tussle then Russell.
I caught the Fight Club wrasliní match Saturday while getting ready for the Globeís media party at the beautiful convention center in downtown Boston, but had to leave the house with the score 10-8 Yanks. While I was looking for a TV, radio, or Internet kiosk to confirm that the Sox had indeed lost the game as I assumed, I saw the unmistakable image of the greatest team player that ever lived, Celtics legend Bill Russell, sitting in the corner. I immediately went over with my hand extended on the chance that Russ would be in a rare good mood. He was. Our conversation was brief. I thanked him for all he had done for Boston and was glad to see that he was back in the city that treated him so poorly, for so long (OK, they must have paid Bill a bundle to appear in the Boston2004 DNC radio spots where he talks about Boston as a "city of human kindness"). No doubt Bill Mueller hit the game winning at the precise moment I was shaking Bill Russellís magic hand. No doubt.
No more flak for Ben.
Say what you want about Ben Affleckís politics and womanizing during the DNC, but anybody that is willing to jaw with A-Fraud from Steinbrennerís seat, as Ben did on Sunday night, is the real deal. He remains a better celeb rep of The Nation than Mike OíMalley and Michael Chiklis combined.
Get well soon Jason Giambi. Because we want to beat the Yankees with your overrated ass in the lineup in October. No intestinal entamoeba histeroidlytica parasite jokes in this space.
Sleepless in Boston.
Like most of Boston, I was so wiped out after the DNC-Yankee weekend that I made Mariah Carey look like Rip Van Winkle.
Here We Go Red Sox.
What ever happened to the best Fenway chant of them all "Here we go Red Sox here we go (clap, clap), Here we go Red Sox here we go (clap, clap). It's been non-existent at the Fens all season in lieu of the watered-down "Let's go Red Sox." Time to bring the original Boston chant back.
J.T. the Jerk.
J.T. the Brick has always been a fool, but he is also a tool. He thinks Jason Varitek had time to take his mask off after filfthy-mouth Alex Rodriguez started the wrestling match by saying ďcome onĒ as Tek pleaded with him to just go to first base like a man.
Site of the week: www.unFREEzeTED.com
Red Sox players eat their own too.
File under Thin "Skin to Win" (his latest cheer, yee-yah): Riff-raffer Kevin Millar "I donít listen to talk radioĒ is mad at the "talk show caller-inners who never played major league baseball" again. The guyís got some stones to constantly take on the fans that pay his salary, thatís for damn sure. But opening his mouth wider than his new stance seems to work for him. So be it.
In the midst of his 12-month slump a few weeks ago, Cowboy tries to upset us by attempting to compartmentalize The Nation into "the wishy-washy fans vs. the true fans" whatever the hell that means.
On his paid gig on Fox Sports Netís New England Sports Tonight, Kentucky Fried went into a red-eye rant about fans who were saying he sucks: "Iím not gonna listen to their radio shows, I think their radio shows suck." Problem is, the Fenway faithful make those radio shows what they are. He then had the gall to dust off the tired clichť "this is not a sprint, itís a marathon." As one astute ĎEEI caller said, "itís been a marathon for 86 years, can we try a sprint for once?"
Kevin went on to further insult our intelligence by rolling out the old NFL and Nomar Garciaparra empty phrase, "itís not about the name on the back of the uniform, itís about the name on the front." Can Gabe Kapler tutor this cat on how to speak to The Nation please?
B.K. still giving us the finger.
The $10 million investment continues to pay minor dividends as B.H. Kim hit two consecutive Syracuse batters last night in a two-run fourth, keeping his ERA a shade under 4.00 in 13 Triple-A starts. Maybe we can trade him for Randy Johnson straight up?
The naked net.
Do Internet guys get the, "all guests receive a gift certificate from Eastern Clothing when appearing on Sports Final?" Guess not. Eric Christensen of SoSH and I have been checking our mail for the CBS4 letterhead since November after our appearance on Bob Lobelís Sunday show. Guess only the traditional media guests get the goods.
Hit Dog laying down the law with Nomar.
7.20.04: More trouble for disgruntled Red Sox player Nomar Garciaparra. Former Foxy Lady cheeseburger eating champion Mo Vaughn is suing the departing shortstop over an escalating dispute related to agreements allegedly broken regarding the Hit Dog hitting camps. Nomar and Mo both had camps run by Mo's Hit Dog company, but then Nomar created The Nomar Garciaparra Hitting Camps and Clinics, which compete directly with Big Mo's now named HitDog Training and "Fitness" Center.
