Sunday, September 7, 2008
For me, I'll wait til Wednesday when the league will have to be notified and several MRIs have been done. If you see me with my fingers crossed over the next day or hear me muttering under my breath...I'm hoping and saying small prayers for my Pats. :) My hopes may all lie on the Saints this year...and that scares me.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
I spent May in Jackson working at the Eudora Welty House and researching at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. My work at the house was something that I couldn't have imagined happening in my wildest dreams. The project of the summer was to ready the two other upstairs rooms (the boys' room and the sleeping porch) for tours. My job was to look at pictures that were taken not long after Eudora died and put things back to where they were in the pictures. I walked into the room and found about 40 boxes of books, a fuzzy, wide-lens photo, a magnifying glass and white gloves. It took me about two and a half weeks to get all of the books into their appropriate places. It was tedious work, but I never got bored. What blew my mind the most was that every day I was allowed to let myself into the house of my favorite writer. On days when there were no tours, I would walk into a darkened house and make my way upstairs. Every time I passed Eudora's bedroom it would hit me where I was. Walking in the house five days a week didn't change the feeling I got while inside the house. The feeling was one of reverence not unlike the feeling I got in Notre Dame in Paris or the cathedral in Milan.
I also spent a good bit of time in the archives reading letters that Eudora had written during World War II. The feeling I got there was hard to reconcile. I felt like I was invading her privacy. I kept thinking what any of my best friends would say if I read their intimate letters to other people. In the end, I remembered that she chose to leave these to the archives, and I should utilize them!
Once May was over I came back to Atlanta to teach summer school. It was my first American literature class, and it went unbelievably well. I got little to no writing done, but I finally began to organize my thoughts better and read more.
I ended the summer with a couple of trips. I went to Mississippi for a long weekend after the end of the summer semester. I was able to make it to Memphis to hang out with the Ervins. I don't get to see them that often, but Matt and Amy are two of my favorite people on earth. So, any time I get to hang with them is great! I also went to see Poison and Sebastian Bach with Carrie Chandler. I had no idea what to expect, but it was tons of fun! If the concert had been bad, I wouldn't have cared. It was great hanging out with Carrie. BUT the concert wasn't bad at all. In fact, it was great! I was living in my fourth grade heaven, and it was awesome! The most exciting news of the summer is that Carrie and Will Chandler are pregnant with Baby Chandler! They are due in February, and I could not be happier. I'm not for sure which makes me smile more: Carrie as a mom or Will as a dad!
My last hoorah of the summer was spent in DC! I went up for DiAnne's engagement party. I was able to stay for a long weekend, and it was great being able to hang out with Dee before she's a Mrs. It was also great getting to know Chris (her fiance) better. I had only met him once, and while he passed the first inspection...I wanted to be sure! He's awesome! I've never met somebody who fits DiAnne so well, and I couldn't be happier for her.
Of course, there were plenty of hours of family time mixed in there. The nephews are growing up so much! They love spending the night at Trishie's when I'm in town. I love it (of course), but I'm also looking forward to the point at which they sleep past ten. I'll post some pictures later.
How was your summer? Anybody do anything grand?
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Seeing Willie McCovey in a wheel chair is sad to me.
I'm not believing Wade Boggs wore a Yankee's cap!!!
He played for the Yanks for five years. He played for the Sox for ELEVEN!!! He's in Cooperstown with a Red Sox cap on. I'm floored, floored, floored!
Dave Winfield did it right. He brought, and waved a Yankee's cap but wore his Padre's one!
Boggs was the LONE Hall of Fame representative from the Red Sox, and he couldn't even wear the cap! That's just sad and quite disappointing. I can't wait to read what the papers in Boston have to say about it!
I wonder if the boos of Red Sos in the introductions were louder because there were more of them on the field than Yankees or because we won the world series last year and Tito was managing. Was the animosity greater because of our dominant presence? Or was it just typical Yankee hating?
Two of my favorite quotations from the coverage of the parade from earlier today:
"Listen to that, and you'd think my last name was Varitek, and my first name and middle name were, 'Bleepbleep,''" he [Varitek] said.
"I think they were waiting for the other guys.'' Said manager Terry Francona: "I learned two things: They want Rivera to close and I suck.''
I have to admit if there is anything that soothes a Red Sox fan through a festival week that celebrates ad nauseam the Yankee wins, history and greatness...it's sending seven Sox out to man the field in a game managed by the Sox skipper!
George Steinbrenner did NOT look good. When they first showed him he looked like a recovering stroke victim. Has he had a stroke? I know they are real hush hush about his health and all, but that's not good. Fox quickly panned out to a camera in left field which gave a more flattering shot of the devil...er, I mean the boss.
I loved how Yogi wanted to be about 3 feet from the plate, but the other men kept trying to save their own faces by trying to get him to stop moving up so much.
I'm willing to predict here in the first inning that the MVP of this game will either be Josh Hamilton or a Yankee. I'm also willing to put 20 bucks that it won't be one of the 7 Red Sox players on the roster.
Fox's broadcast is coming through so poorly that it looks like I'm watching it online in an area with bad internet reception.
It's funny to me seeing Varitek behind the plate in Yankee Stadium in home whites.
