In the daytime, I’m Mr. Natural

Here’s a trivia note I read somewhere Saturday. I mentioned it to someone at a party Saturday night, but forgot to post it here. Clearly, I need to be less social.

This is going to be the first season since 1965 in which all National League teams have had natural grass in their home stadiums. Poor American League. And speaking of artificially-turfed American League stadiums, SkyDome is SkyDome no longer.

Original comments…

Levi: The disappearance of artificial turf is the only good side effect of the national publicly financed stadium boondoggle.

Don’t ever say I don’t look at the silver lining!

Even more from "Faithful"

All is forgiven, Stephen King: “The hapless Devil Rays will be more hapless still if Ivan, third and worst hurricane to menace Florida in the last thirty days, blows away their JuiceDome down there in Tampa; like a certain unlucky Jew, they may be doomed to simply wander, dragging their dusty equipment bags behind them, playing everywhere and always batting in the top of the first. ‘We once had a home,’ they’ll tell those who will listen. ‘It wasn’t very full, and most of the folks who showed up were old, many equipped with shunts and pee bags, but by God it was ours.’

At the end of the book, it’s fairly obvious that the day after the Sox won the World Series, the publisher was screaming at Stephen King and Stewart O’Nan on the phone: “Just get us the manuscript now so we can get the book out before Christmas!”

More from "Faithful"

Poor Stephen King, on the West Coast while the Yankees and Red Sox are playing in late July: “With no NESN, I was reduced to the coverage in the Saturday Los Angeles Times — which, due to their ridiculous infatuation with the Dodgers, was skimpy.”

I would guess that the Los Angeles Times is less infatuated with the Dodgers than the Boston Globe is with the Red Sox, if only because there are two major league baseball teams within the Times’ home delivery area, and they try to serve both constituencies. In fact, it was probably the amount of Angels coverage that kept them from putting a longer Yankees-Red Sox story in that morning’s paper. They’ve definitely had more Angels articles than Dodgers articles this offseason, because of the name change foolishness. Speaking of which, ESPN is going to be using “LAA” in the score box on any Angels games they broadcast this year, and they don’t even have the same owner as the Angels anymore!

Original comments…

Jason: Imagine that – a city newspaper writing a whole lot about their local baseball team.

Since the Angels are now “LAA”, does this mean the Dodgers will be “LAD”?

Jim: Yes, based on “NYY” and “NYM,” the Dodgers will be “LAD,” unless they try to get clever and go with LAN (for “National”).

Levi: I hope they abbreviate DC as “DC-(N)” as if they’re a politician.

놀이 공!

Someone on Baseballprimer found a bunch of Korean baseball cartoons. As Dan Rivkin would say, they’re awesome!

If you’ve got a lot of time to kill at work, you can read the comments to the post at Baseballprimer for some translations. And the guys at The Birdwatch have picked out some related to the Cardinals.

Original comments…

Dan: Wow, those ARE awesome!

Levi: In Korean, “Those are awesome” translates to: “그들은 최고 이다!”

At least according to a robot.

Dan: I think my favorite is the one with the nude Tony Batista, but I also really like the one with Bernie Williams and his guitar and the Yankees watching porn.

One more baseball book

As it turned out, I also received from my father as a Christmas gift “Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season.” (It just showed up the other day because combined it and some other items into an order with “Wonderfalls,” which wasn’t released until February 1st.)

The book is kind of structured like a blog, with dated entries from both Stewart O’Nan and Stephen King, interspersed with excerpts from e-mail conversations between the two of them. I, of course, couldn’t resist immediately flipping ahead to the entries for August 24 and August 26. For August 24, Stephen King writes about trying to pick up the game on the radio while driving around downtown Boston, and then getting back to his hotel and finding out they don’t have NESN, the cable home of the Red Sox, and Stewart O’Nan writes about the actual game, mainly Doug Mirabelli’s 3-run homer. For August 26, Stewart O’Nan writes about Bronson Arroyo: “Tonight he has his curve working and shuts down the Tigers for 7-1/3, giving up only an unearned run in a clutch 4-1 win.” Stephen King’s August 27 entry mentions the Dan Shaughnessy column from that morning’s Boston Globe, although he claims that the headline was “Dark Days Appear to Be Long Gone,” and I have scanned evidence that the headline was “Dark Days Have Hit the Road.” Perhaps this means that some of Stephen King’s other writing is less than accurate; I’m not sure if I believed all that about the girl with telekinetic powers wreaking havoc at her prom when I saw it. Or maybe they changed the headline for the later edition.

Anyway, starting back at the beginning of the book now, I’m only as far as spring training. Maura will perhaps appreciate what Stewart O’Nan says about the Red Sox’s spring training home: “Fort Myers is an endless grid of strip malls and stoplights, and everyone drives like they’re either having a heart attack or trying to find an emergency room for someone who is. We fly past Mattress World, Bath World, Rug World. It’s Hicksville, Long Island, with palm trees and pelicans.”

Original comments…

maura: but … is there an ikea??

The World Series was more engrossing than…

The scandal du jour in my hometown is that, back in October, a fire department captain invited two strippers and a couple of photographers to a fire station so they could take some photos, in which the women were both fully nude and partially clad in firefighter uniforms.

The Tampa Tribune’s in-depth account of the evening says, of the firefighters who were on duty at the fire station that night: “Berwald, Campbell and Layton said they hung around in the truck bay out of curiosity when the women and men arrived. They said they were focused on the World Series, however, and went back to watch television as soon as one woman was completely naked.

“Layton said he later learned one woman wore his uniform pants in the pictures.”

Original comments…

thatbob: To be fair, it was a very engrossing World Series, and 80% of firemen are gay. There aren’t many other professions where you get paid to lay around the house, lift weights, and gossip – when there isn’t a fire, of course.

maura: the scandal du jour in your hometown should be the rays’ willingness to give money to denny neagle.

Levi: I was talking to a coworker the other day, and I said, “You know: no matter how much we screw up at work, we can’t screw up so that it costs our company $75 over five years like Dave Dombrowski did by signing Magglio.” It was a freeing realization.

Not that I don’t love Magglio. But the guy is old, and he’s going to cost more than Scott Rolen, who’s younger and better and plays a tougher position.

And the figurine is going for big bucks on eBay

Back in the olden days, before they had cast members of “Desperate Housewives” on the cover every other week, TV Guide always contained a lot of ads for local TV stations. This is because they would trade out advertising space in the magazine in exchange for the stations running commercials for TV Guide.

This is the best baseball-related local TV Guide ad I’ve found in my collection; it’s from Saturday, May 18, 1968, and is the work of WJIM-TV in Lansing, Michigan, which is now called WLNS.

Channel 6 viewers that day saw the Senators beat the Tigers. Just a bump in the road for Detroit, though, on their way to winning the pennant and the World Series.

Original comments…

Jason: I can’t tell…is that a bobblehead or a figurine? Either way, it would be a great giveaway this season!

Jim: I’m pretty sure it’s a figurine, because it looks like the bat is attached both to the paws and the head, which would make it hard for the head to bobble. But remind me next time you’re going to be in my apartment, and I’ll let you take a closer look at this TV Guide ad.

Jason: Well, I actually looked up on eBay, but this was the only Detroit Tigers figurine they had: