There’s time to think. Stuff like this often changes. Tonight I an uneasy.
If I could vote for computer models I would vote for the GFS. Tonight it brings Hurricane Irene up the coast then skirting Long Island and staying close to Cape Cod. We still get pounded!
Other solutions are much worse.
I don’t know what to believe.
The Hurricane Center’s forecast is ominous for us Sunday. Still they admit their average error over five days is 250 miles!
I asked my friend Bob down at FSU why he thought the Hurricane Center was so far west of all the models?
Bob: ecmwf has it that’s prob why
that’s where ecmwf has 927mb
ECMWF is “European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.” They have a computer model with very high resolution and excellent results. The 927mb refers to the central pressure prediction for Irene. 927mb is very deep. It would be a strong system.
The graphic that heads this post was stolen from Weather Underground. If you’re really into the nuts and bolts they do a real great job–all the detail and minutiae you could want. It shows a variety of models, some of which pass Irene directly over Connecticut!
We’re still talking late Saturday or Sunday. There’s time to think. Stuff like this often changes. Tonight I an uneasy.
For the Phils pitcher Roy Oswalt scored from second on a play where he ran past the third base coach’s very visible stop sign then slid into home wearing a warmup jacket and gloves! The only thing missing was a red cup full of beer!
As you might imagine the Foxes spent the day watching the Eagles then the Phillies. We weren’t disappointed. Both teams won.
Interestingly neither game was carried to Cablevision customers in some of the Philadelphia suburbs. I hope Cablevision paid their customer service operators hazardous duty pay today. Let the cursing begin!
Both games had interesting moments. Kevin Kolb the Eagles quarterback aired it out and played like the passer he’s supposed to be, but disappointingly never has been. For the Phils pitcher Roy Oswalt scored from second on a play where he ran past the third base coach’s very visible stop sign then slid into home wearing a warmup jacket and gloves! The only thing missing was a red cup full of beer!
On a day like today it is difficult not to take advantage of technology. The Eagles game wasn’t on TV here so I borrowed a friend’s DirecTV to-go package. Computer quality is good, but not yet as good as a broadcast channel.
We watched the Phils live on Fox through the DVR allowing us to pause the action. Actually that’s where technology came back to bite me!
As Ryan Madson pitched to the Giants in the ninth I opened Facebook. For me there were two outs to go but on Facebook a friend had revealed the game was over. Oops.
I tried to tell Helaine I didn’t know, but it’s not the kind of thing anyone hides well. Certainly not me.
This may sound stupid, but as impressed as I was with Halladay I missed the adrenaline that comes from watching a closely fought game. That was missing. The Phils just dominated thoroughly.
I got this from my sister this morning:
I can’t believe it…not one word about the Phillies??? Come on!!
She’s right. You’d think with all I’ve written about my family’s Phllies phandom I’d have put together an entry right away. After all Roy Halladay pitched a no hitter yesterday–a game for the ages.
Halladay was so good it seemed too easy. The outcome was never in doubt. I was rooting for a steamroller to crush an ant!
Nearly everyone was impressed. Not everyone.
John Fay baseball beat writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer spoke with Orlando Cabrera of the Reds.
He and the umpire pitched a no-hitter. He gave him every pitch. Basically, we had no chance.
A few years ago that might have gotten traction. Not today where pitch charts exist. Only one Halladay thrown ball was called a strike! The umps were as good as he was.
Last night I tweeted it was sour grapes on Cabrera’s part. It was. What a jerk.
This may sound stupid, but as impressed as I was with Halladay I never felt the adrenaline that comes from watching a closely fought game. That was missing. The Phils dominated thoroughly. Think juggernaut!
Am I asking too much to hope for a win with excitement? Maybe I should just be careful what I wish for!
I assume ESPN has producers who do what she’s doing (not as well) and get paid for it. It doesn’t eat at them as it eats at her.
It’s been well established we’re Phillies fans. I’m home tonight and sitting with Helaine here at MLB’s Connecticut hub. The Phils video is on the computer. In another window the little dots representing the Atlanta Braves are prancing around. On the big TV we’ve got the MLB network playing.
