Saturday, July 07, 2007

Marbury is VERY Excited About the Zach Randolph Trade

Stephon Marbury on Mike'd up with guest host Bruce Beck. It starts with Marbury carrying on about Randolph, and gets a lot worse from there. You MUST watch the whole thing.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Those Crazy Poker Players and Their Prop Bets

It's Erick Lindgren vs. the world. Can E-Dog play four rounds of golf in one day while walking the course and carrying his own bag? In 100 degree Las Vegas heat! $340,000 was on the line.

Who Talks More?

A University of Texas at Austin psychologist and his colleagues appear to have laid to rest the long-standing myth that women talk more than men. Their study of 400 male and female students in the United States and Mexico found that men and women both say about 16,000 words a day, or 17 words a minute, during waking hours.

This is definitely not true in the Poop household. Despite what people may think, in truth Mrs. Poop never shuts up and I just want to watch the Mets play in silence. And one of her daily phone calls to her mother makes up more phone time than I spend in a year.

I Bet You Can't Look at This Picture Without Laughing

Mason, Ohio - A man who was arrested in a park wearing a woman's wig and a bikini accepted a plea deal that dropped a charge of public indecency.
Steven S. Cole, a former volunteer firefighter, pleaded guilty to a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and disorderly conduct.
Cole was sentenced to attend a mandatory driver intervention program and placed on two years' probation. Cole was ordered to stay out of the city's public parks during that time and pay a $250 fine.
Police arrested Cole on April 4 in his truck as he was leaving Heritage Oak Park in this Cincinnati suburb after parents complained about a man dressed in women's clothing.
Police said they found an open, half-empty bottle of beer in the truck, along with a gym bag containing wigs, bikinis, silver go-go boots and other women's garments.
Cole's blood-alcohol test registered 0.17, more than twice Ohio's legal driving limit of 0.08, police said.

Steven Cole models a lovely striped bikini

This Will Be the Worst Movie Ever

Are Carrie and Mr. Big still together? Did Charlotte adopt a baby from China? How is Miranda liking motherhood? Is Samantha still, uh, keeping things interesting?

Those questions, no doubt occupying the thoughts of many "Sex and the City" fans since the long-running HBO series ended in 2004, may finally be answered -- in a much-talked-of but still unrealized feature film spun from the show.

New Line Cinema is close to inking a deal to finance and distribute the film in association with HBO, John Smith, a representative at New Line, confirmed Thursday. Daily Variety reported the news Wednesday. Smith said its report was accurate and did not provide further details.

The four principal actresses -- Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon -- will reprise their roles. Michael Patrick King, who executive-produced the series, is slated to direct.

The making of a "Sex and the City" movie has been bandied about since the show left the air. There have been reports that the delay was due in some part to Cattrall, who played the sex-obsessed Samantha Jones, asking for a higher salary and creative input.

Happy Birthday Diesel

Three years ago Lefty gave birth to a beautiful baby boy (and a beautiful baby boy and a beautiful baby boy and a beautiful baby boy and a beautiful baby girl and a beautiful baby girl and a beautiful baby girl) and 3 years later that little pooch has grown into my best friend.

Hard to believe that this little pup, who I thought I could never live with,

has turned into this big black dog whom I could not live without.

these other pups are also celebrating their third birthday today, wherever they are

Home on the Cage

Funny article in the New York Times about Angels outfielder Reggie Willits.

In 2003, Reggie and his wife Amber decided to build a 3,000-square-foot house on five acres they own next to his family in Fort Cobb, Okla. The batting cage happened to be the first part of the house that they built.
But when the cage was finished, Reggie and Amber saw a way to save money from his minor league salary. They did not have to complete the house. They could simply stay in the cage.
From the outside, it looks like a warehouse, 60 feet long and 32 feet wide. But inside, it has everything a baseball family would ever need: a place to eat, sleep and hit.

