MLB Regular Season Ends

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Trivia Q&A: September 16

The crowds keep turning out for our Trivia Night.

We had the largest crowd so far in our short history at the Caledonia on Tuesday night: 11 teams came out for the festivities. We had a loud and enthusiastic one as well. The team of Quizzy Mac Quizzerson won the night, getting 42 points and the victory. We had a great three-team race heading into the final round, and they had the lead and held, getting 4 of 5 correct.

Second place went to Now That I Have an iPhone, Is That a Cheating Device? with 39 points, and third went to Dylan's Crew with 34 points.

Best Team Name: Norfolk and Chance

Current Events
1. US News and World Report selected which Ivy League school as its top university for the second straight year for 2015?
2. What rock band released its newest album for free to all 500 million iTunes customers last week?
3. Guinness World Records confirmed last week that what rock band became the first musical act to play on all seven continents, as they recently did a gig in Antarctica?
4. What billionaire has pledged $50 million to fight the ebola outbreak in Africa, his foundation's largest ever donation toward a humanitarian cause?
5. An Arkansas judge was fired last weekend after he leaked confidential information about an adoption involving what Oscar-winning actress in 2012?
6. What late night talk show host dared the classic rock band The Eagles to sue him for playing their music on his show, as the band does not allow TV shows to play their songs?
7. American Matthew Miller was sentenced to six years hard labor for entering what country illegally and for being a "spy" for the US?

New York City Trivia
1. Which NYC bridge was renamed in honor of former mayor Ed Koch in 2011?
2. Who is the only US president born in New York City?
3. What NYC art museum was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright?
4. What is the official residence of NYC's mayor called?
5. Which of the NYC boroughs is the largest in area?
6. The most stolen honorary street sign in NYC is named in honor of what NY-born rock star, who died in 2001?
7. What Manhattan street is nicknamed "Swing Street?"

Lead Singers Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Robert Smith
2. Natalie Maines
3. Lindsay Buckingham
4. Dave Grohl
5. Billie Joe Armstrong
6. Belinda Carlisle
7. Philip Bailey
8. Brian Johnson
9. Donald Fagen
10. Bret Michaels

General Knowledge
1. What ocean has over 45 percent of the world's water? ( 1 pt)
2. In which hand does the Statue of Liberty hold a torch? ( 1 pt)
3. What year did the Berlin Wall begin construction? ( 1 pt)
4. Satriale's Pork Store was a popular hangout among characters in what 2000s TV series? ( 2 pt)
5. What musical genre has the most radio stations in the US, with just over 2100? ( 2 pt)
6. What teen idol wrote the lyrics to Frank Sinatra's his song "My Way?" ( 2 pt)
7. What director won an Oscar for directing the 1991 film "The Silence of the Lambs?" ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What planet was discovered by William Herschel on March 13, 1781? ( 4 points)
2. The Battle of Waterloo took place in 1815 in what present-day country? ( 3 points)
3. What MLB team was the first team to move to another city in the 20th century, in 1952? ( 5 points)
4. "Maybellene" was the first hit record for what rock'n'roll immortal in 1955? ( 4 points)
5. Lord Greystoke was the true identity of what legendary fictional character? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Princeton; 2. U2; 3. Metallica; 4. Bill Gates; 5. Charlize Theron; 6. David Letterman; 7. North Korea.

New York City Trivia
1. Queensborough (59th Street); 2. Theodore Roosevelt; 3. Guggenheim; 4. Gracie Mansion; 5. Queens; 6. Joey Ramone; 7. 52nd Street.

Lead Singers Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. The Cure; 2. The Dixie Chicks; 3. Fleetwood Mac; 4. Foo Fighters; 5. Green Day; 6. The Go-Gos; 7. Earth, Wind & Fire; 8. AC/DC; 9. Steely Dan; 10. Poison.

General Knowledge
1. Pacific; 2. right; 3. 1961; 4. "The Sopranos;" 5. Country; 6. Paul Anka; 7. Jonathan Demme.

IQ Trivia
1. Uranus; 2. Belgium; 3. Boston Braves; 4. Chuck Berry; 5. Tarzan.

Monday, September 15, 2014

We've Now Been New York For 3 1/2 Centuries


Tomorrow night at The Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category for Tuesday Night Trivia will be "New York City Trivia," seven questions about our beloved Big Apple. Last week was the 350th anniversary of the renaming of our town from New Amsterdam to New York, so why not celebrate that fact with a whole category on Trivia Night?

The Q Train lightning round will be "Lead Singers Trivia." I will give you the names of ten famous lead singers of rock and pop groups over the years, and you tell me what group I'm talking about.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What ocean has over 45 percent of the world's water?"

We get rolling at 8 PM. The Caledonia is located at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. Remember it is $50 in gift certificates to the winners, $20 to second place, and a free round of shots to third. I hope you can make it out for another great night of Trivia Q&A tomorrow night!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Always and Forever Family

As many of you who read my blog know, September 11th is the most sacred day of the year for me. It is a day that America was attacked on her shore by terrorists, and nearly 3,000 innocent people lost their lives. And it was personal for me, as my dear friend Joyce Carpeneto was one of those souls.

I have honored her here on this site every year since I started this blog back in 2006. I will be at the ceremonies at the World Trade Center site on Thursday for the 13th straight year. There simply isn't any other place I could be on this day but there.

Every year, all of the names of the 9/11 victims are read during the morning's ceremonies. Loved ones of the lost, first responders, workers at the rebuilding of the site and many others have been readers. This year it will once again by the families of the victims who will do the readings.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum holds a lottery in August to determine who will do the readings. Almost on a lark I entered my name in the lottery, not really thinking it would be picked. But on August 19th, I was notified that I my name was picked to be a reader. It was literally a dream come true. It is something my dear friend Deborah and I have always wanted to do to honor Joyce and all the victims.

But I received a call later in the day from another person from the Museum, asking me to call them back. I did the following morning, and I was told that since Joyce and I were NOT blood relatives, I was not going to be allowed to do the reading, as it wouldn't be fair to those families who lost out. I certainly wasn't going to pretend I was her brother or cousin, as I could never in any good conscience do a lie like that. I said we were dear friends, and that is true.

Basically, "dear friends" don't count.

I understood their reasoning, and I have to admit that they were rather nice about it and not at all obnoxious. I was not upset or angry about it. Just disappointed. Friends of the victims have always been looked over in the ceremonies, and that is a shame.

I will see the loved ones reading the names on Thursday, and it will make me sad that I wasn't allowed to do it. Joyce and I may not have been related, but she will forever be family to me. Always.

Here are the previous tributes I have done in Joyce's memory:
2006: Forever Missed. And Forever Loved.
2007: Never Forget. Ever.
2008: We Can Be The Ones Who Remember
2009: The Most Sacred Of All Days
2010: 3000
2011: Ten Years After
2012: 11 Years
2013: No Other Place In The World I Could Be Today

May God bless Joyce and every other person who died on September 11, 2001.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Trivia Q&A: September 9

We had another great turnout for Trivia on Tuesday night, the bar just about full, and it's really nice to see some returning folks as well as some new people in as well.

We had a great two-team race to the finish, with the team of Ribald and Beautiful finishing in the winner's circle with 41 points. They were neck and neck with Awww Geee Quiz, Man! and they finished in second with 36 points. Third place went to Griffin's II with 27 points.

Congrats to Matt, Monica and their friends on the victory.

Best Team Name: Ray Rice's Team (And One Kissed the Elevator Floor)

Current Events
1. What Broadway show recently played its 7,000th performance, making it the fourth-longest running show ever on Broadway?
2. John Holdzkom, a relief pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, became the first MLB player to be originally from what Pacific country?
3. Robert McDonnell, former governor of what US state, was convicted on corruption charges last Thursday?
4. A panel of federal judges ruled last Thursday that a same-sex marriage ban in two Midwest states was unconstitutional. Name 1 of the 2 states.
5. Guinness World Records confirmed recently that a 2013 single "Rap God" by what rap star has the most words, over 1500, in any hit single in history?
6. What retired NBA superstar applied last week to a South Florida town to become a reserve police officer?
7. Bruce Levenson, owner of what NBA team, announced he will sell his team after he self-reported a racially-charged email he sent out in 2012 criticizing the team's fans?

Joan Rivers Trivia
1. What 1970s PBS children's TV show was Joan Rivers a narrator of a popular animated feature within the show?
2. For what network did Joan Rivers host her first late-night talk show, called "The Late Show?"
3. True or False: Joan Rivers was once nominated for a Tony Award.
4. In 1978, Joan Rivers wrote and directed a film called "Rabbit Test", which starred what comic actor as the world's first pregnant man?
5. Joan Rivers received the Hasty Pudding Award as "Woman of the Year" in 1984 from what famous university?
6. How old was Joan Rivers at the time of her death last Thursday?
7. In the mid-1990s, Joan Rivers and her daughter Melissa began hosting the pre-awards shows for the Oscars and Golden Globes on what cable TV network?
BONUS: 8. In the 1987 hit single "Elvis Is Everywhere", there is a lyric in the song that goes, "Elvis is in Joan Rivers, but he's trying to get out, man!" Who recorded the song?

