Thursday, December 31, 2009

Six six six

Reds who've worn number 6: Ed Bailey (1957-1958,1960), Johnny Edwards (1963), Woody Woodward (1969), Bob Barton (1973), Jeff Sovern (1976), Alex Grammas CH (1978), Bill Fischer CH (1979-1981,1983), Bo Diaz (1987), Ron Gant (1995), Ryan Freel (2000-2008), Drew Stubbs (2009-present)

The number of television and radio broadcasters the Reds apparently feel they need is 6.

The number of years the Reds had to go as "Redlegs" due to political paranoia was 6. (1954-1959)

The number of times in the seventies the Reds finished with a season record above .600 is 6. (1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976). Just think about that. This Reds decade has seen only one team finish over .500 and the Machine finished over .600 six times!!!

Six was Barry Larkin's position. He'll know if he goes into the Hall this year on the 6th of January. That's the Epiphany, and the Baseball Writers better have one of those when they're voting.

Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 600th homer in a Reds uni. There were 6 people in the stands in Miami that day.

Leatherpants, Bud Selig, Don Fehr, and Scott Boras all have three sixes marked on their foreheads.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lucky number seven

This 12 Days of Christmas by the Numbers is lame. Seven just isn't significant.

The number of NL West titles the Reds have won is 7.

Reds who've worn 7: Pat Corrales (1969), Hector Cruz (1979-1980), Don Werner (1976,1978-1979), Rafael Landestoy (1982), Russ Nixon MGR (1983), Billy DeMars CH (1986-1987), Lenny Harris (1989), Mariano Duncan (1990-1991), Al Newman (1992), Rick Wrona (1992), Kevin Mitchell (1993-1994, 1997), Curtis Goodwin (1996), Alex Ochoa (2000-2001).

Seven is a position with a gigantic question mark over it for the Reds. Of course, if they had JUST SIGNED DUNN then we'd be set.

Seven is, of course, Mickey Mantle's number always and forever. Speaking of Mantle, his history of injuries didn't keep him out of the Hall - why is this an issue for Larkin?

The best World Series and LCS go to 7 games. Unless the Reds are in it. I don't need that heart attack.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Eight

Eight White Sox were kicked out of baseball for the Black Sox Scandal. The Reds could have won anyway.

Reds who've worn number 8: Frank House (1960), Don Pavletich (1967), Rafael Landestoy (1983), Joe Sparks CH (1984), Bo Diaz (1986), Terry McGriff (1987-1990), Juan Samuel (1993), Joe Morgan (1972-1979).

Number 8 is retired by the Reds. Duh.

The number of African-Americans playing Major League Baseball is only 8%.

Cal Ripken's giant 8 statue was stolen from outside Camden Yards this year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Niner niner niner

Continuing with the 12 Days of Christmas by the Numbers series, today's number is 9.

Of course, the most obvious 9 in baseball is the number of men on the field.

The Reds have won 9 NL Pennants.

Reds who've worn 9: Dutch Dottier (1959-1960), Hal Bevan (1960), Hal Smith CH (1969), Bill Plummer (1973-1974,1976-1978), Vic Correll (1979-1980), Mike O'Berry (1981-1982), Dann Bilardello (1983), Vern Rapp MGR (1984), Max Venable (1986-1987), Luis Quinones (1988), Joe Oliver (1989-1994), Eric Anthony (1995)

The Reds have retired 9 numbers.

Ted Williams is the best player to have worn number 9.

The Reds have had 9 consecutive losing seasons.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ten

Next in our 12 Days of Christmas in Numbers series is the number 10.

Reds who have worn 10: Eddie Kasko (1960), Vern Benson CH (1969), Sparky Anderson MGR (1970-1978), Tom Foley (1983-1985), Luis Quinones (1989-1991), Bip Roberts (1992-1993), Eddie Taubensee (1994-2000).

Ten, of course, has been retired by the Reds and Sparky Anderson is in the Hall of Fame.

Ten is the number of pennants the Reds have won, although one of those was with the American Association.

In each of his 10 MLB seasons, Jason Marquis' team has gone to the post season.

There are 10 starters in American League baseball. There should only be 9.

Ten is the next year the Reds go to the playoffs!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

On the Larkinth Day of Christmas

Continuing with the 12 Days of Christmas by the Numbers series, today we reach 11, which, of course, is Barry Larkin's number always and forever more (the Reds will put it up on the wall one day soon.)

