I’m a few days late, but happy baseball, everyone!

Those who know me best know that I’m a huge baseball fan. Those who merely google me know that I once did a radio documentary about baseball that played in a couple VERY small public radio markets. (You can find it on PRX, if you’re really curious…which, I’m sure, you’re not.)

I’m a big Red Sox fan. And I must say, I’m kind of looking forward to a year with no expectations. It’s incredibly freeing to not be so emotionally invested and just watch for the game. Mostly because I’m a bigger baseball fan than I am fan of any one team. I love the fact that baseball is universal. (Okay, not universal, just universal within the bounds of the US, and ESPECIALLY in the Northeast.) I can talk in any elevator, subway car, bar, or street corner about baseball. Even the non-baseball fans know what’s going on.

I’d continue to rant, but instead, I will make a few ridiculous predictions for the season:

*The Red Sox will not finish in last place. Neither will the Yankees. Sorry to all fans who are not Bostonians or New Yorkers.
*The Red Sox will look like they may be the surprise of the season — only to finish just above .500 and miss the playoffs.
*The Washington Nationals won’t be as good as everyone says. But they’ll still win the NL East, only to lose in the first round of the playoffs in heartbreaking fashion to…
*The St. Louis Cardinals. Who will win one of the Wild Cards and win the play-in game.
*Houston will be just as bad in the AL as the NL
*Houston will be No-Hit no fewer than twice.
*The Tampa Bay Rays will be no-hit at least once…and still make the playoffs.
*The Cubs won’t win the world series.
*The Cubs won’t make the playoffs.
*The Cubs won’t be worth watching.
*The Marlins will have a shot at the 2nd Wildcard, and it will come down to the last 2 weeks of the season.
*The Pirates, however, won’t.
*The World Series winner will come out of the NL
*Cardinals over Rays.

And the most important prediction of all:
*I will listen to more baseball than ever before, but fewer Red Sox games than usual. Because they won’t be worth it. And I love my SiriusXM radio. Okay — the radio itself isn’t holding up on its 3rd year of life as well as I’d hope, but I love the service.

Now back to watching the Yanks and Sox. Go Sox!

I’m on an Amtrak train right now, and as the northeast corridor flies by at…uh…how fast does this train go? Probably not as fast as it could…or would in Europe. But it gave me time to watch For the Love of the Game. I refuse to admit whether or not I shed a tear or two, but it got me thinking admit another Kevin Costner baseball movie: Field of Dreams.

The fun of Field of Dreams is that every man I’ve ever spoken with candidly admits to crying. It is the only movie I know that all men are okay with admitting to crying while watching. (In fact, How I Met Your Mother included the following as their excerpt from “The bro code”during the credits.)


Years ago, I shared with my roommate (and essentially my second brother), Nick, my copy of Field of Dreams. It took him months to watch it, but once he did, he sent me this email.


I thought the first 98% of Field of Dreams was utterly asinine.
I was perplexed as to why it was nominated for Best Picture and, more importantly, why you told me to watch it.
I have never cried during a movie.

I cried at the end of Field of Dreams.


The best explanation I could give was that every son always wants time for “one more catch with dad,” either literal or metaphorical, and even if dad is still with us. We all want to be a kid again and just…play catch.

Plus, that James Earl Jones speech is awesome. So is the Burt Lancaster speech.

Man I gotta watch that movie this week…

It’s the MLB playoffs. I love baseball. Love love love love it. And in may ways, I’m a purist. I am not entirely sure how I feel about instant replay. I’m not the biggest fan of interleague play — which I’m going to have to get over, since it will happen every day next season (and until the leagues even out again. Hello two more expansion teams?) But I like the wildcard.

And yes, I like the second wildcard. I like the fact that the winning the division matters now. I like the fact that teams have to try. I like that we didn’t have a clue what the playoff picture was until the final game of the season this year. (But I think the higher seed opening on the road is dumb. I do not foresee that lasting, though the other innovations of this season probably will.)

But I write this post to discuss more bad officiating. Only to defend the umpires. The Infield Fly call of the other night. (For those who did not follow the events, follow that link.)

As many have pointed out — including Curt Schilling in the link above — this call was probably not why the Braves lost. It may have completely changed the complexion of the game, but I doubt it.