Who's Older Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Paul McCartney or Keith Richards
2. Matt Damon or Ben Affleck
3. Queen Elizabeth or Mel Brooks
4. Michael J. Fox or Barack Obama
5. Al Pacino or Robert DeNiro
6. Cindy Crawford or Mariano Rivera
7. Meryl Streep or Helen Mirren
8. Bill Clinton or Al Gore
9. Adele or Lady Gaga
10. Jay Leno or David Letterman

General Knowledge
1. The slavery issue split what state into two parts during the Civil War? ( 1 pt)
2. In what year did Charles Lindbergh complete his solo Transatlantic flight? ( 1 pt)
3. "Quadrophenia" was a rock opera created by what band? ( 1 pt)
4. Mount Etna is a volcano located on what Mediterranean island? ( 2 pt)
5. What river serves as the border between the states of Indiana and Kentucky? ( 2 pt)
6. Who was the first 19th century US vice-president to become president? ( 2 pt)
7. Most paper starts burning at what Fahrenheit temperature? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. "The Rain In Spain" is a famous song from what 1964 film? ( 3 points)
2. The tallest building in the European Union, The Shard, standing at just over 1,000 feet, is found in what city? ( 4 points)
3. The United States' five highest mountains east of the Mississippi are all located, at least in part, in what state? ( 4 points)
4. What two 20th century US presidents did Robin Williams portray in two different films near the end of his career? ( 4 points)
5. What American statesman was removed from the Half Dollar when John F. Kennedy was added to it in 1964? ( 5 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. "The Lion King;" 2. New Zealand; 3. Virginia; 4. Indiana and Wisconsin; 5. Eminem; 6. Shaquille O'Neal; 7. Atlanta Hawks.

Joan Rivers Trivia
1. "The Electric Company;" 2. Fox; 3. true; 4. Billy Crystal; 5. Harvard; 6. eighty-one; 7. E!; 8. Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper.

Who's Older Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. McCartney (72-71); 2. Damon (44-42); 3. Queen (2 months older, both 88); 4. Fox (2 months older, both 53); 5. Pacino (74-70); 6. Crawford (49-45); 7. Mirren (69-65); 8. Clinton (68-66); 9. Gaga (28-26); 10. Letterman (67-64).

General Knowledge
1. Virginia; 2. 1927; 3. The Who; 4. Sicily; 5. Ohio; 6. John Adams; 7. 451 degrees.

IQ Trivia
1. "My Fair Lady;" 2. London; 3. North Carolina; 4. Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower; 5. Benjamin Franklin.

Monday, September 08, 2014

We Remember Comedy's Queen On Tuesday


On Tuesday night, the Special category for Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub will be "Joan Rivers Trivia," seven questions about the legendary comedian who died in New York last Thursday. The Q Train lightning round will be "Who's Older Trivia." I will give you ten sets of current celebrities and you have to tell me which is the older of the two.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"In what year did Charles Lindbergh complete his solo Transatlantic flight?"

We get started at 8 PM tomorrow night. The Caledonia is located at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We had some great turnouts over the last few weeks, so let's keep them going!

Saturday, September 06, 2014

No Cuban Missile Crisis Here

Do you think the Oakland A's would like to have Yoenis Cespedes back?

The Cuban slugger went 4-for-6 last night in leading the Red Sox to an improbable 9-8 win over the Blue Jays at Fenway last night. He drove in two runs, including the last on a single with the bases loaded in the 10th inning to cap a three-run rally, after the Sox gave up two in the top of the 10th.

That win sure felt like it was out of the 2013 playbook, didn't it?

Cespedes has been terrific in a Red Sox uniform. 4 HRs, 26 RBI, .297 average and .790 OPS. His former team, the Oakland A's have really been struggling lately, having lost 7 of 8, and are really having a hard time scoring runs. While Jon Lester has been great in Oakland, they are missing Cespedes' bat badly.

The Sox are now 62-79 in this lost 2014 season. At least last night's comeback win (the Sox came from behind three times) brought back some fond memories of last year's bunch, and maybe a glimmer of what lies ahead in 2015.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Future On Center Stage

Well, you take the victories any way you can get them.

The Red Sox are currently in the middle of a 10-game road trip through three of their AL East rivals. This looked like a disaster in the making, as they just came off a brutal 2-9 homestand.

But this has gone better than expected, as they took 2 of 3 in Toronto, and split a four-game wrap-around series in St. Pete. And they opened a three-game series in the Bronx last night with a convincing 9-4 win over New York.

The Sox had their hitting shoes on last night, as Xander Bogaerts busted out of his months-long slump with four hits, including a home run. He came up just a triple short of the cycle.

Mookie Betts continues to impress, belting his 4th home run, and had three hits. (More and more it looks like Jackie Bradley Jr. may have a new address next season if Betts keeps this going.) Yoenis Cespedes had three hits, and needed just a home run for the cycle. He showed off his impressive speed in the ninth with a standup triple.

Joe Kelly pitched 6 2/3 gutty innings, allowing three runs. He walked four (including allowing a bases loaded one) but got his first Red Sox win.

Sure, the season is long gone. But it was fun to see the Red Sox future on display last night, especially taking down the fading Yankees.

I'll be with the BLOHARDS tomorrow at the Yale Club, doing Red Sox trivia and giving away prizes. Always a fun time, no matter where the Sox are in the standings.

Trivia Q&A: September 2

We had yet another fine turnout at The Caledonia Scottish Pub on Tuesday night, as the bar was filled and the crowd was really into the Trivia. I really appreciate all of you who have turned out and made Trivia Night at the Caledonia a continuing success.

We had an unusual event occur during Trivia Night. All seven teams had the exact same place from the second round until the final round. The team that led all night, All Good Things Must Come To An End, wound up winning by getting 3 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia and getting 42 points and winning by 7 points. Nice job by Pian and her friends winning on their return after a short absence of a few weeks.

Second place went to A Name So Nice, A Name So Nice with 35 points, and third place went to Dumbo On Xanax with 29 points.

Best Team Name: Takin' Care of Quizness

Current Events
1. At the Primetime Emmy Awards last week, the comedy series "Modern Family" won for Best Comedy Series, tying the record for consecutive years winning the award. How many years has it won?
2. What fast-food chain announced it will buy the Canadian restaurant chain Tim Hortons, in what many believe is just so the company can relocate to Canada and pay less US income tax?
3. Police in Omaha, NE accidentally shot and killed a sound supervisor from what reality series as they were answering a call about a robbery last week?
4. 71 people were killed recently when a series of landslides hit what Asian country?
5. What rap/hip hop artist plead no contest to a 2012 felony drug charge last week but will face no jail time?
6. What rock superstar will release his first book this coming November, a children's book based on his 2009 song called "Outlaw Pete?"
7. What rock star is no longer actively seeking to buy the NFL Buffalo Bills team, as he and his Canadian sports owners group recently parted ways?

September 2nd Trivia
1. On this day in 1945, WWII officially ended in the Pacific when Japan signed the surrender aboard what American battleship?
2. In 1901, what US vice-president uttered the famous phrase for the first time, "Speak softly and carry a big stick?"
3. In 1945, Vietnam declared their independence from what European nation?
4. On this date in 1996, what pop superstar had his 12th and final solo number one song with "You Are Not Alone?"
5. In 2013, a new eastern span of what American bridge was opened to traffic, making it the world's widest bridge?
6. Terry Bradshaw, NFL Hall of Fame QB, was born on this day in 1948. How many Super Bowl titles did he lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to?
7. Dr. Christiaan Barnard, who performed the world's first successful human heart transplant, died on this day in 2001. In what country did he perform the surgery?

Colleges and Universities Trivia ("The Q Train") (Name the state)
1. Carnegie Mellon
2. Dartmouth
3. Morehouse
4. Oral Roberts
5. The Citadel
6. Rice
7. Marshall
8. Air Force Academy
9. Gonzaga
10. Johns Hopkins

General Knowledge
1. How many stripes are there on a flag of the United States? ( 1 pt)
2. Where would one find the pectoral muscles in the human body? ( 1 pt)
3. What is the name for an adult female sheep? ( 1 pt)
4. In your car, what instrument measures the distance traveled? ( 2 pt)
5. What actor won an Oscar for Best Actor for the 2006 film "The King of Scotland?" ( 2 pt)
6. What was the name of Ebenezer Scrooge's business partner? ( 2 pt)
7. How many cards are there in a standard tarot deck? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What fast food chain got its name from an amusement park attraction briefly seen in the 1978 film "Grease?" ( 4 points)
2. A statue of what famous statesman stands with one foot on US soil and other on British Embassy grounds in Washington DC? ( 3 points)
3. In 1993, what central African nation became a landlocked country, when territory it controlled became an independent country? ( 4 points)
4. Santa Rosa, Black Amber and Long John are all varieties of what fruit? ( 5 points)
5. How many current US senators are Democrats? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Five; 2. Burger King; 3. "Cops;" 4. Japan; 5. CeeLo Green; 6. Bruce Springsteen; 7. Jon Bon Jovi.

September 2nd Trivia
1. USS Missouri; 2. Theodore Roosevelt; 3. France; 4. Michael Jackson; 5. San Francisco Bay Bridge; 6. four; 7. South Africa.

Colleges and Universities Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. PA; 2. NH; 3. GA; 4. OK; 5. SC; 6. TX; 7. WV; 8. CO; 9. WA; 10. MD.

General Knowledge
1. Thirteen; 2. chest; 3. ewe; 4. odometer; 5. Forest Whitaker; 6. Jacob Marley; 7. seventy-eight.

IQ Trivia
1. The Shake Shack; 2. Winston Churchill; 3. Ethiopia; 4. plum; 5. fifty-three.