Other Reds who have worn number 11: Roy McMillan (1957-1958,1960), Hal McRae (1972), Denis Menke (1973), Bob Bailey (1976), Ron Plaza CH (1978-1981,1983), Dann Bilardello (1984-1986), Kurt Stillwell (1986-1987), Barry Larkin (1988-2001)

Ryan Zimmerman is the best player now wearing number 11.

Eleven is the number of pitchers a team should have on its roster. Unfortunately, that's never the case.

The chain 7/11 pays money to have games start at 7:11pm on occasion.

The longest losing streak the Reds have had was the 11 losing seasons in a row from 1945-1956.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Fa la la la lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala...

This is the first day of Christmas. For the next twelve days, I will be posting about each day's number and its significance to baseball. So here we go: 12.

The Reds have made 12 playoff appearances in their history.

Did you know that when the Bankees$ originally began to wear uniform numbers that 12 was used by starting pitchers?

Reds players who have worn number 12 are: Smoky Burgess (1955), Darrel Chaney (1972-1974), Dave Revering (1978), Harry Spilman (1980-1981), German Barranca (1982), Wayne Krenchicki (1983), Nick Esasky (1983-1988), Joel Youngblood (1989), Paul Noce (1990), Freddie Benavides (1992), Willie Greene (1992-1998), Deion Sanders (1994), Dusty Baker (too long).

You can buy packs of a dozen baseballs at your local sporting goods store.

Twelve players tested positive for stimulants during 2009.

Roberto Alomar, who is up for the Hall of Fame with Barry Larkin, wore number 12 during his career.

There are 108 stitches on a Major League Baseball, which is divisible by 12, equally 9, which is the number of players on the field. This, of course, means absolutely nothing.

In 1912, Redland Field opened in Cincinnati. Redland, of course, was later renamed Crosley Field.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Huh. From the Did You Know Files.

Chances are if you are reading this soon after the publishing time, I am on a flight to Dayton, as long as the Snowpocalypse backups don't affect my flight from National Airport. I do look forward to eating Skyline and Cassano's sometime in the coming days!

A few days ago Red Reporter gave a final rundown of the Best 100 Reds series. An interesting side note was some of the fun names the Reds have had in the past. I like to look at turn of the century rosters to see all of the unusual names and the great nicknames they had back then. As I was pouring over a few rosters from the early twentieth century, I came across some interesting names, not for their unusual sound, but because of their unusual ethnicity, at least for that time - Armando Marsans and Rafael Almeida.

Turns out, Marsáns and Almeida, who both debuted on July 4, 1911 for the Reds, are recognized by Major League Baseball as the first Cuban MLB baseball players. Both of them spent time in the Negro Leagues. Though they were light skinned Cubans, the Reds had to refute rumors that they had "negro blood."

Almeida spent only three years in MLB, all with the Reds, mostly as a bench player. Marsáns, on the other hand, was a good player who finished 18th and 24th in MVP voting in 1912 and 1913 respectively. However, a falling out with the manager of the Reds led to his quitting the team and going to play for the St. Louis Terriers of the Federal League in 1914. It was his last good season. Legal battles with the Reds plagued him for the next few years, forcing him at one point to return to Cuba. He went to the Browns the next year and to the Yankees for two seasons after that, but he was never the player he was for those two brilliant seasons for the Reds.

The Reds discovered the pair on a trip to Cuba in 1908 to play exhibition games against the Cuban teams.

You can read the great bio of Marsáns here at the Baseball Biography Project. Interesting stuff.

Of all the firsts the Reds have had, this is one I didn't know about.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Secret Thoughts of Scott Rolen

