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Not much to say

Bill:
So this season's World Series is down 31% from last year. The second lowest rated Game 1 in history. Imagine that?

 

Mike:
You know for shits and giggles I tuned into Game 1 and, as luck with have it, the first thing I heah McCarvah say is that Ozzie Guillen's "hand gesticulations are fascinating." Aftah that the only sound you could heah was my head pounding against the wall.

 

Bill:
I pity the White Sox and Astros fans who have to put up with that inanity a couple hours a night.

 

Mike:
I doubly feel badly for White Sox fans who now have the likes of the Curly Haired Boyfriend writing things like "White is the new Red. The White Sox of 2005 are the Red Sox of 2004. They are diamond destiny's children."

 

Bill:
Ah, yes, Shaughnessy and his nevah fail new age angle of destiny, lahgah forces, and planets aligned … Christ, I thought the guy was a graduate of Holy Cross and not fucking Hogwarts.

 

Comments

I pity the White Sox and Astros fans who have to put up with that inanity a couple hours a night.

Amen! And here's the kicker; if you turn on the radio and turn off the sound, what you get is a seven-second delay of the telecast over the radio, so the radio is reacting to a play you haven't seen yet. As Charlie Brown says, "Auuugh!"

As far as CHB goes, don't worry. Nobody in Chicago reads his stuff.

well,

it's a GREAT series.

the networks are all Upset cuz there's nothin to hawk except baseball.

and i HATE the radio delay too. fox gets the worst possible people to braodcast the Series...

I caught Game 1 on the family room TV at a friend's birthday party and it was the best environment for watching the series. No Fox announcers. The only sound was from the people watching the game, all of whose insights were much more insightful than McCarver's -- although that's like saying Podsednik is a better clutch hitter than A-Rod -- true but obvious.

Game 2 was back on my own TV and the difference was striking. Thank God for the mute button. I think they would be better off miking the fans at the ballpark.

The ratings are down because the story is not the same. While the White Sox haven't won for even longer than the Red Sox haven't won, the White Sox haven't won simply because for all these years their team was either middle-of-the-road or even just plain bad. The Red Sox have had winning teams for almost 40 years (I remember the bad teams of the '60's, and the Impossible Dream of 1967) that have come close only to be denied by critical errors, bad luck, the presence of a strong and storied rival, or the loss of a major weapon at a critical time (Tony C., Jim Rice, et. al.). The White Sox have never had the drama that the Red Sox have had.

Which is not to say that the White Sox aren't a good story. Like the Red Sox last year, this team's pitching staff is the best it's had for two generations.

Unlike the Red Sox last year, the manager is engaging, and one lucky bastard to boot. Stick a microphone in front of Ozzie Guillen and God alone knows what you'll get. No one else does, including Ozzie. And he obviously doesn't care. A while back, Ozzie was holding forth in front of a bunch of reporters when an old friend of his (I can't remember whether it was a coach, an ex-player, or even a reporter) came into the White Sox's clubhouse. Ozzie loudly greeted him with a comment along the lines of "Hey, you old faggot, still boffing the little kids?" (that's not a quote, but the general idea). One of the columnists in the Sun-Times ran with it and excoriated Ozzie in his column, but nobody else even commented on it. I wonder what would happen in Boston if Tito did that? But Chicago fans are used to this kind of coach, at least the ones that remember when Mike Ditka roamed the Bears sidelines. That may be because they remember what happened when Mike Ditka coached the Bears - they won. So there's a lot of tolerance in Chicago for a manager/coach who speaks his mind first and then dismisses other people's opinion of it.

Ozzie Guillen isn't afraid to try a move, like a squeeze play. I was in a bar for the end of the 2005 ALDS, and when the White Sox ran the squeeze play for the 5th run, the entire bar erupted in chanting "Ozzie, Ozzie!" Next year he'll be a bum if they lose, but if they win World Series they'll love him in Chicago forever.

I couldn't but notice that the Globe very helpfully published the transcript of last night's Fox broadcast. Funny thing is, their parody of McCarver actually sounds more intelligent than McCarver himself.

OT, but did anybody catch Bledsoe throwing away that game in Seattle yesterday? Let us all bow our heads and, once again, give thanks to Belichick for not giving Drew his job back in the fall of '01.

All I care about at this point is that the 'Stros win at least one so there's still only one team evah with eight straight postseason victories. I'm thinking Oswalt will take care of that tomorrow night.

Anyone else get to one of Simmons' book signings? He was in SD on Fri night and there must've been about 400 people there. Nice guy- had a handshake and photo op for anyone who wanted them. You'll appreciate this hb- in mine I had him write "I've got your 1918 right heah!" Hope that's not copyright infringement...

I missed out on the Simmons appearance in San Diego. Thankfully I am missing out on the McCarver inanity too though I am curious as to which will be the infamous Fox promo of this year, it appears to be "Prison Break", in the "Skin"/"House" mold which will have legion of White Sox or Astros (seems ulikely at this point) jubilatly parroting. I'll forever be remember "You're risking a patient's life!" when thinking about 2004.

