September 30, 2004 - Where Less Is Baltimore
   The Vacation Writeups: I will be in Baltimore until late Sunday night, meaning that you fine people will be without my witticisms and mediocre grasp of grammar until then.

   Despite the fact stats show no one reads this site on the weekends, now would be a perfect time to unveil one of the two vacation writeups that are currently in limbo, and referenced by the above spaces saved for them.

   Yeah, it sure would be a perfect time for them.


   • It's rare to see my hatred of modern American presidential politics identified so ambiguously as it is in this picture.

Kerry and Bush

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, left, and President Bush shake hands prior to the start of the first presidential debate in Coral Gables, Fla., on Thursday. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

   And two thoughts before I take my leave:

   1) Nice to see Captain Tans-A-Lot toweled some of the Orange Glo off before going under the lights.

   2) After 15 minutes, I would pretty sure John Kerry was going to make Bush cry before the end of the show. Just eviscerating stuff, but he either stepped off the gas or W. woke up ... I can't decide which.

   Nor will I now.


September 29, 2004 - A Sort-Of Think Tank
   Never Anger The Drunks: To me, Jack Daniel's whiskey tastes like liquid fire. I would just assume shotgun a 2-liter bottle of Moxie as drink any large amount of Jack Daniel's. However, given it has been around since the Civil War, it obviously has a market.

   And a good piece of them are pissed off.

If you've noticed that your Jack Daniel's is carrying a little less kick these days, you're probably right. The famed "sippin' whiskey," which advertises a recipe traced back to the nation's first registered distillery, has lowered the alcohol content of its flagship brand, Old No.7 Black Label.

The whiskey now registers 80 proof, instead of 86 (or 40 percent alcohol versus 43 percent), and some drinkers feel betrayed.

"You can't screw with a legend like that and get away with it," said Frank Kelly Rich, editor of Modern Drunkard magazine. "I'm sure Jack is spinning in his grave."

   Right off the top, Modern Drunkard Magazine. Touchdown, and take that for what you will, especially since this picture of the editor has him drinking water with his cigarette.

   What strikes me is the online petition. Not this one, but the entire idea of online petitions. For example, the Mothers Against Maddox petition listed on the frontpage.

   44,909 signatures ... you just go feel that power for yourself.


   • There's a presidential debate on Thursday. I will probably watch it, and then make fun of John Kerry's obviously very fake tan. By my logic, that's my best use when it comes to politics, and it may drive someone to leave an angry comment that I feel bad about for a little while, but that I ultimately decide is hilarious.

   The Washington debate my input is obviously both welcome and useful regarding is about the D.C. Expos. The new team needs a name, and I think I'm funny ... what could be a better combination short of pesto sauce and my mouth?

   Everyone out there is suggesting the obvious names -- the Washington Senators, Capitols, Monuments, even the Grays to honor the former Negro League team. They're all good -- in my mind, Major League Baseball would "encourage" the Rangers to surrender the Sens name if it was for the greater good.

   Ultimately, I think that's the route we're going. If not in actuality, in slang ... if you play baseball in Washington, you play on the Senators.

   You also suck, like every other team in Washington lately, but that's neither here nor there.

   Personally, I would love to see the team called just what I referred to them as before, the D.C. Expos. Maybe it's partly The Whaler Factor, maybe it's partly because I know it will never possibly happen. I just think the D.C. Expos has a ring to it that none of the other names being kicked around -- outside the Senators, anyway -- has.

   I mean, they're already red, white and blue. It gives a nod to the franchise's past, which is rather storied all things considered.

   Heck, maybe they could buy the pissed off Uncle Sam from the Fisher Cats nee Primaries.

And it's much better than the other instinct ... the D.C. Follies.


September 28, 2004 - This Probably Won't End Well
   Dodgers 5, Rockies 4: Milton Bradley's latest blowup and the weak opposition notwithstanding, if you come from 7-5 down in the eighth one night, then from 4-0 down with one away in the ninth the next, the Giants are probably not going to catch you.

   For your own enjoyment, click on the "Plays of the Game" link on that page to listen to Vin Scully call a four-run, ninth-inning comeback in the way only he can. I won't even make a gratuitous reference to the time earlier this season where we met ... in the sense I showed him where the clam chowder was.

   Maybe I just enjoy it more because I've had to listen to Don Orsillo scream-describe 95 Sox wins since April.

   Red Sox 10, Devil Rays 8 (11): One day after I say the Sox bullpen won't be lights out like they were last year, five relievers combine to no-hit Tampa for six innings. I should rent my services out to the highest bidder.

   Given how Derek Lowe performed tonight -- 2.1 IP, 8 H, 5 ER against a soon-to-be 90-loss team -- there's some irony in that I watched the reairing of his 2002 no-hitter on ESPN Classic this afternoon. It's hard to overstate just how fast he was working that afternoon, and just how on he was ... had the Red Sox not scored 10 runs on the afternoon, the game might not have taken two hours to play.

   It was also hilarious to hear Sean McDonough refusing to say the words "no-hitter," but work in how "the hits are 12-0," how Lowe will be facing these men "as he tries to make history," how he's trying to accomplish something "not done at Fenway since 19 ... 65" every 17 seconds.

   Not as funny as the fact I wrote off Derek Lowe four-plus months ago, but I'd imagine that's more of a personal chuckle.


   • With all this talk of baseball, it's worth noting I very badly want to get in my car and drive to Montreal for the last Expos game ever in Olympic Stadium. While I sense it's the same inkling that had me almost drive to Philadelphia last year for the final Phillie game at Veterans Stadium, only now will I name it -- "The Whaler Factor."

   So instead, it's worth noting that if Pedro Martinez beats the Devil Rays on Wednesday night, and the Twins sweep the Yankees in a doubleheader in the Bronx -- two things not entirely out of the realm of possibility -- the Red Sox will be one game out of first place in the AL East.

   For whatever reason, I am actually sort of excited at the possibility of going to Minnesota for playoff baseball. I've so long heard how loud it gets in the Metrodome ... plus I could take about 35 photos of the Hefty Bag and be totally proud of myself.

   And of course, the first thing I'd do is check out the clubhouses to see if they were accurately depicted in Little Big League, but that goes without saying.


   But since I'm rambling, and since there may be nothing but baseball on here for the next month, I leave you with the heartwarming idea that the Barenaked Ladies might be getting a variety show.

