4/29/08: The Crying Game

Today, if you were to have tagged “sex” and “sports” and “extortion” you would have hit a trifecta.

I’ll start with the boring story: Roger Clemens and his ten-year fling with a country music singer who seems intent on throwing him under the bus just so she can revive her “career.” A person he first saw when he was pitching for the Red Sox and the 15-year-old was singing karoke in a Boston bar. Ok, not a bad open.

Sill, Ho hum. What else do you got?

 Well, I think the really salacious news is that international soccer star Ronaldo was caught in a hotel room with not ONE, not TWO, but THREE blackmailing transvestite prostitutes. Not that being a transvestite prostitute is illegal, at least not in Brazil. And I’m not even sure thatRonaldo_transvestite.jpg blackmail is illegal in Brazil… It should be said that he was able to keep up his masculine image when it came to light that he tried to break-off the “menage a’…. quatre” (?!) as soon as he found out the prostitutes were men.

The Brazillian footballer plays for AC Milan and they are nearing the equivalent of the “playoffs” so, don’t expect any suspensions. Not because of his transgression.  But because Italians could care less about his sex life.

One of the transvestites (not too bad, I guess)————>>

RONALDO RUNNING FOR THE BRAZILIAN NATIONAL TEAM:
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THE BOOK

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A Nice Gift for Mother’s Day!
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4/28/08: Statto? Stats? Mars? Venus? Can’t We All Just Get Along?

An article (click here for link) appeared in last week’s Sunday Edition of a Wales newspaper in the UK that talked about the differences between men and women in the Wide World of Statistics.  Could it be that there is truly a difference? And is it on gender lines?


mars.gifIt seems that the writer of the article chose to frame the idea in sexual terms, if you may… I’m not so sure about that argument but there are some good points…

One such:

“Sports fans of limited knowledge but acute perceptiveness sometimes have far deeper insights about the game than people who are unhealthily obsessed … The difference between an ‘expert’ and a ‘mere fan’ revolves around knowledge – who knows the most. But many of the characteristics which really separate sports fans have nothing to do with degrees of learning. Instead, they derive from differences in temperament.”

— quoted from: What Sport Tells Us About Life, Ed Smith

OK, “limited knowledge” and “acute perceptiveness” equate to deeper insights? Remember that, guys, when you are arguing with the Missus. They may throw that at you.

BUT THIS ALSO is a good point…

From the same book, Smith says there are those that “just love a bloody good argument” and those that watch “a match like a reader gripped by the narrative of a novel, simply wondering what will happen next.” This, I get.

In our book, we don’t say that people are obsessed — though they may well be. But that term just seems to so negative. To me, those that can recite stats from teams of decades ago are hobbists. Tracking baseball can be a worthwhile and fulfilling hobby, much like playing the piano is for me or
venus.jpgplaying baseball is for others. Are hobbists greater fans? Not by my definition. Most certainly they are a different type of fan. And, really, who cares about the pecking order of fans, anyway?

Now, since this is my blog, and we’re on this topic, here’s a nugget from the intro of our book, It Takes More Than Balls: The Savvy Girls’ Guide to Understanding and Enjoying Baseball (link)


“…Baseball is just fine without its fans having to create unnecessary pecking orders. Other forms of entertainment seem to thrive without such jostling. After all, symphony regulars usually don’t discredit occasional attendees with remarks like, “Mildred! Get this guy behind us. He came to this concert without knowing that Beethoven bridged the classical and romantic periods! The savage!”

So, how about you? Do you enjoy going to a baseball game and eating a hot dog, drinking a cold beer, and feeling the warm sun on your back? Great! Do you enjoy knowing the statistics of the opposing team’s pitchers? More power to you! There are fans who like to score entire games and those who want to score only half. There are those who come late and those who leave early–no harm, no foul. We’ve filled all these roles at one time or another. There are a lot of things going on a baseball game, and it’s any fan’s privilege to soak in as little or as much as they please on any given day…”

So, how about you?

“Dark” Interview in the Dark

When a radio interviewer’s first question is: “So, tell me, what are you girls wearing?” you know it’s not a regular day at the office. This is exactly what happened to me and Jackie last night. As soon as we heard his opening gambit, we looked at each other and shook our heads. Promoting our new baseball book (It Takes More Than Balls) often lands us in the most unlikely places.

