The Gray Pages

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Senate predictions

Guaranteed pick-ups
- Virginia
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico

Likely pick-ups
- Colorado
- Oregon

Possible pick-ups
- Minnesota
- Mississippi
- Alaska

I wish I could put this on one of the above lists
- Maine

Possible shockers
- North Carolina
- Kansas
- Texas

What I'm saying is this: a 60-seat majority is possible, but I don't think there's a good chance it will happen. I predict a 5-seat gain, and a Joe Lieberman addition-through-subtraction.


Monday, April 28, 2008

The Sara Chronicles

We keep the radio on the oldies station fairly often -- happy music, happy baby, no Wiggles or Yanni or KidzBop or Barney the Purple Dinosaur or whatever.

Typically, when I sing along with the radio and to Sara, I insert her name somewhere in the song or somehow make it about her. This works pretty well. First of all, the word "baby" is already in about 90 percent of the songs ever recorded. Second of all, she doesn't understand what the lyrics are about (thus making it not-at-all weird when I sing "Brown-Eyed Girl" to her). ("Makin' love in the green grass behind the stadium with you, my brown-eyed girl.")

Yesterday, KC & the Sunshine Band messed me up. "Shake-shake-shake! Shake-shake-shake! Shake your baby!" This is not recommended by the Academy of Pediatrics.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Step One to the Cleveland Pennant

Back on March 25, I said Cleveland would win the AL Central -- but that depended on Joe Borowski getting hurt so that his idiot manager, Eric ("The") Wedge, wouldn't use him.

Today, my dreams moved a step closer to reality, as Joe Blowoutski (get it?) was placed on the DL.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Farewell, No. 6

A tired story, put to rest. Buckner is forgiven, again.

Journal Sports Editor

BOSTON -- Those tears he wiped away were real. Bill Buckner admitted that his suprise appearance today at Fenway Park touched him deeply, and that he was indeed teary-eyed as the fans cheered while he made his way in from left field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

"It was about as emotional as it could get," Buckner told a group of reporters in the Fenway Park interview room immediately after the ceremony. "A lot of things were going through my mind" as he walked in from left field. "Just good things . . . which is a good thing.

"I appreciate all the thought behind [the invitation from the Red Sox organization]. It was hard to do for me."

The emotions stemmed from the ordeal he's beeen through since committing the error in Game Six in the 1986 World Series that came, rightly or wrongly, to symbolize nearly nine decades of frustration for the Boston organization.

"I had to . . . " he began, and then he stopped for a few moments, choking up again. "I had to forgive, not the fans of Boston. In my heart, I had to forgive the media for what they put me and my family through. I've done that, gotten over that, and just thought of the positives, the happy things."

One of the reasons he views the media differently now: His daughter Christen is a television reporter, and was at Fenway covering the event herself.

"It's helped me accept you guys back into the family," he joked.

He said he understood the criticism he received for the error.

"As athletes, we know . . . going in [that failure is part of the package]," he said. "But what message do we want to send our kids? If you don't succeed, don't try?"

But he felt that the criticism, at time, was unjust.

"Some of it was over the line," he said. "The hard part was how it affected my family, my kids."

Buckner said the Red Sox contacted him about a month-and-a-half ago, asking him to part of today's ceremonies, and at first he declined.

"But I prayed about it a little bit," he said, "and now I'm glad I'm came.

"They're such a class organization," he said of the Red Sox. "They do things right, and the players appreciate it."

Nor was he really surprised at the rousing ovation he received.

"I did my best while I was here, played hard, and I know the fans appreciated that," he said. "The fans have been great. It was tough for me at first to understand the mentality of New England sports, but I did after a while and I like it. I love the passion. I don't like apathy, like in Los Angeles where the fans all leave in the seventh inning.

"My two best memories were 1990" -- when the fans gave him an ovation similar to today's when he returned to the Red Sox after 2 1/2 years away -- "and today."