I'm getting old. I can just feel it in my bones. I'm so glad I got out of Canada. They talk funny up there. Joey talks like that, but I'm gonna try to get him to stop. Probably won't though, cuz Canucks are like that. They think Canada is the greatest country on Earth. Stupid Canucks. Ever hear of a place called the United States of America? Man, am I glad to be out of there and back in the States. In Real America, too, the Midwest, where they don't have all those East Coast elitists like they do back in Philly. Stupid East Coast elitists and their fancy shmancy double soy lattes and their public transportation and their knowledge. So glad I got some security for the next few years. I just hope the fans don't give me some stupid nickname like Grandpa Rolen or something like that. Seems like the fans always give stupid nicknames. And the reporters will use headlines like "Cincinnati Rolen Past the Cubs" when I do well and maybe if I don't do well they'll say, "Bob Howsam Rolen in His Grave at Contract." That would be bad. Ha. It's kind of funny, though. I had a good year last year. Too bad I got hit in the head and got that concussion. Man, I can't wait to play the Cardinals and beat the heck out of them. LaRussa won't know what hit him. Sweet revenge. Boy was that a bad situation, with LaRussa being such a jerk all the time. I hope there aren't any jerks in Cincinnati. Phillips might be kind of a jerk. I'm still not sure on that. Baker's not a jerk - he's a real player's manager who respects veterans because they've been around. Not like that jerk LaRussa who played younger guys over veterans because their on base percentage was higher. I mean, seriously, where's the respect? Well, anyway, I gotta go wrap some presents. I'd like some nice hot chocolate now.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Big Time Machine

Here's Pete Rose on Phil Donahue from 1985. The hairdos and graphics are great. Enjoy!











Oh, Pete, why did you ruin everything?

Friday, December 18, 2009

No, occifer, I ain't been drinkin' none

Continuing with video week, since Fridays are amateur drunk night, I thought I'd leave you with some images of drunken Reds fans.









Remember - Cincinnati got kicked out of the National League for selling beer!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Is it April yet?



Since we're in an extended rain delay, I thought I'd post this Brandon "Lucky Charms" Phillips rain delay interview. Plus I can't think of anything to write about.

Sigh...I'd sit through a two hour rain delay just to be at a baseball game. Come to think of it, it rained in all but two of the ten or so MLB games I attended this year. (Funny, Peter Gabriel's "Red Rain" just came on the shuffle as I was typing this. No joke.) Actually, not true - one of those games it didn't rain but snowed.

Doo doo doo...banana phone...it's much too early to have the baseball restlessness.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baseball in Technicolor



Continuing to rely on YouTube because I can't think of anything good to write, I thought I'd post this video of Reds pitching from the last decade and a blogger's response at the end.

You can watch the whole cartoon here. Pretty funny. And odd seeing ads in the cartoon for champagne and tobacco.

Another amusing old cartoon I found is "Goofy's How to Play Baseball" made back when Disney made films to make films:



I thought it interesting to hear some of the terminology we rarely use anymore like "speedball" and "slowball."

And here's a great Woody Woodpecker from 1943:



Here's Charlie Brown floating out to sea on a pitcher's mound:



Here, Clyde Crashcup from The Alvin Show invents a Cubs fan:



Ah, the good old days of cartoons.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ice Coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooold



This guy's actually an opera singer. There are a couple of other real singers who are beer vendors at GAB(p), too. What an interesting job that would be, except for the carrying around the heavy beer and all. I remember the first season in Washington one of the beer vendors was fat and by the end of the season he had lost a ton of weight because of all the carrying and walking up and down the stairs.

Monday, December 14, 2009

1891: The year Cincinnati had two major league baseball teams



I came across this trailer for a film on the 1891 Kelly's Killers of the American Association. The story goes like this. In 1891, the Cincinnati Reds of the National League were bankrupt and sold to a group that wanted to move them to the American Association (the league the Red Stockings had played in after they were kicked out of the National League for playing games on Sundays and selling beer, only to be reinstated in 1890.) The National League threatened to put another franchise in Cincy if the Reds moved to the AA, so they stayed. But the AA was left with an uneven number of teams - seven - so they put another team in Cincy, also called the Reds, but people called them Kelly's Killers to distinguish between them and the National League Reds. Mike Kelly was the captain of the team.

The team played above their ability for awhile but faded out of contention in August and then disbanded. The AA replaced them with the Milwaukee Brewers, and the league folded at the end of the season.

Many people don't realize that the American Association was a Major League and that each season, a sort of World Series was played between it and the puritanical National League. Our Reds won the AA in 1882, the first year of the AA, playing at the same site as Crosley Field. It's a shame the Reds don't really recognize these years and this pennant.

An interesting note is that Kelly's Killer Frank Dwyer went on to pitch for the Reds for eight seasons. Dwyer is eighth on the all-time wins list for the Reds.

