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Salted

Posted on December 3rd, 2013

Dave!Gutted. Just gutted.

Catcher A.J. Pierznyski has landed a one-year deal with my beloved Boston Red Sox, leaving no room for my favorite MLB player, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, on my favorite team...

Jarrod Saltalamacchia Boston

JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA
2010-2013

A moment of silence, please...

Dave Boston

Rumor has it that Salty will be picked up by the Marlins, which is not so bad. At least with Miami I can still root for him... unlike if he ended up with the Yankees or something.

Ah well. I can still wear my Boston Saltalamacchia jerseys in remembrance of some good times.

And now? Onwards and upwards, I suppose.

BOSTON RED SOX BASEBALL RULES!

   
UPDATE: And it's official... Salty is a Marlin now. Enjoy that 21 million dollars, buddy.

   

Nightmares

Posted on September 27th, 2013

Dave!When it comes to nightmare scenarios, having Jarrod Saltalamacchia leave the Red Sox for the Yankees pretty much tops anything else in my head right now... including "Alien Invasion Destroys Disney World" and "Chocolate Pudding Made Illegal."

And tonight Salty hit another home-run hit his 40th double of the season, breaking the record for a Boston catcher, and banishing all fears that the guy can't produce a strong finish to the season. He's finally becoming the player I always knew he would be, and watching him blow past expectations of the stats-crunchers who dumped all over his batting average last season... despite his 25 home runs... has been hugely satisfying for a fan like me.

But his escalating success just makes him all the more appealing for a team like the Yankees, who could very much use a guy like Saltalamacchia in their roster.

Somebody is going to be backing up a dump-truck filled with money to Salty's front door and sign him to a nice fat contract.

If it's not Boston, I'll be crushed.

If it's the Yankees, I'll be devastated.

But I suppose if my worst nightmares come true, I'll always be able to look back on days like today and remember why I'm such a big fan.

Salty Non Homer
The look on Salty's face when he thought he had another homer in the bag is priceless.

And... I'm ready for the World Series. Which conveniently starts when I return from vacation.

But first... some wild-card antics...

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SALTALAMACCHIA!

Posted on September 16th, 2013

Dave!"His back's better. It shows in his swing." — Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell

"Well that's the understatement of the year." — Blogography scribe David Simmer II

It's no secret that I am a huge, huge fan of the Boston Red Sox in general... and their catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia in particular. But Boston had been playing the poor guy to death, which caused strain on his back. Rather than work him into an injury, they wisely decided to bench him for a while so he could heal up.

Which leads us to last Friday...

Yes. A game-winning grand-slam against the Yankees.

And then yesterday?

Saltalamacchia Stealing Home
Beautiful animated GIF courtesy of the ever-entertaining Over the Monster.

Steals home against the Yankees in a three-game sweep.

As if that weren't good enough, here's Saltalamacchia's take on it...
"I mean, Jackie Robinson, Ellsbury, I'm in a pretty elite category."

Yes. Yes you are...

Dave Loves Saltalamacchia!

It's a great time to be a Red Sox fan.

And who knows what tomorrow brings?

Well, except the Orioles, of course.

   

Teams

Posted on June 28th, 2013

Dave!Kapgar was talking about the Stanley Cup's triumphant return to Chicago in his blog post today, and it got me to thinking back to how I became a Blackhawks fan. That, in turn, got me thinking about how I became a fan of all the league sports teams that I follow.

A blog post was born. Thanks, Kevin!

   

Boston Red Sox Baseball

Lil' Dave Loves Red Sox

Baseball is hands-down my favorite sport. It was the only game I liked playing as a kid (even though I really could't play) and I love watching it. Baseball just seems more intimate and personal for some reason, and it's easier to feel a relationship with the players than with any other sport. When your team loses, it hurts because you're invested with those nine players. The first pro team I rooted for was my "hometown" Seattle Mariners, which were enfranchised when I was 11 years old. That lasted until I was in my mid-teens and was given an brand new Orioles jersey as a gift (probably because somebody didn't want it). I didn't know a darn thing about the Orioles, but I liked the shirt a lot. That was apparently enough for me to become a fan, and it didn't hurt that the Orioles were an amazing team back in the early 80's. But, truth to be told, I was never really into professional baseball growing up. I'd rather watch a high school game than a League team, and I was a "fan" of the Mariners and Orioles only in the vaguest possible terms.

And then it happened.