Monday, September 01, 2014

As School Is Back In Session


Tomorrow night, Trivia Night at The Caledonia Scottish Pub returns with "September 2nd Trivia," seven questions connected to that date in history. The Q Train lightning round will be "Colleges and Universities Trivia." In honor of the return of the school year, I will give you the names of ten well-known institutions of higher learning in the United States, and you will tell me what state it is located in. (Obviously, it won't include colleges like Florida State or Oklahoma.)

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"How many stripes are there on the flag of the United States?"

We get going right around 8 PM. The Caledonia is located at 1609 Second Avenue on the Upper East Side, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We had some really good crowds in August, so let's keep the good momentum going as we head into the fall. Hope to see you tomorrow night for a great night of Trivia!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Trivia Q&A: August 26

After last week's Trivia Night postponement, I was concerned about what kind of crowd we would have in last night. I need not have worried, as the bar was filled with a large crowd that was really into the Trivia. Thanks to all of you who came out, and my apologies to those of you who turned up last week to discover Trivia was off. We are back on Tuesdays to stay!

We had a great two-team race to the finish, and both of those teams got 4 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia to make it a win for the team of Pope Francis Was In Korea, with 50 points. Second pace went to Oxford Comma Sutra with 48 points. (It was their first time at Trivia Night. Very nice debut, guys!) Third Place went to Call Me Daddy with 32 points. (Looking forward to the banana bread next week, ladies!)

Best Team Name: Snoop Quizzle

Current Events
1. Which female pop singer is cancelling her Asian tour due to concerns over her husband's ill health?
2. Richard Attenborough, legendary British director, died Sunday at the age of 90. For what 1982 film did he win 2 Oscars, including Best Director?
3. What action film regained the top spot at the box office this past weekend and is now the summer's top-grossing domestic release?
4. What state's governor was indicted on a charge of abuse of power recently over pressuring a district attorney in his state to resign?
5. What rock superstar played the final show ever at Candlestick Park in San Francisco recently, a venue he last played nearly 48 years ago?
6. Pope Francis visited what Asian country for five days recently, the first Papal visit to an Asian nation since 1999?
7. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange announced this week that he will leave what country's London embassy "soon," where he has been living for 2 years to avoid extradition to Sweden?

Pop Music Trivia
1. The Beatles won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for what album?
2. What soul singer was shot to death by his father in 1984?
3. What future rap star was, as a 13-year-old youth, an advisor to the Oakland A's baseball team?
4. What R&B legend had hits with such songs as "Sex Machine" and "I Got Ants In My Pants?"
5. What popular country male singer's father played for the 1969 Miracle Mets?
6. What US state was Michael Jackson born in?
7. Of the four major awards, Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy, which is the only one Elton John has never won?

Name the Century Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. The US Census announces that the American Frontier had officially "closed."
2. Facebook is founded in Cambridge, MA.
3. Fletcher Christian leads the famous mutiny on The Bounty.
4. The Euro, the currency of the majority of EU countries, is established.
5. The Boston Red Sox win the first World Series.
6. Alexander Graham Bell is credited with inventing the telephone.
7. Vermont becomes the first state admitted to the Union after the Original Thirteen.
8. Theodore Roosevelt wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
9. Thomas Jefferson sends Lewis and Clark to explore the West.
10. Dennis Tito, a multi-millionaire, become the first "space tourist," funding his own trip into space.

General Knowledge
1. In the film "Anchorman," Ron Burgundy told what city to "stay classy?" ( 1 pt)
2. What was the name of King Arthur's legendary sword? ( 1 pt)
3. What does the "S" in NASCAR stand for? ( 1 pt)
4. According to the US Census Bureau, Smith is the most common surname in the US. What name is second? ( 2 pt)
5. What TV talk show host has a house band called The Roots? ( 2 pt)
6. In the 2013 film "Captain Phillips," a ship was hijacked by pirates from what country? ( 2 pt)
7. What city do the Golden State Warriors play their home basketball games in? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What sitcom spinoff was the first TV show to debut at number one in the Nielsen ratings in the mid-1970s? ( 4 points)
2. What former US president was granted the first-ever Medicare ID card? ( 5 points)
3. What onetime world leader was the first person to be named an honorary US citizen in 1963? ( 4 points)
4. The sauna originated in what European country? ( 3 points)
5. Which midwestern state is the only US state to have its official motto, "L'Etoile du Nord," written in French? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Celine Dion; 2. "Gandhi;" 3. "Guardians of the Galaxy;" 4. Texas; 5. Paul McCartney; 6. South Korea; 7. Ecuador.

Pop Music Trivia
1. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band;" 2. Marvin Gaye; 3. MC Hammer; 4. James Brown; 5. Tim McGraw; 6. Indiana; 7. Emmy.

Name the Century Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. 19th (1890); 2. 21st (2004); 3. 18th (1789); 4. 20th (1999); 5. 20th (1903); 6. 19th (1876); 7. 18th (1791); 8. 20th (1906); 9. 19th (1803); 10. 21st (2001).

General Knowledge
1. San Diego; 2. Excalibur; 3. Stock; 4. Johnson; 5. Jimmy Fallon; 6. Somalia; 7. Oakland.

IQ Trivia
1. "Rhoda;" 2. Harry S. Truman; 3. Winston Churchill; 4. Finland; 5. Minnesota.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back In The Trivia Saddle On Tuesday Night

We had a sudden postponement to Trivia Night last Wednesday, and I do apologize for the late notice. But we do return to our usual day and time tomorrow, August 26th at 8 PM.

The Special Category will be "Pop Music Trivia," seven questions about the wonderful world of pop music down through the years. The Q Train lightning round will be "Name the Century Trivia," where I will give you ten events that happened in history and you have to tell me which century it occurred. But in this category, if you can also give me the exact year it happened, you will also get a bonus point.

The Sneak Peek question is:
"What was the name of King Arthur's legendary sword?"

We get going at 8 PM on Tuesday night. The Caledonia Scottish Pub is located at 1609 Second Avenue, between E.83rd and 84th Streets. It will be good to see many of you after the little hiatus we took last week!

2014? Nah, It Never Happened

A season to forget has become a lot more forgettable.

I haven't written much about the Red Sox in the last few weeks, as the 2014 season has gone completely down the crapper. I won't quote any numbers here, as they are too depressing to contemplate.

OK, maybe I will.

But for the second time in 2014, the Sox have lost at least 8 games in a row. It looked like the current the streak would end at 5 on Friday night, but Koji Uehara had his worst outing ever as a reliever, and is looking more and more human as time goes on.

This will be one of the worst World Series title defenses in history. (It already won't be the worst, as the Florida Marlins went 54-108 in 1998 after winning the 1997 World Series. The Sox have 56 wins right now.)

A brutal 2-9 homestand concludes, with the Red Sox dropping 7 straight to two of the better teams in the AL. Xander Bogaerts was hit in the head by Felix Hernandez and is on the concussion DL list. Might be best to leave him there the rest of the year. Since June, it has been a terrible year for the rookie shortstop. Give him time to clear his mind, make sure he is healthy and let him come back fresh in 2015.

That may sum up this Red Sox campaign. One long headache, and it won't end until September 28th.

That day can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Trivia Night Postponed

Trivia Night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub has been postponed tonight, due to some unforeseen circumstances. Everything is OK, and we will return with Trivia in our regular day and time next week, Tuesday, August 26th at 8 PM.

Hope to see many of you then, and have a great week!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Special Wednesday Trivia Night Tomorrow


Trivia Night at The Caledonia Scottish Pub will be taking place on Wednesday this week, August 20th at 8 PM. It is just for this week, as I am not available tonight. We will return to our usual day and time next Tuesday night, August 26th, at 8 PM.

This week our Special Category will be "Pop Music Trivia," as I will ask seven questions concerning the world of popular music, mostly within the last generation or so. The Q Train lightning round will be "Name the Century Trivia" (which we postponed from last week). I will give you ten famous events from the last few centuries and you have to tell me which century it occurred in. I will give you a bonus point if you can tell me the exact year it happened in.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What was the name of King Arthur's legendary sword?"

We get started at 8 PM on Wednesday night. The Caledonia is located at 1609 Second Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. I appreciate all of you who are able to adjust your schedules and come out on Wednesday night. This is just a one time only shift and we go back to Tuesdays next week. I look forward to seeing many of you tomorrow night!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Youth Will Be Served

I haven't written much about the Red Sox lately, as 2014 evolved into a lost season for the defending World Series Champions.

They backed up the truck on July 31, and a number of key players from the 2013 Champions departed.

It was a smart move by Red Sox brass.

The Sox have a deep farm system, and it was time to see what they truly had in their young players.

Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa and Anthony Ranaudo were brought up and put into the rotation. So far, I like what I see. Webster got his third win last night, De La Rosa was spectaular against the Angels this past week, and Ranaudo, despite struggling on Wednesday, got his second win. It's a good move to put the youngsters out there, throw them off the deep end of the pool and see if they can swim.

2014 continues to be a struggle for both Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley. Bradley has been nothing short of spectacular in the field, turning in highlight-reel plays. He is a Gold Glove center fielder right now. But his bat has been another story. He just broke an 0-for-35 slump this past Wednesday, and didn't draw a single walk in that stretch. He's currently hitting .213.

