Saturday, January 11, 2003


Any of you readers living in the Boston metro area ever been to a pizzeria called Santarpio's in East Boston (111 Chelsea Street)?

It was featured on Saveur magazine's 2003 list of 100 "favorite foods, restaurants, recipes …"

I'm a real pizza aficionado so I was wondering if I should make this place a stop on my next Fenway pilgrimage. I still think the original Regina's on Prince St. is the best pizza I've had outside of Italy, but I'm always looking for someone to topple them out of first.

Fabulously Terrific

I'm ever more impressed with the creativity of the Darn Sox site. This "Yankee Charms" bit got me laughing so hard that I nearly had my own cereal milk coming out of my nose. Remember those school lunch cafeteria days?

Reminds me as well of those cards we bought back in the 70s called "Whacky Packages" by Topps. For a period of time I bought more of those than I did baseball cards.

Your Stand on Seats?

The plan to put seats atop the famed, Fenway left field Wall are moving forward. Bob Ryan doesn't like it:

Am I the only one not happy about … those foolish ''Green Monster Seats'' they'll be installing on top of The Wall. Lucchino insists that extensive fan surveys show there is a tremendous demand for them, that people would just kill to be able to say they watched a game from the top of The Wall. Shows you what I know. I would have assumed the Fenway diehards would not want to mess with the look of The Wall, period (Ryan, Globe).

I let a whole day go by after reading Ryan's opinion on the matter, but I still can't summon much outrage. When I first heard this plan back in the summer, my first reaction was "oh, cool." And that remains my first reaction whenever the topic comes up.

I guess I'm surprised at my reaction as I think of myself skewed more towards the traditionalist point of view. I'm still bummed that the Red Sox added color to their away uniforms and, worse, put player names on the back. Then again, Manny's long pants don't bother me, so I don't know. Maybe I don't skew any which way.

What about you?

Friday, January 10, 2003

McDonough Dead

Wow. Just learned Will McDonough "died late Thursday in his home while watching ESPN's 'Sports Center'."

Weird considering how Will McDonough has been in the news so much recently regarding his spat with Lucchino.

May he rest in peace.

Minaya Squishes the Fishes

Now the Marlin's GM Larry Beinfest is repeating nearly verbatim what Theo Epstein said recently regarding a Colón acquisition from Montreal:

"At this time we are not anticipating, nor should we anticipate, Bartolo Colón becoming a Florida Marlin," Beinfest said Thursday. "I don't know if this involves further discussion or not" (Spencer, Miami Herald).

Gotta love that the Miami Herald goes the extra effort to get the accent, ó, in Colón correct. Such details come with the territory in heavily Latino influenced Miami.

Looks like Montreal's GM Minaya is going to be on the hot seat soon. As you know, he pretty much has to move Colón to meet the MLB mandated payroll cut.

I'm working from home this morning as I wait for the Sprint to arrive and install my DSL "sometime between 8am and noon." Hmm, what are the chances?

Well, if you don't see any new postings over the weekend, it means something went amiss with the DSL set up.

Keep your Sox on.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

"I Will Survive"

So I'm watching Star Search last night, (yes, I love trash TV, besides it's January, what else am I supposed to watch?) and as is inevitable in any talent show or karaoke lounge, a young lady felt compelled to sing the Gloria Gaynor classic "I Will Survive."

And is the case 99% of the time, the poor thing didn't do a very good job with the song. While I'm not a singer, it seems to me that "I Will Survive" is one of those tunes that seems easy to pull off; it's the kind of song we all feel capable if not compelled to sing loudly in the shower, in the car … But there's quite a bit more to it than that.

And nobody, but nobody, does a better cover of Gaynor's original than the band Cake. (Of this I am most certain.)

Now, drum roll please, your cheesy segue into the Red Sox …

The Colon thing ain't gonna happen:

"There's been no progress with Montreal and I don't expect there to be," Epstein said. "I don't see light at the end of the tunnel. This is as pessimistic as I've been in a long time."

"We just can't do a deal that's shortsighted. We can't do a deal that sells out the future of this club" (Hohler, Globe).

Yeah, this good be part of a disinformation ploy to light a fire under Minaya's ass, but I'm going into duck and cover mode and assuming the worst.

First Contreras. Then Millwood. Now Colon.

Oh now go.
Walk out the door.
Just turn around now.
You're not welcome anymore.
Weren't you the one
Who tried to break me with desire?
Did you think I'd crumble?
Did you think I'd lay down and die?
Oh not I.

I will survive. As long as I've got Derek Lowe (and Pedro), I'll know I'll be alive …

Sing it.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Technical Difficulties

Yesterday I inadvertently uploaded some corrupted CSS files (i.e., the files that make the "skin" designs") to the server that caused several of you to report display issues. Although I've since uploaded non-corrupted files, it seems the corrupted files may still be in the browser's cache for some of you.

If you are one of these folks having display problems (e.g., weird colored text, missing scrollbars, things that just look screwy in general), please clear your browser cache. (In most browsers this is under Edit --> Preferences or Tools --> Internet Options or something similar. Look for the words "cache" or "temporary Internet files.")

If you are still having problems, please let me know:

ESPN Commercial?

Reader Alex Dembow writes:

… in a new ad campaign entitled "without sports …", espn has produced a wonderful commercial, wherein a diehard sox fan standing outside in the snow speaks of the hope that comes with each new spring, denouncing the past miseries of the boston nine.

Alex is searching for a script of the commercial but can't find it. Anyone have any leads? I haven't seen this commercial myself.

Back in the good old days of the web there was a site called Adcritic that had most of the good TV commercials available online as QuickTime movies for viewing. Well, Adcritic is still there, but it's no longer free. It costs $69 to get access. Guess they are pricing toward ad agencies and creative firms, because that's too rich for my casual interest in commercials. If it were $19.95, I'd subscribe.

