Saturday, July 12, 2008

Happy Recap: Blue Jays 5 Yankees 0

In baseball when one pitcher pitches all 9 innings (and the game is not tied) or 8 innings (if his team is losing on the road) it is called a complete game. I say this because what was once commonplace (Bob Gibson threw 28 complete games in 1968) is increasinly rare in baseball today.

But there is one pitcher who still pitches like it is the 1960s, and I was lucky enough to see him pitch.

Roy Halladay mowed through the Yankees to pitch a 2-hit complete game shutout as the Blue Jays won 5-0. It was Halladay's 7th complete game of the season, more than any other team in baseball about roughly 10% of the total of all pitchers this season.

Roy Halladay pitches a 2-hit shutout, his 7th complete game of the year

Halladay is now 12-5 with a 2.88 ERA in 27 career starts against the Yankees. This was his second career shutout against them.

Joba Chamberlain pitched for the Yankees and was better than his line indicated. He allowed 3 runs for the second straight start, the most he's ever allowed in a game for his young career. But he struck out 9 and walked zero and his strikes to balls ratio was an impressive 78 to 29. He got a little unlucky on a bunt hit in the third, but allowed a couple other hits which led to two runs and he allowed a home to Rod Barajas in the 6th, but other than that I was very impressed with Joba.

I'm glad I got to see Joba Chamberlain pitch in person

There was a guy seated across the aisle from me in a Brazil soccer jersey (Kaka, Mrs. Poop's favorite international soccer star) and waving a Brazilian flag. He was most enthusiastic after Barajas's homer. But Barajas is from California. Maybe he is of Brazilian descent, but everywhere I looked it said Barajas was born in California.

The Blue Jays tacked on two more runs in the 8th on a homer by Matt Stairs. Stairs is now second all-time in games played by a player born in Canada. Before I even asked Master Bates knew that first in that category is Larry Walker. But he now leads Stairs by only 373 games, meaning 2 more years after this one and Stairs could pass him.

Blue Jays fans gave A-Rod a pretty hard time, booing him relentlessly and holding up pictures of Madonna.

Blue Jays fans heckle A-Rod with pictures of Madonna

Our seats were in the second row of the second deck in fair territory in right field. Nice seats to watch the game from since the whole field is in front of you, except the right field corner. Since Shea Stadium has very few seats in fair territory it was nice to get a different perspective. We saw a nice catch in right field as Joe Inglett took off from right in front of us and made a diving catch to rob Melky Cabrera of a hit.

There was another great defensive play made by the Blue Jays. On a groundball up the middle by Wilson Betemit second baseman Marco Scutaro ranged far to his right to grab the ball but realized he wouldn't be able to throw to first in time. So he flipped with his glove hand to the shortstop John McDonald who caught the flip and fired to first for the out. It's the first play in the video highlights here.

Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome) has the teams in the opposite dugouts compared to most stadiums. The Blue Jays sit in the 3rd base dugout, the visiting team uses the first base side.

The Blue Jays do Flashback Fridays every week, wearing those great old school light blue jerseys with the old bird logo. I actually brought my Cecil Fielder 1987 Blue Jays jersey, but elected to wear my Roy Halladay jersey t-shirt instead, since he was pitching.

Rod Barajas looks regal blasting a home run in the old school powder blue uniform

The Blue Jays have one of those stadium hosts who goes in the crowd and screams during the game and between innings. I hated him.

I ate a delicious bag of popcorn, a decent hot dog (Shea's are better) but in the 8th inning a guy came around with Freezees. The generic name for them is freeze pops, it's basically flavored sugar water in a sealed pouch that you freeze and eat and it's really delicious. The ones they sold all the ballpark were much bigger than what you normally see at the store, probably a foot long, and cost only $2 (approximately $1.94 American), pretty good for a ballpark snack. I had an orange one.

Even though I've been to the ersatz Dome a couple times, my last visit hadn't been for several years, so I'm glad I went and I enjoyed this masterpiece by Halladay.

Time of game: 2 hours 21 minutes

Friday, July 11, 2008

Master Bates is a Miserable Failure

I'm always going on about the strange powers the Universe has to bring us exactly what I need.
But even I was surprised to learn just how powerful the Universe really is.
Two days ago I wondered about the veracity of a NY Post story which reported John Sterling sticks his fingers in the ice cream in the press box at Yankee Stadium.
I said "I think Master Bates should contact his old camp buddy, Yankees beat writer Mark Feinsand, and get the truth of this matter."
Amazingly, as the Master was flying to Toronto for the wedding, Mark Feinsand got on the same plane as he was flying to Toronto to cover the Yankees series against the Blue Jays.
Master Bates said hello to him and they chatted briefly (they hadn't seen each other in person for at least 10 years prior to this, though they are Facebook friends), but he NEVER asked him about John Sterling!!!!!
What a waste of that which the Universe did for us.

Mark Feinsand and A-Rod

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hot Chips Gets Heated, Goes on a Heater

I've been following the World Series of Poker online very closely but decided this year I would offer no spoilers, except for this:

Heading into Day 3 (after 4 Day 1s and 2 Day 2s) my favorite female poker player, Tiffany "Hot Chips" Michelle is still alive, and doing quite well.

Tiffany Hot Chips Michelle playing in the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event

She had a nice sized stack at the beginning of Day 2, but ran into some bad luck. Here's how (for which she is an on-camera hostess) described the action:

"That Ain't Right
Tiffany Michelle just suffered a big beat. After an opponent raised to 2,000 preflop and Tony Antonious called, Michelle reraised to 10,000. The original raiser folded, but Antonious, who has already been given an "excessive celebration" warning, made the call.

The flop came down 2h, 7h, 10h. Antonious led out for 16,000, prompting Michelle to quickly push all in. Antonious called for less, a total of 65,000.

