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Anger Management

On our pregame show tonight, we opened with a sound bite from Nick Swisher, in which he basically said that they got a little angry losing 2 in a row and were out to change that last night.  Well, they did it in a big way, with the offense coming to life in the 6th inning, while CC Sabathia got better and better as the game went on.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed the same thing, but this team is unlike others of the past few years in that, it seems very unaffected by anything negative…a 2-game losing streak?  Big deal… whereas the past few seasons, it seemed like doubt would begin to creep in and the players would hear the whispers (and from some live-on-the-ledge fans…screams) that there is something wrong…they can’t hit, they can’t pitch, the sky is falling, trade everybody, fire the entire coaching staff…etc, etc, etc.

There may be some anger mixed in there, as Swisher alluded to, but there’s also a concrete confidence that hasn’t been around in a while…this team knows its good, but doesn’t have to go around beating its chest about it…the players just show up, wreak havoc for 3 hours, and go have a latenight bite to eat.  In the case of last night’s game, I guess I’d feel that way, too, if I had a guy like Sabathia taking the mound…let’s see, give me CC or Harry Hittable in that spot… who would I feel more confident with?!

And I believe this confidence has trickled down to the fans…again, how many times have we heard or read quotes from Yankees fans in the past, like in Game 20 of the season, heralding the end of the world coming soon…not now…it’s all quiet on the Eastern front…while the Yankees are making plenty of noise on the Western front.

Allow Me A Quick “Reality” Rant

OK, I know that ever since reality shows started popping up on TV, they’ve become popular…and very cheap for networks to produce compared to scripted shows…and while some of them may be entertaining (while others are train wrecks)…the culture of them…the things that we see consistently, it seems, on all of them…have begun to infect us.  Yes, I used the word “infect”:

“To taint or contaminate with something that affects quality, character, or condition unfavorably: Example: to infect the air with poison gas.”

Or, in the case of something I heard the other day on the radio, hot air the equivalent of poison gas…I heard the final part of an interview between Ryan Seacrest and “Speidi”…the reality TV knuckleheads Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag, who take shameless self-promotion to a beyond- shameless level…Ryan asked Spencer, who by the way, when he has a beard looks like an Ewok from Star Wars…about the fact that people feel Speidi is more than a bit overexposed (as in: we are sick and tired of seeing them…please disappear)….Spencer responded by comparing Spedi to Barack and Michelle and Brangelina…Uh, OK…said they are not going away, while in the same breath promoting the book the 2 of them are coming out with later this year, which will teach us all how to become famous like they are…can’t wait!…and here’s how the Ewok wrapped up the interview…”…blah, blah, blah, because everybody should be famous.  Because we’re all humans.”

CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH THAT EVEN MEANS?!!!!!!!  Because we’re all humans???  Great observation, Spency…Thanks for the insight…because I was sure there were robots and aliens living among us…and they do not deserve to be famous…only us humans!  By the way, after I looked up the word “infect” in the dictionary, I looked up the word “idiot”…guess who’s picture I saw next to it?

And one quick PS to the whole “reality TV has infected us” thing…it has no doubt bled into the reality of sports TV, as well…without getting into crazy rant details, I was watching one of the Little League Regional games the other night…and you can’t help but notice all the stuff the kids do to emulate pro athletes…from the Kevin Millar eye-black warpaint, to doing the sign of the cross during every at bat, to pointing up to the sky after a big moment in the game… it’s ridiculous.  Sorry if you’re the parent of a kid who does any of those things, but it is…it’s not sincere, it really isn’t…it’s “Look at me, I’m just like a big leaguer”…I wonder if they’ve watched tapes of past LL game broadcasts to learn when the camera’s on them… and it seems like some of the things they do might as well come with thought bubble over their heads that says, “I’m going to try and do something that will get on SportsCenter”…as opposed to just focusing, playing the game hard and trying to win.  I know I WORK in TV, but in watching some of these games, it’s a clear reminder that I grew up in a far different era, one very far away from the trappings of reality TV.

Family Feud

Text message from my sister Jeanne tonight: 

“Your blog is languishing.  What candy is on the table?  What did you have for dinner?  Enquiring minds want to know!”

