Apr 16, 2010

Back To The Eighties

Rubix Kube
Penn's Peak - Jim Thorpe, PA
I don't typically go to see a lot of cover bands, but this band had an incredible show.  The band is based out of The Canal Room in New York and is made up of Cherie Martorana and Scott Lovelady on lead vocals, with Eric Presti, Rich Forman, John LaSpina and Michael Maenza.

Apr 15, 2010

Strange Laundry: Dwight Gooden (Tampa Bay)

Dwight Gooden
Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2000)
The Devil Rays had terrible luck with starting pitchers in the third year of the franchise.  In January, they signed veteran starter Juan Guzman to a two year contract to join team ace Wilson Alvarez at the top of their rotation.  Things were looking positive, but then the season started and everything went wrong.  Wilson Alvarez injured his shoulder during Spring Training and began the season on the disabled list, and his injuries required arthroscopic shoulder surgery which caused him to miss the entire 2000 and 2001 seasons.  As bad as that sounds, Juan Guzman's fate was even worse.  On the same day that Dwight Gooden made his only start for the Astros, Guzman made his only start for the Devil Rays, and it would be his final appearance in an MLB game.  He gave up 8 runs on 7 hits in 1 ⅔ innings of work against the Cleveland Indians, including home runs to Omar Vizquel and Jim Thome.  He made several minor league rehab appearances in 2000 and 2001, but never again made it to the big leagues.

With their top two starters out of commission after just the fifth game of the season, the Devil Rays purchased the contract of Dwight Gooden from the Houston AstrosDoc was impressive in his first start for Tampa Bay, which was ten years ago today. He gave up just four hits in six shutout innings against the Detroit Tigers, and he earned his first victory of the season.  Although he would go 2-0 before the end of April, his Devil Rays debut was the highlight of his time in Tampa Bay.  His ERA ballooned to 6.86 after his ninth start of the season, at which point he was released.

New York Daily News  (September 30, 2000)

Thankfully, Doc's release from the Devil Rays was not the end of his story.  He returned to the New York Yankees in July working mostly in middle relief, but he also made five spot starts.  Gooden was 4-2 with a 3.36 ERA in the final half season of his career in New York, and he even notched the second and third saves of his career.

Dwight Gooden finished the season with a record of 6-5 combined in his time with the Astros, Devil Rays and Yankees with a respectable 4.54 ERA.  The last innings of his career were pitched in the post-season, which ended in the Yankees 2000 World Series Championship.  To the best of my knowledge, he is the only pitcher to win a championship ring with both the Mets and Yankees.

Apr 8, 2010

Strange Laundry: Dwight Gooden (Houston)

Dwight Gooden
Houston Astros (2000)
Doc is best known for his eleven years pitching for the New York Mets, and for his career resurgence in the late 90's with the New York Yankees that included a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners.  He finished the last two years of the decade with the Cleveland Indians, but his final season in the big leagues began ten years ago with his one and only appearance as a member of the Houston Astros.

Asbury Park Press - Asbury Park, NJ  (April 9, 2000)

Dwight Gooden was the starting pitcher for the Astros against the Philadelphia Phillies on the afternoon of April 8th, 2000.  It was the second game ever played at Minute Maid Park, which at the time had the unfortunate name of Enron Field.

Philadelphia wasted no time getting on the board when center fielder Doug Glanville smacked Gooden's second pitch of the game for a home run.  He also gave up an RBI single to Bobby Abreu in the third and back-to-back RBI doubles in the fourth by Tomas Perez and Phillies starter Chris BrockDoc was relieved in the fifth inning with the game tied 4-4 and did not get the decision in the Astros 8-5 victory.
The Tampa Tribune - Tampa, FL  (April 14, 2000)

Just five days later, the Astros traded the youngest Cy Young Award winner of all time to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but that's a piece of strange laundry for another time.

Apr 5, 2010

Smart Ass

This was a project for Dr. Selden's Social Psychology course at Wilkes in 2010.  The goal was to create an infomercial that used as many of the methods of persuasion as possible.

Apr 2, 2010

Movie Rental Memories

Blowout Video
Airport Road - Hazleton, PA
The news of Hollywood Video closing reminded me of the Blowout Video rental store that was inside the Wal-Mart in Hazleton.  I worked there for a bit in 1999 while I was recovering from a car accident.  The store changed from Blowout Video to Movie Gallery while I was still working there, and our stock at the time was entirely VHS tapes and games for Playstation and Nintendo 64.  It closed sometime in the mid 2000's.

It was a great summer job.  We got unlimited free rentals, and we had a pretty impressive collection of horror and science fiction, so I got to catch up on a lot of movies that I've always wanted to see.  We were also allowed to put a movie on the televisions that hung in the top corners of the store (the old CRT boxes of the late 90's).  The only rule was that I couldn't show a movie that had profanity or nudity.  The Wedding Singer was one of my go-to selections, and I got really good at knowing exactly when to hit mute during Adam Sandler's rendition of "Somebody Kill Me".

Apr 1, 2010

The Sun Sets On Hollywood

Hollywood Video
Weis Lane - West Hazleton, PA
This has been my favorite video store in town since they opened.  They had an excellent selection of horror flicks and anime.  I first discovered Neon Genesis Evangelion here.  I was able to pick up a ton of tapes for a dollar each when they made the switch to DVD.  They also had an incredible subscription service that let you take out three movies at a time for one monthly membership fee.  I'm going to miss this place.