My wife has conjured most of this configuration. Impressive. I assume ESPN has producers who do what she’s doing (not as well) and get paid for it. It doesn’t eat at them as it eats at her.
“Cole Hamels just tweeted ‘FML’.” That’s Helaine.
Then she admitted she actually didn’t really have Twitter on. She was now in full worry mode as the Phils had allowed a 10-0 lead to become a 10-6 led. All of a sudden the insurmountable is surmountable!
I’m a fan. She’s a fanatic… or more aptly for the Phillies a Phanatic.
I have becoming a bigger fan, a more knowledgeable fan under Helaine’s tutelage. Baseball’s more exciting this way and this year’s National League East and Wild Card races are crazily close and very exciting.
The Phils lead the Braves by ½ game! They play each other six times before the season’s over. It could very well go down to the last game.
This game’s over. Phils win. Helaine can go to sleep.
She doesn’t anguish each game. She anguishes each pitch!
It’s not going to make me a Mets fan but I thought Wright (and his teammates) showed some class here.
I’ve got a few photos from our weekend trip to dribble out over the next few days.
Just before the first pitch the Mets invite some lucky season ticket holders onto the field where they stand with the position player for a moment. Yes, it’s shameless commerce! I watched carefully looking for signs of disdain from the players. I saw none.
Here David Wright takes the time to make this kid’s night. It’s not going to make me a Mets fan but I thought Wright (and his teammates) showed some class here.
The real suprise and a true show stopper was Katie Finneran playing Marge MacDougall, a sloshed, possibly widodwed, pick-up on Christmas Eve. She was deliciously ditzy in an over-the-top role that could only appear on Broadway!
I’m writing this Monday afternoon. That says a lot about how busy we were Sunday!
Helaine bought tickets to the weekend Phils/Mets series at Citi Field. Originally the Sunday game was scheduled for 1:00 PM. That was before ESPN decided it would be the Sunday night game starting at 8:00 PM.
What was a baseball/motel/baseball plan became baseball/motel/filler/baseball plan. The question was how to fill?
Stef stepped up first. It was she who suggested going to brunch. After a little research (they have the Internet in California) she suggested Max Brenner’s in Union Square, a restaurant none of us had heard of. Max Brenner’s specializes in meals built around chocolate.
We left our motel near LaGuardia/Citi Field, walked to 111 Street and hopped on an inbound #7 train.
The Corona neighborhood where we boarded the train is mostly Hispanic. The train itself was a mini-UN. A woman sat across from us reading a Korean newspaper (with ads for State Farm Insurance and Dodge vans). There were a few groups of young Chinese girls near the door. Spanish was being spoken everywhere. It’s possible we were the only people within eyesight who spoke English as our sole home language.
We headed to Times Square, walked up a level to the downtown platform and took the local to Union Square. The restaurant was just a block away.
Breakfast was delish!
I had Belgian waffles with fresh strawberries, fresh whipped cream, shaved white chocolate and fresh strawberry syrup (plus a white chocolate syrup I never touched, but looked great). Helaine had fresh berry pancakes with blood orange syrup.
We headed out on foot down Broadway then past NYU’s sprawling non-campus to Washington Square Park. The park’s fountain was shooting water skyward and the area was alive with people this cloudy Sunday (and people with dogs).
Washington Square is a beautiful park. It’s the iconic symbol of Greenwich Village–the neighborhood within the city. This is the common meeting area. We even saw one couple get married in the park!
We walked around the Village a little longer, but it was cloudy and threatening. Back to the subway and back to Times Square.
Sunday is matinée day for the theater. We got half price tickets at TKTS for Promises Promises the Neil Simon/Hal David/Burt Bachrach revival starring Sean Hayes and Kristen Chenoweth.
I’ve gotten excellent tickets at TKTS in the past, but this was a summer Sunday and we were there at the very last minute. We sat in heaven, way up in the second mezzanine.
Twenty years ago this would have been a problem. Today Broadway performers are so well miked the sound was great though we were a little far to see facial nuances.