Reggie Willits lives, sleeps and eats baseball, in his home that doubles as a batting cage, or batting cage that doubles as his home

Thursday, July 05, 2007

1981 World Series of Poker

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

Part IV:

Part V:

Part VI:

Part VII:

75 players enter this year, Curt Gowdy doing the announcing with the help of Bobby Baldwin in a Members Only jacket.
They skip early round action and go right to the final table, where they are making good use of the precursor to the hole cam, the on tape cam, I guess you could call it, but at least you know what the players have as the hand develops.
Bobby Baldwin takes another brutal beat. He makes top set (9s) on the flop and Perry Green goes all in with pocket queens and makes a set on the river.
They've been showing a lot of the final table once it got down to 4 but most of the action involved Perry Green. Finally Stu Ungar got involved as he went all in with pocket kings and Green called with A-Q. An ace came on the flop, but Ungar caught a third king on the turn to double up. Ungar at this point is 27 years old, but looks 18, and he won the 1980 Main Event, so he is here defending his title.
By the last hand Ungar had built a huge chip advantage, and got A-Q of hearts, versus 10-9 for Perry Green. The flop gave Green an up and down straight draw and four hearts for Ungar. Ungar put him all in and Ungar paired his queen on the river for his second straight WSOP Main Event title.
It was great to see Stu Ungar play, he made all the right moves, slow playing, being aggressive to come back from a short stack to win his second straight title.

1979 World Series of Poker

It's been a while since I've watched an Old World Series of Poker on youtube, but let's get back into it with the 1979 WSOP.

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

Part IV:

The show starts with a montage of driving to the Horseshoe while Kenny Rogers's "The Gambler" plays.
54 players in the field this year. Gabe Kaplan was among them, looking much more like Mr. Kotter than he does now.
The first big hand came when "Chicago" Sam Petrillo went all in preflop with Kings after a huge reraise by Jim Bechtel (1993 champ) with aces. Petrillo doubled up with a King in the window.
Gabe Kaplan said "last year I was the fourth one out, this year I was the sixth one out, in another 50 years I'm going to win." Kaplan doesn't play in the Main Event anymore, says it's too many players and too many hours.
Awesome hand by a guy named Lakewood Louie. The board is Ad-Kh-Qd-Jd-10h. So there's a straight on the board and three diamonds, a guy with a huge thick dark moustache puts Louie all in for his last 9,900, Louie calls and turns over Kd-10d. First royal flush in WSOP history.
Bobby Baldwin, the 1978 champ, got busted out when he made top set (8s) on the flop and went all in against Sam Moon's aces, but an ace came on the turn.
The players with large stacks kept their chips in racks, not stacks.
Another difference I noticed, players milk a short stack a lot longer then they would now, they don't go all-in every hand once they get below 10 times the big blind.
So the heads up play comes down to the amateur Hal Fowler versus the pro Bobby Hoff.
They just interviewed Kenny Rogers!
Hal Fowler doubles up to 398,000 (out of 540,000) when he makes the nut flush on the river. Bobby Hoff had the king high flush. Yikes!
And the last hand was even worse. Hoff had about 120,000 left and he got pocket aces. If he doubles up, he's almost even, he makes a small bet on the flop (3-4-J), then goes all in when a 5 comes on the turn, but Fowler wins with 7-6.
This was a really awesome tournament with some really exciting hands.

Most Hated Mets Opponent

During Tuesday's blowout, Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez were talking about which Mets opponent in the most hated. During Wednesday's blowout they made the question their text poll.

Tasted Better on the Way In

Despite a personal best performance of 63 HBDs, Kobayashi was taken down by new hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut. But Kobayashi displayed the guts and toughness that made him a champion by trying to swallow his own regurgitation.

that's fuckin gross

Your champion, Joey Chestnut displays the eye of the Tiger

Don't Disrespect Pizza Parlor KeriAnn

Despite what the fuckin assholes at Bar Stool Sports have to say someone liked Pizza Parlor KeriAnn during her Celtics Dance Team tryout. She is one of the finalists who will be competing at the Final Audition at Avalon on July 12th. The Celtics selected five finalists and put them to a vote. I don't think the vote has any say in who gets selected, but it would be nice for KeriAnn if we all voted for her and showed the Celtics brass how much we want to see her in one of those skimpy green outfits next season like her hot friend Alexis.
I love KeriAnn's most embarrassing moment, The Concierge can relate.

