That’s right, Jim Caple, ESPN columnist, published author, and notorious Yankee hater is ripping off my stuff and using it for his own columns! Seems Jimmy decided to take umbrage with the fact that Rick Ankiel (accused of using HGH) was being compared to the Natural by saying that Roy Hobbs wasn’t all that. That we don’t really see Roy Hobbs and the Natural for what and who he really was.
Sound familiar? Well it does to me! And god damnit I am mad as hell about this…so mad in fact that I sent him an email saying, effectively, “what gives, Seamus O’Boston?!” I mean, I know that bloggers rip off other bloggers all the time. It is what it is and whatever. But this man is getting paid (and paid more than I make I’m sure) for my words!
No reply. What a shock. (Much like when the Sox couldn’t get back to the playoffs after they won the series…the silence? Defeaning.)
This my dear friends is just not right. Allow me to show you that INPY is not just blowin’ smoke. Here’s a link to the article that he “wrote” on September 20th, 2007, and a here’s a link to the post that I wrote on July 23rd, 2007. (Notice he not only used some of the same content, but the exact same format!)
Allow me to point out the obvious:
He Was a Womanizer: As mentioned above, Hobbs deflowered his girlfriend in a barn after promising to marry her. Yet less than 24 hours later, he hit on a mysterious older woman on a train, then visited her for a little canoodling action in her Chicago hotel room. Later with the New York Knights, he started sleeping with his late teammate’s fiancée while the dead player’s body was still warm. This was a particularly cozy relationship for him, given that she also happened to be the manager’s niece. Hobbs’ playing time skyrocketed about the same time, and once his role was secure with the team, he dumped the niece.
Roy Hobbs is a nymphomaniac. Why why why is this never brought up? Roy gets ready to go to Chicago…KNOWING that he’s heading out of town for bigger and better things, what does he do? He does Iris, sans protection.
He’s ON THE WAY THERE…on the damn train, and what happens? He can’t resist the charms of the creepy ass dark and sultry Harriet Bird (Barbara Hershey) after striking out the Whammer…and she shoots him. Shoots him. I mean, he JUST got laid, and he’s can’t keep it in his pants for a day?
And then there’s Memo. (Kim Bassinger) Oh GOD do I hate Memo, and you’d think Roy Hobbs would, too. First, she moves from the recently deceased Bump Bailey to Roy in like, what? 46 seconds. Not only does Roy not mind stepping over the corpse of his former teammate, but he seems to relish it…the first time they have sex? It’s on the beach, under the boardwalk. Classy Roy. Reeeeal classy.
He Was Surly and a Difficult Teammate: Hobbs repeatedly was rude to the media, refusing to cooperate with columnist Max Mercy’s simple interview requests. He also operated under his own rules, walking out of required team meetings and not even glancing back when his manager ordered him to do so.
Roy Hobbs is a crappy teammate.
People get mad when I say this, but it’s totally true. Think about it; he gets up and walks out of meetings because he doesn’t see the point. I mean, after all, he’s been on the team for what? Maybe 3 weeks at that point? He’s got a right to be pissed he’s not playing? That’s not cool…that’s Terrell Owens! But he wants to be taken seriously and allowed to play…and to further prove it, he…dates Memo? What team would put up with that crap? You start walking out of meetings everyone else has to sit through and sleeping with the just deceased center fielder’s gf, and you’re not making any friends. But Roy? Roy’s beloved. Go figure. Must be the dimples.
And you’d think that was enough, right? Hell no! In for a penny, in for a pound. Check this out from later in “Caple’s” article:
The Ankiel case is yet another glaring example of the double standard held against baseball. While the media leaps on Ankiel for taking a prescribed substance that was not banned by baseball at the time, the NFL’s Shawne Merriman is getting a Nike commercial that glorifies outrageous hits.
From Septemer 12th in VK’s Comments regarding, you guessed it, Shawne Merriman;
It’s amazing what some steroids can do for a guy, huh? This actually makes me nuts. If Merriman played baseball he’d have lost every endorsement deal and been suspended for half the year. In the NFL? He almost wins defensive player of the year and is now featured in commercials.
You see what happened, don’t you? Caple was out on the ‘net, readin’ some blogs the week before he had an article due and he stumbled upon VK’s Empire of Dirt…he watched that video of the Merriman/Nike Commercial, read the comments as said “that INPY guy knows what’s what…” He clicked the link, started reading, and the rest is history. He figured, no Yankees fans read me…what are the odds….
Well the odds were good, sir! I demand restitution…think I’m kiddin? I’m sending this to ESPN, CNN, Al Jazeera, Faux News, and anyone else I can think of. I want satisfaction god damnit, because this is some BS of the highest order. Getting screwed over, by a SOX FAN no less, who won’t even give me credit?! Won’t even acknowledge what he’s done? Oh I can just imagine the shame! Plagiarizing a Yankees fan?! The HORROR! He’d never be able to live it down!
Well you did the crime, so you’re doin’ the time, pal. This is soooo not over. In fact, you can help by emailing the hack and saying “hey bud, at least rip off someone from “the Nation”!
I know I’m going to…often.
Oh, and lest you think I’m kiddin’ I’ve emailed this to Sweet Lou the Law Prof for legal advice. I got ripped off here and I want what’s right; good seats for the World Series.