Now,
she DID use a smiley face emoticon afterwards, but that’s besides the
point!  Now I have my own sister putting the hammer down on me…OK,
truth be told, I have been a bit lax when it comes to Blobbin’…maybe
it’s the dog days of summer…but my man, Flash, is back in the
studio…there’s new candy on the table…Yankees v. Red Sox…it’s all
good!

So to answer one of Jeanne’s questions…What candy is on the table?  Well, note the NEW additions…Smarties on the left…the mouthwatering mix of regular and dark chocolate peanut butter cups on the right…and, well hey there?!  What are those delicious delights in the silver wrappers?

Thumbnail image for Jeanne 001.jpgWell, those are a wonderful little changeup to the Hershey’s Miniatures that normally fill that bowl, brought in by our very own John Flaherty, who brought them in last week when he was here because he felt guilty about destroying bowlfuls every time he’s here…they are pure Hershey’s Milk Chocolate goodness…but did you notice that bowl is kinda empty?  Here’s why:

Jeanne 002.jpg

Yep…that’s right…Flash continues to kill the chocolate!  And the look of disgust on his face says it all, doesn’t it?  That is the look of a good man fighting a losing battle…but let’s be honest…if people walked into my office and saw bowlfuls of trail mix and zucchini slices, they’d jump out the window!

Now For That Other Pesky Question Jeanne Asked (Haha!)

What was for dinner?  PF Changs…Flash went with the Lettuce Wraps to start followed by Beef with Broccoli…I went the Steamed Veggie Dumplings route for the app, and chased it with Beef a la Sichuan…I’d show you the empty bag of containers, etc. but it looks like a pack of hungry raccoons went through it…so, just enjoy the shot of the gordoonimus amount of fortune cookies the restaurant was kind enough to provide…I guess they thought 30 people were sharing our food tonight!

Jeanne 003.jpgThat’s OK…I’ll make Flash eat ’em all.  Or I can always save ’em for Jeanne’s next visit…
Gosh, hope they won’t be too stale by then!  (Oops, she might read this!)

Can You Smell It?

The July 31st trade deadline, I’m talking about!  C’mon!  Gotta admit, I do love this time of year… keeping a close eye on which teams might be buyers and which might be sellers…and which might sell their souls (ie: top prospects) for the one shot this year to be the World Champ.

We saw the Matt Holliday deal go down today, while monitoring the Roy Halladay situation… right up ’til 7:00pm, while I was on-set doing the pregame show, I was asking our Research Grand Poobah, Jeff Quagliata (you can call him Quags)…if Halladay was still listed as the starter for the Jays’ game vs. the Rays…I’d read a quick blurb in Pete Abe’s LoHud blog that “perhaps” a Halladay to the Phillies deal was close…thought he might get pulled from his start at the last second…but it didn’t happen and he took the ball for Cito tonight.

No, Seriously, What’s That Smell?!  As I walked up to the set for the 4th inning cutin, I smelled a chemical kinda smell that I absolutely love, but couldn’t remember what it is…Lighting Legend George Greczylo told me that it’s contact cement!  I remember using that in school and I don’t know why (insert “stoner” joke here) but I love that smell…just like I love the smell of regular gasoline as well as airplane fuel…weird…anybody else like that?

So, George, Paul Ferrigno (you got to know him in a previous Blob) and me started reminiscing about glue in elementary school…I mentioned how I loved to pick and peel all the glue off the gigantic bottles of glue we shared in class…Paul said same thing with him.  George brought up spreading glue on the palm of the hand, letting it dry, then peeling it off…always good fun, too.  Then he added, or what about putting contact cement on the palm of your hand and lighting it on fire!  (insert sound effect of album scratch bringing everything to a halt here)…What?!  No, George…first of all, I don’t think I walked around with a lighter in kindergarten…and second of all, I thought moms and pops said NOT to play with matches!  I guess we just found out what George’s parents didn’t know ANYTHING about!  Gonna have to check on that…perhaps George’s dad was a movie pyrotechnics expert.

I can’t wait for the 7th inning cutin…

Something Old, Something New

I can’t believe I did it again!  I was heating up some soup for dinner tonight, and I caught myself just staring into the microwave for about 20 seconds, like watching a bowl of soup spinning around in a circle is the most awe-inspiring event ever.  Good grief.  I Blobbed about this before…I just don’t get it.  Why do I just stand there, watching it as if something incredible is going to happen, when I know that in 29..28..27..26 seconds, it’s going to be done.  Can’t I find anything better to do for those 29 seconds?!