   Of course it's FOX ... I just can't wait until all those promos dripping with sexual innuendo start hitting the airwaves. It'll be almost as good as the Gatorade commercial with Nomar thanking Mia Hamm. I say almost as good because the promos won't end with all of New England cursing at their televisions.


September 27, 2004 - Phase One Complete
   Thomas Finneran: The leader of the "Gang of Three" is gone from Boston's Beacon Hill. This likely means little -- the new House Speaker has voted with Finneran more than 99 percent of the time.

   I only mention it because the new House Speaker is named Salvatore DiMasi. There are editorial cartoonists all over this state doodling sketches of mob hits as we speak, and quite frankly, I'm excited by the possibilities.

   Dodger Watch: I'm not even so much concerned with L.A.'s 8-7 walkoff win, increasing their division lead to three games with six to play. To me, they would have deserved to lose tonight.

William Hung at Dodger Stadium
-- You are not to encourage his fame, ever.

'American Idol' contestant William Hung winds up on the mound as he throws out the first pitch before the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies on Monday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

   When you start wearing shirts that even I would use to wash my car with, I think that's the sign you've officially gone too far. Though between this and the talk of Pauly Shore this week, I'm more convinced than ever I could make it in Hollywood.

Francona's Foibles Less Than Advertised
-- On a day where I essentially laid out the entire sports section by myself, my Francona annoyance was lessened by the fundamental truth that mediocre managers have their fair share of World Series rings.

   Course, I say that now.


   • And since I did make such a big deal out of it two years ago with the Angels.

Wild Card Party
-- Another Tampa playoff party.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez. right, gets doused with beer by teammate Trot Nixon after the Red Sox clinched a playoff berth with a 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Monday in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

   Sportswriters, to your keyboards. The Red Sox are daring celebrate another playoff berth ... don't they know the Yankees would play it totally cool, and of course the Sox want nothing more than to be the Yankees, right?

   Sometimes, I hate my peers.


September 26, 2004 - The Magic of Kurt Warner
   More Dodger Watch: The most unbelievable first-place team in baseball is up 2.5 games over San Francisco.

   Of course, you could read that in any newspaper in America. What you couldn't read is that I would much rather by spending the weekend in Los Angeles than in ... Baltimore.

   On the bright side, it could be followed by a weekend in ... Minnesota. Things just keep getting better.

   Giants 27, Browns 10: I'm very glad I actually got to watch the two Giant victories this season, since one could easily be led to believe being 2-1 alone makes you a good team.

   The Giants are, still, not a good team. They should have beaten Cleveland by about 30 today.

   But they are just four wins away from what we're calling "the magic number."


   • Given I've now talked about teams in Los Angeles and New York, two places I have never lived, I will now ignore the Red Sox pair of blowout wins to show you this.

Dorks Do Hockey

   I have nothing else to say ... much too focused on the minutiae of Terry Francona.


September 25, 2004 - Twenty Million And Counting
   Why They Pay Me: I could have paid my $5 or whatever it is now to stand around Fenway Park and watch baseball on Friday night. This is why I didn't have to.

Even When It's Bad, It's Not That Bad
-- Bottling my Francona angst for another 48 hours, it's one of the most poetic stories you've ever read that involves bathroom stench and vomiting. And I truly mean that.

   I was going to attempt to watch part of a game from every seating area in the stadium, but once I figured out I had no way into the .406 Club, I saved my legs a little walking.

   Though I remain convinced I'm the only member of the press corps who takes the walkways up five stories to the press level instead of the elevator. And I only made that trip about a half-dozen times.

   Explanation: Looking up the movies talked about yesterday, I actually took time to read Pauly Shore's bio.

While on her way to the hospital to give birth to Pauly, his mother was yet undecided on a name for her child. She passed the Paulee Body shop and a Montgomery Ward, and that's how Pauly got his name.

   Between that and his Hollywood upbringing, I feel like I understand so much more now. I'd like to think if I grew up in America's most fake city, and in a comedy club on top of that, I'd probably be green-lighting In The Army Now too.

   Declaration: The fact that there are people on eBay selling self-compiled DVD collections of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist makes me happy, because it means I'm not the only one who still thinks this show was great.

   That doesn't so much explain why I had a dream about a show cancelled in November of 1999 last night, but really, I probably don't want to know anyway.


   • I did not attend the Big E to see Clay Aiken sing.

   Had I known Miss Licking County was going to be there, I might have rethought that.

The usually very calm and in control Aiken began to stutter, and he had problems putting his sentences together. A home video posted on airplaycentral.com captures Aiken's awkward moment.

   Hey, I gave you scintillating Pauly Shore talk. I'm only one lazy, lazy man.


September 24, 2004 - From Behind Section Four
   Today's Unnecessary Technological Advance: Something I first saw in the Grand Theft Auto series, the video game "How Much Of Your Life Have You Wasted" counter. As though a physical reminder of just how many minutes you've wasted playing a video game is the best way to encourage repeated use.

   For the record, the count on the new game at press time is six hours, 26 minutes. You would think the act of crashing other race cars and aiming to cause the most fiscally damaging accidents possible would get a little tiresome once you'd seen it a couple times.

   Having just cleared the $10 million mark in damage caused, and completing my first "crash your opponent's sports car into a big rig," I would encourage you to rethink that statement.

   Dodger Watch: To be quite honest, I'm unable to understand how the Los Angeles Dodgers -- now my solid No. 2 team after years of hovering behind the likes of the Mets, A's, Rockies and Angels -- have stayed in first place every day since July 7. I've just kind of been waiting for them to stumble like everyone else, since in watching them, I've noted they have the most snakebitten, awful starting pitching staff on a good team since ... well, probably since the 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers.

   And yet in beating San Francisco 3-2 tonight, they've ensured they'll be in first place at weekend's end. Which is more than I can say for the Boston nine.

   Yankees 6, Red Sox 4: Contrary to what you may believe after my Grady Little vivisections during last year's playoffs, I do not like to place blame for losses on the backs of managers. To me, baseball managers get more credit and blame than they deserve on a regular basis, so I tend to avoid pinning anything on them ever unless absolutely necessary.

   Yet after tonight, I think one of my peers in the press corps said it best.

"It's almost too easy to write."

   Tuesday's column can't come soon enough.


   • By a stroke of luck, a cruel twist of fate, or what have you I watched Ready To Rumble on television. You know, the WCW-based wrestling movie that led to David Arquette winning the actual WCW Heavyweight Title.