What I love about the All-Star game is the little league feel that the game possesses. It's the only time you see major league skippers working to make sure every player gets playing time. It's the only time you see a manager allow his team's rival players to have their moment in the spotlight by taking them out mid-inning to allow them to receive ovations from the crowd. I love the fact that these games now meaning something doesn't take this aspect out of a game that is, in the end, still an exhibition game. In fact, the thing that makes this unlike little league games are Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. And, I have to say as much as I love the game of baseball, if my son is playing little league and Joe and Tim are announcing...my son is changing sports!
I think it's interesting that in a game that celebrates (more so than usual) the history of baseball, and in this the 100th year of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” they choose to do “God Bless America” instead. And, when did standing and saluting become the norm for “God Bless America”? Does that not weaken the reverence of “The Star Spangled Banner”? Or do we now stand, remove our caps and salute all patriotic songs? I can imaging Toby Keith concerts could become quite a workout if this is so.
Ok, sidebar after the lead off double by Justin Morneau, I love that when he stood up for the first round of the home run derby last night, the announcers went on and on about how he didn’t really deserve to be there and was the last addition with no one else to do it. Ironic, since he went on to win it!
What does it say about his confidence in the Captain’s hitting when Tito pinch hits for Varitek? There is only one person left on the AL bench, and it’s the 7th! I hope Tito isn’t over shooting his aim.
It’s good to hear “The second place Rays” again. I was not liking the constant reminder that they were in first with the best record in the majors! It’s good to be back on top. Now, let’s keep it that way, and get back on top in this game so we can get home field advantage.
I would love love love for JD Drew to hit it out right now to tie the game. I wonder if he’d get booed then.
HOLY CRAP I CALLED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!!! THAT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And it’s a new ballgame. Let’s go AL!
I love the fact that the Reds’ pitcher in the 7th inning wears his cap ghetto style. It’s a little skewed to off center. Maybe it adds cred.
Paps just got berated by the Yankee fans. I’m a huge Mariano fan, as hesitant as I am to admit that. I think he’s misguided, but I love him. However, Pap’s remarks were completely taken out of context, skewed and thrown out there to the masses. After all these years I can’t believe people in NY still believe the NY Daily News. Paps was not responsible for that run scoring; blame the error. Sox players thrive on the boos and yells in Yankee stadium, but that was even more brutal because tonight Paps was pitching for the same cause for which Mo will be pitching. I’m kinda surprised after the reaction of Paps after the parade that Tito even pitched him. I was fully expecting him to sit. I give Tito props for pitching him anyway…you know, cause screw them (in the words of Good Will Hunting).
Ok, as if Lou Gehrig’s speech wasn’t going to be the greatest highlight in Yankee Stadium history. Did that even require a vote? Even a Yankee hater can appreciate that moment!
However, I would have voted for the Sox beating the Yankees in the American League Pennant in 2004 on their way to the World Series win. I mean, how much better does it get than a champagne bath and field celebration in the middle of your rival’s field.
This is the first time I’ve ever hoped for a homerun by Evan Longoria. I hope it’s the last. I’ll take that double!!! And once again, it’s a new ballgame.
So, I know the two teams tied a few years ago, but was that before “this one matters”? Will we play however innings it takes or will this game be over after 9 or 10? *
WAIT! Derek Jeter is a phenom?!!! He’s with Tiger and Federer in the Gillette phenom commercial. If ever there is an ad for Josh Hamilton…that one is it. Jeter? Really? He’s a solid batter and defender. He’s had a great career…Hall of Fame one, but he’s not a phenomenon. He’s consistent and respectful and a good player, but he’s not a stand above all other kind of player.
K-Rod is pitching in the 9th. Surely Tito is going to bring in Mo. If he doesn’t, and the AL wins it in the bottom of the 9th he will NEVER hear the end of it. The media will crucify him!!!
What I love about this season is the constant referencing of Bobby Thigpen by announcers. Thiggy holds the record for number of saves before the All-Star break, and K-Rod was giving him a run for his money. But Thiggy just got another shout out here in this game. Bobby Thigpen played on the Mississippi State team with Will Clark and Raphy. My parents kept us out of school one day (which was unheard of in our house) for us to go see that team play. My parents (my dad especially) knew it was a special team, and that was the kind of experience he didn’t want us missing. I was young, and don’t remember much of it. What I remember more is following the members of that team through their major league careers. When I was in 7th grade, I saw Thiggy pitch in Chicago for the White Sox. It was very very cool.
Good…Tito has brought on Mo. Let’s just hope the NL can’t get to him the way the Sox have in the past few years. While Mo is pitching, let me explain what I, a to-the-core Yankee hater, love about Mo. Mo is probably the greatest closer the game has ever seen. And while I love Paps, he’s got about 10 more years of dominance to go before he’s up there with Mo. But more importantly, Mo plays because he enjoys it. He says he doesn’t matter the contract offer, he’ll quit once he is no longer having fun. He’s a Godly man with strong Christian values who backs it up with his behavior. And he’s vocal about his devout Christianity. And there are few people who have the professionalism and class that Mo exhibits. Like I said…he’s just misguided when it comes to the his loyalty to the Yanks.
This is the first time I’ve ever been hopeful at the beginning of the bottom of ninth at Yankee Stadium. It’s the first time I’ve wanted the game to end in the bottom of the ninth.
(and yes, Will Chandler if you are reading this, you will disappoint me if you cheer for the yanks when y’all go there this weekend.)