Promises Promises is a great show with songs you already know and a full Broadway orchestra. Kristen Chenoweth was good, but Sean Hayes (Will and Grace) was surprisingly excellent. He’s an OK singer, but an excellent comedic actor in a show which demands just that.
The real suprise and a true show stopper was Katie Finneran playing Marge MacDougall, a sloshed, possibly widowed, pick-up on Christmas Eve. She was deliciously ditzy in an over-the-top role that could only appear on Broadway!
The show broke and we walked through a now soggy Times Square back to the 7 train. It’s astounding how quickly the vendors found umbrellas to sell! Today’s going rate was $5 (pronounced “figh dollar”). I expect the rate is as fluid as the weather.
The train back to Queens was crowded, but surprisingly Mets fans weren’t a large constituency. The 7 allows the central city to unload to the less glamorous neighborhoods along its right-of-way. That’s what took up the bulk of the space.
After a quick change at the motel (and an unexpected courtesy van lift to the stadium) we were back at Citi Field. It was raining, but not heavily enough to delay a nationally televised game. The fans in the stands are second class citizens in this equation.
I want to stop for a minute to say something nice about the Mets: Citi Field and the Citi Field employees.
The stadium itself is very nice. The walking areas are wide. Food is plentiful and actually worth eating! Though Subway has a large billboard in the outfield advertising their $5 foot longs, they’re $7.50 here.
Last night as we walked from our van down a deserted footpath toward the main stadium entrance we passed a young woman casually guarding a VIP entrance. As we came within a few feet she smiled and said, “Enjoy the game.”
It seemed totally spontaneous and genuine. This woman was representative of every Citi Field employee we met! Every single one was friendly, helpful and genuinely glad to see us there… even though we were wearing Phillies shirts.
The fans were equally friendly to us. I suspect they would not receive the same welcome at Citizens Bank Park in Philly. I apologize in advance. It now seems very unfair.
I understand from a Facebook friend the Mets took their blue collar team and, in building a new stadium, priced them out of the park. Judging by the sparse weekend crowd I suspect that’s true and a shame. Unsold seats do no one any good.
Saturday we sat on the first base side in the 400 level. Sunday’s tickets were on the opposite side six rows back in the 300’s. The seats were comfortable and the sight lines very good.
What luck–we were under cover!
This was a great weekend series for two Phillies fans. The Phils won both games (with the help of the floundering Mets who made more errors than runs this weekend).
Our 8:00 PM game wasn’t over until after 11:00 PM. We got home around 1:30 AM. TV friendly isn’t family friendly.
It was a great weekend. I now need a few days off to recuperate.
Turning sixty wasn’t all bad. Helaine got me a bunch of gifts which have unfolded over the last month. This weekend it’s the Phils versus the Mets at Citi Field.
I know the neighborhood after all I grew up in Queens, but I’d never stepped inside Citi Field until tonight. I am favorably impressed.
We’re staying at a hotel in Corona (sounds like a dream come true, right?) so the stadium is ten minutes away. You walk up to Roosevelt Avenue then turn left and continue under the Flushing El.
From a distance the stadium looks classic. Lots of earth tones and exposed brick. As you draw closer it looks like the stadium itself is wrapped in an outer building.
We got frisked (yeah, frisked) and had our bags inspected on the way in. The stadium staff could not have been nicer nor smiled more.
We had no hassles while wearing Phillies shirts. Truth is a full quarter of the fans seemed to be Phillies fans. Really Mets fans? This is the best you could do on a Saturday night? There were loads of empty seats. What a shame!
The biggest difference between an old and new ballpark is the availability of food. Citi Field is loaded with food stands many serving specialty items. I bought some sushi and had a lobster roll. Helaine got a hot dog and shake from the Shake Shack.
Our seats were in the 400 level on the first base side and in the first row. It was a great spot to watch the game, not quite as good for photography which demands you stay close to eye level with the action.
The Phils won! It wasn’t pretty as the Mets gave up three costly errors (and we think it should have been four). The final was 4-0.