   So I go to IMDb to check on a casting question, and this is what I see on the bottom of the page.

If you like this title, we also recommend ...

Godfather, The (1972)

   Or, read another way, "If you like just the concept of a motion picture, you will also enjoy one of the greatest films ever made."

   For the record, the movie is bad, but definitely not Unbreakable/Jury Duty bad. Course, I enjoyed the use of all the WCW logos, equipment and talent, which you don't see much anymore since most of it has been ground down to make athletic tracks at the nation's high schools or something.


September 23, 2004 - The New Supermarket
   Ken Jennings Update: It's hard to understand just how valuable a skilled Photoshop contest can be until you view this one on Fark.

Old Ken Jennings
-- And this is just the only one I'd post in front of my mother.

   • A while back, I posted some of the contents from the Monday front-page "Thoughts" columns that runs in the Fall River Herald News, our competition in the sense that ... well, that we've made little to no attempts to cover Fall River.

   The most notable of these thoughts was, if you recall, the author's observation that gravy is disappearing from the American diet.

   He's back.

I wrote last week about shaving my head. The weird thing is, I shaved my head but all my hats still fit. That's not possible, is it?

Your real close friends are the ones who never question your stories about work, love, fistfights, fishing, hunting and how good a deal you got when you bought your truck.

Matha Stewart has decided to do her time. In a related development, the other day I met another fellow who, like me, thinks Martha is cute.

   There's even a nice flurry at Whale City.

Thanks to whoever named the Fall River Festival of the Arts. Bad things can happen when municipal celebrations get named. We're lucky it's not called "Art's A-Poppin" or something similarly cheesy.

I mean, look at New Bedford, they've got a downtown arts event called "Aha!"

For more information on downtown New Bedford, call 911.

   And while I could make my jab back at a man who lives in Fall River -- where the best part may be the city's well known "Abandoned Factory District" -- I will instead let the man's favorite things shine through.

I spend a lot of time grousing about the quality of cheese in restaurant omelets. Most places don't offer any kind of cheese other than American. I'm happy to report that the Stafford Grill in Tiverton (R.I.) offers omelets with American, Swiss, cheddar or provolone. A small thing, but welcome.

   So in his last two Thoughts pieces, our intrepid front page columnist has written about gravy and cheese. I can only hope a complete column on poutine is on the way.

   But really, why am I complaining? How often do you get to see the headline "Shaved Heads and Cheesy Omelets" above the fold in a city newspaper?


September 22, 2004 - Praising The Locals
   Why I Like My Job: So often, I talk about the exciting portion of what I do -- the actual covering of sports, the writing about games, the being a pundit. Yet there's another side that, arguably, would make a better job description.

   That of an editor and page designer.

   While I can't show you pages I've done and describe the nightly grind of it, I can tell you why I enjoy the office portion of work as much, if not more sometimes, that the active portion. Outside of my coworkers of course ... suffice to say in the year plus since my jump to sports, things are 7,000 times better. Not only can I now relate to the people on the news desk, but to the underdressed, self-deprecating goofs I fit in with better on the sports side.

   Anyway, tonight I'm running the desk. Deciding what gets in and what doesn't, deciding where it goes and deciding who does what page. I notice the AP has moved a feature on Daniel Graham, and since we have no Pats coverage of our own today, it's a perfect fit for the bottom of our cover -- Red Sox across the top, high school coverage in the middle, locally produced column down the left.

   I dig into our folder of Patriots art -- we have one of the best photographers you could ever hope to meet -- grab a shot, and basically build the bottom of the cover. When I'm done, I can tell that part of the page will be "too gray" -- even with the photo, there's lots of text and nothing to catch the eye, which sucks on a section front.

   I could go the easy route and break out a quote -- technically it's still text, but it's a giant quotation so it breaks up the monotony.

   I instead decide I'm going to build a stat box, from scratch, of the best seasons even put together by a Patriots tight end, complete with a logo -- one of the first things I did in the department was download updated logos for every major pro sports league.

   I spent the better part of the next 15 minutes here and in the Patriots media guide poring over numbers and making notes, then spend probably another 15 in Quark putting the box together, making sure the lines space like I want them to, that the tabs are even ... just being completely anal about the whole damn thing.

   Most readers probably won't give it a second thought. Some will probably just look at it and think, "Ben Coates sure had a lot of great seasons in New England" or "Who the hell is Derrick Ramsey?" Yet I believe at least one of them will look at it and think, "Wow, that's interesting stuff, and this page looks really good."

   Yes, I'm a dork.

   But that's why I love my job.


   • Yesterday, this site's favorite commentor asked for a large picture of Heather Casey. My first instinct at this request was to do this, with the end result being I still had no idea who the hell Heather Casey was, or why exactly she would ever show up here.

   The talk of this has led me to wonder whether Nina Sysko -- a.k.a. "The Girl With The Starburst Dress" -- ever came back here after she got done berating me in the comments. I would suspect no in the same way I suspect "berating" is too strong a word, but it is nice to see the Internet bringing people from different walks of life together.

   For example, I'm from the walk of life that blindly accepts the tuxedo as formal wear, and where we throw our "3 Musketeers" wrappers away rather than make them into toe socks.

   As usual, I digress.


   I continued to not know who Heather Casey was until earlier tonight.

   Then I learned she is "America's Hottest Teacher," according to FHM.

   And she hails from Whale City, USA.

Casey's Boston Herald Cover
-- Last week, that was the spot where the
"Miss America: Too Much Skin?" debate raged.

"People always told me I was pretty enough to model, but I never had the confidence to do it," said the 5-foot 7-inch, 117-pound Casey, who earned her preschool certification at Bristol Community College and taught the under-5 set for four years. She is now on hiatus from teaching, planning to return to college.
"I'm hoping it's a foot in the door."

   In what door? The teaching door? Does one put "America's Hottest Teacher" on their resume and assume a tasty response? And if you really were "America's Hottest Teacher," wouldn't wearing a short skirt to your interview mean you wouldn't even need a resume?

"Heather's photos were very creative, and creativity goes a long way with us," said FHM deputy editor Michael Dolan.

He cited her props -- everything from pointedly placed rulers and pencils to bare breasts pressed into nap cots -- as the clincher.

Casey said she scoured the North Dartmouth Mall for "a little plaid skirt" to wear, but when she came up empty turned to a black-pinstripe mini in her closet. Her spicy footwear -- white shoes with silver spiked heels -- came from Skin Deep, her favorite mall store, where strippers were "some of their best early customers," according to the New Bedford Standard-Times.