This documentary was supposed to come out in August. Has anyone seen it? I am trying to find out more information, but the website for the Society for Cincinnati Sports Research (SCSR), the documentary's producer, is sparse. They have a website devoted to Kelly's Killers, but there is nothing about the film.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

There's something about an Aqua Velva man...





The War on Errors: A Lesson in Language

The English word "Church" comes from the Greek word kuriakon, which was used to mean a place of worship. Many European languages use some derivative of this word - kirche in German, църква (crkva) in Bulgarian, kerk in Dutch, and kyrka in Swedish.

In the New Testament, the word "church" is the translation of the Greek word ecclesia, meaning "assembly." You might recognize it if you know any of the Latin languages - iglesia in Spanish, église in French, igreja in Portuguese, chiesa in Italian. εκκλησία is still used in Greek. Persian, too, uses a derivative of the Greek: (kilisa) کلیسا Turks use the same word, kilise. I imagine the Arabic (kinisa) الكنيسةis some bastardization of the Farsi or the Turkish, but I don't have direct knowledge of that.

The word "baseball" was directly given to human beings by the Baseball Gods but underwent babelian transformations as it slowly spread across the globe, from its humble beginnings in England to its perfection in America to its becoming the national pastime in Japan to its drafty abuse of Latin American children. Various forms of the game are beisbol in Spanish, honkbal in Dutch, bejzbol in Croatian, among a few others. For the most part, the word baseball has remained in its pure state - even the French, who are obsessed with having their own word for everything (see this WSJ article on their agony over how to translate cloud computing), use the word baseball.

In Arabic it is... كرة القاعدة (korat al-qaeda)! AHHH...baseball has been invaded by terrorists! It's the Crusades! We must arm ourselves against the hordes of leatherpants-clad warriors who hate us for our beautiful game! We must fight against the baseball extremists - Al-lenselig, Don Aldfehr, Al-Bert Poojols, Al-lCubsfans, Al-Exrod Riguez, Scott Al-Boras...

Ok, enough sarcastic hysterics. This is what happens in the off season. April 5th seems so far away...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Church for Church

Ryan Church was non-tendered by the Braves today. I wouldn't mind seeing him compete for a leftfield spot on the Reds. (See? I'm a fan.)

In my opinion, Church got the shaft when he was with the Nationals, which really impeded his progress. Old Leatherpants just didn't like him. When they finally let him play as a full-time starter in 2007, he hit .272/.349/.464 with 15 homers and 70 RBI in 144 games.

Of course, injuries are a problem for him, but he might make a good platoon with Gomes if the Reds can sign Gomes. I suppose if they can sign Gomes, they won't have the money to sign Church. And this is assuming they won't be able to sign Nix.

You know how sometimes you just take a liking to a player for no explainable reason? Church is one of those guys for me. I won't be upset if the Reds make a run for him.

Friday, December 11, 2009

"When you are burning in Hell, I hope to be burning food on my Pete Rose Signature Grill."

There's a website Emails from Crazy People. It's along the same lines as You Suck at Craig's List, People of Walmart, and Passive-Aggressive Notes. I enjoy looking at these sites when I get a little frustrated at work.

I came across this one that is sort of Reds-related and thought I'd share it because it made me LOL and it sort of goes with the Church of Baseball theme.

ATTENTION: Ryan alkdfddgdf (aka: fraudulent scammer):

