Today came straight out of the book of "Days I Wish I Could Emphatically Say TGIF, If I Didn't Hate That Expression With the Passion of 1000 Suns." Or "Specific Uses for the Delorean That Are Even More Valuable Than Sports Betting Purposes. Chapter I: Knowing Which Days to Get Out of Bed."
That said, everything brightened significantly courtesy my coworker David:
"I went out to lunch and saw this on the street and thought you'd appreciate it."
So much appreciated.
...this is pure gold:
From the NY Daily News
Security guard Gerald Tacopino pleaded guilty Wednesday to taking Shea Stadium bases and seats while he was supposed to be looking for looters during last year's demolition.
During a hearing in Queens Criminal Court, Tacopino, 44, agreed to pay back the $842.50 the items fetched on eBay. He's also been banned from Citi Field for a year.
Tacopino's lawyer, Michael McClellan, said his client mistakenly believed the Mets had no use for the memorabilia.
"It was in a pile of junk," McClellan said. "He thought wrong."
The city received the lion's share of proceeds from the sale of Shea memorabilia as part of an agreeement with the team. The Mets donated their share to various charities.
He ganked a bunch of bases of seats and $842 for it? Oh my God, the unintentional comedy of this guy scheming to make a small fortune off his "memorabilia" and then collecting the same amount that ONE seat for Yankee stadium sells for?
Can it any closer resemble Kenny Powers' foray into ebay? Nope.
In the security guard's defense, he did think it was all junk. I'm a bit stunned this wasn't a viable grounds for case dismissal.
"Are you watching this?"
"Every single channel has the State of the Union on. How do you not know this?"
"Not every channel."
"I'm doing laundry."
"I'm...washing my hair. I don't know."
So I eventually did begrudgingly watch the second half of the SotU, and it just reaffirmed why I keep a good galaxy's worth of distance between me and politics. I had no idea what he was talking about. I didn't even know who the 2 people were sitting behind him, though I did sympathize with the one (Joe Biden) who looked like he'd been comatose for about 45 minutes.
And at the conclusion of the speech, (after I figured out via closed captioning that he wasn't saying, "I don't twit" but rather "I don't quit"), I felt unduly dissatisfied.
HOW THE HELL DO YOU GIVE A STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS WITHOUT EVER ONCE MENTIONING THE STATUS OF THE YANKEES' OUTFIELD??
I'm not even remotely kidding.
Seriously. Randy Winn becomes a Yankee, Johnny Damon is ousted, and no one brings this up. And ok, yes, I understand this, but if baseball can't be touched upon in the state of the union, then it's not fair that Obama is allowed to infiltrate our pasttime at his leisure.
Whatever, I've gone nearly 29 years without any working knowledge of politics, and I'm doing ok so far, and at this point, it'd be like deciding now would be a good time to get into "Lost."
I split the difference and put on the Real World, since it takes place in D.C. (And as an aside, some film splicing genius needs to made a montage of all the people on the Real World who affirm in their confessionals that they "never get close to anyone because they're scared of getting hurt" or "I put up walls and never open up to anyone." Really? Because from where I'm sitting, it would appear that volunteering to broadcast your private life on television for 6 months would demonstrate an ostensible willingness to "open up to people.")
Bah, I digress. Back to more important matters at hand...
Randy Winn replaces Johnny Damon in the outfield.
He came cheap, at $2 million for 1-year. Betty finally winns one over Veronica.
I came back from physical therapy today to find my phone on my desk blinking with 5 text messages, and 3 new IMs windows populating my screen.
ALL of them said the EXACT same thing. Verbatim:
"Randy Winn?? Really??"
(Well, except for the one from Kevin, who wrote, "Why did the Yankees trade Nady?")
I know I'm supposed to be all sputtering expletives about this move, flapping my arms, crying, "Wha?? Why?? WTF, brass??"
But I'm not.
Thanks to the MLB Extra Innings package and my penchant for binge add/dropping in fantasy leagues, I'm fairly familiar with this guy.
And I think I'm on board with it.
Throughout the offseason, the Yankees PTB have made some questionable moves...or so it seemed, but by the time the dust had settled on the Granderson trade, it was starting to become obvious the motives fueling their decisions. A method to their madness, perhaps.
The 2011 free agent market is a murderer's row of awesome. And despite popular belief, the NYY aren't made of money. (Such a classic case of damned if you do, damned if you don't. They pinch pennies and everyone guffaws, they hemorrhage cash and everyone seethes.)
Carl Crawford, for one, my all-time favorite fantasy pick, the one guy who I feel I have an unofficial staked claim on every year. The Yankees are picking up better than average players relatively cheap, but more importantly, for only 1 year deals. Not unlike a chick picking up a summer fling in between breaking up with her high school boyfriend, and before starting her freshman year of college.
In terms of Damon and Nady, Damon got a low-ball offer, but even that was more than the Yanks wanted to spend. Boras went all in on a flush, and ended up losing to a guy with pocket 9's. Way to play your cards, dude. First A-Rod, now this. You got Bob Sugar fate written all over you...
Nady, now a Cubbie, was dealt for reasons that I can only speculate have to do with potential injury liability. I actually don't even know why I'm speculating on this, beyond speaking to Kevin's text query, but seeing as he's the same guy who reveres this future HOF-er, I'm not 100% in lockstep with his concerns.
I get where people are concerned about Winn, though. He didn't exactly have a banner year last year, and at 35, he's not necessarily guaranteed any kind of a "give him a chance, he'll rebound!" latitude. He's basically your textbook definition of Mendoza Line kind of guy. He only offers any kind of value IF he returns to 2008 form, in which case he's pretty fast, pretty good defensively, and pretty consistent as a switch hitter, with an acceptable .286 career BA.
HOWEVAH, if he doesn't return? We basically just have an extra body to convert oxygen. His OBP last year was .318, with an embarrassingly high strike out rate. I don't think he lost much of a step on defense, but his discernible decline in offense can eclipse that.
And here's why I'm okay with that: that's all we really need right now. So net net: his value isn't in his utility as an athlete, his value is in his ability to save the Yanks' some $. It's only a 1-year contract, and we got him dirt cheap, and that gives us some breathing room when the hunt for big free agents commences.
And who knows, maybe the lovely RF porch will bode well for Mr. Winn. If not though, a cost-efficient 4th OF who can provide late inning defense isn't the worst thing in the world. Think of it this way: the old Yanks' would have shelled out 3 times that much for a multiple year contract for someone like Rick Ankiel. The new Yanks, contrastly, are methodical. And like any patient serial killer knows, this is paramount to a successful reign as a lethal terror.