   Oh. That door. Thank goodness we've got plenty of local openings.

   Please also note that I explained to you why I enjoyed my job on a day where we, as a paper, apparently alerted the Boston Herald where strippers shop for clothes.

   Believe it or not, this was coincidence.


September 21, 2004 - Has To Be The Pepper Mayo
   Today's Time Wating Facilitator: It's because of this that I'd now like to see a United States map with just the _0 and _5 interstates superimposed on it, so I can see just how close the nation came to a real grid.

   For whatever reason, I am fascinated by these same roads beginning and ending thousands of miles apart ... it's not as though I never thought about it before, but the numbers just make it all the more dork-friendly.

   The Offshoot That Will Waste Time Tomorrow: That would be the Interstate Guide, if for no other reason than it has pictures.


   • People have asked me at times what it's really like in the press box. I've done my best to explain it with anecdotes, recollections and instant messages.

   In his ode to 61*, Bill Simmons hits it.

I'm sure the Knights of the Keyboard were unfair to Maris in '61, but they couldn't have been THIS bad. After watching an hour of "61*," I was half-expecting a press box scene where the writers passed around child porn or hurled racial insults at a batboy. Why are sportswriters portrayed as the Evil Incarnate in every baseball movie? Isn't this the cliche of cliches? Sportswriters aren't evil; they're just hungry. If you want a realistic movie scene with a bunch of sportswriters, have them wearing cheap Hawaiian shirts and fighting for thirds at a buffet table.

   Please note I checked out this nutritional information today just because I may have eaten it ten days in a row.

   It just seemed topical. And tasty.

   And I don't have enough money to open a Fresh City down here.


September 20, 2004 - Top Ten To Turn Off 'Late Show'
   Electioneering: Allow me to make this as bipartisan as possible.

Al Gore on Letterman
-- These appearances were funny for the right reasons.

John Kerry on David Letterman
-- This appearance was funny for the wrong reasons.

Europeans With Ryder Cup
-- This is a bunch of pasty white guys dressed alike and smiling too wide.

   I'm glad I could clear this up.

No Scapegoat For This Ryder Flop
-- It's a golf column. It's a good golf column that reaches beyond the scope of the sport and could be enjoyed by non-golfers, but it remains what it is.

   • I came very close to playing the race card in regards to the Ryder Cup, especially when comparing them to the Dream Team. I can only say that if I had seen the above picture before writing, the chances of that happening only could have gone up.

   After all, you didn't hear anybody quitting on the American team in honor of the "greater good" of golf, did you?

   And as for Kerry on Letterman, he was far more scripted than even I had anticipated ... this was nothing like Michael Dukakis riding in the tank in '88. Though it was fun to pick out the moments he tried to ad-lib and see them just sit like meat in the sun.

   Of course, George Bush might only be nominally better. Though all the fervor around the appearance did lead to a political "debate" in the office that seemed to show the entire sports department is at least leaning W.'s way.

   Yes, there was swearing. And yes, it couldn't end fast enough. Which means please take this opportunity to lecture me on my beliefs, because really, that's what I really enjoy.


September 19, 2004 - Treadmill-Free, Something Three
   Context Clues: Often, Wire services run stories just to be "wacky." They throw out there completely ludicrous news about ordinary people and things, just to show what a weird, wild world it is we live in.

   This was meant to be one of those stories.

Magician Says Tiger Bite Was Bid To Help Him

   BERLIN (Reuters) - A Las Vegas-based magician who was mauled and dragged from the stage by his white tiger during a show last October said in an interview to be aired Thursday that the animal was actually trying to help him.

   Speaking to German broadcaster RTL, German-born Roy Horn said the tiger, called "Montecore," was trying to stop him from falling over on stage after he suffered a dizzy spell.

   "It was an accident. Montecore understood the signals and wanted to save me," the illusionist-animal trainer said, adding: "It was unfortunate that his teeth hit my carotid artery."

   Horn, who performed glitzy shows with white tigers and his partner Siegfried Fischbacher, insisted Montecore not be destroyed and has already visited the animal since his release from hospital just before Christmas.

   Horn was clinically dead for about a minute and told RTL about the experience: "I saw flashing bright lights and my mother. My beloved animals were lying at her feet."


   The only problem being this story is about this guy, who not only do you know, but everyone in the world knows. Everyone except for the guy who wrote this story about the wacky "Las Vegas-based magician" of which he speaks.

   This may in fact qualify as workplace humor, and even that might be a stretch. Though really, it's not as though I haven't missed before.


   • It's not every night one plays poker until 4:30 a.m. with their coworkers.

   Which is a good thing, because as much fun as spending that much time in the office would be, there are undoubtedly both labor laws and coolness statutues it clearly violates.

   Of the nine players who competed in Tourney One, I was second, saved once all-in by a river card and taking a chop with the chip leader so we could start another tourney. Of the second in Tourney Two, I was fourth, amassing a huge chip lead early but frittering it away and going out with trip 8s against a full house and a straight.

   Three of a kind, and I had the worst hand out. So it goes.

   And yes, this is way too close to a "Diary Of My Day" posting, but it's 4:49 a.m. Sue me. It's not like I have any money now anyway.


September 18, 2004 - Cheering The Shin Shot
   Europe 11, United States 5: Much as you all love to hear me talk about golf, the Ryder Cup has officially entered column territory. See you Tuesday!

   • There's only one thing to do after what happened today in the Bronx.

Forcast!
-- Mock Yankee fans' spelling.

A New York Yankees fan holds a sign at the start of a game against the Boston Red Sox
at Yankee Stadium in New York on Saturday. (AP Photo/Ed Betz)

   Your fearless prognosticator only had Boston winning two of these games anyway, so keep your chins up. It's Pedro's series to win.

   Besides ... the U.S. team needs you more.


September 17, 2004 - Don't Hate The Players ...
   ... Love The Games.

   • Some went poorly. I directly attribute the scoreline of Europe 6.5, United States 1.5 at the Ryder Cup to the fact the U.S. came out in blue shirts.

   The United States should always wear red. Period.

   After all, look what it did for Boston's baseball nine.

   Memo to my friends Mr. M. Eckel and "Black Irish" McCaffery: Note that Mariano Rivera blown-save line. 1 IP, 1 BB, 2 H, 2 ER. Forty-nine saves or not, some pitchers just might not be as good in pressure as certain sportswriters would like to believe.