On May 1, 2009, a Pete Rose signature grill (Pete Rose (Signature Series) Roto-Grill! eBay ID: akjflakdjflaksdjf) was ordered from your Ebay auction. Along with that order was payment through debit card. Our bank shows you received $79.00 from our account on May 4, 2009. We have not heard from you regarding this order, its shipment, or anything. We have made repeated attempts to contact you through Ebay, and you have not responded. It is beginning to look like a fraudulent listing. If this is the case, every attempt will be made to get law enforcement involved. We have already been working with Ebay to start a case against you for your lack of communication and this seemingly fraudulent item posting. You got the money, as per the agreement. Up to this point, you have not upheld your end of the agreement by shipping us the item that we paid for.
It goes on.
You have lined your pockets in an unsavory manor and apparently have no desire to communicate with us about this order or the fact that you have no intention of shipping the item we bid on and paid for the day the order was placed. What kind of racket do you run? You know, living in Utah, I would have thought that some Mormon values would have entered into your business practices. You are not an upstanding Mormon at all!! Hmmmm…Where in the Hell is my grill?! It does not take 15 days to ship something from Salt Lake City to Cheyenne, Wyoming!! The distance is not that far. I bet you scam little old ladies who live on limited incomes, too. Do you do that, Ryan? You are one of those people who do not believe in honest work for honest pay, are you Ryan? Funny thing, I have a friend named Ryan, and he is a low-down, dishonest, shady character, too!! What do you suppose the chances of that are? You know, greed is one of the seven deadly sins, and it is quite clear that you are a greedy Godless person who does not care in the least about being dishonest and greedy with people. You obviously do not have any pride, which by the way is another deadly sin…but being so consumed by greed, you will surely burn in Hell for that deadly sin which you practice so well. When you are burning in Hell, I hope to be burning food on my Pete Rose Signature Grill. I plan on grilling a meal to commemorate you as you burn in Hell. First, I plan to grill the very tiny little smokies to signify the tiny wand between your legs that you use to screw people who send you money for products thought to be legitimate. I will also grill two very shriveled up raisins to signify the very tiny balls you have. I apologize if you are a eunuch (and I am half guessing you are), in which case, you don’t have any balls to signify with raisins. If you are, indeed, a eunuch, I will replace the raisins with thin slice of tuna to signify the flat void you have between your legs. I will burn each item sufficiently to match what you will look like as you burn in Hell!! Now, that we have the niceties out of the way, WHERE IN THE HELL IS THE GRILL THAT WAS ORDERED OVER TWO WEEKS AGO?! You should already have a map of Hell and should be able to locate the grill quickly…that is if you know how to read a map. Do they teach that skill in fraud and scammer school? I bet you were valadicklesstorian of the class, weren’t you, Ryan?! I could go on and on, but I am pretty certain you won’t respond to this email, either.

Sincerely,

Non-Hell Dweller
Wow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rant away those winter blues

It's winter - we need something to do with our time, right? I present you with another great Marty moment:



One of my favorite Marty moments in recent years (and there really aren't too many of them, to be honest) is this rant against Chub$ fans when they threw a bunch of balls onto the field after a Dunn homer. He summed up what we think of them brilliantly and pissed off a lot of Chub$ fans. The rest of us - even fans of other non-Chub$ teams - found the rant wonderful enough for someone to create a Facebook page Marty Brennaman Is My New Hero.

Chub$ fans aren't obnoxious? Here's a perfect example of what Marty was talking about:



Unfortunately, they still won the division that season but were wonderfully swept by Los Angeles in the Division Series. It makes me happy to think this man might have cried.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

For this winter day, I present you: Hot Red Hot



This made me LOL. Oh, how terrible it was, but I'd put up with another equally as bad recording if we could have another trophy.

Here's my update for Reds Rap 2010. Can you picture Harang and Bruce trying to rap?

Ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh
Let me tell you a story about a baseball team
On top of the game and it's not a dream
From fourth to first the pennant we can win
Now I present THE CHAMPIONS!

Hot, red hot
Hot, red hot

Harangutan here with the rest of my crew
BP, C-Dick, and Voltron, too
Coming to you live just to bust the groove
With some help from my homeboys to make you move
This is the time of year to take the pennant
Ain't no half steppin', so let's win it!
Listen up, listen to the story,
This is the year, the moment of GLORY!

I'm from the streets, the streets of CA
I chose ball, and I'm really good, eh?
I've seen people playing hockey acting like they're cool
If they were smart, a bat would be their hitting tool.
Enough of that, I wanna beat that Cardinal Poo.
Just listen up, that's what I want to talk aboot.
Back to this rap, and this is what I got to say
In twenty-ten we're gonna take it all the way.

We're the Reds, red hot
We're the Reds, red hot

Strike three, he's out, you'll always hear
With Johnny Quest you'll have no fear
All year long I'll be the best
So all you critics forget the rest.
This is my time to shine, that's why I'm bustin' this rhyme.
The pitch I'm throwing today - aye carumba! muy caliente!

When duty calls Jay will deliver
With crushing blows that'll make you shiver

Stubbs in the outfield running down shots
Fly balls, line drives, they gotta be caught

It's been a long time, I've taken some heat
Because of my managing we're gettin' beat
I send C-Pat and Willy to the dish
And the pitcher says, You can't touch this

Yo, take it to the seventh inning stretch!