OK Yankees haters, let me hear the collective groan! I do so love that sound! That’s right, they are back in the post season for the 13th straight year despite one hell of an ugly start. Even Steinbrenner was on hand to see it, saying “The fans and I look forward to the team accomplishing our ultimate goal — bringing a world championship back to New York.”
From your lips, Georgie…
I’m not going to harp on it much, I’m just going to smile, buy a new flatscreen TV for the Playoffs, and enjoy the spoils of this victory.
Looks like the Yankees are going to open in Cleveland….their record this year? 6-0 against the Indians.
Moving right along, there’s actually a ton for me to write about. So much is going on, and really I haven’t been wirting much about it because I …errr…. well, I’ve kinda been ducking a lot of it. Not ducking it in my own life, but in terms of writing about it. Once I throw it out here it somehow becomes different. Suffice it to say, for now, that I am wrestling with trust issues (the Hulk Hogan of internal opponents) wondering if there are lessons to be learned from my patterns in past relationships beyond what I’ve already figured out, and trying to make sense of where I’m looking to go next.
The great irony of this is that I’m actually having fun with it all. I’ve decided that I can either look at my life playing out like a drama or a comedy…and, I’d much prefer to laugh at myself and the insanity that tends to spring up around me than peak around corners and wonder if “they” are really out to get me. At the end of the day it’s something that we can all control and in doing so, you can have a measurable impact on the quality of your life.
BTW, I always hate it when people say “at the end of the day” but I don’t mind so much when I do it. Wierd, I know.
My random thoughts to end this post;
1) Shooting at MONKS? For shame. At what point do you think to yourself “those fuckin’ monks…”. It’s right then you’ve probably crossed a line that you can’t come back from. Enjoy hell.
2) Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska, I straight up applaud you for telling it like it is and saying in the debate that the Democrats seeking election are living in “Fantasyland”, for taking Hillary and Barak to task for their votes that very day regarding Iran, and for straight talk about the war. It’s a damn shame you come across as “Jim from Taxi” as you do, because you give voice to things that need to be said.
3) Yes, the President of Iran is an idiot. So were the people that introduced him and walked out. Way to show how we support free speech.
4) I don’t mind having my knowledge of something called out if you know more than I do or if you just want to debate. I don’t know as much about science, for example, as I’d like. And to that end if you read my Big Bang post and had an issue, please educate me. But don’t ever, ever say that I’m “ignorant” just because I said something you didn’t like. That sort of whiny shit just makes you seem like an ass. A big, red (Sox fan) ass.
5) There’s a damned good fight this weekend in the Middleweight division. Undefeated Middleweight Champion Jermain Taylor (27-0-1, 17ko’s) defends against Kelly Pavlik (31-0, 28 ko’s) on HBO from Atlantic City. I’ve seen Taylor fight several times, and I like him. He’s getting better and better, and he did beat Bernard Hopkins, which ain’t easy. Pavlik I’ve only seen once, but he makes a hell of an impression! This man throws punches with bad intentions.
Should be fun!
Monday Night TV -OR- You Know, I’m Really NOT Ready for Some Football (Plus, Accountability continued)
Last night I curled up on my couch with a great book, dinner, and the remote. As I’ve mentioned before I am really just no good at remembering when something that I want to watch is actually on, and therefor I wind up hearing how great said program was the next day…without having even realized it was on in the first place…
Well, I damn sure wasn’t going to let that happen with Heroes. And for that matter, I was kinda curious about this show Chuck, too. KNow what I wasn’t curious about? The Saints-Titans game. In fact, I wonder what the ratings were last night between the NBC lineup of Chuck-Heroes-Journeyman v. MNF?
I’m not much of a recap guy, so let me just say the following, in list form.
1) Chuck? I really dug it. There were a few things that felt a little forced, but the fact is that it’s a drama and a comdey, and for some reason that gives it a liiiittle more leeway in regards to how solid the backstory is….for example; isn’t Chuck a little too good lookin’ (in that Jim from the Office way) and a little too funny (in that Jim from the Office way…wait a second…) to be such a geek? To have not had a girlfriend in 5 years since college? And how is it that with the CIA’s and the NSA’s files all in his head that he can recognize a Serbian demolitions expert…but not a CIA agent that is hitting on him? I digress. The way that he accesses the information in his head is cool as hell, the chick CIA uber agent is hot, and the supporting cast is just good enough to make this fly. I’ll try and remember to watch it next week.
2) Heroes? I really, really hate to say this but I’m going to; It’s all downhill from here. Unlike Chuck which felt a little forced, this already feels really forced, folks. Nathan Petrelli is down and out with a beard and…a perfect haircut!? So sad. Hiro is stuck in 1600’s Japan and Kenzei (sp?) is (GASP!) BRITISH?! Oh, the horror. And hey look, Peter Petrelli is stuck in a shipping container in Ireland with…wait for it…amnesia. Because nothing says “we don’t know what to do” better than amnesia. Be afraid.