September 16, 2004 - Fore Score
   The Return Of Video Gaming: Given the fact that I have not bought, rented or played (for any signficant period) a PlayStation 2 game in several months, my decision to purchase a game more or less out of the blue should come as a surprise ... if the things I do in my free time are worthy of an emotional outburst on your part.

   Yet the real surprise is that it neither involves football or the words "Grand Theft Auto".

   What did it take to break this predictable string?

Burnout 3: Takedown
-- A game that rewards causing gruesome auto accidents.

   Burnout 3 ... the Jimmy Eat World song didn't hurt.

   Besides, something had to ensure neither the West or cruise write-ups were done before Martin Luther King Day.


   • Now, we could play another game of "Cooch Feels Old," with today's edition sponsored by the MTV News piece I stumbled across celebrating the 10-year anniversay of ... Green Day's 'Dookie'. One of the the best albums I own to this day, by one of the best bands out there to this day.

   Eschewing the "Things I Remember From 1994" game -- it would begin and end with the Lillehammer Olympics, the clap skate, Dan Jansen and Johann Olav Koss -- Green Day was always one of those bands who I never thought I really liked. I bought "Dookie," loved it, but things waned as I didn't really feel like I fit in with "that crowd."

   Then I bought "Insomniac," loved it, but waned on it.

   Then I bought "Nimrod," loved it, but waned on it.

   Then I stopped buying albums for like three years, but you get the idea.


   So instead of doing that, let's talk Ryder Cup -- one of my absolute favorite sporting events, bar none, and set to begin on Friday.

   But since you probably hate it, let's just analyze today's opening ceremonies.

American celebrities Donald Trump, Angie Everhart
and Samuel L. Jackson also took part in the ceremony.
-- For the record, Chaka Khan performed as well.

   Angie Everhart? As in "Dawn of the Dead" Angie Everhart? As in Lingerie Bowl?

   Golf does have a new edge.


September 15, 2004 - You Look Like A Coach
   Web Savvy: In what was probably an overdue move, the world's greatest university has a new Web site.

   There should be some sadness in seeing the old version go, even from those who had nothing to do with the school ... it's large beige plainness, photos of rowing and the BU Boathouse, and just general lack of clumsiness pretty much told everyone what they thought they knew about Boston University -- it was a giant, faceless bureaucracy where you never met anybody and nobody gave a crap about making things any easier/simpler for you.

   Now people are going to start to think the school cares ... that's just not what John Silber built the university to be at all. Though if the man really did call William Weld "an orange-headed WASP" during the 1990 gubernatorial campaign, I may have to crank up the already high respect I have for him.

   Mark Your Calendars: Mitch Hedberg is playing the Orpheum Theater in Boston on Nov. 6 for less than $30. You're going.

   Unless of course you don't find comedy funny, in which case, I weep for you.


   • A whole lot of people seem to be getting offended about the Freedom Tower Silver Dollar, a coin issued by the Northern Marianas Islands made from silver recovered at Ground Zero. That's fine ... some people feel it's profiteering from tragedy, which is generally a Bad Thing.

   I just choose to get offended by far more obvious things.

Kidz Bop 5
-- FIVE Kidz Bop albums. Five! Apparently they missed the memo.

   I was really going to get offended about this infuriating Spanish newspaper ad blogged about by The Bruce, but studies have shown my readers care little about actual news content and more about stories like the new albums being put out by Hollywood starlets.

   Apparently, these are the lyrics for the first single. There's also a link for the actual song, but let's just say the first will not lead you to want to click on the second. Not even for trivia purposes.


September 14, 2004 - Bada Bingo
   More Mail?: Sadly, this letter is not actually from Belize. Were that to have happened, I'd start producing the aforementioned "Best of Jon Couture" disk that I'll now threaten in the same vein as a site redesign.

Subject: Belize and baseball
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004
From: "Adrian ______" <____@kahaneandassociates.com>
To: jcouture at s-t dot com

   Hello Jon,

   You are sort of wrong on the baseball and Belize statement, it's really not that absorb. I grew up in Belize and we do love baseball, It might have been forced on us, since our introduction to baseball was through WGN Chicago, the only TV station in Belize for many years, so the entire country became Chicago Cub's fans, heck Gary Mathews even visited Belize in the mid 80's, he was treated like a Head of State, given a parade and school was cancelled on that day.

   This all just go to show you that it's a toss up.

   Sincerely,

   Adrian
   Florida Marlins Fan

   WCOH: Canada 3, Finland 2: And now, the NHL lockout begins. If major hockey is never played again -- or at least feels that way -- at least the Canadians went out on top.

   Me? I wore my Winnipeg Jets shirt to commemorate it. The NHL might soon be joining them in the graveyard anyway.

   Jessica Simpson: She has been cast as Daisy Duke in the "Dukes of Hazzard" movie ... her feature film debut, and really, she'll probably do pretty well given what's to be asked of her. Look at Snoop playing Huggy Bear and you'll understand what I mean.

   I just look at the current cast for this movie ... Seann William "Stiffler" Scott and Johnny Knoxville. This film has the potential to be one of the greatest comedies of an immature generation, or so blindingly awful that it will be Gigli-like required watching.

   Of course, I still haven't seen Gigli. I, however, should never be your barometer for 'cool.'


   • As some of you will no doubt be shocked by, I did a little gambling while I was on my Caribbean cruise. Not only in the casino, but by playing bingo with a crowd definitely not as old as the average bingo crowd.

   Should you and I ever go to Foxwoods, whomever you may be, we'll probably play blackjack together before I go disappear in the poker room for six hours. Granted it was a no-brainer on the boat because of the $5 minimum bet, but I really rediscovered my love for the game. Pointless aside over.

   When the fun of bingo is the hope you win, and thus piss off the old people who regularly play bingo, you're probably in over your head from the very beginning. It's never a big loss, especially when you're splitting it with other people, but it's still something you'd think wouldn't be done a whole lot since the actual enterprise isn't a humongous joy.

   And besides, who do you know that actually wins anything?

Daryl
-- Daryl

   Many of you who know me personally know Daryl. He was the valedictorian of my high school graduating class, and did a speech which prominently featured a rope trick ... that would have been a lot better if he'd stepped out from behind the podium so everyone could see it.