It's starting to seem like that calculus concept, where the tanθ curve gets closer and closer to the line θ=90 degrees, without ever touching it. (I can't believe I just wrote that. I blacked out.) While I've never actually taken Calculus (in a not so brilliant scheme in college that landed me in some ridiculously hard upper level discrete math section, solely to sidestep taking Calc), the off-season impels feelings of getting closer and closer to something without ever touching it.
This is why I hate math. In real life, this would never happen. I think the mathematicians and actuaries just gave up on figuring out this trigometric principle--they probably just THINK the line will never intersect the axis, because they're inpatient. I empathize, MIT geniuses. But if I can hold out another 21 days for pitchers and catchers to report to camp, you guys can figure out a way for your TI-83's or whatever's being used these days, to wait out the seeming impossibility of said calculus functions to beat the system.
NEVER SAY NEVER!
That said, I'm approximately 4 days away from this.
In the meantime:
The more I read about Ken Burns' sequel to his 1994 baseball documentary, the more I hate him. I suppose the second clause of that sentence could be also be replaced with "the more irrational I become." I guess since he's a filmmaker he can do whatever he wants, and if an unabashed Yankee fan wants to come along and make a comparable documentary outlining the storied history of the Most Successful Franchise in Sports History, then he's more than welcome to.
Yet at the same time, this doesn't stop the legions of critics from spitting vitriol at Michael Moore, and I feel like it's for the same reason: you can make a film about your biases if you want. It's your right. But perhaps you have a certain degree of responsibility when you're putting something like that into the world. Frame it as such. What I know about politics is remarkably nonexistent, so I can't really speak intelligently about the matters in most of his movies.
But as a employee of the healthcare industry, I patently refused to endorse "Sicko." (In fact, my coworker asked me to go see it with him when it was out in theaters, out of morbid curiosity, and I believe my exact words were, "I'd rather spend 6 months in hell.")
Sure, Moore's got his opinions, fine. Everyone does. Millions of people take issue with the pharmaceutical empire. But don't shove your beliefs down society's throat under the ruse that it's simply documenting the facts.
And more importantly, don't make a sequel to the Baseball documentary in which you prominently feature the 2004 Red Sox as if your Boston loyalty is merely incidental. If you're going to craft a story about the rich history of baseball, remember the words of New York Times writer Dave Anderson:
"The essence of the Yankees is that they win. From in front or from behind, they win. And that's why the history of the New York Yankees is virtually the history of baseball."
To be sure, I will NOT be checking out Mr. Burns's new project.
In moral quandary news:
I took a CPR class on Sunday, and after sufficiently terrifying friends and loved ones with my Facebook status, a bigger question was posed by one of my favorite readers, Deron:
(Although my sister did contest, "Oh, come on, Kris. I would certainly hope that you would give mouth to mouth to a Red Sox fan.")
Wellll, not that I would want him to DIE or anything, but think about it, the Sox aren't the good, classic, cleancut Yankees. They put pine tar on every available surface space, they pride themselves on being idiots, and they basically emulate a myriad of other less than desirable traits that wholly suggest unequivocal "Rough Around the Edges." (At best. Though I'd say "dirty, crass, crude, and slimy" is a bit more in line.) So I could theoretically see some reluctance on jumping into a mouth-to-mouth situation, but ONLY BECAUSE there is a way to perform CPR that doesn't need mouth-to-mouth. You can revive someone by just doing the chest pressing part.
As I explained to my friends, the woman running the class was trying to broach this point by calling out some people in the class. "Would you give Hilary Clinton mouth-to-mouth?" "Would you give Tiger Woods mouth-to-mouth?" (Everyone answered yes, some people emphatically yes.)
So, when she points me out and asks "You in the Yankee hat. Would you give a Red Sox* CPR?" I kind of felt like I had to say "No," just so she would have a segue into saying, "Well, that's ok, because you don't need to!"
So instead I just avoid the question altogether.
And continue to lie awake night hoping I never have to see Jonathan Papelbon in need of medical attention. Well, outside of this anyway.
In "Today in History" news:
January 26, 1989...The rules initiated last season to make balk calls more uniform throughout baseball are rescinded and are replaced by the pre-1988 rules. The wording change from 'a complete stop' to 'a single complete and discernible stop, with both feet on the ground' had caused umpires to call an unprecedented amount of balks in both the American and National League.
And yet despite this clarification, I'm still just as confused as ever about what the hell constitutes a balk. I'd say I'm more than pretty well-versed in baseball, and I am convinced umpires call balks the way the traffic police in my small southern college town, distributed parking tickets. "Hey, how many have we given out in August already? 6? Ok, spread out a few over the next week, make it an even 10, and call it a month."
If nothing else, though, the term "balk" is unassailably awesome.
In Johnny Damon news:
The Cubs pick up Xavier Nady. Nady will get a $3.3 million base salary from the Cubs, with performance bonuses that could bring his deal to $5.35 million, a source told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
(On a side note, I'm not sure Nady is what the Cubs should be in the market for right now, per se. This is like old school Yankee signing: ignore the egregious shortcomings of a once-stellar pitching rotation, in favor of a decent fielding big bat. Eh, it's the Cubs. Like it matters.)
The only thing that makes it matter from where I'm sitting is the fact that this means the Yankees' options for their own outfield are dwindling down, making a Damon return more and more likely, as rumors fly the blogosphere over, about the alleged low-ball 1-year offer on Damon's table.
What's left, really? It's Damon or Reed Johnson. At this point, I couldn't care less if they signed the little actress in My Girl, I just want a warm body in there. Damon, Reed, Damon, Reed. Honestly, are we really losing our heads over this? (Or is it really just a case of "We-haven't-had-anything-t0-get-hyper-about-since-the-Granderson-and-Javy-deals-so-we'll-take-whatever-offseason-excitement-we-can-get" syndrome?)
I'll take whatever outfielder we can get.
And I feel like somewhere Scott Boras is singing some obnoxious iteration of the Oompa Loompa song, a la Andy Bernard.
And in "Ok, I'll Throw the Mutts a Bone" news:
My buddy "Ollie" makes me want to retract every negative thing I've ever said about the Mets. Not because he's such a nice guy, (because he's really not), and not because we're the bestest of friends (again, we're not), but because he is certifiably insane. Like, more so than me.