Insert baton joke here

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Never Underestimate the Heart of Champion

Rumors about a jaw injury have led oddsmakers to make Kobayashi an underdog (at 3/2) to win the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Kobayashi owns this event, Joey Chestnut is a flash in pan. Chestnut is a 1/3 favorite. You can get 15/1 on the field.
And the over/under for the winner is 57 hot dogs. You get the better price with the under, and I'm going to go with the under.
Kobayashi eats 56, Chestnut does 53 1/2 and Kobayashi defends his title, giving him 7 in a row.

The chowdown showdown

Joey Chestnut and 59 1/2 hot dogs, his record, and his goal

Song of the Week

"America the Beautiful" - Ray Charles

Did John Maine Get Snubbed?

I usually never delve into the debate of All-Star snubs but because I love John Maine and think he's been pitching great this year I wanted to examine the issue.

Jake Peavy and Brad Penny are locks, so let's compare Maine to the three other starters who made the team:

John Smoltz: 9-5 3.07 ERA 96 K 1.23 WHIP
Cole Hamels: 9-4 3.87 ERA 116 K 1.22 WHIP
Ben Sheets: 10-3 3.19 ERA 81 K 1.15 WHIP
John Maine: 9-4 2.74 ERA 84 K 1.15 WHIP

Looking at it this way, it seems pretty clear that Maine deserved a spot ahead of one of these guys, probably Hamels. But this is actually a problem with the system. Because the new player polling is done a couple weeks early, Maine's last three starts (3-0. 1.61 ERA) and Hamels's last three starts (0-2, 6.92 ERA) probably weren't factored into the voting.

But there were also three pitchers added by the manager, all relievers, Billy Wagner, Takahashi Saito and Jose Valverde. It's hard to argue with those choices, even Valverde who has 2 blown saves, has 26 saves and a pretty decent ERA and WHIP.

In summary, Maine is having a better season than a couple of the pitchers who made the team, but for that I blame the system of selection, not to selectors.

John Maine deserves to be on the team

But the biggest snub is San Diego pitcher Chris Young who is 8-3 with a 2.14 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He is more deserving than any of the people I just discussed. But Young is likely going to be added to the team thanks to the "Final Vote," in which fans select one more player from a list of 5. That's where Maine got snubbed. He's not on that list. Roy Oswalt, Carlos Zambrano, Brandon Webb and Tom Gorzelanny are, but Maine is definitely more deserving than Oswalt, and probably the other three as well.

The biggest snub

Note: none of the players mentioned had to be added to meet the minimum requirement of one player per team. All these pitchers have a teammate already on the squad.

Happy Fourth of July

You may not know it from watching TV or reading the newspapers but America is a pretty good place to live.
Take a moment to think about that when you are enjoying your barbecues and fireworks today.

Freedo is a Mush

Got this e-mail from Freedo before the Mets began their series with the Rockies:
"Headed to the Mets/Rockies tonight and tomorrow!!!"

The Mets lost both those games. I guess Amber wasn't with him because she is good luck. So I hope he stays home and the Mets can salvage one game of the series.

I hope you enjoyed the fireworks, asshole.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Baseball is Poop

Whoa-Oh We're Halfway There Edition

More than half the teams have played 80, 81 or 82 games so now's the perfect time to give out some midseason awards, update our record chasers and check in on our dynamic duos.

