All-Star Game at Miami

Friday, April 28, 2017

Follow The Unofficial Captain's Lead

I haven't talked much about the Red Sox since the 2017 season started, so here we go.

Last weekend, we all saw video of that unfortunate slide Manny Machado made on Dustin Pedroia on a force play at second base last Friday night in Baltimore. Machado slide with one of his spikes high, and it clipped  Pedroia on his left leg and ankle. It forced Pedroia to the sidelines for three games, and he finally returned last night.

After Friday's game, Pedey downplayed the whole incident, and made it seemed like no big deal. Just one of the hazards of playing the position, and he seemed to absolve Machado of any blame, and certainly didn't think it was a dirty play. And you might figure the whole thing would drop there. But there were a few Red Sox players who weren't happy with Machado, and the feeling was that something was going to happen, probably later in the series when the time is right to get even with Machado.

Once Pedroia totally downplayed it, I thought it was all over. But with the Red Sox having a 6-0 lead in the 8th inning on Sunday, and Machado batting with one out and one on, Matt Barnes threw a pitch that went behind Machado's head and hit his bat. It was dangerously close, and Barnes was immediately tossed after the game, and later suspended for four games. (He would later claimed he wasn't trying to hit Machado, that it just got away. That's what every pitcher would say in that situation.) Machado was later seen back in the on-deck circle talking to Pedroia, who was in the Red Sox dugout. Pedroia was seen mouthing the words "It wasn't me, it was them." He was telling Machado that he wasn't the one ordering the headhunting.

This whole situation was disturbing on many levels. Thankfully, Machado wasn't hit in the head. But the fact that Pedroia claimed to have nothing to do with incident says something about what's going on in the Red Sox clubhouse. Pedey is the unofficial team captain, inheriting the title from David Ortiz after his retirement. He's the Red Sox senior member, and should get the "C" on his jersey. If he says the incident with Machado isn't a big deal, it should have died right there on Friday night. It's understandable that some of his teammates aren't happy with Machado, but if Pedroia isn't upset, they should let it go. Now, whether this was Barnes acting on his own or under orders to do what he did, we don't know. It was just a stupid thing to do. And with the Orioles coming to Fenway for four games starting on Monday, you know this whole mess isn't over.

Supposedly on Tuesday as the game against New York was rained out, Pedroia and the rest of team put up a unified front, that everything was cool between them and they all had each other's backs. They talked about the incident, and everything was fine in the clubhouse.

And the Red Sox promptly went out there the next two nights and didn't bother showing up, getting only one run in two frustrating losses to New York. They have now scored just 13 runs in the last seven games, including three shutouts, tied for the most in MLB so far. I'm not saying there is any direct connection, but since they came out and said everything is so hunky dory between them, the Sox basically sleepwalked through two uninspired losses against a division rival at home, while Chris Sale, MLB's best pitcher in April, pitched another gem on Thursday night that was once again wasted.

Do the Sox miss David Ortiz? From my perspective, they sure do. Not just his bat, but his leadership.

Dustin Pedroia is now the leader of the Boston Red Sox, and the players should follow his lead. He's The Man.

Or are things not as rosy in that clubhouse as we've been led to believe? We'll find out soon enough.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Trivia Q&A: April 26

We were back in the Loft last night for Trivia, and 14 teams came out for all the festivities. Once again the speaker up there was out, so Yours Truly had to yell out all the questions and answers. It went fine again, and my voice is still in fine shape despite all the yelling!

I was surprised just before we got started to see Jennie and Barbra, who were Trivia winners back in 2009, and they still had their winning giftcard from back then! They joined us last night, and actually did quite well. But it was once again a night for the team of DIMS, who wound up taking the night with 51 points. The Comebackers (Jennie and Barbra) finished second with 42 points, and third place went to Ann Coulter Pulls Out (who also won for Best Team Name) with 41 points.

As I write this, we don't know where we will be next week. It will all depend on the fate of the Celtics, who lead their playoff series, 3-2. If they don't make it to round two, we will be back on the first floor next week. If they advance, we will see the schedule for the round by Monday, and I will pass along the info on the Facebook group page. Stay tuned and I'll see you next Wednesday night.

Current Events
1. What Oscar-winning actress was selected for the fifth time as People magazine's "Most Beautiful Woman in the World" for 2017?
2. Last Friday, Russia's Supreme Court announced that what religious group was banned from the country and to close all its local chapters there.
3. What rock superstar canceled concerts last week after contracting a rare infection while recently touring South America?
4. What Middle Eastern nation was controversially elected to the UN's Women's Rights Commission last week?
5. What southern US city began removing statues there on Monday morning, monuments to Confederates that many see as a representation of a racist past?
6. American Peggy Whitson established a new record in what field of endeavor earlier this week?
7. What US state executed two convicted murderers on Monday night, the first state since 2000 to carry out two death sentences in one day?

England Trivia
1. Speaker's Corner is found in what famous London park?
2. What English port city is located on the river Mersey?
3. What English city was the home of Lady Godiva?
4. During what century did the Great Fire of London take place?
5. What English holiday is celebrated every year on November 5th?
6. Former British prime minister Tony Blair was a member of what political party?
7. Which current population is larger: the country of England or the state of California?

The Q Train: Movies By Decade Trivia
1. West Side Story
2. Casablanca
3. Monster's Ball
4. Goodfellas
5. It Happened One Night
6. Glory
7. Ben-Hur
8. The French Connection
9. The Hunger Games
10. The Deer Hunter

General Knowledge
1. In what city was the sitcom "Laverne and Shirley" originally set? ( 1 pt)
2. How many strikes make a perfect 300 game in ten pin bowling? ( 1 pt)
3. How many films were there in the original "Planet of the Apes" series from the 1960s and '70s? ( 1 pt)
4. What is the only letter of the alphabet not in the name of any US state? ( 2 pt)
5. What actor provided the voice of Sideshow Bob on "The Simpsons?" ( 2 pt)
6. What world capital city is located on the island of Luzon? ( 2 pt)
7. Magyar is the official language of what European country? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What 20th century president was the first to visit Europe while in office? ( 3 points)
2. What is the northernmost world capital city? ( 4 points)
3. What is the world's largest nation by population that is all in a single time zone? ( 5 points)
4. "The Liberty Bell March" is the theme song to what classic TV show? ( 4 points)
5. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe were known as what 1980s musical duo? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Julia Roberts; 2. Jehovah's Witnesses; 3. Elton John; 4. Saudi Arabia; 5. New Orleans; 6. Most days in space by a US astronaut; 7. Arkansas.

England Trivia
1. Hyde Park; 2. Liverpool; 3. Coventry; 4. 17th century (1666); 5. Guy Fawkes Day; 6. Labour; 7. England ( 55 million-39 million).

The Q Train: Movies By Decade Trivia
1. 1960s (1961); 2. 1940s (1942); 3. 2000s (2001); 4. 1990s (1990); 5. 1930s (1934); 6. 1980s (1989); 7. 1950s (1959); 8. 1970s (1971); 9. 2010s (2012); 10. 1970s (1978).

General Knowledge
1. Milwaukee; 2. twelve; 3. five; 4. Q; 5. Kelsey Grammer; 6. Manila; 7. Hungary.

IQ Trivia
1. Woodrow Wilson; 2. Reykjavik, Iceland; 3. China; 4. "Monty Python's Flying Circus;" 5. Pet Shop Boys.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Blighty Trivia This Week

Trivia Night will be happening this Wednesday night, April 26th in the Loft at Professor Thom's at 8:30 PM, and the Special Category this week will be "England Trivia", seven questions about our great ally, in history and pop culture, in honor of St. George's Day (England's patron saint), which just happened on Sunday. The Q Train lightning round will be "Movies By Decade Trivia." I will give you the names of ten classic films, and you have to tell me the decade it was originally released.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"How many strikes make a perfect 300 game in ten pin bowling?"

We'll be back in the Loft on Wednesday night, as the Celtics have Game 5 of their playoff series then, and fans will take over the first floor. Sorry about the delay last week, and hopefully there won't be anything going on in the Loft before our Trivia Night, so we should get going on time this week. Seats will go quickly, so get in early. Hope to see many of you on Wednesday night for a great night of Trivia Q&A!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Trivia Q&A: April 19

It was to say the least a very unusual night at Professor Thom's last night. We were back upstairs for Trivia for the third straight week as the Bruins playoff game brought out the hockey fans to the bar. But there was also a private party in the Loft that went on until almost 8:30 PM, so that delayed the start of Trivia. So all the players had to wait downstairs until the Loft was ready. And if that wasn't enough, the upstairs mic was on the fritz, so Yours Truly had to do the entire Trivia Night shouting out all the Q&A, and with a nasty head cold to boot.

I survived the night, and things actually went rather well. We started just a few minutes late, but ended right on time, with 14 teams taking part. It was a really tight race heading into IQ Trivia, with the top two teams tied and just four points separating the top five. The scores in IQ Trivia were unusually high, but the team of DIMS continued their domination by winning the night by just two points, rolling up 47 points in total. Congrats to the boys on their continued success.

Second place went to Book Hockey with 45 points, and third place went to Wasted Talent with 44 points.

Looks like we will be back in the Loft again next week, unless the Celtics get swept in their first round playoff series. If they have a Game 5, it would be next Wednesday night. I'll keep you all posted here, and on our Trivia Facebook page.