And his "relationship" he has with Oliver Perez is one for the books.
So, there you go, Mets fans. Consider this somewhat of an olive branch after I suggested (JOKINGLY, FOR LOVE OF GOD, JOKINGLY) that the Amazins disband.
(And this goes out to you too, Mets fans students in NYC schools...one in particular happens to be around the corner from my office, and in effort to avoid incurring a high school's wrath--once was plenty for me in my own HS years--I should probably go a bit easier on the Mets. Sort of. Either that, or walk to work in cog nito.)
*SEE HOW AGGRAVATING IT IS TO NOT HAVE A SINGULAR FORM OF THE TEAM NAME. I HATE THEM.
1.) Why has no one updated the design of the umbrella? For the record, I'd like to establish myself firmly in opposition to the umbrella, as I patently refuse to use one. There should really be some kind of guidelines put forth that dictates when an umbrella is permitted to be use in public. Because sometimes it's not even raining that hard, and people are walking around the streets of NYC with this ocular death traps.
Even better, the people who use beach umbrellas, so they end up taking up half the sidewalk. Anyways, not to get all Seinfeld, but I'm just saying, since every other creation known to man is updated and evolved faster than we can even keep up with, how come the umbrella is the same design as it was 40 years ago.
2.) I'm not on board with airing commercials with athletes during games in which said athlete is playing. I can't find any conclusive research done on the subject, but off the top of my head, it seems to be a rather ominous harbringer for the fate of the game. Mr. Favre, for example, returned to the NFL for a last hurrah, and instead has one of the worst passes of his career to end on. Prior to this course of events that effected the NOLA Super Bowl ticket, we see an equally uncomfortable episode starring Brett.
Similarly, during Game 3 of the World Series, I first noticed this particularly aggravating commercial with Cole Hamels, which pretty much drove me bananas every time I watched it because I kept thinking it was the actual game. No matter how many times it came on, it confused me. Which either says something about the effect of the commercial or my powers of progressive reasoning.
In both cases, the player screwed everything up for his respective team. Hence, commercials with athletes during playoffs= jinx. Done.
3.) Short of the Giants making the Super Bowl, the Indy-NOLA Super Bowl match-up is ideal. This is exactly the type of playoff situation I love, like when the NCAA showcased 4 one-seeds in the Final 4 a few years ago. I don't believe in rooting for the underdog:
America as a rule rallies around the Underdog, so powerfully that at the end of the day, they're not even the underdog anymore. But why? What is it about the underdog that makes them so much more worthy of support than the favorite?
How did the favorite get to be the favorite in the first place? You don't get to be #1 by slipping through the cracks. You gotta have talent. You get there because you're good. (Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but theoretically and most often, the favorite is the best team or they wouldn't be in the position they're in.)
So why don't we celebrate that? Why isn't our instinct to champion the talent and skill that put that team at the top, instead of dismissin their triumphs as automatically sinister when juxtaposed next to the noble efforts of the struggling underdogs?
To me, it's no different than communism.
That said, I'm with Peyton. I love that guy. Which, I guess, completely derails my aforementioned rant on athletes in commercials. Semantics.
22 more days til P&C Day. As my buddy Brian astutely notes today during our mid-day coffee break, during this bleakish Monday, as we're staring at the overcast skies:
"This is baseball weather. I feel like I should be wondering if the game's gonna be called or not."
Man, I miss that.
January 22, 1913: The Giants agree to share the Polo Grounds with the Highlanders. The American League club, which will become known as the Yankees, had been playing their home games at Hilltop Park, located 168th Street and Broadway, since 1903, when the franchise shifted from Baltimore to New York.
Realize what I'm about to say is in part faceious, but there is also decidedly genuine curiosity involved, too.
How bad would it be it we just got rid of the Mets?
They sort of remind me of a scene in "Will and Grace:"
GRACE: You need me to stay over for a couple of days? 'Cause I can do it. It'd be no problem at all.
WILL: Your apartment's a mess, isn't it?
GRACE: A total pigsty. At this point, it'd just be easier to move.
That last line...I feel like it MUST have been uttered about the Mets on more than one occasion.
In 1943, there was a temporary merger between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles, which was due to both teams losing so many players military service in WWII. They were known as the Eagles, with no city name, but the unofficial name? The Steagles. Clever.
In soccer, the teams finishing the lowest are relegated, or moved to a lower, less prestigious division.
I don't want to MERGE with the Amazins, to be sure, though they do got some good things going on there that could potentially be big if they didn't have a penchant for Mutt-ifying all their talent.
When you think about the activity that has punctuated the Mets franchise in recent years, it starts to bring you to discomfort levels that make this seem like a Sharper Image suped up massage chair.
It's actually overwhelming how hapless and sad the Mets have become. If their fans weren't so aggressively obnoxious, I would have a lot more love for our cross-town brothers. I mean, after all, we did go to bat on their behalf to avenge the constant humiliation the Phils had bestowed upon them all season. YOU'RE WELCOME, QUEENS.
In the awkward collage of Mets gems, the biggest and brightest pieces include:
- Braden Looper.
- The downright absurd number of games the Mets held sizable lead, only to ultimately lose. They truly brought new meaning to the phrase, "No lead is safe."
- The supremely dishonorable handling of Willie Randolph
- The 2007 season
- The 2008 season
- The 2009 season
- Beltran's whipsmart medical decisions
- Juan Castillo (my sister got my dad an autographed picture of Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner. I wonder if she could find the same for A-Rod and Castillo.) Castillo dropping popups, Castillo injuring himself in the dugout, etc etc.
- Not so hot players injuring themselves in annals of hilarity
Sorry, this could go on all day. Plus, a Mets fan has already covered it quite extensively here. It's remarkable really, just skimming through the Mets' accolades since 2006.
The reason I bring up the Mets, (reasons beyond sheer boredom), mainly stem from an epiphany I had last night while out with Laur, Strange, and Pablo last night:
There is a bar in NYC designated for almost any sports affiliation you can possibly have. Purdue. Bengals. Celtics. Alabama. Devils. Well, you get the point. Sports teams.
I don't know of any Mets bars.
In New York City.
Not a NY Baseball bar. But a bar specifically designated as Mets bar.
Untapped resource, future bar owners.
