Monday, October 29, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Two new movies you've never heard of and don't need to see:

Music Within


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rejoice, readers of words! For a new issue of The High Hat has arrived. The theme is "places," and my contribution is a Bottom Shelf column on Maine as seen in movies based on Stephen King novels.

Speaking of Mr. King, you'll probably be able to see him in the stands of friendly Fenway tonight, where rumor has it the first game of the 2007 World Series is being held. Says here Sox in six.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Good Times Never Seemed So Good

I felt pretty good all day, but never in my wildest dreams did I see JD Drew hitting a grand slam in the first inning. Game 7 tonight. Hey Cleveland, your mayor's on fire.*

*70s-era joke. May be irrelevant.

Friday, October 19, 2007

30 Days of Night

Gone Baby Gone

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Season on the Brink: A Live Blogging Event

Weather permitting, Game 5 of the American League Championship Series will be played tonight, with the Red Sox facing elimination. Win and the series goes back to Fenway. Lose and it's winter in New England. What better time for a live blogging event? Not since Oscar night have I attempted such a thing, and since that was so highly acclaimed...uh...well, anyway, I'll give it a shot. Although I should confess it probably won't be quite live, since I'll be viewing on a slight delay via DVR. Hey, whaddaya want, I'm doing this for free.


Always daring and unpredictable, Fox begins the broadcast with references to the Sox miracle comeback in 2004. Which I can't complain about, since it's 1000 times preferable to the moldy reel of Curse clips they would have rolled out had '04 never happened. Then it's onto the news of Joe Torre rejecting the Yankees offer, hopefully just the first domino in a disastrous Yankee off-season. A-Rod, Posada, Rivera - let 'em all tell the husk of Steinbrenner to hang it in his nose. By the way, I've seen The Bronx is Burning, and no disrespect to the comedy stylings of Oliver Platt, but Larry David is still the definitive Big Stein.

Wow, a "Cowboy Up" speech from Kevin Millar and a little "Tessie." Now I'm fired up. What year is this?

Top of the 1st

C.C. "Fat Albert" Sabathia on the mound for Cleveland. Pedroia grounds out weakly. Youkilis homers to left. YOUK!! This is the first game of the series in which the Sox scored first. Papi strikes out. Manny is booed for pimping his homer on Tuesday, then promptly doubles. Lowell bloops a single to right and the score should be 2-0, but Manny is out at the plate. Perhaps not the best omen.

1-0 Boston

Bottom of the 1st

Ah, Jesus. Sizemore hits a high pop-up and no one can get to it. He cruises into second. The unfortunately named Asdrubal Cabrera singles and now it's first and third, no out. Hafner hits into a double play that ties the game. Another single and then a strikeout to end it.

Tied 1-1

Top of the 2nd

Kielty strikes out and Varitek is hit by a pitch, putting him on first. This brings up Coco Crisp, a guy I have absolutely no confidence will do anything at all. This may be his last game in a Red Sox uniform, which will not make me sad. He strikes out, bringing up Lugo, another totally useless bat. He swings at a pitch that passed through downtown Akron and goes on to pop out.

Tied 1-1

Bottom of the 2nd

Beckett strikes out the first batter, and I decide to be confident in him and watch a little Survivor. When I come back, there's a runner on first and two out, and Casey Blake promptly strikes out. Good timing!

Tied 1-1

Top of the 3rd

Pedroia singles and Youk hits into a double play. This is like a continuous loop I've been watching Clockwork Orange-style since Saturday. Meanwhile, Buck and McCarver are jabbering about Torre and the Yankees. Dudes, the Indians and Red Sox are playing baseball here. The Yankees are playing golf. Papi walks. As Manny comes to the plate, McCarver notes: "instead of the walkoff homerun, Manny has coined the 'walk-out' homerun." As fate would have it, Manny hits a ball that's either a homerun or a single. McCarver is apoplectic that Manny's not standing on second base. Ortiz has scored, but the umpires convene to discuss the call. Of course, there's no instant replay in baseball, and they decide it was a single. This could be a fateful moment in the game indeed. Mike Lowell strikes out. I guess if Manny had been on second, he would have scored.

2-1 Boston

Top of the 4th

The bottom of the third went by so fast, I missed it. For Boston Kielty and Varitek hit back-to-back singles. Of course, this brings Crisp up. Please, just bunt. He tries. He fails. I yell at him. He has made some spectacular catches, but I am so done with Coco Crisp. Lugo comes up and hits into a double play on the first pitch. The Incredible Sucking Black Hole at the bottom of the lineup continues to come through.

