Sunday, September 30, 2007


And Tom Glavine... please leave Queens now. Thank you. You're about as revered as Kenny Rogers now.


It's going to be a long winter.

And now that the Marlenes have scored four runs already, even longer, perhaps.

Colorado's Win Last Night Still Muddies Playoff Picture

Again, the NL West is making this still a wide open race.

As you know, the Mets and Phils are tied for first in the East. If both teams win or both teams lose, there will be a one-game playoff to see who wins in the East.

If the Padres win

Colorado still has a wild card hope, but in the West, if San Diego wins, they will automatically be the wild card, even if they wind up tied with the Diamondbacks. Colorado has to win today to keep it alive for them.

This is the wildest scenario yet: if Colorado, New York and Philadelphia win their games today, there will be a playoff game AND a three-way tie for the wild card, with the Mets-Phils loser, Arizona and San Diego. The MLB website explains it all.

Thankfully, there's no Sunday night games tonight, so this will all be wrapped up this afternoon.

Or will it?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

More Playoff Permutations

San Diego has already helped the Mets cause by losing today. They stand at 89 games won which will be the minimum for the Wild Card.

First place Arizona (90 wins) and third place Colorado (87 wins) will soon start a pivotal game.

Bottom line is the Mets need to win tomorrow again. Then we'll talk more.


And a big razz to Paul Hoover, who decided to get cute and dribble an infield hit, robbing John Maine of a great day AND depriving Mets fans of the no-hitter they've craved since 1962. (You sure that David Wright didn't make an error on that play, Mr. Almighty Official Scorer? And why is it always that when a Mets no-hit bid is broken up, it's on a ball batted in Wright's general direction?)

But hey, THE METS WON. And there is now still a myriad of possibilities for the pennant race. It ain't over, as Yogi once said.

In fact, until the games of tonight in the Western Division are finished, we won't have a clear picture of what the Mets need to do. So we'll check back later with you.

It's Pretty Much Over

Come Sunday, I expect to update the Mets No-Hitter Count for the final time this fall, and by approximately 5:00 p.m., I fully expect to be done with baseball for the year.

The Mets' collapse is pretty much a fait accompli with their loss last night to the Florida Marlenes. And if the Mets aren't involved in the post season, I don't give a flying fig who is in.

Come October 1, GM Omar Minaya has some very tough decisions to make, but I think the easiest one of all would be to fire pitching coach Rick Peterson. The crux of the Mets' downfall this season has been their pitching, particularly their bullpen. Probably the weakest set of arms on a team that ever held on to first place for most of the season, then just pissed it away at every opportunity.

I don't fault the offense. Reyes, Wright, Delgado, Beltran, Alou.... one hot bat after another. All that offense is nice, but the idea is to KEEP THE OTHER TEAM FROM SCORING... which the Mets, this season, have clearly indicated they cannot do. And that's why Peterson has to be shown the door. Fast. Fire him on the 30th if you have to. Announce it during the game when about a tenth of the 5,000 fans who show up on Sunday are left. This is the biggest no-brainer since the Mets had to fire Art Howe.

Playoff Permutations

Unfortunately, it's out of the Mets' hands now, because every scenario implies the Mets have to have help from other teams.

Mets can get in by virtue of winning the East. They would have to win both their remaining games and Philly would have to lose theirs. Mets could still also get in if they and Philly are tied, forcing a one-game playoff on Monday. The loser would probably go home.

Mets could also wind up the wild card IF they win both games. Any other scenario that has a second-place team winning more than 90 games will leave the Mets out in the cold. Gonna be a lot of scoreboard watching this weekend.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Now Tied With Philadelphia In NL East

First place is now big enough for two teams. The Mets and Phillies are now tied. Never mind that Pedro couldn't throw a no-hitter tonight. Never mind that Moises Alou's hitting streak has ended, which has now probably hastened thoughts of retirement. What matters now is the Mets ABSOLUTELY NEED TO WIN THE FINAL THREE GAMES AGAINST THE FLORIDA MARLENES.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Mets Playing Horrible Baseball Down The Stretch

If you needed me to tell you this, you're not paying much attention. But then, neither are the Mets as their bullpen continues to wallow in their own make.

I seriously see some Mets coaches' heads on the block on October 1 if this team does not make the playoffs, which they're still in danger of.

Oh Boy! Lost Toys!

Our school system is doing a special gifted/talented curriculum this year on Terrific Toys. They will be examining the development of toys and games during the 20th century, with particular emphasis on the unique designs of Marvin Glass and the Wham-O company. There will even be side trips to the world of word-based games like Scrabble and even the development of crossword puzzles.

