Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Spring Training

Today was the day that the entire Yankee Squad reported to Tampa. It is an exciting day for baseball fans, and more specifically Yankee fans. Prior to a cruise vacation in the spring of 2004, I had the chance to go to a Yankee spring training game. It was a truly unique experience. The closest way to describe it would be major league baseball in a minor league setting and venue. It was great to look 50 or so feet over my shoulder and see George Steinbrenner sitting in his box. The managers approach is different as well. They sit on a lawn chair on the warning track along the side of the dugout. It was truly a unique experience especially considering the morning of the game, I boarded a plane in 30 degrees, and enjoyed a night game in Florida in my shorts!

This year however, there is a dark cloud over spring training. It is called the WBC or World Baseball Classic. This event organized by Commissioner Bud Selig is a joke! It is dismantling teams in March. It is breaking up the spring training, and if someone should get hurt, it could cause major problems once the season starts. There are a few Yankees signed up to play in the WBC. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Bernie Williams, Miguel Cairo, and Johnny Damon. Fortunately, there are no pitchers participating. I am against this for the aforementioned injury issue as well as the team dynamic issue. It isn't good to break up a team two weeks before coming North.

Well, that is my soapbox for the day. I really hope no one gets hurt in the WBC. Oh, I heard some interesting news today about the team 87 miles north of here. The Red Sox have excused disgruntled left fielder Manny Ramirez from Spring training until March 1st. He truly is an idiot and a disgrace to the game of baseball. This only goes to show what a classless clown he truly is.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Yankees Invade Connecticut

You have heard of the story "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", today, current and former players of the New York Yankees came to visit in Connecticut. This evening at Mohegan Sun in Montville, just 4 miles from my home, there is a charity roast to former New York Yankee pitcher and Pitching Coach Mel Stottlemyre.

I heard that this was happening on Sports Radio WFAN early in the week. The Mike and the Mad Dog Show would be broadcast live from Mohegan Sun Friday afternoon (today). I checked my calendar, and had nothing, so I took the day off and went to Mohegan Sun to see the excitement. I got there just before noon and the venue was not open yet, so I grabbed lunch in the Food Court. I returned to the Wolf's Den, and waited in line for the next 30 minutes until the doors opened. It was great to stand in line and talk to other Yankee fans about the upcoming season.

Soon Mike Francessa came in and everyone cheered. Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo is on vacation at Walt Disney World with his family. When 1:00 rolled on the music started, and the guest of honor Mel Stottlemyre took the mic with Mike. He had a lot of great things to say, and he set the stage for others to follow including Don Zimmer, Sparky Lyle, Lee Mazzilli, Moose Skowron, Hank Bauer, Dennis Eckersley, Gene "Stick" Michael, Joe Pepitone, and current manger Joe Torre. It was a very enjoyable five hours. I felt like I was in baseball history class! The time just flew by! There were some emotional moments, followed by some laugh out loud moments. The latter being shared by Moose, Bauer and Pepitone. I got an autograph and picture taken with Joe Pepitone. (See above)

Joe Torre was the last to come on. He was stuck in traffic on I-95! He had some great things to share and the excitement is clearly building toward Spring Training and Opening Day. He is excited to have a great coaching staff, but is concerned on how he is going to set the batting order. He specifically mentioned, the 3,4,5,6 batters. He mentioned he has been in touch with Don Mattingly to pound it out. He wants to break up the righty and lefties.

What was great about this was how close everyone was to the stars! It was a very close setting. It was a great day to live close to the Mohegan Sun Resort.

This is going to be a great baseball season and today, my love for the Yankees grew even more!

Go Yanks! Bring World Chamionship #27 back to New York this year!

See my pictures from the day at the following link.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Super Bowl XL

This year's Super Bowl was pretty good. I wasn't too impressed with the commercials on a whole. There were a few that were entertaining. I liked Clydsdale colt that had aspirations to pull the Budweiser wagon. He slipped into the saddle, and then pulled the big wagon. At the end, we see that the parents were pushing the back of the wagon. I thought that was good. I also liked the montage with Harrison Ford reading the Dr. Seuss poem/book. That was great.

As far as the game goes, I thought it was great. Having spent a large portion of my life living in Western Pennsylvania, the Steelers were a sentimental favorite for our family. Elaine's father is from E. Liverpool, Ohio, so her family are also Steelers fans. It was great to see Jerome "The Bus" Bettis win the Super Bowl in his hometown of Detroit. Coach Cowher can now add Super Bowl Champion to his legacy.

There were a few bad calls, but you get that in all sports.

Overall, it was a great and entertaining game.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Battlestar Galactica

I don't watch too much "regular" television. I do watch the news, and I channel surf at night hoping to find a favorite movie on one of the cable networks, but I don't have too many regular shows that I watch.

However, over the last couple of years, I have really enjoyed the "re-imagined" Battlestar Galactica. When I was just a little kid in the late 70's, I watched the show of the same name that was on. That featured Lorne Greene as Commander Adama, Richard Hatch (not Survivor Richard Hatch) as Captain Apollo, and Dirk Benedict (Faceman off the A-Team) as Lieutenant Starbuck. This show was enjoyable, and I do occasionally pop in the the old VHS copies that I have of the pilot and a few other episodes, but it was pure camp.

The new series is dark, scientifically it is much more realistic. Edward James Olmos stars as Admiral William Adama(he just got promoted). He is a typical gritty lifetime military man. He portrays strength, but struggles with his relationship with his son, Captain Lee Adama.

The critics have hailed this show as one of the best on television. It is on each Friday night at 10:00 PM the Sci-Fi channel, and if by some odd chance I miss it, I stay up to 1:00 am to catch the west coast broadcast.

It is more drama than Sci-fi. The characters are very real and very vulnerable. A robotic society is out to exterminate all humans with a genocidal approach. It started with a nuclear attack on the home planets, and now, the Battlestars Galactica and Pegasus lead the rag tag fleet towards a new home...a planet known as Earth.

Check it out! It is good tv!