February 18, 2009
If you have a profile on Facebook, there's a 100 percent chance you're being bombarded with requests to write "25 Random Things" about yourself. It's navel-gazing at its finest, but it's also perfectly suited for the blog environment.
Here on The Stew, we're throwing the challenge a curve by requiring that all responding bloggers relate their 25 things to baseball. Next up is Kris Liakos, a man who covers the Red Sox side of things for Walkoff Walk and has impeccable taste in music, as his messenger bag should clearly tell you.
1. Fenway Park is the best place on earth to watch a baseball game.
2. I know a lot of Red Sox fans bug you. A lot of them bug me too.
4. Once when I was 8 years old my dad and I were walking to our seats for a game and I spotted Dennis Lamp walking around. We were still in the "tunnels" back behind the bullpen. He was talking to some lady, and I wanted an autograph. Yes, I feel cool for knowing who Dennis Lamp was at 8 years old. Anyway, my dad told me go ask for an autograph. I did and he said "Yeah sure. Just a second." I waited. And waited. For a few minutes. I waited through the National Anthem. I knew first pitch was coming soon so I asked him again. "Mr. Lamp, do you think I could have an autograph?" He turned to me kind of raised his arm and growled "I SAID ONE SECOND KID!" So my Dad charged at him, and some security guy held him back and told him to calm down or we'd have to leave. My dad looked at Dennis Lamp and said "Yeah, well your fastball couldn't break a pane of glass." I'll never forget it. It was one of the coolest things my Dad ever did.
5. After the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series I was taking a cab back to Allston and got stopped at the intersection of Mass Ave. and Boylston. Then my cab got flipped over. That was not fun. But I escaped and the car did not explode contrary to what I learned in Grand Theft Auto.
6. There are no good bars around Fenway anymore. If you're coming to visit, walk the couple blocks from Bukowski's. You'll thank me later.
7. Simmons is right. There was nothing like seeing Pedro pitch at his peak.
8. From 1980-1989 Dwight Evans hit the fourth most home runs in baseball. More than Andre Dawson. More than Jim Rice, Darryl Strawberry and that tool Gary Carter. And he was an incredible fielder.
9. I don't really hate the Yankees. I respect them. The Sox would be nowhere without them, and vice-versa. That doesn't mean I don't want to beat the pinstripes off them every time.
10. I hate the Mets.
11. I'm sorry to keep going back to the late 80s/early 90s but these names still strike a chord: Kevin Romine, Danny Heep, Carlos Quintana, Greg Harris, Mike Boddicker, Luis Rivera, Nick Esasky, Reggie Jefferson, Scott Fletcher, Billy Hatcher and Jody Reed.
12. Kevin Millar would much rather host a late night Sox highlights show on NESN than actually play baseball. He only signed with the Blue Jays because no one at NESN thought of this.
13. I moved to South Florida in the middle of high school and went to a ton of Marlins games for the two years I lived there. Though rare, real Marlins fans are awesome people.
14. Mike Greenwell's rookie card was once the No. 1 most sought after card according to that weird ranking thing that used to be in the Beckett magazine. And people invest in baseball cards.
15. Speaking of Beckett, Josh is my favorite Red Sock. He's going to contend for the Cy Young again this year and he's well versed in foreign relations.
16. So the Red Sox have this thing called "The Dunkin' Dugout" where they bring a bunch of kids to the game. Kids that normally wouldn't be able to afford a game, etc etc. Sounds nice, but they put them directly underneath the Dunkin' sign IN THE WORST SEATS IN THE ENTIRE PARK. C'mon guys. Cough up some better seats for the kids, will ya?
17. The Citgo Sign was built in 1940. It measures 60 feet by 60 feet and has more than 5 miles of neon tubing. It's had the same caretaker since 1965, a dude named Marty Foley.
18. There was a lot of talk about moving the Red Sox to a different park, different part of ... zzzzzzzzz. The new ownership recognized point No. 1 and has squeezed revenue out of Fenway that the previous owners (John Harrington, et al) had no idea was there. Monster seats, ads, the Bleacher Bar, various corporate pavilions. Say what you want about selling out (and there are valid issues with some of the companies they deal with), but they've kept the Red Sox at Fenway.
19. My friend Tippi hates the Monster Seats, though. 'Cause in the old days when it went out, it was gone. Now it's just in the seats like any other park. I see where she's coming from.
20. We have the best grass too. My buddy Josh just reminded me of that.
21. Sweet Caroline is kind of over. I'm a Neil guy but it's swallowing up the rest of his catalog at this point. Please don't turn Neil into a novelty act.
22. Only Yaz played more games for the Red Sox than Dwight Evans. And there's no shame in finishing second to Yaz in anything.
23. The first game I remember clearly was when I was five years old. I remember it better than what I had for breakfast. Idyllic setup: Me, my Dad and my Papa. Extra innings against the Royals (only two years removed from a World Series), Pat Dodson of all people drove in the game winner. I can't name a single person from my kindergarten class.
24. Get two Fenway Franks. Sneak in your own booze. Talk to the people around you. Try and figure out why they gave Manny Dwight Evans' number 24. Try not to think about Manny after that. Look up at the lights. Fine, sing Sweet Caroline. Tell all your friends you just saw a game at Fenway Park.
25. When I was 18, I got a Red Sox tattoo on my arm. I can't believe I just told everyone that.
To read co-WOWie Rob Iracane's 25 mostly Yankee-related things, click here.