Best Team Name: We Didn't Hear The Instructions & We Don't Know What We're Doing

Current Events
1. What actor, known for his rather odd behavior, is living alone for a month in a cabin in a remote section of Finland for a performance are project called "Alone Together?"
2. Dan Rooney, former ambassador to Ireland and longtime owner of this NFL team, died last Thursday at the age of 84.
3. What hotel on the Las Vegas Strip had a rooftop fire last Thursday night, but was quickly contained and resulted in no injuries?
4. What airline is giving employees permission to offer passengers up to $10,000 in compensation to give up their seats on overbooked flights?
5. What film opened last weekend to a US box office of $100 million, but worldwide opened to $532 million, a new record for an opening weekend?
6. What two-time Oscar-winning actor was named host of the 2017 Tony Awards earlier this week?
7. Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Kiplagat were the men's and women's winners at Monday's Boston Marathon. What country do they both hail from?

Boston Trivia
1. Alexander Graham Bell was a professor at what Boston institution of higher learning before securing his telephone patent?
2. At 790 feet, what is the name of Boston's tallest building?
3. Martin Scorsese won an Academy Award for Best Director for what Boston-based film?
4. The Celtics have won the most title of any Boston-based sports team (17). Between the Red Sox, patriots and Bruins, which won has won the second most?
5. What Boston tunnel is named after one of the city's all-time sports legends?
6. True of False: The first subway built in the US was built in Boston.
7. What American statesman defended British soldiers involved in the infamous Boston Massacre of 1770?

The Q Train: US States Nicknames Trivia
1. Equality State
2. Granite State
3. The Old Dominion
4. Razorback State
5. Magnolia State
6. Yellowhammer State
7. Ocean State
8. Constitution State
9. Gopher State
10. Evergreen State

General Knowledge
1. "What's Love Got to Do With It" was a 1984 hit song for what artist? ( 1 pt)
2. The entire length of the Erie Canal runs through what US state? ( 1 pt)
3. Between Russian, German and Chinese, which is not an official language of the UN? ( 1 pt)
4. Since 2011, when the field was last expanded, how many teams play in the NCAA basketball tournament every year? ( 2 pt)
5. On a roulette wheel, the double zero space is usually what color? ( 2 pt)
6. What country's nickname is "The Hermit Kingdom?" ( 2 pt)
7. In what city could you hire one of the public bicycles known as "Boris Bikes?" ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. The Costa Brava is a coastal region in the northeastern region of what country? ( 4 points)
2. What is the second largest city in the United Kingdom by population, after London? ( 5 points)
3. What is the largest third-party political party in the US, with over 500,000 members? ( 3 points)
4. What musical instrument is on Louisiana's state quarter coin? ( 4 points)
5. What wealthy American is also known by the nickname "The Oracle of Omaha?" ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Shia LeBeouf; 2. Pittsburgh Steelers; 3. Bellagio; 4. Delta; 5. "Fate of the Furious;" 6. Kevin Spacey; 7. Kenya.

Boston Trivia
1. Boston University; 2. John Hancock Tower; 3. "The Departed;" 4. Red Sox (8); 5. Ted Williams; 6. true; 7. John Adams.

The Q Train: US States Nicknames Trivia
1. Wyoming; 2. New Hampshire; 3. Virginia; 4. Arkansas; 5. Mississippi; 6. Alabama; 7. Rhode Island; 8. Connecticut; 9. Minnesota; 10. Washington.

General Knowledge
1. Tina Turner; 2. New York; 3. German; 4. 68; 5. green; 6. North Korea; 7. London.

IQ Trivia
1. Spain; 2. Birmingham; 3. Libertarian; 4. trumpet; 5. Warren Buffett.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Celebrating Boston & Patriots Day On Wednesday

This Wednesday night, April 19th, Trivia will be happening at Professor Thom's, in the second floor Loft, with "Boston Trivia," seven questions about the great city to the northeast of us, in honor of Patriots Day and the running of the Boston Marathon. The Q Train lightning round will be "US States Nicknames Trivia." I will give you 10 famous nicknames associated with states of our great country and you have to name that state.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"The entire length of the Erie Canal runs through what US state?"

We'll get going at 8:30 PM on Wednesday. We will be up in the Loft once again, as the Bruins have a playoff game that night. Things have gone very well in the two weeks we have been up there, but unfortunately, space is at a premium, so I urge you to get in as early as possible to assure a seat. As you know, we will be in the Loft as long as there are playoff games on Wednesday nights for the Bruins and Celtics. So I hope to see many of you on Wednesday night for another great night of Trivia Q&A!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Trivia Q&A: April 12

We were back in the Loft at Professor Thom's for Trivia last night, as the bar was invaded by Bruins fans for the first playoff game. 16 teams turned for another great night of Trivia upstairs. I reintroduced the "Q-Tip Trivia" round for the first time since my return, and it went very well, and one team even got the highest score possible in the round of 17 points. It was a two-team race in the final rounds, but the team of DIMS had a perfect round in IQ Trivia to seal their victory with 60 points. Congrats to the boys on another well-earned victory.

Second place went to Malicious Advertisers getting 46 points (nice to see some old friends from my first go-around at Thom's back last night), and third place went to United Didn't Even Sink to Using Chemical Weapons with 43 points.

A quick note to say we will be back in the Loft again next Wednesday, as the Bruins will have their Game 4 playoff game then. It also looks like we will upstairs again for April 26th, the following Wednesday, as well. I will keep you all updated as information becomes available. Once again, my apologies to everyone for the lack of seats last night, as space in the Loft is a bit less than downstairs. Thank you all for understanding!

Best Team Name: You Can't Have Your Chocolate Cake and Bomb it, Too

Current Events
1. A 46-year-old man filed a lawsuit against Ed Murray, the mayor of what West Coast city, that he raped and molested him over 30 years ago?
2. David Letterman substituted for Neil Young, who was ill, in inducting what rock band into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame last Friday?
3. Facebook admitted last week that they were tricked by a malicious advertiser into carrying a fake news post that what legendary rock star had committed suicide?
4. 45 people were killed and more than 100 injured when two bombs were detonated at Christian churches last Sunday in what country?
5. Separate groups led by Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush have emerged as possible bidders for what NL baseball team, with the price tag in the range of $800 million- $1.6 billion?
6. Gov. Robert Bentley, of what US state, resigned on Monday as impeachment proceedings began over charges he was using state resources to cover an affair he was having?
7. In a recent poll of 85,000 registered voters by Morning Consult, Charlie Baker, governor of this state, was voted the US' most popular governor.

Q-Tip Trivia
1. Which of the following countries have hosted the Summer Olympics? a. Canada, b. Russia, c. Netherlands, d. Belgium.
2. Which of these US presidents had more than one vice-president? a. FDR, b. Richard Nixon, c. Theodore Roosevelt, d. Abraham Lincoln.
3. Which of these neighborhoods are located in Brooklyn? a. Woodhaven, b. Tottenville, c. Kingsbridge, d. Murray Hill.
4. Which of the following films were set in New York City? a. Dirty Harry, b. Field of Dreams, c. Working Girl, d. The Producers.
5. Which of the following musicians were drummers? a. Don Henley, b. Peter Criss, c. Karen Carpenter, d. Sheila E.
6. Which of the following films did not win the Oscar for Best Picture? a. Saving Private Ryan, b. Gladiator, c. Chicago, d. The Aviator.
7. In which of the following years was a Democrat elected to the White House? a. 1968, b. 1996, c. 1984, d. 1988.

The Q Train: 21-30 Trivia
1. This is the number of MLB Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Tony Perez and Rickey Henderson.
2. The number of days February has in leap years.
3. This is the number amendment that ended Prohibition in 1933.
4. In a normal deck of cards, there are this many red cards, as well as black cards.
5. The most famous psalm in the Bible was this number, also known as the Shepherd Psalm.
6. The Arabic alphabet has this many letters.
7. Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for this many pieces of silver.
8. This is the current roster size number for all MLB teams.
9. Rock stars Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain all died at this age.
10. This is the total number of soccer players that can be on the field active at any one time.

General Knowledge
1. "Land of Lincoln" is what US state's nickname? ( 1 pt)
2. Who was the last president of the Soviet Union? ( 1 pt)
3. The holiday known as Festivus gained popularity because of what TV sitcom? ( 1 pt)
4. Croatia and Slovenia were both formerly part of what country? ( 2 pt)
5. The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is an award presented every year in what sport? ( 2 pt)
6. At 2,290 miles, what is Europe's longest river? ( 2 pt)
7. How many main islands does the state of Hawaii have? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Robert LeRoy Parker was the real name of what 19th century outlaw? ( 4 points)
2. What US president is the only person named Time's "Person of the Year" three different times? ( 3 points)
3. In the famous Abbott and Costello comedy routine "Who's On First", the third baseman's name is? ( 4 points)
4. The Order of the Arrow is the honor society of what national organization? ( 5 points)
5. What state has been hit by more than half of all the earthquakes recorded in the United States? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Seattle; 2. Pearl Jam; 3. Paul McCartney; 4. Egypt; 5. Miami Marlins; 6. Alabama; 7. Massachusetts.

Q-Tip Trivia
1. all; 2. a,b,d; 3. none; 4. c,d; 5. all; 6. a,d; 7. b.

The Q Train: 21-30 Trivia
1. 24; 2. 29; 3. 21; 4. 26; 5. 23; 6. 28; 7. 30; 8. 25; 9. 27; 10.22.

General Knowledge
1. Illinois; 2. Mikhail Gorbachev; 3. "Seinfeld;" 4. Yugoslavia; 5. hockey; 6. Volga; 7. eight.

