January 2009

ESPN the Magazine

Big thanks to the people who left comments on my last entry about ESPN the Magazine. Turns out I’m in it, and I would’ve missed it if not for the heads-up. I was interviewed for this piece a few weeks ago, and then of course I forgot all about it.

Here’s the cover…


…and here’s the page with my name on it:


This was part of a big article about how to heckle players and how to be part of the game from the stands. ESPN came to me for the section about fan interference. Even though I don’t condone it, and even though I’ve NEVER interfered with a ball that was in play, I decided to do the interview and tell them all the best places/ways to interfere. Good choice? What would you have done?

Baseball news in January? Yes.

Baseball is starting to pick back up for me. I just heard from a potential Watch With Zack client who’s interested in attending a Sunday day game at Yankee Stadium this summer. I also did two interviews today. The first was for a “baseball preview” article that’s gonna run in a magazine this spring. For some reason, I was asked not to say which mag until it’s out, so I’ll just hint at it by telling you that I’ve been in it before, and it’s sort of like FHM. The other interview was with a friend of mine named Alexander Yellen. He’s working on a broadcasting/graduation project for a B.A. at The New School, and it’s all about how baseball is more than just a game. The bad baseball-related news is that the segment from my appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” was recently removed from YouTube for “infringement.” What a crock. How is it infringement if I post a clip that has ME in it? That footage wouldn’t have even existed if not for me. At the time I posted it, there were thousands of other Leno clips on site, so what the eff. Well, apparently, NBC and YouTube never reached an agreement, so I’m getting screwed as a result by not having my stuff online. Bleh. Luckily, there’s some good news that I can end on…which is that it’s looking like I might soon be working on another baseball book. It’s too early to say anything more about it at this point, but know that I’ll share updates whenever I can. Ultimately, I’m hoping that this will be a project that everyone can get involved in, to some extent…so yeah. I’m just putting it out there now, but I do need more time. I think that’s all the news for now. Thanks for reading.

Winter Friday

I’m not making plans to attend the World Baseball Classic. I’m not
thinking about pitchers and catchers reporting for Spring Training. It’s winter. My mind is everywhere, and baseball is but a minuscule portion of it.

Along these lines, I have two photos to share from this past Friday. The first was taken at my writing group (which, on this blustery night, took place in a friend’s 40th floor penthouse overlooking Times Square) during the first hour when everyone was actually writing. In case you can’t recognize me without a baseball cap, I’m the one wearing the “YSOP” shirt. (I love trying to think of things that those letters could stand for. “Youth Service Opportunity Program” is so boring. Any ideas? I’d share a few, but they’re all R-rated.) And BTW, the guy lying down and wearing the green shirt is Leon Feingold.


After the writing I headed downtown and met up with my girlfriend and a few other friends at place called Don Hill’s, which I can only describe as a punk-indie/club-bar. I didn’t arrive until about 2am, and shortly thereafter this is what was happening:


That’s about it.

New Yankee Stadium dream

It’s rare for me to have a snagging dream during the winter, but that’s exactly what happened last night…

