Why I don’t go to major league baseball games

American-League-2010-First-Half-Average-Ticket-Prices1-600x298My wife will tell you that it’s not so much that I love baseball as much as it is part of my DNA. The soundtrack in my car from late March to late October because is whatever baseball game I can find on the radio. On May 20th, 21st and 22nd The Chicago Cubs – a team I have loved since growing up in Chicago – will play The Boston Red Sox – a team I have loved since I was 9 when we moved to Providence, RI, and I decided that it wasn’t cheating on your 1st team if the 2nd team was in a different league – will be playing each other at Fenway Park.

Here’s how much I am devoted to the two:

  • I am still upset that Ernie Banks never got to play in the World Series.
  • When someone asks how long I’ve lived in Boston I reply, “Since the spring after the ‘86 [World] Series.”

Until 2004, I reveled in loving the two most ill-fated teams in baseball. While that had its charms, I am quite content that only one of my beloveds is a constant reminder of the fickleness of probability.

Because of all this and knowing full-well that tickets were absurdly expensive, I went to see if maybe I could afford one in some far-distant bleacher seat with nearly totally obscured view of the field. The least expensive price for just such a seat: $99.

Out of curiosity, I went to see the cost least expensive ticket I could find for any game Red Sox at Fenway. So I looked at the cost for tickets to a Wednesday day game vs. The San Diego Padres, a team that will be lucky if it finishes above Baja this year. $46 for a seat in that weird little triangle in the center field bleachers.

Meanwhile, 45 minutes away in Pawtucket, RI, the best seats in the house for the Sox AAA farm team go for $11. For the AA team in Portland, ME: $9. For the single A Lowell Spinners $10. For the independent league Brockton Rox: $15 and that includes waiter service. If you want basically the same seats and are willing to get your own damn snacks: $9.50.

brockton-rox-main-logo1I’ll see you in Brockton. Bill Buckner, whom I have truly always admired, is managing and I’m pretty sure he’ll give me an autograph for no extra charge.

Still looking for that obnoxious Frenchman

Maybe it’s because I live in Boston where we set pretty good standard for obnoxious but after my third trip to France I have yet to encounter this mythical creature. Lest you think this is because I can pass for a native the entirety of my French consists of, “Pardonez moi, je ne parlez pas Francais.”

I love France and the French. Yeah they’ve got an attitude problem – but I don’t think Americans get to cast that particular stone. Because of the current political debate I was keenly aware that pretty much every non-tourist I saw had full health coverage. No one worrying about what happens if you lose your job or have a “pre-existing condition.”

I’m waiting for some company to rule that being born is a pre-existing condition. I really have never understood this insurance exception as anything other than a way for the companies to make even more money. I have flat feet and so am not covered for a podiatrist (well, in the past anyway). But the insurance still has to cover it when my knees get messed up because of my feet. Feh.

Mrs. CollateralDamage assures me there are obnoxious French people. She says they were all at Paris Disney, either employed as staff or paying to go there as guests. My anti-Disney parks stand pays off yet again!

Went to Chartres. Sat in the cathedral for like three hours. It isn’t for God, it is God. My  mother tells me I followed in family footsteps by doing this. Her father, architect Barry Byrne, went to Europe once to meet with Gropius and the Bauhaus gang. He stopped at Chartes and spent two weeks there.

Paris 09 273

No picture does it justice. Just go.

Doe! A deer! In Brighton center!

The office manager and I were out for our morning constitutional when we encountered this latest addition to Brighton’s multi-cultural stew. Hmmm, perhaps stew is an insensitive word in this case. In case you don’t know Boston, Brighton is urban. Sure we have a few trees but … deer? I guess rents really are going down. You ain’t seen funny until you’ve seen a pug chase a deer. Roxxy didn’t realize that the worst case scenario was actually catching it.

Wild turkey invades Boston!

No this doesn’t mean Big Brother SSG Collateral Damage is coming for a visit. This morning as I went out to get the paper (yep, I still kill trees for my morning info) I found it was being guarded by a very large bird. As in like 3 feet tall/long. In case you wondered: I live IN THE CITY. Mostly the wild life is restricted to skunks, raccoons and mice. (Note to self: Remind mice and raccoons they haven’t paid this month’s rent.)

Turkey sightings are on the increase around here — judging by the experience of my family. Last week, CD Jr. saw one at his school. (Are they stalking him? Note to self — check on restraining orders vs. wild fowl.) And last year I saw a gaggle (three) of the damn things in the Longwood section of town — which is all hospitals and big buildings.

I know the real estate market is slumping but can they really afford the rents around here?

Maybe they’re a new gang. Laugh if you will at the notion but the damn things have started terrorizing mail carriers in Madison, Wis.

About five to 10 of the birds have been pecking at the postal workers as they make their rounds, and some of the birds have attacked the letter carriers with the sharp spurs on their legs. One of the birds went through the open door of a mail truck and scratched the driver.

BTW, the bird let me have the paper once I assured him that I am a vegetarian and even so will never eat a Tofurkey.

Networking the old-fashioned way

(Cross posted from Business & Networking)

Sometimes you just have to meet F2F and I did some of that last night at the Boston Blogger Dinner sponsored by EMC and hosted by Forrester’s Jeremiah Owyang.

In addition to getting to chat with Jeremiah, I had a great time talking to Peter Kim, Doc & Joyce Searles, Chris Brogan, Beth Kanter, Alyssa Boehm and a bunch of other folks who didn’t have cards with them! There were about 100 people there and it was packed. It was so crowded that I couldn’t even get across the room to meet Scott Monty — who I am a big fan of. Next time. Peter wants to make these more regular and I do, too.