The last few episodes of Season 1 (which I LOVED) spiraled downhill until the season finale which I thought was the biggest let down since Jenna Jameson’s new face. I had been hoping that the Season 2 premier would rectify this. “Four Months Later” was certainly an improvement on the end of last season, but no where near as good as Season 1 in its prime. And this is the season premier. Color me worried that one of the few network TV shows I latched on to in a good long time is fading.
3) Nissan has this new car out called the Rogue. Have you heard of it? Well, if you were watching Heores last night you have, as Nissan sponsored the Heroes premier and EVERY FRIGGIN COMMERCIAL WAS FOR THE ROGUE. Congratulations, Nissan, you have officially made sure that I will never rent, let alone buy a Rogue. There is no way you can show what is essentially the same commercial 3 times in a row at every commercial break and not piss people off. Next time, make a series of really great ads, each one picking up where the other left off and run ONEJUSTFRIGGINONE of them at each break.
And just to put a bow on my “Accountability” rant from yesterday…
Milton Bradley, the notorious hot head baseball player (as opposed to the notorious game and toy manufacturer) tore his ACL Sunday. He did this when he attempted to attack an umpire in mid game and, while being physically restrained by his manager, lost his footing and popped his knee.
You can see it for yourself…
Bradley, who has had issues throughout his career due to his, well, temperament, stated that the umpire called him a “piece of shit”, and that’s why he reacted the way he did. Now, if that’s the case, that ump should be suspended immediately. Like yesterday. Bradley then went on to say “because of him, I hurt my knee”…
Umm, no Milton. Because of how you reacted to something I am sure you’ve heard before, you hurt your knee. If the ump gives you the Nancy Kerrigan, then it’s his fault. But if two of your managers are trying to keep you from what is certainly going to be a physical confrontation, (thus getting you kicked out of baseball and wasting all of the money that they are paying you) then it’s YOUR FAULT. You and you alone are responsible for how you react. That you injured your knee in the process? Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
Did I mention that the Padres were right in the thick of a playoff chase? Most likely they aren’t anymore…not without his bat in the lineup. Way to go, Sport. One insult and you’ve all but doomed your team (a small market wonder competing to get in to the post season) to miss the playoffs. But you know, you’ve got your honor to defend and all.
The only good thing that comes from this is that there’s a fair chance MLB has seen the last of Milton Bradley. ACL’s are no joke, and for a guy who’s been injured as much as he has, isn’t that good in the field, and has worn out his welcome everywhere he’s played? The game is better of without him.
Of all the things I don’t wish to ever seem, depressed or despondant is right at the top of the list. But sometimes, I watch the news or look at my life held up to a standard that well…I can’t stand up to, and I get stunned.
I feel like maybe I’ve fallen short. Maybe I don’t do enough. Maybe that guy on the street should get my spare change. Maybe every weekend of my life should be given to some charity that is bigger than me. I know those people. They do more than I do. They give back more than I do.
Do I fall short by that standard?
And then I think about things that are judged subjectively. Things that don’t have as much to do with reality, and have more to do with interpretation than what truly is…
And for some reason, I think of this song, and this band.
I love Collective Soul. And when I say that to people they say, “Why?”…
And I start rattling off all of the songs that they’ve had that have been hits…and that inevitably whoever I’m talking to winds up saying;
“That was them?”
“I LOVE that song”
“Wow, I always thought that was (INSERT BAND NAME HERE)”
And when I think of not measuring up….of feeling shortchanged or insufficient…or why don’t we do better as a race than we do….
I think that sometimes we don’t get enough credit for what we’ve really done. And that doesn’t mean that we’ve done enough…it just means that sometimes we don’t say “look what we’ve done already” and that in giving that recognition, we can’t be inspired to do more. When I thnk of this, of the shortchanging and the failure to recognize what has already happened, I think …well…
I think of this.
Are these times contagious
I’ve never been this bored before
Is this the prize I’ve waited for?
Now as the hours passing
There’s nothing left here to insure
I long to find the messenger.
Have I got a long way to run
Have I got a long way to run
Yeah, I run
Is there a cure among us?
From this processed sanity?
I weaken with each voice that sings
In this world of purchase
I’m gonna buy back memories
To awaken some old qualities
Have I got a long way to run
Have I got a long way to run
Yeah, I run.
yeah, I run.
Have I got a long way?
Have I got a long way?
Have I got a long way to run?
Have I got a long way to run?
Yeah I run
(Have I got a long way to run?)
Yeah I run
(Have I got a long way to run?)
Yeah I run
(Have I got a long way to run?)
Yeah I run
(Have I got a long way to run?)
Collective Soul’s “Hits”…
Year/Title/USA Billboard Charts/Album
1994/Shine/11 1(8) 4/Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid
1994/Breathe /12/Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid
1994/Wasting Time/Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid
1995/Gel /2(4) 14/Collective Soul
1995/December/20 1(9) 2(1) 11/Collective Soul
1995/Smashing Young Man/8/Collective Soul
1996/The World I Know/9/ollective Soul
1996/here the River Flows /1/Collective Soul
1997/Precious Declaration/1(4)/Disciplined Breakdown
1997/Maybe – /Disciplined Breakdown
1998/She Said/16/Scream 2 Soundtrack
1999/No More, No Less/32/ Dosage
1999/Tremble for My Beloved/35 /Dosage
2001/Vent /34 /Blender
2001/Perfect Day/29/ Blender
2001 /Next Homecoming /39 /7even Year Itch
2004/Counting The Days /8/Youth
2005 /Better Now /9/Youth
2005/ How Do You Love? /16 /Youth
2007/Hollywood /25 /Afterwords
Lately I’ve been thinking about the way that we relate to one another, and all of the things that either help or hinder how well or poorly we do. From that couple that loves each other but just keeps misfiring to the town of Jena to Red Sox and Yankees fans…why is it that we can have so much in common, but all we see is the chasm of our differences? Why is our trigger on a hair pull for so many things in this day and age?
