Category Archives: Boston Red Sox

Roger (Finally) Answers Your Questions, Scott

Scott from the Scooter Chronicles – GIVE THIS MAN A JOB! – wrote several questions:

Since obtaining your current job, have you ever thought of switching careers?

What, and leave show business? Seriously, not really. I learn something new (and sometimes interesting) every day. I work with smart people, and I provide a valuable service, if I do say so.

Besides which, I came to it so late (library school at 37, librarian at 39), I feel behind the curve compared with people who are my contemporaries agewise but have twice as much experience in the field.

Do you think the Obama administration will be able to make changes to the current health care systems? If so, do you think it will truly change for the better?

It’ll be incremental change, and it’ll be marginally for the better. But it won’t be the sweeping changes you righteously ranted about a few months ago. I knew trouble was brewing when single-payer wasn’t even on the table. I blame Sen. Max Baucus for that. Then the single-payer people were at the table but could not speak. Do not underestimate the power of the insurance lobbies.

Who do you think will be in the World Series, and who will win it?

At the beginning of the season, I picked Mets over Red Sox. Still feel the BoSox will be there. I could/should jump on the Dodgers/Cards/Phillies bandwagon, but heck with it, I’ll stick with the Metropolitans.

Oh, there was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about “high-leverage” situation hitting versus the two-run homer in the fifth inning when you’re already ahead 11-1.
These are the best and worst, through June 13.
Crucial/non-crucial
Giants .299/.254
Phillies .288/.247
Marlins .263/.231

Nationals .236/.284
Mariners .252/.279
Rays .257/.276

When growing up, did you play in any organized baseball leagues?

No. Tried out for Little League once. I was a middling to poor fielder, but what really made me give up was being at bat. This kid threw a 3-2 pitch for a strike and I never even saw it.

Is so, what position(s) did you play? (If you didn’t, what position would you have liked to play?)

I played a lot of unorganized baseball. I tended to play the right side of the infield, though I’m right-handed, because my arm wasn’t great. I could throw relatively accurately from second to first, but not from shortstop or third base. Also played first, since I was a large target. Actually got better getting throws in the dirt, but not throws that were too wide or too high.

I also caught some games. Didn’t much enjoy it, but I could block the ball if I didn’t catch it.

Who was your favorite baseball player while growing up?

Clearly, Willie Mays. He could hit for average and power, he could run and he could field well. That said, I always had an affection for National League outfielders such as Vada Pinson (Reds), Lou Brock (Cards), Billy Williams (Cubs), Hank Aaron (Braves), the Alou Brothers (Giants), Frank Robinson (Reds/Orioles), and Roberto Clemente (Pirates); I had a Clemente card that referred to him as “Bob”, but he was no “Bob”.

Do you have a favorite baseball player now? If so, who and why?

Albert Pujois (Cards). Seems like a decent guy and he’s very good.

Any big travel plans for the summer months?

At this very moment, we were supposed to be in Williamsburg, VA with my parents-in-law, my two brothers-in-law, their wives and collectively, their three daughters. But my wife Carol has so much school work to do in preparation for going away to college for 17 days in a row later this summer that we bailed. During that 17-day run, I’ll be doing the solo parenting thing. Having my wife back will be like a vacation; we did this last summer as well, so I know of what I speak.

There’s talk about going somewhere in August, but so far, I’m not feeling it. I don’t know about your experiences with Nigel, but my experience with Lydia is that vacation away from home is more taxing than just staying in the routine. I AM basing that on our vacation when she was three, and she’s more self-sufficient now.


ROG

Hello, it's me

No idea where I found this:
Click to view my Personality Profile page
I told you I was shy. Why do so few people believe me?
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Someone was complaining about my spelling of the word pierogi (as pierogy) recently, even though most sources cite both as correct. It’s in that spirit, and in honor of Dictionary Day last week (yes, I missed it, alas), that I share this piece about some other words where the standard spelling is changing:

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Besides the last of the Rat Pack guy, whose late-night show I used to watch – Regis Philbin was his sidekick; and that From Here To Eternity woman – still a steamy sea scene a half century later; I noticed the death recently of Vernon Bellecourt, who led the “charge against Indians as sports mascots”. More than merely the nickname, the goofy image of the Indians logo has long given me pause. In any case, the Red Sox whomped Cleveland last night, so it’ll be Boston who I’ll be rooting for against Colorado.
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I’m recommending you read Dan Van Riper’s October 14 piece on Yassin Aref, who was almost certainly convicted in a bogus FBI operation. On a lighter note, see how ADD discovers he’s not five years old anymore and how Scott answers questions posed by, among others, me.
ROG

(W)rap-Up

Did you miss me? I was gone a couple days at a conference of the New York State Data Center Affiliates, and I didn’t have any Internet connection (though I was able to purloin someone’s computer to post yesterday.) Did anything happen? World War III didn’t happen yet, apparently.

