The Gray Pages

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"I'm not here to talk about the past."

I used the wrong form of HERE in the previous title. (a) I can't believe this happened, and (b) I can't believe no one made fun of me for it.

This reminds me of the Muppet Show Record that I had as a kid. Kermit is assisting Fonzie with a joke. It's Kermit's job to say, "Good grief, the comedian's a bear!" whenever Fonzie cues him with the word, "hear."

Fonzie: Good evening, ladies and gents. It's a pleasure to be here!
Kermit: Good grief, the comedian's a bear!
Fonzie: No, no.
Kermit: But I was only following your instructions.

[More stuff like this]

Kermit: But how will I know?
Fonzie: You will know when you HEAR!
Kermit: Good grief, the comedian's a bear!

The joke continues. Fonzie and Kermit finally agree that Kermit will say his big line when Fonzie points to him. Keep in mind that this is a record I'm listening to. The big moment arrives:

Kermit: [Sighs.] Good grief, the comedian's a bear.
Fonzie: No, he's-a not! He's-a wearin'-a neck-a tie!

Prehaps this explains my love of Chris Berman's nickname's well past their purchase date. And now, we return to our original post:

Bob Ryan votes "No" on sending McGwire to Cooperstown. And I agree. And while McGwire may be unwilling to talk about the past, I'm willing to assign and/or steal lame nicknames from it.

My ballot:
Cal "Let 'er" Ripken
Tony "Sometimes you gloose, sometimes you" Gwynn
Goose "goshawk" Gossage (my spellchecker's suggested replacement for Gossage)

Bert"Be Home" Blyleven*
Alan Trammel "Crowe"
"My Dinner With" Andre Dawson (If Berman didn't come up with this one first, I'm actually proud of it)

*The finest nickname Chris Berman ever gave anyone, bar none. Second place: Oddibe "Young Again" McDowell.

Almost Almost
Jim "Chicken and" Rice
Dale "Guitar" Murphy*
Mark "My Words" McGwire

*Blues Brothers

Worthy of a second look, not deserving of serious consideration
Harold "Conrad" Baines*
Steve "Is Not My Padre" Garvey**
Jack Morris "The Cat"
Lee Smith "Used to take 45 minutes to walk in from the bullpen, and I really hated it. This really isn't a nickname, per se, but it bears mentioning."

*Diff'rent Strokes, which has been getting A LOT of play around here.
** Look it up.

Emphatically: No.
Don "Welcome" Mattingly


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Learning to talk like Troy Aikman, cont.

Wrong: [Player] dropped a ball that he should have caught.
Right: You have to make that play in a game like this.

Learning to talk like Troy Aikman

Announcing a football game
Wrong: So far ...
Right: When you look at today's football game, in terms of what's happened on the field so far ...

At the restaurant
Wrong: This food tastes good.
Right: When you talk about this meal, in terms of the food that's been served by the cook, you have to admit that it tastes good.

Chatting with the neighbors
Wrong: Sure is gettin' cold, huh?
Right: When you talk about the weather, in terms of how many degrees there are on the thermometer today and compare it to yesterday, it seems like there are fewer degrees on the thermometer today than yesterday.

Announcing a game, part two
Wrong: Bill Parcells says ...
Right: I was talking to Bill Parcells yesterday, and he told me ...

Complementing your co-worker
Wrong: Nice shirt.
Right: Some people might think that's a nice shirt.

Announcing a football game, part three
Wrong: He's good.
Right: He's a good football player. He knows how to play the game of football. I was talking to Bill Belicheck and he told me that this guy, he knows how to play football right.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sometimes you get a feeling like you need some kind of change

Regular readers of this blog (i.e., me looking back through the archives) will have noticed that I've been silent on the biggest Red Sox news of this off-season: the pursuit of Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

The Sox posted $51.1 million dollars for the rights to negotiate with the reigning MVP of the World Baseball Classic. He's pretty good. If the Sox and Matsuzaka can come to an agreement on a salary, those $51.1 million get transferred to Matsuzaka's Japanese club as a sort of transfer payment as seen in the world of soccer/futbol/football.

Many issues are raised here:

First, is it reasonable for the wealthiest clubs to acquire international talent in this way?

Second, it is reasonable for Matsuzaka's Japanese club to sell him without Matsuzaka getting a cut of the sale itself?

Third, is Matsuzaka worth the money? And just how much money are we talkin' about, Willis?

Fourth, who would have though I'd still be making Diff'rent Strokes references without having watched the show in 2 decades?

Fifth, would we still remember Diff'rent Strokes if not for the legal troubles of its stars?