I’ve been in relationships where it took one look…one word…and all hell could break loose. We would walk on egg shells and avoid antagonizing one another until something would fall the wrong way and then…BOOM! Somehow, living in that state made enough sense to us to stay in it, and it wasn’t until I’d broken free that I realized just how insane it really, truly was that it lasted as long as it did. Why, I wondered, didn’t I ever see it for what it was? How was it that I managed to find some odd sort center in all of that insanity?
And, almost as important as the fact that you never say “this is wrong” is…how did it become this way to begin with? At what point did I say “this is OK?”
Kid Brother had a cat, Pookie, (swear to God) that was just this side of wild. You couldn’t touch it. You couldn’t moveit off of your chair without risking serious injury. The damn thing once brought down a sea gull for Christ sakes, and it lived in his house. They would eye each other across the room when he was putting food in its bowl, and it was always like watching Clint Eastwood eyeball Lee Van Cleef. So I asked him, why the hell do you keep that thing?
“What do you mean?”
Well, kiddo, you can’t pet it, right?
You don’t play with it, and it doesn’t really do anything for you except eat and sleep here, right? And on top of that, she’s been known to scratch the shit out of you, too.”
So why keep it?
“Pookie’s just as scared of me as I am of her, although I don’t know why. Even though it sucks sometimes, she belongs here”.
I have no idea how that statement popped in to my head while all of this was dancing around in there, but it did. I loved that he knew, for whatever reason, that damned hellcat was just as afraid of him, and that somehow that intertwined their lives. Fear is a powerful thing, really. It separates, and it binds.
Ditto for the Sox and Yankees fans. Two of my readers got in to a bit of a back and forth on this site only to realize that neither of them are really “that” fan. “That fan” being the one who accuses the others of being (insertoffensivetermhere) just because you’ve got a Red Sox/Yankees/Cowboys whatever hat on. It got me thinking about the Sox and the Yankees…which was never really a rivalry until 2003 and then in 2004 with the “comeback”. I’ve often said that the most vulgar things I’d ever heard (or seen on T shirts and bumperstickers) came from Sox fans. And honestly, rarely did I hear the same things back from Yankees fans. I’ve seen “Jeter Swallows” and “ARod Has AIDS” shirts in Fenway…but I’d never seen anything remotely close to that level of hate from Yankees fans…
And lord knows it ain’t cuz New Yorkers are polite.
But Sox fans would deny up and down that this was true, even when shown the shirts and signs and such at games and not being able to point to any such hatred marketing in NY. (There has never been a Rich Gedman likes little boys shirt, for example.) These people, who were not homophobic, would suddenly be condoning the aforementioned slogans and shirts…why?
I never really got it until 2004…the comeback. Down 0-3, the Sox pulled off not the improbable, but the seemingly impossible, and won 4 straight to go to the World Series. The shock was unimaginable. And the most direct result was that now, it was a rivalry…and what defines a rivalry more than anything else? For a rivalry to have real teeth, it needs one thing;
If I’m not afraid of you beating us, you’re not my rival. For 80+ years, the Sox weren’t the Yankees rivals, they were another AL East team they played. Granted the intensity was much higher than against, say, the Orioles. But the Yankees were going to win and the Sox were going to lose and everyone knew it. You could go so far as to make the argument that before 2004, the Yankees didn’t have any rivals in fact, because we as fans always expected them to win. And in that time, that fear, that knowing that the Yankees were going to ultimately crush your dreams and hopes as a Sox fan is what lead to “Jeter Swallows” and “ARod Has AIDS” and “Yankees Suck” cheers at everything from weddings to football parties. It’s what leads me to say with great certainty that before 2004, you were far, far safer as a Sox fan in Yankee Stadium than a Yankees fan in Fenway. That rage simmered to a white hot heat over damn near a century could bubble over at one mention of the Babe, Rocket, Boggs, Dent, 26 Trophies…it took damn near nothing.
Believe me, I know.
Today, that’s not the case. A Sox fan can bring out the hatred in a Yankees fan in the blink of an eye. The Comeback followed up by hard fought years since, coupled with the levels of vitriol we’ve dealt with for years has lead to a remarkable, if not predictable, turn about in the way Yankees fans treat Sox fans. They aren’t the angry little brothers anymore. They are now capable of throwing a punch. It’s allll different now. Beating the Sox used to be…well, eh, no big deal. Now, it’s a very big deal. A very, very big deal.
I can’t help but wonder about fear in the world today because I see it everywhere. We’re scared of people that don’t look or speak as we do and we don’t want them to be too close to us. We’re scared to expose too much of ourselves in dating because what if we get hurt? We’re scared that we are losing and they are gaining and that parity means we don’t get control…and without control, we aren’t always going to be able to dictate that we always get to feel good.
