Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy! Happy!!! Joy! Joy!!!

Say hello to Doug Mathis. Why is he smiling?

Well, it could be because Doug just had a huge burden lifted from his shoulders.

Doug is a relief pitcher for the Texas Rangers. As this is his
rookie year in the major leagues he was given a unique task by his teammates in the bullpen [described in this texasrangers.com article]:

Doug Mathis -- The Rookie

Mathis may just be a rookie, but he carries some of the biggest responsibilities.

He takes two bags with him to the bullpen every day. One is a pink Dora the Explorer bag filled with protein bars, snacks and other supplies needed to pass the time in the bullpen.

If he doesn't come through, Mathis will receive his fair share of grief.

"We were out of protein bars one day," Mathis said. "C.J. [Wilson] eats protein bars every game in about the fifth inning. One day I forgot to restock it, and I got yelled at. I like to stay on top of it."

Today Mathis passed on the Dora backpack to another rookie - Neftali Feliz.

Let me take this opportunity to say "Welcome to The Show, Neftali! I hope you enjoyed your first day. It was quite a day. I hope you'll be around for a long time!"

Here's a breakdown of Feliz's first day:
  • Gets called up from the minors to take over the relief position created when Jason Grilli was placed on the Disabled List
  • From the looks of this photo [sent out by teammate C.J. Wilson via Twitter] he has inherited the Dora backpack.
  • Eric Nadel and Dave Barnett - the Rangers radio broadcasting team - gave listeners a quick tutorial on the proper pronunciation of Feliz's first name [the syllables are all evenly stressed (sort of like Ichiro's name): Nef-Tuh-Lee...not Nef-TALL-Ee]
  • The aforementioned C.J. Wilson gives Feliz a nickname in another Twitter post:
    welcoming Mr. Happy to the bullpen, and the major leagues. Got to hang a bit with him in spring training
  • Feliz is brought in to pitch in the sixth inning. He pitches two perfect innings including striking out the first four batters he faced [a fete that hasn't been achieved by a major leaguer in their first appearance sine 1962].
Not too shabby. Even though the Rangers went on to lose the game C.J. couldn't help but spotlight Feliz in one of his post-game tweets:
On a positive note the mr. Happy era has begun...feliz is fo real folks
Once again...Welcome Feliz! Please stay awhile

A Little History

It was sixteen years ago today that Robin Ventura became the only person in baseball history to get six hits off of Nolan Ryan in a single game.

Them Crooked Vultures

A few hours ago I received an email from Metro [a kick-ass music venue in Chicago] about tickets going on sale tomorrow morning for a show taking place Sunday night.

This will be the first-ever gig from a band called Them Crooked Vultures:
  • Dave Grohl - Drums
  • Josh Homme - Guitar
  • John Paul Jones - Bass
The group has been recording an album in Los Angeles and have kept a pretty tight lid on the proceedings. The interwebs have been abuzz the past couple of days as savvy surfers have been putting together the assorted pieces trying to figure out exactly what the hell this is all about.

So if you live in Chicago or happen to be there this weekend [possibly attending Lollapalooza?] you might want to try to score tix when they go on sale tomorrow morning [10am on Metro's website only]. This could likely be the top music moment of the year. Of course it could completely suck. We'll know more Monday morning.

Here's links to the obligatory websites:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dethklok Tour Dates Announced

About a week and a half ago I posted details about Dethklok's forthcoming Dethalbum II [click here to read the entry] which made mention that the band would be hitting the road in the Fall. The tour info was released today:
  • 10/2 Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
  • 10/3 Seattle, WA @ WaMu Theater
  • 10/4 Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum Theatre
  • 10/6 Calgary, AB @ Big Four Building
  • 10/7 Edmonton, AB @ Shaw Conference Centre
  • 10/9 Salt Lake City, UT @ Great Saltair
  • 10/10 Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
  • 10/12 Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater
  • 10/13 St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
  • 10/14 Des Moines, IA @ Val Air Ballroom
  • 10/16 St. Paul, MN @ Myth
  • 10/17 Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom
  • 10/18 Milwaukee, WI @ Eagle's Auditorium
  • 10/20 Columbus, OH @ LC Pavilion
  • 10/21 Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore Detroit
  • 10/23 Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy
  • 10/24 Buffalo, NY @ The Fairgrounds
  • 10/25 Albany, NY @ Armory
  • 10/27 Boston, MA @ House of Blues
  • 10/30 New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
  • 10/31 Washington, DC @ Patriot Center
  • 11/1 Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
  • 11/5 Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
  • 11/6 Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
  • 11/7 Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
  • 11/8 Pompano Beach, FL @ Pompano Beach Amphit
  • 11/11 Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
  • 11/12 Houston, TX @ Verizon Wireless Theater
  • 11/13 Austin, TX @ Austin City Music Hall
  • 11/14 Tulsa, OK @ Brady Theater
  • 11/16 Las Cruces, NM @ Pan American Center
  • 11/17 Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Amphitheater
  • 11/18 Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
  • 11/19 Los Angeles, CA @ Palladium
Joining Dethklok for this little jaunt around North America will be Converge, High on Fire, and - holy hell!!! - Mastodon! Fuh-reeeeeeeeeeeking MASTODON!!! This has all the makings of once solid evening of kick-ass RAWK!

Mastodon's epic Crack the Skye was released earlier this year. Dethklok's new disc - Dethalbum II - arrives September 8. Both Converge and High on Fire have new albums in the works that will likely be out in the next couple of months just in time for the start of this tour.