OR would it just make more sense to cull the list of NY Baseball teams down to 1? Or maybe move the Mets to another city. There is a decided lack of baseball enthusiasm down in the south. Maybe North Carolina would be interested in splitting their time between the Mets and college basketball. This way, the Mets and Braves could renew their rivalry and forget about the Phils and Yanks.
Again, I say this mostly because it is quite possibly the slowest week in the offseason ever, and because I'm actually a bit intrigued by this concept. But I'm also not WHOLLY being serious. I do love the Subway Series. Maybe not as much as some people, ie Mets fans, who seem to think this is the most important set of games in the history of life every season.
There's no shame in abandoning your namesake, Mets. The Highlanders did it, and that worked out pretty ok. One team city that I DO wish would have kept its original moniker is this one, though. As I told my sister today, "I probably wouldnt have so much animosity towards them if they were still called that."
"Johnny Damon considering retirement? It's like a child not being able to play with it's favorite toy, sob until someone cares."
--My buddy K.J.'s Facebook status yesterday
"L.I.G." In my mind, saying this to a significant other amid a spat, should have the same effect as pouring water from the Holy Grail over bullet wounds. L.I.G. Let it go. Move on, drop it, pick your battles, etc. (It rarely, if ever, works.) Similarly, I want to tell the Yankees to L.I.G. with Damon.
I'm still unclear about how the Yankees are planning to handle their blatant lack of bench players that can be mixed and matched in the outfield. I know they like to treat anyone other than the pitchers and middle infielders are wildly versatile and interchangeable, but if I had my druthers, I'd prefer not seeing Jorge in RF or Tex in center.
Why TPTB don't have much faith in Gardner is a mystery to me. Do they know something I don't? From where I'm sitting, Gardner looked like an excellent fielder, chock full of all the Melky-esque "Aint no pop fly high enough" determination.
Brett Gardner runs a hard 90.
I guess if you're into the stats stuff, there's this:
So while B-Gard had less than half the ABs, he still did ok for himself. But what means more to me about this player is that he's teachable. He's a quick study. And he has demonstrated his ability to improve based on the needs of the club.
I do very much like Damon, but it's time for the Yanks to L.I.G. It's time for Archie to stop obsessing over whether Veronica is ever going to come around and give him the time of day, because adorable Betty is in the wings, who is just as cute, and infinitely more willing to adapt.
But, again, this torrid love triangle with the brass and our OF isn't as concerning to me as the lack of torrid love triangle with the brass and other available OFs. The 2009 Championship Yankee team started off its season with Brett Gardner, Johnny Damon, and Xavier Nady. If we were ok with starting Gardner then, why not now? When he's had a year to mature?
The more time goes by, the more I'm convinced Girardi is doing the same thing he did with the 3-man rotation in the playoffs. Maybe it'll work with LF. After all, in home games, it's not like an opponent is swinging for anything but the RF short porch.
In equally as troubling news, I learned yesterday that they are remaking "The Karate Kid." The ONLY quasi-salvable facet of this is that they're not calling it "The Karate Kid IV" or something. Which drives me bananas, when they remake a movie and call it a sequel. Or make another version of the movie that's not a remake at all, but actually just is a knock-off of the basic plot elements.
- Cruel Intentions II
- American Psycho 1 and 2 (probably the most ridiculous and offensive of the lot)
- Teen Wolf, Too (For some reason, making the II into a "too" annoys the hell out of me. Much in the same way it annoys the hell out of my dad when product names have capitalized letters in the middle of the word a la JetBlue)
- Cutting Edge 2 (C.E.1 is arguably in the top 5 of Movies I Would Be Reluctant to Admit I Love on a First Date)
- Skulls II through whatever outlandish number they're on now
How could you do this to me, world? Karate Kid is one of my favorite movies of all time. And no matter how good the remake is, unless THIS EXACT SCENE is in it, it's going to be AT BEST a pale version of the original.
So how is this in any way pertinent to the Damon/Gardner debate? I don't know if it really is, actually, but far be it for me to shy from an opportunity to make a completely ridiculous analogy.
In fact, I may just go ahead and throw another metaphor into the mix. When I'm reading a really great book, I start getting agitated about three-quarters of the way in, because I know I'm not going to be able to put it down til I finish it, and then when I finish it, I won't have it to read anymore. So when that happens, my initial reaction is to seek out another book immediately that's almost exactly like it, so it'll be like re-reading the really great book I just had read.
HOWEVAH, this is no good.
Because even if I DO find a book that bears somewhat of a resemblance, it's not the same, and it does little to nothing in the way of slaking my appetite. I'm never going to find a book like that again, and it's fruitless and exhausting trying to recreate that. So really the best bet is to look in alternate sections of Barnes and Noble and find a different book and hope that works out. Which, many times it does. Other times, not as much.
So instead of trying to recreate what Damon did for us, or regurgitating the magic of the original Karate Kid, maybe the Yankees should focus on what novel attributes Gardner brings to the table. He's not Damon, he never will be, but until the Yankees see him as that, and not just as a means to fill the exact hole that Damon left, then they're never going to fortify their outfield.
L.I.G. And let Damon "retire" or whatever nonsensical BS he's pitching. And not for nothing, but it would behoove Hollywood to dig around in new ideas instead of spinning out flashy versions of classics.
"The fan is the one who suffers. He cheers a guy to a .350 season then watches that player sign with another team. When you destroy fan loyalties, you destroy everything."
On Demand cable has ensured that the void created when baseball ended would be unproductively filled, albeit with significantly less fervor and anxiety. It's like my body is conditioned to know there are 3-5 hours of time that once were brimming with the great American pasttime. And now it's confused.
However, my overt tendencies towards indecision usually mean I end up watching many trailers of movies for about 45 minutes before I ever can decide on one. Sometimes I'll watch them twice, to cull down the list of candidates. And by the time I narrow it down to one lucky film, I'm bored with the whole prospect of being inert for 3 hours and toss the idea altogether.
And you're welcome, by the way, for walking you through that slice of my day.
Last night, the frontrunner of this exhaustive and ultimately pointless selection process was “Big Fan,” a movie I had never even heard of (which should come as no surprise, seeing as the only movies I’ve seen in the last 3 years are Saw IV, Saw VI, Friday the 13th, and The Blind Side.)
But then again, seeing as the only movies that register on my radar are horror movies and sports flicks under 2 hours, I should have known about this one.
A parking garage attendant and lifelong New York Giants fan finds his life spinning out of control following an altercation with his favorite football player in this darkly comic drama starring Patton Oswalt.