I don’t mean to get too in to the obvious here, but all of this makes me think about eveything from Jena, LA to Columbia Heights, DC (where I make my home). And since I don’t mean to hit you over the head, I will say this in summation;
Since the Rivalry really, truly became a rivalry instead of a one sided beat down that lasted a century, the game of baseball has never been so beautiful to me. I cherish my wins more and respect my losses. I am more emotionally vested than ever, but I don’t let it cheapen me into saying things I don’t believe or wouldn’t otherwise say. I don’t hate the Red Sox, as you shouldn’t hate anyone and I know that if I could play for the Sox I’d do so in a New York minute.
What I hate is LOSING to the Red Sox. And now, more than ever, because they are something to fear. But that fear has got to be tempered with the following phrase;
No matter how much you love it, it is just a game.
There is NO reason that two fans of opposite teams can’t sit at a bar together, have a beer, and watch a game. Good natured ribbing and rooting for your team and against theirs shouldnot lead to violence.
Fear MUST be managed. It must be controlled and seen for what it is without allowing it to overtake you. You’ve got to find the commonality and let that be the focus, and not the chasm of your differences. There’s always more in common than we seem to remember. We choose not to see it. And in that choice we throw away everything that is great about not just baseball, but about life.
Do you hear me, Boston and New York?
Do you hear me, Jena, LA?
Part of what I love about baseball is the way that it mirrors life. Oh, the way it mirrors life. I think that’s what ultimately lead me to love it so…
See, it’s not about the instant gratification of cheap thrills. Baseball, like life, is all about individual confrontations and situations, but is ultimately a team game. The season is loooong, and that makes streaks more likely to be exposed as flukes than realities. You can’t dive right in to the warm tempting water of a nice 10 game streak. You have 162 games in baseball…I mean, that’s more than a full NBA and the NFL season combined. The long haul means that you can’t freak out over short term statistics and start making calls…if you do that it means you aren’t looking long term enough and you’re sure to get burned. But you also can’t completely ignore streaks, because occasionally they turn in to trends and hard core realities. Sometimes that crappy first baseman gets hot. Sometimes he gets better. There’s a difference, so you have to strike a balance.
Heady stuff, this baseball.
There are ways you have to look to actually see. It’s borderline voodoo to really, truly get what’s happening and what’s going to happen next. Baseball’s superstitians become de facto realities all the time, and sometimes having no residual karma is better than having a life time of it…don’t think so? Ask the Cubs and Red Sox. Then ask the Diamondbacks and Marlins.
In baseball’s history you can see all kinds of events, trends, and streaks that because they have happened before, they will happen again. It’s like graphing Pi…it’s spirals out further and further, but the point is that it spirals…it’s cyclical…it doesn’t go in a straight line and constantly reinvent itself.
Baseball embraces its history because it knows that it will play a role in its future, because it’s always connected directly to it. Shouldn’t we all learn from that? (And by god if you’re getting that from the NBA you’ll have to show me how)
To that end, I give you the Boston Massacre of 1978 and why I’ve said all year that it ain’t over for the Yankees…cuz this has alllll happened before, and in all too similar ways.
In July of ’78, the New York Yankees trailed the Boston Red Sox by 14.5 games. Everything that could go wrong for the Bronx Bombers that year did go wrong. I mean, to be behind by that many games? You pretty much had to be either (1) a bad team or (2) playing like crap with every break going against you…
But, if baseball teaches us anything about life it’s this; if it ain’t talent or effort that is the problem, things will start to even out. Anomalies don’t hold up over a season. And that’s exactly what happened in ’78. Suddenly, the Bombers started winning, and the Sox? Well, they started losing.
So it was that on a beautiful weekend in September with three weeks to go in the season the Yankees came to Boston for a 4 game series trailing the Sox by…wait for it…4 games. In those four games the Yankees absolutely crushed the Sox and that series became known as the Boston Massacre.
After 3 more weeks of back and forth baseball, the Yankees, who had played so poorly for so much of the season up until September 7th-10th and the Red Sox who had played so well, finished the season…
Tied for first.
This meant they had to have a 1 game playoff in Boston to decide who went to the post season. In that game, much like the season, the Red Sox jumped out to an early lead and, to hear Sox fans tell it today, the game was over. I mean, they were up 2 in the 7th inning!
Had they learned nothing?
Didn’t the season itself teach them?
Of course, then Sox fans will say to you the words that live in infamy in the Rivalry to this day.
Bucky. Fucking. Dent.
Bucky Dent, a light hitting shortstop for the Yankees hit a 3 run, go ahead dinger for the Bombers. Wanna know how much that hurt? Just say the name to a Sox fan and see. Of course, what people forget is that Reggie Jackson’s home run later on actually won the game…
From there, by the way, the Yankees went on to win the World Series, beating the Dodgers for a second year in a row.
So this year, when the Yankees were down 14.5 games to the Red Sox, I didn’t hit the panic button. Ask anyone. I said all year long that it’s far from over, and that calling it a season at the mid way point was just foolish. In fact, I said to Southie (a member of the nation) “Gee, why don’t we just mail the WS trophy to Fenway now, I mean, after all, it is June“. He didn’t want to hear it.
