Sunday, September 28, 2008

Check This Out

I'm almost inclined to buy a Nikon camera, now. If you know me, you'll know why.


And I'm not sticking around for the Shea Stadium funeral.

For the second straight year the Florida Marlenes have been the ones to deny the Mets what is rightly theirs. Imagine. A team playing for NOTHING taking away from a team playing for SOMETHING.

The only thing I'm going to care about from now until pitchers and catchers report in February is who is going to take the fall for this.

And with that, good night.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Optimism Rears Its Head

The Brewers lost their game. (Thanks Cubs!) Now this means the Mets and Brewers are now tied for the Wild Card. Since the Mets cannot now win the division due to the Phils' clinch today, it's a little more cut and dried.

If both the Mets and Brewers win OR Lose tomorrow, there will be a playoff at Shea to determine the wild card. Should one team win and the other lose tomorrow, the winning team will be the wild card.

And one thing about today's game... THANK YOU JOHAN SANTANA for fulfilling your commitment to perform for this team throughout the season. It seems that the last two years we've gotten a pitching gem on the next to last day of the season... last year with John Maine's almost no-hitter (what you bet he goes tomorrow in a shocker move?), and today with Santana's 3-hit performance... just what the tired arms in the Mets pen needed. Good luck tomorrow guys!

Just a note regarding the No-Hitter count... any playoff game between the Brewers and the Mets scheduled for tomorrow WILL count as a regular season game and will be reflected in our No-Hitter Count.

R.I.P., Paul Newman

Paul Newman died last night after a battle with lung cancer at the age of 83. What were my favorite movies of his? Definitely "The Sting" and "The Color Of Money".

"The Sting" was Newman at his best with Robert Redford, then two of the three most bankable box office stars in the movies (the third being Burt Reynolds). It would be like putting Brad Pitt and Will Smith in the same movie today. "The Color Of Money" with Newman reprising his role in "The Hustler" (which would probably rank third on my listing) as Fast Eddie Felson, simply great acting.

Newman will also be remembered whenever I shop, as his Newman's Own brand permeates many supermarket aisles. With his pal A.E. Hotchner, Newman founded the Newman's Own brand in 1982 and daughter Nell will keep the brand viable after her dad's passing. And all the profits go to charity. Sweet deal.

Okay. I Lied.

Revised 9/27 4:10 pm

We promised not to blog about the Mets after the last pitch of the last game was recorded, but I want to let everyone know that the Mets still have a chance, albeit a small one, to win the division in a tie with the Phillies and make the playoffs.

The Mets cannot go to the post season if they lose both games Saturday and Sunday, so let's take this one game at a time.

The Mets have already won their game.

Phils Win (91-70), Brewers Win (90-71) - Phils win division; Brewers ahead in WC by 1 game. On Sunday, Mets would need to win and Brewers would need to lose to force a one-game playoff on Monday.

Phils Win (91-70), Brewers Lose (89-72) - Phils win division; Mets and Brewers tied for WC. If Mets and Brewers both win or both lose on Monday, there will be a one-game playoff on Monday. Sunday win-lose scenarios between Mets and Brewers will result in the winner going to the WC.

A Phillies loss sets up a myriad of possibilities for Sunday, including the possibility of a three-way tie; we will address those as needed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Mets

It's reached the point where I have to have a bucket by my side when I watch the Mets play down the stretch, as I sometimes become physically ill when doing so. Last night was another horrible night for Mets fans.

When you give up a grand slam home run to the opposing pitcher, that is a sign that something's wrong.

I'm not gonna wait until the end of the season to say this. Should the Mets not make the playoffs, Omar's gotta go. Jerry's gotta go. Dan's gotta go. Unload the talent not able to perform to standard anymore - that means you, Pedro. Shake up the bullpen. Is K-Rod available?

