Joke: Who beats whom

Of course, this year’s Red Sox don’t quite work with this joke.  Perhaps I should have replaced them with the Royals.

*

A couple recently got a divorce and they decided to move away from each other and go their separate ways. So, the father sat down and talked with his son and he said “Son, I think that it is best that you go and live with your mother.”

The kid said, “No, I won’t, because she beats me.”

Then, the mother came in and talked to the son, “I think it is best that you go and live with your father.”

“NO. NO,” he replied, “He beats me.”

So then, both the parents sat down and said to their son, “Well, if we both beat you, then who do you want to live with?”

The son said, “The Red Sox. They can’t beat anyone.”


Quote of the day

You know, a lot of people say they didn’t want to die until the Red Sox won the World Series. Well, there could be a lot of busy ambulances tomorrow.

~Johnny Damon

Johnny Damon CBS sports

CBS Sports


Fever Pitch

Fever Pitch

I have finally gotten around to watching Fever Pitch, the 2005 flick starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore.

When the movie starts, seven-year-old Ben Wrightman is going to a Red Sox game with his Uncle Carl, and he quickly becomes a hardcore Red Sox fan.  After Carl dies from cancer, Ben inherits his season tickets and for 23 years he remains a loyal, game-attending Sox fan.

When thirty-year-old Ben starts dating Lindsay Meeks, things go very well at first.  But, of course, it is the off season when they start dating, so Lindsay doesn’t have a full perspective on how deep Ben’s baseball obsession runs — she just knows that everything in his apartment has a Red Sox logo on it.  Lindsay agrees to go to Opening Day with Ben, but as the season progresses, it becomes evident how little Lindsay knows about baseball or the Red Sox.  Lindsay tries hard to understand and accept Ben’s passion, but her determination to earn a promotion in her job, which means working long hours, causes friction in the face of Ben’s determination to attend every game.

Things come to a head when Lindsay invites Ben to join her on a work-related trip to Paris, but Ben declines because the Sox are in the midst of a heated playoff race.  The relationship ends up in serious trouble, though the resolution proves both amusing and touching — fitting for a romantic comedy.

This is the first time I’ve watched a Jimmy Fallon performance as an actor, and I have to admit that I was impressed.  This movie is definitely more rom-com than baseball movie, but it does have enough baseball in it to keep a fan interested.  It doesn’t make me want to become a Sox fan anytime soon, but it does make me wonder if I might be able to find some Minnesota Twins toilet paper.

 

 


This day in baseball: Ruth vs. Johnson vs. extra innings

At Fenway Park on August 15, 1916, Red Sox pitcher Babe Ruth came out victorious over Walter Johnson and the Senators, 1-0 in 13 innings.  Though Johnson managed to keep Boston to four hits over the first twelve innings, he gave up three more hits in the 13th, thus allowing Jack Barry to score the game’s lone run.

Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson

Walter Johnson and Babe Ruth (mlb.com)


Ted Williams documentary on PBS

Ted Williams American Masters

I managed to watch PBS’s documentary on Ted Williams last night: American Masters – Ted Williams: “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived.”  I found the documentary fascinating, even learning a couple things along the way.

The episode opens with Ted Williams’s return to civilian life after the Korean War.  After seriously considering spending the rest of his life fishing after the war, Williams opted to return to baseball.  Ted Williams, the documentary shows, was so obsessed with baseball, and especially with hitting, that his obsession permeated all aspects of his life.  He also was infamous for his temper, often getting into it with reporters and refusing to tip his cap.  These things combined made him, at times, a difficult man to get along with, even within his family.

The episode covered, briefly, some details of Williams’s youth, including his strained relationship with his parents.  It also touches on many of the things you would expect a Ted Williams documentary to cover, including the 1941 season, his service in two wars, comparisons between him and Joe DiMaggio, and the final season — and at-bat — of his career.

Something I learned — which I was glad about, as I’m always happy to learn new things — was that Ted Williams was also quite the fisherman.  According to the documentary, Williams is in two fishing halls of fame (which halls of fame was either not mentioned or I missed it).  He was so meticulously detailed about this hobby that he would cut fish open to see what they ate in order to create baits that mimicked those foods.  He would then keep a log to determine what worked and what did not work.  It was the same kind of obsession and attention to detail that contributed to his success as a hitter.

The documentary includes interviews with Williams’s daughter, Claudia, and other family members, as well as with various baseball personalities: writers, historians, broadcasters, and former and current players.  If there is a shortcoming, it is that the documentary seems to bounce around quite a bit, which made it feel somewhat scattered.  I think part of this was due to the brevity of the show.  One hour is hardly long enough to go into any real depth regarding any one man’s life, especially a man like Ted Williams.


Ted Williams: “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived” on PBS

I have had a couple of people share this with me, and it certainly seems worth sharing here.  This coming Monday, July 23rd, PBS will be playing a documentary about Ted Williams.  The film is part of the American Masters series being featured by PBS and is scheduled to air at 8 pm Central time on Monday.  It looks fascinating, and I am looking forward to watching it.

The preview trailer is below, and more information about the documentary can be found here.


This day in baseball: First no-hitter at Fenway

The first ever no-hitter at Fenway Park was thrown by Red Sox pitcher George “Rube” Foster* on June 21, 1916.  Foster no-hit the New York Yankees to win 2-0.  The Red Sox had moved into Fenway in 1912.

*As opposed to Andrew “Rube” Foster, organizer of the Negro National League.
George_Rube_Foster

George “Rube” Foster (Wikipedia)