For 35-year-old Staten Island native Paul Aufiero (Oswalt), sports are a religion. Paul still lives with his mother, he's the self-proclaimed "world's biggest New York Giants fan," and he spends most of his spare time calling in to the local sports radio station 760 "The Zone," where he can frequently be heard bickering with his contentious on-air nemesis Philadelphia Phil (Michael Rapaport), a fervent Eagles fan.
Berated by his family for his obsessive love of sports, Paul retorts that they simply cannot appreciate the responsibility that goes with being the New York Giants' number one fan. One night, Paul and his best friend, Sal (Kevin Corrigan), spot Giants linebacker Quantrell Bishop (Jonathan Hamm) at a local gas station and impulsively follow his SUV to a Manhattan strip club.
Once inside, the two friends bask quietly in the presence of football greatness before cautiously approaching their idol. When things don't go as planned and Paul winds up in the hospital, the resulting media frenzy finds him questioning everything he believes in just as his beloved team begins preparing for a late-season showdown with the Eagles.
The trailer was undoubtedly intriguing, especially since it featured the NY Giants as the object of the obsession. I hate sports movies with fake teams. I’m sure there’s some rationale behind that move, but I have a feeling it probably stems from getting rights, etc. This is an independent feature, so if they can score rights to the NFL franchises, then you’d think a movie like “The Replacements” could, as well.
I’m pretty sure any I-Don’t-Play-By-the-Rules-I-Shake-Things-Up middle aged stock character could have been cast in lieu of Hackman, thereby having the excess funds to purchase rights to legitimate team names. It’s hard enough suspending my disbelief enough to buy into Keanu Reeves the Star QB, without investing my attention in teams that sound like middle school soccer teams.
That said, my interest in the Big Fan was piqued, and the trailer alone raised some serious moral quandaries. (It also made me wonder if “Quantrell Bishop” isn’t a fancy name for Schmaxico Schurress.) In short, this garden variety diehard fan--THAT GUY who calls in WFAN every single time he’s stuck in traffic, etc—obsesses over Bishop, Bishop kicks the shit out of him, gets in trouble for it, and the fan doesn’t want to press charges because it will hurt the Giants season, especially with a big game against the Eagles on the horizon.
I know this is supposed to be preposterous. And of course, if Mariano Rivera laid down the hurt on me, (or even CC Sabathia, since he’s probably more integral to the game), then I’d probbbbbably lose some of my rosy adoration for the Yanks, and would redirect my attentions away from the playoffs and towards keeping my dad from attacking the Yanks’ rotation with a soldering iron.
HOWEVAH, I will admit that the premise of the movie is more than a little thought-provoking. It’s scary to think that if a random guy beat the crap out of me, I would be merciless, and the idea of him walking around unpunished would make me overwhelmingly disgusted and physically ill.
But how far will being a fan take us?
I just watched “The Fan” on Sunday, and wasn’t really a fan, pun intended. Maybe because as a pretty insane fan myself, I don’t buy any of it. Killing someone so your favorite player can have his old jersey number back? That doesn’t stem from fandom, that’s straight up sociopath. The baseball element is just incidental.
In the past few weeks, much has been made of Curt Schilling’s allegedly ambiguous allegiances. (I’m pretty sure there’s no greater indication of a tanking campaign than resorting to publicly waxing antagonistic over Boston-NY sports rivalries. It’s like the intentional fouling at the end of an NBA game.)
So Curt Schilling is in hog heaven right now. Republican State. And a chance to chip in his unsolicited two cents. Even better, a chance to once again establish himself firmly in opposition to the Yankees. (Which makes the fact that his team loyalty is always called into question even more hilarious.)
He’s like a freaking 5-year old. I used to tease my youngest sister in the same manner.
“So, Amanda, I didn’t know you had boooyyfriennddd!”
“I don’t! I don’t have a boyfriend!”
“So then why did you say you loovvvved James?”
“I don’t even like him! I hate him!”
“AMANDA HAS A BOYFRIEND!”
(The irony is, she could probably enact that same breed of torture on me, now 20 years later, and I’d probably react the same way she did when she was 5.)
For some reason Martha Coakley called Schilling a Yankee fan, and not really having any clue as to the context of this political upheaval, I’m not even quite sure how Guiliani’s Yankee fandom was relevant either:
Coakley: If it weren't so close, Rudy Guiliani wouldn’t have come either, besides he's a Yankee fan, I just want people to know.
Rea: But Scott Brown has Curt Schilling.
Coakley: Another Yankee fan.
Rea: Curt Schilling a Yankee fan??
Rea: Curt Schilling a Yankee fan? The Red Sox great pitcher of the bloody sock?
Coakley: Well, he's not there anymore.
But to me, Schilling’s response eclipses Coakley’s widely publicized synaptic misfire:
"I've been called a lot of things...but never, I mean never, could anyone make the mistake of calling me a Yankee fan. Well, check that, if you didn't know what the hell is going on in your own state maybe you could..."
Never could anyone ever make the mistake of calling you a Yankee fan? I don’t know if that’s really true, Curt. I certainly wouldn’t, but for reasons that stem purely out of an immoveable desire to keep your likeness as far removed from my team.
But do the words, “The woman doth protest too much” mean anything to you, Schill? To review, Schilling was indeed at one point in his career trying to curry favor with his hated rivals, when a trade seemed to be a realistic possibility:
When you go to the bottom of the barrel and get to the basic facts, this is pretty simple," Schilling told Rumblings and Grumblings. "I'm not going to be in Arizona beyond this year, and I know that. So when I'm asked by my owner, 'Would you go to the Yankees?' what are my choices, really?
"I can stay here and pitch the last year of my contract in Arizona, and then walk. Or I can talk about possibly getting a three-year extension to go to New York and have a chance to win a world championship. If those are my choices, why wouldn't I at least agree to listen?"
You think Schilling would have gone to NY only to act above it all? He would have immersed himself in pinstripe culture, and I’d go so far to theorize he’d assume the role of Big Badass Out-Spoken Ex-Patriot.
He also has a child named Gehrig, which I admittedly think is outstanding. As River Ave Blues notes:
But Schilling, many in Massachusetts seem to forget, wasn’t always a Boston supporter. A product of Anchorage, Alaska, Schilling was drafted by the Red Sox and traded to Baltimore before making his Major League debut. Along the way, he picked up an appreciation for baseball history and grew to idolize Lou Gehrig so much that he named his son Gehrig. Love the history, hate the team? I don’t know about that.