IQ Trivia
1. Butch Cassidy; 2. FDR (1932, 1936 and 1941); 3. I Don't Know; 4. Boy Scouts of America; 5. Alaska.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Back In The Loft on Wednesday Night

Trivia will be happening this Wednesday night, April 12th at 8:30 PM at Professor Thom's, with "Q-Tip Trivia" as the Special Category. This category has nothing to do with cotton swabs, but the way it works is I will give you seven general knowledge, multiple choice questions, and each will have four possible answers. You can pick as many as you think are correct, and you will get a point for each correct one, so you could possibly get four points if you say "all" and are correct. (And there is a possibility that none are correct. If you say "none" and are right, you get one point.) However, if you give any incorrect answers, you get no points for that question. So you have to be careful in your responses in this round. I'll have further explanations about the category on Wednesday night to clear up any confusion you may have about it.

The Q Train lightning round will be "21-30 Trivia." I will give you ten questions where the answer will be a number from 21 and 30, and each answer will be a different number.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"'Land of Lincoln' is what US state's nickname?"

As many of you know, we moved upstairs to do Trivia last week, due to the Celtics and Red Sox games that brought many fans to the bar. The NHL just released their playoff schedule, and the Bruins will have playoff games both this Wednesday (Game 1) and next Wednesday night (Game 4), so Professor Thom's will be filled with playoff hockey fans. That means we will be in the second floor Loft for this week and next week's Trivia Nights for certain. As the weeks progress, we will play it by ear as to where we will be doing it, and I will keep you all updated here. I thought last week's Trivia went great, with the only drawback being that we have less room upstairs than we do downstairs. So I would urge you all to come in as early as you can, so you can get some seats. My apologies for any inconvenience this may cause to you, but we'd rather do Trivia upstairs than to have to cancel it because of the Bruins and Celtics playoff games, which always brings enormous crowds to Professor Thom's. I look forward to seeing many of you in the Loft for another great night of Trivia on Wednesday night!

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Trivia Q&A: April 5

Last night at Professor Thom's, we had an influx of Celtics and Red Sox fans in to watch their games, so we moved Trivia upstairs to the second floor, called The Loft. It's an intimate place that is used for private parties and such. We did the Trivia there and it went great. The only drawback is the fact that the space is a bit limited, so we had 13 teams in and the Loft was crowded all night. I thank all of you who came in and enjoyed the night. With the Celtics and Bruins about to begin their playoff runs later this month, there will be Wednesdays where we will be in the Loft to do Trivia Night. I do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Next week it is not certain yet where we will be, but it should be a great night nonetheless. I will keep all of you posted on our Facebook group page with updates.

This was one of those nights where I made the Trivia a bit tougher, especially in the rounds of 1990s Trivia and IQ Trivia, as the scores were a bit low in both. I guess I'll have to make up for that next week! LOL But in the IQ round, I did discover I made an error on question #4, as I used the word "hydrogen" instead of "nitrogen." I do apologize for that mistake. No one got the question correct, so it ultimately didn't affect the final scores.

Our friends from the team of DIMS continue the reign over Trivia Night, as they won the night, getting 43 points. Congrats to them on another fine victory. Second place went to 17 Going On 18, who got 33 points, and third place went to Tar Heels Can Use Any Bathroom They Want with 31 points.

Best Team Name: Bill O'Reilly's Summer Interns

Current Events
1. What classic rock singer recently told the New Musical Express, "The Democrats threw it away by nominating Hillary Clinton. A dead dog would have won against her."?
2. An elevated section of the northbound Interstate 85 in this city collapsed last Thursday after a massive fire broke out.
3. Rioters stormed and set fire to what South American country's Congress last Friday after the Senate secretly voted for an amendment allowing its president to run for re-election?
4. What recent Grammy-winning musician donated $1 million to Chicago's public schools last week, and it was matched by the NBA's Chicago Bulls?
5. What controversial TV host was reported by the New York Times last week to have settled as many as five sexual harassment cases against him for as much as $13 million?
6. Over 200 people were killed and hundreds injured from flooding and landslides last weekend in what South American country?
7. This sports league announced on Monday it would not be sending any of its players to the 2018 Olympics as owners were increasingly unhappy having to shut down its league down every four years.

1990s Trivia
1. In what year in the 1990s was Nelson Mandela released from a South African jail after 27 years?
2. What record became the world's biggest-selling single of all-time in 1997?
3. The 1992 Summer Olympics were held in what European city?
4. Madonna won a Golden Globe for the first time in 1997 for what film?
5. Johnny Carson left the Tonight Show as host after 30 years in what year?
6. Who succeeded Margaret Thatcher as British prime minister in 1990?
7. The massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado and the death of JFK Jr. both occurred in what year?

The Q Train: True or False Trivia
1. The maximum number of digits allowed on a credit card in 19.
2. Cracking your knuckles can cause arthritis.
3. "Bookkeeper" is the only word in the English language with three consecutive double letters.
4. Panama hats are actually manufactured in Panama.
5. Abraham Lincoln was the first US president born in a log cabin.
6. New Zealand was the first nation to grant women the right to vote.
7. More people are killed by donkeys every year than are killed in plane crashes.
8. Only male mosquitoes bite humans.
9. Bananas originated on the continent of Asia.
10. Texas has the most ghost towns of any state in the US.

General Knowledge
1. A bar mitzvah is celebrated when a Jewish boy reaches what age? ( 1 pt)
2. Who was the US president during the War of 1812? ( 1 pt)
3. Wright Brothers National Memorial is located in what US state? ( 1 pt)
4. Hypertension is the medical term for what common health problem? ( 2 pt)
5. The novel "Brave New World" was written by what 20th century author? ( 2 pt)
6. What finger is fractured twice as often on average as any other? ( 2 pt)
7. Mount Desert Island is the largest island off the coast of what US state? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What 1985 film earned Harrison Ford his only Oscar nomination to date? ( 3 points)
2. "A Nation Once Again", written in 1840, is an anthem associated with the independence of what nation? ( 4 points)
3. In 1860, what board game, still available today, was founded by Milton Bradley and was his first board game? ( 5 points)
4. After nitrogen and oxygen, what is the third most abundant element in the earth's atmosphere? ( 4 points)
5. What is the least populous state capital in the United States? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Roger Daltrey; 2. Atlanta; 3. Paraguay; 4. Chance the Rapper; 5. Bill O'Reilly; 6. Colombia; 7. NHL.

1990s Trivia
1. 1990; 2. "Candle in the Wind;" 3. Barcelona; 4. "Evita;" 5. 1992; 6. John Major; 7. 1999.

The Q Train: True or False Trivia
1. true; 2. false; 3. true; 4. false, Ecuador; 5. false, Andrew Jackson; 6. true; 7. true; 8. false; 9. true; 10. false, Oregon.

General Knowledge
1. 13; 2. James Madison; 3. North Carolina; 4. high blood pressure; 5. Aldous Huxley; 6. pinky; 7. Maine.

IQ Trivia
1. "Witness;" 2. Ireland; 3. The Game of Life; 4. argon; 5. Montpelier, VT.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Back to the '90s Trivia This Week

Trivia will be happening on Wednesday night, April 5th at Professor Thom's, and the Special category will be "1990s Trivia," seven questions connected to the final decade of the 20th century in history, sports and pop culture. The Q Train lightning round will be another edition of "True or False Trivia."

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Who was the US president during the War of 1812?"

We get going at 8:30 PM tomorrow night. We continue to get large turnouts every week, so get in as early as you can. I look forward to seeing many of you tomorrow for another great night of Trivia Q&A!

Monday, April 03, 2017

Happy Opening Day 2017

We start playing for real today, and the expectations for the Red Sox have never been higher going into the 2017 season. Many prognosticators are picking the Red Sox to win the AL East, and afew are even picking them to win the whole enchilada. The Sox open at home today, and here are the 25 players (and those on the DL) who will open the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates today:


Rick Porcello, Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Wright, David Price (DL), Drew Pomeranz (DL), Craig Kimbrel, Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, Robbie Ross, Fernando Abad, Robby Scott, Ben Taylor, Tyler Thornburg (DL).

Mitch Moreland, Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, Brock Holt, Jeff Rutledge (DL).

Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, Mookie Betts, Steve Selsky, Chris Young.

Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez.

Friday, March 31, 2017

"Casey Stengel: Baseball's Greatest Character"

Casey Stengel is one of the legendary names in baseball history, and everyone knows him as the man who led the Yankees to seven World Series wins and five straight titles from 1949-1953. He was also the man who put the Mets on the map in the early 1960s with his wit and clownish charm. There have been biographies written about him before, most notably Robert Creamer's wonderful book about him in 1984. So why another book about the life of the "Old Perfessor?"

Marty Appel, who worked for the Yankees for as their PR Director and producer of their local TV broadcasts as well as having written many books about the team and its stars, has answered that question, and he's hit one out of the park with his new tome, "Casey Stengel: Baseball's Greatest Character," which was just released by Doubleday.

For this book, Appel had access to an unpublished memoir by Edna Stengel (Casey's beloved wife), and it is an inside look at the man who was one of the most well-known people in America in the 1950s, but few really knew. The Stengels never had any children, as they thought they too old to begin a family. We learn about Casey's investments in Texas oil wells, and how the returns on that made him comfortable (but not really a millionaire) for life.

But Appel's book takes a ride through the baseball life of a man who just adored the game, and was simply miserable if he couldn't be a part of it. Casey was a good ballplayer with the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Braves. His career wouldn't have made him a Hall of Famer, but he could always hang his hat on the fact that he played on two Giants World Series championship teams in the early 1920s under the legendary John McGraw (and he hit the first ever World Series home run in Yankee Stadium in 1923). Playing under McGraw would be a great learning experience for Casey, and he would bring that knowledge with him as his managerial career got under way.