I too would enjoy listing to the radio broadcast but the delay between radio and TV is annoying. For those not living in the Midwest, John Rooney and Ed Farmer, the [White] Sox announcers on ESPN1000, bring back memories of Martin and Woods. McCarver and Fox are emblematic of sports coverage at the national level. The broadcast (like an Olympic broadcast) is designed for the casual fan who will not notice the inane commentary. Makes one pine for the days of Tony Kubek and Joe Garagiola. Well, at least we don't have to listen to the insufferable Bob Costas.

RonF: Good "Peanuts" reference. I think CB says Auugh!! when either a) Lucy pulls the football, and b) when a line shot back to the mound knocks his clothes off.

With Guillen, remember that there has been a double standard in the media for unacceptable speech for at least 2 decades. Ozzie is a "minority" and when he demonstrates ignorance and/or disparages other "minorities" (your homosexual example) there will be minimal backlash.

Fox's goal is to fill every possible second between the action with talk...they have taken the "no dead air" maxim and used it to kill any possible enjoyment of the game.

Well, at least we don't have to listen to the insufferable Bob Costas.

Good point!

Once Lou Pinella got involved with the broadcast, I decided that I had enough. Mute the television and put on some Beethoven. Or Led Zeppelin.

I was listening to WCBS for a weather report this morning, and they said the Fox announcers weren't even pronouncing "Podsednik" correctly.

Thank Gawd for digital cable -- with the pause feature and a little luck, one is able to line up the audio feed just about perfectly with the video. During the regular season, this allowed NY Sox fans to listen to Joe Castiglione broadcast the Sox vs. MFYs instead of the godforesaken Michael Kay (hisssss!) due to the NESN blackout. Of course, the MLB Radio monopoly ensures that fans must pay for those feeds via the Internet, which is also doing for the series. Selig strikes agin...

Did anyone catch the classic McCarver moment before the immortal AJ Pierzynski walk off homer last night? Buck was wondering if Lidge had gotten the taste of the Pujols walk off homer from game six of the NLCS out of his mouth, right before the first pitch...

McCarver:"He absolutely doesn't taste that whatsoever.."

CCRRAAACKK!! Game over.

McCarver:"Looks like he'll be tasting that one for a while!"

(Me, watching game and shaking head at what an idiot McCarver is...)

I saw this on Steve Czaban's (local DC radio host) Website last month: http://www.delayplayradio.com/

He suggest using it for football, but I'm sure it would work just fine to shut McCarver up.

As annoying as Tim McCarver and the other Fox announcers and celebrities (new TV shows promoed between every pitch seemingly), there is something even worse about the modern-day World Series, which is the fact that it is played so late in the year and at night to boot.

One of these days we're going to see games played during a raging blizzard, which is not a great way to be playing baseball.

We need to figure out a way to get the playoffs going sooner, so the Series can be over by the middle of October -- the 15th at the absolute latest.

Some people I've spoken to have suggested going back to a 154-game season, since they now have three rounds of playoffs. But the revenue-hungry teams and players will never go for this. Instead, how about trying this: add a few double-headers during the year and start the season a couple of weeks earlier, with all the teams playing the first week or so in warm-weather cities ... So Boston, New York, Chicago and San Fran would open in Tampa Bay, Texas, Atlanta and San Diego -- with the northern teams delaying their home openers until April. You'd cut spring training short by a couple of weeks, but I think that would be a small price to pay for having a World Series played under warmer, more baseball-friendly conditions. Any thoughs?

"White is the new Red" also happens to be the tagline to "Fever Pitch 2" which is reportedly in production at Twentieth Century Fox (alas not only the New York Yankees are stuck in the 20th century).

The production crew is expected to shoot the climax of the "Fever" sequel this week, during the Chicago White Sox championship celebration.

The early "buzz" is that "Fever Pitch 2: Swept Away" is much better (as in funnier and more NC-17-tastic) than the original (as is sometimes the case with sequels. i.e. "Godfather 2," "Empire Strikes Back.")

The "Fever 2" story ("ripped from the box scores") takes place precisely one October after the Red Sox won it all.

After 11 months of gloating, and taunting Yankee fans, Ben (Jimmy Fallon) is suddenly despondent and raging with impotence because his hapless Red Sox finished in 2nd place to the Yankees (again) and were disgracefully "swept away" in the playoffs like so much tavern sawdust on a Sunday morning.

After hearing Ben (Fallon) rant over and over "At least we beat the Yankees in 2004, didn't we?" Lindsay (Drew Barrymore) "realizes" he is "just another pathetic Boston fan, destined for yet another century of baseball futility."

Sitting in the most primo seats at Fenway (the exact seats made famous on TV by the face of Red Sox Nation, Ben Affleck and his former girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez), Lindsay (Barrymore) dumps Ben (Fallon) at the "giganterrific" conclusion of the 2005 Division series, advising him that "White is the new Red."

Inside sources reveal the exact line is: "Face it, Ben. White is the new Red. And no matter what happens in this crazy mixed up world, the Yankees will always be the greatest baseball team evah. Heh. I'm outta here, loser."

The film also features hilarious cameos by Aaron Boone, Bucky Dent, and Angelina Jolie (wearing nothing more than her sexy pout and Yankees hat, of course!)