I promise you (as blogging only makes it more painful) - no more Mets talk (other than the no-hitter count) until the last game is in the books of the regular season. Then we'll talk more.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Yankee Sendoff

Wow. The Cathedral acted as its own casket yesterday as the final game ever was played at Yankee Stadium. Some great history in the pregame, with tons of Yankee greats and their heirs being trotted out (would have loved to see this on TV because the radio coverage was horrible thanks to Suzyn Waldman not knowing when to shut up), and even Bob Sheppard phoned in the opening lineup (kind of odd hearing him say "X-avier Nady").

Hey, Rudy, you going to be at Shea next Sunday? I hope the hell so.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Holmdel UCC "Steeples" Ad Cited For Best Narration

Since it's scrolled off our front page, we are very grateful to show you this again and inform you that the UCC has bought time to program the national version of the "Steeples" ad on CNN, Bravo, BET and TV One.

Cinematography by Mrs. Mackey.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We Only Ask This Every Five Years...

Last we trotted this one out was in '03... high time we pleaded with you all again. Back on January 1, 1995, I scribbled on the USENET group (don't even go there today, it's not worth your time):

How did Vanna White's singing debut on last night's pre-taped "Merv Griffin's New Year's Eve" go? To me, it was underwhelming. She sang "You Do Something To Me" from the roof of some hotel in Beverly Hills, then we found out who she was singing about: her son Nicholas.

More exciting than Vanna's singing was what came before it: Mort Lindsey and the band played the new version of the "Wheel Of Fortune" theme, "Changing Keys". It was the exact same arrangement used on the TV show beginning this season.

Certainly someone has this on tape somewhere.... if so, YOUTUBE the damn thing. I'm particularly interested in the WOF theme music rendition, which is not only my favorite version of all those of the Merv Griffin "Changing Keys" theme, it's also the rarest. The complete theme is not available. Just a 30-second loop of part of it taken from a video game or something like that.

Little Men Watching Movies includes a wonderful explanation of the Little Man rating system, all the way from the cheering man to the empty seat.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Catching Up with Jim Abbott

What baseball's foremost one-handed participant is doing now. Jim Abbott was a pitcher for the Olympic baseball team, then had an nine-year career in the majors, despite being born without a right hand. He would rest the glove on his stump, throw the ball, put the glove on to field if he needed to. When he caught the ball he somehow got the glove off his hand into his left armpit, rolled the ball out into his good hand, and flipped the glove back over his stump. It was quite interesting to watch. The best moment for Abbott in the majors was the no-hitter he threw in 1993 while with the Yankees. Granted, my loyalties are with that other team from New York, but you could bet I was rooting for Abbott that day.

That Late September Uncertainty

It's kicking in, particularly with the Mets now 1 game in first, thanks to some awful baseball yesterday. I wince at the Braves, a team with absolutely no post-season aspirations at this time, acting as spoiler. If the Phillies wind up taking the East, I'm going to be terribly heartsick. But no postseason berth for the Mets could turn into a Manager of the Year award for Jerry Manuel, who really turned this team around in spite of the injuries. (Trot Nixon ever coming back?)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"And Starting At The Thomas Organ..."

A Filip Bondy New York Daily News article, from back in April, about Jane Jarvis, the house organist at Shea Stadium from 1964-1979. Jane recently visited Shea Stadium on a trip to New York City, was caught on camera and projected on the Diamond Vision board, and received a very warm round of applause from the old-timer baseball fans who remember her work for the team in its earliest days.

The ballpark organist is a dying occupation. There are some ballparks that still have them, most notably Nancy Faust for the Chicago White Sox and Ed Alstrom for the New York Yankees (who replaced the legendary Eddie Layton). But now it's all deejay work, at-bat songs, and wacky sound clips. Too bad.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Animation Pages...

If you're looking for our Animation pages, we are having a major problem (again) with our webhost. We are going to be investigating what's going on with our hosting, and hopefully we'll have better news to report this weekend.

UPDATE: It has been fixed and the pages are all still there. Whew.