Hey, you’ve gotta check out the picture below…I recently Blobbed that my son has gotten me into Arrested Development.  Well, he was hanging out with me in my office a couple days ago, and he stayed behind while I went upstairs to the studio to do the postgame show.

Today, when studio producer/impresario Bill Boland was sitting in my office, he looked behind me and said, “Who’s that?”, and he pointed at a picture next to my printer.  Well, that particular picture is SUPPOSED to be of me, my wife and some friends hanging in Islamorada, FL.  But instead, it was THIS picture…

Funke.jpgThat’s right…Dr. Tobias Funke (David Cross) from Arrested Development!  My son had secretly replaced the one picture with this one.  Classic!  I laughed so hard I nearly fell outta my chair!  Well done, Ty…well done.

Back from Break

Welcome back!  Really weird having that extra day off, wasn’t it?  Just kind of threw me out of whack, but then along comes an 8th inning rain delay…our 75th of the season, I think???… and all seems right with the world…not really.  Love the rain only because it keeps my water bill down from less sprinkler usage.

Here’s my All-Star Break version of “How I Spent My Summer Vacation”…spanned the entire Tri-State area and beyond, logging a lot o’ miles in the Vista Cruiser…among the excitement, welcoming an exchange student from France for 2 weeks, as she spends time with our daughter and sees NYC for the first time…chauffering them around…sightseeing…beach…major rollercoaster riding at Six Flags…eating fried dough covered in powdered sugar…nearly giving it right back after riding the biggest coaster in the park…more driving…trip to JFK to pick up our son, who decided to make a cameo appearance at Casa Lorenz this summer…watching backlogged episodes of Eureka and Psych on the DVR with him, plus he turned me on to Arrested Development and now I’m hooked!  So, we’ll probably blow out the rest of the existing episodes over the next few days…this “work” thing is really getting in the way of that!  We’re watching those on Hulu…and he’s just informed me that there are new episodes of Psych on Hulu as well…my eyeballs are gonna be hurtin’.  I might end up looking at the wrong camera in studio I’ll be so bleary!

Also made the trek to Montclair, NJ, Thursday to play in Yogi Berra’s annual charity golf tournament.  I wish everybody could meet Yogi.  He’s one of the greatest, most humble men I know…and very giving of his time, obviously.  I had a great time moving chunks of real estate around that day…our team actually played well, finishing the scramble at 9-under…big thanks to Seafood Bobby, Joe, Peter and Ray for keeping me entertained and out of trouble (mostly).  Awesome guys.

Then it was back to work today…in early to tape the latest edition of Forbes Sportsmoney, Presented by Fox Business Network (gotta pay some bills)…with Michael Ozanian, who’s a great, high-energy guy…definitely has a passion the biz side of sports and brings it to the table every time.  Then pregame, game..rain delay…

Oh wait…10:47pm…I’m told we’ll be resuming play soon!  Enjoy the rest of the game!

Ahhhh….Those Crazy Kids!

It’s intern day at the studio, when the group of YES summer interns gather to listen to various aspects of the broadcasting biz. I was the leadoff hitter, so they got to learn what it’s like to be an anchor. I opened with “Has everybody seen Anchorman: The Legend of Run Burgundy? Well, that’s all you need to know to do my job.” And I walked out of the room. I thought about heading to my office with shelves made of rich mahogany and many leather-bound books, but I decided to go back in and chat some more.

Good bunch of kids, a few could have used an electric zapper strapped under their chair to bring ’em to life a little more, but that’s pretty much par for the course when a bunch of college kids are forced into a conference room to hear older people drone on about work!

I’ll give you the Cliff Notes of my talk,

1) Pay attention and soak up everything around you.
2) Ask questions. We at YES are more than happy to answer them.
3) Ya Gotta Want It. Be passionate about what you want to do, whether it’s TV or anything else. It’ll make your work life much more enjoyable.
4) You really DON’T need a dog named Baxter. And speaking at least a BIT of Spanish will actually help.