Appel takes us through Casey's life as he became a manager, and the results weren't anything special. He managed two mediocre clubs in the 1930s and 1940s, the Dodgers and Braves. He would then return to the minors to manage clubs in Milwaukee, Kansas City and Oakland, and won a title with the Oaks in 1948. That set the stage for his return to MLB, with the Yankees in 1949.

He managed the Yankees for 12 seasons, and put up the greatest resume any manager ever has: 10 AL pennants, 7 WS titles, and five straight to begin his tenure. But Appel points out that he had very complicated relationships with two of the team's biggest stars: Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. He and DiMaggio didn't speak much, and Joe had his own set of rules. Casey is painted as being disappointed in Mantle because he wasn't more like Babe Ruth in the numbers he could have put up. He also talks about the way Stengel treated Phil Rizzuto at the end of his career, especially embarrassing him by batting him ninth in some games. It was a slight Rizzuto never forgot. And Casey's complicated relationship with Billy Martin is also explored, and how their relationship was splintered when Casey didn't defend him after the Copacabana incident in 1957 that got him traded shortly after to Kansas City. Martin never really forgave Casey for that.

Appel also addresses the charges of Casey and racism. The Yankees didn't get their first black player until Elston Howard joined the club in 1955, and Appel deftly explains his behavior in the context of the day. He doesn't excuse some of Casey's callous remarks towards Howard.

We also see why the Yankees eventually let Casey go after the World Series loss in 1960, and the anger he had towards them for many years. (He stayed away from the Yankees and any events the club had for 10 years until he returned to have his number retired in 1970.) His return to baseball with the Mets in 1962 was in many ways was to stick it to his old employers in their own backyard. Casey rolled out the charm and the "Stengelese" as the Mets were historically bad, and it served the club well. (I must correct an error I found in the book. Not a major one. Marty called Ed Kranepool "an original Met." Having watched Mets games from my youth, Lindsey Nelson on TV would always go to great lengths when talking about Kranepool that he was NOT an original Met, as he was signed by the club in June of 1962, and an "Original Met" was someone who was with the club since their first game in April. Sorry, Marty.)

Casey will always be a beloved figure for what he did for establishing the Mets, and leading the Yankees to a decade of unprecedented success. He still loved baseball right up until his death in 1975, even watching the NBC Game of the Week in his hospital room as cancer was taking his life. The book is also a wonderful love story of Casey with his beloved wife Edna, who he slowly lost to Alzheimer's in the early 1970s. Casey Stengel was truly a renaissance man, more than just a clown or a great baseball manager. He truly enjoyed being with people, and loved the attention from the fans. He was a baseball lifer, and someone you'd love to have a beer with and talk about the game of baseball.

In 2009, the MLB Network ranked Casey as the most beloved character in baseball history. And it is a perfect title for Marty Appel's book. It's an enjoyable ride with one of MLB's most colorful figures. No matter who you support in MLB, you will enjoy this wonderful book.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Trivia Q&A: March 29

We had 18 teams in on Wednesday night, on another great night of Trivia. It seems like the number of people playing per team has gone up, and the bar was crowded once again. Always great to see that.

We had another tight race to finish last night, as going into IQ Trivia, the top five teams only had four points between them, and one point between each team. But it was another great night for the team of DIMS, who had a perfect round of IQ Trivia to win the night with a total of 51 points. Congratulations to the boys on another well-earned victory.

Second place went to my old friends Reunited and It Feels So Good with 46 points, and Quiz On Your Face (who won for Best Team Name) finished in third with 44 points.

Current Events
1. Last week, the US Senate confirmed bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman as the new ambassador to what country?
2. Fortune magazine selected what MLB executive as the "World's Greatest Leader" over such dignitaries as Pope Francis and Amazon head Jeff Bezos?
3. What longtime TV show will be debuting a character with autism later next month?
4. One person was killed and fifteen injured at a nightclub last Saturday night in what midwestern city, in a shooting spree that was unrelated to terrorism?
5. What airline caused an firestorm on social media on Sunday when it wouldn't let two girls on a plane because it now has a leggings ban?
6. The NFL owners voted 31-1 on Monday to allow the Oakland Raiders to move to this city, but they will remain in Oakland for at least two more years until their new stadium is built.
7. What college basketball team qualified for their 20th Final Four this past weekend, a record for men's teams?

Pop Music Trivia
1. In 1985, the Live Aid concerts were held in London and what other city?
2. What R&B legend was known as "Mr. Dynamite?"
3. Bruce Springsteen won an Oscar and a Grammy in 1994 for what song?
4. Name 1 of the 2 artists to win eight Grammys in one year, the record?
5. What Boston-based rock band won MTV's first Best Video Award in 1984?
6. What future rap star was, as a 13-year-old youth, an advisor to the owner of the Oakland A's baseball team in the 1970s?
7. "Kerplunk" and "American Idiot" were albums by what rock band?

The Q Train: 1, 2, 3 or 4 Trivia
1. Cancer is this number sign of the Zodiac.
2. Catcher is this number on a baseball team.
3. On a telephone, this number key is associated with the letters D, E and F.
4. The number of US presidents who have been impeachment.
5. The number of MLB platers who've hit at least 700 home runs in a career.
6. This is the number of Super Bowls won by the New York Giants in their history.
7. The number of state capitals named after US presidents.
8. This number was a hit song for the Bee Gees, Faith Hill and U2.
9. This is the atomic number of helium.
10. The total number of Oscars won by Al Pacino in his career.

General Knowledge
1. The majority of London buses are what color? ( 1 pt)
2. Tabasco is a state in what country? ( 1 pt)
3. What is the second largest city in Canada by population after Toronto? ( 1 pt)
4. What was the name of the first film featuring the Beatles? ( 2 pt)
5. What American general was nicknamed "Old Blood and Guts?" ( 2 pt)
6. Which is the most easterly of the Great Lakes? ( 2 pt)
7. The daiquiri cocktail is named after a town in what Caribbean country? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Leon Trotsky, Franz Joseph and Sigmund Freud all lived in what city in the year 1913? ( 4 points)
2. The poem "The New Colossus" can be found inscribed in what famous place? ( 3 points)
3. What was the first southern state capital to fall to Union troops in the Civil War in 1862? ( 5 points)
4. Bianca, Miranda and Portia are all satellites of what planet? ( 4 points)
5. Bernard Barker, James McCord and Frank Sturgis were three of the men involved in what infamous early 1970s event? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Israel; 2. Theo Epstein; 3. Sesame Street; 4. Cincinnati; 5. United; 6. Las Vegas; 7. North Carolina Tar Heels.

Pop Music Trivia
1. Philadelphia; 2. James Brown; 3. "The Streets of Philadelphia;" 4. Michael Jackson and Santana; 5. The Cars (You Might Think); 6. MC Hammer; 7. Green Day.

The Q Train: 1, 2, 3, or 4 Trivia
1. 4; 2. 2; 3. 3; 4. 2; 5. 3; 6. 4; 7. 4; 8. 1; 9. 2; 10. 1.

General Knowledge
1. Red; 2. Mexico; 3. Montreal; 4. "A Hard Day's Night;" 5. George S. Patton; 6. Lake Ontario; 7. Cuba.

IQ Trivia
1. Vienna; 2. Statue of Liberty; 3. Nashville, TN; 4. Uranus; 5. Watergate break-in.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pop Music Trivia On Tap This Wednesday

Wednesday Night Trivia at Professor Thom's will feature "Pop Music Trivia" as the Special Category this week. It will be seven questions on the wonderful world of Popular music down through the years. Two of the questions this week will be worth two points apiece.

The Q Train lightning round will feature "!, 2, 3 or 4 Trivia." I will give you ten potpourri questions, and every answer will be a number, either 1, 2, 3 or 4.

The Sneak Peek question this week is:
"The majority of London buses are what color?"

We get going at 8:30 PM tomorrow night. We've had some huge crowds over the past few weeks, so I would encourage you to get in as soon as you can to make sure you get a prime table. I look forward to seeing many of you tomorrow night for another great night of Trivia!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Trivia Q&A: March 22

It was another very cold night in New York last night, but we had another great turnout, as 21 teams took part in the Trivia festivities. We had an extremely tight race heading into IQ Trivia, as there was 7 teams that were within 3 points of each other. But the teams of DIMS and Team Mercy had a great final round, and both teams ended up tied at 42 points. So we broke the tie with a question based on one of the Current Events questions: "How many countries can you visit with a German passport?" (A German passport allows you to visit the most countries on earth, according to a new survey.) The answer was 176, and DIMS was closest to the answer, so they were crowned champions, their fourth win in the last five weeks. Their dominance continues!

Team Mercy took second place, and third place went to Kellyanne's Bowling Green Massacre, who finished with 40 points. We had a rare three-way tie for fourth, between Welcome Home Tom Brady's Jersey (Best Team Name winner), Ohio Against Tha World, and Chuck E. Cheese Better Watch Out!, all with 36 points.

Current Events
1. The Twitter account of this restaurant chain was hacked last week to attack President Trump with a very derogatory tweet.
2. What NBA Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star said on his podcast last week he believes the earth is flat, but later on said on TV that he was only joking.
3. A recent study by the 2017 Visa Restriction Index ranked this European country number one in the world for allowing travel to the most countries on Earth.
4. A 39-year-old man was shot dead at an airport in what European capital city after he tried to steal a soldier's weapon?
5. The Vatican announced last week that Pope Francis will visit this Muslim country on April 28th in response to the country's president, who visited the Vatican in 2014.
6. What northern European country was selected number one in the 2017 World Happiness Report as the world's happiest country?
7. What team knocked out the second-seeded Duke Blue Devils last Sunday in one of the biggest upsets in the NCAA Men's basketball tournament so far?

