Saturday, March 22, 2003

Half Mental

On Casey Fossum:

  • Little said that Fossum's primary problem has been waning self-confidence (Herald).
  • "We're just trying to get him to relax and have a little fun out there," Little said. "He's having a little trouble doing that right now, but it's just a stage in spring training that he's in" (Globe).

I don't think you can find a more apt description of what Fossum is going through than the famous quote by Yogi Berra: "90% of the game is half mental."

It's easy to chuckle over the mathematical absurdity of Berra's statement, but, really, he gets absolutely at the heart of the situation, ie, when things are going right, everything just falls into place, you're in the zone, not even really thinking about it at all, you become the essence of the task at hand be it throwing a baseball or hitting a golf ball. But when things aren't going right, the mental part all of a sudden becomes huge, sort of 90% of the problem, no?

Here's to hoping Casey Fossum gets the mental aspect of his game into the proper proportion. I have great faith that he shall. He's a major leaguer; it's what major leaguers do.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Saddam Harry?

Remember the other day when I said from time to time the war in Iraq would probably intrude on postings? Well, blame Dave Pinto for this one:

Saddam Husseing on Iraqui TV

"I just saw Saddam's speech. He looked like Harry Carey with a mustache glued on. :-)"

That is so true! Great observation. I can't help but run with this a bit more. Remember how Harry Carey was famous for singing "Take Me Out to the Ball game" during 7th inning stretches at Wrigley?

Well, here's the Saddam Harry version sung to the same tune:

"Can't get me out of Baghdad,
I'll never be cowed.
Got me some vx and a scud with anthrax,
I don't care whenever you attack.
Let me root, root, root for the Bathists.
Who'll bring the infidels great shame,
I'll take one, two, three strikes, not out
For I rule Bagdad."

Willing to Pay

So I plunked down my $9.95 this morning to get access to all the Herald columnists for 3 months. As I've said before, I'm perfectly willing to pay for content, if the price point is reasonable. The Herald's $4.95/mo or $9.95 for three seems reasonable considering I'm out of the delivery area but still want access. (It's still free if you're a home delivery subscriber.)

Glad I did, too, as Howard Bryant's column this morning made me rethink my previous post claiming that Selig did the right thing by canceling the games in Japan.

Bryant writes,

Instead of thinking through a hard decision, Selig grandstanded by making an easy, pointless one. With the appearance of acting boldly, Selig missed the most obvious point about this imminent war: The threat is not in Japan, but right here in America. The threat is at Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium, in the water and food supplies.

I can't argue with that.

What Would Jung Say?

Last night I had this weird dream that I was at Fenway Park watching a Red Sox game with Isaac from Laughing Boy and Rebecca from the oh so smutty blog Sweet Flavored Gummy. Bear in mind that I've never met either of them, though I have exchanged emails with Isaac regularly over the past year. Meanwhile, I have no idea what Rebecca looks like, so, and this is interesting, my dream brain has Heather Havrilesky's persona filling in for Rebecca. Make sense I guess because I first learned of Gummy from the Rabbit Blog that Heather writes. (Suprisingly, though, Rebecca doesn't have food poisoning or some other near death illness that she seems to come down with every other week.)

In the dream, Laughing Boy and Gummy Girl are especially chummy with each other, and I'm feeling very much like the proverbial third wheel. Then a foul ball comes our way, lands a good ten rows back, bounces off several seats (which are oddly empty) and the ball does a little roller and I reach out and pick it up. And I'm happy as hell, sitting there holding and shaping the ball, smelling it even, while my two blogger companions go about their nasty shenanigans.

I don't know if this is a sign that I shouldn't have had three burritos before going to bed last night, or if it's a good omen for the Red Sox, or if it means I should cut down on blogging and reading blogs and get out a bit more. (Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, you know?)

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Spring Has Arrived!

closeup of crocus, purple petals bright yellow stamen
(Photo of crocus in my backyard)

And Theo Epstein is ready for the heat:

Epstein expects to watch as many games as possible this season from a seat behind home plate, even at Fenway Park …

Sitting in full view and close earshot of passionate Red Sox fans this spring has been a telling indoctrination for what is bound to ensue this season in Boston.

"I'm sure it means taking a great deal of heat," Epstein said of what lies ahead … (Silverman, Herald).

Now there is an understatement. Do we need any more proof that Theo Epstein is the real deal?

Can you imagine some of the crap he is going to hear on any given day sitting there? Wow.

Things can only get better. It's Spring.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

In Flanders Fields

Slow baseball day today. Seems all we are doing is waiting … waiting for the season to begin … waiting for the war …

Speaking of the now days (hours?) away conflict, Bud Selig finally made a good decision in canceling the Oakland v Seattle opener in Japan.

From the official statement by Selig:

Baseball is a social institution with enormous social responsibilities and it is with that in mind along with great regret that I take this action. I hope our fans and business partners in Japan understand that this difficult decision is only made in response to the most serious of circumstances (MLB Press Release).

I feel badly, though, for fans in Japan who were surely looking forward to seeing native son Ichiro step into the box wearing Seattle's uniform. Still it was the prudent thing for MLB to do.

Regarding disappointment, I understand the decision by the Motion Picture Academy to cancel the pomp and ceremony of the red-carpet star parade, deeming it "unseemly in the face of imminent war," but for me the best part of the whole event is the Joan and Melissa Rivers red carpet show on E!.

Rest assured I'll make every attempt to continue normally here at Bambino's Curse, although, I suspect it'll be difficult, if not impractical, to totally ignore the situation we find ourselves in. While I have no plans to drift thematically away from baseball and the Boston Red Sox, the post 9-11 shadow we live under has an impact on what I say, do, and think regarding baseball and all other facets of my life. I'd be lying if I said otherwise.

But I'm keeping my Sox on.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Paparazzi on the Bum Rush?

What makes Gordon Edes my favorite Red Sox beat writer is his attention to detail. Yesterday he gave us the tidbit about the former Dominican Republic beauty queen turned TV reporter, and today he's got this:

… the most spectacular set of wheels in the Sox parking lot is often here before 8 a.m., about the time you might find its owner in the batting cages. It's Manny Ramirez's souped-up 2003 Chevy Avalanche with a customized paint job on both the body and wheels.

… Officially, it's an SUV. By the time Ramirez got through making changes, it looked like a vehicle you'd find in the latest ''Star Wars'' sequel -- a virtual rolling fortress, powerful and impregnable. A little, you might say, like the man himself (Edes, Globe).

Fantastic. The metaphor comparing Manny's personality to his choice in vehicle is superb.

But …

What drives me nuts with the Globe and the rest of the old-school media is their complete disregard for the web medium and what people like me want in addition to the reporter's words. I'm talking about photos.

Why can't the Globe (or Herald et al) give us more photos on their websites? I want to see Manny's souped-up SUV. Why wouldn't I, especially since it's such a focal point to Edes' article? It's not like there is physical column space and cost of paper and ink to consider like in the print medium.

They can put anything they want on the web. And if the corporate suits want to count beans, arguing the increased bandwidth costs associated with delivering photos from their servers, I say make it premium content. I'm already paying $14.95 for my @Bat Insider subscription, surely the Globe is making profit there, so why not make extra goodies, like a photo of Manny's SUV, available for subscribers?

It's only a matter of time before bloggers start to do it for free. Hell, I'd do it myself if I were in Florida during Spring and Boston during the season. Fer crissakes, cell phones are starting to come with built in digital cameras. We should be awash in photoblogs offering all manner of Red Sox minutia.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying folks should be stalking players or rushing into restaurants to get a picture of Tim Wakefield with spaghetti sauce on this chin. But taking a photo of Manny's SUV in a parking lot seems innocuous enough.

With that said, I'll pay $25 for an original (ie, you took the picture and didn't lift it from somewhere else), full-color digital image of Manny's SUV that I can post here on Bambino's (and retain copyright upon).

Anyone out there have the paparazzi blood flowing through their veins?

Monday, March 17, 2003

¿Como no?

After scanning the Boston papers this morning for Red Sox news, I realize that if I were to write for a living, I'd most certainly be better suited as a gossip columnist than a sports columnist. Why? Because this is the news that catches my eye:

Manny Ramirez broke his no-interview stance this spring to sit for a session yesterday with … a Spanish-speaking reporter who finished no lower than second runner-up in the Miss Dominican Republic competition… after turning down numerous others with media types a tad less telegenic… (Edes, Globe).

Hell, yeah! Go, Manny, Go.

Now, pray tell, who is this chica muy linda that had Pedro smiling and Manny singing? A non-exhaustive Google search by yours truly offered no tangible results. Even the usually first with photos Dogs of Dirt don't have the goods. ¡Ay, digame!

Weekend Update

My apologies for the lack of posting over the weekend. The situation was unplanned and out of my control. I lost home DSL service Friday afternoon, and it didn't come back on until late Saturday. Then Sunday morning, the servers that host Bambino's were offline.

Ah, well … In other weekend news, I got a real pick me up to read that I was mentioned by name over at Jeffrey Zeldman's blog. For those of you out of the web designer/developer loop, Jeff Zeldman is to web design what Pedro Martinez is to pitching. So for me this was a big time ego boost.

Finally, I refuse, refuse to panic over the Casey Fossum situation.