It got me to thinking about toys I owned as a child. I would wager I had every single game on the Marvin Glass list. (Mystery Date actually owned by my sister, of course.) I've found/remembered a couple. This one, by Ideal, was called Logus, and it combined the fun of word games with the horror of sliding picture panels. The groom in this commercial is played by Skip Hinnant of "Electric Company" fame. I don't know who the lucky bride is.

The other one is Booby Trap. Made in 1965 by Parker Brothers, this had a spring-loaded table on which you would put an assortment of various sized playing pieces, then systematically remove them without springing them all over the place. Have a look, courtesy of

Nancy, Two Years After

It is almost two years since I lost my wonderful wife, Nancy, to breast cancer, and articles like this one may give hope for the future. But they don't make me feel any better about what I went through two years ago.

And as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month approaches in October, I remind you to give generously to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

I'd also like to take the opportunity to remind some marketers that breast cancer affects men, too, and not just as husbands of victims. Breast cancer is not a women-only disease. Richard Roundtree is a breast cancer survivor - that's right, John Shaft himself. Breast cancer was a contributing factor in the death of "The Price Is Right"'s flamboyantly-clad announcer, Rod Roddy, in 2003. My father in law had it, too. Think about that the next time you hear TV ads hawking medication or product-tie ins for yogurt or some other female-centric product. Thank you for your time.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I don't want to sound alarmist, but...

I've had this overwhelming sense of dread the last few weeks that the New York Mets, who've spent the entire season in first place in the NL East, now may not even make the playoffs.

The Phillies have been playing stellar ball the last month or so, and the Mets simply haven't. The Braves didn't even show up this season, making the Phils the Mets' new nemesis in the East... and as of last night's game, the Mets can really feel the Phils breathing right behind them 1-1/2 games back.

But the battle in the West is worth watching, as the chances are now pretty good of both Arizona and San Diego being in the playoffs. Arizona has Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Colorado left on its schedule, while San Diego will face Colorado, San Francisco, and Milwaukee. Both Arizona and San Diego have the chance to add lots of wins to their record against these weaker teams.

Simply put: The Mets have to WAKE UP and win the division. They MUST hold their lead and hopefully pad it. And then, October rolls around and hopefully I'll still be watching baseball.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Happy Birthday, June

June Foray's 90th birthday was yesterday. June is the gifted voice actress heard on millions of cartoons since the dark ages, and she's also been quite involved with the ASIFA animation society.

We are lucky to still have June with us and we still hear her voice from time to time on new projects. I doubt we've heard the last of her.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Belliard Breaks Up Another One...

Ronnie Belliard of the Washington Nationals broke up the no-hit bid of Atlanta pitcher John Smoltz in the eighth inning. If you will recall earlier this season, Belliard had the only hit in a rain-shortened five inning win for the Mets, dashing John Maine's hopes of becoming the first New York Met to EVER throw a no-hitter.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Semper Fi, Gil Hodges

It was heartening to read that tonight, before the New York Mets-Houston Astros game at Shea Stadium, there will be a ceremony to mark the induction of Gil Hodges into the United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame.

I had only known Gil Hodges as the manager of the New York Mets (including the world champion 1969 team); I was too young to enjoy his exploits as a member of the beloved Brooklyn Dodgers. Gil managed the Mets starting in 1968 and up until his death from a heart attack just prior to the start of the 1972 season, at which point Yogi Berra took over as manager. But I knew that Gil was a man of class and dignity and grace and I just thought it was a damn shame that he had to leave us so soon. Even at the age of 11 I knew that. So, it's glad to see that Gil is getting this honor for all he meant to several generations of baseball fans.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Music Page Update

Pleased to point you to some pictures of last spring's Jackson Civic Chorus concert. If you look hard enough you can find pictures of both the owner of this website and his favorite lady.

We had our first rehearsal with our new director Jason Diaz last evening and Tracy and I were both impressed with how smoothly the rehearsal went. It was a combination ice-breaker and feel-out session. Hey, if you sing, come out and join us!

Did Your Favorite Old Computer Make The Cut?

For those of you with a fondness for TRS-80's, Altairs, Commodore 64's and Apple Lisas, The Most Collectible PC's Of All Time are brought together in a neat photo essay by Harry McCracken.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Vacation 2007 - What Have I Learned?

Well, it's 7:08 a.m. Eastern time as I write this on my home computer in my own home. We had a whirlwind 11 days of fun and laughs and I'd do it again if I could.

Here's what I would tell people about the trip in as few words as possible.

