Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Let's Get Out The Checkbook

I am going to buy a baseball team. This is not a joke. Pick up a copy of Friday's paper to read my column that details a sustainable business model to keep the New Haven County Cutters in town.

I cried earlier today when I learned the team was packing up its bats and balls and getting out of Dodge, er, New Haven. What am I now supposed to do on Thursdays in the summer? It's one of my favorite things to do. It's not a joke when I say my friends and I are seriously depressed.

So let's keep the team. I have an idea. We'll need cash, but I think we can do it. Make sure to buy the paper Friday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Look Out For Curling

My story on curling in Connecticut runs in tomorrow's Register. I am not going to give too much away, but let's just say my friends and I had a great time playing the sport.

I was going to write the story as a first-person narrative, but there's just too much info needed when you're writing about something like curling, something that not everyone's familiar with. So I still wrote in the first person, but there's a lot of good info in there and the piece is not all about me. I hate when things aren't all about me.

Anyway, as a tease to the story, here's my friend Harris McCabe getting ready to throw the stone. I'm not sure 6'8' people are meant to curl. We had a great time though.

It Starts Tonight

OK, let me be truthful for a minute, no matter how embarrassing it is: I had real problems sleeping last night. I'm not joking. I tossed and I turned because I am just way too excited for tonight. If you don't know what tonight is, then let's just say you're not a baseball fan.

It's on these days that I miss Boston a bit. Tonight's going to be fun, watching the game with all my friends who are also Sox fans. We'll be at a bar that I enjoy watching baseball at. But there's no excitement in the air outside. If we were in Boston right now, all you would be hearing is Red Sox talk. There's something you can't put your finger on that happens whenever the Sox have a big game.

I'll never forget the last big game I experienced in Boston. It was Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS, the Aaron Boone game. I had the day off because I wasn't going to get anything done anyway (I'll take a half-day today). It was amazing how no matter where I went — Dunkin Donuts, Newbury Comics, even some small sushi restaurant — all anyone wanted to talk about was the Red Sox. There were flags everywhere. I bet 70 percent of people had some kind of Sox hat/shirt/button on. Seventy percent.

But I'm in New Haven today and, frankly, that's probably a good thing since the only time I ever saw the Sox win a World Series was while I was sitting in the same seat I'll probably sit in tonight. I'll drink the same beer, wear the same hat and try to remember what shirt I wore. I can't wait.

As I said in a previous entry, I like the Sox to take this series in six games. I know the Rockies are hot, but when I really think about it, I don't know how they can win. Think about it: The Red Sox have the better player at every position except shortstop ... and maybe right field, but that's still very debatable. The Sox have the better starting pitching and the better back end of the bullpen. The Rox have the better bullpen overall, but how often does middle relief really play a part in a game? And if it is, that means something bigger went wrong.

The one thing very few people are talking about is how Rox pitching walked a lot of Diamondbacks. It's damn tough to walk Diamondback players. Damn tough. The Red Sox are going to work those starters so much, we're going to see a lot of middle relief, a lot of four-inning starts. The Sox feast on middle relief.

I guess that's it. I could babble on about this game for hours, but I'll stop now. I hope God (I mean Josh Beckett) pitches a good game tonight. Either way, I'm just happy the Red Sox are in the World Series for the third time in my life. And let's hope they win it for the second time.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What A Weekend

I have to admit, I had some doubts about whether the Red Sox would pull out the ALCS. I went to Anna Liffey's Friday afternoon, at about 6 or so, and my softball teammate and Liffey's trivia MC Jon Edwards told me I should be disowned as a Red Sox fan for admitting doubt in my column. He also thought the Red Sox would beat the Rockies in the World Series, even though I joked either American League team would get swept.

Jon was right. I'm predicting right here, right now, the Red Sox will win the World Series in six games. This will be the third time the team has been in the World Series in my lifetime, and I'm very excited about this. I am going to have problems sleeping the next few days. Seriously.

In other news, I went curling on Saturday. Look for that story in Thursday's paper. It's a good one. Well, I haven't written it yet, but there's a good story to be told. Hopefully I can do that.

