Archive for September, 2006



07
Sep
06

Pirates win, send Cubs into last place again

You can read a summary of the game here.  Note that the player pictured is Xavier Nady, not Chris Duffy, as the caption would have you believe.

In another mlb.com article gaffe, Ken Mandel’s article about speculation on Ryan Howard’s juiced-ness misuses the word largess, also spelled largesse.  From the article:

For further proof of Howard’s natural largess, one only needs to look at his family. His oldest brother, Chris, is a hulking man, and Ryan’s twin brother, Corey, is also bigger than Howard’s listed weight of 250 pounds.

Here, the author clearly intends “largess” to mean “size” or “humongousness”.   However, the actual definition is generosity or liberal giving.  The word can also refer to a gift generously given.  Semantics aside, my problem with the author’s argument is this: How do we know his entire family isn’t on the juice?  Did you think of that?

06
Sep
06

Red Sox lose, Pirates back to last place

Today, I went to the Red Sox game against the White Sox. Since both teams are affectionately referred to as just “the Sox” by their fans, it was certain that the Sox were going to win. Tonight, the winning Sox were White. The game was one-sided from the beginning. Jim Thome got the scoring started with a towering homer into the bullpen. Later in the game, Jermaine Dye hit a homer over the Green Monster. The only run the Red Sox scored came on a solo home run by Coco Crisp. In the end the White Sox outscored the Red Sox 8-1 and outhit the Red Sox 14-4. Apart from a nice diving catch by Mike Lowell and a couple of decent catches by Trot Nixon on the warning track, there weren’t too many exciting defensive plays to add life to the game. It was fun to go to a game, but after the 3rd inning, there wasn’t really any doubt who was going to win.

Despite the Red Sox’ weak performance tonight, I wasn’t too disappointed. That’s mostly because I’m not really a big Red Sox fan anymore. In 2004 I was. In 2005 I was to an extent, though by that time my interest in the Pirates was growing. This year, I don’t really pay any attention to the Red Sox and the Pirates are the only team I follow closely.

Speaking of the Pirates, I regret to say that their tenure in 5th place in the NL Central was short-lived. After winning yesterday, boosting their win percentage to .403 and sending the Cubs to last place in the division, the Pirates find themselves back in familiar territory after today’s loss: last place in the division again. Fortunately, the loss did not send the Pirates back below .400, rather, they are now sitting at precisely .400. In addition, if they can win tomorrow, they can retake the half-game lead on the Cubs they had yesterday. Let’s hope they can win the series with the Cubs and say goodbye to last place for good!

05
Sep
06

More Recent Acquisitions

Many of you may think that I buy lots of stuff given the number of “recent acquisitions” posts I have on my blog. I guess I have bought a decent amount of stuff lately, but the most recent acquisitions came from a gift certificate, so there was no outlay of cash. Well, OK, I did pay $0.46 to cover the difference between the purchase and the gift certificate amount.

brewers_hat.JPG pirates_hat.JPG

Anyway, I have had my eyes on a Brewers hat with the old school MB/glove logo for quite some time. Initially, I wanted the all blue home hat, but after watching the Pirates play the Brewers in Milwaukee on MLB.TV and seeing some fans wearing the blue and yellow away hat, I opted for the away hat instead.

I also wanted a vintage Pirates hat. I opted for this one because it was the most unlike any of the others available. The fabric is really nice – it’s almost fuzzy.

Both of these hats fit well. I ordered them in 7 5/8 because I have a Red Sox fitted hat that is 7 1/2 and it’s too small. I also ordered a black 1948-1970 Pirates hat which looks almost identical to the current official Pirates hat except that it has a yellow button on top instead of a black button. I ordered this hat in 7 5/8 too, but it is significantly too large. So, I’m not sure what to do. Should I return it or try to sell it on eBay? I could try to make it shrink, but I’m not sure how to do that. Any suggestions?