2-1 Boston

Top the 5th

Beckett cruised through the 4th, The top of the 5th involved a lot of me pacing around the living room as the Red Sox loaded the bases and failed to score. Looks like I picked the wrong week to give up jamming knitting needles in my eyes.

Bottom of the 5th

I went back to my watching Survivor strategy. When I turned back, Cleveland had men on first and third with two out. Five seconds later, Beckett got a strikeout to end the inning. Hey, this is working for me!

Top of the 6th

The bottom third of the Red Sox order does what they do. Nothing. Time for more Survivor!

Top of the 7th

I took Maury for walkies and missed the bottom of the 6th. Clearly Beckett has decided he's not done playing baseball this year. Top of the 7th: Pedroia doubles! Youkilis triples! Sabathia out of the game! Dammit, I was mentally prepared to lose this game, and these bastards are screwing with me!

A deep sac fly from Ortiz brings Youk home. Manny strikes out. Lowell flies out.

Let me here make a small complaint: When Cleveland scores, Fox plays "Cleveland Rocks" leading into the commercials. When Boston scores, they play "Dirty Water." That is the Red Sox victory song! It's bad mojo to be playing it while the game is in progress! Play "Shipping Up to Boston," fer chrissakes!

4-1 Boston

Bottom of the 7th

This is amazing. Once again I watched a little Survivor, once again I came back to see Beckett get a strikeout to end a potential threat. If the Red Sox win this thing, they owe it all to Probst.

Top of the 8th

All good things. Walks, timely hits, bunts, sac flies, passed balls. I'm delighted to see this happen in front of these towel-waving yahoo Cleveland fans. They've been way too happy. Screw 'em and their stupid racist logo.

7-1 Boston

And that's the final score after Papelbon closes this out. Dirty Water! Back to Fenway on Saturday, and to quote Agent Harris of The Sopranos, we're gonna win this thing. I may well go back to Little Woodrow's, the local Sox bar, but if not, I reckon I'll do another live-blog for Game 6.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cleveland Steamer

I don't really have anything to say about the game last night, but couldn't resist the headline. Tonight, it's up to a 78-year-old knuckleballer with a bad back to get the Sox back in this series. Looks like I picked the wrong week to give up horse tranquilizers.

Friday, October 12, 2007

We Own the Night

If you follow the above link, you will find that yet another venue thinks it's a good idea to publish my blatherings. I can't explain it! Well, yes I can. The mastermind behind Shuffleboil is my longtime associate, the maniacal John Mitchell. I don't know that there's been any official launch or mission statement or anything, but now is the time for you to get on the ground floor and add it to your blogroll or favorites or enemies list!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Heartbreak Kid

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Fall Television/Baseball Playoffs Preview

Here’s the lazy blogger’s would-be clever way of combining two hot topics into one mildly amusing post. Which new or returning TV show is your favorite team as it enters the playoffs starting today?

National League Division Series

Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia Phillies

The Rockies are Heroes. An unlikely group of misfits coming out of nowhere to overcome incredible odds. Like the series, they probably peaked too soon.

The Phillies are Bionic Woman. They haven’t been relevant since 1980, but they’ve made an unlikely resurgence thanks to a super-powered offense.

Prediction: Phillies over Rockies in 5

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Chicago Cubs

The Diamondbacks are Kid Nation. A collection of fresh-faced, untested rookies have been thrown together to accomplish an unlikely goal. Eric Byrnes is clearly seven years old.

The Cubs are The Biggest Loser. Come on, they haven’t won a World Series in 99 years. This one writes itself.

Prediction: Cubs over Diamondbacks in 4

American League Division Series

Los Angeles Angels vs. Boston Red Sox

The Angels are Survivor. They’re dropping like flies and have seen better days, but are still reliably entertaining. It probably won’t end well.

The Red Sox are Lost. Maybe not as good as they were in 2004, and the new cast members are rarely well-received, but the improbable plot twists keep us watching.

Prediction: Red Sox over Angels in 4

New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians

The Yankees are ER. They’ve been around forever, the original cast is long gone and they keep adding high-priced stars in hopes of recapturing the glory days. It ain’t happening.

The Indians are Friday Night Lights. A critic’s darling that never really lives up to the hype. Probably heading for early cancellation.

Prediction: Yankees over Indians in 5