September 8, 2014
The Dodgers are giving away a Babe Ruth bobblehead. Yes, the Dodgers.

You remember Babe Ruth, right? Pretty good ballplayer back in the day for Boston and the 27x world champs. You might remember him from such things as 714 home runs or likely winning the 1916 Cy Young award, if that had been a thing at the time.

And, of course there was that memorable 1938 season when he served as the Dodgers’ first base coach.

Memorable indeed! The Dodgers, stealing a page from the Mets’ playbook of honoring stars from other teams, will give away this great Babe bobblehead this week:

It’s one thing for the Devil Rays to honor Wade Boggs or Fred McGriff for playing a few inconsequential seasons in Tampa. (They did!) But hsi isn’t some expansion team. The Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the most star-studded franchises in baseball history, are honoring a dead man who played exactly zero games in their uniform.

What’s next? Do you think the Giants are going to trot out a bobblehead of Randy Johnson to commemorate the 17 (terrible) games he pitched for them in 2009? Are the Brewers going to honor Ty Cobb because one time in 1983 they had a parking lot attendant named Ty Kobb, which is close enough?

August 28, 2014
Nothing beats Mike Francesa’s horse racing chat

Listen, we’re going to get your Yankee calls in at 3, OK, so hold on to the Yankee calls. Now we’ve got Brad up in Saratoga and he’s going to talk about the race…

Mike Francesa is probably the only mainstream radio host in America that assumes his listener is a regular reader of the Daily Racing Form. Francesa doesn’t just pay lip service to the Triple Crown races or the Breeder’s Cup, he goes all out to dissect the field every week at Saratoga.

Now you might be thinking this is a little strange a) in 2014 and b) during the heat of baseball season. But where else would you hear a great exchange like this with horse racing expert Brad Thomas from last week:

Francesa: “Alright, the folks who are horse racing enthusiasts know that Bayern is a horse that I had a relationship with, that I targeted as a 2-year-old, you I know felt that his breeding on the dam side was very strong. Do you think, from what you know, as an expert on that, do you think there is enough on the dam side for him to carry his speed a Travers distance?”

Thomas: “No I don’t, because it’s a very very good middle distance, even nine furlong pedigree, it’s a pedigree that even slants toward deBrilliant with a lot of help from the Sanders side, from the sire maybe could go longer, but Offlee Wild to me is just a reaffirmation of guff on the dam side. I think nine furlongs is really the limit for him.”

August 8, 2014
Finally, a way to find out who died in your house!

So, you’re alive. Good job on that. But do you know if someone ever died in your house? Do you? How can you know for sure?

Fortunately there’s a website to help you find out. It’s called diedinhouse.com. These people will solve the age-old problem of determining whether or not you’re living in a home where someone previously died. For just $11.99 the site will give you piece of mind like never before. Or if you want to conduct 30 searches, they’ll give you a deal of only $269.70!. At that price, you might as well look up all of your friends and neighbors! Just think of the fun dinner party conversation:

Hey guys, did you know that someone here is living in a home where someone died???

Holy shit! I’m selling my house immediately! Actually, you know what, I can’t live with the guilt on my conscience of having sold a death house to someone else, just burn it to the ground and start anew!

See, good times had by all! But don’t take this hypothetical situation as your only proof. Take a look at this house in Wichita:

Looks fine, doesn’t it. Not so fast! Just wait until you hear the full story:

Diane Boyle, 54, a retired nurse, said she was furious when she learned, months after she bought the home that it was the scene of the BTK murder. She felt that it should have been disclosed. She stated, “that she had known, she probably would have bought the house anyway, but that she ‘wouldn’t have paid as much.’
Right. If only the buyer had known this was the place where someone had died, she still would have bought the house but she would have paid less!

Wouldn’t you want the same for your family?

And just think about this unusually capitalized marketing copy from the company:
"A 2007 Associated Press Poll found that 1/3 of Americans admit to believing in Ghosts. A death in a home can impact its value and length of time to sell. Answer the five questions to see how Diedinhouse.comTM can help you."