I want to see what all this talk about Kinsler is about. Callers into XM for the last few weeks have been shocked that Kinsler wasn’t voted in as a starter. They felt like his offense warranted his placement on the starting lineup more than Dustin Pedroia’s. I want to see him fit the buzz – that strike out didn’t do it.
I’m not cocky enough and too superstitious to try and call another big hit from Drew. You also know it’s an exhibition game when JD smiles and chuckles at the ump who made a horrific strike call. Speaking of strikes, that strike zone just decreased significantly in the 9th.
I love how Joe and Tim seem overly worried about players having to continue playing due to an empty bench. They’ve only played like 3 innings; they’re professionals! I think they can handle a few more innings. The pitchers…that’s another issue. Kaz is off the possible pitchers list because the Rays have requested he not pitch. I say Tito pitch him for as long as the guy will stay out there. We need the Rays to keep losing!
I love how Bank of America advertises that they are the only bank where you get official MLB checks and credit cards. Well, um, I’ve got official MLB Red Sox checks and I bank at Regions.
So, I wonder if they’ll keep saying Yankee stadium is the house that Ruth built when they move to the new stadium. I wouldn’t be surprised if it became the house that Steinbrenner built.
Here in the top of the 10th, Pedroia would have had that ball that Russell Martin hit, and Jeter would have had that ball that Tejada hit.
Um, so if the AL wins after those two errors…does Uggla get the MVP?! Nevermind…it’s a non-issue now. I can’t believe Tajada made that play. He’s not young anymore (especially since he aged three years this off season).
We’re trusting this game to the arm of a Royal. Hmmm….
12 innings in an exhibition game is ridiculous!!! I realize that it poses a problem with a tie, but the facts can not be ignored. This IS an exhibition game! These teams need their players back after the break! Both teams are out of pitchers and are having to rely on pitchers whose teams were told they wouldn’t be played. 11 should have been the cut off! This is ridiculous. Upon a tie, the home field advantage should then go to the team with the best regular season record. If you want to go and make the All-Star game mean something and use it for home-field advantage…whatever, but this is moving closer to beyond ok. If Bud doesn’t call this game at the end of 12, he’s going to have some FURIOUS owners!
It’s 12:30! Ok, and that brings me to another issue. This game should have started at 8. While the coverage of the game started at 8, the game didn’t get underway until 9. Coverage with introductions, and brouhaha should have started at 7 so that the game could begin at 8.
At the end of 12 they show Selig sitting there like he’s about to fall asleep but completely inactive. I guess there won’t be a draw with this. Who cares if this game screws up the arms of pitchers in contending teams (or even non-contending teams. With that NL West, God only knows who could win that one at this point).
David Wright just about got hit in his cute little head by the end of his bat. I don’t know why the players don’t take their own initiative and move back to ash bats. And how long is Selig going to sit on this Maple bat issue? Is somebody going to have to die? People have already been hurt; people have already been sent to the hospital. For the love of safety, make them change the bats!
Ok, seriously. We’re now in the 15th inning. Each bullpen has ONE pitcher left! Starting pitchers go on four days rest. Brandon Webb and Scott Kazmir have had ONE day of rest. This inning will be the last unless Scott gets two really quick outs with few pitches. There’s no way he can go two innings. Let’s just hope he can go one full one! Kazmir will pitch again on Saturday with three days rest. That’s bad for the Rays. Ooooo, David Wright just bout got hit. He just got knocked on his face!
I’m loving Jeter and Tito cracking jokes and laughing in the dugout. They are obviously talking about how bizarre this game has gotten. Well, Kaz got out of the 15th without too many pitches, but I still don’t see Tito sending him back out there. So, basically…we gotta score. Pronto!
Ok, Justin Morneau just about threw out his back there trying to win it in a swing.
I’ve never seen dugouts like these. The NL dugout has all of the bench actually sitting on the bench in a row. The AL rotates between all sitting and all standing. But it’s a one or all kinda thing in both dugouts!
Brian McCann is too good to just be coming into the game in the 15th. That Cardinal player shouldn’t have dove for that. Yes, he got the catch, but he could have EASILY hurt himself there. Alright…let’s go JD! A really solid base hit can win it, but a decent base hit wouldn’t hurt!
Bases loaded…one out! JD Drew has the best numbers out here tonight, but he won’t get the MVP. That will go to whoever ends this game….MICHAEL YOUNG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHEW! A 4 hour and 50 minute game is entirely too long for an exhibition game…I don’t care that we won. Selig ought to hear it big time from managers and owners. BUT I haven’t seen Tito that happy since Jon Lester’s no hitter. However, this time it was a mixture of happiness and relief. I love the Jim Leyland hug! And I realize this is a four page blog entry, but you need to realize it was a FIVE HOUR GAME!
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JD Drew did get the MVP! LOVES IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!! I’m talking LOVES IT! And, my 20 dollar bet came back to bite me in the rear. I love the boo birds and the fact that JD just laughed off the boos. For somebody who is notorious for being stoic and not showing any emotions, he was very personable in that interview. Well, personable for the four words he said (for those who thought he wasn’t…you should see his other interviews). How cool is it that a guy who deserves to be at the All-Star game and who deserved to be there several times before but is just now there for his first time wins the MVP. Well, it’s 2 am here. The AL won, the Sox represented, and Sox JD Drew continued to be on fire as he took home the MVP award at “The All-Star Game from Yankee Stadium.” I’m content, actually…pleased. But, I’m tired. I hope you guys enjoyed the game.