American League MVP
Because I firmly believe this award should include an evaluation of an individual's value to his team's record, and not a best player award, I feel compelled to give Vladimir Guerrero the nod over A-Rod and Magglio Ordonez. I eliminate A-Rod because despite his gaudy stats his team has a sub-.500 record. I don't go with Mags because Guerrero has more homers and RBI, but has scored 20 fewer runs, proving that the Angels lack protection in the lineup like Magglio has in Sheffield. Plus, the Angels have the majors best record, someone deserves the credit.

National League MVP
This one was even more difficult because the guy having the best year (Matt Holliday) is in fourth place, the one guy who is carrying a plus .500 team has missed a lot of games due to injury (Chipper Jones) and the best team in the league has two equal candidates (JJ Hardy and Prince Fielder). I'm going to go with Prince Fielder here because he's first in homers and second in RBI and even though his batting average isn't great (.278) he's fourth in the league in OPS. I also get the feeling that he's the one who has made the Brewers lineup tough for pitchers to face.

American League Cy Young
Dan Haren, this one isn't even close. He's 10-2 with an ERA half a run better than anyone else in the league. He hasn't lost since April 7th, and with better offense and defense in his first two starts (when he allowed 1 ER in 13 innings), he could be 12-0 or better (he got no decisions in 4 games in which he pitched great). But I predict by the end of the season Johan Santana will once again be the clear choice in the AL.

National League Cy Young
This one comes down to Brad Penny and Jake Peavy. Although Penny has a better record and a better ERA, I think the way in which Peavy has pitched (maybe it's the strikeouts) shows more dominance, which is why I will go with Peavy. Plus I think he has the better chance to keep up this performance in the second half.

American League Rookie of the Year
Because Daisuke hasn't been all that impressive, because Jeremy Guthrie doesn't have enough starts, because Delmon Young and Alex Gordon haven't produced yet, because Fausto Carmona and James Shields pitched too many innings last year, I'm going to give this award to Hideki Okajima. It's rare that a middle reliever wins anything, but with a 0.88 ERA in a weak field, I'm going with Okajima. Beyond just stats, what I've seen of him, he's been nearly unhittable.

National League Rookie of the Year
Without a doubt, this goes to Hunter Pence. He is just a few plate appearances shy of being third in the league in hitting. He's also got 9 homers and 38 RBI and he will likely win the Rookie triple crown by the end of the year.

Managers of the Year
Ned Yost is obvious in the National League and even though the Indians were supposed to be good right now Eric Wedge looks like the choice in the AL.

Not Manager of the Year
Mariners manager Mike Hargrove could have been considered for that award, having that team in contention for the division and the wild card. But Hargrove quit suddenly, and during a 7-game winning streak, saying he lost his motivation.

Record Chasers Update
Back when the season was about a third completed I checked in on some guys having remarkable seasons and chasing all-time records:

Curtis Granderson: 15 triples, off the pace for the record of 36, but could put up a huge number

Magglio Ordonez: 34 doubles, still on pace for 68, one better than the record, but he probably needs to hit them in bunches soon

A-Rod: On pace for 56 homers and 160 RBI and about 10 more New York Post covers

Prince Fielder: With 27 homers he could break daddy's family record

Dynamic Duos
Brad Penny and Derek Lowe: 18-8, 2.51 ERA (Juice's favorite duo)
Jake Peavy and Chris Young: 17-5, 2.11 ERA (best duo)
Dan Haren and Chad Gaudin: 17-5, 2.52 ERA (best American League duo)
Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny: 14-9, 2.98 ERA (best duo you've never heard of)
John Maine and Oliver Perez: 16-10, 2.93 ERA (Mets duo)
Justin Verlander and Jeremy Bonderman: 18-4, 3.38 ERA (best record, longest last names)
CC Sabathia and Fausto Carmona: 21-6, 3.46 ERA (most wins)
John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar: 20-8, 3.17 ERA (unheralded duo)

He Was Just an Alarmist Turd...