I was walking along Central Park West in the early afternoon when I noticed a ramp that veered off from the sidewalk and sloped down into the park. I could see that this ramp actually turned into the cross-aisle behind the outfield wall at the New Yankee Stadium. I really wanted to walk down there and check it out, but I was nervous–that is, until my friend Brian (aka “puck collector”) appeared and convinced me it was okay to enter
before the stadium was officially open to the public. “You’re not supposed to be there,” he
said, “but there’s no one around to tell you to leave.” That’s all I needed to hear, and I headed inside on my own. (I’m not sure why he didn’t join me.) The aisle extended past the left field foul pole and into left-center. It was like a Spring Training stadium. There was lawn seating behind the aisle with white picnic tables and benches. The outfield wall, meanwhile, was only about a foot high, so when I walked up to it, I was practically ON the field. A few players were taking early BP, and before long, Roberto Kelly hit one onto Central Park West. I was tempted to run up and look for it, but I didn’t bother because I knew there were other pedestrians who would find it. That’s when Carl Pavano walked over and asked me to hand him his ID which was on a table just behind me. I got it for him, and then after he walked off, I noticed that there were about a dozen balls lying in a small cluster right up against
the outfield wall. I wanted to take my time in collecting them so I could properly label them and remember the order in which they came into my possession. (I’m anal even in my dreams.) I grabbed last year’s commemorative balls first, then
noticed a new one that I believed was for the new stadium. It didn’t
SAY “Yankee Stadium” on it, but there was a large image of the outside of the
stadium that covered most of the ball from the main logo all the way to
sweet spot (in much the same way that the weird marking on this ball covers a significant portion of the surface). On the sweet spot, there was an over-the-top-patriotic
red, white, and blue image of an eagle (just like on the new passports). As I was taking my time and looking at the other balls lying on the field, a college-aged female usher approached and
“invited” me to exit the stadium. She then asked me to leave a few of the
balls on the field for the Yankees, and before I could argue, I woke up.

Tournament Arkanoid Domination

Last month I wrote an entry about a classic arcade video game called Arkanoid; I had played a perfect game and filmed it and posted it on Google.

Now I’m back with another Arkanoid video–Tournament Arkanoid, to be specific.

The original version of Arkanoid came out in 1986. The Tournament version came out one year later, and it’s a LOT harder, I won’t get into all the reasons why. I’ll just say that I achieved perfection, and you can see the video HERE.

The video is more than half an hour, so if you only have a couple minutes to spare and want a quick sample of my skills, skip ahead to 24 minutes and 36 seconds. That’s the spot where Round 26 was about to begin. I overcame a few mistakes (which you probably won’t even notice) and ended up putting on a pretty good show.


My Top 40 — 2008

Two years ago (to the day), I posted a list of my 40 favorite songs. As I mentioned then, this is something I do every even-numbered year…just for fun…just to see how my musical tastes are evolving. So here’s my Top 40 for 2008:

1. Amsterdam – Coldplay
2. Maybe I’m Amazed – Paul McCartney
3. Luna De Fuego – Gipsy Kings
4. What Goes Around…/…Comes Around (Interlude) – Justin Timberlake           
5. Clockwork – Deadmau5
6. In A Little While – U2
7. Your Latest Trick – Dire Straits
8. Down In A Hole – Alice in Chains
9. Billy Breathes – Phish
10. I Wrote A Simple Song – Billy Preston
11. Fantasy – Earth, Wind & Fire
12. I Believe – Earls
13. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right – Peter, Paul & Mary
14. Play The Game – Queen
15. Hidden Grove – Slender Means
16. Foolish Games – Jewel
17. Yesterday – Beatles
18. Helplessly Hoping – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
19. Lucie – Pascal Obispo
20. Share The Land – Guess Who
21. John Barleycorn Must Die – Traffic
22. Second Avenue – Tim Moore
23. Mexico – Incubus
24. Alone Again (Naturally) – Gilbert O’Sullivan
25. I Know What You Want – Busta Rhymes & Mariah Carey f/ The Flipmode Squad
26. Around The Bend – Asteroids Galaxy Tour
27. Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson
28. Comin’ Back – Citizen Cope
29. Light Flight – Pentangle
30. Hate (I Really Don’t Like You) – Plain White T’s
31. Last Night – P. Diddy f/ Keyshia Cole
32. The Things You Say – Cicada
33. Knock Three Times – Dawn
34. The Great Gig In The Sky – Pink Floyd
35. Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd
36. Be Without You – Mary J. Blige
37. Journey To The Center Of The Mind – Amboy Dukes
38. Ghostwriter – RJD2
39. Cold As Ice – Foreigner
40. Beautiful – Christina Aguilera