I’ve got a few more years, maybe, or mining Anchorman references for my intern speeches. Then I’m going to have to bank on Anchorman II, which I hear is being worked on or at least considered, for new material, because no kid in 2027 is gonna want to hear me say “I’m kind of a big deal” as my dentures drop onto the floor.

One good question came from Alexa, who’s interning in our production ranks,she wondered if anybody ever considered having me Tweet from the set. I told her I am Blobbing my thoughts, and my Twitter account links to said Blob. But that’s as far as I go. I just don’t want to sit there all night writing ridiculous things like, “Still have green gumdrops stuck in my teeth”. Wow, cue the Breaking News music and animation!

Tweeting is for many, not for me.

Happy 4th and Thanks

So I’m sitting here on my day off, enjoying the 4th watching the ballgame…(yes, I do watch the games when I’m off)…and I was genuinely affected by the mid-7th inning singing of God Bless America…that’s because the Yankees chose to honor 5 soldiers who’d served our country and named them individually before Ronan Tynan did his thing…

It’s moments like that that remind me, and hopefully all of us, of the daily sacrifices that men and women like them…and let’s not forget their families…make to ensure our way of life.  
Let’s be honest…we’ve seen our share of down times recently…greed and avarice changing the way we live our lives…but that’s done nothing to change our spirit…the belief that the United States of America is far more than just a big piece of real estate and what we have in terms of possessions.
It’s about who we are as people…that instead of just accepting the down times, we challenge ourselves to fight back (like the Yankees this year?) and ensure that this country continues to be the greatest land of freedom and opportunity in the world.  And the most beautiful…America the Beautiful.
Maybe that’s something as small as choosing not to drop a gum wrapper on the ground or not to throw a soda cup out a car window…(unfortunately, I’ve seen both recently)…maybe it means “going green”…recycling…or doing something as big as cleaning up a neighborhood or a baseball field…(check out harlemdiamond.org)…Maybe it’s helping a friend or neighbor do that.
Maybe it’s just giving time to an organization like Johnny Damon’s favorite, The Wounded Warrior Project…(woundedwarriorproject.org)…or making a donation to ALS research, which is MLB’s focus today.  Or maybe it’s just holding a door open for someone and smiling, or saying “Have a great day.”
Or maybe it’s saying a sincere “Thanks” to one of our soldiers, or buying them a cup of coffee, or picking up their tab…or all of the above.  Because if it weren’t for them…and I’m talking ALL of them, from WWI to present day…we might live in a very different country…one in which the liberty to write what I just wrote would not even be allowed.
And if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading this entire entry and allowing me a chance to veer from the usual Blob to something very different.  Have a great day and a great weekend.

Dedicated & Determined

What am I talking about?  Well, I could be talking about the way the Yankees have been playing the past few games, to be sure, especially with the way the flu bug has hit the team…but I’m not…I’m talking about John Flaherty.  I told you that he’d be in this weekend, and that during his last trip to the studio, he not only fell off his dietary wagon….he fell off a dietary cliff!  His 3-day stint began with him bringing healthy dinner from home…however, by the end, he’d ravaged his body with copious handfuls of M&M’s!

But this time, Flash has stuck with his game plan…no M&M’s…no foray anywhere near the lil’ bowls of goodness that are on my coffee table.  I even thought that a new KIND of M&M, from Japan (kindly supplied to The Blob by promotions guru John Brueckner) would tempt Flash to once again enjoy the goodness.  But as you’ll see from the pictures below, he has stuck to his guns…impressive on one hand, incredibly boring on the other…I mean, look at the cuteness on the top of the tube when you take off the lid!  How can you not be sucked in by that?!  Instead, he stuck with his tomato and mozzarella salad…boy, that huge smile on his face sure shows how much he loves eatin’ all healthy…C’mon Flash…read this and dig in!
FlashJune 004.jpg
FlashJune 001.jpgFlashJune 002.jpg
FlashJune 003.jpg


The Blob is…A-Live!

Hey!  For those interested, I’m venturing into previously uncharted waters…for me, not for Kimberly Jones…I’m taking a page out of her playbook and doing a live chat tonight after the postgame show (blog entry continued under chat window).