While I was in college, I had to read the book Shoeless Joe for some class or another. It provided an insight into baseball and the love of the game that completely captivated me. A key story-point to the book was the "Black Sox" scandal that rocked the world of baseball in 1919. It was such a fascinating story that I became a little obsessed with it, and ended up reading a lot about the sport. Fortunately, there were no shortage of books about America's favorite pastime, and one book lead to another... then another... then another... until I landed on a Ted Williams biography. This lead to a run on Boston greats, starting with Cy Young, which lead to Smoky Joe Wood, which lead inevitably to Babe Ruth... and his infamous trade from the Red Sox to the Yankees, which caused a curse that plagued the team for over eight decades. This eventually led me to become interested in pro baseball, in general, and the Red Sox, in particular. Then the movie Field of Dreams (based on the novel Shoeless Joe) was unleashed, became my favorite movie of all time, and instilled a love of Major League baseball in me that I never had before... but felt as if it had been with me my entire life. I've been a die-hard Red Sox fan ever since. I love the team. I love the history. I love the fans. I love Boston. And I love Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (probably a little too much). SALTALAMACCHIA!!!

   

Chicago Blackhawks Hockey

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave in a Blackhawks Jersey

Hockey is not a big sport where I live, so I never really "discovered" it until I started traveling to Milwaukee for work in the mid 90's. I went to a couple Admirals games and was instantly hooked. The problem being that the Admirals are not a NHL team, so they were kind of hard to follow when I was not in Wisconsin. Eventually my fandom traveled down the shore of Lake Michigan to the Blackhawks when I started traveling to Chicago for work in 1998. I've been a fan ever since. I don't really keep up the League standings, but I have news alerts set for the Hawks so I can watch games and keep up with the team. Hockey remains one of my favorite sports to watch, so a Stanley Cup win for Chicago is a big deal to me after following the team from afar for 15 years. GO HAWKS!

   

Seattle Sonics Basketball

Sonics Squatch Mascot
Sonics mascot SQUATCH!! Photo credit unknown.

Basketball is another spectator sport I enjoy because, like hockey, it's fast-paced and action-packed. The only team I've ever rooted for is my "hometown" Seattle SuperSonics, and I have more than a couple fond memories of traveling to Seattle Center Coliseum (later named Key Arena) to cheer on the team. Of course we all know how that turned out. Our team was sold to Tulsa and basketball died in Seattle. I haven't bothered to find a new team to follow since. INTERESTING FACT: Seattle Center Coliseum has the dubious honor of being the only venue where a basketball game was rained out. Back in 1986 a rainstorm was so severe that water started pouring through the roof and the game was forfeited. It's also the venue where The Beatles played in their two tours of Seattle in 1964 and 1966.

   

New York Liberty Women's Basketball

I'm not going to candy-coat this... for the longest time, I had -zero- interest in women's sports, thinking that they would be a pale imitation of the real thing. That all changed when I was taken to a New York Liberty game in Newark. These ladies played their guts out, and I got to see a fantastic game that opened my eyes to the fact that women can bring it to the court every bit as dedicated as men. I am not an avid Liberty fan, but check in from time to time to see how they're doing and what's new with the roster. Since the Sonics are gone, I keep hoping I'll find time to take in some Seattle Storm WNBA games and maybe get interested in pro basketball again, but no luck so far.

   

Seattle Seahawks Gridiron Football

Lil' Dave Says Go Seahawks

I find football kinda boring, so I'm not invested enough to have a team. If I were, it would be my "hometown" Seattle Seahawks. Probably because I was there in the beginning. Back in 1976 the NFL expansion granted Seattle a team, and it was an exciting time to be a Washingtonian. Seahawks were everywhere, and I remember collecting player posters from the backs of Lay's potato chips boxes (yes, potato chips used to come 2-small bags to a box back in the day). Players like quarterback Jim Zorn and wide receiver Steve Largent that were elevated to local heroes, and their charisma and enthusiasm for the team made it impossible not to root for the Seahawks. But, as I said, I'm not a big football fan, so any love I have for the team comes out of nostalgia more than anything else.

   

Arsenal Football

With apologies to my friends who are either Manchester United or Chelsea fans... Nick Hornby's novel, Fever Pitch, got me rooting for Arsenal first. The ultimate irony being that when the American movie version of Fever Pitch was made, the sports-obsessed character was a Boston Red Sox fan. Whenever I can find sports highlights for Arsenal, I'm sure to tune it, and I follow their stats every season.

   

Cronulla Sharks Australian Water Polo

When I was traveling around Australia, I saw a T-shirt for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Football Club. The logo was awesome (SHARK EXTREME!!!), but the shirt didn't come in my size, so I was bummed. When I got back to my hotel I Googled the team to see if there was a way to order a shit through the mail. Somehow, I ended up NOT on a Cronulla Sharks football page, but a Cronulla Sharks water polo page. Other than a vague recollection of water polo being an important Olympic sport, I didn't know much about the game and was curious. After some digging, I ran across internet video and was amazed. Water polo has to be one of the most difficult and grueling sports in existence. It's also a lot of fun to watch. And so I tune into water polo from time to time whenever I run across it on my television. I also keep up with both the Women's and Men's Cronulla Sharks teams because they were what started it all for me.

   

Sadly I haven't decided on a professional curling team to watch, so I guess that's the end?