 

So, this is how it’s going to be, I thought.

 

I was immediately thankful for having had a couple drinks in me. Of course, we handled the onslaught with grace and humor. Growing up with big brothers, we learned how to go toe-to-toe with guys — we’re not afraid to mix it up and can definitely dish it out. This doesn’t mean that we really enjoyed it, especially when coupled with sexual innuendo. Here’s a gem that our host, “Dark Star,” came up with: “Answer me this, ladies: why do women say they want to sleep with you when they don’t really want to ‘sleep?’ You know. They want to do anything but ‘sleep,’ right? So why say you want ‘sleep‘ with someone? Get it? Heh. Heh. Get it?”

 

Yea. We get it.

 

And to think we ducked out of a baseball game for this? And an exciting one, too: It was the bottom of the ninth and the Mariners were trailing the Orioles by one run, none out, with Rauuuuuul Ibanez on first. But we diligently did what our publicist told us to do and that was to call-in to a Minneapolis talk show called “Sports Tonight with Dark Star” at 9:30PM. We went down to the Mariners front office and walked into the Ellis Pavilion, an event space in the stadium where we could have a quiet conversation with our radio host. It was a huge space and a couple stadium workers were sitting in the dark catching the waning moments of the game on one of the TV sets hanging from the ceiling. Jackie and I found a big table in a far corner of the space and turned on the lights.

 

Before the interview the producer got some administrative work out of the way by letting us know that we should call the host, “Dark” instead of “Mr. Star.” … During the course of the interview, which ranged from if we chose the book’s title (we didn’t) to whether we drink beer at games (we do), the Mariners had lost. Then a stadium worker, who probably never knew we were there, turned the lights off on us. Then on. Then off. Then on. Then off. We stifled giggles and were left sitting in total darkness in the back corner of a huge 600-person conference space. We wondered if someone would kick us out (they didn’t) or if we’d be locked in (we weren’t). Or if “Dark” would get excited to learn that we were talking to him while sitting in the dark (likely).

 

We wrapped-up the interview and met our husbands at Hooverville, a bar just south of Safeco Field where they were playing darts. A few more drinks later and my husband and I were in an argument over whether not pinch running for Ibanez in the bottom of the ninth was a bad management decision. It was heated. We’d had drinks. You know the drill.

 

So, how did we answer that first “what are you wearing” question? I wanted to answer “boots.” But it was Jackie who stepped up to the plate: “Well…uh, Dark, we just left the game for this interview and it’s freezing outside. I’m wearing a down jacket.”  And she was. Had our host been on the ball, however, he would have got the real story. That is, what was she wearing underneath?

 

(In the bottom of the 9th, while we were being “interviewed,” our husbands and friends donned the “rally cap!” We miss all the fun! — photo care of Jon Wells)

 

 


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WHAT IF IT’D BEEN A TAMPA BAY JERSEY?

Why can’t they bury the hatchet?
Because the Yankees would probably dig it up.

This week is a good example of someone who talked too much. Gino Castignoli is a Red Sox fan living in the Bronx and was a contractor assigned – for one day – help build the new
Rays_jersey.jpgYankees’ stadium. He thought it would be funny to try to cast a curse on the stadium by
 burying a Red Sox shirt in the concrete of the stadium, a la Jimmy Hoffa (not that I know anything about any of that). He actually succeeded! But then he blabbed. Why not just bury the Ortiz shirt and shaddup about it? But this guy bragged. The conversation probably started something like “Hey!  I did something wicked awesome….” and it quickly digressed into the undoing of one of the greatest hoaxes-that-never-was.

Then, in an awkward and expensive display of humorless leadership, the Yankees had some guys spend five hours last Sunday jackhammering away two feet of concrete so they could pull out the shirt, which was in tatters by the time the jackhammer spit it out. Not that I really blame them for digging it up. Why take a chance on something like a shirt buried under what is slated to be a restaurant? After having pulled out the offending shirt it will now be auctioned off to the Jimmy Fund, a Boston-based charity. How sweet.

