About
The Common Scold



The Common Scold is named after a cause of action that originated in Pilgrim days, when meddlesome, argumentative, opinionated women who displeased the Puritan elders were punished by a brisk dunk in the local pond. Believe it or not, the tort lasted until 1972, when State v. Palendrano, 120 N.J. Super. 336, 293 A.2d 747 (N.J.Super.L., Jul 13, 1972) pretty much put it to rest. But the thought of those feisty women, not afraid of a little cold water, has always cheered me up and inspired me. I first used the moniker as the name of my humor column at the University of San Francisco School of Law many moons ago, and revive it now for this blawg!


World Series "Advertising" Opportunities

BaseballMeg Charlton, daughter of my friends Jim and Barbara Charlton, is behind this hilarious World Series ad spoof. (Note, you probably have to see the real advertisement on the site first before the video runs, but it's worth the wait.) 

P.S. Yes, yes, my annual Final Report on the NYY season will appear shortly after the conclusion of the World Series. Am I disappointed? Actually no -- you could not have a better or more exciting matchup, with such strong backstories, than San Francisco v. Rangers.  I'm rooting for my hometown, but won't be disappointed if Texas takes it. It's truly a win-win series. 

 

October 28, 2010 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

HONOR PERFECTION - AN OPEN LETTER TO SELIG

Dear Bud Selig:

As New York Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay always says, "It's important to get the call right."

4s2udVcc-2The Detroit Tiger's Armando Galarraga pitched the 21st perfect game in MLB history last night. There is no ambiguity. The video unequivocally shows that the runner was out. But the runner was called safe.

The umpire, highly respected veteran Jim Joyce, immediately acknowledged that he got the call wrong. To his credit, Joyce personally apologized to the pitcher, and issued a public statement.

Galarraga exhibited dignity, compassion, and class in accepting the decision and exonerating Joyce.

If ever there was a situation to use your discretion, Commissioner Selig, this is it. Make this right. Change the record to reflect the perfect game.

Also: MLB should immediately amend the video review rules, and allow the crew chief to use his discretion and call for a review in extraordinary circumstances.

Congratulations, Armando Galarraga. You were truly perfection, on and off the field. 

P.S. It would be a very nice touch if Cleveland manager Manny Acta would also ask for the record to reflect a perfect game.

P.P.S. Check out Ashby Jones' "An Imperfect Game: Lessons from a Blown Call," in the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog. More: Above the Law. Legal Blog Watch.

Update: Breaking news: Selig just issued a statement saying that he will take the matter under consideration! And in a very touching moment, Galarraga brought the lineup to a tearful Joyce to start today's game.

June 3, 2010 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A CASE FOR BUSINESS

Are you ready to dive into business development technology?

Well, chances are, you may not need to pull out the plastic -- your existing practice management software may already have the necessary bells and whistles that you need, says Ross Kodner, in the May issue of Law Technology News.

Briefcase

There's an old adage that we only use about 10 percent of the power of our existing software, and Kodner suggests you may be able to better exploit PracticeMaster, Amicus Attorney, Client Profiles, and other systems.

Using your existing system will save you money versus the up-front costs for new software, training, and maintenance. But it's not pain-free: You need to commit the time to learn how to fully use your PM. It can help you track prospective clients and referral sources, maintain contact records and history about courting potential clients, manage communication, and more. 

May 6, 2010 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2009 FINAL REPORT

 

 27 

PARADE TIME!!!!!! Congrats to the World Champion New York Yankees -- and especially to Nick Swisher, Brian Cashman, Girardi,  Matsui, Kevin Dart, Tex, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, A.J., C.C., Melky, ah hell, everybody -- even A-Rod.  New York euphoria!!!! And I'm especially happy for the next generation, especially Cervelli. And congrats to the Philadelphia Phillies, well-deserved champions of the National League, for a tough battle. 

Tomorrow at 11 a.m. EST, the boys will be serenaded with all our old Incisive Media business cards and literally tons of other recyclable paper from the highrises and low-flung buildings that abut Broadway. I cannot wait. (Now I understand why Bill wanted to move us downtown :)

Ws I'll confess: I held my breath until Mo did his magic with that 27th out. The agony and ecstasy of beisbol is that it never over until it's over -- as in our 15 walk-off 2009 wins.

OK, I have to get it out: how delicious was it the we beat Pedro -- again! I just love our chant, "Who's Your Daddy!" -- sorry, I'm evil. And as much as it killed me not to lock it up on Game 5, how sweet to win it at home, in the first year of the new digs.