What else, what else? Well, Kid Rock was arrested outside of a Waffle House. I mean, if I told you Rock was going to be arrested outside of a breakfast joint, you'd guess Denny's, but Waffle House would be the second choice, right?

I think that's about all I've got for today. I'll leave you with my favorite music video of all time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

In The News ...

So investigators are searching David Copperfield's warehouse, a place he regularly performs. Here's what I'm thinking: The FBI is like a decade behind on this one. Don't you think they should have searched there for the Statue of Liberty when it disappeared? How about for whatever drugs he clearly used to get Claudia Shiffer to date him for six years. Oh yeah, what about when he claimed to find the Fountain of Youth a few years back? This guy's been begging for an investigation. Well, he's got it now.

A friend of mine pointed me to this site. Very good stuff. Check out the Elvis Perkins material.

I have the day off today. W00-hoo me. I'm watching ESPN and New Haven just made "First Take." Yep, the crappy morning talk show just showed Chaz and AJ's "Hannah Montana" ticket fun. Good stuff.

So rapper Nas is going to name to his upcoming record "Nigger." According to MTV.com, the rapper says this of the very controversial title: ""(People) shouldn't trip off the (album's) title; the songs are crazier than the title." Well, wowee. You know, I don't know what to think of this, except that if you're going to name your album this, you're really looking hard for some publicity. This disc isn't supposed to drop until December, and we're already talking about it. I guess Nas is smart.

OK, so I know it's been said by hundreds of people over the last decade or so, but very few people benefited more from a suicide than Kurt Cobain. Word is another movie will be made about the late grunge icon. I like a lot of Nirvana's music, but this ridiculous notion that the band started grunge or did anything that Dinosaur Jr., Husker Du, Sonic Youth or countless other groups didn't do is preposterous. I mean, is the movie going to focus on Cobain coming up with brilliant lyrics like, "Here we are now, entertain us." Wow, those are Dylan-esque. Jeez.

Breaking news alert: Rod Stewart's ridiculously looking hair is not genetic! Thank god, says his son, who has other problems.

I know this is a little dated, but he's from New Haven and this video makes me laugh so hard. Just look at his pained faces while he sings. Anyway, enjoy.

Lastly, let me end this entry by saying that if Josh Beckett could pitch every game in the playoffs, the Red Sox would basically be the Colorado Rockies. Well, it's now Big Schill's turn, and he relishes this kind of game. More fun tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Where Do We Start

Let's do a little notebook kind of thing since I haven't written in a while. You see, once the baseball playoffs start, I have a really hard time concentrating on anything else. Anything else.

So, as you can imagine, I'm a little nervous about the Red Sox tonight. It's hard to be confident when 3,000-year-old Tim Wakefield is going and he hasn't pitched since like May. But when Wake's on, good things happen, so here's hoping. It seems like the Indians and the Sox are only playing to see who gets swept by the Rockies, anyway.

In other news, I refuse to review the new Radiohead album in print because I want an album that has packaging. I like the idea of going around the record companies, letting fans pay what they want, but I guess I'm a bit old-school still. I really love the feeling that comes along with opening a CD and reading the liner notes and looking at the artwork while listening to it. With that said, I'll review "In Rainbows" when I get the box set in December. But, I really like this disc. It's pretty accessible, which I thought wouldn't be a good thing, but it works.

I saw Kevin Devine and Aeroplane, 1929 last week, on a Red Sox off day. Good show. I really enjoyed it. Those are two great acts, really. And we should feel lucky that half of Aeroplane calls New Haven home.

I'm going curling on Saturday. I could not be more excited about this.

So Led Zeppelin is going digital, leaving the Beatles, Radiohead and a couple more big bands as the only ones not online at iTunes. Doesn't everyone who wants a Zeppelin disc have one?

Drew Carey is finally hosting "The Price is Right." I guess he's doing a good job, but it doesn't seem right to not have Bob Barker. And, by the way, is anyone, anywhere a fan of Drew Carey?

A review will be in Weekend Friday, but the new R.E.M. live set is really great.