Space Trivia
1. On July 20, 1976, Viking I became the first spacecraft to land where?
2. Exactly how many Apollo missions landed on the Moon: 5, 6, or 7?
3. Titan is the largest satelitte of what planet?
4. Within 5 million, how many miles are there between the Earth and the Sun?
5. At its closest, which planet is closer to Earth, Venus or Mars?
6. When Voyager I was sent into deep space in 1977, what rock'n'roll legend's song was included on it as an example of the sounds of Earth?
7. What physicist gained worldwide fame with his best-selling book about space, "A Brief History of Time?"

The Q Train: Name The Month
1. The Titanic sank in the North Atlantic in 1912.
2. The Challenger space shuttle exploded after liftoff in 1986, killing all 7 astronauts.
3. Japan signed the formal surrender to the US in 1945.
4. The Kentucky Derby is run on the first Saturday of this month.
5. Black History Month is this month every year.
6. The anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar is this month.
7. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is traditionally observed in this month.
8. The Stonewall riots, marking the turning point in the gay rights movement, occurred in 1969 in this month.
9. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally takes place in South Dakota for a week each year this month.
10. Canada Day is celebrated by our neighbors to the north each year this month.

General Knowledge
1. What is the most widely spoken language on Earth? ( 1 pt)
2. "Double Fantasy" was a 1980 album by what rock immortal? ( 1 pt)
3. Appomattox Court House, where the Civil War officially ended, is located in what state? ( 1 pt)
4. How many hours difference is there between Pacific Standard Time and Atlantic Standard Time? ( 2 pt)
5. What is the top-selling tie color in the US? ( 2 pt)
6. What hit 2010 film was based on the book called "The Accidental Billionaires?" ( 2 pt)
7. What western US state had the largest increase in population in the US between 2015 and 2016? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What Midwestern state is the only state in the US that still accepts pennies at their tollbooths? ( 4 points)
2. What is the real first name of the movie character Indiana Jones? ( 4 points)
3. What was the first human organ to be successfully transplanted? ( 3 points)
4. Pitcairn Island and the Cook Islands use what country's dollar as their currency? ( 4 points)
5. Who was the first actor to win Emmy Awards for acting, directing and writing for the same TV series? ( 5 points)

Current Events
1. McDonald's; 2. Shaquille O'Neal; 3. Germany; 4. Paris; 5. Egypt; 6. Norway; 7. South Carolina.

Space Trivia
1. Mars; 2. six; 3. Saturn; 4. 93 million; 5. Venus; 6. Chuck Berry; 7. Stephen Hawking.

The Q Train: Name That Month
1. April; 2. January; 3. September; 4. May; 5. February; 6. March; 7. October; 8. June; 9. August; 10. July.

General Knowledge
1. Mandarin Chinese; 2. John Lennon; 3. Virginia; 4. four; 5. blue; 6. "The Social Network"; 7. Utah.

IQ Trivia
1. Illinois; 2. Henry; 3. kidney; 4. New Zealand; 5. Alan Alda.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Get Spaced Out On Wednesday

Trivia Night tomorrow at Professor Thom's will featured as the Special Category "Space Trivia," seven questions about our missions into the unknown, and other questions about the vast worlds beyond our wonderful planet. The Q Train lightning round will be "Name The Month Trivia." I will give you a famous event in recent history, and you have to tell me what moth of the year this event occurred in. Every answer will be a different month of the year.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What is the most widely spoken language in the world?"

We get going at 8:30 PM on Wednesday night. We've had some really great turnouts since my return last month, so I would suggest getting into the bar a bit early to guarantee a prime table.

Hope to see many of you for a great night of Trivia on Wednesday!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Trivia Q&A: March 15

It was a very cold night on Wednesday, and I thought with the cold and snow that we'd have a very small turnout for Trivia. But I was pleasantly surprised to see 17 teams in, and the bar kept filling up as we got closer to the start. I thank all of you for your support, and I will certainly never underestimate your loyalty again!

It was a really close race all night, and we even had another perfect game going, which ended in the General Knowledge round. We had the top five teams separated by just six points going into IQ Trivia, but the team of The Scrappy 16 Seed won the night by getting all five IQ Trivia questions correct, and jumped over the top two teams to win the night with 51 points. Congrats to them on their first win.

Second place was actually a tie at 50 points between DIM (who had won the previous three weeks) and Dr. Anzus (who lost the perfecto earlier). We broke the tie with "Taylor Swift made the most money of any musician in 2016. How much did she earn?" It was $170 million, which DIM was closer and won second place.

Best Team Name: F*** This F***ing Week (It got such a laugh in the first round it had to be picked!)

Current Events
1. The president of what Asian country was impeached and removed last Friday over a corruption scandal and is now facing prison.
2. What European country was ranked number one in a recent ranking by US News and World Report of the world's best countries by categories such as peace, power and investment?
3. The son of what legendary athlete was stopped at two airports this past month, and claims that on both occasions he was racially and religiously profiled?
4. The 68 teams for the NCAA basketball tournament were announced on Sunday, and what team was named the overall number one seed?
5. What pop singer will make a guest appearance in the upcoming season of "Game of Thrones" later this year in a yet-to-be-named cameo role?
6. What rap star caused controversy this week by releasing a video showing him shooting a "clown version" of President Trump?
7. An attack on a hospital last week in what Asian country left 49 dead and injured 63, and was thought to have been done by ISIS?

Ireland Trivia
1. How many counties are there in the Republic of Ireland? a. 19; b. 26; c. 30; d. 33.
2. Which Irish saint is said to have visited America 1000 years before Columbus? a. St. Patrick; b. St. Finbar; c. St. Brendan; d. St. Thomas.
3. What is the most popular team sport in Ireland? a. soccer; b. rugby; c. cricket; d. Gaelic football.
4. Larry Mullen Jr. is a member of what Irish rock band? a. U2; b. Black 47; c. The Pogues; d. Thin Lizzy.
5. To make Irish coffee, what alcohol ingredient would you use? a. rye; b. whiskey; c. vodka; d. bourbon.
6. In what century did Ireland's Potato Famine take place? a. 17; b. 18; c. 19; d. 20.
7. Which of the follwing entertainers was not born in Ireland? a. Bono; b. Elvis Costello; c. Bob Geldof; d. Sinead O'Connor.

The Q Train: States' Largest City Trivia
1. North Carolina
2. Kansas
3. Missouri
4. Florida
5. Alaska
6. Texas
7. Connecticut
8. Delaware
9. Tennessee
10. New Mexico

General Knowledge
1. What musical instrument is featured on Guinness' logo? ( 1 pt)
2. What European country was victorious in the Hundred Years War? ( 1 pt)
3. What folk singer wrote the classic song "This Land is Your Land?" ( 1 pt)
4. The Berlin Wall was originally built in what year? ( 2 pt)
5. In what US state was the first atomic bomb test successfully exploded? ( 2 pt)
6. Which of the year's four seasons boasts more US federal holidays than any other? ( 2 pt)
7. Maracaibo and Valencia are two of the largest cities in what South American country? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. In 1974, what married couple had the last variety show ever to finish in the Nielsen ratings Top 20? ( 4 points)
2. At 1,558 miles, the Murray River is the longest river in what country? ( 3 points)
3. In 1781, what was the first planet in our solar system to be discovered by using a telescope? ( 4 points)
4. What day of the week is named after the wife of Odin, the Norse god? ( 4 points)
5. For which novel did Ernest Hemingway win a Pulitzer Prize in 1953, and the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954? ( 5 points)

Current Events
1. South Korea; 2. Switzerland; 3. Muhammad Ali; 4. Villanova; 5. Ed Sheeran; 6. Snoop Dogg; 7. Afghanistan.

Ireland Trivia
1. b; 2. c; 3. d; 4. a; 5. b; 6. c; 7. b.

The Q Train: States' Largest City Trivia
1. Charlotte; 2. Wichita; 3. Kansas City; 4. Jacksonville; 5. Anchorage; 6. Houston; 7. Bridgeport; 8. Wilmington; 9. Memphis; 10. Albuquerque.

General Knowledge
1. Harp; 2. France; 3. Woody Guthrie; 4. 1961; 5. New Mexico; 6. winter (5); 7. Venezuela.

IQ Trivia
1. Sonny and Cher; 2. Australia; 3. Uranus; 4. Friday; 5. "The Old Man and the Sea."

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Test Your Emerald Isle Knowledge Wednesday

Wednesday Night Trivia at Professor Thom's  this week will feature "Ireland Trivia," seven questions about the Emerald Isle in honor of this Friday being St. Patrick's Day. The questions will also be multiple choice, the first time we have done multiple choice since my return.

The Q Train lightning round will be "States Largest City Trivia." I will give you the names of ten US states, and you have to tell me what the largest city by population is in that particular state.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What musical instrument is featured on Guinness' logo?"

We get going at 8:30 PM tomorrow. As you all know, we have gotten some really awful weather on Tuesday, but fortunately it is not as bad as originally forecasted for New York City. The subways should be up and running above ground in Brooklyn on Wednesday, so I should be in for Trivia. If anything changes that, I will inform you here or on our Facebook group page. See you tomorrow for a great night of Trivia!

Monday, March 13, 2017

11 Years and Counting

It was 11 years ago today that Yours Truly started The Mighty Quinn Media Machine. It's been a memorable ride to say the least.