“It’s over. You can’t catch up! You’re not even going to get the wild card! Call me when you get to 7 games back”.
Fools. Every one of them. Baseball, by design, is a marathon. Sprinting out to a big lead means exactly nothing. This isn’t football, where you can blow your whole season with a bad start. It’s baseball, and bad starts have nothing on strong finishes.
So, when the Yankees started this year by losing the top of their pitching rotation (just like in ’78) to injuries and several key position players as well, I didn’t freak out. Ok, that’s a lie. I was livid. But I didn’t say it’s over. Hell, I never even conceded the AL East! I knew it was going to be an uphill battle, but I also knew it had been done before, and more importantly it had been done before by these same two teams.
With this same 14.5 game lead.
They say that to ignore history dooms you to repeat. This should be printed on the seams of every baseball, because nothing could be more accurate with regards to the game. To that end, last night the Yankees narrowed the once “insurmountable” lead of 14.5 games to 1.5. I don’t know why I even had to tell you so in the first place, to be honest…no one should be that shocked. It’s “shocking” when things occur that haven’t ever happened before…that no precedent or previously established Karma exists to cover. Like the 3-0 Comeback of 2004. That was shocking not just because of the numbers, but because of the history. I’d actually argue that for that very reason, it was far, far more shocking. Really, if say the Dodgers did it to the Braves? It wouldn’t have been as jaw dropping.
Don’t get me wrong…I woke up today grinning from ear to ear and smiling at my framed Maris and Mantle pic. I am ELATED. Then again, I know my history, and I’ve been waiting all season for this. Even if the Yankees don’t take the AL East, I love the look of fear that has suddenly, and deservedly, crept on to the faces of the once overly confident Sox fans. I say “deservedly” because in baseball and in life, you don’t ever, ever concede and you damn sure don’t take anything for granted. Even when you’re out of it and playing a team that is still in a race, you fight for that win because that’s how it’s done.
Come to think of it, maybe “doomed” to repeat it isn’t quite the way to say it.
Maybe “cursed” is more apropos.
There are things I cannot stand in this world. People and situations that drive me right up the wall and I will never, ever be able to just handle it without being affected. I don’t go ballistic, per se. But I do have to talk my way through the entire process of dealing. Today, I give you an abridged list of the people and things that fucking make me crazy. In no particular order…
1) The High Maintenance Person Who Will “Innocently” Push Your Buttons But Will Flip Out If You Call Them On It
This list might not be in any particular order, but this is definitely Numero Uno. We all know this person. This is the person that will have a million qualifications for where you can go to eat, sees that it’s driving everyone insane, and doesn’t care. But saying to him/her “what is the big deal” will immediately send them off…and you’re the bad guy. This is the person who at every family get together winds up getting in to it with someone, but yet it’s never their fault. They say “I was just…” all the time. They make you all walk on eggshells and cater to them or else. Think Janice on the Sopranos and you’re in the right ballpark. Think my sister at Christmas and you’re batting at homeplate.
The Worst Part: You can either deal with it and keep your mouth shut or confront it and watch it get blown up in to a whole new level that sucks the life out of everyone. These people have zero fear of escalation.
2) Woe Is Me I’m So Sad And Did I Mention How Sad I Am?
Ugh. Yes, I get it. You aren’t that good at life. It’s harder for you than it’s ever been for anyone else. The Rapture could be erupting around you with an all inclusive “even the Mormons are going to heaven” edict and you’d say “But I forgot my sweater”. No matter what, it’s about you and your sorrow and your heavy burden.
I will load the gun….
The Worst Part: I don’t own a gun. No, I kid. Actually the worst part is that by dealing with it at all, you have just guaranteed yourself a night of misery. There’s no getting around or over it. They are gonna whine and you are gonna listen.
3) Dusty Dinkleman
I don’t know how I got sucked in to watching this movie recently, but I did. It’s awful, save for 2 things; Ryan Reynolds little brother, and Dusty Dinkleman. Dusty, as played by Chris Klein, is the nicest, most sincere truly in touch with his feminine side acoustic guitar playing man alive…except he’s not. When he sings “When Jamie Smiles” to woo Ryan Reynolds girl, you think “God DAMN this guy is like Air Supply in a can”…and then when you hear him sing “When Janice Smiles” you realize he’s a scumbag who does and says whatever he has to to come across as a low risk “Beta Man” when really, he’s the worst wolf in sheep’s clothing ever.
Give me the Wolf in Wolf’s clothing every time. Least the man ain’t afraid to be what he is.
The Worst Part: You can’t warn someone about this…you say “that guy is a snake” to a woman in the middle of hearing “When (YOURNAMEHERE) Smiles” and she’s going to tell you you’re an asshole. You then sit back and wait for the “I’m so sorry you were so right” reunion where you listen to all the reasons she didn’t see it coming.
4) People Who Think the Matrix was Deep and Great Movie Making
Nuff said, but closely resembled by people that want to explain that Lost is deep because they used Philospher’s names and you never know what the hell is going on. Ummm, huh?