Chris Velardi and daughters will be glad to know they’re getting the Mets hats they gave away tonight!
Tomorrow’s game was originally scheduled for the afternoon. Thanks to ESPN it won’t start until 8:05. We’ll take advantage of the #7 train and spend some city time before heading back to Citi.
I called Helaine. “Put another one in the win column for the Phightin’ Phils.” It was said with a reasonably loud voice heard by everyone in the studio. I was excited.
Helaine took the TV off mute.
¹ – I see when people are talking about me on the Internet. Google sends me email when my name’s mentioned. If I were a major league ballplayer that’s the last thing I’d do. I’m not sure I’d fire up a computer at all. I certainly would never listen to all sports radio. I don’t have thick enough skin.
Helaine spent the afternoon rooting for the Mets. No, that’s not a typo. Yes, it is like the president of BP hoping for a quick changeover to solar.
It’s been a baseball Saturday at the Fox house. The Phillies are on right now. Earlier we watched the Mets play the Braves.
I didn’t grow up a serious baseball fan, but I didn’t live with Helaine! She is, to say the least, a captial “F” Fan. Actually, it’s more accurate to call her a Phan!
Wouldn’t your dad like this?” I asked her earlier. His TV viewing spot was in the basement on a small set. We’re watching in HD on the largest screen I’ve ever owned.
My in-laws reception was reasonably OK in those pre-cable days. It was certainly better than at my Uncle Murray’s apartment in Queens where the TV was unwatchable every time a plane took off or landed at LaGuardia. Honest. You can’t make that stuff up.
It’s not that we get replays today, it’s that we expect them on every pitch of consequence. My father-in-law had to wait for the paper the next day if he missed something.
Helaine spent the afternoon rooting for the Mets. No, that’s not a typo. Yes, it is like the president of BP hoping for a quick changeover to solar.
We’re now watching the top of the 9th with a Phils and Reds deadlocked 0-0. At the moment Travis Wood is throwing a perfect game! Roy Halladay is pitching a five hit shoutout.
We can only hope Wood becomes the Harvey Haddix of the 21st Century.
Update: Phils win walk-off style in 11. Very exciting. Sorry for both starting pitchers who were exceptional in no-decision starts.
Amazingly, while in the car on the way up we heard about this Red Sox newbie and Helaine predicted he’d ruin our day hitting for the cycle. He was 2 for 4 with a double plus the homer. Close enough.
It’s a week early, but I got my Father’s Day gift from Helaine this weekend. We drove to Boston and caught Saturday and Sunday’s games: Phils versus Sox. In spite of an ugly loss Saturday the trip was great. The Phils held on to win 5-3 on Sunday.
Saturday’s game was marked by a grand slam home run from a player making his major league debut, Daniel Nava. He did it on the very first pitch!
Amazingly, while in the car on the way up we heard about this Red Sox newbie and Helaine predicted he’d ruin our day hitting for the cycle. He was 2 for 4 with a double plus the homer all while wearing a number usually reserved for non-roster pitchers during spring training–60. Close enough.
It’s tough to describe what makes Fenway so special. Part of it is size. As you walk down Brookline Avenue toward the stadium other than the crowd there’s no sign a major sports venue is near!
Even the crowd’s not so large. The stadium only holds around 37,000.
Once we got to the stadium the vibe couldn’t have been better. We came carrying a small soft sided cooler with bottled water ($3.75 per bottle inside), my camera bag with lenses and two Subway sandwiches. No problem. Come on in. This stuff is allowed. The security guards and ticket takers were all smiling and in a good mood.
Inside the no hassle policy continued though we wore Phils shirts both days. There were plenty of Phillies fans, many of whom came early enough to watch batting practice.
The stadium itself is a lovingly restored antique. The new “throwback” stadiums are throwing back toward this!
The main scoreboard is fully human powered! Many of the painted ads are limited to green and white. They fit in rather than stand out. That’s a nice touch.
Though some recorded music is played there is also the traditional organist. He specializes in taking the soul out of even the most soulful songs.
