Friday, September 28, 2007


When I talk baseball, it's usually about the Boston Red Sox. It's natural, since I live in Boston and have season tickets (they're split with friends, though, or I'd be broke.) Plus, there's always plenty to write about the Sox. But my National League team is the Colorado Rockies. I can't watch them on television here in Boston (grrrrrr) but every night for the last month, while I've been typing away on the novella I have due on Sept. 30, I've had the ESPN live baseball scoreboard running in the background, letting me keep track of how my Rockies are doing. I've been cheering each run scored, hoping against hope that they'd stay above .500.

Now, not only are they going to finish the season well above .500, they just won their eleventh game in a row and are just-this-close to grabbing a spot in the playoffs. I'll be watching their remaining games closely...if they sweep the Diamondbacks, they'll either clinch a postseason berth or will have to play a tiebreaking game. I predict their win streak goes from eleven to fourteen, but even if it doesn't, I've loved watching them this summer. They've beaten preseason predictions (Google the words "national league 2007 preview" -- without the quotes -- and you'll see what I mean), and they and continue to ignore naysayers to play good, solid, optimistic ball.

There's always one team to watch during the last week of the regular season. This year, I'm thrilled that it's the Colorado Rockies.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Fall TV Shows

The fall season is here! I'm looking forward to my faves: Survivor, 30 Rock, Boston Legal, and Ugly Betty. I usually check out at least a few of the new shows, too.

Here's what I've seen so far:

Survivor: So far, so good. But I have to wonder if they intentionally chose contestants who've never watched prior seasons? Tip for those who are considering being contestants: Don't wear high heels, wispy tops, or heavy denim once you leave home, because you never know when the game's going to start.

The Big Bang Theory: Eh. The actors are doing the best they can, but the script hits the nerd jokes way too hard.

Journeyman: Heard buzz about this, so decided to tune in and check it out. Wow, wow, wow! LOVED the first episode. Great writing, great acting, and a storyline that's like Quantum Leap in high gear. Very excited to see more of this one...highly recommended!

Then there are the new shows I'll be checking out:

Cane: Starts tonight, and I soooo hope it lives up to the hype. The storyline (a drama about the contentious Duque family, who own a rum/sugar operation) sounds fabulous. Jimmy Smits, Hector Elizondo, Rita Moreno, and Nestor Carbonell star.

Dirty Sexy Money: Again, I'm hearing a lot of buzz, so I'll check this out. (Frankly, I'd watch Donald Sutherland or Peter Krause sit down and read a cereal box.) Crossing my fingers that this is a winner.

And some old faves I can't wait to see again:

Boston Legal: Everyone else on the planet expected James Gandolfini to win the Emmy, but I was really crossing my fingers for James Spader to get it. Gandolfini is great, no doubt, but I just luurv Spader as Alan Schorr. He gives the role so much depth. I'm dying to see this season. Probably my favorite show on TV right now (though 30 Rock, Ugly Betty, and The Amazing Race are right up there.)

Ugly Betty: Every single character on this show has me in stitches. Absolutely hysterical!

30 Rock: Always witty and irreverent. Jerry Seinfeld's guest starring (as himself) on the first episode.

How about you? What are you excited about? What have you seen so far that rang your chimes? What's left you cold?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

In Praise of Jacoby Ellsbury

Last night, while watching the Sox play the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, I told my husband that I'd figured out the identity of my next husband. The conversation went something like this:

Me: "I believe I've found the next Mr. Nic."

Him: "Uh-huh." (The fact his gaze didn't leave the screen was an additional clue that he wasn't taking me seriously.)

Me: "Any guesses?"

Him, after a pause: "Is your book finished yet? Isn't it due at the end of the month? That's not far off."

Yeah, I let that go. But a few plays later, in the fifth inning, rookie Jacoby Ellsbury made a fantastic catch, racing to the left field line, tripping over the bullpen mound and taking out a folding chair in order to catch a Greg Norton foul ball.

Me: "That's the guy."

Him: "You go for it, Nic." (Again, he just doesn't take me seriously. Smart man.)

What gets me with Ellsbury isn't simply that he's making plays so spectacular they end up on SportsCenter. It's not that he's good-looking (though he is), or even that he's both articulate and interesting when he's interviewed.

What I appreciate about watching him play is that he exhibits a true passion for baseball. He's an in-the-moment player, approaching each game as if it's his one night in the majors. He's completely focused when he's at the plate; when he's in the field, his eye never leaves the ball. Determined athletes like Ellsbury reinvigorate the players around them. They get their teams into the playoffs. They make kids believe that with a lot of hard work, they too can do something great.

I hope he stays in the majors a long time.