*will this be over in 9 or 10...yea, that question got answered!
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I've seen lots of baseball movies. In fact, there are very very few that I haven't seen. I can't think of one that is better than this one. Your first reaction may be a clanging duh, but in an online poll taken during the Sox/Astros game, Field of Dreams was slaughtered by Major League! Believe me...I was as shocked as you! But this movie...
At the heart of this movie was all things great about the game. There was the magic of the game that only those who want to feel and see are able to experience. Sadly, there are fewer and fewer who are wanting to feel baseball's magic these days. There is the history -- the minute history of the game. The black sox are allowed to play again and are captained by Shoeless Joe.* Those who didn't last in the majors were called up again. And a son was able to play catch with his dad. What isn't there to love about that? I realize that Ray had no idea who was coming to play on his field when he built it, but I can tell you that if I knew that I was spending every single penny I had building a baseball field where I would get to play catch with my dad again...I'd do it in a heartbeat without even remotely thinking twice. And I'd ignore your scoffs while doing it.
Of course, there can't be a movie that delves into the history of baseball that doesn't involve Fenway, despite the fact that not one Red Sox player played on Ray's field. I was blown away by how much Fenway has changed! Seeing the changes little by little, year by year, it doesn't seem that different. But to look at what it looked like in 1988 totally blew my mind. There were, of course, no seats on the Monster, but the Monster was also missing it's Billboards (which may have been due to production, copywrite laws and finances or maybe not), but the most obvious was the missing Jimmy Fund kid. It also blew my mind that Ray was able to show up in Boston and get two tickets to that night's game without having to mortgage his house (which is good cause he was about to lose his house) or sleep on the concrete.
And how many wives would support their husbands through something like that? I'd like to believe more than we would think. Look at how many wives support their husbands who are away from home from February until September at the earliest, and if they're lucky October for the love of the game (or more probably for their husbands' love of the game). Before you throw the money signs in their eyes cop out to me, let me remind you that minor leaguers are paid peanuts, and their wives make the same sacrifices.
This movie covered it all, and it did it without crossing over into cheesy. I decided to share with you some of my favorite quotations from the movie. So, here goes:
"Don't we need a catcher? Not if you get it near the plate we don't."
"Hey -- is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
"Is Fenway the one with the big green wall in left field?"
"The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like a army of steamrollers; it's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and it could be again."
This movie reminds us of all that once was good and can be again. It reminds us of the good in baseball without focusing on what is wrong with the game. It's been awhile since sport fans have been reminded of the good in the game, and baseball has sufferred for it. But Field of Dreams brings baseball fans back to the point where we realize that the game, baseball, our game "once was good and it could be again."
If it's been awhile since you've seen it, go back for a second portion. If, like me, you haven't seen it before, watch it! Grab your glove, sit back and watch this movie (another upside is that with some hand work or a little oil you can have your glove broken in by the end of the show). Then go out and play catch with someone you love.
*I'll spare you a speech here about who should (ahmm...steinbrenner) and should not be baned from baseball and who should and should not be allowed into Cooperstown (a separate entity completely from Major League Baseball which for some reason upholds the bans given out by MLB), but I will say that anybody willing to look at the stats of that World Series can tell you Shoeless Joe in no way contributed to throwing those games. He did quite the opposite. His stats for the series were amazing!
As someone who has always been amazed by the Oscars, I settled into the bed of my dorm room to watch the 70th anniversary of the Oscars. Ten years later and ten years of Oscar celebrations later, it’s still the greatest telecast the Academy has ever put on. It highlighted the classics and brought on stage every living actor/actress who had won best leading and supporting role Oscars. It was the closest thing I’ve ever seen to “Old Hollywood.” It was magical for me. I decided that night that when summer came I would take home my TV and VCR (yes, VCR) to spend the break watching old movies. At some point between February and the end of the semester, I happened upon the AFI’s list of 100 greatest movies of all time. I knew it was the perfect guide to my education in classic film. I started from scratch ignoring the fact that there were about 15-20 of the movies that I’d already seen. They would have to be re-watched to count.
Over the past ten years the journey of reaching my goal has been amazing. I remember walking downstairs to the kitchen of my Momma’s house after watching Casablanca for the first time. I was still numb from the experience. Jeff was down there watching TV and was busting at the seams to know my reaction. There wasn’t much of one. I just watched the greatest movie I’d ever seen, and I was simply in awe. I stayed in awe for several days. My reaction to Citizen Kane (which tops the list) wasn’t so great. I remember cutting off the TV, sitting there in silence for a moment, then saying, “Wow! Casablanca was ROBBED!” When I watched Sunset Boulevard I loved the scenes where Joe and Betty are on the studio set writing after hours. As someone who had for years dreamed of being a screenwriter, these scenes were fascinating. A few years later when I was in California and walking, late at night, on the sets of Brooks Institute, I felt a deja vous that took me back to the movie. I actually said out loud, "I feel like I'm in Sunset Boulevard;" it was the closest my life will ever come to converging with Old Hollywood, and it was amazing! The most recent great moment came last summer while watching Giant. When it was over I wanted to talk to somebody who had seen it. There was so much commentary to be made, but no one had even heard of it, let alone seen it.