By Sunday afternoon I was pleased enough with Fenway to join in on Sweet Caroline – “So good. So good. So good.”
Saturday’s seats had a pole directly between me and home plate! Uh oh. Luckily a seat was opened and we slid left.
Alas, behind home plate means behind the protective screen. It’s just not good to be behind screen. Oh–forget picture taking too.
Sunday we sat in the grandstand down the third base line. These seats were spectacular with perfect sightlines in all directions.
One doesn’t question gifts, but I think the better Sunday seats were the cheaper seats.
It rained a good part of Saturday’s game and stayed gloomy for Sunday. It made no diff. We were under cover and protected. I wouldn’t have complained had it been a little warmer than the 60°s we sat through both days.
I was extremely impressed by the Fenway grounds crew. It goes without saying a big league field will be well maintained but these guys are animals!
On Saturday’s game we watched them groom the infield three or four times valiantly fighting and winning against the rain. They were out with shovels and rakes and bags of that beautifully red infield dirt. They poured enough dirt that the basepaths should have been elevated from the rest of the field!
I asked Helaine if she noticed how many people were wearing team jerseys and t-shirts? It’s grown over the years. Major League Baseball’s merchandising is very effective.
What did bother us was one food item sold by vendors–New England Clam Chowder. I love chowder, but this doesn’t seem like the right place. On top of that it’s $7.50 for a small cardboard bowl!
Finally a liquid more expensive than ink jet printer ink!
As we were walking to pick up the car Helaine asked if I’d like to go on a Phillies road trip again? Absolutely.
Father’s Day is still weeks away, but last night on our drive from the airport Helaine revealed my gift.
I am tough to buy for. When there’s something I want it’s usually specific and esoteric like a lens or motherboard. At the moment there’s really nothing I want/need. Father’s Day is still weeks away, but last night on our drive from the airport Helaine revealed my gift.
“You said you wanted to see the Phillies out-of-town.”
Helaine was right. While snow was on the ground I’d scoured the Phils schedule looking for an opportune weekend in some city served by Southwest.
And then she told me–we’re going to Fenway this weekend. The Phils play the Sox in an interleague series. We’ve got tickets for Saturday and Sunday.
I am VERY excited.
The forecast isn’t perfect, but our seats are in the grandstand under cover. It doesn’t make much difference. Fenway is a special place. It’s like a beautifully restored and loved masterpiece.
Cameras and video cameras are permitted inside Fenway Park, but cannot be used to reproduce the game and must not interfere with other fans’ enjoyment of the game.
Dave writes, “As you grew up in NYC, have lived in the Buffalo area and now CT how did you and Helaine become such avid Philly sports fans?
Yeah, funny thing isn’t it? A lot of my friends don’t understand.
Helaine’s explanation is easier. She grew up in Philadelphia, the only child of a father who was a rabid Philly sports fan. It was from him she learned to talk back to the TV and question balls and strikes even when the Phils are up by a dozen. They shared a Phils season ticket package as she grew up.
My answer is a little more difficult. I grew up in New York and was a marginal sports fan. Nothing serious. I attended a few games–even a Mets game at the pre-Shea Stadium Polo Grounds!
I worked in Philadelphia on the radio from 1975 to 1980. Philly is where I realized I was an adult. Normally you slide into adulthood gradually. Not me.
It happened in the late 70s when I began playing poker every Thursday night with a bunch of guys around my age. Most of them had families. All of them had responsibilities. Each was accomplished in his own way. It was an impressive group.
They were adults and treated me as an equal. Therefore, I realized in one Eureka moment, I too was an adult. I was ready for adult pursuits.
At the same time a friend whose father was a season ticket holder to the Eagles asked if I wanted to buy two of them. Bingo! My love of Philly sports began.
I sat through a 4-10 Eagles season in Section 614. I never left before the final gun.
I attended a load of Phillies games at the Vet. I was there for the Phils-Dodgers playoff game where the fans rattled Bert Hooten so badly he had to be pulled!
I find watching sports with my wife among the most enjoyable parts of our relationship. She knows a lot more about the games than me!