Well, I guess that's it on this end. I promise I'll write a lot more and be more of my entertaining self after the Red Sox are out of playoffs, which will hopefully come after Game Four of the World Series.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Baseball Predictions

I'll explain more later, but I wanted to get my predictions published before the games start. So, with analysis to follow:

Rockies over Phils in a sweep.

Indians over Yanks in five.

Red Sox over Angels in four.

Cubs over Diamondbacks in four.

Springsteen Makes The New Classic

You've read the story, now here's my review of the Springsteen show. It'll appear in the paper Thursday.

By Patrick Ferrucci
Register Entertainment Editor
HARTFORD — A full hour after he was supposed to take the stage at the Hartford Civic Center Tuesday evening, Bruce Springsteen finally emerged to the raucous strains of "Radio Nowhere," the first song on Bruce and The E Street Band's first album in five years, "Magic," which was also released Tuesday.

On the first day of his national tour, Springsteen brought old and new together for a show that so completely bested any of the previous Boss shows this reviewer has ever seen. Unlike many of the tunes of the last Springsteen and E Street disc, "The Rising," tracks from "Magic" sounded great live, blaring from the speakers and shaking the foundation of the arena.

Whether it was somber "Gypsy Rider" or the buoyant "Girls In Their Summer Clothes," the new songs sounded perfectly in place next to classics like the keyboard-driven "She's the One," the bleak "Darkness on the Edge of Town" and the chant-ready "The Promised Land."

The early set highlight had to be a tingle-inducing performance of the classic "Night," with Springsteen and guitarist Stevie Van Zandt nuzzling up to each other and screaming the classic chorus. Both the rollicking "Reason to Believe" and anthemic "The Rising" got the fans out of their seats and dancing, pumping their fists and smiling.

Springsteen and the nine-piece E Street performed on a large, simple stage. There were no huge televisions behind them, no huge lighting setups, no over-the-top pyrotechnics. This was a classic rock 'n' roll show. The fans showed up to see Springsteen and the group, and they delivered a fiery set short on props, large on excitement.

Besides The Boss, the star of the show had to be drummer Max Weinberg, who Springsteen sorely misses when he tours without E Street. Weinberg started the set by pounding away, almost John Bonham-like, on "Radio Nowhere," and he never stopped keeping terrific time and leading the charge.

In the middle of all the fun, Bruce never missed an opportunity to take shots at the Bush Administration, speaking about wire tapping, six years of lies and more. It made the new tunes, especially, more valid and vital.

The show's only down note came when Bruce and wife/guitarist/background singer Patti Scialfa dueted on the title track from "Magic." The atmospheric tune felt disjointed and messy until midway through when the rest of the band entered. But that's getting a bit picky. This was a set for the ages. When the group closed the set with "Badlands," you could tell the fans got their money's worth and were more than OK waiting the hour it took Springsteen to get on stage.

Unlike the long break before the beginning of the set, the band took the shortest encore break I've ever seen, ending "Badlands" and coming back on the stage with seconds to jump into the encore, which began with "Girls In Their Summer Clothes," moved into "Thundercrack" and then climaxed with the classic "Born To Run."

The show ended with the bouncy "Waitin' on a Sunny Day" and the "Seeger Sessions" tune "American Land," which sounded great with E Street. But, you know what? Everything sounded great. I've only been to five Bruce and E Street Band shows now, but this one clearly topped them all. It's fitting it happened on "Bruce Springsteen Day in Connecticut."

1. Radio Nowhere
2. The Ties That Bind
3. Lonesome Day
4. Gypsy Rider
5. Magic
6. Reason to Believe
7. Night
8. She's the One
9. Livin' in the Future
10. The Promised Land
11. Town Called Heartbreak
12. Darkness on the Edge of Town
13. Darlington County
14. Devil's Arcade
15. The Rising
16. Last to Die
17. Long Walk Home
18. Badlands
19. Girls in Their Summer Clothes
20. Thundercrack
21. Born to Run
22. Waitin' on a Sunny Day
23. American Land