He threw out the first pitch to former teammate Dwight Evans, who was delighted to see Buckner return.

"To see him walk out, I was so happy for him," said Evans. "It was emotional for me, too."

Friday, April 04, 2008

My favorite DL status


Entirely thanks to Vin Scully: "Andre Dawson has a bruised knee and is listed as day-to-day (pause). Aren't we all?"

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Worst at-bat songs

Top Five, Courtesy of Paste Magazine:
  1. “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” – Culture Club

  2. “Songbird” – Kenny G

  3. “The Girl From Ipanema” – Astrud Gilberto

  4. “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love” – Peabo Bryson

  5. “4’33’’” – John Cage

(Dis)honorable Mentions:

“Black Velvet” - Alannah Myles

“Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” - Frankie Valli

"Come Sail Away" - Styx

“Dancing Queen” - Abba

"Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" - Rupert Holmes

"Fields of Gold" - Sting

“Fishheads” - Barnes & Barnes

“Please Don’t Go Girl” - New Kids on the Block

“Puttin’ On The Ritz” - Taco

“Theme From A Summer Place” - Percy Faith & his Orchestra


I'd like to nominate "Me and Mrs. Jones" as the worst song, unless Todd Jones is pitching, in which case, it's the best.

Poor kid

"You know what the funny thing is? I wouldn't have caught it, anyway." -- Moises Alou

Ah, baseball

- The Giants' offense is absolutely pathetic. What was that terrible Tigers' team? 2003? This team might score fewer runs than even they did.

- Welcome back, Gas Can Gagne!

- Speaking of Tigers, now THERE'S a lineup that can score some runs. Ditto Cleveland.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Early season thoughts

- I think I'm going to enjoy watching the Nationals' offense. Ryan Zimmerman and Nick Johnson, batting 3-4, are a nice combo. And while I'm not all that fond of Lastings Milledge, lots of people are, and I'm hoping to be wrong about him. (I saw Milledge play horrendously against the Sox a year or two ago. Not a good fielder. And he doesn't appear to be a patient hitter. Again, I hope I'm wrong.) The starting pitching, on the other hand will probably be quite ugly.

- The shots of the Nationals' new stadium, on TV (and photos in today's Post) make it look pretty nice to me. I think the seats are a little too expensive, regardless of the quality of the team. They'll sell plenty of tickets this year though -- new ballparks always do well -- so I have no right to complain. If the ticket sells, it is not too expensive. (Hello, Fenway!)

- Will we ever reach a point in this country at which we say, "That scoreboard in center field is too big"?

- Seeing Trot Nixon accept a demotion to Arizona's AAA team made me sad. I remember Tom and I, back in college, saying that we were tired of waiting for Nixon, and if he were any good, he'd surely be in the majors by now. (Now= fall of 1996.) He turned out to be a pretty good player, remembered most for owning Roger Clemens in a couple big games and a clutch homer against Oakland in the 2003 playoffs. His Jesus-thanking position after that particular homer made me cool on him (yeah, 'cuz G-d was hoping -- and could foresee -- that the Red Sox would lose much more painfully to the Yankees a couple weeks later), as was the fact that he never did learn to hit lefties. As he bulked up, I had my suspicions about his steroid use (though he wasn't named in the Mitchell Report). Yet Nixon was the first Red Sox draft pick I can remember rooting for from his time in the minors who actually panned out into a useful Red Sox player, unlike, say, Carl Pavano or Brian Rose or Kevin Morton or Phil Plantier. So it's sad watching his career fade away, as all careers do.

- ESPN's Baseball Tonight truly sucks. I can't believe I'm supposed to listen to John Kruk, Eric Young, Steve Phillips, and that Latino guy -- Estrada? Destrada? -- and think, "He's got a point." Why the ESPN folks are so fond of the White Sox -- who, by the way, lost 90 games last year -- is utterly beyond me.