Regardless of who wins the legal battle, the funniest point is made on Nomar's camp site: "In 1999, with the departure of "The Hit Dog" Mo Vaughn, Nomar moved into the role as the everyday leader of the Boston Red Sox, and it is a role he handled with poise and grace." Um, yeah, okay. The only thing needed to make this a complete three-ring circus is if John Flynn and Dan Duquette get called to the witness stand.
7.21: Update/details: Here's the skinny on Mo's lawsuit from Wednesday's Boston Globe. "Hit Dog was harmed when fewer than 100 young people showed up for its January 2004 clinic and estimated 500 showed up at Garciaparra's batting clinic on the same weekend, said Vaughn's attorney Joseph Connors Jr. Revenue plunged to less than $32,000 for the Hit Dog baseball clinic, which had brought in $148,000 the prior year, according to documents in the suit filed in Suffolk Superior Court on Friday." Naturally Victor "full of sheath" Garciaparra is involved in this unfortunate situation. Scenes from the Nomar's happy campers on January 17:
According to the Globe story "When told about the lawsuit, in the Red Sox clubhouse as he prepared for the team's game yesterday against the Seattle Mariners, Garciaparra said, "I have no idea what you're talking about.""
CBS4's Steve Burton on WEEI's Big Show: "They (Mo and Nomar) had a big time falling out... they're feuding, they don't get along right now."
Taking advantage of Schilling and Manny.
7.20.04: A couple of slimy charlatans are also trying to avoid big time trouble with the law. One of the godawful Obsess About Hating the Yankees operations got in trouble with the Schilling camp for using an unauthorized photo of Curt wearing their free crap in their online advertising campaign. They had to pull down all the ads over the weekend to avoid legal action. In a similar situation, one of the Wear Some Curse Crap scammers is about to be served if they continue to use an unauthorized photo of Manny Ramirez to promote their junk as well. Somebody call Johnny Cochran.
Angry John Henry dope slaps SoSHer on fraudulent "fraud" charge.
7.20.04: Owner kills "Pumpsie" after attack: Current Red Sox and former Florida Marlins owner John Henry responds to a poster's charge of fraud on SoSH relating to a Florida Marlins insurance case ruling.
Longtime SoSH member "Pumpsie" writes: "the judge is saying that Henry tried to take out another $2.7 million in insurance with another company on a player which he KNEW had arm troubles and didn't let this other insurance company know about it. I believe that's called "fraud." And it's $2.7 million worth of fraud. Not a small thing."
John Henry, in an unprecedented public response at 2:15am this morning, lashes back:
"Pumpsie, I have to address your alias, what do you call an inaccurate statement like this? I call it slander, but I may be wrong. It may be libel.
Because the Marlins are appealing this verdict and because I know very little about the actual case other than the verdict, I can not comment yet on this. And I'm not going to comment on ridiculous remarks from a pitcher. Tying two inaccurate things together is something I should expect from no-name imbeciles.
Let's see what an appellate court has to say about the judge's actual comments in this case."
Trot Nixon's free ride continues.
7.20.04: "I realize that you love Trot Nixon and I'm just as in favor of bashing Nomar when he looks pissed and bitter and isn't producing, but you need to add some balance to your site. Anytime Nixon does the smallest of things right (such as run through a stop sign to score a run) he gets positive press on your website. However, when Nomar goes 2-4 with a run scored, he gets "Nomar's bit-er". Nixon is batting .253 right now with an OPS of over 100 points less than Nomar. I would like to see some tid-bits asking what is wrong with the person that most of New England thought would be a huge part of this team this year. Thanks for doing your website, I have a lot of respect for your work.
John Henry comes out of hiding.
7.19.04: The owner chimes in late night on SoSH: "This is without any doubt, a supremely talented team. If you take 900 OPS players the caliber of Nomar, Trot and Bill and a pitcher with the talent of Scott Williamson away from any team for a couple of months, it's going to have an impact.
It seems like we haven't played that well because we have such great talent and our exectations are so high - as they should be. Nevertheless, there are only 4 teams in MLB that currently have a better record than we do. Our run differential is the second best in baseball (behind St. Louis). So we're very, very capable.
I will be shocked if this team doesn't respond very well to the challenges in front of them. They're getting healthy and they continue to have your strong support every night at Fenway. How could they not have a great record at home with the kind of electricity being generated by the fans nightly in the park! Being there is really something very, very special. Thanks!"
The sum of all fears.
7.19.04: Manny suddenly doesn't get it: "When I'm ready, I'll go out there. There's no rush. We're not pushing the panic button, you know." There's no rush?!? There's no rush?!? Oh my. And shockingly, Tito has no clue about us either: "If he (Manny Ramirez) doesn't play in the All-Star Game, he's going to get absolutely (expletive) crushed." Wait, what?!? Like the way Schilling got crushed for putting the Boston Red Sox before an American League exhibition game?!? TITO STOP BS'ing US ALREADY. We are not idiots for chrissakes. Stop insulting our intelligence with your ridiculous public statements.