I enjoy creative ads, and I really enjoy deconstructing them in the Mark Crispin Miller style.

McDonough: Muckraker or Mudslinger?

Many of you have probably already seen this, but if you haven't, I encourage you to check out the transcript provided by DirtDogs of the Monday's interviews with Larry Lucchino followed by an interview with Will McDonough.

McDonough, of course, was the subject of a recent posting here at Bambino's in which I compared him to the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz for his "don't get Steinbrenner mad" rhetoric.

In the transcript, Lucchino addresses the same:

LL: One thing I would say about this general issue of challenging New York, or challenging the CBA, or challenging George Steinbrenner, the suggestion by the Globe writer that "I should be smart enough not to challenge the Yankees".. I mean what are we supposed to do cower, and run and hide and be afraid?!? C'mon guys, that's paragraph one of my job description.

McDonough comes back with some good rips of his own:

… you never want to aggravate your adversary, and I thought it was one of the dumbest things I've ever seen when on two occasions he went after George Steinbrenner.

… but I think he's overmatched. You better go hold Larry's hand now.

I stand by my assertion that McDonough is all wet on this one; however, I must admit that little alarm bells go off in my head when I read the negative stuff McDonough has to say about Lucchino and the new owners. While it's easy to dismiss this as sour grapes on McDonough's part [since he wanted another ownership group to win the bidding for the Red Sox], we do have a rich history in this country of journalists exposing the negative angle of things, especially of people in powerful positions. Often we don't want to hear or believe the muckraking. Yet in my experience, more often than not, the journalists are right in the end.

Again, I think McDonough is dead wrong, at least in regard to the "don't anger Steinbrenner" bit. But I'm not ready to shoot the messenger just yet with some of the other charges he makes against Lucchino. Time will tell if McDonough is on the mark or just another bitter, malcontented sportswriter.

For now, as a critical thinking citizen of Red Sox Nation, I'll remain skeptical of what comes out of both mouths.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

":" ASCII character 58

I'm purposely down playing the Colon angle these days. After what happened with Contreras, I'm not going to count my starters before they've hatched. Though this morning's news does give me pause:

Sox general manager Theo Epstein, determined to outmaneuver the Yankees, Mariners, and other contenders for Colon, was busy developing scenarios in which third-party teams would help satisfy Montreal GM Omar Minaya's compensation demands for the cornerstone of his rotation. A major league source said Epstein was working with the Mets, Orioles, Rockies, Astros, and at least two other teams, with Sox third baseman Shea Hillenbrand part of nearly every package.

As further evidence that the Sox are serious about moving Hillenbrand, they have reached an agreement in principle with free agent third baseman Bill Mueller (Hohler, Globe).

Certainly looks like something is going to happen eventually. Even so, I think I'm going to try to curb my enthusiasm (to borrow a phrase from the funniest show on TV) and avoid pronouncements about "the strongest rotation in MLB" as I've seen here and there.

Meanwhile, have you nominated an weblogs to the Bloggy Awards yet? I'm still working on mine. Going through the categories I realized how nationalistic I am in blog reading, as I can't off hand name any Latin American, African, or Asian blogs I go to with any frequency.

Monday, January 06, 2003

Gammons Dishes

In addition to openly questioning George Steinbrenner's maturity in his latest Notes column at ESPN, Peter Gammons has the following to say:

I hope I never hear again now that we are into 2003: "The Curse of the Bambino." It's a silly, mindless gimmick that is as stupid as the wave (Gammons, ESPN).

Ouch. Heh heh heh. Guess I won't be winning any awards from Peter Gammons any time soon.

It's a tad ironic, though, that the "Curse of the Bambino" line is perpetrated by ESPN's own on-air announcers more than anyone else. Just listen the next time the Red Sox are the featured game on ESPN, especially if they are playing the Yankees and especially if things are turning sour for the club after some initial success earlier in the season.

And let me say again for anyone just joining us: I don't literally believe in a "Curse of the Bambino" myself, despite the name of this site. First and foremost, I'm an opportunist. I chose the name of the site specifically because the big media outlets like ESPN allude to "the Curse" so frequently. Even saying, as Gammons does, that it's silly, spreads the meme.

On any given day, my server referral stats show that I get about 50 visits via search engine on the search term "Curse of the Bambino" or some variation. During the season, this number jumps to 150 a day on average. And if it gets mentioned by an ESPN announcer during a game, you can see that number spike up to 500 during the game or just after.

Now if in any given day one, just one of those folks coming to Bambino's Curse via a search engine happens to like the site and decides to come back the next day and the day after that and the day after that … well, you see my point, right? Blog readership is built slowly, one reader at a time, day in and day out.

On the other hand, I'm not totally removed from the aspects of the mystical in my beliefs. For instance, if during a crucial moment in a game, say a situation in which the Red Sox are one strike from victory, if a couple hundred thousand of us fans believe in our hearts that the team is going to blow it … well, I think such sentiment can affect the outcome of the game. Call it a curse. Call it quantum physics. Call me nuts.

The Bloggies

OK. I've already confessed in the previous post that I'm an opportunist.

With that in mind, I need to ask you, dear readers, a favor.

From now until January 16th, the Bloggies are accepting nominations for the 2003 Weblog Awards. There are several different categories and one can nominate up to 3 sites for each category.

If you think this site is deserving, I'd really like for you to consider nominating Bambino's for a Bloggy, especially for the "Best Designed Weblog" category. But please don't do it out of any sense of obligation. Only do so if you believe it. If you know of other sites that are better designed, by all means nominate those sites.


By the way, I've added a 7th design skin just to round the total number out to a lucky 7. (Got to beef up the roster if you want to win games.)