Sunday, December 09, 2007

Three things on a Sunday:

- You may have heard that the Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committee voted in five new members recently: Sox Impossible Dream manager Dick Williams, former commissioner Bowie Kuhn, one-time Pittsburgh Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss, former Dodger owner (and Brooklyn villain) Walter O'Malley and manager Billy Southworth.

The thing that has some people up in arms is the person omitted by the Veterans Committee: Marvin Miller. Miller, of course, was the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association when the players broke the reserve clause and the free agency era came to be. The entire economic structure of baseball as it exists today is a result of Miller's confrontations with Kuhn and the owners. If there is anyone who can name a person who has had a bigger impact on baseball since Jackie Robinson, please let me know who that is.

There are some good articles out there about this omission: check out Fay Vincent's op-ed piece in the New York Times or Jim Caple's ESPN Page 2 article, which includes some quotes from my friend Jim Bouton.

- I spent 2.5 hours yesterday in that special circle of hell known as the Red Sox virtual waiting room. It's where you wait until the Sox ticketing system picks you at random for the honor of maxing out your credit card to buy a few seats at America's Most Beloved Ballpark(TM).

OK, I'm being a little cynical, but it's pretty crazy that it has become so difficult to pick up some Red Sox tickets. And I was one of the lucky ones. Around 12:30, literally minutes before I was going to give up, I was able to pick up four bleacher seats as part of a SoxPak; they were pretty much the best seats that were available.

Last year I was so disgusted with the whole ticket scramble I didn't try very hard to get any. So, I only went to two games last season, and I found I missed being at Fenway. So, at least I know I'll make it to four games in 2008.

- We got the kids a Nintendo Wii for Hanukkah this week. I had a chance to play it and I have to tell you, it's really fun.

We have had a Playstation 2 for a few years and I never really got into it. I grew up in the Atari 2600 era and video games with one button and a joystick. The Playstation controller has 17 different buttons and joysticks! That's way too much for my middle-aged fingers to handle.

The Wii Remote is motion sensitive. When you play the Wii Sports baseball, to swing the bat you swing the remote like a bat. To pitch, you throw with the controller in your hand (holding onto it, of course). It's so much more intuitive and the controls don't get in the way of the fun.

And I have an 94 MPH fastball and an 86 MPH spitter in the baseball game. I'm basically Curt Schilling on the Wii.


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