Archive for category sports
Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,
I've been trying to slow the pace of our life lately. It occurred to me that the deliberately slow approach to the game is what makes me love baseball so much. I enjoy all sports, but there's something special about baseball that helps me relax. You girls aren't too excited about my love for baseball, but I'm happy to have a partner now in you, Max.
Looks like they’re assembling the new scoreboard at Fenway Park. It appears to be roughly the same size as the entire old structure, but consumed entirely by the digital board rather than surrounded by advertisements (for now at least). Nifty.
- V – This Blog: With the advent of twitter (see notamateurhour) this blog has been lacking in content. Turns out it’s much easier to just sit out a few lines of text regularly than it is to construct several paragraphs worth of content that’s worth reading. We’ll see if that changes.
- V – Hanging Out: With only very rare exceptions, I’ve been lacking in the hanging-out department for the past two or three months for various reasons (work, laziness, etc.). I think this is going to be my new years resolution: “hang out more.” I don’t remember the last time I made a run for the Border Cafe or saw some good pickin’ at the Cantab lounge with my old homies.
- ^ – Work: I did some pretty neat things this year, and enjoyed doing them. A massive mysql upgrade and migration went off with minimal outage — onto solid state disk hardware, which has worked out pretty sweet. I also did a whole bunch of fiddling and reworking with our DNS system for added speed and reliability, and built tools for making database reslaves an order of magnitude faster by using LVM snapshots. All in all, I’d say probably well worth the raise and titular promotion that I got this quarter. I’m not going to deny that there have been issues at Linden this year, and it hasn’t been the happiest of times morale-wise, but from where I sit things seem to be looking up.
- V – Red Sox: A grim 2010 for the boys of summer. ‘Nuff said. But I’m definitely looking forward to the Sox of ’11.
- ^ – Green Lifestyle: With Kristy no longer needing the car to drive to rotations in Worcester or Cambridge, there was no logical reason remaining to own a car while living in the city. $250/month for parking plus $80/month for insurance plus the hundreds of dollars that the car was going to potentially start costing us in maintenance to get it fixed and keep running is far from worth it for something you only drive maybe once a week or so. Zipcar is more than affordable and convenient enough for those occasional jaunts to Costco or the mall, and getting back and forth between Boston and Cambridge is just a quick ride on the CT2 or 47 MBTA bus.
- ^ – Burning Man: This year I did Burning Man for my first, and definitely not last, time. It was an awesome experience pretty much beyond words. Hopefully I’ll find the time to write a bit about it here and post some pictures, but you really have to go for yourself. Definitely one of the highlights of 2010 for me.
- = – Life in General: 2010 has been kind of a doozy of a year. Lots of stuff going on, things done, places gone to, lessons learned. Whew, I feel kind of tired just thinking about it all. I met a few awesome new friends, and said farewell to a few as well as they headed out of town and on with their lives. But I guess that’s how the whole durned human comedy keeps perpetuatin’ itself, down through the generations, westward the wagons, across the sands o time until — aw, look at me I’m ramblin’ again. Well, I hope you folks enjoyed yourselves this year, and here’s to a happy and awesome 2011.
If you haven’t seen this already, click it right now. Go ahead. It’s awesome and hilarious — awesomely hilarious. As Erin said: “Jonathan Papelbon strikes me as someone with ADHD who was never given Ritalin… and the world is better for it!” Also, Big Papi is a bedazzler — who would have thunk it?
After spending two weeks in San Francisco, visiting the headquarters of my new employer, Linden Lab, I am fully recovered from the jet lag, and back at home.
Unfortunately, the Red Sox are now down 1-2 in the ALCS vs. the Indians. The Rockies, on the other hand, are looking like a classic “Team of Destiny (TM).” When’s the last time they lost a game? How good was that one-game NL wild-card playoff?
Anyway, come on down to my place, good ‘ol apt. 1504 to help cheer on the Sox tonight as they battle the Indians (feather, not dot), for the privilege of meeting the Rockies in the 2007 fall classic. Refreshments and food will be provided. The fun starts at 6:30, when I get home from work. Game time is 8pm.
That’s Officer Billy Dunn there, doing the ceremonial fist pound with Papelbon during a Sox game. For those not aware, it’s become a tradition that when Pap gets called out of the ‘pen to close the game, he and Dunn share this gesture as he heads out of the gate.
