Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This Room Must Be A Little Dusty..........

I dare you to keep a dry eye after reading this

Friday, July 27, 2007

Phils Make Nice Grab

While Met fans and the New York media continue to play "Arm Chair Omar" over who would be the best upgrade at 2B for the Amazins, the Phillies today filled their considerably larger hole at second with the acquisition of Tadahito Iguchi from the Chicago White Sox. In return the Phillies sent minor league pitcher Michael Dubee to the Sox. Just in case you hadn't heard the news, Chase Utley will likely miss a month after breaking his hand and requiring surgery to repair it.

While it seemed to be common knowledge that Iguchi was available (along with everyone else on the White Sox), his name never really got much talk time in New York as a viable candidate. The focus has always remained on guys like Mark Loretta, Mark Grudzielanek, and Luis Castillo, and so this news should have little to no effect on the Mets. Little to no effect outside of the obvious advantage the Mets receive from their division rival losing the best second baseman in baseball for an extended period.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Best on Show

Newsday's sports media columnist Neil Best joined us in the aftermath of the firing of Don Imus and we had quite a thorough discussion of le affaire Imus. Since this topic is so popular on the New York Radio Message Board, I think it's high time that we post it here.

Neil's colleague Ken Davidoff recently commented that Neil posts a new blog item "eight times in seven minutes while eating a corned beef sandwich." This is true. However, in our little interview, Neil's blog is still just a twinkle in his eye.

Neil's a proud Cornell grad who never ceases to drop in an obscure Big Red fact. So, I'll give you one: Hugh Anthony Cregg III dropped out of Cornell during his junior year. And, who is Mr. Cregg? Why, none other than Huey Lewis of The News fame.

Click here to listen to the interview.

P.S. Hopefully, this Blog entry will go a long way towards putting Neil on top (in terms of internet searches) of the Irish rugby player who shares his name.


Last night I had the pleasure of being at Shea to watch the Mets offense perform exactly the way it is supposed to, see Aaron Heilman pitch two perfect innings (Just in time for the trade deadline no less) and watch Billy Wagner set aside the Pirates before "Enter Sandman" was finished echoing through the stadium. I can't say, however that it was such a pleasure to watch Tom Glavine take his final step before reaching the magic number, and I feel like I was definitely not the only one.

Obviously it was thoughts of his last start that brought about such feelings, where 299 was handed to him on a silver platter in the form of six runs in the first inning, and poor Tom couldn't go more than two-plus while giving every last run right back. To make matters worse, this was against the Dodgers who the Mets were looking to exact some revenge upon after being humiliated earlier in the season. I obviously wanted to see the Mets come back and win that game, but not just because it was the Dodgers or to prevent the Braves from gaining a game in the standings. I also wanted to see the Mets pull through just to stick it to Glavine.

Last night it felt like everyone was just waiting from Tom to implode, and it looked like we wouldn't have to wait very long after he loaded the bases in the first. To his credit he got out of the jam, and didn't let up any runs until the Pirates put up three in the fifth. All in all it was a good performance but it just didn't feel like one, or more to the point people didn't WANT it to feel like one. "Here we go again" was what the groans from the crowd sounded like to me with every hit, and certainly with the three runs surrendered. At the end of the game when 299 displayed on the scoreboard, the reaction wasn't even lukewarm, in fact there didn't seem to be any reaction.

Maybe fans still weren't over that last start against the Dodgers, or maybe some fans still can't look past the Braves pedigree. Either way, there was one fact that I took great comfort in last night, that Glavine's first crack at 300 will take place on the road.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Top 10 Baseball Movies

On Tuesday night's show, one of our callers "Steve from Roslyn" brought up the idea of a top ten list of baseball movies. Ironically enough he got the idea from a Bull Durham audio clip I had played, Bull Durham being a movie that would be in most people's top ten lists and a movie which "Steve from Roslyn" had never seen.

So I figured I would take the idea and run with it, and compile a list of what I consider to be the ten best baseball movies of all time. If you, like our friend from Roslyn have never seen one or more of these ten flicks, be sure to correct that in the very near future. And if I happened to miss one of your all time favorites, by all means let me know!Continue reading Top 10 Baseball Movies...