   

Boston Uncommon

Posted on June 15th, 2013

Dave!And I'm in Boston for one day so I could attend a party for a very good friend who had some extraordinary news that was worth celebrating. Yes, a day trip across the country probably seems odd to most people, but I make trips like this all the time for work, so it's old hat to me.

But before the party tonight, I had an entire day to goof off in Boston.

I started out in Boston Common because there's an Earl of Sandwich shop there. They discontinued The Greatest Sandwich on Earth... The Earl Veggie... but I was hoping to add/subtract ingredients on a boring Caprese sandwich to recreate it. Unfortunately, they didn't have half the stuff to do it, so my day began in failure. Fortunately, it was a beautiful day to walk around and see the monuments...

Boston Monument
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Boston Massacre Monument 1770
Memorial for the Boston Massacre.

Then it was off to the Granary Burying Ground, which is my favorite of Boston's beautiful old cemeteries that's filled with beautiful tombstones (and home to many famous dead people like Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere)...

Boston Granary Burying Grounds Cemetery
Death being more common back then, some of the tombstones are kinda comical.

Boston Tombstone
A lot of tattoo ideas to be found here!

I've been to Boston several times, so I wanted to find a museum I'd never been to before. That ended up being the Boston Athenæum, which is a beautiful private library that allows the public to look around. They also have a small exhibit of wonderful works that explain their part in the creation of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Pictures weren't allowed on the inside, but I did snap a photo of the entrance, which is equally cool...

Boston Athenaeum Door

From there I was off to a wonderful little shop called The Printing Office of Edes & Gill. They've got a terrific old letterpress that's still in operation. Every time I visit I buy a new souvenir piece, because there's nothing quite so beautiful as a letterpress print...

Boston Printing Office of Edes & Gill
Seriously worth a stop if you're ever walking The Freedom Trail in Boston.

The print shop is located on the Paul Revere Mall, where his statue has been defaced with a dreaded Bruins jersey...

Paul Revere in a Bruins Jersey
Rebel that he was, I like to think he would be a Blackhawks fan!

Since I didn't get my Earl of Sandwich, I headed to Mike's Famous Pastries for the next best thing... cannoli! Not only does it taste amazing, but I love the way they box it up with hand-tied string. You see a lot of these boxes carried by tourists as you wander around the city. Fortunately, the line was only out the door instead of down the block, so it was only a 20 minute wait...

Boston Mike's Cannoli
That's a Crushed Caramel Pecan on the left and an Oreo Cookie on the right.

Boston Mike's Box and String
A lot of jealous looks from people when they see the box you'll be carrying!

And then it was time to head out to Somerville so I could meet up with Justin, an online buddy I was very glad to finally meet in person. He suggested an ice cream at J.P. Licks, which didn't take much convincing...

Chocolate Ice Cream at J.P. Licks
Pretty frickin' amazing ice cream, if we're being honest here.

Since my ride to the party missed their flight into Boston and was going to be late, I was left with a couple of hours to kill. Lucky me, my friend Dave just happened to be in from London! I haven't seen him since Davedon in 2009, so this was a happy (if not totally bizarre) coincidence. We decided to eat at Boston's premiere brick oven pizzeria since 1926, Regina's...

Boston Regina Pizza
There was a line to get in, of course. But totally worth the wait.

Boston Regina Pizza Slice
Dave had The Giambotta, which has everything but the kitchen sink. I had mozzarella and feta cheese.

Still needing to kill some time, Dave and I decided to take a walk through the Quincy Market at Faneuil Hall. I love the place not only for the sheer variety of food, but for the decor. Each stall has it's own signage, and most of it is very well done...

Boston Qunicy Market Signs
So much nicer than the boring signs you usually see now-a-days.

Outside there was a juggler risking his life with some kind of show. He was capable (and funny!) if this is your thing, but I was hoping for chainsaws...

Boston Juggler
Probably not sharp knives, but you could still poke an eye out.

My friends finally landed, so it was time to say goodbye to Dave and head back to my hotel so I could get cleaned up. Along the way, I saw Boston's beautiful old State House building with a spot of sunset light on it...

Boston Old Statehouse Building
Now that's a beautiful building! Though I've never been inside.

Boston is a city that's kinda a strange place for me to be right now. Yes, it's home to my beloved Red Sox baseball... but it's also home to Bruins hockey, which is currently battling it out with my beloved Chicago Blackhawks for the Stanley Cup (wearing my Blackhawks jersey is probably out of the question). The good news is that I managed to find a Jarod Saltalamacchia T-Shirt and a not-LEGO Lil' Salty action figure this trip...

Boston Saltalamacchia No-LEGO
SALTALAMACCHIA!!!

Other than that, it was all good. The party was fantastic, I loved running into my friends, and my trip was a total success.

Until I realize that it's now close to midnight and I have a flight at 7:00am tomorrow morning. Blargh.

Good bye Boston.

   

All-Star

Posted on June 1st, 2012

Dave!Word.

Lil' Dave Loves Saltalamacchia!

   

   

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