Go Bronson! Go Bronson! Go, go, go Bronson!

Uncut, no work, I have no pain
Me and my guitar we're together again
Another homer, look out, who can it be?
Oh, we're in Toronto for season three!

There's more to life than O.B.P.
You can make it to the big leagues like Willy T.
Striking out, grounding out is what I do
They pay me millions, yes it's true.

This is the roster, it's really not full
Leftfield has a great big hole
Shortstop Soft-J comes with no bat
How long til Alonso wears a C hat?

We're the Reds, red hot?
We're the Reds, not hot?

Here's a special message for Walt:

Say no to Carroll, no to bad contracts
Just get us someone to hit the ball with the bat
And you can win the World Series all right
Not by making bad trades but doing what is right.

Say no to Willy, yes to Gomes
Just get us someone who can get on and cross home
And we can win the World Series for once
It's been twenty years since we were champions!

We're the Reds, red hot
We're the Reds, red hot

Hey there we're doing this for you...

We're the Reds, red hot
We're the Reds, red hot

Everybody clap your hands...

Hmm...that turned out a little more bitter than I had hoped.

And then there was this:



It's hard to think Cincinnati sports teams used to be good. I'm still not certain the Bengals are really in first place. If only the Reds would follow suit...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Cincinnati Reds Basketball Club?

When I was a kid, there was something different the Reds did during winters. These days I'm sure they aren't allowed to do it for insurance purposes, but back then, you got to watch the Cincinnati Reds play a sport even during the off season. That sport was basketball.

I don't remember how many years they did it, but I know it was a few. The Reds had a traveling basketball team that went to different high schools and played basketball for charity. It wasn't just the nobodies who played, either. The stars played, too - Barry Larkin, Paul O'Neill, Hal Morris, Joe Oliver...the good old days when the Reds were a winning franchise. Barry Larkin's brother was also part of the team - Byron is it? He was the best player, as if I recall correctly, he was a college basketball star? (Fuzzy memories...)

The highlight was not the game itself, but the autograph sessions afterward. I must have those programs somewhere back in Ohio, all smeared with glorious ink at the hands of a ballplayer - I'll have to get them out and scan them to show you some time.

I mentioned this on Twitter (@churchofbasebal) and someone said he had never heard of these traveling winter teams. I'm wondering - does anyone else remember the Reds winter basketball teams?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Feeling cold tonight? Listen to this gem of a memory!

video


I have saved this and listened to it from time to time as a heartwarmer. It was the greatest Reds comeback in my personal memory, and my heart fills with joy every single time I listen to it. Such a wonderful warmer on this dark and very cold night!

Campaign Time



If I campaign, will they take away my tax-exempt status?
___

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Coincidence? Or Divine Intervention?

Really jealous of those who are at Redsfest this weekend. We certainly have the best team festival in all of baseball, and I'd like to thank the Reds for putting it together. I'm wearing Reds gear today and am really happy to hear Dusty Baker said Stubbs is the starting centerfielder (also that Taveras is being Stubbs and Dickerson on the CF depth chart and Heisey is listed as the starting leftfielder.) I've really enjoyed all of the Tweets today from Redsfest - seems like everyone's there - Red Reporter, Redleg Nation, OMG Reds, Reds Minor Leagues...

In January I'm going to Beirut for what is most likely the whole year aside from a trip back to Washington for work every three or four months or so. (And a week in Paris to see U2.)

One of these trips back is going to be in July so I can see U2 in Chicago, Philly, and New York over a two week span. (Yeah, I know it's a little excessive.)

Now, as I was looking at the Reds schedule to see about catching a game over the course of those two weeks, at first I was disappointed because the Reds weren't at home. Then I saw where they were going.

My shows are July 6 in Chicago and July 12 in Philly. It just so happens that the Reds are in Chicago July 1-4 and in Philly July 9-11.

Huh. Of all the things. What are the chances of one, let alone two times working out like this?

(Oh, btw, if you were wondering about this weird U2 stuff, when they came out with their latest album, they had a song about Lebanon. Two weeks later, I had a job that I didn't interview for in a Lebanon organization. And I'll be living there next year. Also, an image such for Achtung Baby came up with this Bronson photo.)