Who knew that tree-hugging ex-politicians loved “The Sopranos”? It turns out that Al Gore is a die-hard fan, but when the series finale loomed in early June, he and his wife, Tipper, had to be on a plane for an appearance in Istanbul.

So Gore called Brad Grey, the chairman of Paramount, for a favor. Mr. Grey is also an executive producer of “The Sopranos.” Could Gore get an advance copy of the final episode?

No way, said Mr. Grey. “I’ve turned down everyone who’s asked,” he told Gore. That episode was the holy grail, and he couldn’t risk it being leaked.

But after a night of tossing and turning, Grey had a change of heart. On the Sunday of the finale, he had a Halliburton-made steel case, containing a copy of the episode, delivered to the tarmac where Gore’s plane sat in Chicago. The case was locked with a code. Gore could not open it until the plane was in the air, when he was instructed to call Grey’s office for the numeric code. Gore sent Grey a photo of himself trying to pry open the case, which Grey now keeps on his desk.

Will Smith Doesn't Have To Curse on His Shirts

A-Rod's wife, Cynthia Rodriguez, showed up at Sunday's Yankees game wearing a tank top with the words "Fuck You" in fancy lettering on the back.
This upset some Yankee fans, who surprisingly had never heard those cursewords before at Yankee Stadium. Even more suprisingly, Yankees fans know how to read. Whatever the case, some people complained to stadium security who did nothing about it, but someone photographed the shirt and it ended up on the back cover of the New York Post. I guess Cynthia was competing for back covers with A-Rod's mistress.
While I have always steadfastly defended cursing (there is no reason why certain words should be "bad words," all words are wonderful), in this case I just don't understand why she thought it was a good idea to wear that shirt to a game with 50,000 people. Among those in the crowd was her own 2-year old daughter, who is obviously too young to read the shirt, but still. Also she was seated in the Yankees family section, and she should be respectful of other parents who might not want their kids to see or hear that kind of language. It really doesn't make any sense as anything other than a cry for attention.

Cynthia Rodriguez delivers a message to the New York media

Why I Hate Watching Tom Glavine

Tom Glavine's loss against the Rockies was the perfect example of why I hate having him on the Mets.

In the third inning with one out he gave up a couple of hits (to Tavarez and Carroll) which was a problem with Matt Holliday up. Glavine started him in an 0-2 hole then he does what he always does. Instead of throwing a pitch that he might swing at (and maybe hit), to try to get a double play, or a popup, Glavine threw three pitches that were nowhere close to the strike zone. On a 3-2 count Glavine threw one right down the middle and Holliday crushed it for a 3-run homer.

I know Glavine is not a hard thrower who can attack hitters and get them out. He has to rely on guile, and get them to swing at bad pitches. But sometimes he takes this strategy to an extreme, and not only is it ineffective, it's painfully difficult to watch.

A lot of Poopheads have disagreed with me on this one (particularly Master Bates and The Concierge, who not coincidentally both say they do not have time to watch the games, just see the box scores), but there is no arguing that this season Glavine has clearly been the worst of the Mets five regular starters.

I admit that Glavine does have a good postseason history (including two scoreless performances last year) but I am very worried about putting him on the mound in the playoffs against strong lineups (where he can't pitch around their best hitters), that take pitches (and don't swing at his junk).

One more thing that annoys me with Tom Glavine, this interminable chase for 300 wins. The announcers talk about it way too much. Every start is prefaced as the chase for win numer 290-whateverthefuck. Every out or run scored is viewed as a step or an impediment on the road to this great accomplishment. Enough already.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Most Amazing Stat I've Ever Seen

Of all the wonderful things to love about the Magnificent Pooh Holes his consistency is one of them. For me, who loves numbers, almost as much as I love the Amazing Pooh Holes, the sheer impossibility of this stat confounds me. Before getting hurt last year and missing about 20 games these were the at bat totals for Pooh Holes for his first 5 years in the major leagues:

2001 - 590
2002 - 590
2003 - 591
2004 - 592
2005 - 591

I swear this is true, you can look it up.