The globe has a great article today about it, and Officer Dunn, the “paunchy veteran cop.”
It goes like this: In the late innings with the Sox clinging to possible victory, manager Terry Francona walks to the pitcher’s mound and motions with his right arm to summon his All-Star closer. Rock music fills the park . Dunn flings open the bullpen gate and Papelbon steps onto the field. Papelbon and Dunn then square their fists and knock knuckles to the delight of Red Sox fans everywhere.
For those who have never been at Fenway, or who haven’t been there at any time over the past couple of seasons to witness what’s become a bit of a “ceremony” of Papelbon getting called out of the pen, it’s just one of those things that make Fenway special.
When we were in New York visiting my friend Dennis, and went out to Flushing Meadows to catch a Mets game for $9.50/ticket, he expressed utter disbelief that folks would regularly pay as much as they do, and go to the lengths that they do to see a game at old, small, somewhat decrepit Fenway Park. This is just one of those things, and you have to experience it to believe it, I suppose.
Here I am, sitting in my living room watching this Sox game on ESPN, and the Yanks have blown a 4-0 lead. I can very clearly hear the crowd from the stadium cheer/chant “Where is Roger?” at an unbelievable volume from my couch. Now, I wasn’t actually at home during the back-to-back-to-back-to-back home run derby at Fenway earlier this season, but this is definitely the loudest it’s been here so far this season. Amazing.
Also, Andy Pettite clearly winced/screamed in pain after one of those last few pitches, and left the game straight into the clubhouse with the trainer. We watched out the window as Doug Mientkiewitcz left the park in the back of an ambulance yesterday headed for MGH. Now, I’m going to reserve comment about this particular game (there are still several innings left) But, as far as the season goes, could things possibly get any worse for the MFNYY?
Wood was rookie of the year in ’98, had a nasty curve, and a fastball clocked at 101+. Wood holds the MLB records for fastest to reach 1000 strikeouts in both IP and appearances, as well as the record for strikeouts in a game (20, tied with a certain other pitcher who doesn’t need to be mentioned). And since then? torn labrum, torn rotator cuff, torn ulnar collateral ligament, Tommy John surgery, etc, etc. He’s currently on the DL for the 11th time in his 10-year career.
The article reads as a cautionary tale, and an interesting analysis of major league pitching, conditioning, and what might be wrong about baseball’s current philosophy concerning coddling young pitchers. It’s long, but well written and interesting, so I recommend it if you’ve got some time to burn today or this weekend.
“PITCHING A BASEBALL is, to put it mildly, a torturous and self-destructive act. Pitching is the fastest known motion in human biomechanics, the shoulder rotating at the rate of 7,200 degrees per second at its maximum, or the equivalent of 20 full revolutions per second. At the time of the ball’s release, the forces acting on the shoulder are basically equivalent to the pitcher’s body weight; they are akin to someone of similar size trying to yank his arm out of his shoulder socket. Right before release, the pitcher’s elbow straightens at a rate of 2,000 degrees per second, or the equivalent of 5.5 full revolutions per second.”
Firstly, I highly recommend the champagne Sunday brunch at Foxwoods Casino. We took the 1.5hour drive down there this morning purely for the brunch. Obviously, as you can probably tell from the name, champagne is included. Also present are the usual brunch fares (toast, waffles, omelet station, carved turkey, sausage, bacon, hash browns, etc.). But, from there the buffet traverses the boundary into the sublime. I enjoyed several slices of roast beef tenderloin, rack of lamb, fresh made sushi, lobster tails, and other yummy delights. At $55/person it aint cheap, but I definitely think it’s worth it.
Also, since the Sox game today was rain-delayed, it still hadn’t started by the time we arrived back in Boston. This meant we were able to wait for the first pitch and head down to get some leftover $5 tickets (somewhat long story, but it’s a special deal that Kristy gets from her employer). We settled for what the ticket-window dude called “wheelchair space on the roof.” It turns out that we ended up in two folding chairs up in the State Street Pavilion. Sweetness. And a pretty good game to boot.
Now for some more randomness, here are some songs/albums that have made their way up to the top of my iPod playlist lately:
- 25 or 6 to 4 – Chicago
- Some Loud Thunder/Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (albums) – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
- Mr. Blue Sky – ELO
- Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? – Chicago
- Walking On the World (album) – Jake Armerding