As of now, I have about a dozen movies to go.* And, as I said, life has a way of screwing up my goals. Tonight after hearing a movie reference on Numb3rs I couldn’t remember which movie it was. I decided to consult my list. I recently bought a new hard drive and transferred all of my documents to it. My computer was hooked up to my TV and not the hard drive, so I had to consult the internet for the list. What I found was the tenth anniversary of the list. It first blew my mind that it’s been TEN years since I started this pursuit. Then I realized what I had was an updated 10th Anniversary list. Several new ones were added while some (most of which I have seen) were removed. After throwing up my hands in resignation, I decided to go all out with it. I figured I’m in it this far…why not? I’ll watch all the movies on both lists – making my list of 100 several more. I was surprised by the changes in rankings. The Godfather moved ahead of Casablanca while Citizen Kane remained atop the list. On the Waterfront was shamefully taken out of the top ten while Raging Bull jumped 20 spaces into the top 10. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take Brando over Deneiro any day of the week – especially On the Waterfront Brando (sigh!).
So, while most of my goals don’t come to fruition – actually because most of my goals don’t come to fruition, I’m sticking with this one. I’m hoping to have the list (both versions) finished by the time I finish school. I started the list my freshman year, it seems appropriate for the goal – my classic film education – to end with my formal education. But if I don’t finish by May (the list…I’m finishing the formal education or I’m going to go insane), I’ll finish it next year. But, rest assured, this goal will be met.
*And before you say, “What the crap is taking you so long?!” remember that in that time I’ve gotten 2 and 4/5 degrees. I’ve also kept up with the newest movies, including seeing all Oscar nominated films. Also, the fact that I pay more in rent than I make a month puts a serious cramp on my Blockbuster budget. I’ve viewed every one Butch has at the Video Shop on both DVD and VHS. Many of the movies are four hours+, and several are silent. How many silent movies have you watched in the last 10 years? Some of the silent ones are amazing, but there are some that will put you to sleep. Trust me, this has been a bigger feat than you would think.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
I’ve been waiting and watching every night for Manny to hit his 500th Home Run. Tonight, I went out to meet DiAnne, her fiancé Chris, Carrie and Will Chandler in Tupelo. I was driving down the road listening to the game on the radio when the first pitch to Manny from Chad Bradford (a Mississippi boy and ex-Red Sox player making him one of the pitchers I like most) went sailing through the air into right-center field marking Manny’s 500th. The fans went nuts! After Manny touched ‘em all, the crowd roared louder and louder. Through Mike Lowell’s out, the transition from the top of the inning to the bottom, and two Oriole batters the crowd never ceased in its enthusiastic applauding and yelling. Then it happened – the most appalling thing I’ve heard from an announcer in quite some time. The announcer noted how loudly the crowd continued to cheer, and then he said: “Remember, we’re at Camden Yards – not Fenway. And it makes me sick…just makes me sick!” Ok, I get it that it’s frustrating for announcers when Red Sox fans (who are well known for their enthusiasm and knowledge of the game as well as their increasing number of bandwagon jumpers) swarm into road games and are able to out yell the home fans with the “Let’s Go Red Sox” chants. (They never seem to mind the inevitable “Yankees Suck” chant that is almost always started by some drunk, co-ed, Sox fan). I get the anger they feel that their fans only show up to home games versus the Sox and/or Yankees. For the past several years the Oriole announcers have been the most vocal about this frustration, and the fact that Camden Yards is often called Fenway South by many Sox fans has to cut deep. This year I’ve also noticed the Rays’ announcers explaining bad calls behind the plate to the fact that a Red Sox player is batting and the idea that Red Sox players don’t get tossed because of the jersey they wear (never mind that their players don’t get tossed for arguing either). But tonight, the game was in Baltimore, and the announcer made no attempt to hide his disgust. My reaction to the announcer came not from a Sox fan’s perspective but from a baseball fan’s. 500 homeruns is a BIG deal! Only 23 other players in the history of the game have hit 500…TWENTY THREE out of the thousands of names in the Baseball Almanac. As a baseball fan, it’s something at which to marvel and appreciate, and it’s most certainly something that deserves cheers. Had a visiting team’s player hit number 500 in Fenway, Red Sox fans would not only applaud but would pay homage by rising to their feet and acknowledging the feat that just occurred. And Fenway isn’t the only place where fans would react like this. St. Louis, Chicago, and New York are other examples of this, and I would be willing to put money on the fact that there are more stadiums out there that WOULD applaud a visiting player hitting his 500th homerun than wouldn’t. In fact, when Raphael Palmeiro (another Mississippi boy and a personal fav) made his 3,000th hit in an Oriole uniform IN Seattle, the place went nuts. In fact, the game was stopped while his teammates ran onto the field and mauled him while the fans cheered constantly. As baseball fans, true baseball fans, isn’t it only right to acknowledge, applaud, and cheer accomplishments like these? 