The smallest variance between at bat totals of any player in major league history of a 5 year span

Update: I completely forgot that I actually wrote about this statistical anomaly last year.

What Should Happen to LoDuca?

SCZA reports that the Mets may let Paul LoDuca go after this season.

One main reason to keep LoDuca is that the pitching staff is doing very well, and perhaps he plays some role in that.

Another positive for LoDuca is that he is reported to be a leader in the clubhouse despite his latest outburst. And I don't necessarily believe that just because some players say they weren't upset by his comments, that it's definitely true.

While I wouldn't have a problem at all if they resigned LoDuca, if a better alternative existed (one better than Rony Paulino), I'd want to the Mets to explore it because whie LoDuca hits for a decent average he has no power, no speed, he seldom walks and his OPS is horribly low.

Mistaken Identity

A peacock had to be put down after being cruelly beaten and kicked outside a Tottenville (Staten Island) fast-food restaurant, and its assailant is still on the loose.

Witnesses said a man in his late teens or early 20s grabbed the helpless bird by its neck, struck it repeatedly with a baseball bat and kicked it in a Burger King parking lot on Page Avenue.

He then jumped onto the hood of a car and threw the peacock to the ground before running off when he saw police.

"He said 'I'm killing a vampire,'" said Felicia Finnegan, 19, who works at the Burger King and had been feeding bread to the peacock in the parking lot just after 7:30 a.m.

Miss Finnegan had gone out to look at the bird, an uncommon sight on Staten Island.

Shortly after going back into the restaurant, she heard the man screaming and saw him rip off his shirt before stepping on and kicking the bird.

"He was really beating it. I just think it was sick and demented. He shouldn't be walking around on the street," said Miss Finnegan.

The peacock never had a chance.

"We brought it back to our care center on [Veterans Road] but the injuries were so extreme, we had to put the animal down for humane reasons," said Richard Gentles, a spokesman for Animal Care & Control of New York City. "He was beaten so severely that some of the feathers fell out at the scene and others fell out at the care center. It's a horrible, horrible situation."

The beauteous bird's presence in Tottenville was explained by George Burke of Prince's Bay, who has raised peacocks for several years and gave some to a Tottenville resident a few years ago. He was appalled when told what happened.

"What's wrong with parents who let kids turn into [expletive] like that?" he asked. "I think the kid needs a little bit of psychological evaluation. Oh, what a shame."

I just don't see how this guy confused the peacock with a vampire. Was the peacock wearing a black cape? Also, if it was in the morning during daylight hours, he should have known a vampire would never be out at that time of day. What a shame!

He Can Count To 12

For years people have discussed relief pitcher Antonio Alfonseca and his polydactyly, he has one extra finger on each hand.

I've never seen a picture that clearly shows the extra digit the way this one does. I don't think he has worked on a pitch that takes advantage of the extra digit yet. But I think this means he should be twice as good as Three Finger Brown.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Day The Music Died

On July 1, 1987 the world changed forever. The first all sports talk radio station was launched, WFAN, in New York.

At first no one thought this gimmick could be sustained, but now there are 500 24 hour sports talk radio stations throughout the country. A lot of them have some nationally syndicated programming, but what makes WFAN unique is that it's all New York, all the time.

The two keys to the station's survival were getting Imus in the Morning to anchor the station, expose it to a new audience and bring in advertisers. The other was teaming up Mike and The Mad Dog in the afternoon drive time.

As much as I hate their pomposity, their ridiculousness sometimes, and their feeling that they are never, ever, EVER wrong, I do have to give them their due. They are the originals. Everyone else is copying off them. They are the best.

I have so many great memories from listening to WFAN over the last 20 years. Many of them involve staying up too late with Master Bates listening to Jody McDonald do the "Jody Mac, do we a favor" and the "McStats" half hours. In retrospect I find it hard to believe that we stayed up til 2am to listen to a guy read us the box scores from the newspaper, but this was in the days before the internet.