Happy Birthday, Steve Turre

60 candles today for the trombone wizard, who starts his 24th season in the house band on "Saturday Night Live" tomorrow night, with host Michael Phelps and musical guest Lil Wayne.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yeah, We Were ALL Kaiser Bill's Batman

Not Whistling Jack Smith - some rummy pretending to be the guy who actually recorded the thing - on Beat Club, in the bad old days.

Part of me thinks this became a hit because of that last word in the title, much like Lorne Greene's "Ringo" did at the height of Beatlemania. Bear in mind, that in the strict British usage, a "batman" was kind of like your right-hand man in the military. The guy you sent in to do your dirty work...

Mets Take A Well-Earned Breather

It's been quite exciting - if a little nerve-wracking - following the rollercoaster-type games the Mets have been playing of late. Last night's game against the Nationals only cemented that reputation, with the Mets building a 7-1 lead, blowing it (THANKS TO AARON HEILMAN, WHO MUST FIND THE FIRST BUS OUT OF QUEENS), then more back and forth until David Wright's coda in the eighth, a 2-run homer. (Wright was 4-4 and made some great defensive plays. You think Delgado's got a lock on the MVP, think again.)

On September 11 last year, the Mets enjoyed a 6-game lead over the Phillies - and we all know what happened in the ensuing three weeks. The Mets simply cannot let it happen again, and with no guarantee that the second-place NL East team will have the wild card, every game is crucial from this point out. It's pennant race baseball, kids. Hope the Mets are playing somewhere in October.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I'm Done Watching Football On TV

Under the following condition: I will absolutely NOT watch a football game on a TV network that continually insults my intelligence by plastering a huge virtual arrow showing me the down and yardage.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Mo Rocca on Sarah Palin

The frequent VH1 contributor discusses the Republican veep candidate.

Chris Russo Update

Well, he's joined Sirius... sort of. Chris Russo will actually be developing his own channel for XM called "Mad Dog Radio", but first, on September 15, he will begin a five-hour daily show on XM 144 that will air pretty much at his old time period - 2-7 p.m. Eastern.

It's gonna sound just like his old WMCA show... just him and the masses. No Francesa to keep him in check.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Heard Us Lately?

We are now using a Blogger plug in from Odiogo which will read our blog posts aloud, either streaming or as MP3 files. You can listen to individual posts or a stream of the entire blog. Hope you find this a useful addition to our blog.

Whatever Happened To...

The Happy Little Wheel Alignment Bear? (Warning: Article is 13 years old.)

UPDATE - He's alive and well and also in Canada now.

A Gaspar Saladino Love-In

Todd Klein, a pretty decent comics letterer himself, on the king of 'em all, Gaspar Saladino. His lettering graced the covers of DC Comics for years. If I had known yesterday was Gaspar Saladino day, I would have joined the fray myself, noting the one bit of Saladino trivia no one else knows - he was the letterer on the "Superfan" comic strip that appeared in "Pro Quarterback" magazine. The strip was crafted by writer Nick Meglin and artist Jack Davis, both MAD Magazine stalwarts, and thus the quality showed through.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Don LaFontaine Dead At 68

Hope y'all said your prayers and held good thoughts for the voiceover master. Don LaFontaine died this afternoon, from complications from pneumathorax (gas in the pleural cavity, usually caused by a collapsed lung).

LaFontaine had recently gotten some face recognition, thanks to commercials for GEICO Insurance (standing in a lady's kitchen describing her experiences with auto insurance) and the New York Lottery, where he's sitting in a diner having coffee with fellow voice guys Ed McMahon and Johnny Gilbert. (LaFontaine's speaking part is sometimes edited out of the commercials to promote specific lottery games, but you can definitely see him sitting in the booth.) He was also part of an all-star team of trailer announcers (which also included Al Chalk, Nick Tate, John Leader and Mark Elliott) who made a short film shown at the Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards. This is actually funny stuff and you don't have to know all that much about the guys - if you know the kind of schtick they do, then you'll laugh at them all poking fun at their image. Note LaFontaine's hair. I don't know if that is LaFontaine's real hair or a rug.