500 home runs, 600 home runs, 3,000 hits, no-hitters, perfect games are things that should excite all of us, no matter what team an individual supports. When watching a game, I’ll give a guy props for just making a great play or web-gem type of play. I’ll acknowledge a called strike from an opposing pitcher (if it’s actually a strike) no matter how loudly a Red Sox player argues. The love of the game runs much deeper than my love for the Red Sox (which it's easy to see is quite deep), and I think most baseball fans would say the same of their teams of choice. I despise Barry Bonds, but as I watched him pass Hank Aaron, not only did I clap, but I stood up in my apartment and clapped as if I were there. I got chills. As bad for baseball as Bonds had come, that day he was good for the game. No matter that a quirky left-fielder’s 500th homerun added another loss to your team’s total, Manny’s homerun was good for the game! There are 164 games to be won or lost in a season, and giving up one run in one game for the good of the sport should be something that baseball fans should see worth it. In a time when baseball’s credibility and nostalgia have been tainted with steroids and HGH, in a time where the greatest pitcher – not just of our lives but of all time – is publicly humiliated by past “indiscretions” (another point in case, I'm probably one of the biggest Clemens haters out there, but I am willing to admit how great he was/is and how horrible this circus around him has gotten), and when Congress has hauled in and ruined the lives and legacy of revered players and the game of baseball as a whole for their own personal humor and hunt for another way to inappropriately use our tax dollars, it is even more important to celebrate the things that are good in the game. Manny’s 500th, Ken Griffey, Jr.'s plight for 600 home runs, Josh Hamiton’s phenomenal season after having dealt with drug addiction and self-destruction, Jon Lester’s no-hitter less than two years after battling and beating cancer, the Mariners and Rays both leading their divisions (as oxymoronic as that sounds), and Cliff Lee’s 1.80 ERA after a horrific 2007 season are all things that should be applauded. With all these things that are good for baseball and deserve recognition and praise, that Oriole announcer deserves criticism and backlash from listeners because he is definitely bad for baseball!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
On the up-side, it's good to hear Don and Jerry even if I have to squint to see them. I'm still not used to seeing Joe Torre in a Dodgers uni. This game is in the LA Stadium where the Dodgers played when they first came to LA. There are more than 100K people here. USC football games are played here now. LA has fixed it up as a baseball field for tonight. There is a 60 foot fence in the left field. The left field wall here is MUCH closer than even the Green Monster! The Dodgers are not even using a left fielder; they are using five people in the infield. It looks like a shift is on with an extra man on third. The camera angles are beyond makeshift and bizarre. The pitch shots are coming from behind the pitcher, so it's impossible to call balls and strikes. I'm glad I didn't decide to try to score this game! It's so bizarre that Don and Jerry can't even call balls and strikes! The cameras make it look like you're actually sitting in the outfield; it's as if there is no zoom on these things. Wally keeps asking to borrow my glasses! One positive thing about tonight's MLB.tv airing is that it is showing NESN's commercials instead of blacking them out with a miserable MLB ad with elevator music in the background. I'm looking forward to my favorite New England commercials from places like: Foxwoods, Bob's Discount Furniture, W.B. Mason, Dunkin Donuts, Sullivan Tires, Charlie Moore --the mad fisherman, and bad acting by various sox players pushing whichever store has paid them (or Sox Appeal, which had the most comical sox appearances).
Have I mentioned this year how much I love Tim Wakefield?! Yea, even if he did just give up a hit and committed an error after just one pitched ball. Our SS is fielding left field. Andruw Jones has made more plays at second tonight than the second baseman!
I've seriously missed Don and Jerry making fun of themselves or the various things that occur in the ballgame. I've missed the wheezing laughter that they often break out into but are trying to be silent and not laugh hysterically into the microphone. My favorite quote from the game is:
Don: Some people say not to let [the green monster mess with your swing
by tempting you to swing for the fences] in Fenway Park. But even Fenway
Park isn't this close.
Jerry: Even the Little League Park isn't this close!
This is the first road game in years where Sox fans are actually outnumbered by the home team's fans. It actually feels like a road game! In these years of bandwagon jumpers, it's kinda nice.
Just when a late-spring training game begins to feel like a real game (two days before the opening night, real unis instead of spring unis, full effort by the players), the starters are taken out one by one so that by the middle of the 5th inning the team has changed to a mixture of single A and double A players that only ring a bell as being early round picks a year or two ago.
One random Sox fact that I learned this weekend: Closer Jonathan Papelbon graduated from Mississippi State University (no new news there, but...) and utility player Bobby Keilty played for Ole Miss. How odd is it that a team from Boston has two Mississippi alums from the two major colleges (sorry USM fans...you'll always have Favre).
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
It's the little things like this that make me sad I live far away from them.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Last night Atlanta was hit by a tornado that caused a lot of damaged, left hundreds homeless and sent several to the hospital. I was home, and the rain and thunder outside my apartment was louder than any I've ever heard. While these thunderstorms ravaged the city, I sat in my apartment half fascinated and scared out of my mind. This morning, the storms still raged outside. At one point in the day, I was awakened by the tornado siren blaring, and I scurried for shelter. After ten minutes, the storm had moved on. Less than an hour later, the sun was shining. I'm not talking about a non-rain situation...the sun was actually shining brightly!
It reminded me of storms we face in life. Whether we're holed up in the innermost bathroom with a candle or if we're buried in our covers, storms are still scary. When the wind blows and the lightening strikes, we try to find safety. But, what is inevitable is that the storm will end. The sun will come out! When we come out of our shelter, we walk among the rubble and assess the impact of the storm, and then we begin to pick up the pieces and go on with life. The impact of the storm remains with us forever, but slowly it becomes less consuming. We see God's hand more clearly in the storm. We may not be able to see 2 inches in front of us or be able to stand up to the winds and think life is over, but then God makes himself visable. And when the storm has passed, the sun comes out, and through the sunshine we're reminded of God's grace, comfort and protection. No, storms aren't fun, but we can take comfort in the fact that the sun will shine again.
