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Showing posts from August, 2005

Willie Randolph: King of NY

His team is a half game out of the Wild Card chase, and is holding steady in what has proven to be the best division in baseball. After blatantly throwing in the towel on Art Howe during the second half of last season, Willie Randolph’s 2005 Mets are not going down without a fight. In fact, they went to Arizona last week and swept the Diamondbacks. All things considered, it’s been an up and down season for Willie, but he’s been kind enough to sit down with me to discuss the questions that are on everyone’s mind, like “Do you think Brad and Angelina are for real, or what?” Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to ask him that one. Nevertheless, what follows is my exclusive, candid, and soon-to-be Pulitzer Prize-winning interview with the Mets’ manager. Also, this is completely fake, but other than that, it’s totally true.

Me: Hey Willie! First let me say – I’ve always been a big fan of yours. When I was in grade school, I had a folder that was actually a huge version of your 1988 Topps base…

Pop Culture 101: MTV’s VMAs

Every year I get suckered into watching the VMAs, mainly because MTV has become a pop culture phenomenon and I feel that if I miss at least some of the annual awards show, I will regress culturally, and will begin saying things that are so five minutes ago, like “Who let the dogs out?”

Nevertheless, every year, I am left utterly disappointed, and begin wondering who, exactly, is responsible for defining pop culture over at MTV these days, because, to be honest, it sucks.

This year Diddy hosted, and the motto was “anything can happen.” Unfortunately, “anything” didn’t include a decent performance or joke. The intro to the show pretty much defined Diddy in general. All buildup, no climax. Watching it, I was like, “Oh shit – something crazy’s going down! Things are blowing up! Trapeze artists are hanging from the ceiling! I can’t wait to see where Diddy goes with this! Oh boy – here we go!...” Yeah...we never went. And another thing about Diddy - he pulls this same crap when it’s time for…

Senior citizen parking only

I know I am getting old because I am making angry phone calls regarding things I would not normally care about, like people parking in my spot.

We are allowed two parking spots per unit in our development, one of which is actually labeled with the unit number. Next to that one is an unlabeled spot, and this process repeats throughout the parking lot like a finely tuned system. If you don’t understand, here is a diagram: (pretend this is the parking lot) 341, unlabeled, 342, unlabeled, 343, unlabeled, 344, unlabeled, mailbox. You cannot park in the mailbox.

Now, most of the normal citizens in our development use their labeled spot, and the empty spot NEXT to that one for their allotted two spaces. It’s kind of like the labeled spot is the husband, and the unlabeled spot is the wife. Or vice versa. All friends and family must park in visitor parking, which can also be described as “not my spot.” But the people who live below us continue to park in MY unlabeled spot (in our house, the labe…

A tale of two cities, and their ballparks

Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium are similar in that they are both old, legendary venues where baseball is often played.

And that’s about it.

I traveled to Chicago with my wife a couple of weeks ago to catch my first Cubs’ game. I had always wanted to go to Wrigley Field because the park has so many qualities that are unique, not the least of which is the ever-present stench of disappointment. And my wife was happy because she was able to see the landmark that is the famed red “Wrigley Field” sign on the front of the stadium, not due to her innate sense of baseball history, but because it reminded her of “Perfect Strangers.”

Ironically, it’s how perfect strangers are treated that sets Wrigley Field apart from the place I am accustomed to watching a professional baseball game, Yankee Stadium.

Wrigley is known as “The Friendly Confines,” and everyone who works there tries hard to maintain the legitimacy of that moniker. The people at the concession stands actually call you over and encoura…

The good, bad, and ugly of sports TV

I’m convinced that there’s actually more people out there TELLING us about sports than there are people actually playing sports. I mean, if you think about it, at least half of all retired professional athletes enter some kind of media field (the other half go to jail, or own an Arena Football team), and if you add that to the “journalists” and other “media folk” who went “to school” to get a job, then that’s a lot of people. And in case you’re wondering, I don’t count myself among these media moguls, because I don’t get paid for this, and nobody knows who I am, and I’m also not on TV, because apparently, I’m not “TV material,” or, as one person put it, “smart.” Whatever. Anyway, with such a surplus of sports media personalities, there’s bound to be some good ones, and some bad ones, and some really bad ones. So, because I have nothing better to do, I’m going to tell YOU who’s good and who’s not at telling US about sports. But because there are so many, I’m limiting myself to ESPN, th…

Nature calls in Midwest; I reluctantly pick up

I traveled to Chicago over the weekend with my wife to visit Wrigley Field for the first time and catch a Cubs’ game, and it was one heck of a great experience. But let me tell you - what impressed me the most was not the ivy along the outfield walls, or the brick face walls that outline the stadium, or even having the good fortune to sit in the very same seat occupied by one Steve Bartman during the infamous Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. No, it was none of those things. What impressed me the most was this: the men’s bathrooms have no urinals. Instead, there are elongated troughs that you must stand in front of with roughly 50 other guys in order to commence urination.

There are many aspects of the urination troughs that defy logic. For starters, there is obviously no side protection, meaning that there is always an excellent chance of accidentally looking the wrong way (i.e. anywhere but the ceiling) and seeing something that you’re not supposed to see, like, oh I don’t know...saaaay, 49 …