Bogaerts actually got off to a good start this season, but from June on, has tailed off badly, and is currently hitting .233. He also struggled at shortstop, and moved over to third after the ill-advised Stephen Drew signing (who is currently in a 4-for-32 slump with NY). Bogaerts has looked better in the field since Drew departed and he returned to shortstop. Another wise move getting rid of Drew and putting Bogaerts at short and leaving him there. The Sox are correct to leave him there and let him improve. The kid is still just 21, and will get better with time.

I have been impressed with Christian Vazquez behind the plate. He calls the game like a veteran already, and has a cannon for an arm. He's hitting .236 with 12 RBI, but his offensive numbers aren't overly important right now. He clearly is ready to be a full time MLB signal caller.

As September is just two weeks away, we should be seeing more rookies at Fenway when the rosters expand. Get these guys a taste of the majors going forward to 2015. I really believe the Sox are in far better shape for the future than their rival Yankees are. The Sox have a deep farm system, and can make over their team the way did in 2012. They can trade young talent, as well as some of the MLB talent they have, and sign free agents. They have no bad contracts, and only one player on a long term contract (Dustin Pedroia). I'm not guaranteeing a title in 2015, but the team should look very different from the one that took the field on Opening Day of 2014.

New York, on the other hand, has little in their farm system, many bad contracts, almost no one on their MLB roster they can trade for a significant return (with the exception of Brett Gardner and Dellin Betances), and the specter of Alex Rodriguez returning in 2015. Yes, the circus is coming back to town, and from Hal Steinbrenner's comments the other day, A-Rod will be welcomed back. They owe him $61 million over the next three years, and sure that's a lot of money to eat, but do you really want to bring back a guy who is going on 40, with a bad hip and who hasn't seen game action in nearly 1 1/2 years? Not to mention is more and more hated by the rank-and-file of MLB after that inane lawsuit he filed against the Players Association (and eventually withdrew)? The Yankees can only sign free agents, and that will not help them get younger, especially at the most athletic of positions.

They are stuck with him.

Anyway, back to the Sox. They have currently won 5 of 6,  and I'd love to see them get back to .500, and pass the Yankees. I know, I know, I can still dream...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Trivia Q&A: August 12

It looked like it was going to be a difficult night on Tuesday, as bar manager Keith was away on vacation and we couldn't get the sound system working. So, Yours Truly had to improvise, and I had to read off the Trivia Q&A by walking up and down the bar and nearly shouting! (I did that before earlier on in my tenure at the Caledonia.) But it worked out fine, and the sound system should be in working order next week. We had a good crowd with 8 teams taking part. The rain thankfully did not keep the folks away.

The team of Show Me On The Doll Where The Trivia Host Touched You won the night easily, as they took the title by 15 points, finishing with 49 points. They also won for Best Team Name. (I have strangely seen that name somewhere before.) Congrats to Alex and his friends on their triumph.

Second place went to I Didn't Know Pudge Was Going To Hit a Home Run with 34 points, and we had a three-way tie for third, as Phil's Phan, Down With the Quizness and Mork and Mindy all finished with 27 points, so we gave them all the third place prize: a round of shots.

A Reminder: We are doing Trivia next Wednesday next week, August 20th at 8 PM. I will not be around next Tuesday, but we will return to our usual day and time on Tuesday, August 26th at 8 PM.

Current Events
1. Classic rock singer Marianne Faithful claimed last week that what late rock star was actually murdered by her drug dealer boyfriend back in the 1970s?
2. Over 4,000 fans have signed an online petition to have the NFL select which pop singer, who released his 14th album last month to great fanfare, to play the Super Bowl halftime show this February?
3. The FCC is investigating NBC after they received complaints over a recent primetime special by what pop singer?
4. What US state was nearly hit by the first hurricane in over two decades last week, before it was downgraded to a tropical storm when it hit the state?
5. Five former maids who once worked for what late celebrity recently revealed some horro stories about working for him, with one calling him "the dirtiest, most unsanitary person in Hollywood?"
6. 38 people were killed in a plane crash last week when a Sepahan Airlines flight went down in what Middle Eastern country?
7. What drugstore chain, the largest in the US, is considering moving its headquarters to Europe to take advantage of a loophole in US tax laws and save billions of dollars?

US and World Geography Trivia
1. The country of Djibouti is located on what continent?
2. Over half the world's freshwater lakes are in what country?
3. The county of Flanders is located in which two European countries?
4. What is the world' third largest ocean?
5. Cape Hatteras is located in what US state?
6. What eastern US state is the second least populated state, after Wyoming?
7. What is the largest state in area east of the Mississippi River?

Robin Williams Film Trivia ("The Q Train") (Was he nominated for an Oscar or a Golden Globe?)
1. Dead Poets Society
2. Moscow On The Hudson
3. The World According to Garp
4. The Birdcage
5. Mrs. Doubtfire
6. Jumanji
7. Good Morning Vietnam
8. Awakenings
9. The Fisher King
10. What Dreams May Come

General Knowledge
1. What city in the US is the home to the most millionaires? ( 1 pt)
2. What is the nickname for the undersea rail tunnel that connects England and France? ( 1 pt)
3. Which former Beatle was the first person to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone? ( 1 pt)
4. What was the first color film to win an Oscar for Best Picture? ( 2 pt)
5. The 2018 World Cup soccer championship will be held in what country? ( 2 pt)
6. What is the human body's largest organ? ( 2 pt)
7. Between Mercury, Mars and Jupiter, which has the shortest day? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Which is the only one of the original 13 states that doesn't border the Atlantic Ocean? ( 3 points)
2. In the ten-event Olympic decathlon, what is traditionally the first event held? ( 4 points)
3. UNESCO, or the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is headquartered in what European city? ( 4 points)
4. The breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s created what new country, which surpassed Mongolia as the world's largest landlocked country? ( 5 points)
5. What 19th century US president is the only one who held a patent on his own invention? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Jim Morrison; 2. Weird Al Yankovic; 3. Miley Cyrus; 4. Hawaii; 5. Michael Jackson; 6. Iran; 7. Walgreens.

US and World Geography Trivia
1. Africa; 2. Canada; 3. France and Belgium; 4. Indian; 5. North Carolina; 6. Vermont; 7. Georgia.

Robin Williams Film Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. yes (both); 2. yes (GG); 3. no; 4. no; 5. yes (GG); 6. no; 7. yes (both); 8. no; 9. yes (both); 10. no.

General Knowledge
1. New York City; 2. The Chunnel; 3. John Lennon; 4. "Gone With the Wind;" 5. Russia; 6. skin; 7. Jupiter.

IQ Trivia
1. Pennsylvania; 2. 100 meters; 3. Paris; 4. Kazakhstan; 5. Abraham Lincoln.

Monday, August 11, 2014

An Eerie & Sad Coincidence

This maybe the most incredible coincidence I have ever seen in my life.

I was home channel surfing before dinner, and came across the 1998 Robin Williams film "What Dreams May Come," about a man who dies and tries to find his wife, who has also recently passed away, in the afterlife. I had seen the movie many years ago, so I put it on and watched it for about 15 minutes.

And then my iPhone goes off, with the news bulletin: "Actor Robin Williams dies at the age of 63."

Stunned disbelief doesn't cover this adequately. I've seen some amazing coincidences in my life, but this takes the cake. The sad news was that the great comedian and actor was suffering from severe depression, and may have committed suicide.

He was a marvelous talent, and "Good Will Hunting" and "Good Morning Vietnam" are among my favorite films.

I hope he can find peace on The Other Side.

Here is a clip from "What Dreams May Come":



But my favorite clip from any Robin Williams film is from "Good Will Hunting," when Sean describes the events of the night of October 21, 1975:


Thank you for sharing you gifts with the world, Mr. Williams. Rest well.

Going Around the Globe Tomorrow Night


Tomorrow night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, Trivia Night will feature "US and World Geography Trivia," seven questions testing your knowledge of places from here and around the world.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Name The Century Trivia." I will ask you to name the century that a certain historic event took place, and it will be worth double the points if you can the exact year it took place. (The events will be limited to the last three or four centuries.)

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What city in the US is the home to the most millionaires?"

We get started at 8 PM on Tuesday night. The Caledonia is located at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. A reminder about nest week: we will be doing Trivia on Wednesday next week, August 20th at 8 PM, as I will not be around on Tuesday. We will return to our usual Tuesday night slot the following week on August 26th at 8 PM. Hope to see many of you tomorrow night!

Friday, August 08, 2014

"Blood Sport"

I recently read the new book about the sordid Alex Rodriguez/Biogenesis affair called "Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis, and the Quest to End Baseball's Steroid Era."

The book, written by Miami New Times reporter Tim Elfrink and Newsday reporter Gus Garcia-Roberts, is centered on the Biogenesis scandal that featured Tony Bosch, a wannabe doctor from New York who ran an anti-aging clinic in South Florida and eventually hooked up with his most famous client, Alex Rodriguez. But it is also a history of drugs and their unseemly appearance in MLB, going back to the use of amphetamines in the 1950s and '60s, the Pittsburgh drug trials of the 1980s, the inflated home run totals of the late 1990s and the infamous Mitchell Report.

"Blood Sport" details the life of Bosch, who wanted to make a name for himself and become famous. He sets up shop in Florida, which is the "Wild West" for dopers, and comes across as a pretty sleazy character. He kept detailed notebooks on all his "clients", including not just Rodriguez, but other MLB players as well as college and high school athletes as well.