   The story of Daryl's speech is a fun one. We were pretty good friends, so I gladly said yes when he asked for help with said address. Taking his piles of notes -- written on register tape if I recall right -- we crafted one hell of a dissertation. I've rarely been prouder of something ... it had self-depricating humor, some good-natured shots at classmates and administrators, played it straight only when it needed to be. After all, we're not exactly dealing with the Paris Peace Accord here.

   I didn't talk to Daryl between then and the ceremony, but had told numerous people what a kick-ass speech he had planned. You might even say there was some low-level buzz for it -- I found out much later that even some of the popular kids in high school had thought I was hilarious, information that definitely would have been useful when I was actually there.

   So Daryl gets up on stage to deliver this speech, and I'm borderline giddy since, being 20th in my class, this is as close to prominently involved in the ceremony as I'm getting. He starts talking in this articifically lowered voice -- a bad sign right off the bat.

   Then he skips over the first joke.

   Then the second.

   I find out from him later he read the speech to his mother after I'd left, and she took the carving knife to it. Just gutted the thing in the way most editors go after columnists -- take out the humor, make no effort to replace it with anything or keep the flow.

   The thing went over like a lead balloon, yet I felt like an ass. In hindsight, it prepared me well for the rest of my career.


   So anyway, Daryl had the difficult college choice of a lifetime coming out of Agawam -- Harvard or MIT. He took the technical choice, joined a frat, got a couple degrees and is now surely on his way to making absurd amounts of money doing something I could barely begin to comprehend.

   And that's made all the more true because he won $5,416 playing bingo on a Royal Caribbean cruise a week before I went on mine. If you're scoring at home, that's my net pay ... for more than three months.

   There's plenty of things I could say here, but really, I think this one's best left with the most petty comment I could make.

   Maybe now, the SOB can afford to have someone comb his hair.


September 13, 2004 - Video Killed The Nerd Stereotypes
   Nerd Alert: Miss Massachusetts Erika Ebbel, who's an MIT grad yet somehow attractive, won the talent portion of the Miss America preliminaries last night. I have no idea what this actually means, but the pageant will be aired at 9 p.m. Saturday night on ABC.

   Massachusetts has never won the Miss America pageant, and really, don't we want MIT students having proof they really can do anything?

Where Did These Sox Come From?
-- Combining the practicality of the Yankees coming to town and the outright wackiness of a Caribbean cruise. Plus, now you can add Charlie to the list of "column shout-out recipients."

   Speaking of the cruise ...

Grand Cayman Island
-- Welcome to Grand Cayman

A aerial view of Grand Cayman Island on Monday shows the destruction and flooding after the passing of Hurricane Ivan. (AP Photo/Walter Astrada)

   Looking at the places we went, Cozumel has closed their port to all cruise ships and I'd imagine it's hard to get to Belize with a giant hurricane in the way.


   • And speaking of Charlie ...

Lou Tilley, 8/29/04
-- The latest CN8 appearances are now on-line!

Lou Tilley's Sports Connection - Aug. 24, 2004
16:31 - 42.0 MB - With D. Giordano, WPHT Radio Philadelphia

Lou Tilley's Sports Connection - Sept. 9, 2004
16:14 - 41.2 MB - With J. McCaffery, M. Eckel and new bright blue shirt

   Before trying to watch the clips, please note that they are gigantic both in timeage and bitage. To view them, RIGHT-CLICK on the link and select "Save Target As" ... that way, they can be downloading away in the background while you do your job or whatever you actually use your high-speed connection for.

   They're also readily accessible for repeated watchings and upload to your favorite peer-to-peer music theft service.

   If anyone on dial-up actually succeeds in downloading one of these clips, please write me at the address below. You're clearly a huge fan of mine, and will receive one of the first "Best of Jon Couture" CDs produced when that day in egomania comes to pass.

   The clip that started all this, and actually came one year to the day of my latest TV appearance, is also still on this site. However, since I'm not exactly looking to see how close I can get to my 5 GB of traffic a day limit, I'm not going to put up another link to that clip from September of 2003.

   Enjoy, and criticize as appropriate.


September 12, 2004 - Satan's Comments
   Professional Demotion: Along with the 49 other things I missed while I was floating in the water, my job took on even less national significance -- the Providence/New Bedford media market fell one spot to No. 49.

   We were apparently passed by the vaunted people of Albuquerque/Santa Fe, who have no major teams within plenty of miles, but who deserve the promotion because they have to spell Albuquerque on a regular basis.


   • I'm struggling to find anything to say today, on this first Sunday of NFL football.

Eli Manning, Welcome
-- Welcome to the NFL, Eli

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning fumbles the ball as he's hit by Philadelphia Eagles end Jerome McDouble, left, in the fourth quarter of the Eagles' 31-17 win Sunday in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)

   I'm maintaining hopes of a six-win season, though that may need to be updated. If nothing else, maybe some tickets to a game wouldn't be out of the question for the end of the year.

   I have high hopes for this book, received as a promotional copy at the paper last week. Those who know understand there are few things funnier than the follies of a bad professional sports franchise.

   And without boring with the minutiae of Week One, let's just say I'm enjoying the flop of the Baltimore Ravens more than most ... and it's not just because I was the only one of seven at the paper to make the pick.


September 11, 2004 - Quiet Recollection
   UMass 30, Colgate 20: I didn't attend this game, so that's not why I'm putting a link up to it. I'm also not doing so for the girlfriend, or even because I went to a UMass bar following the game.

   I'm linking to it because the scoreboard in the top-right corner of the official athletic Web site for the state university has it spelled Massachussetts. For every sport, over and over again.

   Good help is just so hard to find.


   • I understand the concepts behind mass mailings.

The Hearing Luncheon
-- Received last week in the mail.

   That does not make the offer of a free lunch with those three times my age any less intriguing.


September 10, 2004 - Sporting LP
   Student Body Shots: In the past 48 hours, I've received some comments regarding rival institutions that I feel need addressing.

"... When you look at the teams they added this year ..." -- was that a slight backhanded BC compliment?? Did I hear that correctly?? Good job, by the way!! Nice to see new clothes!
-- A. Rondeau, Chestnut Hill

   First off, Chestnut Hill is not Boston ... let's never forget this. It takes a BC student, at an absolute minimum, five minutes to even get to the city for which they are named. I think that says something, but I am crazy.

   I thank you for both your use of ellipses and the kind words, however the tape will note when I spoke of the teams the ACC added -- "Which of these is the best conference in college football? -- ACC, SEC or Big 12" -- I definitely said Miami and certainly meant to say Virginia Tech if I didn't.