05
Sep
06

Pirates on the doorstep of .400, not last place

After yesterday’s 5-4 victory over the Cubs, the Pirates find themselves with a win percentage of .399 and the Cubs .401 for the season.  Thus, a win tonight would put the Pirates over .400 (.403, to be exact) and it would put the Pirates ahead of the Cubs by half a game, to get out of the basement of the NL Central for the first time all season.  Let’s go Bucs!

03
Sep
06

A baseball game I wish I had experienced (from a distance)

When the same thing comes up in two distinct contexts it’s often worth taking notice. Today, I happened upon references to one particular 1974 baseball game in two different places. This game sounds like it would have been an experience to behold, so I thought I should write about it. Let me explain how this unfolded.

Heather has a Cleveland Indians shirt that she got for signing up for a credit card while attending a game at Jacob’s Field in Cleveland 5 or 6 years ago. The Indians’ mascot is printed on the back of the shirt and Elizabeth was asking us today what the mascot’s name is. We didn’t know, so I looked to Wikipedia for an answer. On the Cleveland Indians’ Wikipedia page I found a reference to a game known as “Ten Cent Beer Night”, which was described by the author as “ill-conceived”. This was interesting, but I still had not found the name of the Indians’ mascot, so, prompted by urgent pleas from Elizabeth I searched further, leaving any exploration of “Ten Cent Beer Night” for another time.

Tonight, I was reading The Official Rules of Baseball: An Anecdotal Look at the Rules of Baseball and How They Came To Be. One section describes the various responsibilities a home team has and how the failure to fulfill those responsibilities can lead to the home team’s forfeiture of the game. One of the responsibilities of the home team is to provide an adequate police presence to enforce order during the game. If the fans become unruly and venture onto the field, the visiting team can refuse to play. At this point, the home team and the police have at most 15 minutes to restore order or they forfeit the game. As an example of a game in which fan unruliness led to the home team’s forfeiture, the author describes “Ten Cent Beer Night” – the 2nd reference today to this game that happened more than 30 years ago. I figured this time I should look into it.

While the book provides some information on the event, I turned again to Wikipedia for more details. It turns out that there is a Wikipedia article dedicated just to this game. You can read it for yourself here. You should really read it. After you’ve read that, you can follow the link to the article on Disco Demolition Night – another game that ended in the home team’s forced forfeiture due to fan unruliness. There have been some crazy games in the history of baseball but I think these two rank right up there at the top.

03
Sep
06

Recent Acquisitions: Pentax K1000

If you followed the comments in response to my post about possibly getting a digital SLR then you know that some of my friends recommended against it and recommended getting a fully manual SLR instead. I took their advice and bought a Pentax K1000 on eBay today. I sort of casually bid in a couple of auctions over the last couple of days but I didn’t win those auctions. The auction today (actually, one of many ending today) was for a K1000 body and 2 lenses: a f/2 50mm and a f/2.8 135mm. Considering a body plus the stock f/2 50mm lens had been going for about $100 and I saw good 135mm lenses going for $60 or more, the ~$120 I paid for the whole package seemed like a good deal. Also, I went to a camera store downtown yesterday and they wanted $125 for just the body, so I feel pretty good about the deal I got.  I’d still like to get a 28mm lens, but that’s a little less pressing. Maybe once I get the camera and start taking some pictures, I’ll post my results online for people to take a look.

01
Sep
06

It’s official: 14 straight losing seasons for the Pirates

Today’s loss to the Cardinals gave the Pirates their 82nd loss of the season, guaranteeing them their 14th consecutive losing season. The Pirates haven’t had a winning season since 1992, when they won their division for the 3rd year in a row. If the Pirates don’t turn things around soon, they could set the Major League record for most consecutive losing seasons, which currently stands at 16, set by the Philadelphia Phillies from 1933 to 1948. According to this article, the Pirates’ 14 straight losing seasons is the longest active streak of consecutive losing seasons among North American professional sports teams…




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