Bill Weye

Tag: red-sox

Wouldn’t you love to watch April baseball in Minneapolis?

The Red Sox are the opening day visiting team at the new Minnesota Twins stadium, which appears to be a great place to watch a game, just not in April (this dude loves the Twins so much he doesn’t mind the cold!).

How does this grab you: they average 3.1 inches of snow in April, with a one day max of 13 inches in 1983. For the month the average high is 57 degrees; the average low is 36 degrees. Luckily the Red Sox are playing all day games.

Apparently someone at major league baseball doesn’t like the Twins because they scheduled the first night game for April 16 against Kansas City. If they get 10,000 people to sit through that tilt, I’ll eat one of their Walleye (fish) on a stick.

That’s right, the new ballpark fare includes fish on a stick, along with pork chops on a stick and cheese curds. Even though they have some weird ideas about ballpark food, all of the food is supposed to be cooked at the stadium fresh.

It’s April. At night. You’re watching the Twins and the Royals. How do you stay warm?

How do you like your major league baseball players?

I just wrote a post about the best Red Sox blogs, so this is kind of redundant, but Yanks Fan vs. Sox Fan has this great post with a proposed record book annotation system in response to the Mitchell Report and other general baseball nonsense. Here are some of my favorites:

! = Amphetamines
$ = Gambling
|| = Cocaine
~ = Alcohol
. = Dead ball era
? = Wore glasses
† = Crazy religious freak
¢ = Lousy tipper
Æ’ = Womanizer
Â¥ = Asian fetish
Å“ = Funny accent
? = Ass kisser
X = General douchebag

Top 7 Boston Red Sox Related Blogs

Rick “the rooster” BurlesonIn honor of #7, The Rooster, here are the 7 best Red Sox related blogs. What makes them the best? I said so, that’s why! Just kidding. These are the best blogs not because they are reporting any new information, but because they offer a unique perspective, are funny, or both. The bottom line is that these Red Sox blogs are entertaining, and they’ll make you think or smile. In no particular order:

  1. For overall reflection of the Red Sox Nation culture and cutting, insightful humor, Soxaholix might be the best blog. Without question, with its comics format and regular characters, its the most original of all the Red Sox blogs.
  2. 38 Pitches, Curt Schilling’s blog has to one of the best Red Sox blogs because . . . he plays for the Red Sox! There is also the fact that he breaks news, talks about more than just baseball, is a prolific writer, and seems willing to teach interested fans about the mechanics of throwing a baseball professionally.
  3. Allan Wood is an author with a published book. He also writes the blog The Joy of Sox. It’s a good blog because he writes regularly (in my book, that’s a must to be on this list), but there are some weird things about his blog: even though he’s a published author, it’s kind of tough to find his name anywhere; also, he points readers to his book website with the heading “Except for my book”. Rewrite! Where’s rewrite?!
  4. As its authors write, Surviving Grady is “like catching your mom making out with Rick Burleson. But online.” Not sure what that means, but it’s pretty funny, no? I’m partial to funny Red Sox blogs that realize they’re driving off the Zakim Bridge with their obsession. I dig the obsession, though I wish they weren’t trying to extract every last dollar from their site.
  5. Here’s one for you: Misery Loves Company. What a screwy idea: some Sox and Mets fans write a blog together, talking about their favorite teams and baseball in general. I like it! And they’re no fly-by-night operation: they’ve been writing since 2003.
  6. The House That Dewey Built gets mentioned because it has my favorite title, has been written continuously for a long time, has a clean design without advertising, and has a steady stream of Sox news. I wouldn’t say this is the most creative of the blogs, but it’s a good tool to have in your Red Sox tool box.
  7. Am I a sucker for gimmick blogs? Maybe, but I like to be entertained when I’m reading a Sox blog, and Yanksfan vs. Soxfan does that (hey, shouldn’t that be Soxfan vs. Yanksfan?!).  One thing that I like with just about all of these Sox blogs: they give you a list of other Sox blogs in their sidebars. Giving props to the rest of Red Sox Nation is a good thing.

