Archive for category sports

Loud


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?

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Kerry Wood


There’s a great article up at the NYT this weekend (it’s a preview for an article that’s going to me in the times mag this sunday) concerning the sad case of Kerry Wood.

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.”

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Random


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

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Trip and Some Pictures Not Related to Recent Trip


The trip to Champaign-Urbana was relatively uneventful. The job was a success, although there are still a couple of loose ends to tie up (migrating from listmaint to mailman, and coming up with some web-based password-changing app). On Saturday, I met up with ck for some Lil’ Porgy’s BBQ (which was excellent, BTW), and some crazy Guitar Hero II action. I capped off the trip by having a lunch outing with the ‘ol CITES gang at El Toro II (one of Champaign’s many many good mexican establishments), and then going to see Hot Fuzz with ck and chas. Good movie. I highly recommend it.

Finally, I downloaded (uploaded?) the pictures from the camera and made an album of our trip to New York City (including a visit to Shea Stadium), and some random pictures from a couple of Sox games at Fenway that Kristy and I went to over the past couple of weeks. The big goof in the mets shirt is my friend Dennis (who was kind enough to let us stay with him).



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Saturday, and Guitar Hero


So, a whole mess of people came over to watch the Sox’ losing effort against the Yankees this past Saturday, and it was a good time. For the record, I highly recommend the “Hot and Spicy” varietal of Johnsonville Brats. After the game was over and most of the folks left for some crazy party in Sullivan Square, us remaining individuals sat around watching the tube and drinking some of Anne’s friend Craig’s very fine home-brew (thanks Craig!).

The topic of Guitar Hero came up, and how I was thinking about picking up a copy for my PS2. Now, here’s where living across the street from a Best Buy comes in handy, and is somewhat dangerous. About 5 minutes later, we had the goods and were off and running with the game.

Several hours of pure awesomeness ensued, and Amanda has some photos up of us rocking the joint. So, by now I’ve got everything beat on “medium” level (and I must say that my “Free Bird” is coming along quite nicely), but I want to get some more playing time in and really master the rig before moving up to the next skill level. Wish me luck.

An interesting footnote to this story is the Joel Zumaya story. Apparently Joel, a fire-throwing pitcher for the Tigers, missed a few games of the ’06 ALCS due to “soreness” from playing the game too much. I suppose it’s something to keep in mind, but then again I’m not a major league pitcher.

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Trip to New York


Back in Boston after a few days in the Big Apple. I’m not going to recount the whole trip, but Here’s a list:

  • Sushi at Akita
  • A couple of games of Stratego with Dennis
  • Mets game at Shea ($9/ticket, day of game)
  • Off-Broadway show (Be)
  • Central Park
  • Gracie Mansion
  • Apple Store 5th Avenue
  • New York Style Pizza (and garlic knots!)
  • Awesomely amazing brunch at Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien
  • Sox sweep Yankees, and interestingly enough “Yankee’s Suck” chants abounded at the Mets game

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Rig (and Dice-K)


So this Wednesday (April 11th), Red Sox rookie/japanese-import phenom Daisuke Matsuzaka (Dice-K), makes his home pitching debut against the Seattle Mariners and Ichiro Suzuki at Fenway Park, approximately a few hundred yards directly out my apartment window.

Kristy and I will be watching the game and enjoying the Fenway ambiance and the hope of a new season. Please accept our cordial invitation to enjoy the game, called by Don and Jerry on NESN in all HD glory at our humble abode. The usual baseball food will be provided (Sausage of various varieties) as well as other goodies and beverages. Feel free to bring along anything (or anybody) you may want. The game starts at 7pm, so festivities should start earlier than that (6 -6:30?) if possible. Let me know what you think.

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If anyone needs directions to my place just call or email me. You don’t want to drive in on a game night unless paying $30 to park someplace is your idea of a wise expenditure. Luckily (as those who have visited already can attest to), our apartment is easy walking distance from both Kenmore and Fenway(D line) T stops.

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