Me neither, RAB. Me neither.
But as usual, I digress. From what, I’m not even sure anymore. Mainly, the concept of nailing down the identity of the fan. SomethingsomethingsomethingSPORTSFAN.
Sometimes I’ll play the “What if…” game, which I’m never good at because like I said, no suspension of disbelief here. (It’s like when someone says, “Man, I wish it was Friday.” Why not just wish for a billion dollars if you’re going to wish for ridiculous things that will never happen?)
What if someone offered me a job that paid 750,000 a year. And I wouldn’t have to move, but they’d still buy me a new, ginormous apartment with a hockey foosball table. And all I’d have to do is pull a Peter Abe. And become CrazySoxChick.
Or what about if a minor leaguer who grew up a diehard Yankee fan his whole life gets drafted to the Red Sox? And he’s not like a little Peabody who gets no play. Say he’s the next Papelbon or Schilling. He has to play his favorite sport in the world in the fiery pits of Hell. He has to go to work every day knowing his soul is tainted, his integrity compromised, and his entire psyche a mere shell of its former self.
How do you put a price on that?
I don’t think you can.
"There is nobody as enslaved as the fanatic, the person whom in one impulse, one value, assumes ascendancy over all others."
-Milton R. Sapirstein
January 19, 2010
I don't see my mom TOO often, but it was nice to know that she was only a train ride away from the city. So when my parents dismantled the Christmas tree on December 26, packed up the car, and drove to Florida to escape the cold New York weather, it shouldn't have been that much of a change in pace.
I mean, aside from the fact I'm in my late 20s and should be able to pick out a sweater without calling my mom to weigh in, technically I'm still seeing them about the same amount as I would have had they remained in NY.
But I admittedly miss the proximity.
So in honor of my mom's special day, I figured a Commemorative Mom post was long overdue.
For those of you who have been following this blog, you already know my mom's editorial asides and commentary are always present and never un-entertaining. Just skimming through my blog, I encountered these gems:
July 17, lamenting her daughter's priorities:
"You can't just like baseball like everyone else. Everything has to be so intense. All I ever wanted was just one normal daughter."
June 11, on Nick Swisher:
"Dad and I were watching the game last night and we decided we do NOT want you to marry Nick Swisher if he can't even make a simple catch like that."
June 12, on Mariano Rivera:
"I wonder what that's like for the opposing team, when they see Mo coming in, knowing that they're about to lose the game."
November 2, on Charlie Manuel:
"I lost any respect I had for Charlie Manuel after what he did yesterday. He knew he couldn't beat CC with Joe Blanton, so instead of trying to win by the power of their own offense, they compromised CC's comfort by immediately hitting A-Rod and effecting the warning to both benches. Whatever else happens in the remainder of the series, the Phillies don't deserve to be the champions. If that's how they're going to try to win, they just plain don't deserve it."
There are countless others, and maybe my mother's comments don't always make sense, per se, but what they DO always do is ring with conviction and interest. My mom isn't a diehard sports fan, (she asked me to come down to Florida the 2nd week in February so Dad would have someone to watch the Super Bowl with), so they fact that she reads every last word that I write, means the world to me.
I don't entertain any great illusions that she finds my daily game recaps groundbreaking, and I know a feature article from "Real Simple Magazine" on alternate uses for coat hangers is 100% more in her wheelhouse than 1000 words comparing Joba's slider to stale halloween candy. But it doesn't matter to her.
Even when I know something I wrote isn't "my best work" (and if I don't, my dad will tell me), my mom extols the virtues of every last word, and adamantly insists it's worthy of a Pulitzer. And even though I know it's not true, I'm pretty sure I'll never reach an age where the inflated praise of a mother isn't worth its weight in gold.
She emails me to say, "Happy Pitchers and Catchers Day!" Or to make confusing exclamations about the Yanks advancing in the playoffs. She forwards me NY Times articles about blogging. And when the Village Voice called and asked me if I've ever gotten paid for any of my writing, I was able to say, "Well, no. Actually, wait, I think my mom is the sole subscriber to my blog on Kindle."
Never in my life have I ever encountered a woman with more charisma and more aplomb. It's like this fable I had to read in middle school where the moral was "Whatever you do, do it boldly." She can't go to a Yankee game without a sign, and she'd sooner give her tickets away than bring a sign that doesn't look like it was produced by a Madison Avenue Ad Agency.
She's creative and funny and goes all out for every holiday and invents reasons to have theme parties. She always wears a jersey to games, and loves the Hip, Hip, Jorge! cheer more than a reasonable amount. Everything is exciting to my mom, and it reminds me of how the son in Elf describes Will Ferrell: "Buddy cares about everything."
And she does. To a fault. She'll describe dusty shelves with the fervor most people reserve for natural disasters. (So...I have a good idea where I inherited my melodramatic tendencies from when it comes to writing sports.)
She's selfless and thoughtful and patiently humored me in Tampa when I insisted we wait outside Legends Field in February to see the "Yankees" take batting practice.
There weren't even any spring training games yet, and there certainly weren't any roster players working out. My mom basically sat in the bleachers for 6 hours while I scampered around the field's perimeter trying to get shots of 19-year-old kids with jersey numbers that started around 88.
She hung around a hospital waiting room for hours on Opening Day of 2009 and even complied when I begged to go to watch the 2nd half of the game at a bar instead of going home and doing whatever standard routine generally follows ACL surgery. (Bed rest?)
(I think it was when we were sitting at a bar, both of us deliriously watching the painful rout in the home opener, that she remarked how funny it would be if I had a famous person's ACL in me: "Like Whitey Ford's!" In retrospect, this comment isn't a fraction as confusing as the fact she somehow managed to get me and my gimp leg up the 5 flights of stairs to my apartment.)
But she did. And she always will. Because no matter how many times we fight over whatever pool she must be in that causes her to get frantic over pinpointing the ETA of marriage/grandchildren, or how many times we get exasperated with each other over whether or not it's necessary to remind me not to wear ripped jeans to client meetings (pretty sure she thinks I'm either him or him)...I know everything she does comes from unrelenting maternal support, and there's something good at the heart of her every word and action.
After I wrote my very first article ever, she emailed me:
Kristen, I have a great idea! I think you should be a television sportscaster. Why don't you write a sports column as if you were delivering it on the news and make a tape to send to ESPN. Love, Mom
And she means it. I take it for granted sometimes how lucky I am to have that kind of unconditional support, but it's such undeniable testimony to the fact that no one ever loves us the way our parents do.