Everyone involved in this book comes off badly. Not just Bosch and Rodriguez, but especially MLB, who spent way over $1 million to get the goods on A-Rod. Their tactics in doing so sound like the stuff of spy novels. The book is loaded with sleazy characters, from grifters to weight lifters to ex-cons. And that's what makes the book even more fascinating to read. A lot of what is in "Blood Sport" has already been widely known, but the authors also have some tidbits that were not known, like the fact that Rodriguez was given an exemption by MLB to use testosterone before the 2007 season (and then went out and won the AL MVP before infamously opting out of his contract during the World Series).

The book concludes with the MLB players who were given 50-game suspensions for their ties to Bosch and Biogenesis. All except Rodriguez, of course, and the tome details the infamous arbitration case he had with MLB after the 2013 season.

Like "Game of Shadows" did for Barry Bonds back in the mid-2000s, "Blood Sport" goes into great detail about the fall of a great athlete through the use of doping. MLB may have won this round with Bosch and Biogenesis, but what comes across is that illegal doping his here to stay in MLB and pro sports. "Blood Sport" is a cautionary tale. There will be other Boschs down the road.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Trivia Q&A: August 5

We had another nice turnout for Trivia at the Caledonia on Tuesday night, and a great three-team race going down to the finish.

All the three teams finished IQ Trivia with 12 points, so we had a Caledonia first: a tie for first place.

The teams of We're Missing 50% of Our Team, and 95% of Our Brain, and Feet of Clay Buchholz both ended with 38 points, so we had a tie-breaking question: "What was the total box office take of Steven Spielberg's classic film 'ET'?" Feet of Clay Buchholz just narrowly missed it (they guessed $432 million, it was $435 million; I gave both teams a hint it was over $300 million) and were closest, so they won the night. Congrats to Alex and his team on their win.

Third place (and Best Team Name) went to Curious George & The Ebola Virus with 37 points.

Current Events
1. What South American country defaulted on its international debt for the second time in 13 years, and blamed the US for "not acting properly?"
2. A federal judge ordered what bank to pay a $1.27 billion penalty for fraud over shoddy mortgages sold by Countrywide Financial Corp.?
3. Over 300 people were killed last Sunday when a strong 6.1 registered earthquake struck what Asian country?
4. What Emmy-winning actor testified last week at the parole hearing for his sister's killer, and it will keep him in jail where he's been for nearly 40 years?
5. James Brady, who was White House Press Secretary under what US president, died on Monday at the age of 73?
6. The Princeton Review selected what northeastern US college as the nation's number one "top party school?"
7. Controversial former NFL QB Brett Favre will have his number retired and will enter what teams' Hall of Fame later this year?

Movie Trivia
1. Which three presidents does Forrest Gump meet in that film?
2. What actor or actress has been nominated for the most Academy Awards?
3. Which film did Woody Allen win a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for?
4. "Mean Streets" and "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" are two of the earliest films by what Oscar-winning director?
5. What is Steven Spielberg's highest-grossing film ever in the US?
6. What John Travolta film was selected by Moviefone as "The Worst Movie of the 2000s?"
7. In a 2004 British poll by Amazon.com and IMDB, what comedy film was selected as the all-time favorite English film?

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Presidential retreat Camp David is named after Dwight Eisenhower's grandson.
2. The 1976 Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, Austria were originally going to be held in Denver.
3. Mosquitoes are toothless.
4. Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine are brother and sister.
5. Johnny Weismuller, who played Tarzan in the movies, won gold medals in the Olympics.
6. Lord Kelvin invented the mercury thermometer.
7. If a month starts on a Sunday, it will have a Friday the 13th.
8. Rhode Island is the US state that has the fewest counties.
9. The first Super Bowl was played in 1964.
10. French was the official language of England for nearly 600 years.

General Knowledge
1. What team won the NBA championship in 2014? ( 1 pt)
2. Who is the fictitious mascot and cover boy of Mad Magazine? ( 1 pt)
3. "The face that launched a thousand ships" refers to what famous woman? ( 1 pt)
4. How many squares can one land on playing checkers using standard US rules? ( 2 pt)
5. The 2014 Tour de France actually started in what country? ( 2 pt)
6. Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme of Manson Family infamy once tried to assassinate what US president? ( 2 pt)
7. Mount Erebus is an active volcano found on what continent? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What South American country owns the Galapagos Islands? ( 4 points)
2. Dix Mountain, Mount Colvin and Dial Mountain are all found in what eastern US state? ( 5 points)
3. What metal does Mexico supply 16% of the world's needs of? ( 4 points)
4. What is the month that the Earth is at its closest point to the Sun? ( 3 points)
5. Of the four major US credit cards networks, what is the only one whose cards have 15-digit numbers, not 16?

Answers
Current Events
1. Argentina; 2. Bank of America; 3. China; 4. Kelsey Grammer; 5. Ronald Reagan; 6. Syracuse University; 7. Green Bay Packers.

Movie Trivia
1. JFK, LBJ, Richard Nixon; 2. Meryl Streep (18); 3. "Annie Hall;" 4. Martin Scorsese; 5. "ET'; 6. "Battlefield Earth;" 7. "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. true; 2. true; 3. false, they have teeth; 4. true; 5. true; 6. false, Daniel Fahrenheit; 7. true; 8. false, Alaska; 9. false, 1967; 10. true.

General Knowledge
1. San Antonio Spurs; 2. Alfred E. Neuman; 3. Helen of Troy; 4. thirty-two; 5. England; 6. Gerald Ford; 7. Antarctica.

IQ Trivia
1. Ecuador; 2. New York; 3. silver; 4. January; 5. American Express.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Testing Your Film Smarts On Tuesday


This Tuesday night, the Special Category for Trivia Night at The Caledonia Scottish Pub will be "Movie Trivia," seven questions about all different things associated with The Silver Screen.

The Q Train lightning round will be "True or False Trivia." I will give you ten statements about all types of stuff, and you have to tell me if that is a true one or I am lying through my teeth.

The Sneak Peek question  for this week is:
"Who is the fictitious mascot and cover boy of Mad Magazine?"

We get going at 8 PM. The Caledonia is located at 1609 Second Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We've had some really good crowds over the last month, so let's keep it going!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: In two weeks, we will have a special Wednesday night edition of Trivia on August 20th at 8 PM. I will not be around the previous night, so we will have it on Wednesday for that night only. We will go back to our usual Tuesday night on August 26th at 8 PM.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

"Brooklyn Spirits"

My good friend and Governor of Red Sox Nation for New York State, Chris Wertz, has a great new book coming out in October called "Brooklyn Spirits: Craft Distilling and Cocktails From the World's Hippest Borough."

The book was co-authored by Chris and Peter Thomas Fornatale, who is the son of the late New York author/radio personality Pete Fornatale. It is all about the distilleries of Brooklyn, and will contain the histories of those distilleries, along with the places serving Brooklyn-produced spirits and plenty of drink recipes.

The book will be released on October 14th and you can pre-order it and read more about it by going to Amazon here.

Chris also has a great new blog connected to the book called "Brooklyn Spirits."

Good luck to Chris and Pete on what will be a terrific book!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ben's Busy Day

Jon Lester to the A's was just a start of one of the busiest trading days in Red Sox history.

John Lackey was dealt to the Cardinals with minor league pitcher Corey Littrell for pitcher Joe Kelly and INF/OF Allen Craig.

Andrew Miller went to the Orioles for AA pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez. (He is their 3rd ranked player in the Baltimore system.)

And to top off the day, Ben Cherington actually found a sucker to take Stephen Drew off his hands: the New York Yankees. The Sox send Drew and cash to New York for infielder Kelly Johnson.

Since the Jake Peavy deal last weekend, here's who has come and gone with the Sox since. (With thanks to Sons of Sam Horn via The Joy of Sox for the listing.)

Leaving
SP Felix Doubront
SP Jon Lester
SP John Lackey
SP Jake Peavy
OF Jonny Gomes
SP Corey Littrell (A+)
RP Andrew Miller
SS Stephen Drew

Arriving
RP Heath Hembree (25, RH reliever, AAA)
SP Edwin Escobar (22, LH starter, AAA)
OF Yoenis Cespedes (28, RH batter, MLB)
SP Joe Kelly (26, RH starter, MLB)
OF/1B Allen Craig (30, RH batter, MLB)
SP Eduardo Rodriguez (21, LH starter, AA)
UT Kelly Johnson (32, LH batter, MLB)
PTBNL from Cubs
Competitive Balance Pick from A's

It's pretty clear that the Sox have punted the 2014 season, and are not blowing up the team, but retooling with proven MLB talent acquired elsewhere. The Sox have one of the deepest systems in baseball, and added some desperately needed offense. They now have only veteran starter in Clay Buchholz, but the Sox clearly will add a couple of veterans to their starting staff by next April. Could one be Jon Lester?

Lester & Gomes to OAK For Cespedes


The Jon Lester Era in Boston officially came to an end this morning as the Red Sox dealt their star lefty to the Oakland A's, along with outfielder Jonny Gomes and cash for star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and the second pick in the competitive balance Comp B round.

The speculation for days was that Lester was going, and for high end prospects. But the A's, the team with the best record in MLB, are truly going for it, as Lester will surely only be a two-month rental.

Cespedes has 17 HRs, 65 RBI and a .256 batting average in 2014. He is known for a strong arm and average outfield skills. He can also become a free agent after the 2015.

He also is tied with Jackie Bradley for the MLB leadership in outfield assists with 12.