The Boston Red Sox are still alive. They’ve decided they need one more game then one game after that, rather than thinking, before yesterday’s match that they needed three wins. Reminds me, actually, of a racquetball match my partner Ty and I were in earlier in the week. We were down 2-8, game to 11, but instead of thinking we needed 9 points, we decided to try to win a point at a time, and it worked.

I’m sorry that Joe Torre’s gone from the Yankees, but $5 million plus incentives ain’t bad for an MLB manager.

I’ve figured out my daughter’s hip hop name. There’s a sign near our day care that says EMERGENCY, and Tuesday, I was showing her our last name, GREEN, which are the middle five letters, scrambled. So, she can be EM CY GREEN, or maybe just EMERGENCY.

More content tomorrow, I’m hoping.
ROG

Rooting Interest, Part 2

Cubs – GONE
Padres – GONE
Yankees – GONE
Phillies – GONE
Red Sox
Angels – GONE
Rockies (they’ve won 17 of their last 18)
Indians
Diamondbacks

So, I’m rooting for the RED SOX, the only team I supported that made it out of the first round. (Yes, you can root for the Red Sox AND Yankees; I live in Albany, which is equidistant to both cities.)

In honor of New York Yankees radio analyst Suzyn Waldman, who broke down in tears after the Bombers were eliminated Monday night. Some folks are making much of this; I think it’s a non-issue.

ROG

Don and Jackie


The thing I got out of the Sunday morning talk shows was that many in Big Media were enablers of Don Imus. On ABC’s This Week, host George Stephanoplolous admitted to appearing on the show. On NBC’s Meet the Press, host Tim Russert and David Brooks of the New York Times noted their appearances on the show. One of them mentioned that high-profile media and politicians were happy to get that demographic of mostly young people who don’t watch the traditional news or attend political rallies. Apparently, the conversation within NBC over the “correct response” to Imus’ comments was rather intense; next week’s TV Guide suggests that Al Roker’s “it could have been my daughter” speech held the day. Brooks was self-admittedly being disingenuous when he claimed that he didn’t know what was on the Imus show, except for his own segment. Given that both Time and Newsweek had cover stories on in the late 1990s, this perhaps seems not credible.

But as the conversations inevitably headed in the “Who can say what?” territory, I did find a bit of possible, albeit lame evidence. Some folks noted that politicians have embraced rappers who have used the same kind of language. It is true for me that I don’t listen to a lot of rap, specifically because of the lyric content that denigrates women, lifts up thuggery and dismisses education; I hear it, and I turn it off. I’d be hard pressed to identify any rapper to a specific song since the early 1990s, save for a few that were so popular or so controversial that I couldn’t help but to know. And yes, I know that other music can be misogynistic and that not all rap is.

This, it has occurred to me that with a three-year old, I’m going to have to start listening to more music and radio that I don’t particularly enjoy, if only to be in touch with the messages she may be subjected to. That’s what PBS’ Gwen Ifill does for her seven-year-old goddaughter, she noted on Meet the Press. Eh. I haven’t listened to Imus since he was a local DJ in the 1970s, though I certainly knew his rep.

I also got specifically annoyed with George Will on ABC, who though one of the Rutgers players as harmed for life as disingenuous. I don’t think he understands the context: denigrated initially, then denigrated again for, in the minds of some, getting Imus fired, receiving hate mail and threats. A 20-year old feeling threatened is not the advancement of the “victim market.”

Sunday, of course, was also the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first major league appearance. Some 200 players, managers and coaches were wearing Robinson’s number 42, which had been retired a decade earlier. (Unfortunately, a goodly number of east coast games, which were free on cable just for the weekend, were postponed because of the rain, but I did enjoy seeing the commercials on FSN South and especially FSN Bay area – what is that store logo that looks like SpongeBob SquarePants?) I found the tributes, especially the pregame before the Dodgers-Padres matchup on ESPN, when Jackie’s widow Rachel was given an award by the baseball commisioner, to be surprisingly moving.

