Thursday, October 28, 2004

AT LONG LAST. My Red Sox memories are the same as yours, so no need to rattle on at too much length. I first became dimly aware of the Sox in the Impossible Dream year of 1967, and began following them closely in 1968. That kicked off a several-year span when I would read the Sporting News from front to back, right down to obscure goings-on in the Pacific Coast League.

I watched the sixth and seventh games of the 1975 World Series with my parents, who were then the same age that Mrs. Media Log and I are today. The 1978 playoff game took place on the same day that my media-law class at Northeastern was meeting for the first time. We all assumed the professor, Joe Mahoney, would let us go as soon as he took attendance. We assumed wrong, but we did get out in time to hear Bucky Dent do his thing on a radio at the Northeastern News. By 1986, my father had passed away and my mother was terminally ill; she and I watched the horrifying sixth and inevitable seventh games together. Since then, I haven't gotten too emotionally invested in the Sox, although - like everyone else - I walked around in a daze for a while last year over Grady Little's utter loss of sanity.

But like I said, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. You've lived it, too. So last night was just an incredibly satisfying moment. I've never believed in the Curse, unless you define it as perpetually fielding teams that aren't good enough. But for this team, in particular, to win it all was astounding. They were dead through July. They were dead through the first eight innings of the fourth game against the Yankees. Even though they've got the second-highest payroll in baseball, and even though they were a consensus choice to win the Series way back last spring, these Red Sox somehow found a way to make themselves beloved underdogs.

I don't even care that Curt Schilling endorsed George W. Bush on Good Morning America today. Schilling had a magnificent season, and did exactly what he was brought here to do: win a World Series, even though he risked ending his career.

It also says a lot about this team that even after handing the Cardinals a four-straight pasting, there was no obvious choice for Series MVP. Manny Ramirez was as good a pick as anyone, especially since the Sox spent most of last winter trying to get rid of him.

Given the looming free-agent situation and the possibility that Schilling won't be able to come back, it may be a few years before the Red Sox are in a position to win another one. I don't care. This is a moment many of us have been waiting for all of our lives.

BURIED IN HIS GLOBE T-SHIRT. You might have missed this one, but it's worth sharing. On Tuesday, the Boston Globe published Gloria Negri's obit of Kevin Capelle, a 37-year-old news dealer who was a dwarf. By all means read the entire piece, but the last line is priceless: "In accordance with the family's wishes, the funeral director said, Mr. Capelle will be buried wearing a Boston Globe T-shirt."

SONG OF THE SOUTH. WBUR Radio (90.9 FM) recently broadcast Michael Goldfarb's fine Southern State of Mind documentary, on how the old white South is (and isn't) changing. Of course, the problem with radio programs such as this is that they're never on when you're listening. But you can hear it online right here, as well as check out Goldfarb's photos and observations.

Because I didn't want to sit in front of my computer for an hour, I had to capture the stream on my computer, save it, convert it to a format that my iPod would understand, and then move it over. So here's a suggestion for WBUR's interim general manager, Peter Fiedler: put at least some of 'BUR's content online as MP3 files, as WNYC Radio does with On the Media.

NEW IN THIS WEEK'S PHOENIX. From the Patriot Act to presidential records, George W. Bush has presided over an unprecedented rise in government secrecy.


Anonymous said...

First off - yay Red Sox!! I'm 28, and for 20 of those years I've been a suffering Red Sox fan.

But keeping the theme on media...

Deciding we'd better get out of Brighton before the traffic got ugly (and fortunately it never did) me girlfriend and I had a chance to scan the radio dial for post-Red Sox victory programming. This was perhaps a half-hour after the last out. My findings...

88.1 WMBR - regular music
88.9 WERS - regular music
89.7 WGBH - regular programming w/Tavis Smiley, although they probably did at least get a mention on the air through the top of the hour NPR newscast. Shameful.
90.3 WZBC - dead carrier / silence (weird)
90.9 WBUR - regular BBC World Service. Shame Shame SHAMEFUL! And they call themselves a local news outlet :-) The only mention I heard was an amusing clip of a BBC announcer covering the game for England as part of the World Service's regular news.
100.1 WBRS - post-game talk show, but they always have talk shows on at midnight so that was an easy one.
104.1 WBCN - regular music
107.3 WAAF - regular music
107.9 WXKS - regular music

850 WEEI - wall-to-wall red sox (of course)
1030 WBZ - Steve LeVeille's regular show, devoted to the Sox, of course (and he was pretty funny, too)
1200 WKOX - The Majority Report/AAR
1430 WXKS - The Majority Report/AAR

It's kind of disheartening that so few stations seem to really do any sort of special programming. Granted, most of these stations aren't sports stations...and not everyone is a sports fan, or even a baseball fan. But dammit this is by definition the rarest event in Boston sports' history. So much of the city's identity is tied up in Red Sox lore that I find it rather disgusting that even the truly local stations (mostly college ones) with live DJ's still mostly had nothing going on. Not even game-related music.

I suppose they all figured the whole city was listening to WEEI so why bother? :-)

I'm reminded of the oft-hyped and oft-overhyped "incident" in Minot, ND where the yarn is that since Clear Channel owned every radio station, and they were all automated, there was no coverage a major chemical spill. (for the record, I like digging a thorn into Clear Channel's side but this was a problem with EAS, not a problem with media ownership consolidation - do a Google search on "Minot" and "Clear Channel" if you want more info). This is the real problem with radio - nobody cares enough to have an infrastructure in place, be it private or gov't run, to really have local coverage of local events.

- Aaron Read

zadig said...

Of course, this article on gov't secrecy comes years too late. The secrecy began as soon as the Bushies took office, most notably with Cheney's Energy Corporation Giveaway Team ... er, Energy Task Force.

But at least that was criticized, and fought by others, at the time. 9/11 just gave the Bush Administration unfettered control over suppression of scientific research, spending policies, and pretty much everything else they could lock away from public view.

It's nice to see the Phoenix covering this, but they took their sweet time, as has the rest of the media.

Dan Kennedy said...

Uh, Mr. Earth Island, does this meet with your approval?

That's from more than a year ago. And those are only from my archives. Others at the Phoenix, especially Harvey Silverglate, have been railing against the Bushies' secrecy for years.

zadig said...

Yes, and my apologies for letting my frustration with this tar the Phoenix -- we don't get every issue way up north of the city. :-(

In general, however, the Bush Administration has gotten away with this in apalling amounts, but I should have expected that the Phoenix (and likely other alternative weeklies) have covered it repeatedly. Thanks for the coverage, and I apologize again for doubting you.

I do hope (an unreasonable hope, maybe) that Kerry will throw open the doors when he takes office in January.