So, thank you, Mom. For being my best friend and my biggest supporter. And for always being someone me and my sisters look up to. And for reminding us that "life's too short to do the things you don't want to do if you don't have to do them." To be honest, I'm still not 100% sure if that's necessarily applicable to all situations, but your joie de vivre is truly infectious...and take it from your daughter when she promises you that you really are "forever young."
"Orlando Cepeda has been with 5 different ball clubs in the past 7 years. That in itself should tell him something. Now he's with the Boston Red Sox and because of a gimpy knee, there's only so much he can do for them. They're thinking of him primarily as a designated hitter."
--The Dispatch, March 9, 1973
"I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter."
Me too, Crash. Me too.
I know, it is sacrilege, going against my own kind. I’m an AL-er, through and through. In fact, I scoff at the NL. I think they’re like the frumpy chick who everyone gives leniency to because she’s cool and chill and has got a great personality. Not impressive, because when you think about it, what are her options? It's pretty much all she has to go on.
She’s the pitcher who has season after season of stellar numbers…pitching in the NL. Impressive when you look at it in a vacuum, less than admirable in the context of the landscape.
HOWEVAH, the DH drives me bananas.
I was talking to my mom last night, and any conversation I have with her about sports is always entertaining, because she’ll either randomly trot out obscure statistics and analysis that makes me think she’s secretly Steve Hartman and just diluting her scope of sports knowledge so as to not embarrass me and my dad…and then other times she’ll say things like, “According to the Daily News, the worst athletes of the decade are—no surprise here—Steven Marlboro and Carlos Pavone.”
Last night, the topic was Nate Kaeding.
“According to your father, he’s the best kicker in the league! How does he miss 3 field goals!”
“Well, I don’t know about the best…”
“Kristen. He has one job. He doesn’t get tackled. He doesn’t have the throw or run or catch. All he does for a living is kick. I mean, it’s not like he has anything else to work on at practice.”
I’m with my mom on this one. And it’s another reason I find baseball to be the paragon of athletic competition. You can’t beat out the clock, and you don’t have “special teams.” You can’t BS your way through baseball, because your weaknesses will be exposed and preyed on.
My dad used to teach and impart some inside info to the minds of professors, “You’re not fooling anyone when you get an essay question that you don’t know the answer to, so you just write everything you know about that subject and try to bury your ignorance in words and irrelevant facts.”
But the DH lets baseball players do that.
Thirty-seven years ago, Orlando Cepeda was signed to the Sux as the first ever player specifically acquired for this “role.” David Ortiz’s forefather, so to speak. The original “I’m pretty much useless on the field, but that won’t stop me from playing!” athlete. The original, “Yeah, I deserve MVP, what of it?” philosopher.
(Yeah, remember that? A few years ago, I almost went into apoplectic fits because Ortiz publicly went on record vehemently whining about how Jeter was going to steal MVP from him…)
And so Ortiz, in his own inimitable way, so joins the ranks of the other Red Sox whose frustrations translated into another New York sound byte: “Who’s your daddy?” Countless Schilling barking. And now, the stymieing diatribe that makes me picture Ortiz hanging out by the lockers with the periphery high-schoolers, the ones that watch the in-crowd with even mixture of envy, hatred, frustration, and self-pity.
Bottom line: the MVP consistently brings more to the table than any other player. Ortiz is frightening, unnerving, and stunningly powerful–about once every 1.5 innings. His contributions, while mighty, are categorically limited and therefore can only be so valuable.
I mean, am I going to knock Hideki or what the DH allowed us to do in the WS? Of course not. If we’re going to have one, then might as well take advantage of it. But as a rule, I’m not a fan.
And like most terrible things in sports, like most insidious tumors that taint the game, destroy souls, and threaten the integrity of humanity and the free world...we can thank Boston for this.
I’d be remiss in not noting that actually the first designated hitter was Ron Bloomberg. So the argument, of course, can be broached that perhaps the Yankees are actually to blame for this trend.
Nah, it's different. Consider this case study: the marketing of Heroin...
Like aspirin, the drug that Bayer launched under the trademark Heroin in 1898 was not an original discovery. Diacetylmorphine, a white, odourless, bitter, crystalline powder deriving from morphine, had been invented in 1874 by an English chemist, C R Wright.
But Dreser was the first to see its commercial potential. Scientists had been looking for some time for a non-addictive substitute for morphine, then widely used as a painkiller and in the treatment of respiratory diseases. If diacetylmorphine could be shown to be such a product, Bayer - and Dreser - would hit the jackpot.
The Yankees may have done it first, but the Red Sox are responsible for capitalizing on its commercial potential.
And here we are today.
It’s hard to admire a league that houses the New York Mets, but I do applaud their willingness to force players to keep their games up. (It actually makes it even more difficult to wrap my head around the fact that AL-turned-Mets pitchers manage to all consistently decline upon moving to Queens. Oh, Mutts!)
On the one hand, if it were not for the no-DH in the NL, Chien Meng Wang and his 20-win seasons would be rounding out our lineup as a THIRD starter. On the other hand, if not for the no-DH in the NL, I wouldn't have gotten to see Mariano Rivera get an RBI.
Bigger picture, men. Bigger picture.
Then again, perhaps I am a little punchy these days in the absence of baseball, and the stinging lack of Giants football. I know Bill Simmons has purported many a time that fans lose their right to complain about failed seasons within a 5-year window of a championship.
But this is completely, utterly absurd. What the hell does that even mean? I can’t get fired up about my teams for 5 years after they win a title? Is that like some kind of punishment? It’s like all the Mets fans who reasoned that NYY fans had no right to get excited about the WS, because we just had one in 2000. It’s quite remarkable how opposed we are to communism when it comes to society, but when it comes to sports, the spread-the-wealth tenets are all rage.
That said, I’m still exercising my right to disappointment in the G-men, despite the WS title. As Gil Bernard knows, real fans always care.
Other notes from the weekend:
- MVP today goes to my buddy Spanish, who gave me my first non-Yankee jersey…CYC meets the European sports scene. In terms of fantastic marrying of powers, an even cooler hybrid than the European drinking scene meeting the Bronx.