The blog has evolved over the years, first starting out talking about my favorite sports teams, and then adding my Trivia Night to the mix. I have been writing less as the years have progressed, but I am glad we're back doing Trivia again. And I'll be writing more about the Red Sox as the season begins.

I want to thank all of you for all the kind thoughts and wishes about my blog as the years have gone on. Here's hoping to more successful years of writing ahead!

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Trivia Q&A: March 8

We had another terrific turnout for Trivia on Wednesday night, with 22 teams taking part. Not as many as the previous two weeks, but there seemed to be more folks in the bar taking part this week. That's always a good thing.

The story of the night was the team called DIMS, who were the winners the past two weeks, and they were going for the hat trick last night. After three rounds, I noticed they had not gotten a questions wrong yet, and a "perfect game" going. I decided not to say a word about it as the trivia was progressing, as like in baseball, I didn't want to "jinx" it. It was still going into the IQ Trivia round, but they got the question about the state of Franklin wrong, guessing Kentucky instead of the correct answer, which is Tennessee. It would be the only one they got wrong all night. Oh, so close.

DIMS won the night with 51 points, and the second place team was I'm a Girl Standing In Front of a Bull with 45 points. Third place went to Psyclones, getting 42 points.

Best Team Name: John Quinn, Let Us Win, We'll Show You Some Skin

Current Events
1. Former Red Sox and Cubs catcher David Ross will become the first MLB player to take part in what reality show later this year?
2. What Hollywood Oscar-winner sent an espresso maker to the White House press corps last week, the third time he has done so over the past few years?
3. What British-born actor says that he is applying for US citizenship in order to help "fight back" against President Trump?
4. Disney announced that their upcoming live-action remake of this classic will feature the studio's first ever gay character and love scene.
5. What 1950s rock'n'roll star is suing his daughter, claiming she abused him by giving him a diet of drug cocktails and spent his fortune?
6. Louis Tomlinson, lead singer of what pop group, was arrested last Friday at LAX after attacking a photographer after arriving on a flight with a girlfriend.
7. Robert Osborne, the film historian and author, died on Monday at the age of 84. What film channel was he a host for 23 years?

Brooklyn Trivia
1. Brooklyn gets its name from a town in what European country?
2. What county is Brooklyn in?
3. What current member of the Supreme Court was born and raised in Brooklyn?
4. What year in the 19th century did the Brooklyn Bridge open?
5. In the movie "Saturday Night Fever", the character Bobby C falls to his death from what bridge?
6. Between Al Pacino, Jerry Seinfeld and Barbra Streisand, which was NOT born in Brooklyn?
7. What was the final year the Dodgers played in Brooklyn before moving to LA?

The Q Train: True or False Trivia
1. The Super Bowl actually got its name from the Wham-O Superball.
2. The president and his family pay for their own food and incidentals while in the White House.
3. Transylvania is part of Albania.
4. The US men's national soccer team has never played in the World Cup Final.
5. "Call me Ishmael" is the first line of the book "Moby Dick."
6. George Washington appeared on the first US postage stamp.
7. About 20% of the US population are left-handed.
8. More than 1,000 languages are spoken on the continent of Africa.
9. Horse racing is called the "sport of kings."
10. The French Open is the first tennis tournament of the Grand Slam every calendar year.

General Knowledge
1. What is the largest city in New Jersey by population? ( 1 pt)
2. According to the census of 2010, what is the most common surname in the US? ( 1 pt)
3. Bart Giamatti was once commissioner of what sport? ( 1 pt)
4. Ted Kaczynski is better known to the public by what nickname? ( 2 pt)
5. Rolling Stone named what Beatles LP the greatest of all-time in 2003? ( 2 pt)
6. Haile Selassie was once emperor of what African country? ( 2 pt)
7. How many feet are there in a nautical fathom? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Tenerife, El Herro and La Palma all belong to what island group? ( 4 points)
2. The state of Franklin was an autonomous 18th century American territory that today is part of what US state? ( 5 points)
3. Henry Rathbone and Clara Harris were up close witnesses of what historic event in American history? ( 4 points)
4. What MLB position hasn't been played by a left-handed player since the Pirates' Benny DiStefano in 1989? ( 3 points)
5. In 1988, who became the first majority-Islamic country to elect a female head of the government? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. "Dancing With the Stars:" 2. Tom Hanks; 3. Patrick Stewart; 4. "Beauty and the Beast;" 5. Jerry Lee Lewis; 6. One Direction; 7. Turner Classic Movies.

Brooklyn Trivia
1. Netherlands; 2. Kings; 3. Ruth Bader Ginsburg; 4. 1883; 5. Verrazano-Narrows Bridge; 6. Al Pacino; 7. 1957.

The Q Train: True or False Trivia
1. true; 2. true; 3. false; 4. true, Romania; 5. true; 6. false, Ben Franklin; 7. false, 7%;  8. true; 9. false, chess; 10. false, Australian Open.

General Knowledge
1. Newark; 2. Smith; 3. baseball; 4. The Unabomber; 5. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; " 6. Ethiopia; 7. six.

IQ Trivia
1. Canary Islands; 2. Tennessee; 3. Assassination of Abraham Lincoln; 4. catcher; 5. Pakistan (Benazir Bhutto).

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Trivia From The Garden Spot Of the World On Wednesday

On Wednesday night, March 8th, Trivia Night at Professor Thom's will feature "Brooklyn Trivia" as the Special Category. I'll ask you seven questions about the greatest of all of New York City's boroughs down through the years. The Q Train lightning round will be "True or False Trivia."

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"According to the census of 2010, what is the most common surname in the US?"

We get started at 8:30 PM on Wednesday night. Professor Thom's is located at 219 2nd Avenue, between East 13th and 14th Streets. I would suggest trying to get in a little bit early as we've had some huge crowds lately. Hope to see many of you for a great night of Trivia tomorrow night!

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Trivia Q&A: March 1

We had another tremendous turnout for Trivia on Wednesday night, as we had 26 teams in, beating last week by one. The support has been great, and I thank you all for making my second go round at Professor Thom's such a success so far.

We had a good race throughout the night, as there were six teams separated by six points going into the final round. But the team of DIMS, last week's champions, repeated their win, getting 12 points in IQ Trivia to ice their victory. They ended up with 44 points and won by three.

Second place went to Heard You Got a New Beau (Biden) with 41 points, and The Mighty Quinn's Mightiest Fans finished third with 39 points. (And it was great seeing my old friends Charles, Pian and Emily back at Thom's, as they have been my loyalest Trivia supporters over the years.)

Best Team Name: John Wilkes Kissing Booth

Current Events
1. Designer Karl Lagerfeld called this Hollywood actress a "cheapskate" for canceling at the last minute an Oscar dress he designed for her in favor of one he says she was paid to wear.
2. What eastern US state was ranked the number one state in the country by US News and World Report in terms of health care, crime, education, opportunity and other categories?
3. What major retail store announced last week that it will close about 140 stores across the US due to declining sales, and will try to reinvent itself online?
4. Tom Perez was elected as the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee. What position did he serve in President Obama's cabinet?
5. What NBA team became the quickest team in league history to clinch a playoff berth last week, breaking their own record set last season?
6. What "superhero" film from last March took home four "Razzie" awards for film ineptitude last Saturday at the Golden Raspberry Awards?
7. "LaLa Land" was the big winner at the Academy Awards on Sunday, winning in how many categories?

Name the Decade Trivia
1. Nirvana releases the much-acclaimed album "Nevermind" and achieve mainstream success.
2. The American Football League begins play and challenges the NFL, resulting in a merger 10 years later.
3. Nearly one million Armenians die at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in what is called "The Armenian Genocide."
4. Henry Fonda wins his first Academy Award for "On Golden Pond," shortly before his death.
5. Stephen King's first novel "Carrie" is published.
6. Dr. Jonas Salk announces a vaccine for polio.
7. The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates as it reenters Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven crew members.

The Q Train: US Historic Places Trivia
1. Little Big Horn
2. Fort Knox
3. Mount Rushmore
4. Yellowstone National Park
5. Leavenworth Prison
6. Mount McKinley
7. Tombstone, home of the OK Corral
8. The Space Needle
9. The Alamo
10. Antietam

General Knowledge
1. The Canadian city of Edmonton is located in what province? ( 1 pt)
2. How many chess pieces in total are there for each player in a standard chess match? ( 1 pt)
3. What US state has the longest coastline? ( 1 pt)
4. How many times have the Olympic Games been canceled because of war? ( 2 pt)
5. What is TV's current longest-running game show? ( 2 pt)
6. Robert Fulton tested his first steamboat on what northeastern US river? ( 2 pt)
7. What is the most populous state capital in the US? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What fictional character was known as "Knight of the Woeful Countenance?" ( 3 points)
2. The name "Helvetia" appears on what European country's stamps and coinage? ( 4 points)
3. The world's oldest wooden building was built in the 7th century AD and is located in what country? ( 5 points)
4. Mel Brooks, Joan Rivers and Gene Wilder did voiceovers for what 1970s children's TV program? ( 4 points)
5. What war film's concluding scene is American troops marching into battle singing the theme to "The Mickey Mouse Club?" ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Meryl Streep; 2. Massachusetts; 3. J.C. Penney; 4. Labor secretary; 5. Golden State Warriors; 6. "Batman vs. Superman;" 7. six.

Name the Decade Trivia
1. 1990s; 2. 1960s; 3. 1910s; 4. 1980s; 5. 1970s; 6. 1950s; 7. 2000s.

