The Rays had no choice but to deny it that the reason they lost yesterdays game was because of a collective hangover; and I dont mean emotional hangover, but the kind of hangover you get from drinking way too much on a Saturday night.
Of course they lost the seasons last home game because they were, probably to a man, fighting the effects of the previous nights alcohol intake. Dozens of cases of beer consumed. Dozens of bottles of champagne. If youve ever tried to take a jog with a vile hangover, you know how debilitated you are. Now try to focus on a low-and-outside slider.
Hey, I dont blame the guys for getting wasted after clinching the teams first ever playoff spot on Saturday. And I dont blame them for not admitting that the after-effects of boozing contributed to the loss just so long as they realize that much more work is to be done to hold off Boston for the AL East title, and they get back in gear tonight.
Celebrating too early and allowing the Sox to pass them in the division race would really set a bad note for the playoffs, and that includes forfeiting home field advantage.
Shit, I almost forgot. Congratulations Rays. You got it done the first part, at least.
I cant remember the last time the Bucs were in a barnburner like yesterdays win against the Bears, and it was fun to watch. I give Brian Griese big ups for staying resilient and rallying his team.
As of Wednesday, Aug. 20, the Blurbex blog will be folded into our new blog, The Daily Loaf.
Rays centerfielder B.J. Upton got booed last night in his home park. That cant feel good. After being benched twice in the last few weeks by manager Joe Maddon for lack of hustle, Upton made a baserunning error that looked really, really bad:
He hit a sharp shot to right, then hung around the batters box admiring the flight of the ball, thinking it was a homerun. Then he ambled down the first base line when he realized it would stay in the park. An easy double. He jogged around first and coasted toward second base. The Angels first baseman followed behind him, took the throw from the outfield and tagged Upton just before he touched second.
Upton looked shocked. Hed been tricked. Worse, it was not a good time to appear lazy on the baseball diamond. He hung his head. All this scrutiny, he had to be thinking, I just dont need this.
Thing is, I dont see Upton as lazy. At least not in this case. 99 times out of a hundred, that hit turns into an easy double. The first baseman doesnt shadow you down the line and tag you.
As I was driving out of my cul de sac in St. Pete, ready to brave Tropical Storm Fay and fuck it drive across the bridge to the CL office in Tampa, I had to make a hard right turn to avoid a downed palm branch! Phew. A few blocks later, another downed palm frond. I made it to the office and am hunkered down here for the duration. Where's ABC Action News and Don Germaise? I want my on-camera!
From the two school systems:
Hillsborough Schools Closed Tuesday
Tampa, Fla. (August 18, 2008) Due to the threat of Tropical Storm Fay and the need to open shelters, Hillsborough County Public Schools will be closed on Tuesday, Aug. 19. The School Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday has also been canceled.
The latest information available shows that the Tropical Storm is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the Tampa Bay area on Tuesday.
School officials will be in constant contact with Emergency Operations Center officials monitoring the path and intensity of the storm. A decision will be made tomorrow (Tuesday) regarding the possibility of reopening schools on Wednesday, and we will use all our communications tools and rely on local media to help get out the word.
Schools, Offices Closed Due to Tropical Storm Fay
All Pinellas County public schools and district offices will be closed Tuesday, Aug. 19, due to Tropical Storm Fay. Julie M. Janssen, Ed.D., interim superintendent, made the decision Monday afternoon based on information from the Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center.
All planned activities at schools today (Monday, Aug. 18) will go on as scheduled, including back-to-school activities for parents.
Parents are urged to stay tuned for communication updates that will be available on the district website, www.pcsb.org; the districts recorded emergency phone line, (727) 588-6424; Pinellas County Schools television, WDPS-TV14 (which may be found on Bright House Networks Ch. 614, Knology Ch. 14 and Verizon Ch. 46), and in media reports. There also will be Connect-ED phone messages from the district to parents with the latest information.
This is the latest hurricane prep info from the city of Tampa:
City of Tampa Action & Information
City of Tampa offices will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, August 19, 2008. This includes Parks & Recreation facilities and programs as well as the after school program.
Solid waste collection services including yard waste and recycling will be postponed for Tuesday, August 19. Residents with regular Tuesday collection will be serviced on their next regularly scheduled collection day, Friday, August 22. Tuesday recycling and yard waste collection services will be postponed until the next regularly scheduled collection on Tuesday, August 26. All scheduled commercial collections will be delayed one day.
Sandbags: Residents may continue to pick up sandbags until 8 p.m. this evening. Residents may pick up sandbags at the Himes Sports Complex, 4500 South Himes Avenue; Jackson Heights Playground, 3310 East Lake Avenue; and the solid waste facility at 4010 West Spruce Street. Tampa residents interested in receiving sandbags must show identification verifying residence within the city limits. Valid drivers license, utility bill or electric bill will serve as appropriate identification.
The Parks and Recreation Department has cancelled the Davis Islands Park Improvement Fund meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 19. At this time a new meeting date has not been scheduled.
City emergency management officials are continuing to monitor the path of Tropical Storm Fay. Residents are encouraged to stay tuned to local media organizations for storm updates.
Residents with questions regarding Tropical Storm Fay are encouraged to call the Hillsborough County Emergency Operations Center at (813) 272-6900.
Arguably the best culinary competition reality show, Bravo's Top Chef has embarked on a 20-city national tour, which happens to be stopping at Ybor's Saturday Morning Market on Sept. 20. No telling which chefs will take part (the info is noticeably absent from both the press release and the Top Chef site), but previous appearences have featured Season 5 finalist Richard Blaise (pictured at left) and Betty Fraser from Season 2. Locals are invited to come out and enjoy cooking demos, gourmet tips, and show secrets.
The Michael Phelps story was impressive, of course his body of work in this Olympics is mind-boggling but for my money the most extraordinary individual achievement of these Games thus far has been Usain Bolts win in the 100 meters. He blew away the field, celebrated the last 10 or 15 meters and still broke the world record with a 9.69.
At 6-feet-4, 198 pounds gargantuan for a sprinter Bolt runs with a kind of joyful lope. In the 100-meter final, he came out of he blocks a bit behind, and at the halfway point started to put everyone in his dust. The last part of his run was pure euphoria.
If you havent seen the highlight, you should. I couldnt get it on YouTube just still shots set to music, mostly but it is available through NBC (although you must have the right browser). I got blocked from posting it here, but this is the link.
1. Crowbar presents a bill of alternative music, with sets by The Sleeping and Envy on the Coast, both of Long Island, New York, Ashevilles Secret Lives of Freemasons, and New Jersey duo The Gay Blades (pictured).
4. Week two of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games; tonight's excitement includes the women's trampoline final, the second night of individual event gymnastics (men's rings and vault, women's uneven bars), women's beach volleyball semifinals, and several track and field competitions: the men's steeplechase, 400m hurdles and long jump, and the women's pole vault.
5. The Tampa Bay Rays kick off a three-night stand of home games against the Los Angeles Angels tonight at Tropicana Field.
Atlantic Records partner and famed producer Jerry Wexler, pictured right with Dusty Springfield, helmed many of my most beloved albums. He also provided me with a cherished memory and one of my proudest journalistic accomplishments two things for which I will always be grateful.
I knew death had been looming for years but when I saw the news online late last night it saddened me greatly. Still does. Its not like Wexler and I were ever friends but the hours we spent together, which I recall vividly, and the kindness he showed me, made me feel like we had connected in way that rarely occurs during an interview.
Read this post in its entirety, and the Jerry Wexler interview I did in 2003, at TampaCalling.com.