Nothing funny about clowning around.
7.19.04: Theo is paying attention to the big club after all. During yesterday's pre-game show, he took the team to task for acting like clowns on the bench "We're at a crossroads right now... Last year the guys who didn't care, or the guys who were goofing around, they kind of faded to the background. I think that's what has to happen here. The guys who really care and want to win more than anything in the world need to step up and take control of the club and find a way to will this club to victory."
David. David. David.
From MFLetou on RSN.net -- "Couple of points:
First and foremost SOMEBODY in the dugout needed to stay with Ortiz. I was expecting him to come charging out of the dugout any second. A coach or somebody should have been standing literally glued to him as he made his way in the dugout and then gotten his ass to the clubhouse. There's no excuse for that, when a guy is as hot as David was.
I think you all need to step back and see this incident from an outsider's eyes. MLB and baseball fans nationally don't care that David is a happy go lucky guy. They aren't even ever going to know how bad the umpiring was tonight (frankly that deserves its own thread, it was the most shameful job I've ever seen). What they are going to see is David literally throwing bats at umpires.
People, that is REALLY REALLY BAD. Its worse than even throwing a baseball or spitting at an umpire. Throwing a bat at another human being can seriously harm them, its dangerous and it sets a bad example. Milton Bradley did not physically endanger anyone with his little tirade. Ortiz did. I think MLB, justifiably, is going to throw the book at him. Honestly, he deserves 10 games for this.
I'm not taking sides in the DD (Boston Dirt Dogs subheads on story) debate, but I think you guys are misinterpreting the "fire" David showed. I don't think it had anything to do with the team, or wanting to win. I think it was about David. He was pissed because HE struck out. It made him look bad, and then he got showed up by the umpire. That has absolutely nothing to do with the team.
And I don't understand having that kind of reaction. What was he going to do, beat the umpire up? That's dangerous. Do you guys really fly off like that when somebody does something to you? Do you really try to beat them up and have to be restrained? I've never had to be restrained in my entire life. Sure, I've thrown stuff around my living room (generally Red Sox related), but never AT someone and I've never tried to hurt somebody. If Terry hadn't been there, what was Ortiz going to do, slug the guy?
And by the way, for once Francona deserves credit for this. I think he handled Ortiz the best way possible, and he actually did a good job managing the game.
Anyway, I love David Ortiz and he's one of my favorite players. But you have to admit when a guy's wrong, and frankly what I saw from him tonight was scary and its the type of thing that literally can ruin a guy's career through ruining his reputation. This is up there with Everett, Alomar and Bradley. And that's company you do NOT want to be in.
It was a selfish act, and I'm sorry his teammates and coaches didn't prevent him from doing it. Please, don't sit here and try to defend it. Its not acceptable behavior."
Sam Horn wants 26,000 more sons.
The Providence Journal gives us an update on Sam Horn's activities: Now living in East Greenwich, Horn has cultivated a more public image in recent years. He is now president of the website sonsofsamhorn.com, which was initially started several years ago by some devoted fans as a chat room for all things Red Sox, but has since grown considerably.
It is still a forum for Sox diehards, but it gained some notoriety when Curt Schilling visited the site while Boston was courting him in the offseason. Schilling has said the knowledge and devotion shown by fans on the website helped in his decision to join the Sox.
Schilling helped bring SOSH, as it is sometimes called, into the limelight, and other recent events have further upped its popularity.
"After the all-star break, we're going commercial (with the site)," Horn said last night during a pause from signing and shaking hands. "We have 26,000 people waiting to be members, and now we're going to be able to do that. We've gone from 70,000 (site hits) a day to 112,000 in the last month and a half."
Aside from his eponymous website, Horn has also remained in the public eye through his work with NESN. He appears on the Red Sox post-game show fairly often. While he enjoys his television work (more than one fan was overheard last night praising him), Horn, who also runs the Around the Horn sports center in East Greenwich, said he'd like to add more to his plate.
"I would definitely like to be like Tewksbury, have two affiliations," he said, "where I can express my opinions and be used as a hitting instructor."
Unlike many athletes, Horn said he likes meeting fans and signing autographs.
Part of the appeal, he said, is liking being looked at as a celebrity. But, Horn said, he only obliges those that ask nicely.
"I call it supply and demand. If people ask nicely, I want to help. If they demand, then he is more likely to turn them down," said Horn.
More Heyman hogwash.
Apparently New York Newsday has become the Weekly World News overnight because John Heyman continues to embarrass himself with another nutty piece published on July 4th:
Barks & Bites continued