Friday, March 14, 2008
These are the days that will last forever
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
CHORUS: So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
And this Salvation Army band Is playing this hymn
Monday, March 10, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
All these places have their moments
But of all these friends and loved ones
Though I know I'll never lose affection
Soon we'll come to the end of life's journey
If we never meet again this side of heaven
Where the charming roses bloom forever
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Don't need no hateration, holleratin'
Thursday, March 6, 2008
“Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” I John 3:18
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
“Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”
Istanbul was Constantinople
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Red Carpet Wrap: I loved the simplicity that dominated the red carpet this year. It had a very old Hollywood feel about it. My favorite hair and make-up combo was Jennifer Garner. Heidi Klum is the prettiest woman on the planet. I’m not believing she told everyone on the face of the planet that she wasn’t wearing a bra. She’ll be fined by Victoria’s Secret when she returns to work. Cameron Diaz’s dress is beautiful from the thighs up, but it’s not good below that. My favorite dress color was Kelly Preston’s, but the design was a bit too much like Renee Zelwegger’s famous yellow dress. Speaking of Renee, she has chopped off her hair. It’s not good, and I think she knows it. She keeps pulling at it and touching it as if she’s self-conscious and wanting it to grow quickly. I can’t believe Ryan Seacrest didn’t know Summer Phoenix! What an idiot! The worst dress goes to Daniel Day-Lewis’ wife. There were huge rhinestone flours and red tie straps. It’s heinous! Javier Bardem is actually not bad looking; after seeing him today in No Country for Old Men, the thought of him being good looking seemed beyond far fetched. It must have been the hair. Cate Blanchet is almost always my favorite on the red carpet (and on the screen as well…she’s phenomenal!). She was shown very late on the carpet, and the top of the dress did not look promising; however, once they panned out, her dress was as beautiful as I expected. Her hair and make-up are flawless. I always look forward to seeing what she wears. She’s always willing to take risks, and she always succeeds in it. She looks about 9 months pregnant and still gorgeous! I also love her because she is so humble. Helen Mirren wins the award for best dressed older woman.
The Show and Actors (a running diary): I have been a huge Jack Nicholson fan for the majority of my life. Not only is he an amazing actor, but he looks uncannily like my granddaddy. Tommy Lee Jones was phenomenal in No Country for Old Men, and that wasn’t even the movie he was nominated for! The same can be said of Casey Affleck and Gone Baby Gone. He should have gotten the leading actor nod.
You need to know early in this diary that I’m beyond a huge fan of the montages, and the ones that show the classic, old movies make me teary-eyed. So, the opening sequence pretty much rocked me. While we’re speaking of classic, old movies, I’m going to give out the Elizabeth Crews award for best classic movie seen this year to Giant.
I love Jon Stewart, but he looks dwarfish when they pan out. My adoration of Casey Affleck goes back to his role as Morgan in Good Will Hunting (who makes the movie in more ways than is ever credited). It took me the first 20 minutes of Gone Baby Gone to realize it wasn’t Morgan all grown up. Good for Jennifer Garner…she didn’t trip this time! This woman who won for costume design should have had somebody else design her dress. However, her designs in Elizabeth II was outstanding. Ahhhh, Clooney. My all time favorite Oscar speech is Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s (and it has nothing to do with it being for writing my all time favorite movie). They were beyond shocked and just started yelling out names. It was priceless! The streaker running behind David Niven is also priceless, and I can’t believe the Academy included the Native American who came to deny Marlon Brando’s award for The Godfather.
Ok, so one of the best quotations from the night is Catherine Zeta-Jones saying: Well, I wasn’t around when Michael won his. Michael follows with: Well, you were alive, honey. Johnny Depp’s facial hair looks uncannily like my friend Wes’. I wonder how those who Cuba Gooding, Jr. beat for best supporting actor for his work in Jerry MacGuire feel about their careers now. I wonder if they just pretend they didn’t make a movie that year. There is no way Javier Bardem isn’t walking away with this supporting actor award. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is probably my favorite male actor of today. Tom Wilkinson is amazing in everything and even more so in Michael Clayton. I’ve already covered my love for Casey Affleck. No less, Javier is walking away with this. And he does!
I foresee the little girl from “Raise it Up” appearing on American Idol in 8 years. I’m a bit shocked Owen Wilson agreed to present at the Oscars this year considering the year he’s had. I applaud him for it. Ahhh, Cate Blanchet’s yellow dress with the maroon sash: the most beautiful dress of all time! Amy Ryan’s dress is simple and beautiful, and she deserves this award. It’s hard to look at her looking so pretty and think it’s the same woman as was in that movie. Tilda Swinton’s role in Michael Clayton was tiny and not that great! And she should be disqualified for her hair. I’m not believing she just won. Amy Ryan was robbed!
JC Penny just showed a commercial with “Killing the Blues”! That song is incredible. The Coen Brothers will rack up tonight. Their ability to use humor in the oddest places is remarkable.