Jon Lester was a great Red Sox pitcher, and is probably thrilled to return to his native West Coast and with a contender. I wish him all the best and thank him for being a big part of the 2007 and 2013 World Championship teams.

I hope to see him back in a Red Sox uniform, but I wouldn't bet the ranch on that happening, at least in 2015.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Trivia Q&A: July 29

We had another big crowd at the Caledonia on Tuesday night for Trivia, as nine teams were in and the bar was crowded. I thank you all for continuing to support our Trivia Night, as it is great to see it continue to get better and better.

The team of You Can Call Me Al wound up winning the night, as they led from start to finish and ended up with 34 points. Congrats to Matt, Monica and their friends on the victory.

Second place went to The Donkey HoTays with 29 points, and third place went to Hoo-Ah, Did I Spell That Right? You Talkin' to Me? with 26 points.

Best Team Name: Oops, I Quizzed My Pants

Current Events
1. Jon Stewart announced last week that he is launching a $10 billion Kickstarter campaign to buy what cable network?
2. According to a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, what major city was number one in their list of "Unhappiest US Cities?"
3. Actor Freddie Prinze Jr. absolutely ripped what TV/movie actor last weekend, saying working with him "made me want to quit acting" as he was "the worst unprofessional dude in the world"?
4. Fuad Masum was elected president of what Middle Eastern country this past week by that country's parliament?
5. The president of Liberia ordered his country's borders closed this past weekend due to a deadly outbreak of what virus in west Africa?
6. What action film opened the first week grossing over $43 million at the box office to become the number one film in the US?
7. An Air Algeria flight bound for Algiers last Thursday crashed in what African nation, killing all 116 people on board?

1980s Trivia
1. In 1982, Great Britain clashed with what country over the Falkland Islands?
2. What celebrity was elected mayor of Palm Springs, CA in 1988 in large part because he was angry that the city fathers wouldn't let him open a new restaurant?
3. When the Fox Network debuted in October 1986, who hosted their first show, a talk show called "The Late Show?"
4. What R&B legend was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987?
5. What championship NFL team had a rap hit in the 1980s called "The Super Bowl Shuffle?"
6. In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space as a crew member of what space shuttle?
7. Name 2 of the 5 highest-grossing films in the US in the 1980s.

Al Pacino Movie Characters ("The Q Train")
1. Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice
2. Tony Montana
3. Lefty Ruggiero
4. Carlito "Charlie" Brigante
5. Mayor John Pappas
6. Lt. Col. Frank Slade
7. Ricky Roma
8. Lowell Bergman
9. Sonny Wortzik
10. Satan

General Knowledge
1. Ben Kingsley won an Academy Award for Best Actor for what film? ( 1 pt)
2. What two colors make purple? ( 1 pt)
3. What Spanish city would one find the Running of the Bulls? ( 1 pt)
4. In which century did Geoffrey Chaucer write "The Canterbury Tales?" ( 2 pt)
5. What ocean would you find the Republic of the Maldives? ( 2 pt)
6. What city is the capital of New Zealand? ( 2 pt)
7. "Bingo Bango Bongo" is a variant of what sport? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What central US state has recorded more 3.0 or above earthquakes in 2014 than any other state? ( 3 points)
2. The Battle of Caporetto occurred during which 20th century conflict? ( 5 points)
3. In 1983, which Ivy League college was the last to admit women? ( 4 points)
4. Hippophobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of what animal? ( 4 points)
5. "A Soldier's Song" is the national anthem of what European nation that was adopted in 1926? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. CNN; 2. NYC; 3. Kiefer Sutherland; 4. Iraq; 5. Ebola; 6. "Lucy;" 7. Mali.

1980s Trivia
1. Argentina; 2. Sonny Bono; 3. Joan Rivers; 4. Aretha Franklin; 5. Chicago Bears; 6. Challenger; 7. ET, Return of the Jedi, The Empire Strikes Back, Batman, Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Al Pacino Movie Characters ("The Q Train")
1. Dick Tracy; 2. Scarface; 3. Donnie Brasco; 4. Carlito's Way; 5. City Hall; 6. Scent of a Woman; 7. Glengarry Glen Ross; 8. The Insider; 9. Dog Day Afternoon; 10. The Devil's Advocate.

General Knowledge
1. "Gandhi;" 2. Red and blue; 3. Pamplona; 4. 14th; 5. Indian; 6. Wellington; 7. golf.

IQ Trivia
1. Oklahoma; 2. World War I; 3. Columbia; 4. horse; 5. Ireland.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Back to the '80s With Pacino Tomorrow


Tomorrow night at The Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category for Tuesday Night Trivia will be "1980s Trivia", seven questions about that decade in all types of ways, pop culture, sports, history, etc. We've done the 1990s and 2000s in recent weeks, so why not go a little further back?

And the Q Train lightning round will be "Al Pacino Movie Characters Trivia." I will give you the names of ten characters Pacino made famous on the Silver Screen, and you have to tell me the film. We did Robert DeNiro Characters last week, so why not Pacino this week?

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Ben Kingsley won an Academy Award for Best Actor for what film?"

We'll get the festivities going at 8 PM tomorrow night. The Caledonia is at 1609 Second Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We've been getting in some good crowds over the last month, so let's keep the momentum going! See you tomorrow night!

Friday, July 25, 2014

No Doubt Now: They're Sellers


It was a longshot at best.

The hot streak the Red Sox were on came to a crashing end in Toronto, as they dropped the final three games against the Blue Jays, with yesterday's being another day the offense simply failed to show up.

They had 14 runs on 18 hits in the Monday night rout. They had won 8 of 9 and it looked like the Sox could take full advantage of the hurt and struggling Jays. But by Thursday afternoon, they could just a single by Shane Victorino in the 7th inning in an 8-0 loss.

When they hit the road on Monday, I figured the Sox needed to win 8 of the remaining 10 games in July to realistically get back in the race and keep the momentum from the hot streak going.

Three losses kills that.

They play Tampa Bay this weekend, but the intensity is pretty much gone from that. Now it's a matter of turning the page on this year and start the building process for the 2015 season. There will undoubtedly be deals by nest Thursday afternoon, with the Sox moving MLB players while getting quality prospects in return. Time to take a closer look at youngsters like Garin Cecchini, Allen Webster, Anthony Ranaudo and a few others.

It's been a tough year, and I figured something like this could happen. A lot went right last year that hasn't in 2014. I'm still a fan and I'll be pulling for the Sox to do well.

It just wasn't a year the Sox were going to win it all. So be it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Trivia Q&A: July 22

We bounced back nicely on Tuesday night at the Caledonia, getting in a large, enthusiastic crowd after getting rained out the previous week. Every team had multiple players on it, and that was good to see. It was a close fight to finish between four teams separated by six points heading into IQ Trivia. But the team of The More Whisky Sours We Drink, The Better We'll Do got the victory by just a single point, with a total of 39 points. Congratulations to Pian and her friends on their first ever win at the Caledonia.

Second place went to Keith Says Cash and Amex Only with 38 points, and third place went to Innis and Gunn Control (who won for Best Team Name) with 33 points.

Current Events
1. What Midwestern city was chosen recently as the site for the 2016 Republican National Convention?
2. A two-block stretch of West 121st Street in Manhattan will be renamed in honor of what late comedian, who lived there and died in 2008?
3. What drama series received 19 Emmy nominations recently, the most of any TV show in 2014?
4. Comedian Tracy Morgan is suing what company for damages over the injuries he suffered in an auto accident last month and it is the company the driver who struck his limo worked for?
5. What country music superstar announced he is releasing his first album in 13 years this November, and his catalog will be available digitally for the first time?
6. What Hollywood actor topped Forbes' annual list for the highest earning actors for the second straight year, earning an estimated $75 million?
7. Business Insider revealed that Harvey Mudd College will be charging the most for tuition and room and board for the upcoming school year. In what western state is Harvey Mudd College?

2000s Trivia
1. What female singer was awarded the title of "Top Radio Songs" artist of the 2000s by Billboard magazine in 2009?
2. In 2008, the Republic of Kosovo gained its independence from what European nation?
3. What American was given an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002?
4. What 2009 film was the highest grossing film at the box office in the US in the 2000s?
5. The 2000 Summer Olympics were held in what city in September of that year?
6. Daniel Pearl, the reporter who was murdered by Al-Qaeda in 2002, worked for what newspaper at the time of his death?
7. What punk band refused to attend their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2006, calling the Museum "a piss stain?"

Robert DeNiro Characters Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Jimmy Conway
2. Jake LaMotta
3. Ace Rothstein
4. Al Capone
5. Paul Vitti
6. Bruce Pearson
7. Jack Walsh
8. Rupert Pupkin
9. Travis Bickle
10. Jack Tiberius Byrnes

General Knowledge
1. The United States has shoreline on how many oceans? ( 1 pt)
2. The Pentagon Papers were 7,000 pages of documents regarding what war? ( 1 pt)
3. What is the most populous city in North America? ( 1 pt)
4. The ancient city of Machu Picchu is located in what South American country? ( 2 pt)
5. How many spikes are there in the Statue of Liberty's crown? ( 2 pt)
6. What country won the most total medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics? ( 2 pt)
7. What European country was named "The Most Tattooed Nation in the World" in 2012? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What novel, first published in 1925, still sells 500,000 copies a year and was on the best-seller lists for 2013? ( 4 points)
2. Which British TV series has been nominated for the most Emmy Awards in history? ( 3 points)
3. How many total answers are possible with the Magic 8 Ball? ( 4 points)
4. "The Red Vineyard" was the only painting sold during the lifetime of what famous painter? ( 5 points)
5. The Gold Coast was a British colony in West Africa that today is known as what country? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Cleveland; 2. George Carlin; 3. "Game of Thrones;" 4. Wal-Mart; 5. Garth Brooks; 6. Robert Downey, Jr.; 7. California.