Ebert and Roeper are already giving "Fever Pitch 2" multiple thumbs up calling the sequel a "blockbustah grand slam!"

In an equally significant world event, Santa Claus just decreed that from this day forth, all Christmas (and "professional baseball") stockings shall be white. Santa's exact quote: "White is the new Red."

Sing it with Santa now: "Rudolph the white nosed reindeer..."

Surprised they let them have computers at Bellevue. I guess it's safer than sharp objects, anyway.

Mentioning "Fever Pitch" here is actually worse, to me, than singing the praises of the Yankees.

Man, I hated that movie. (But if some of you liked it, that's cool I guess.)

Meanwhile, when it was about to come out on DVD some PR/ad firm contacted me about running a banner ad in exchange for, get this, entering my name in a lottery for a chance to win a free Fever Pitch DVD.

w00t!

I told them what they could do with their banner ad, of course.

In my view, "Fever Pitch" would have been a decent Saturday Night Live skit or maybe a nice episode of "Cheers" if it was still on the air. But it was not very good as a feature film, and from the point of view of a Sox fan it had more holes than Swiss cheese on a rifle range. The Special World Series Edition DVD was especially disappointing because the extra post-season footage adds up to about two extra minutes of the Sox.

'Fever Pitch' in its original incarnation as a memoir by Nick Hornby of how he grew up into an obsessive fan of Arsenal in the 70's and 80's was absolutely fantastic; very interesting look at English football culture, and very funny.

'Fever Pitch' the UK movie adaptation of Hornby's book, starring Colin Firth, was a funny little movie, even if it tread dangerously close to a chick flick at times.

'Fever Pitch' the US movie adaptation was about as crappy as a movie that ends with the Sox winning the World Series could possibly be. The reason for that can be summed up in 2 words: Jimmy Fallon. Wallowing in the 'curse' crap, having the character sleep on Sox sheets...yeech. If they had cast Matt Damon in the lead role, and have him acknowledge his Sox obsession while not wanting to/being able to move away from it, and gotten a much better script than the dopey Grade C 'romantic comedy' one they went with...well, then they might have had something.

Agreed, AJM that the book about the British football fan was much better than the movie. But even ignoring the weaknesses in the scrip and casting (why would Drew Barrymore be unable to get a date in Boston and be forced to go out with Jimmy Fallon? Why would a guy with season tickets three rows behind the Sox dugout have a hard time finding women who want to date him in Boston?) From a Sox fan's point of view, though, there were so many unbelievable leaps of illogic blatant inconsistencies that it was very hard to enjoy even the good parts of the movie. To name only two: 1. In the movie, Jimmy Fallon's character misses the seminal Sox-Yanks game of the season (the comeback with Varitek's glove in A-Rod's face and Mueller's walkoff against "the best closer in baseball") to go to a night time party. I clearly remember that was a DAY game. The sun was still shining when Mueller hit the home run. The characters would have been able to go to the game AND the party if they had wanted to. 2. There was no way any Sox players would be at a restaurant eating a meal AFTER the game 3 loss to the Skanks, because it would have been early in the a.m. and they would have been sleeping. And it's doubtful that Varitek and Damon, especially, would have been able to eat a meal without being disturbed anywhere in Boston on that particular evening.
That said, some of the scenes were funny -- like when they divided the tickets and he made his friends do the dance if they wanted to go to the Yankees game. Like I said, about enough good material for a SNL skit or maybe an episode of a sitcom.

"In the movie, Jimmy Fallon's character misses the seminal Sox-Yanks game of the season (the comeback with Varitek's glove in A-Rod's face and Mueller's walkoff against "the best closer in baseball") to go to a night time party. I clearly remember that was a DAY game."

Actually pawsoxpop, the comeback-game featured in the movie was fictional; it wasn't supposed to be the Tek v. Slappy / Mueller Walk-Off game from July. Just another dumb feature of the movie.

You know, last night was a fantastic game, even if another godawful call by the umps ended up playing a role in the outcome. But I can't wait for this series to end, so we can start the hot stove season. Hopefully with Theo signing a new deal by the end of the week.

As anticipated, you guys pointed out some of the main problems I had with the movie.

The Red Sox sheets? C'mon.
The latent homo doctor? Jeez. (You can be gay and love the Red Sox. No need to make the character a freaktard.)
Jimmmy Fallon? Oh for fuck's sake, no.
Why does Hollywood insist on the "Red Sox fans are man-child imbecile angle"?

The film did have some nice touches, though. Could have worked if done differently.

h.b. , because of shift work I am late getting on board. However, I just wanted to say that your 2nd frame today was a masterpiece and I have Granville Island Lager all over my monitor to prove it!

Great job on the 'toon. Always good to see a McCarver/Shaughnessy double-whammy. As far as the Fever Pitch: I steadfastly refused to see the movie and continue to this day, as the hideously annoying combo of Drew Barrymore and Yankee Boy Jimmy Fallon was enough to keep me away. Here's hoping Oswalt makes it a series by winning tonight and getting this series stretched out to a fantastic finish/winner-take-all seventh game which the game (& Fox) desperately need.

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