Dame Judy Dench is in the top three best actresses of our day. Years from now, our grandchildren will look back at her and talk about how classis she is. I also adore Gwyneth Paltrow’s Oscar speech. She bawled like a baby, but it was great! The actress for La Vie en Rose’s speech, or lack thereof, was amazing. I love it when they are so blown away that they don’t know how to react. I also loved how excited the other actresses nominated were to hear her name called out. I also love it when the academy shocks us with an unexpected winner.
What is the likelihood that Colin Ferrell makes it through his part without saying the F word? Maybe the better question is how long in this speech before he says the F word. I’m putting the over/under at 2 minutes. (Luckily for the censors he was only on for about 1). When at the movies today, all of the trailers were movies with him in them. It was bizarre. It’s unfair for such amazing hair to be given to a guy!
Have I mentioned that I freakin love Jack Nicholson?! Out of the 79 greatest movies, I’ve seen 53. I guess that’s pretty good, but I thought it’d be higher. Marlon Brandon in On the Waterfront….hmmmmm…perfection. I’m quite surprised by the movies that I thought were winners but didn’t: ie. Bonnie and Clyde, Butch Cassidy, any Stanley Kubric film and Sunset Blvd. There are so many movies that are the greatest movies ever made that weren’t on that list. I guess the annual thing limits the selection some. Some years there were tons of amazing movies; other years there weren’t. How else can you explain the absence of these movies and more, not to mention Cuba Gooding, Jr.’s Oscar? (I’ll get back to you on who these amazing movies lost out to…right now the database is logged, and I can’t get it to load)
Nicole Kidman is amazing. She’s been very hidden this awards show and past few years. She’s still beautiful. I don’t like her necklace, but her dress is nice. It’s hard to find pretty dresses for prego women. Her necklace looks like a lace shawl.
Were all Hitchcock’s women blonde? I’m gonna have to check that out. Robert Boyle gets the first standing ovation of the night … two and a half hours into the production.
I’m putting my money on a song from Enchanted winning best song. I’ve never heard of this guy singing the last song from Enchanted, but he’s really good! Oh my goodness, Enchanted songs didn’t win. I wonder if it’s because they cancelled each other out votewise. I liked the song. I like this woman’s black dress much more than I liked the purple one she wore to perform. I liked the back of the purple one, but the front wasn’t great.
They just panned the crowd showing Jennifer Garner and Summer Phoenix sitting beside each other. We’re feeling the sister-in-law love. But it does make you wonder where Joaquin is tonight. I mean, it could totally be a family reunion. I’m surprised that Ben Affleck wasn’t there tonight since Amy Ryan was nominated for her acting in a movie he directed.
They’re remaking A Raison in the Sun…starring Diddy?! This is blasphemous!
Back to Cameron Diaz’s dress…her hem is about 3 inches too short!
I love the memorial montage. It makes me cry every year. There are so many old actors and actresses who don’t get press when they die. I also love how the Academy always ends with what they think will be the biggest emotional grabber. I could have told you a week ago it would end with Heath Ledger tonight.
I’m for War of Dance for documentary. However, African dancers don’t stand a chance when it comes to issues related to Iraq and war interrogation.
Have I mentioned that Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront is the closest I’ve ever seen to physical perfection?! What he grew into is tragic. I’ve heard girls said that Disney has given them unreal expectations of men and love. For me, Gregory Peck gave me unreal expectations of men (and Jane Austen is to blame for the unreal expectations of love…but that’s for another day).
All the critics say Daniel Day-Lewis is an absolute for best actor…my vote goes to Clooney, but it could be because that’s the only one of the performances I’ve seen from this list.
Robert Redford’s Ordinary People is still one of the best movies ever! I love Martin Scorcese; I love that he was given the award by three of the best directors of his day. I love that he got it late in life and appreciated it. The Coen Brothers should win for directing…and they do! This movie has the same weird feel as Fargo. For Best Picture, I’m putting my money on the Coen Brothers and No Country for Old Men, and it wins.
Final wrap: There were really no surprises for the big awards this year. I don’t think people expected the best actress winner or best supporting actress, but other than that…it was pretty predictable. Jon Stewart did a good job hosting. The overall program wasn’t the best I’ve seen (that still goes to the 70th anniversary), but it was much better than last year’s (which was the worst I’ve seen). It’s always fun to see beautiful dresses and pretty people, and it’s always fun to honor a medium that has captured the imaginations of, promoted the dreams of, and provided the memories to millions of us for years.
Friday, February 15, 2008
"Given that we're dealing with Iraq, global warming, the subprime shakeout, the decline of the American dollar, the decline of the public-school system and every other troublesome reality in this country right now, it's hard to believe some of our most notable Congressmen didn't have a better way to spend this week than interrogating a disgraced Hall of Fame pitcher and the sad-sack Andy Dick lookalike who once trained him. I do not approve this usage of my tax dollars."
I couldn't have said it better!
You can always find the Sports Guy on espn.com or the magazine.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Which Jane Austen Character are You? (For Females) Long Quiz!!!
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as Elizabeth Bennet|
As one of Austen's most beloved characters, Elizabeth Bennet represents what most women would like to become: strong, independent, and loyal. Of course, she has her faults including a stubborn will of iron and a clinging to first impressions. Overall, Lizzie is bright and lovable...something to admire and aspire to.