2000s Trivia
1. Beyonce; 2. Serbia; 3. Rudy Giuliani; 4. "Avatar;"; 5. Sydney, Australia; 6. The Wall Street Journal; 7. The Sex Pistols.

Robert DeNiro Characters Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Goodfellas; 2. Raging Bull; 3. Casino; 4. The Untouchables; 5. Analyze This; 6. Bang the Drum Slowly; 7. Midnight Run; 8. The King of Comedy; 9. Taxi Driver; 10. Meet the Fockers.

General Knowledge
1. Three; 2. Vietnam War; 3. Mexico City; 4. Peru; 5. seven; 6. Russia; 7. United Kingdom.

IQ Trivia
1. "The Great Gatsby;" 2. "Downton Abbey;" 3. twenty; 4. Vincent Van Gogh; 5. Ghana.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two Touchdowns In Toronto


The Red Sox pitching, both starters and bullpen, have been very good all year. It was the hitting, especially in the clutch, that was killing this team's chances for the postseason.

But now, the bats are heating up and the pitching continues to shine. The Sox exploded last night in Toronto, 14-1, at the start of an important 7-game swing in Canada and St. Petersburg.

David Ortiz belted two home runs, and passed Carl Yastrzemski for 36th place on the all-time home run list. Mike Napoli and Syephen Drew also added home runs, and the Sox scored early and often to win their first blow out in some time.

John Lackey was excellent, giving up just one run on two hits (the only base runners he allowed) in seven innings. He threw only 76 pitches in getting his 11th win, one more than he had in all of 2013.

Everyone in the starting lineup had at least two hits, except for Dustin Pedroia (0) and Christian Vazquez (1). It was a season high in hits with 18. Ortiz and Drew led the way with 4 RBI each. Brock Holt made a sensational catch in right field, robbing Colby Rasmus of extra bases with the score at 14-1 in the fifth inning.

It was just one of those perfect nights we have seen very little of so far in 2014.

The Sox have now won 4 straight, and are 8-1 in the post-A.J. Pierzynski Era. They remain 7 1/2 games back in the AL East in fourth place, as Baltimore won in Anaheim last night.

Monday, July 21, 2014

First Decade of the Century Trivia Tomorrow

Tomorrow night at The Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category for Trivia will be "2000s Trivia," seven questions about events that occurred in the first decade of the 21st century, in pop culture, history and sports.

Since Trivia was called off last week, we will give "Robert DeNiro Character Trivia" another go as the Q Train lightning round. I will give you the names of 10 famous DeNiro characters, and you have to tell me which film that character appeared in.

The Sneak Peek question once again is:
"The United States has shoreline on how many oceans?"

We will get going at 8 PM. The Caledonia is located at 1609 Second Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. The weather is supposed to be good tomorrow night, so I hope to see many of you then!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Six of Seven

Not getting overly excited, but the Red Sox won yet another one-run contest at Fenway, a 2-1 win over Kansas City.

This was the eighth straight one-run win at Fenway, and the boys have now won six of their last seven.

Mike Napoli hit his 11th home run of the year, and Rubby De La Rosa pitched seven strong innings. Shane Victorino came off the DL and had one hit, and Mookie Betts returned to Pawtucket.

Jackie Bradley turned his sixth double play of the season, and continues to show he is a Gold Glove outfielder right now. He leads all outfielders will 11 assists and no other outfielder has as many as three DPs. (Thanks to Allan at Joy of Sox for that fact.)

Two solid wins since the All-Star break. The Sox are 6-1 since A. J. Pierzynski (who has cleared waivers and was released) left the team. Draw your own conclusions.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

No Re2pect


Well, we all knew it was going to be "The Derek Jeter Show" at the All-Star Game last night, and it certainly was.

Fox made sure everyone knew this was the retiring Yankee captain's final All-Star appearance, with 100 mentions of him throughout the night. Listen, I have no problem with that. I thought John Farrell handled Jeter's leaving in the game in 4th inning perfectly, as he substituted Alexei Ramirez for him before the inning started, so Jeter could soak up all the applause. More than fine with all that.

Controversy sprang up late in the game when Adam Wainwright admitted he "grooved" a fastball to Jeter in the first inning, and he slammed it for a double, and later scored on Mike Trout's triple. Wainwright certainly isn't the first pitcher ever to do something like this, but in a game that now "counts", that wasn't the smartest thing to do, as it led to the AL's 5-3 win, and gives the AL team the home field advantage in the World Series.

I've always thought it was silly to have home field riding on this game, but MLB figured the game was slipping into irrelevance like the other three major sports' all-star games had, so they had to do something drastic. If you're playing to win, than play to win. (I've always thought it was overreaction to what happened in 2002, that 7-7 tie travesty.)

The All-Star Game was better when it was just an exhibition game, the AL vs. NL meeting for league pride. That is all gone, as now it has to "count." (Interleague also ruined it, but that's another story.)

But what bothered me most last night was the Fox coverage. Jeter was going to be the star of last night's coverage and you accept that. But with all the Jetermania, the incessant commercials about "Gotham", Fox stars "who just happened to be there", there was no mention of six great stars of MLB who died this year: Tony Gwynn, Ralph Kiner, Bob Welch, Jim Fregosi, Jerry Coleman and Don Zimmer (Gwynn, Welch and Zimmer all died within the last month).

How you can have a 3+ hour broadcast and have not a single mention of any of these great players is simply mind boggling. Especially of Zimmer, who was close to Jeter in his championship years. (I noticed that David Price touched his "ZIM" patch when he was introduced. No mention of that.) The losses of Zimmer, Welch and Gwynn were still fresh in the minds of baseball fans, especially Gwynn, who died at the very young age of 54.

Yes, "Fox Ruins Baseball" strikes again.

The Padres sure noticed Gwynn's snub, and after the game tweeted the above picture, with no caption. Very classy.

Last night was NOT Fox's best hour, as Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci should have known better. I'm waiting for the excuses Fox will come up with for dropping the ball on this one.

Postponed By Rain

Tuesday Night Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub didn't happen last night, as the heavy rains that hit New York City in the late afternoon and early evening kept just about everyone away, including all the regulars (except my intrepid friend Larry). So we called it off and watched the All-Star Game.

We will roll most of last night's Trivia to next week. We will have a new Special Category for next week.

Let's hope for better weather next Tuesday, July 22nd at 8 PM. And I hope many of you can make it then. Have a good week.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Why DeNiro? Why Not?


Tuesday Night Trivia this week will feature "MLB All-Star Trivia" as the Special Category, in honor of the Midsummer Classic game, which will be going on as we do Trivia. It will be seven questions connected to the players who've played in the game, and for those of you who aren't huge baseball fans, it will be multiple choice.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Robert DeNiro Film Character Trivia." I will give you the names of 10 famous characters that DeNiro brought to life on the big screen, and you tell me the film. No particular reason we are doing DeNiro films this week. Maybe only because he's Robert F'n DeNiro.

The Sneak Peek question this week is:
"The United States has shoreline on how many oceans?"

We get started at 8 PM tomorrow night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, which is located at 1609 2nd Avenue, which is located between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We have been growing as the weeks have gone by at the Caledonia, and I hope to see more of you tomorrow night for a another great night of Trivia Q&A!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Retrieving a Little Dignity

The Red Sox ended a lousy 10-game homestand with two wins in their final turn at-bat against the White Sox. They now lead the AL with 8 wins in the final at-bat, tied with the Mets for the MLB lead.

The Sox are now 2-0 since they jettisoned A.J. Pierzynski (coincidence? I think not). They didn't get their first base runner until the 6th inning yesterday (that has to be at least the sixth time the Sox have gone through the first three innings in a game without a base runner; seems more like 50).

Jon Lester was superb in 7 innings, but Koji Uehara, who has looked more human lately, gave up a two-run homer in the 9th to tie it at 3. Mike Carp's RBI single in the 10th won it for the Red Sox.

Two straight wins and a weekend series in Houston to wrap it up for the All-Star break. Can't get excited at all about this, but it would be nice to see the kids contribute the rest of the way.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

2004 ALCS Redux In Brazil


Germany stomped all over Brazil in yesterday's World Cup semifinal, 7-1. To say it shocked the sports world would be an understatement.

As the destruction was taking place, I was trying to find the best American equivalent to what was taking place. And I found it: Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS.

Germany scored early and often, and it was 5-0 by the 29th minute. On that memorable night in 2004, the Red Sox scored early and often, and it was 6-0 by the second inning. Both games were all over by those points but the shouting.

The Germans added on in the second half, and it was 7-0 by the 79th minute. The Red Sox added on, and by the fourth inning it was 8-1. Brazil added a late consolation goal, and the Yankees scored what amounted to runs that made the score look a little more respectable by the 7th inning, 8-3. But the Sox put it on ice late for a 10-3 win and a trip to the World Series.

The German win puts them in the World Cup Championship final on Sunday against the Netherlands-Argentina winner. (Technically the World Series isn't a World Championship series, although it is called one. Close enough.)