Yankees President Randy Levine said that the team might press charges because what Gino did was a “very, very bad act.” Burying a shirt isn’t a bad thing. Unless, of course, you believe in curses. Then, indeed, it would be a very, very bad thing. So, does Levine actually think that Gino had the ability to curse the Yankees? Nah, that couldn’t be. But, dig up the shirt, anyway. You know, just in case.

To me, there the other question missing an answer is: What if it had been a Tampa Bay Rays shirt? 

BASEBALL’S BIZARRO WORLD

Let’s look at our two childhood teams: Jackie’s Detroit Tigers and my Baltimore Orioles. The Tigers were supposed to buzz saw their way through the league and the Orioles were supposed to be, well, the timber. But this week has been interesting, hasn’t it?

After giving up 39 runs in the first six games, the Tigers finally got a win last night in Boston, but still gave up five runs. Hey, Jackie’s not complaining: it’s a win. (And I’m not complaining, either, she brought over the wine last night.) And, in tonight’s rubber-match, the Tigers could Bizarro_World.jpgget the better of 41-year-old Tim Wakefield in his first start of the year. He’s been working with new catcher, Kevin Cash, 30, who will probably amount to be little more than one of the worst hitters in the league who can corral a knuckleball. Cash replaced Doug Mirabelli (another terrible hitter) over spring training. Will Detroit’s baesrunners be primed to take advantage of some passed balls? Perhaps. I’d say, “Go Tigers!” but Boston is another one of my childhood teams and rooting against them would result in me being cut out of my family’s will, which is Boston-based. There won’t be much money there but the Linguica futures are looking good, especially with a “Silva” pitching in the league (even though he’s from Venezuela, not Portugal, as The Family would prefer).

And, thanks in part to a four-game sweep of our local team, the Seattle Mariners, the Baltimore Orioles (my adopted childhood team) are looking like the buzzsaw to be buzzed with. This week, at least. Maybe all that off-season trade drama will amount to something? After losing to Tampa Bay (yes, you read that right) in the home opener, the O’s went on a six-game tear, scoring 38 runs. They are going into a double-header w/ Texas today after yesterday’s game was postponed.  And now they are 2.5 games ahead in the AL East? What gives? Who cares? I can say “Go Orioles!” with out reprisal from The Family. And, as an Orioles fan, I know when it’s time to enjoy. They are fleeting.

But, back to Detroit for a moment. Because I feel for Jackie because her team is looking really ugly and they are supposed to look great. Sure, it’s the opening days of the season. They’ll get over it just as the Tigers will get over this slump. But what will they all do if the Tigers come back losers off of this roadtrip? Well, Detroit fans all have the United States Bowling Congress Women’s Championships happening in nearby Canton this week. It’s no secret that bowling is really Detroit’s first love, anyway… Hmmm, baseball and bowling. Sounds like Detroit is a “Bizzaro World” all unto itself.

OPENING DAY, SAVVY GIRL STYLE

Today was a Big Day capping off a Big Week. I was up at 5:30 this morning talking with our publisher in NYC about some really exciting endorsements coming up The Savvy Girls Pike – one from a recent Hall of Fame player inductee. Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted on that front. We’re so giddy now that it’s hard to keep quiet on it…As for the week?  It was Opening Day for most of the country’s MLB cities and I got to see a MLB player with the name “Silva” on the back of his shirt — and he played well. But this was also our book launch week! On
BNdisplay.jpgTuesday, Jackie and I spent the day driving around to book stores and actually seeing our book on the shelves. In many cases, it was not only on the shelves but were featured on the store’s baseball “tables,” which is fancy book-industry terminology for where they put baseball books that the store is featuring.  Don’t believe us? We have pictures! And we have video, too. The footage is of us finding our book for the first time and clinking martini glasses. I know, I know… so out of character.

 

Tomorrow is our book launch party at Pyramid Brewery.  We have about 100 people joining us at the soiree where we’ll be meeting lots of new people, selling our scorebook journal, our t-shirts and our books.  We’re very excited to start the “have fun and have a party” segment of the book-making program… But we still have events w/ the Detroit Tigers, NY Mets, Mariners and Washington Nationals coming up.  Never thought it would happen but we’re glad it did.  And we’re glad that tomorrow’s a day to celebrate!

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