That’s right, ghosts. Definitely don’t want to mess around with them. And that’s why you wouldn’t want to buy this house in Villisca, Iowa:

"The house in Villisca, IA where on June 10, 1912 two adults and 6 children were murdered in their sleep with an axe and no one was ever convicted of the crimes."

How could you ever sleep at night knowing that something terrible happened on this site 102 years ago? Thankfully, there’s diedinhouse.com. Make sure you check it out before you inadvertently end up buying a house like this one.

July 19, 2014
Guys, Staten Island is going to stink for a while

Or at least it’s going to smell like some kind of petroleum today, which may or may not be better than the usual smell of garbage…

From: Notify NYC
Date: Sat, Jul 19, 2014 at 11:21 AM
Subject: Notify NYC - Notification

Notification issued on 7/19/14 at 11:18 AM. The United States Coast Guard reports that a ship in Arthur Kill off the coast of Staten Island is offloading various fuel products. As a result, there may be an odor in Staten Island and Brooklyn. Please report natural gas emergencies to 9-1-1.

July 11, 2014
Suck it, Holland!

Americans need not be bothered with the World Cup. For the most part, they haven’t been.* After all, they are playing soccer. It’s painfully arbitrary, mostly boring, almost certainly fixed, and absolutely going to result in most of those players getting CTE from all the head trauma. But there was one exciting development in the tournament: Holland lost.

Remember the Dutch, who back during the C04N Olympics badmouthed the United States for poor performance in speed skating? It was this guy who basically said Americans were fat and stupid for not spending morning, noon and night practicing on the short track.

Needless to say, this cemented the Dutch as Team USA’s biggest international sporting rival this side of the Soviet Union. Plus, they wear those hideous orange jerseys despite the fact that country’s flag consists of the three greatest colors for flag manufacture: red, white and blue. Not even Uruguay would pull a lame stunt like that.

Well, good old Holland ventured out from the ice rink and lost 0-0 to Argentina yesterday. (The 0-0 loss is apparently a thing in the soccer.) Even though America won’t be winning the World Cup, everyone’s a winner because the Netherlands won’t either!

* Despite the cheery press-releases bandied about by rights holders, the television audience for the soccer has been unremarkable. Sure, ESPN’s ratings are the best they have ever been for soccer. But that’s basically the same as the kale industry saying demand for their product has never been greater. (They are saying this!) It doesn’t mean everyone is now eating kale, despite what the Times may think, just that something that used to be extremely small is now less so.

As for soccer, ESPN’s audiences for games not featuring Team USA have averaged a little less than 4 million viewers. That’s less than even NBC’s primetime lineup. The games that did include Team USA peaked at 18 million viewers (vs Portugal) and the elimination game against Belgium drew 16.6 million. This is a smaller audience than all 16 Sunday Night Football games during the regular season. It’s basically the same number CBS gets for NCIS:Los Angeles. So, let’s not go nuts here.

July 2, 2014
More evidence that Queens is lame

The Mets aren’t the only thing wrong with Queens. The borough which is, unfortunately, home to both of New York’s airports, has plenty of problems other than the most mediocre ballclub $100 million can buy. Anyone who’s tried to get from 46th Street and 54th Drive to 50th Avenue and 39th Place (this is a distance of about 500 yards) can tell you the streets out there make absolutely no sense.

Just take a look at this stretch, northeast of Long Island City:

Imagine for a second that you just hopped of the G train at 21st Street. (First, ask your self why?) You find yourself on 47th Road, directly between 11th Street to the west and 21st Street to the east. Make sense so far? Consult the map above to follow along.

Now you’re walking north. You might think the next street you encounter after 47th Road might be… 46th Road? No way, Jose. The correct answer is 47th Avenue, naturally. That’s followed by 46th Road, 46th Avenue, 45th Road and 45th Avenue. Think you’ve discovered a pattern? Not so fast! Next comes 44th Drive, hot shot. Then you get to 44th Road. Nice job, Queens.