The Q Train: US Historic Places Trivia
1. Montana; 2. Kentucky; 3. South Dakota; 4. Wyoming; 5. Kansas; 6. Alaska; 7. Arizona; 8. Washington; 9. Texas; 10. Maryland.

General Knowledge
1. Alberta; 2. sixteen; 3. Alaska; 4. five; 5. "The Price Is Right;" 6. Hudson River; 7. Phoenix.

IQ Trivia
1. Don Quixote; 2. Switzerland; 3. Japan; 4. "The Electric Company;" 5. "Full Metal Jacket."

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Trivia Down Through The Decades This Week

Trivia Night returns to Professor Thom's this Wednesday night at 8:30 PM with "Name The Decade Trivia" as the Special Category. I will give you seven events down through history (since the start of the 20th century, that is), and you have to tell me which decade it occurred in (like the 1950s for example). The questions will encompass such subjects as history, sports, music and other pop culture examples.

The Q Train lightning round will be "US Historic Places Trivia." I will give you the names of ten famous places in America and you have to tell me which state you would find it in.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"How many chess pieces in total are there for each player in a standard game of chess?"

We've had some huge crowds in the two weeks I have returned to Professor Thom's, so come out as early as you can on Wednesday night! See you then.

Monday, February 27, 2017

"Beyond the Ballpark"

I am a big fan of reading baseball histories and biographies, and the first one I have read in 2017 is "Beyond the Ballpark: The Honorable, Immoral, and Eccentric Lives of Baseball Legends." It was written by John A. Wood, who is a professor of religion at Baylor University, and is also a member of SABR, the Society of Baseball Research.

Wood has complied a book on the lives of 50 members of Baseball's Hall of Fame, and it goes beyond the usual statistics that the greats have put together that fanatics like myself can quote in their sleep. He puts his immortals into four categories: "Good Guys," "Mixed Bags", "The Eccentrics" and the "Sad Cases."

The Good Guys are the ones you'd expect, like Walter Johnson, Hank Greenberg and Cy Young. Men who lived stellar lives and who'd love to go and have a beer with and talk about not just baseball but life in general.

The Mixed Bags are the men who were great players or managers, but whose flaws are well-known, like John McGraw, Ty Cobb and Leo Durocher. McGraw is shown as a caring and decent man away from the game but will do anything, absolutely anything, to win games.Wood goes into plenty of detail about Cobb, one of MLB's most controversial figures of all-time, and about Cobb and race. He repeats some of the widely-held beliefs about Cobb's racism, which has been challenged recently. (Please read Charles Leerhsen's terrific book "Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty", which seeks to debunk many of which Wood goes into.)

The Eccentrics goes into what can easily be called "The Clown Princes of Baseball." They include Babe Ruth, Casey Stengel and Rube Waddell. I've always found Rube an interesting study, and Wood goes into all his antics, from chasing fire engines to playing with kids by the stands. These are the guys who made baseball fun, and MLB today could always use guys like this today.

The final chapter is the Sad Cases, the immortals who made their mark on the game, but came to sad ends after their playing days concluded, such as Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson and the trio of Tinker, Evers and Chance.

Wood goes into plenty of detail about the lives after baseball of all the immortals in his book, touching on their religions, families and wives, and how successful they were in the next lives. It is a fascinating look at the men whose exploits on the field will live forever at Cooperstown, but for many, weren't as successful when the game concluded.

"Beyond the Ballpark" is now available through Rowman & Littlefield Books.

Friday, February 24, 2017

"Playing Pepper 2017: Boston Red Sox"

I am a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, and before every season, Daniel Shoptaw, who runs the fine blog covering the Cardinals, C70 At The Bat,  puts together a collection of questions for bloggers of every club about how they think the team they cover will do. I have taken part in the Q&A for the last few seasons, and this year is no exception. Here are five questions Daniel asked me about the Red Sox and their chances for 2017. (And here is the complete post for all the Red Sox bloggers involved this year.)

My thanks to Daniel and the Baseball Bloggers Alliance for letting me take part again this year.

C70: Was it a good offseason for the team? Did they do what they needed to do? Is there any move you wished they had made that they didn’t?

MQM: I thought it was an excellent offseason for the Red Sox. They filled a huge hole in the rotation with the trade for Chris Sale. It now gives the Sox an amazing 1-2-3 at the top of their rotation. They gave up two of their best prospects in Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, but they have a deep system, and Sale is still of MLB’s best left handers. I am also very glad the neither Andrew Benintendi nor Jackie Bradley was sent in the trade. The trade for reliever Tyler Thornburg gives the Sox another power arm at the end of the game, and it offsets the losses of Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa. I also like the free agent signing of Mitch Moreland, as he is the current Gold Glove winner at first base, and allows the Sox to give Hanley Ramirez more time at DH.

C70: 2017 starts the post-David Ortiz era. How different will that be for you and for the team?

MQM: There is simply no replacing David Ortiz. He is the greatest clutch hitter in team history and a sure Hall of Famer. He went out in 2016 on his own terms, and I have great respect for him for that. Big Papi’s departure will be felt by everyone, but it will be up to the guys in the middle of the order, Hanley Ramirez, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts to pick up the slack. The Sox have put together a very good young team that will just get better. We will also see if Pablo Sandoval can return from the shoulder surgery and return to form. He’s lost a lot of weight and so far management is happy with his progress. Dustin Pedroia now becomes the “grand old man” on the Sox, and I’d love to see him officially become the team captain.
 C70: What’s the thinking on Craig Kimbrel? A bit of an off year or the beginning of a decline?

MQM: It’s hard to say if this is the beginning of a decline for Craig Kimbrel. It may have just been a year of adjustment to Boston for him. He was very good after he had knee surgery in July, but there were games when he simply couldn’t find the plate, and his walk totals just exploded. The Sox made a wise move bringing in Tyler Thornburg, who has experience as a closer in the past. If Kimbrel struggles early in 2017, I’m sure the wolves will be howling at his door.

C70: Is there an unheralded player that people should keep an eye on this season?

MQM: Reliever Carson Smith returns from Tommy John surgery by mid-season, and it will be interesting to see if he can bounce back quickly. He put up excellent numbers as a setup man in Seattle, and most Red Sox fans don’t know much about him. He could be an excellent addition around the trade deadline. It was also be interesting to see what the Red Sox do with their catching situation. Is this the year Blake Swihart goes back behind the plate and has a breakout season? 

C70: What’s your projection of the team’s record and/or where will they finish in the division?

MQM: The Sox won 93 games and the division in 2016, and I expect them to top that in 2017. They’ll take the East this year with 95 wins. The Blue Jays will give them the most problems, but Toronto has slightly regressed. The Orioles and Yankees will fight it out for third, and the Rays are still the bottom team of the division.

C70: Who is your all-time favorite Red Sox and why?

MQM: I became a Red Sox fan in my youth because I was a Carl Yastzemski fan and he will always be my favorite. He will be closely followed by David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia from this generation. They both were heavily responsible for bringing championships to Red Sox Nation, and they made my life in New York City so much more bearable!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Trivia Q&A: February 22

On my second night back at Professor Thom's, we had an amazing turnout of 25 teams for Trivia on Wednesday night. The bar was just packed as we got going at 8:30, and there were even folks standing, with all the tables and seats gone. That was just incredible to see.

The scores were generally strong through the night, but I may have made Academy Awards Trivia a bit too tough. We had a good race with seven of the teams within six points of the top going into the final round. But the team of DIMS won the night, getting 49 points and winning by four points. Second place went to Gassy Baby with 45 points, and third place went to Slap The Bag with 44 points.

Best Team Name went to "Gonorrhea With The Wind."

My thanks to all of you for such a wonderful turnout, and all the compliments many of you gave me when the night concluded.

Current Events
1. Scott Pruitt was confirmed by the Senate last week to be the head of what government agency?
2. Princess Cristina of what European country was found not guilty in a business fraud case and she was the first member of that royal family to stand trial?
3. Scientists believe there is an underwater land mass beneath what Pacific Ocean nation that can be classified as a new continent?
4. C-SPAN released its Historians Survey of Presidential Leadership last week, and ranked this president as the best ever for the thirs straight time.
5. What 1970s teen hearthrob gave a concert in southern California and appeared to have slurred his words and at one point fell off the stage during the show, and he has now revealed he's battling dementia?
6. Daniel Craig officially became the second-longest serving actor to play the role of James Bond this past week, 4,147 days (11 1/2 years). What actor was James Bond the longest?
7. Vitaly Churkin, the UN ambassador from what country for the last 11 years, died suddenly this past Monday from heart failure?

Academy Awards Trivia
1. Which 1970 film by the Beatles won an Oscar for Best Original Score?
2. Who is the only actress to win four Best Actress Oscars?
3. What actor has been nominated a record 12 times for acting Oscars?
4. In March 1981, the Academy Awards ceremony was postponed for just the second time in its history and for 24 hours for what reason?
5. What 1977 film was Woody Allen's first movie to win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay?
6. Denzel Washington won his first Academy Award for what film?
7. Martin Scorsese won his first Best Director Oscar for what 2006 film?

The Q Train: 1-25 Trivia
1. This number is needed to win a game in badminton or table tennis.
2. A total number of this many men walked on the moon.
3. Abraham Lincoln was this number US president.
4. This is the number of frames per second at which motion picture film is usually projected.
5. Jim Carrey starred in a 2007 film about an obsession with this number.
6. Aquarius is this number sign of the zodiac.
7. This is the number of points on a Star of David.
8. This is the number of holes in a stipulated round of golf.
9. At the Last Supper, there were many people around the table.
10. This number has been retired for MLB Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Reggie Jackson.