Sixth, wouldn't the theme song have made more sense if the lyrics were "And along come the two, they got nothin' but their dreams" instead of "And along come the two, they got nothin' but their jeans?"

Seventh, did you know Alan Thicke wrong those lyrics? Alan Thicke!

Eighth, where was I? And how the heck did I get here?


It's true what they say: the world don't move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you may not, in fact, be right for some. There is bound to be inequality in baseball even if a salary cap were instituted. First, some teams wouldn't spent at the level of the cap. Second, I'm getting mighty sick of this listing format. It's lazy writing, and if there's one thing I won't stand for, it's lazy writing. Everybody's got a special kind of story, and there are better structures in which to write than these boring ordinal lists I've been using. For example, I could subtly throw in some lyrics from 1980s TV shows, to learn all about the things you just can't buy.

The essential question is whether the Red Sox will or won't overspend. And I won't have a comment on THAT until the deal is done.

(Did you know that the word "blog" comes up as a spelling error using's spell check?)

How about this leaflet?

The Chicago Jewish News names Kevin Youkilis as its MVJ!

If anything Youkilis deserves the award for this. Transcript here.

"Mel Gibson, eat your heart out!"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I told you so

Soriano, Cubs Agree to 8-Year, $136 Million Deal

Deal Contingent on Physical; Could Be Announced as Early as Monday

Washington Nationals outfielder Alfonso Soriano has agreed to an eight-year, $136-million contract with the Chicago Cubs, according to two major league sources, taking away Washington's brightest star and sending the most significant ripple in what is likely to be a free-spending offseason throughout baseball.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 24 large fresh mushrooms (1.5 to 2 inches in diameter)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped pepperoni
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Preheat the oven to 425.
  1. Rinse and drain the mushrooms.
  2. Remove stems and chop enough for 1 cup; Set aside the caps.
  3. In a small saucepan, cook the chopped stems, green onions, and garlic in butter or margerine until tender.
  4. Stir in bread crumbs, pepperoni and Italian seasoning
  5. Arrange mushroom caps in 13-9 inch baking pan
  6. Spoon in mixture from saucepan into mushroom caps.
  7. Bake in 425-degree oven for 8-10 minutes.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hating Tim McCarver

"That's the worst sound I ever heard."
-- Tim McCarver, on the sound of Mark Bellhorn's 8th-inning home run hitting the rightfield foul pole at Yankee Stadium, which gave the Red Sox a 9-3 lead in Game Seven of 2004 ALCS. It happens to be the best sound I've ever heard.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

All These Problems

We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race.

-- Strom Thurmond, 1948 presidential candidate

I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either.

-- Trent Lott, Senate Minority Whip

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Coupon Hall of Fame

$1 off three five-pound bags of flour.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Karl Rove: Pants Aflame?

SIEGEL: We're in the home stretch, though, and many would consider you on the optimistic end of realism about --

ROVE: Not that you would be exhibiting a bias . . .

SIEGEL: I'm looking at all the same polls that you're looking at every day.

ROVE: No, you're not. No, you're not.

SIEGEL: No, I'm not.

ROVE: No, you're not. You're not. I'm looking at 68 polls a week. You may be looking at four or five public polls a week that talk about attitudes nationally but that do not impact the outcome of --

SIEGEL: I'm looking at main races between -- certainly Senate races.

ROVE: Well, like the poll today showing that Corker's ahead in Tennessee, or the poll showing that Allen is pulling away in the Virginia Senate race.

SIEGEL: Leading Webb in Virginia, yeah.

Mr. ROVE: Exactly.

SIEGEL: But you've seen the DeWine race and the Santorum race -- I don't want to have you call races.

ROVE: Yeah, I'm looking at all these, Robert, and adding them up, and I add up to a Republican Senate and Republican House. You may end up with a different math, but you're entitled to your math, I'm entitled to THE math.

SIEGEL: Well, I don't know if we're entitled to our different math, but you're certainly --

ROVE: I said THE math. I said you're entitled to yours.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Does he have to throw a flag?

If a certain losing candidate in Montana (I'm looking at you, Conrad) wants a recount, he has to pay for it himself. If he wins the recount, he gets his money back.

Each candidate, I believe, is alloted one recount per half, and only the elections commission can call for a recount in the last two minutes of the election.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


We hold these Truths to be self-evident: that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence indeed, will dictate, that Governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The greatest 91 seconds in the history of televised music

I Write The Songs.

(The link works now. And this link is 97 seconds. Decide for yourself which 6 seconds are not among the 91 funniest.)