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php?option=com_mobile&task=viewaltcast&altcast_code=f0c1c6bc16&#8243; >Bob Lorenz live chat</a>

So, enjoy the series finale between the Yankees and Braves on YES (preceded by your viewing of the Batting Practice Show and the Tri-State Ford Pregame, of course).  Then, right after I sign off the WB Mason Postgame, I’ll head down to my office and internet guru Kevin Sullivan and I will do the live chat.

Until then, I will be mentally preparing myself for all of your interesting and intriguing questions… and even if they’re not…they’ll still be welcome…but I’m SURE they will be!

Talk to ya later tonight…

Get To Know Your YES Studio Crew, Part 2

Waiting out this rain delay, I imagine this is what it’s like for folks
with a desk job who say, “I got caught up on paperwork today.”…except
my desk job isn’t really a typical desk job, and my paperwork is really
Blobwork…so, with that, I give you….(insert drumroll here)…

Get To
Know Your YES Crew, Part 2 !!  It’s been my stated goal to introduce you to the great people I get to work with here at YES…We previously met Camera #3 operator,
Paul Ferrigno…now, welcome to The Blob, Camera # 2 operator Chris
Luppi !  (Cue studio applause)…Note in the pictures, Chris is the
“long arm of the law” when it comes to camera operators…he works the
jib camera, which has a long extension arm which he can move all over
the studio…

Thumbnail image for Luppi 003.jpg

Thumbnail image for Luppi.jpg
Nicknames: Mr. Big (Original nickname), Loop, Looper, Christian (his given name), and Christo (when he’s working on set design)

Lifer (so far):  Chris is a YES Network original, plucked from the NFL Sunday Ticket studio, which was run out of here, by our own Supervising Producer Woody Freiman.  His entire career encompasses studio camera work, field ENG (electronic news gathering) and work as a lighting director.  Note the weights on the handles of his close-up shot.  Those are about 250 lbs. of counterweights to offset the camera and arm on his jib camera…and he has to wrangle with that about 300 or more times a year.

Which Leads Me To… What Chris likes to do in his free time.  He’s at the gym nearly every morning, throwing around the iron, surely in part to move the jib around so deftly…Chris is a man’s man, so he ain’t doing any Jazzercise classes when he gets to the gym!  He also likes home improvement projects (working on a new deck and firepit combo), photography, hiking, fishing, hunting and hitting the open road on his 2004 Harley Davidson Fat Boy…Chris knew he was going to get one when that model debuted in 1999, and lo and behold, 5 years later he dropped the dime and put one in his garage.

You Went Where?!  Chris has traveled the world for his work and seen a lot…all over Europe, Central America, the pyramids and Sphinx in Egypt…even Africa, where he covered the Sudan Civil War.  I asked Chris if his life was ever in danger, and he said once…he was in southern Sudan with the People’s Liberation Army, and they encountered incoming shell fire from government forces…I had a similar life-or-death experience…I tripped on a microphone cable at the ballpark and nearly fell head-first into a dugout!  Good Grief, Looper!  Glad to have you back home!

Let Chris Be Your Tour Guide  Now, Chris isn’t an “all work, no play” kinda guy when he’s out…He loves to travel, experience different cultures and cuisines…among his favorite places, Rome and Venice…being Italian, that had to top his list, right?!…and maybe tops on his list is Lago Maggiore, in the Italian Alps north of Milan.  Chris has a lot of family there on his mom’s side…I asked him if he ever enjoyed any wine while he was there (knowing full well the answer)…and he gave me one of the best lines ever…

“We Italians have a saying…’We only drink wine twice a day.  With our meals, and without our meals.’ ” CLASSIC.  It’s so good that I’m gonna try to use a modified form of that and apply it to my Czech heritage.

Food Finale  I gave Chris no choice…one meal for the rest of your life…he picked pasta with his mother’s sauce (red sauce, homemade…she’s Italian, fer cryin’ out loud!…meat sauce).  As for the catered food here, he said…”anything Italian”…what’d ya expect?!  Pork rinds?!

Incomplete Resume
  Chris has piloted glider planes, so cross that off the list…but he says he would like to direct some documentaries and maybe an independent film.  As for his life resume, he says he’s still looking for Mrs. Right…but while that search continues, he’s also looking for Mrs. Right Now…not kidding…he said it with a glint in his eye.

That’s Chris for ya…or should I say…Mr. Big?