And of course there was Steve Somers. He's a little better now, but if you can remember him 10-15 years ago, he knew almost nothing about sports. One time before the Jets played the Oilers in the playoffs he did his little gimmick "The Fearless........................Forrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre-caster" and on two different nights he said "for the Jets, THAT's a loss" and the next night said "for the Oilers, THAT's a loss." We also loved his Captain Midnight intro "you'll never want to miss a single broadcast of Captain Midnight, and you'll want all your friends to enjoy it too."

The man who paved the way for Mike and the Mad Dog (by getting himself fired) was Pete Franklin. He was the most obnoxious, ornery sonofabitch, but he was so much fun to listen to. He called people scumbags and idiots, and every other name he could get away with. He also once got reprimanded by management for not giving out the call letters, so he yelled at a caller and said something like this, "if you don't like me, don't listen to this station, WFAN, WFAN, WFAN, don't listen to WFAN!"

Papa Poop used to drive around in the car just so Master Bates would have to listen to "Pigskin Pete Predicts" (pop the Ps really hard).

Maybe my fondest memory of the station came in the early 90s when Ed Coleman and Dave Sims ("Coleman and the Soul Man") had Fax Fridays. Papa Poop sent in a fax that was read on the air. But he was misidentified as a female. You can imagine our laughter when we heard later on the radio, "Thank you for reading my prior fax, but you called me a She. I want to assure any friends or family that might be listening that I have not had any operation."

And what about those few times I called in to Joe Beningo's show. I remember one excited call after Bobby Jones had beaten Pedro Martinez.

And of course the callers, so many famous callers, Jerome, Miriam, Eli, but the best, the most famous was Doris from Rego Park. "Thank you cough-cough for your time choke and courtesy." One day Master Bates was so frustrated by her inability to complete a sentence that he screamed out "oh Doris, would you just keel over already." Sadly, she did.

Beyond all those little moments of lightness, WFAN changed the world of sports. Every move by every manager, coach and GM was now dissected by angry fans who didn't necessarily have a brain, just a car phone. I directly associate the rise in sports talk stations to the decreased longevity of coaches.

The phenomenon that is sports talk radio started 20 years ago in New York, on sportsradio 66, WFAN, the Fan.

Peterson's Training

SNY did a interesting piece showing some of Rick Peterson's unusual training methods.

The first thing he said was that he tries to establish the movements necessary to pitch in each pitcher's muscle memory. So pitchers would practice, taking their stride to homeplate again and again, without throwing, just striding.

Then he talked about the .220 line, an imaginary line of demarcation at the bottom of the strike zone where batters only hit .220 on balls pitched below that line.

To train his pitchers to pitch at or below that line he strings a rope across home plate in front of the catcher. He also has the catcher move in a few feet, which also emphasizes the need to get the ball down.

The most fascinating thing they showed was that Peterson likes the guys to throw with their eyes closed. At first they said it took time, Billy Wagner was firing the ball all over the place, but now most of the pitchers can go into their windup, close their eyes as they come down and throw a strike without seeing the target.

They never did explain why the schmuck wears a jacket in 100 degree weather.

The jacket

Four Schnooks and a Baseball Game

Master Bates, The Concierge, Nails and I made the trip to Philadelphia to see the Mets vs. the Phillies on Saturday afternoon. Because the game was a 4pm start we had plenty of time to get there and enjoy the stadium, lovely Citizens Bank Park. But of course, when I went to pick up The Concierge, he was still in the shower.

We did get to the stadium in plenty of time to walk around. The sports complex is huge, plenty of parking surrounding Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field and the Wachovia Spectrum (the old Spectrum).

The concourse around the lower level of seats is what they call Ashburn Alley. Basically it's a wide, clean concourse, with the stadium on one side and restaurants and concession stands on the other. But they don't have typical concessions, they have cheesesteaks (Rick's and Tony Luke's) and bars (Harry the K's in the outfield) and each little beer stand has a different quality microbrew, and they are all actually cold.