   I specifically did not say Boston College, for reasons Mark enunciated as well as I could.

"I'm pretty sure you were referencing Miami and Virginia Tech, who actually make title games and such rather than fight hard against the Ball State Lettermans."

   I just got a new Alumni Card today ... I'd rather it not get revoked. And speaking of revocation, even though I must tread lightly when dealing with UMass-Amherst due to whippage issues ...

"Dude, we had cable at UMass since forever. It's not Comcast, it's UMass's own Housing Services Cable Network, but they are up to 66 channels now and include all of them as part of your housing for no additional cost. All the money you guys pay for BU and they don't even have cable in the dorms... what a disgrace!"
-- C. Denison, Brookline/Allston

   Confidentially, you're right. Though if you were willing to sacrifice living close to anything cable was easy to procure at the alma mater, to not have it campus-wide was one of the oddest developments I can think of at any major university. It was directly attributable to John Silber who, despite turning the school into the world-class institution it is today, used the word "hi-fi" in an interview as recently as the 21st century.

   However, I find it odd that an alumni of any school that's trying to pass off Amherst, Massachusetts as some sort of college nirvana dares take a shot an anyone. I'll even throw in Northampton ... I'm a loser, and I could find the rough equivelant of a weekend's worth of activities out West in a walk to class at BU.

   Notice Mr. Commenty ain't sporting an address in Sunderland, is he.


   • Reporting from Bradley Bowl in Windsor Locks, Conn., it's bowling action before a bevy of teens at eXtreme Fun Bowling:

1st -- Cooch -- 134.7 avg. (High: 148)
2nd -- Charlie -- 118.7 (133)
3rd -- Jeff -- 101.3 (120)
4th -- Jen P. -- 99 (124)
5th -- Matt -- 85.3 (100)
6th -- Steph -- 80.3 (104)

   Always good to see the whole group break 100. And always good to have done it earlier in the day myself.

Hole
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
OUT
Yards
324
359
362
498
450
345
154
371
410
3273
PAR
4
4
4
5
4
4
3
4
4
36
Cooch
4
5
5
6
8
5
6
5
5
49
• CC of New Bedford - North Dartmouth, Mass. •
Hole
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
IN
Yards
387
394
367
318
387
122
310
154
404
2843
PAR
4
4
4
4
4
3
4
3
4
34
Cooch
4
5
4
7
5
4
7
6
6
48
PAR 70
97, 27 OVER PAR
6116 YARDS
Birdies: 0 - Pars: 3 - Bogeys: 9 - Others: 5
Fairways Hit: 7 of 15 - Greens In Regulation: 2 of 18 - Putts: 33

   I have never had a more joyless round of golf than this ... admittedly there were no real expectations knowing I'd hadn't even thought about a golf club in more than a month, but you still think you can go out there and not make a seven after driving it in the fairway sixty yards from the green on a par four.

   Second shot goes over the green, which is on a steep decline. With the green running away, shots three and four are flop shots that fail to reach the putting surface. Fifth shot is a putt from the rough that goes fifteen feet by, and sixth shot lips out.

   Looking at it in black and white, it was nowhere near as bad as it felt ... I took out the driver on No. 16 simply because I'd ceased to care. Really though, it's hard to be all that despondent when I'm playing another course I thought I'd never be playing.

   That's a real satisfactory ending to a narrative, isn't it?


September 9, 2004 - Jon, Paul, Jack and Lou
   Working Water: I actually had a story published while I was on vacation, which seems impressive and studious until you use your whole brain.

A Strong Run Of Success For Cardoza
-- My latest from the Strongman beat, as our local competitor took fourth at the Pro Nationals last month. The online version does not include the scary picture of him lifting a car, though.

   Also while I was away, I received this letter.

Subject: AppleFlappen
Date: Mon, 30 August 2004
From: "Michael _____ <__________@hotmail.com>
To: cooch at joncouture dot com

   Hey Cooch,

   I did a Yahoo search for "AppleFlappen"; trying to find some interesting info.; and came across your article from Sept. 2002.

   Yes...AppleFlappen DOES still exist in the Storoton Village; and is probably one of..if not the best incentive for which I go to the Big E every year.......aside from the Sausage & Pepper grinders down on the Midway. Awesome......awesome.....awesome.....

   I guess you love to eat good food as much as I do. And that's a good part of what makes that fair great...eating!!!

   See ya at the fair!!!!!!!!!

   What's funny about this is I've never actually eaten AppleFlappen ... it's just always been there, and being who I am, I laugh at the name because that's what I do. Of course, I will now have to order it this year.

   As the No. 12 Yahoo search result, I feel it's my duty.


   • Now, I expect most of you did not see my appearance tonight on Lou Tilley's Sports Connection. As is such, I'll give you the real quick highlights so you can still be all surprised when the clip ends up on here.

   -- The new ensemble unveiled was a New York Giants blue dress shirt and predominantly red tie. The shirt looked a lot brighter in wear than it did in the bag, and I had forgotten how many stupid bobby pins are utilized when wrapping dress shirts.

   -- When the show opened and the graphic listed me as one of tonight's guests, Lou told the audience that we would later be hearing from Jack Couture. As the night's first guest was actually named Jack, I can at least understand how such a mistake could be made despite the graphic with my name in huge print.

   -- After the first segment -- college and NFL picks with the aforementioned Jack -- Lou teased my appearance after the break by calling me Paul Couture. As there were no Pauls appearing on the show tonight, I have no idea where this came from.

   The camera guy in Boston, who was nice enough to get me a glass of water as though I was someone important, and I shared an eye roll.

   -- Fulfilling the promise the producer in Philly had made in my ear moments earlier, Lou did actually call me Jon Couture as the graphic kicked for my segments.


   The 25-or-so minutes I was on dealt with "Take Your Pick," where me and two Mid-Atlantic newspaper / Philly radio guys -- one of which was McCallum took our pick from three choices on various subjects. For example, from Eric Gagne, John Smoltz and Mariano Rivera, I chose Gagne as the closer I would most like to have in the playoffs.

   I was shouted down in favor of Rivera of course, since apparently it's still 1998 and I just hadn't noticed.

   After it was over, I retired to T's Pub and watched the Patriots make me not care the Red Sox were getting waxed by a pitcher I've never heard of.

   And let me just say ... the amount of exposed cleavage I saw on the gaggles on BU freshmen wandering the streets literally scared me. I'm far too young to be scared by this, but it was as though the school has added Hooters-like admission requirements since I left.