Look for this to be a future recurring feature!

June 30, 2014
Here are several ways you can look like a moron

July 4th is rapidly approaching. If you happen to upon the LIRR or NJT — or just go anywhere near Penn Station — over the next couple of days, you are almost certainly going to see someone wearing the shirt sported below by Channing Tatum in the recent film 22 Jump Street:

You, the educated reader, may be thinking “that’s just absurd, no one would seriously wear that.” But don’t forget, you would say the same thing about someone drinking Bud Light Lime-A-Rita. That’s still a thing some people do! And the crossover here is no doubt exactly 100%.

You might be surprised to learn that the market for such things is actually quite varied and competitive. For instance, the shirt shown above can be had for a reasonable $16.95 here. But that’s certainly not your only option. If you prefer to add some punctuation, there’s this offering:

If you thought $28 — no joke! — was a steep price to pay for exclamation marks, keep in mind you’re also sacrificing a needed apostrophe. (It’s also available in neon green, neon pink, neon orange and neon purple!) And for no apparent reason at all, the same people offer a version with sleeves:

Does this basically defeat the purpose? Absolutely! So just in case, another vendor offers this handy alternative that features some arrows to help others get the joke:

No one will miss the subtlety now! This comes in handy particularly after the crowd has had a few too many Lime-A-Ritas.

By now you’re probably thinking “Wow, these are all great, but what if I want to be sure everyone knows what frat I was in back at Arizona State?” Don’t worry, the good people at somethinggreek.com are one step ahead of you:

Done and done. Now the next time you’re down the shore, you’ll fit right in. Just remember to pick up your Bud Light 30-pack before you get on the train.

June 21, 2014

Here’s what Tony Kornheiser thinks about soccer.

Like most reasonable Americans, Tony Kornheiser doesn’t really care about the soccer that’s happening this month. The ESPN personality and Washington-area radio host had this to say on his radio program last week in response to the Team USA soccer coach’s comments about his team not being able to win in Brazil.

May 13, 2014
Reject trivia: the best first-round picks

Four times more people watched the first round of the NFL draft last Thursday than who watched the NBA playoffs the same night. The NBA playoffs that featured Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs! That’s how big a deal the draft is.

Unless you are a fan of the Redskins, who’s pick belonged to the Rams, you probably watched anxiously awaiting your team’s selection(s), while Jon Gruden became increasingly more excited just to be there. (And if you’re a fan of the world champion Seahawks, you watched all night until your team traded the 32nd pick.)

Just how successful are teams at picking the best players? Here’s a fairly unscientific look at first-round draft selections going back to 1980. Of course, there’s no one stat to say how good the players are, since many are offensive linemen who don’t really generate stats. One way to quantify this is with games played. The table below shows the most productive drafts based on games played per first-round pick:


* Ravens only
^ includes Baltimore Colts
+ includes Houston Oilers
# includes L.A. Rams
~ includes L.A. Raiders

Through the 2013-14 season, 1,013 first-round picks have played 101,612, or an average of 100.31 games per pick. Most of these teams have had stretches of being rather good over the past three decades.

And these are the bottom teams since 1980:


% includes St. Louis Cardinals
@ Texans only
** includes current and former Browns

You might be surprised to see Denver so low. There’s an important quirk to these draft results: players are listed by the teams who picked them. So John Elway, who played 15 seasons for the Broncos, is correctly identified as having been drafted by the Colts.

And then there are the Browns, exactly where you would expect to find them.

May 12, 2014
If you must go to 96th St., consider a hardhat

The MTA has a word of caution to those traveling on the Upper East Side:

——————————————————————-
From: Subway-Bus@alerts.mta.info
Date: Mon, May 12, 2014 at 9:56 PM
Subject: MANH, 6 Trains, Falling Concrete

n/b 6 trains are bypassing 96 St, due to falling concrete at 96 St. Allow additional travel time.

So good luck with that.

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