RIP Rod Beck

Former Red Sox reliever Rod Beck passed away today at the age of 38. He was one of my very favorite baseball characters. Before each pitch he'd swing his arm back and forth like a gorilla. I saw him at Fenway a few times, and tried and tried to find a classic blue Red Sox t-shirt representing him. They had El Guapo t-shirts, but no Rod Becks.

After reading about how during his late-career triple-A run he lived in a trailer parked just beyond the outfield of the Iowa Cubs stadium and welcomed fans into his home for a beer after the game, I timed my visit to New Orleans based around when I might get to see him pitch. The night before I got there the Padres had picked up his contract, so I had tickets to 2 nights worth of New Orleans Zephyrs games but no luck on meeting Beck.

In the Crowding The Plate Red Sox Cookbook produced by the Red Sox wives, Beck offered his favorite recipe — Fleisch Kuechle or Deep Fried Hamburgers. If anyone's willing to give it a try I'll transcribe it here.

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QotD: The Never-Ending Boat Ride

What's the longest boat ride you've ever been on?

The Scotia Prince ferry from Portland, ME to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. As a kid, it was thrilling to go to sleep with a  view out to the open seas, and wake up in another country. And then also I'd never been on a car ferry before. They had a small and limited on-board casino and I managed to sneak in there a few times and lose some american quarters.

When I went back to Halifax as an adult with my then-girlfriend, I don't remember if we took the Scotia Prince from Portland or the CAT from Bar Harbor, but I remember the trip was a really good time, including the ferry ride over. It's a beautiful place. We sought out some of the foods that had left an impression on me as a kid, like Tim Horton's donuts, exotic and foreign to a Dunkin Donuts kid, and Bud The Spud's truck. We also got spa treatments at some fancy spa. I was impressed with the Halifax arts scene and a unique brand of low-irony hipness that's a little more genuine than you'll find in bigger and less isolated cities. It's endearing. I could just about almost live in Halifax I think, but the geographical isolation and harsh winters might be too much to handle.

Sadly, in researching the link to the ferry line, I came across this:

"In August
2004 Scotia Prince Cruises discovered dangerous levels of
toxic mold in the terminal facilities we leased from the City
of Portland — known as the International Marine Terminal
or IMT. As a ship operator our first priority is safety —
both at sea and on land — so we immediately relocated
our employees and passengers out of the terminal and finished
the season operating out of tents in the parking lot…
On April 5th we were forced to cancel the 2005
season. This was not a decision we took lightly as it put
the company into a precarious financial position having exhausted
a significant amount of our cash in preparation for the 2005
season …
hours of our announcement that the 2005 season was canceled
for safety reasons, the City of Portland, publicly and without
any warning to us, unilaterally terminated our lease. They
gave no consideration to the 2006 season or proper remediation
of the IMT. The City of Portland simply put us out of business
after 35 years."

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QotD: Tune In, Turn On

How many TVs do you have in your house?

One real, two imagined. I've come very very close to upgrading my main and only television to something with heightened definition and of a larger size, north of 40". I've even brought one home and got it as far as my living room before I decided there are more important and grown-up things I need to do with my tax refund. That particular tv is now almost half price, a year later, and I still look it up and down every time I'm at Best Buy. I know it's gonna happen sometime.

My other imaginary tv is a small flatscreen in my bedroom. Can't get past whether that would be a boon or a relaxation-ruiner.

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