My wife asked if anyone had made a link between Don Imus and Jackie Robinson. Actually, ABC News did, as it named Jackie Robinson its Person of the Week, noting that much had been accomplished, but with much more to be done. Oh, and I discovered that Rachel Robinson’s birthday is July 19, 1922 – looking very spry – while Don Imus’ is July 23, 1940.

Oh, BTW, GayProf, guess which one of the 16 baseball teams of the 1940s and 1950s was the last to integrate? (Answer is within the labels to this post.)
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My prayers to the Virginia Tech community, and to us all.


ROG

Boys in the Band

I had dropped out of the State University College at New Paltz and was working as a janitor in Binghamton City Hall in the spring of 1975 while my sister Leslie was performing in “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum” for the Binghamton Civic Theater. After the short run ended, Charlie, who was the lead in “Forum”, decided to direct a play called Boys in the Band, which had played on Broadway in 1968, and was made into a movie in 1970. If you’ve looked at either hyperlink, you’d know that this was a play featuring seven (or eight?) gay men at a dinner party.
Charlie had a casting call, and given my need for greater mental stimulation, I decided to try out. As it turns out there was a specifically black character in the play, and that I was the only black person to try out. (Though Charlie said that I would have been cast regardless.)
We started rehearsals. Some of the cast (at least five) were in fact gay, but at least two of us (a guy named Bill, who played the lead, and myself) were not. So Charlie thought that we all ought to go to a gay bar, as some sort of bonding experience. I did not know there WAS a gay bar in Binghamton, but there it be, a couple blocks from my old high school. It was an interesting experience having a guy (or two) hit on me.
We also went to at least one party at either Charlie’s or cast member Jeffrey’s house, and it was a fascinating mix of the banal (pretty normal conversations about weather and whatnot) with the stereotypical (music by Barbra and Judy).
Bill used to give me a ride home after rehearsals and we’d talk about the experience of working on the play, what surprised us, what preconceived notions we might have had and how they had been challenged.
One of the things that the script required was for me to kiss my “lover” – it was a peck on the lips- played by a guy named Mickey. It was difficult for about 3/4s of the rehearsal time, but finally, I decided, “I am an actor, I can do this.” (Though, in fact, I hadn’t been in a play since 1970, when I was in high school.) In any case, in the last week of rehearsal, I finally managed to do the kiss.
Near the end of the play, Bill had a lengthy monologue which he was having a hard time learning. Charlie got impatient with him during the later rehearsals. My character is “passed out” on the floor for about 10 minutes during this time, and I found that I was learning Bill’s lines. So during the rehearsals (but not during the actual performance), I’d whisper lines to him, which I believe helped.
The play was performed for a couple weekends. Another of the things the script called for was for Jeffrey’s character to take a shower. So, he took off his clothes and feigned taking a shower. I never saw the scene until the play opened (my character had not yet arrived at the party), but it garnered audible gasps each time. (I thought it was a bit gratuitous.)
The review in the newspaper never even reviewed the performances, but instead noted the play as a “statement” of some sort.
My high school friend Carol (not to be confused with my-now wife Carol) later tells me about this dialogue with our mutual HS friend.
Lois: It’s too bad about Roger.
Carol: What ABOUT Roger?
Lois: That he’s gay.
Carol: He’s not gay!
And apparently, the pastor at a church I used to attend thought so, too, as he gave me definite vibes.

That was the first time that I was aware that some people thought I was gay. It was definitely a learning experience in being “the other” from a different perspective.

I remember there were some (presumably) straight actors in that same period who were stereotyped for their orientation in a movie or play. So other performers were wary of taking on such roles. Someone from Martin Sheen’s high school recently told me that Sheen came back some years later, and the faculty adviser said that Sheen could be asked about almost anything…except about that highly rated mid-1970s TV movie called, “That Certain Summer,” in which he played a gay man. I often wonder just how much progress we’ve made since then.

And, coincidentally: For all you baseball fans, watch Carson, Jai, Kyan, Ted, and Thom kick off the start of a fabulous new season of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, when the Fab Five visit the World Champion Boston Red Sox. Tuesday (tomorrow) at 10 p.m. on Bravo.