Diamond Lake - friendly people
Crater Lake - scenic beauty
Eureka - majestic trees
Oakland - funderful suburbia (okay, I borrowed that phrase from a Paramount cartoon)
San Francisco - bustling town, more like New York than Los Angeles

It was also a time for reaffirming old friendships and also a time for cementing new familial relations.

Now, all that's left to do is to pick up the dog and the cat and everything will be back to normal.

And tomorrow it's back to school for me! So it really is over.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Last Day

Our time out West is slowly slipping away. Our next little trip will be to the San Francisco-Oakland International Airport, where we'll return our rental car and board the Continental jet that will whisk us away to home. Since we're losing the three hours we gained when we flew West, we'll leave here at about 1 and come home close to 10. By the time our limo drops us off at Tracy's house, it will be after midnight.

This vacation was the best time for all of us. Sure we had the little spats and disagreements, but what family doesn't? I'm proud to have taken the people I now am pleased to call my family on the trip.

Now to go print those boarding passes...

Monterey and SF In Pictures

Our hotel in Monterey had some great architecture and even better landscaping.

Here's Monterey's favorite author, John Steinbeck (photo by Tracy Meyer).

The Monterey Bay Aquarium also has little treasures in amongst the sea otters and great white sharks.

At the Dennis The Menace Playground, new equipment bears contemporary views of Gina, Ruff and Joey. Other panels on this apparatus feature Dennis and Margaret.

An aerial view of San Francisco from way high up in our hotel (photo by Nancy Crane).

Better you see it here than in some tabloid next Thurdsay (photo by Harry McCracken).

Oh Yeah, I'm Still On Vacation

We had a lot of fun on Saturday. Breakfast at Denny's, then a little pool time, then a nice ride into San Francisco. We had to table the Golden Gate Bridge trip, due to possible complications due to this weekend's Bay Bridge closure. Our concierge (who prefers to be called "Dirty Harry") recommended a nice little place called Pazzia for dinner tonight, and as you've doubtless read on other blogs/boards, Tracy and I have now become engaged. NO ONE AT THE TABLE KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING. (I've gotten so good at keeping secrets.)

We are very happy to have committed to spending the rest of our lives together.

I went into several record stores. There's a Virgin Megastore right down the street from my hotel, and there's Rasputin Music, said to be one of the last indie record shops in the city. They even had some recent vinyl reissues, including a 30th anniversary repressing of Steely Dan's 1977 album "Aja".

We'll most likely post our final pictures from the trip tomorrow or Monday, as we are headed back to New Jersey tomorrow afternoon. And I'm almost literally stepping off the plane onto a parade route.

Someone's Getting Married

Harry McCracken writes the society page of his blog, announcing.... well you go and read it.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Ad Makers Need To Retire Another Song

Years ago, in some forum, I called for the retirement of the song "Nobody But Me" by the Human Beinz because it was overused in ads.

I'm thinking that the song "What I Like About You" by the Romantics has now run its course as well. I just saw it in an ad for a hotel chain.

It gets annoying that our ad wizards just have to pick a song, secure the rights, throw visuals against it and that's your ad. No narration, no copy, no nothing. It's totally disenfranchising to blind television users. They just hear a song for 30 seconds and don't even realize it's an ad for Something.

Makes me glad I'm not in that business anymore.

Friday in Monterey, plus Pictures From The Week

First, the pictures.

Barry Bonds watches another one go skyward. Not very far, just skyward. This was one of two pop outs off the bat of the home run king on Wednesday. Looking at Bonds' latest lob shot are Colorado catcher Chris Iannetta and home plate umpire Tony Randazzo.

The Santa Rosa boardwalk was a lot of fun!

Now to today's visits. Monterey is a town just dripping with nice restaurants and little shops and one-way streets and the stench of old canneries and the spirit of John Steinbeck oozing from every pore. The main target of today's visit was the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Now I'm a sucker for aquariums, and this one eschews the cliche that all aquariums must play Saint-Saens' "Aquarium" from "Carnival Of The Animals" somewhere in its soundtrack. The most noteworthy new addition is a baby Great White Shark. We did get some videos and pictures. The sea otters are always good for a few laughs, and we did get to see lots more fine examples of the pescatorial arts.

The other visits included the Dennis The Menace Playground (which has been around for over fifty years). There is a wood sculpture of Dennis and Margaret near the old Southern Pacific steam engine and newer playground equipment has pictures of Dennis and friends (including Margaret, Joey, Ruff and Gina). We also visited Jack's Park to watch a little softball.

So that's it from Day 9 of our vacation. Day 10 will see us returning to San Francisco tomorrow. And then Sunday we go home.