Antonious: Qc 10h
Michelle: Ad As

Antonious didn't have to sweat long -- the turn was the 10d and the river fell Qc to make a full house, tens full of queens, for Antonious. Michelle was described as "fuming," asking Antonious questions like, "How could you call?" When Antonious pointed out his flush draw, Michelle responded that she made it 10,000 preflop. Antonious responded by showing a photo of his house in Florida and suggesting they should both go fishing after the tournament was over.

We doubt that will happen. Michelle is still in the tournament with 24,000 chips, while Antonious now has 190,000."

Shortly after that beat Michelle slipped to a low of 8,800 and apparently stayed mad. She reported said "justice!" when Antonius took a bad beat a few hours later. She stayed between 20,000 (the starting stack size) and 40,000 for most of the day. But late in the evening she caught a couple big hands and is taking 120,000 chips (a slightly above average stack) into Day 3.

I'd love to see her make an even deeper run and get a lot of ESPN camera time. And it would be even cooler to see her at the final table which is in November.

I hope she wears that t-shirt at the final table

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Song of the Week

"Spend My Life With You" - Eric Benet and Tamia
The first dance for JLeary and his new bride.

Only Suzyn Waldman Knows Where Those Fingers Have Been

This comes from the New York Post's Page 6 (so it's probably not true) but it was just so funny I had to post it:

YANKEES radio announcer John Sterling is being called out for foul behavior in the stadium's press dining room. "Sterling has made a habit of walking over to the dessert table and dipping his finger into the ice cream barrel," one stadium worker told us, adding that the play-by-play vet has also used the same tablespoon to repeatedly take samples. During the Boston series, "He wandered over to the cake and pie section, broke off a piece of a cake slice, ate it and wiped his grimy hands on the linen tablecloth, leaving the remainder of the slice for someone else to eat - which indeed happened," our spy continued. A rep for WCBS Radio declined to comment, and a team spokesman said the Yankees "know nothing about it."

That really is disgusting behavior and if he's been doing that his whole career I can't imagine that another one of those grubby press types hasn't called him on it.

I think Master Bates should contact his old camp buddy, Yankees beat writer Mark Feinsand, and get the truth of this matter.

John Sterling thinks that ice cream was finger licking good

You're All Winners

Beachwood, Ohio canceled its Little League All-Star game for 9 to 12 year olds because it didn't want any kids to be left out
Fred Engh made the decision saying kids that young don't really care about achievements, they just play to have fun.
I can't even describe how much shit like this irritates me.
This decision is short sighted because it's only protecting the meek. The losers who play rightfield and strike out every time don't miss out on being named All-Stars but they still know they suck.
Why doesn't the kid who practices and works hard deserve recognition for his efforts?
I think the best way to help kids is to explain to them that everybody is good at something. Some kids are good at baseball, some aren't. If you're not good, you should still play, have fun and work hard to get better and maybe you can become an All-Star one day.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


If you a friend with whom you would trust to host another friend of yours traveling to his city, that friend would be Freedo.
If you had a friend who you wouldn't dare suggest stay with another friend of yours, that friend would be Juice.
But despite reservations that Freedo might never talk to him again, Nails sicced Juice on Freedo and Amber this weekend.

Here's Freedo's version of how it went down:

"He arrived Saturday morning in a blaze of glory and departed Sunday evening via red-eye back to the Big Apple just as quickly as he entered our town. After a quick meal at Little Anita’s for some New Mexican food, he enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. We then departed to show him what true baseball is all about, Coors Field and the Colorado Rockies. His one wish was to get some Rocky Mountain Oysters...cow testicles fried up Rocky Mountain Style!!!

Cow's balls, now without transfats
Juice, about to eat balls
bull nuts, delicious

They actually serve them at the Park, and I tried some for the first time (not bad actually). I’ve learned that up north near Fort Collins there is a place called Don’s Bar where they are world famous and have all-you-can-eat Sunday rocky mountain oysters. We had awesome seats 6 rows on top of Rockies dugout and it was a great game (12-6 Rox – Holliday 440 foot bomb to center sealed the deal).

Juice and Freedo
great seats hey buddy

We missed a foul ball by inches because I had a beer in my hand and Juice had slow reaction time. On Sunday we spent almost 5 hours watching the Wimbledon final. I had to endure the stress of Juice as he paced my basement trying to will his boy RodgeFed to victory, only to see Rafa Nadal win one of the greatest tennis matches of all time. He went to a wedding in Boulder on Sunday before heading back to the Big Apple via Jet Blue at 12:55AM. I’m sure he is dying right now at his desk reading this.

All I can tell you is we had an awesome time."

And Amber's version:

"It was memorable!! Crazy Justin definitely lived up to his name. I was shocked and awed by Crazy Justin on numerous occasions, the most being when he ate fried cow balls at the Rockies Game. The Rocky Mountain Oysters were DISGUSTING and some substance began oozing out of them as he ate them."

I asked Juice to respond and all he said was "you can just add was how beautiful their house is and how great hosts they are. Also, that I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to pay them a visit to do so."

Monday, July 07, 2008

Taken to the Cleaners

There are certain things in life that you don't mind paying a lot of money for. Then there are other things, that cost way less in dollars, but for some reason irritate you a lot more. The most overpriced thing in the world as far as I'm concerned is dry cleaning.

I just dropped off my tuxedo at the cleaners, and they charged me $14.70 to launder it.

That seems outrageous to me.

I'm sure at this point I've spent more money cleaning the tux, than I did buying it.

It might be more cost effective for me to buy a tux, wear it 6 or 8 times, then throw it away and get a brand new one.

Why does dry cleaning cost so much? Does anyone else think that's an exorbitant sum to pay someone to do your laundry?