The Worst Part: They want you to hit the bong with them and watch it to prove how good it is. Look, enough ganj and fritos and Mr. Rogers is deep.
4a) Keanu Reeves
I am an F. B. I. AGENT!!!!
Please kill me.
The Worst Part: He keeps getting work. Although I count my blessings that Dogstar never took off.
5) Gear Guy
Oooh this one…it’s a guitar thing. There’s the guy that comes in to the shop and has to have friggin’ eveything. I mean, everything. It’s also got to be the best, as he can’t cannot CANABSOLUTELYNOT have a lesser version of anything. Inevitably, this guy has a magazine under his arm with the latest/hippest ohmyGODtheyarealloverMTVrightnow band on the cover and he is getting whatever that guy is playing. The only thing worse than being stuck behind this guy in line, as he HAS to be shown how to do everything (can’t just take it home and do what the rest of us do…mess around with it) is being in a band with this guy.
The Worst Part: This guy ALWAYS needs reassurance that his gear is cool and that, by extension, he is cool…so he will start talking to you just long enough to explain to you what he’s buying and how “Rad” it is. Then he will BEG you to tell him how awesome that is. BE WARNED; if you don’t tell him how amazing and bad ass and just bloody awesome whatever he’s getting is, he will assume you don’t get it and he will try harder to explain it to you.
That conversation is like having a Les Paul forced in to your…well, you get the idea.
6) People Who Argue Using “That’s Just What I Feel” Line While Telling You That You’re Wrong
Oh sweet love of Heaven this person…oy vey and stab me in the eye with a #2 pencil. OK, look, I love to debate. Give me a pint and a bar stool and lets go. I’m not talking yelling, screaming insanity…I mean, tell me your points and let me tell you mine and let’s go. But you know who loves to get in to these sorts of conversations like bloody clockwork? The ignorant. “Well, I don’t know about that, but this is what I think and you’re wrong”…
Like nails on a chalk board. You’ll often hear this from people making statements like;
“I think Pearl Jam is the most important band since the Beatles”.
Say what? Are you nuts? I mean, off the top of my head I’d say U2 had a lot more…
“NO! It’s PEARL JAM! THEY ROCK!!!!!!”
The Worst Part: They will damn near NEVER let it go. They are emotionally vested in to whatever they are arguing, so they need to hear you say “wow, you’re right”. They can’t argue/debate points and say “huh, well, agree to disagree”. Not these folks.
7) Pearl Jam
No Junior, they most certainly are not the most important band since the Beatles. They are the most overrated band since Mr. Mister started getting Grammy Award nominations.
The Worst Part: We have to hear the crap they put out, which has gotten worse and worse with every album since the first one, and listen to people tell us that it’s “great” and ahead of its time. Ripping off what Neil Young did in the 60’s and 70’s is NOT ahead of it’s time.
Give me Soundgarden any day.
8 ) Mr. Arbitrary
Let’s say you’re watching the Patriots/Chargers game at a pub full ‘o New Englanders. Everyone’s havin’ a grand time and then one guys starts yellin’ about Brady sucking this and the Patriots are the worst that. He isn’t from San Diego…doesn’t have the house mortgaged on the game. Oh no…he just needs attention. And to get it, he’s decided that he’s going to root for the other team. Or argue Pro Life in a room full of liberals. He’s the guy that will tell you that whatever you’re talking about is wrong…
And man he sets me off.
The Worst Part: By proving to him that he’s wrong…by mowing down every argument that he has, you’ve just given him exactly what he wants. Attention. And then you’re stuck with him pretending to be rooting for the Chargers or abortion or whatever right next to you as his new found source of attention.
Phew. OK, that’s 8. And I really feel better now for getting it off my chest. Sometimes things out there just, you know…make you a little tense. It’s good to get it out.
If I forgot to mention anyone, please feel free to give ’em a name and slap ’em silly.
“There’s more theater in this thing than you could ever imagine.”
-Joe Torre on the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry.
I said 2 out of 3, and today I am exhausted, slightly hungover, and right. What a weekend for baseball! I honestly didn’t watch more than maybe 30 minutes of a single NFL game, and really? Couldn’t care less. To wrap up and move on;
Friday night; Had a house full of people screaming at the TV in what may well be the best game I’ve seen all year. Yankees come from behind in the 8th to win 8-7.
Saturday; Had no one over to watch the Yankees play the worst game I’ve seen this year (OK, not true at all) and lose, 10-1.
Sunday; I went to the Nationals-Braves game with 40 something of my employees and their families on a glorious 70 degree day and watched the Nats lose, 3-0. Then went to the company president’s house, had a few beers and watched some football before heading home to watch a ridiculously good, back and forth game capped off by Derek Jeter’s 3 run home run; Yankees win, 4-3.
The last 2 weeks of the season are here. Feeling good about that AL East banner, RSN?
Moving right along.
Last week I stumbled in to a new TV series. TV series are hard for me, because while I do indeed get sucked in to the occasional plot line, I can’t ever make it important enough to watch that I remember to actually sit down and watch it. Inevitably I wind up missing two episodes and getting lost in a sea of “who the hell is that friggin’ guy?” and “since when is she sleepin’ with that dude?!”. There have been rare exceptions to this rule, of course. Oh, and please note, I’m not really counting sitcoms here. Sitcoms are…well, sitcoms. You miss one, so what. You can figure out what you missed in like 2 commercials.