Am I missing any good Red Sox blogs? What’s flying under the radar, or maybe some new blogs?

The origins of ‘Manny being Manny’

With all the talk about “Manny being Manny” (Ramirez, that is . . . from the Boston Red Sox), I started wondering where and when the phrase originated. Using a Lexis-Nexis search of all major newspapers, I discovered that Manny started being Manny when he was in Cleveland, his first baseball team.

On May 7, 1998, for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Bud Shaw wrote:

If there’s anyone who should be careful not to invite dumb blond jokes, it’s Manny Ramirez.

But that’s what he’s done with a combination of his tinted locks, sluggish bat, shaky glove and curious case of sore calves.

It is possible that Ramirez strained his calves while lifting weights, as he says. He ran as if he carried ankle weights and a 20-pound backpack. But Manny being Manny, there could be any number of explanations, short of him moonlighting with the Rockettes. Not his kind of music.

snip.

Manny being Manny is usually part of the problem in the field and on the basepaths. But his offense outweighs the frequency of his trips to outer space on Hale-Bopp. The competition isn’t even close.

Three years later, just after signing a $160 million contract with the Boston Red Sox, Manny started being Manny, again. Steve Buckley, writing for The Boston Herald on March 3, 2001, knew it was bound to happen:

A couple of months ago, when the Red Sox introduced Manny Ramirez to New England baseball fans via a Fenway Park press conference, the event was a joyous and very, very gabby affair.

Manny answered questions. Manny did live shots. Manny did radio interviews. Manny posed for pictures.

Put the uniform top on?

No problem.

Click!

We all knew it wouldn’t last. We knew there would come a day, Manny being Manny, that he’d clam up and ask to be left alone, that he’d find himself a little hiding place in the clubhouse, a place that would be off-limits to the knights of the keyboard.

In the last Manny Ramirez being Manny Ramirez reference I’ll quote here, Michael Holley, writing on September 14, 2002 in a column in The Boston Globe titled “Manny Mishaps Nothing New,” gives us a hint as to how this phrase became attached to Manny Ramirez:

You can debate the package and if it’s worth an average of $20 million per season, but the contents of the package are essentially the same. Manny has played for five managers – Mike Hargrove, Charlie Manuel, Jimy Williams, Joe Kerrigan, and Grady Little – and all of them have accepted, reluctantly, the fact that they need to massage the rules for the man with the Hall of Fame bat.

Hargrove, currently managing the Orioles, was asked about his former slugger. “Manny has a big heart,” the manager said. “I wish Manny was with us.” Hargrove acknowledged he used the popular phrase “That’s Manny being Manny” several times in Cleveland.

I just thought I would add one more reference to the phrase, but it does not concern Manny Ramirez, but rather a high school basketball player. This time, Manny being Manny is a good thing for the team. Writing about a game in The Washington Post on January 10, 2004, Tarik El-Bashir quotes the coach: “What you saw tonight was Manny being Manny,” St. Albans Coach Bob Brown said. “There are just some guys who refuse to let their team lose. And he’s one of those guys.”

See, Manny being Manny doesn’t have to be a negative thing, or an excuse for a poor attention span.

Photo by Jay。宋 and republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Monster seats and pesky pole

In addition to the Pesky Pole, one of my favorite things about Fenway Park is the Green Monster. I am glad that the new owners see that Fenway is an asset, and that building a new park may not be the answer to increasing revenue. I am especially happy that there is the Save Fenway Park group. This year, in just a week or two, they are going to open the “Monster seats,” which are perched atop the Green Monster! This is going to be awesome; maybe it will reverse the curse of the Bambino? Some people take that curse pretty seriously: poems, books, blogs, musicals. Some people go so far as to say, that because of the curse that they “absolutely guarantee that Boston will continue to suck”.

Copyright © 2019 Bill Weye

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