And of course, both losing squads were humiliated at home.

And if that wasn't enough, here's a cool clip of the great wrestling announcer Jim Ross, with his commentary put over yesterday's 7-1 German thrashing, courtesy of Deadspin. Good stuff.

Trivia Q&A: July 8

We had yet another nice crowd in at the Caledonia for Trivia on Tuesday night. We are building some nice momentum over the past month, and it was also nice to see Matt and Monica, two Trivia regulars from the old days, in for the first time at the new place. Always warms my heart to see such loyalty from such great folks.

We had a great three-team race last night, with the teams separated by two points heading into IQ Trivia. The winners on the night were The Confused State, who got 4 of 5 correct in that round and wound up with 48 points. Second went to Three Sheets to the Quinn! (Best Team Name winner) with 44 points, and third went to Carroll Hardy May Have Pinch Hit For Ted Williams, But He's Never Won at Trivia with 39 points.

Current Events
1. According to a recent poll from Quinnipiac, who was selected as the worst US president since World War II?
2. In a recent article from Consumer Reports, what fast food restaurant was ranked as having the worst hamburger?
3. What female pop singer and her record label was hit with a lawsuit last week by a Christian rap group, who claim she used part of a song of theirs on her 2013 album without permission?
4. The French bank BNP Paribas was fined a record $9 billion for violating US sanctions in its dealings with three sanctioned countries including money laundering. Name 1 of the 5 countries.
5. The NY Daily News selected which pop singer as number one in its recent list of "The 50 Most Powerful Women in New York?"
6. Nicolas Sarkozy, former president of what European country, was arrested last week on charges of bribery and influence-peddling?
7. What country recently regained the rank as the number one oil producer in the world from Saudi Arabia recently?

1990s Trivia
1. What MLB team won back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993?
2. Madonna earned her first Golden Globe acting award for what 1990s film?
3. In 1999, what Keanu Reeves film became the first DVD to see one million copies?
4. In what year was Nelson Mandela released from a South African jail after 27 years?
5. The 1992 Summer Olympics were held in what European city?
6. Who was the best-selling rap/hip-hop artist of the 1990s?
7. Edwina and Patsy were the two main characters in what 1990s British sitcom?

US States Nicknames Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. The Spud State
2. The Nutmeg State
3. The Equality State
4. The Razorback State
5. The Show-Me State
6. The Old Dominion
7. The North Star State
8. The Silver State
9. The Evergreen State
10. The Terrapin State

General Knowledge
1. Who was the first US Secretary of State? ( 1 pt)
2. What is the official language of Iran? ( 1 pt)
3. Who was the first MLB player to have his number retired? ( 1 pt)
4. The longest day of the year occurs every year on what month and day? ( 2 pt)
5. How many different letters are used in the Roman Numeral System? ( 2 pt)
6. Between Meryl Streep, Katherine Hepburn, Jack Nicholson and Daniel Day-Lewis, who has won the most total Oscars? ( 2 pt)
7. What sport takes place in a velodrome? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What is the world's top-selling tie color? ( 3 points)
2. In 1954, what was the first human organ to be successfully transplanted? ( 4 points)
3. The first nuclear test explosion took place in 1945 in what US state? ( 4 points)
4. In 1937, Great Britain became the first nation to establish what three-digit emergency services number, which is still in effect today? ( 4 points)
5. What famous author wrote the first novel ever written on a typewriter? ( 5 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Barack Obama; 2. McDonald's; 3. Katy Perry; 4. Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Sudan; 5. Beyonce Knowles; 6. France; 7. United States.

1990s Trivia
1. Toronto Blue Jays; 2. "Evita;" 3. "The Matrix;" 4. 1990; 5. Barcelona; 6. Tupac Shakur; 7. "Absolutely Fabulous."

US States Nicknames Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Idaho; 2. Connecticut; 3. Wyoming; 4. Arkansas; 5. Missouri; 6. Virginia; 7. Minnesota; 8. Nevada; 9. Washington; 10. Maryland.

General Knowledge
1. Thomas Jefferson; 2. Persian; 3. Lou Gehrig; 4. June 21; 5. seven; 6. Katherine Hepburn (four); 7. cycling.

IQ Trivia
1. Blue; 2. kidney; 3. New Mexico; 4. 999; 5. Mark Twain.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Back to the 1990s On Tuesday


Tomorrow night at The Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category will be "1990s Trivia," seven questions about the last decade of the 20th century in popular culture, history, sports, etc.

The Q Train lightning round will be "US States Nicknames Trivia." I will give you popular nicknames of ten states and you have to tell me which state I am talking about.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Who was the first MLB player to have his number retired?"

We get started shortly after 8 PM. The Caledonia is located at 1609 Second Avenue, between E.83 and 84 Streets. It's been great to see the crowds increasing over the last three weeks, as our new Trivia home is taking shape. Remember that first place gets $50 gift certificate to the pub, $20 to second, and a free round of shots for third place. I look forward to seeing many of you for a great night of Q&A tomorrow!

Some Will Stay. Some Will Go.

Another uninspiring weekend at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox dropped another series at home, this time to the first-place Baltimore Orioles. A doubleheader split on Saturday, and an extra-inning loss on Sunday, after a 5-run comeback in the 7th inning that went to waste.

39-49. The Sox are now back in last, as Tampa Bay has gotten hot, winners of 10 of 12. The Rays are now 1/2 game ahead of the Sox in fourth.

I'm beyond the anger stage now. It's a hopeless situation, but now I am curious as to exactly what Ben Cherington will do over the next few weeks. The Sox figure to be one of the more active teams over that time period.

Jon Lester was the lone Red Sox selection for the All-Star Game in Minneapolis next week, and Koji Uehara seems like to go as a replacement for a pitcher that bows out before the game takes place.

Now it's just a matter of which Red Sox players are playing in the final month with the team before they get moved to a contender. All kinds of names are being floated out there: Jake Peavy, A.J. Pierzynski, Jonny Gomes, Andrew Miller, Koji Uehara. Even Jon Lester or John Lackey could be gone for the right deal.

It's time to retool for 2015, and give more of the youngsters at Pawtucket playing time in Boston. I'm guessing we'll see more of Jorge De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Garin Cecchini, Christian Vazquez and few others before the calendar strikes August.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Going From Bad to Even Worse

Just when you think it can't possibly get any worse, it does.

The Red Sox were swept by one of the NL's worst teams at home, allowing 16 runs in the process in last night's finale, an excruciating loss that took an unbearable 4 hours and 19 minutes to play.

I'll spare you all the gory details, only to say that Mookie Betts hit his first MLB home run over the Green Monster.

How many times have we heard the term "rock bottom" this year? I've lost count.

Just 7 1/2 months to go until the players report to Ft. Myers for Spring Training.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The Boys In Brazil Do The US Proud


The US went down to defeat at the hands of Belgium in the second World Cup yesterday, but left with their heads held very high.

I remember the World Cup draw from last December, and the groans from critics and fans alike from the draw the US got: Germany, Portugal and Ghana. Very few gave the United States much a chance to advance out of the Group Stage, and the group was deemed the infamous "Group of Death."

The first match was a win over Ghana, 2-1, and combined with Germany's rout of Portugal, 4-0, gave fans hope that the US could pull off at least a second place finish.

The US outplayed Portugal in their second match, but a last minute goal by Portugal in stoppage time gave the Portuguese a 2-2 draw and kept the US from advancing. No one gave the US much chance of beating the Germans, but they nearly did to them what Portugal did in the previous game: a draw with a goal in stoppage time. It was 1-0 defeat, but the US played well enough to advance by gaining second place, by beating Portugal on goal difference. (And a word about that. I found it absolutely laughable that some knuckleheads in the media couldn't understand the concept of a "round robin tournament." They simply couldn't grasp that you didn't need to win the last game, just finish in second place in a four-team group to move on to knockout rounds. I even read where some morons even accused the US of "backing in" to the second round. Ugh.)

Belgium won all three of their Group Stage matches, and were an underrated opponent. It was a tough match yesterday, but Tim Howard, the US goalkeeper, was unquestionably the "man of the match." He made 16 saves, the most by a World Cup keeper since 1966. Belgium could have had at least 5 goals easy, but Howard kept the US in the match. The US had their best chance in injury time, as substitute Chris Wondolowski shot a ball wide where he had an open goal to shoot at, and will probably see that in his dreams forever. It stayed scoreless for the first 90 minutes.

The Belgians scored two goals in extra time, one in each 15-minute period. It was all over until Julian Green scored in the 107th minute to make it 2-1. The US basically emptied all their guns, but ultimately came up short. Clint Dempsey had a glorious chance late, but was denied.

The US goes out having reached the Round of 16, but they leave having opened a lot of eyes. This team will be a force to be reckoned with in Russia in 2018, and brought some new fans to soccer with their run. They did their country proud yesterday, and we thank them.

P.S. To all those soccer haters who've gone to great lengths to say that "soccer will not now or ever take over America": you are correct. (We go through this crap every four years like clockwork, and we will again in the summer of 2018. Bank on it.) Baseball, American football, hockey and basketball have been so ingrained in the American culture for so long that that will never happen. Soccer is only looking for its niche in the United States, and continues to make those strides. MLS continues to grow steadily in popularity, and the good showing by the US in the World Cup only helps that along. You can put down your pitchforks now. You have nothing to worry about.