But now I shall defend the umpire. I do think the call was wrong. I do think an outfield umpire should NEVER make an infield fly call. But we cannot blame the left field umpire. We need to remember that umpires usually are in 4-man crews. Only for the postseason are there outfield umpires. This umpire, Sam Holbrook, is not used to seeing what a popup looks like from the outfield. He spent 162 games (actually, I don’t know how many games umpires actually work in a season…but it’s definitely over 100…) playing 3/4 of them from an infield position and 1/4 of them behind home plate calling balls and strikes. I imagine his non-thought process (I say “non-thought” because I imagine it’s instinct after 11.5 years of MLB service…) was “This is an easy popup in front of me. That must be an infield fly,” because it ALWAYS is an infield fly when there’s an easy popup in front of the 3rd base umpire. He forgot he wasn’t at 3rd base on Friday night.

Did Sam Holbrook make the wrong call? Probably. Did it cost the Braves the game? Probably not. Still a much better call than, y’know, this one.

So remember a couple weeks ago when I said the NFL’s replacement refs would get better with practice and they wouldn’t become the story?

I was wrong. I was VERY wrong. I do not know how, but they’ve gotten worse. They’re calling games inconsistently. They’re making the wrong calls — either calling the wrong penalty, penalties on the wrong team, or calling phantom calls that aren’t actually there — and missing calls altogether. And they have NO control over the games.

If nothing else, the NFL referee lockout is proving to the world that officiating matters, and that they couldn’t, in fact, pull any guy off the street to do as good a job as the professionals. The real guys make mistakes, yes. But it turns out that they do much more to keep the game going than just make calls. They add a level of respect to the game between and amongst the players to keep them from beating up one another — which is quite impressive when, as in football (and hockey) more than most other sports, the entire POINT is to beat up the other players.

In honor of the locked out referees, I am going to give you another Ed Hochuli video. Enjoy.

I just wrote six measures of new music. It isn’t much, and it should not be a big deal. Including the cord changes, it’s free than 30 notes. But it is a big deal. It’s the first original notes on a page in almost 3 years.

It probably will never turn into a finished composition and end my drought that started in February 2009 (let’s blame law school, even though that didn’t start until January 2010, okay?), but it got my Mingus Pencil to get the taste of originality rather than the transcriptions and analyses it’s grown accustomed to.

It’s only six measures, but it signifies much more. It’s new life. New creativity. But not yet new music.

Soon, though. Soon.

It’s NFL season. Pretty much everybody knows I’m a baseball guy — I did spend a summer interviewing fans at games on Cape Cod to make my radio documentary, Baseball Is… , which was my graduation project for my BA and aired on a couple (very small market) NPR affiliates a few years ago. But people are surprised to find out that I’m also a Football guy.

Perhaps the confusion as to the fact that I love both can be summed up from an interview I did for Baseball Is… in which my interview subject pointed out that the northern parts of the country are incredibly fast-paced and love baseball, the slowest paced game in American sport, while the southern regions are slower and more laid back and yet into football, one of the fastest paced games in American sport. But no…I love ’em both.

My beloved Patriots had a nice win, but I enter the Monday night games thinking only 2 things:
(1) The survivor league I’m in was impressively dead on for Week 1, when you really don’t KNOW what each team is; and

(2)  The league is very lucky that the replacement officials haven’t gotten in the way yet. Thanks to the Seattle Seahawks, really. The refs awarded a timeout to Seattle that they didn’t have with 30 seconds remaining, giving them the chance to set up MULTIPLE plays inside the 10 yard line. Had Seattle scored and won the game, it would have been because of the officiating. Lucky the Seahawks are inept. (Having watched Pete Carroll coach on a weekly basis when he was in New England, this outcome is unsurprising to me.)

The missed/blown calls of the weekend do not surprise or upset me; there are always missed penalties — either called when they didn’t exist or not called when they should have been — and there are always a couple blown calls. The thing that worries me going forward is the fact that the referees seemed to not know some of the rules. For example, what counts as a timeout with 2 minutes remaining. Fortunately, it can only get better; either the REAL referees will settle their labor dispute with the league, or the replacements will study up and get better with every passing week.

I’m rooting for the former, but the league is lucky, because either way, the referees will not be in the headlines.

And now, I leave you with this clip of Ed Hochuli, the best referee in football, known for his detailed explanations of calls, who is also a lawyer by day. But this call is just funny.

We miss you, Ed. Come back soon!

It’s been well over 2 years since the last time I wrote anything in my old blog. As a result, I’ve decided it’s time to shut that blog down and make a new start.

Since that time, I’ve graduated law school, taken the bar exam (for two states), and generally grown a lot as a human and a professional. As such, this is now replacing that blog on my website (though the old is still accessible through its blogger URL) and will cover a variety of random topics. Unlike my long musings of before, this will likely be much shorter form writings about sports, law, life, etc. (I still refuse to get twitter, but that may change one of these days.)

Welcome to the new blog. It’s good to close the previous chapter of life and start this one.