Also along the alley is a Standing Room Only area, which actually surrounds the concourse on all decks. Some of the views are actually pretty good. I wouldn't want to stand the whole game, but I think the SRO tickets are only $12, so it might not be that bad. And the restuarants, you can sit there during the whole game and watch while eating and drinking and the views aren't bad. And restaurants tables are given out on a first come first served basis, they don't require a $100 deposit.

Once you get to the seats, all the seats are good, they are all pointed towards the field, and they all give you a nice view of the action.

I really hope the designers of CitiField take a trip to the Cit and copy or improve upon some of the fine amenities.

This game was also PSPCA day at the ballpark. Dogs available for adoption were entertaining fans in a special section of the concourse, but I didn't even go over to look because I know I would fall in love and Mrs. Poop would never let me adopt another dog. But they kept showing the dogs on the screen between innings, they all had baseball names (Schmitty, Pug McGraw, Slider) and I almost adopted Homer. Although maybe Homer was named after the Greek poet.

Once the game started the Mets gave us a good time, but you can read about that on the Recap.

When Carlos Beltran made a spectacular catch on a deep drive to center, right before crashing into the wall, I denoted it with a star in my scorecard. This is a practice I know Jems encourages, but evidently, the three idiots I went to this game with don't like this, as they asked for an asterisk on every play for the rest of the game.

This catch deserved a star

The Concierge elected to take the Walt Whitman Bridge because he wanted to honor a famous gay American.

Philadelphia has some of the same between innings gimmicks that the Mets have. They do the Kiss Cam, and they played "Can't Get Enough of Your Love Babe," which is nice, but all the Phillies fans they showed were worried that their parole officer might see them on the big screen.

They don't have anything as fun as Learn Spanish with Professor Reyes.

At one point a dirty sweaty Mets fan proposed to his girlfriend on the big screen, she cried, said yes and then he rolled up his sleeve to show off his Mets logo tattoo on his biceps.

Speaking of biceps, the Philles employ a "Flex Cam" where sweaty guys in wifebeaters act like tough guys. Typical Philly.

Also typical Philly, we went to Geno's for dinner after the game. For the Concierge and Nails this was their third cheesesteak in 6 hours. We all ate steaks on arrival, but only Nails and The Conch opted for the Schmitter right at game time. The Schmitter is just a fancy cheesesteak, they use 3 pieces of cheese separating some fried salami, steak, tomatoes, and a special sauce. Master Bates was very proud of himself for rhyming Schmitter and shitter in a sentence.

cheesesteak number 2 for Nails and the Conch

Also typical Philly, cars park in the median, right in the middle of the road on some busy streets. I have never seen this before. Also a typical Philly greaseball (like the kind they show on FlexCam) was sitting in his apartment in his wifebeater leaning out the window. I only bring this up because as the Conch was driving, and complaining about Philly he said "look at that guy in the window." I have no idea how he saw him.

The Concierge and I didn't have too many arguments, perhaps because everytime we tried to talk Nails and the Master shouted out "they're arguing again." But we did disagree on Delgado's 2006 batting average, he said .265 and was exactly right. He also said Delgado would be within .015 of his career average at the end of this year. Assuming a like number of at bats from now until the rest of the season, he'd have to bat nearly .300 for the rest of the season.

The Concierge insisted that "Raging Bull" won Best Picture in 1980, which of course it didn't ("Ordinary People" did), and I think I could have bet him on it, but my initial offer was $1000 which Nails pointed out was a sure sign that I definitely knew I was correct. The Concierge also claimed that "I see dead people" isn't one of the most famous movie lines of the past 10 years, but Nails shut him down before he could spend an hour naming more well known quotes.

So it was a nice day trip to see a good ballgame and a nice stadium, and a good time was had by all.