10. Little Big League- I know what you're thinking, this one is a stretch, and you're probably right. But still I can't deny that this movie is a guilty pleasure of mine, and despite it's silly premise it delves deeper into the subtleties and nuances of the game than most of the other films on the list. And compared to it's contemporaries (Angels in the Outfield and Rookie of the Year), this one is oscar worthy. And besides, who can resist Kevin Elster playing the bad guy?

9. The Bingo Long Traveling All Stars and Motor Kings- I won't make anybody feel bad for never seeing, or even hearing of this one. That said, if you read this and STILL haven't seen it within a month's time I will hunt you down and viciously kill bombard you with Jewish guilt. Take The Sting, replace all the grifters with Negro League ball players, and throw in Richard Pryor planning to learn Spanish in order to break into the majors as a Cuban. Put it in your queue now.

8. Eight Men Out- This movie always stood as an entertaining look into one of baseball's darkest moments, but nowadays when I watch it it makes me wonder how the "Black Sox" scandal matches up with the current steroids debacle. It's cheaters vs. the cheaters and everybody loses. Say it ain't so!

7. The Bad News Bears- The foul language and racist remarks stack up with today's standards, but even the raunchiest of comedies nowadays usually wait until at least high school to deliver the kind of insults I dare not repeat. I love that in order to save production money the soundtrack consists mainly of public domain classical music, a cost cutting measure that fits right in with the team's sponsor choice. Ignore the remake, stick with the classic.

6. A League of Their Own- How fitting is it that a movie that's supposed to show us how women can play just as good as the men winds up with one of the most oft-quoted lines in baseball cinema history. Honestly, if you've never said "There's no crying in baseball!" out loud, you definitely didn't get the memo.

5. The Sandlot- How fitting is it that the "Women as good as men" movie on this list is directly followed by a film whose most memorable line is "You play ball like a GIRL!!!" Not even TWO direct to DVD sequels can tarnish this all time classic, which is sure to be enjoyed by baseball fans FOREVER...FOREVER...

4. Major League- There's no question in my mind this one is the funniest of the bunch, yet despite all the laughs the baseball scenes still pack enough punch to have you cheering for the Tribe, when your sides aren't hurting that is. The love story subplot is a little over done, but the resulting Moby Dick comic book gag made it worthwhile.

3. Bull Durham- Baseball, religion, and sex all rolled into one. What's not to like? 108 stitches, 108 rosary beads--heck that almost made me give Jesus a chance too! Every kid dreams of making it to the big leagues, and this all time great shows us what happens when we follow that dream, but don't end up exactly where we thought we would.

2. Field of Dreams-
They say real men don't cry. Well, if you don't cry at the end of this one then I say you're not even human! The way in which this masterpiece seamlessly blends fantasy with reality serves as the perfect allegory for how baseball is able to capture our imaginations, and why it has been able to "Mark the time" for so many generations.

1. The Natural- I've probably told this story at least 100 times on our show, and I'll be happy to tell it again. This film is one of my earliest memories of going to the movie theater, and is largely responsible for my passion for movies AND baseball. For as long as I live I will never forget my father's visceral reaction when "Wonderboy" was split in two, and at that moment I learned just how powerful a movie can be. It's all too fitting that I will always think of my father when I see this movie, as Roy's father is as important as any of the myriad of themes and archetypes interwoven into this cinematic glimpse at perfection.

So there you have it. I know I missed the perennial favorite (And the only Oscar winner of the whole bunch) Pride of the Yankees, not to mention Damn Yankees, and I never met anybody who didn't like Billy Crystal's 61* (Notice a pattern in all those omissions? I swear it wasn't intentional). Heck, For Love of the Game would have been a great baseball movie if they cut out 3/4 of all the mushy stuff. But I tried to call 'em as I see 'em, and like I said, if I left off one of your top ten, don't hesitate to leave a comment and let me know!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Jim Baumbach Talks Yankees

Since we're just getting our website back up and running, how fitting is it that the first interview we bring you turns back the clock to a season preview of the Yankees, who themselves are just now getting their year up and running. This fun little time capsule comes to you compliments of a great friend of our show and Newsday's very own Yankee beat writer Jim Baumbach.

You can hear the interview in it's entirety right here and be sure to check back often as we get more old favorites, as well as lots of new material up here for your enjoyment!