   The fuckers are already getting cable ... like they need more perks.

   And I did just withhold the urge to write "perkies."


LOU TILLEY AND ME, AGAIN -- TONIGHT!
It is very short notice, but I will be appearing on Lou Tilley's Sports Connection once again tonight. The show airs at 11 p.m. on CN8, which if you don't live between Maine and Maryland, and/or don't get Comcast Cable, you don't get anyway so don't worry about it.

Screw you, RCN.

As with the last appearance, I won't know what will be discussed until a couple hours before ... and even then, I might not know. I'd like to think football will be, but given the Patriots will be playing while I'm on air, I'll be brushing up on my Eagles' depth chart beforehand. And let's just say Go Sox.

Eventually, this and my other appearance will end up on this site, so you'll all get to bask in the glow that is my forehead under TV lights. But if you're in the area and need incentive to watch beyond this, I'm going shopping this afternoon ... new shirt and tie time!

And now, the rest of the squallor.

August 29 - September 8, 2004 - Sept. 5th My Ass
   Italics: It just feels like everyday needs them, doesn't it?

   • Now then.

   Those of you with whom I share real life friends may have noticed all three of my cruising partners -- Scruffy, Wiry and Blondie -- all updated their aforelinked LiveJournals while we were on vacation. Disgusted at the exorbitant rates the cruise ship was charging, we ended up at a rather-not-sketchy Internet cafe in Cozumel frequented by cruise crew members and those like ourselves.

   I sprung for the extra to sit in the VIP Room, with its leather chairs and black computers, but that's neither here nor there.

   The fact that each of them updated their LiveJournals, along with jumping onto Instant Messenger to chat with friends back home, during their time tells you something about them. The fact that neither of those activities even occured to me while I was sifting through e-mail and visiting the sorts of Web sites you'd expect I would tells you something else.

   They are dorks.

   Or just that I hate each and every one of you.

   Upon flying into Hartford on Tuesday night -- yeah, because that was in the original travel plans -- and making my way "home," one of the first things I did though was cruise to my own LiveJournal's friends page. After all, when I have all these days of news to now catch up with, I may as well catch up with the unbridled frustration and seething hate you miss when you're floating aimlessly in the Gulf of Mexico out of contact with everyone.

   There were something like 160 new posts there since I subscribe to this community for no real reason, and from those posts, I learned several things.

   Yes, yay learning.

   • Julie worries a lot. Now as my girlfriend, she more than has this right ... I dare say somewhere within my black heart, I even appreciate it. She posted three times while I was gone generally about concerns regarding my whereabouts and being bothered that I was unreachable.

   Again, this is fine.

   What is not fine is, in looking at the timestamps, there's a good chance I was eating while she was writing all three of those posts. I may even be able to boil it down further ... I may have been eating apples while she was posting her loving thoughts.

   If you've ever been on a cruise, this doesn't surprise you one bit.

   • The kids and their book learning. This would be just as disturbing as it annually is becoming -- two years and counting, and yet I'm still posting -- if it wasn't superceded by the sudden realization the NFL season is starting ... in less than 24 hours. The fact that I missed a final fantasy football draft should have clued me in, but the sporadic network coverage we were getting thanks to the storm included enough promos to make me feel hopelessly out of touch.

   And I have to write an NFL picks column for Saturday.

   Sometimes, I like working with only a limited sense of accountability.

   And it does warm my heart to know that all this weekend, packs of freshman girls will be roaming the streets of Allston with their IDs around their necks being proud of the fact they discovered all the haunts students have been coming across for years.

   I would like to believe one of them will just look at all their new friends and go, "Why the hell are we wearing our ID cards around our necks?," but after all those hours aboard the M.S. Inspiration, my faith in society may be at an all-time low.


   • Trivia rides again. I actually saw Ken Jennings first appearance of the new season on Jeopardy!, and am pleased to see he's now content to go for a little more gusto in Final Jeopardy.

   I want to believe he's actually going to get bored of being on the show, leading to my being supplanted as the most insufferable successful person to ever walk the face of the Earth. Really though, we can't always get what we want.

   • Brushes with Internet fame. I've never actually met this man, but he's a friend-of-a-friend and linked here long before I ever knew his site existed. While I was gone, a contribution of his was used in Tuesday Morning Quarterback, Gregg Easterbrook's weekly attempt to show off just how much he knows to an audience ostensibly at NFL.com to learn about football.

   I have soured on TMQ since it went off ESPN.com ... I'd hate to this it's the convenience factor lost, though I did reach a point near the end where I was just scanning to see him talk about football, novel idea that was.

   • Brushes with actual fame. James talked about an e-mail he got from this game show host, proving that celebrities and famous people often use the Internet to acquire information just like us. James added in a little bump at the end referring to the oft-mentioned Hollywood starlet, who is ironically often referred to as the Hollywood starlet to prevent the above from happening.

   I feel it necessary to make an announcement regarding this.

   With the piles of news out there regarding both our heroine's unquenchable thirst for booze and parties, and all this "promise ring" talk regarding Fez, it has become necessary for me to officially move Lindsay Lohan, the oft-mentioned Hollywood starlet, to the back burner.

   I'm sorry. Sometimes, you just have to be true to yourself.

   Worry not, though. I would now like to officially announce I am in love with Cady Heron, the character in Mean Girls that started all of this all those weeks ago.

   Although she is in high school and thus clearly illegal, the fact that she does not actually exist means I'm totally not getting arrested.


   • And finally, a little baseball. I'm not so much talking about the Red Sox 10-game winning streak, or even the 18-out-of-20 tear that has me actually believing they will win the AL East.

   I'm talking about the fact that not only did the Yankees lose a game to Cleveland 22-0, not only did Kevin Brown break his hand punching a wall in anger, the New York Yankees asked to get a forfeit from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays because the Double A's missed part of a doubleheader ... because of a hurricane.

   Had I learned any of those facts in that Internet cafe, my squeal about the winning streak or the Anaheim sweep might have been slightly superceded.


2004: [08] - [07] - [06] - [05] - [04] - [03] - [02] - [01]
2003: [12] - [11] - [10] - [09] - [08] - [07] - [06] - [05] - [04] - [03] - [02] - [01]
2002: [12] - [11] - [10] - [09] - [08] - [07] - [06] - [05] - [04] - [03] - [02] - [01]
2001: [12] - [11] - [10] - [09] - [08] - [07] - [06] - [05]