–Twin Peaks had me on the edge of my seat once a week for every year it was on.
-I damn near never missed the Sopranos.
–Six Feet Under was just too good for words. (I still get chills when I think about Nate dying in front of David)
–Heroes rocks out loud. Even though it finished with a whimper, not a bang, I have high hopes for a comeback.
-I fucking LOVED Dexter. But didn’t pick up Showtime, so I missed season 2 (this will be fixed in a rent-them-all-on-DVD-orgy of episodes)
And now, I am feeling that old “make sure you remember to watch this on Sunday night” feeling for Tell Me You Love Me. And not just for the so-surprisingly-graphic sex scenes, either. Oh no. (I mean, there’s a lot of…well..cock. Cocks getting stroked. Cocks getting ridden. I mean, it’s like “Hey look, she’s totally jerking that guy off) This show is just straight up edgy. If you are in a relationship, or trying to be, it’s hard to watch together. It makes you wonder and question the nature of your sex life and how it pertains to your day to day life. How important is it? When are you putting way too much importance on it and when are you not putting nearly enough?
Tell Me You Love Me delves in to the lives of three couples and the therapist they share.
-Jaime and Hugo are 20something white hot lovers who are engaged. The fuck like rabbits (he goes down on her in one of the most shockingly sexual fuck scenes in cable TV history) to avoid intimacy and she breaks off the engagement in the first episode because he can’t imagine never fucking another woman. It’s painful to watch them try to talk about something important because they clearly don’t talk much at all.
-Carolyn and Palek are 30somethings who can’t conceive and it’s starting to wear on them. Badly. These are two successful people who aren’t used to failing at anything. She can’t take it, he can’t take her not being able to deal. Watching her domineering ways come out in bursts and him trying to hold it together is painful. Watching her blame him without actually coming out and saying it is awful. Watching her give him a handjob, however, is actually kinda hot. (and I do mean watching her giving him a handjob…as in, ‘hey ummm…is that like…can they actually show this guy getting his cock stroked? Apparently they can)
Katie and Dave are 40 somethings with 2 great kids. From the cheap seats it looks like a perfect marriage. But something is clearly missing…and you come to find out that it’s sex. As in, they haven’t had any in like a year. A year. To see them go from reading their kids bed time stories as perfect parents to a marital bed that might as well have a divider down the middle feels like a kick in the gut.
Tell Me You Love Me is TV for the deep end. Or at least it has been so far. I give it 4/5 Returned Wedding Rings on the INPY ratings scale. Give it a shot as a counter-balance to Scrubs and the Office. But don’t watch it with your Significant Other unless you are prepared to dive in to some heady conversations about the nature of your sex life.
Oh, and prepared to get uncomfortably horny, too. There’s really no other way to describe it.
I’m sorry Red Sox Nation…suddenly, I can’t hear you so well. You were saying something about it being all over?
Not. So. Fast.
I’ve said it all year. When the Yankees were 14 1/2 back, I said it wasn’t over. You didn’t want to believe me. You wanted to be allll smug in your new found AL East lead. You wouldn’t hear me when I said “Don’t you know that this is going to come down to the last series of the year? Haven’t you learned anything form the last, oh, 100 years of baseball?” You wouldn’t listen.
When I tried to explain to you that you should be 20 games up? You rolled your eyes.
When I told you that the Yankees were only going to get better, and that the Sox couldn’t live forever off of Mike Lowell’s RBI’s? You wouldn’t hear me.
Well, CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?!
I know that football season has started for most of America and that we are all consumed with “Patriotgate” and the sad, unfortunate story of Kevin Everett. I however, am not a football first and everything else second kinda guy.
I’m a baseball man, as you well know. Football doesn’t start for me until the World Series is over…even if the Yankees aren’t in it. Having said that, I am finding it damn hard to concentrate right now, as we are under 5 hours to go for the first pitch of a three game series that is sure to turn me into a raving psychotic inside of a few innings. Tonight, Dice-K, who has just completely fallen apart in his last 5 games is pitching against my guy, Andy P. Dice-K, the Japanese uberstar that Boston so famously bid $50something million for is 1-4 in his last 5 starts with an almost 10 run ERA.
I called the sweep last time…I’m calling 2/3 this time. Already I’m hearing members of the “Nation” making excuses and saying “I’m really more of a Pats fan”.
And you heard it here first; I like the Yankees to win the series right now. Best record in baseball in the second half. Just ran off 9 in row, and our kids are pitching like men. Just remember I’ve been saying it all year, folks.
Tonight I’m going to have several friends over for the game. I’ve gone all out. There’s all kinds of food, beer, and of course, shots for the “I Hate You, Too Yankees Red Sox Drinking Game”. I will be wearing my “Got Rings” shirt, and touching the framed cover of Life Magazine with Roger Maris and the Mick for luck. I will curse. I will yell. And I will love every second of this.
Whatever you do tonight, I hope you have as much fun as I do…and if you’re in the ‘hood, stop by. It won’t be hard to find me…just listen for the sounds of someone yelling “ANDY-FUCKING-PETTITTE is the MAN!”