General Knowledge
1. What star sign would you be if you were born on July 22nd? ( 1 pt)
2. How many square inches are there in one square foot? ( 1 pt)
3. What do the letters FM stand for in radio? ( 1 pt)
4. The Willis Tower is located in what US city? ( 2 pt)
5. In what field of endeavor is the Fields Medal awarded? ( 2 pt)
6. From which country do the most tourists who come to the US each year? ( 2 pt)
7. What is the largest state in Australia by area? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Percheron, Lippizzaner and Appaloosa are all breeds of what animal? ( 4 points)
2. Aquidneck Island is located in what eastern US state? ( 4 points)
3. Hanson's Disease is better known bt what more common name? ( 5 points)
4. Who was the first MLB player to have his number retired? ( 4 points)
5. What color appears in the title of all three studio albums by Nicki Minaj? ( 3 points)

Current Events
1. EPA; 2. Spain; 3. New Zealand; 4. Abraham Lincoln; 5. David Cassidy; 6. Roger Moore; 7. Russia.

Academy Awards Trivia
1. "Let It Be;" 2. Katherine Hepburn; 3. Jack Nicholson; 4. Ronald Reagan shooting; 5. "Annie Hall;" 6. "Glory;" 7. "The Departed."

The Q Train: 1-25 Trivia
1. 21; 2. 12; 3. 16; 4. 24; 5. 23; 6. 11; 7. 6; 8. 18; 9. 13; 10. 9.

General Knowledge
1. Leo; 2. 144; 3. frequency modulation; 4. Chicago; 5. mathematics; 6. Canada; 7. Western Australia.

IQ Trivia
1. horse; 2. Rhode Island; 3. leprosy; 4. Lou Gehrig; 5. pink.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Oscars Take Center Stage Wednesday Night

On Wednesday night, Trivia returns to Professor Thom's at 8:30 PM with the Special category of "Academy Awards Trivia," seven questions about the history of the Oscars, regarding films, actors and actresses, and general records about the film industry's biggest night.

The Q Train lightning round will be "1-25 Trivia." I will ask you 10 general knowledge questions, and every answer will be a number from 1 to 25. And every answer will be a different number, so there will be no repeat answers.

The Sneak Peek question is:
"How many square inches are there in one square foot?"

We'll get going at 8:30 PM tomorrow. Remember that first place is a $50 gift card to the bar, while second place is one for $20, and third place is a pitcher of beer. Best team name will also get a free pitcher of suds as well. Professor Thom's is a 219 2nd Avenue, between East 13th and 14th Streets. Hope to see many of you tomorrow night!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Back In The Trivia Saddle Again

Hello all Trivia players! Yours Truly is back to hosting Trivia again, and I'm back where it all started for me, Professor Thom's. Yes, the "divorce" is officially over, and I will be hosting Trivia every Wednesday night at 8:30 PM.

I last hosted Trivia there over four years ago, and we actually had our first Trivia Night last night, and we had a terrific turnout of 16 teams, and even a few old friends turned out to wish me well.

I'm doing the same format I've always done. Five categories featuring Current Events, General Knowledge and IQ Trivia, along with the two special categories. We'll be giving away a $50 gift card to the winners, $20 to second place and a pitcher of beer to third place. And we will award a pitcher of beer to the best team name.

Last night seemed like I never left. I appreciate all the good wishes I've gotten so far.

Every Tuesday morning, I'll be posting the Sneak Peek question along with the two special categories. And on Thursdays, I'll post the previous night Trivia Q&A.

Professor Thom's is located at 219 2nd Avenue, between East 13th and 14th Streets. I look forward to seeing many of you on a future Wednesday!

Monday, February 06, 2017

The Truck Heads South Today

We had an amazing comeback finish in the Super Bowl last night, as the New England Patriots erased a 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons, 34-28. It was simply a stunning finish, with the Pats marching down the field in overtime to score before Atlanta even got a chance to get the ball.

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick earned their fifth Super Bowl ring each, and now there is no question that they are both the best of all-time at quarterback and head coach. Congratulations to all my friends who are Patriots fans, as it was an incredible game for the ages. (And after every team wins the Super Bowl, I always remind myself that I hope I live long enough to see the Minnesota Vikings lift the Lombardi Trophy. Just once.)

And that wraps up the NFL season. And that also means all eyes turn to baseball.

Today is Truck Day, as the Red Sox pack up at Fenway Park and send the tractor trailer on hits way south to Ft. Myers. Pitchers and catchers report next week.

A very Happy and Blessed Truck Day to you all!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Time To Expand The Vote

As you all know, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were all elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday. All three are deserving and worthy Hall of Famers.

Rodriguez made it on his first time out, and just made it by a single percentage point, as he garnered 76% of the vote. This was Bagwell's seventh year on the ballot, and Raines' tenth (and final one of eligibility). Both made it with over 86% of the vote. (Here is the complete vote.)

Trevor Hoffman just missed election with 74% of the vote. If just 5 voters had voted for him who didn't, he would be in as well. First-time candidate Vladimir Guerrero got 71.7% of the vote, or just 15 votes short of induction.

I have been writing for years that it is time for the Hall of Fame voting to be expanded. Right now, Hall of Fame voters have a maximum of ten candidates they can vote for. I've never understood the logic of keeping it at just ten, especially when we are in an era of many quality candidates up for election. Two years, a number of voters revealed they left both Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson off their ballots for the sole reason that they figured both were shoo-ins for election, and wanted to give support to other candidates they felt wouldn't get enough because of the limited number of candidates one could vote for.

I thought the Hall would take action on this matter, and do something to prevent this from happening again. They did nothing.

I am all in favor of expanding the vote to making it unlimited, and one can vote for as many worthy candidates as they see fit. Ryan Thibodaux, on his excellent Hall of Fame Tracker (of the public votes before the announcement), also lists the candidates were left off the ballots by voters but would have voted for should the ballots had been larger, and those that revealed that generally would have voted for 2 of 3 more candidates. So, if unlimited isn't possible, why not expand it to 12 of 15?

An expanded ballot might have put both Hoffman and Guerrero in. Both should make it with no problem next year.

But the case of Jorge Posada is an interesting one.

He was a first-time candidate, and he received just 3.8% of the vote, so he will no longer be considered by the writers. He needed 23 votes, which would have been 5% to have kept him on the ballot next year. He came up six votes short of that. This isn't to say Posada would have gotten my vote, but I would bet with an expanded vote he would have gotten those six votes and maybe more. He was a victim of a loaded field.

I hope the Hall will still consider letting the writers vote for more candidates, as more worthy players will be up for election soon, and the fact that both Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds' numbers continue to increase as the years progress.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

It's Hall of Fame Time Again

Every person who writes about baseball puts out their own Hall of Fame ballot, so here's mine.

Actually, I am a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, and they sent me a ballot to fill out as they are doing their own voting among the members of the Alliance. So without further ado, here is who I voted for, in no particular order. (I voted for the maximum amount of ten.)

Jeff Bagwell
Tim Raines
Ivan Rodriguez
Vladimir Guerrero

These I think are slam dunks. From the ballots of the actual voters who have made them public, it appears that Bagwell and Raines will get in for sure, and it is Raines' last chance, so there appears to have been a bit of urgency to get him in. He really should have been elected years ago. So should Bagwell, who like Mike Piazza, was a "suspected" PED user, and was kept out until now. It's the first time on the ballot for both Rodriguez and Guerrero, and both are currently on the border. I have no problem voting for both now, and they are both Hall of Fame worthy for sure.

Trevor Hoffman
Edgar Martinez 
Curt Schilling

This is Hoffman's second year on the ballot, and I suspect he won't make it this year. He still put up Hall of Fame numbers, and his time will come. Edgar Martinez was still one of MLB's great designated hitters, and it's about time to honor players at that position. Curt Schilling probably won't make it again this year, and he's not doing himself any favors with his controversial opinons on politics and the messes his mouth gets him in. I would always vote for him for the Hall, but I suspect there are many writers who will always hold his huge ego against him.

Jeff Kent
Fred McGriff
Lee Smith

Here's three guys who will always be overlooked for the Hall. Jeff Kent put up numbers that second basemen in any generation haven't put up, and I'm surprised he gets so little support. Same for Fred McGriff. One of the most feared hitters of his generation, but I am guessing he doesn't get much support because he came up seven home runs short of 500. And Lee Smith was absolutely one of the best closers of the 1980s and 90s, and it's a shame he gets overlooked. This is his final chance at the Hall, and it doesn't appear he'll make it.

No, I didn't vote for Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens. They are both trending upwards in the 2017 public ballots, and I suspect they may make it by next year. They just won't get my support, and for obvious reasons. And forget about Manny Ramirez. Two failed drug suspensions will forever doom his chance. The question now is will he even get the 5% needed to stay on next year's ballot (and from the current public ballots known, it appears he will).

One beef I have with the Hall of Fame ballot is this rule about only voting for 10 candidates. I'll never understand why it isn't unlimited to as many guys you want to vote for. I would still bet that only a handful would go beyond 10 or 12 on their ballots, but limiting it hurts the chances of those who are borderline Hall of Famers. ( Mike Mussina would be on my ballot if I had more choices.) And a couple of years ago, there were writers who skipped Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson on their ballots because they were assured of election and wanted to put players on the ballot who deserved their support who they otherwise would have left off. That situation has to be rectified.

Anyway, the announcement of the Class of 2017 will be made tonight at 6 PM on MLB Network.