- The Jets’ D is legit. (Of course, now that I’ve said that, they will get annihilated against Indy next week.) But I’ve been discounting them all season, and have been basically of the mindset that they’re just stumbling into the playoffs and are playing with house money. The last time I felt this EXACT same feeling was in January 2008, as we watched the Giants systematically march through the playoffs on the road. Good luck, Green. I mean that.
- It’d be nice if the exciting games weren’t reserved for Sunday night, it’s hard to justify enthusiastically getting involved in daytime drinking with a 35-3 routing as the backdrop.
- Lastly, 29 DAYS TIL PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT TO CAMP!
ONE MONTH FROM TODAY. Long is the way and hard, that out of the off-season leads up to P&C Day.
Two years ago, me and the NYSJ went out to John’s Pizza to celebrate Pitchers & Catchers Day. Afterwards, I went out to my favorite bar, where all patrons looked like varying degrees of drunk human doilies and teddy bears. The manager said to me, “You wore a Mariano Rivera jersey to a Valentine’s Day party?”
“It’s not Valentine’s Day, it’s Pitchers & Catchers Day.”
“Wow. You really are in your own world up there, huh.”
Well, in my defense, maybe whatever "wrong planet" I'm on, one in which my parents seem to unequivocally believe I exist, is improvement. For one thing, there is no DH there.
"In the beginning the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry and has widely been considered as a bad move." -Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
"Yankees Suck!", according to Foxboro, as they handle Pats' demise with characteristic reason, grace, and class0 comments
It's gotten to the point where I'm so starved for baseball that even hearing 68,756* Patriots chant "Yankees Suck!" put a little spring in my step, because at least it meant I got to hear "Yankees" screamed raucously. Oh, New England. Your sense of logic is only matched by your sense of failure.
Well, a few things a little off with your rationale, Foxboro.
1.) The Yankees don't suck. They are World Champions.
Actually, I guess that's the only thing wrong with their logic. Unless you count that it has little to no relevance at the conclusion of an NFL game. Semantics.
On a side note, what's the reasoning behind Brady's "Comeback Player of the Year" award? Seriously. I'm not even just knocking this out of NE hate. I just don't understand it. It's because he came back to play football after he was out for a year for a torn ACL?
I mean, when you think about it, the last time Brady played really was the 2007-2008 season, which was one of the most amazing QB seasons of all time. He would single handedly inflate fantasy owners weekly totals to astronomical proportions.
And what he did this year was not exactly anywhere close to that kind of output. And yet he's the comebacker of the year? I get that he's not going to perform at that unreal level in the season after surgery, but when you consider what he should be playing like, it seems a little too forgiving to award his current performance with such accolades.
On another side note, one that DOES have its origins in NE hate, Tom Brady sucks.
37 days left til Pitchers and Catchers report to camp. Thank God. In the meantime, some quick hits about my offseason trials and tribulations...
- Watched the BCS game last week, though my knowledge of college football is roughly on par with my familiarity with M*A*S*H. When I wanted to learn how to play the guitar, I picked up an acoustic and held it and was surprised when my fingers didn't automatically know what to do. I just figured 20+ years of piano playing would give me some kind of innate all-encompassing musical sense. Not true in the slightest. Similarly, an equal devotion to MLB and NFL did not grant me omniscience to the finer details of all other sports. In fact, before the game started, I told my sister that I hope Colt McCoy is on one of the 2 teams, because he is the only college football player I know.
"I don't even know if he stills plays college. He could be the backup QB for the Rams for all I know."
The only reason I even know his name at all is because when I was going to spring training 2 years ago, I desperately wanted to sidestep having to talk to the person next to me on the plane, and hence pretended to be ridiculously engrossed in the first article in SI that I opened up to. Which happened to be a profile on Colt McCoy.
So not only did it turn out he still played, but played for one of the teams in the Championship Bowl! That cemented my decision to root for Texas. That, and the fact I will never ever root for for a red team. For obvious reasons. (All of that, by the way, is still more substantiated logic than chanting "Yankees suck.")
- The Rangers have been above-moderately disappointing this year. Though they did put out a good W over the Bruins this weekend. But their overall game is so lackluster that despite the early Giants exit and the absence of baseball, I still can't get too invested in watching them.
- I installed a Pop-A-Shot hoop into my apartment, so my reasons for stepping outside into the world are decidely evaporating. Too bad I can't fit a trampoline in here.
- Minka and Jeter set their wedding date for November 5, brilliantly dodging any potential baseball scheduling conflict. I wish everyone would apply this same logic when planning their weddings. As I'm sure I've mentioned before, when I do eventually tie the knot, it'll be February 29 so I only have to celebrate it once every 4 years, and so the worst thing I run the risk of missing is college basketball, which I'm okay with.
- On a final note, my sister's boyfriend's buddy was mistakenly in my phone as "David Cone" (I'm getting like my parents in terms of operating technology) and hence the sis's bf's buddy received a text from a chick he met once, for all of 45 minutes about 6 months ago that said, "You're leaving yes???"
My sister later said he was pretty confused about many things, including but not limited to, why I was texting him out of nowhere, where I thought he was leaving to, and why I was so excited about it.
It could have been worse. His number could have been inputted as my boss's number, I guess. Yet another notch in my ever growing case of why I should avoid social interaction.
Bring on baseball. Please.
*Probably much, much less, actually. Maybe 20,000, when you consider how many were actually left at the stadium at game's end... Foxboro Faithfuls, indeed.
2009=maybe my best year ever? 2010 has a tough act to follow.
Last year my resolution was to win the World Series. I was so so excited for 2009, mostly because 9 and 29 are my favorite numbers, so I just figured, this HAD to be the year that they did it.
2010 sounds more like a graphic novel in the sci-fi section of Barnes and Noble.
I need baseball to start. The other day I was waiting for the elevator in my building and when was trying to guess which one of the 3 would open first, I pretended I was playing the subway race game, like on the Jumbotron at Yankee Stadium.
And as an aside, I think there's a good chance I was accidentally telling everyone I was 29 all year. I wanted realllly badly to turn 29, so I could turn 29 on March 29 of 2009. Last weekend I was out and told someone I just met that I was 29 and my buddy goes, "What are you talking about, you're not 29, you're 28."
I wonder how many times I've done that without realizing it.
Well, I guess if I can be 29 two years in a row, the Yankees can be the Champions two years in a row.
There it is. My resolution.
That, and to actually listen to people's names when they introduce themselves, so 10 seconds later I'm not saying, "I'm sorry, I've forgotten your name already..."