GirardiWonder what Joe G will have to give Shelly Duncan to "buy" #28 for next year? Stay tuned!

And now, on to the tradition. My annual "highlight reel" of the season:

Things started off glum when I got my "take it or leave it" 20-pack seat assignment back in February, just as I was about to head to Hawaii for my dad's memorial services. I'm an upper-deck-sit-with-the-rowdies gal, and I was assigned main level section 234, right next to the bleachers -- at $50 a pop.
I was not happy, but was afraid to turn them down because I would have lost all my seniority.

I decided to take a chance and e-mail my rep, Shazad Ali, but I wasn't optimistic. But by the time my plane landed in Los Angeles, I had a message from him -- I was moved to the upper deck. This would not be the last bit of amazing customer service I received this season. And ironically -- over the course of the season, not once, but twice I ended up buying seats in section 233b, which proved to be terrific fun, with a great group of folks. 

Opening weeks! The new stadium was unveiled in two sneak preview exhibition games with the Cubs. BradBrad Blickstein (left) and I took in the Saturday game, which helped the Yanks work out some of the kinks (the audio system died around the 6th). Captain Sully threw out the first pitch to a loud standing O. And Mark Texeira hit two home runs as we ran roughshod over the Cubs, 10-1. 

Normally, a trip to Camden "Bronx South" Yards is just like attending a home game, only much cheaper. On any given Yanks/O's fest, you can count on about 65% Yankee fans in the stands. But not so on Opening Day 09 -- more like 10%. And poor Tex -- the Maryland crowd booed the home boy so intensely it rivaled the 2004 Yankee fans screaming to Pedro about his DNA. We got trampled, but I will never complain about any day at Camden, and the brand new Hilton across the street is awesome!

Swisher pitching The Tampa Bay Rays' home opener, a 15-5 slapdown, would have been downright depressing if it were not for Nick Swisher -- who not only hit a home run, but took the mound to pitch a scoreless frame, including a strikeout, creating his 0.0 ERA, best of all Yankees pitchers! He had such a good time, it took the sting out of the loss, and established him as an instant fan favorite. (He posts almost daily on Twitter (@nickswisher) and in April I started keeping a tally of his followers -- betting that he would break
1 million by the World Series. He did!)

Finally, a home game. Teri "Jersey Girl" McCarron flew in from Minnesota, and we went to the official Bronx opener on Thursday, April 16, against the Indians. Not a great start -- CC lost both the Away and Home openers. But we had a great time anyway, in the sparkling new digs. And it was better than watching Pavano start off a season.

My new friends, Hal & Hank Like an enthusiastic Mormon, I have converted at least a handful of non-believers into rabid fans, among them, Law Technology News' former associate editor Katie Montgomery, and my 82-year-old mom, Lillian. I got to see Katie (who is now in a PhD program at the University of Iowa) at our annual Minnesota group game; and during the Twins playoff games.

Mom flew out for two games: the first, on a gorgeous May Saturday, where A-Rod had a two-run, walk-off HR as part of our season-long sweep of the aforementioned Twins. The second game proved to be one of the most memorable games I have ever attended -- and one of the best times I've ever had with my mom -- when I took her to her first Yankees/Red Sox game and we ended the evening  with the Steinbrenner family

• July heat: Mg One of the most moving days of the season was July 4  when my boss, Aric Press, participated in a program honoring his college friend, Michael Goldsmith (right) and his efforts to raise awareness and money for Lou Gehrig's disease. Goldsmith would not live to see the Yankees win their 27th. He was 58 years old.

As is their usual pattern, the boys de-slumped right after the All-Star game. 

Jane Heller's wonderful book Confessions of a She-Fan hit the bookstores, and proving the power of Twitter and blogs, we became pals and she even posted an excerpt of my review on her site.

2009 brought not one, but two trips to Minnesota; the first for our 7th annual group game in late July. As always, we so enjoy the chance to share a game with the folks from the hot bed of legal techology! Shout outs to the folks from Thomson Reuters, Dorsey & Whitney, Merrill, Kroll, Socha/Gelbmann, Jersey Girl, Laverne & Linda, et al! 

(Hey, Westies: go ask Shaughnessy if you can see his latest Bobblehead, which will remain on his desk for a year, right next to A-Rod :)

Domedog My Twins rep, Luis Breazeale, conspired to annoint us the "Hormel Row of the Game" and everybody got hot dogs!

I had a feeling I was not quite yet ready to say goodbye to the Dome, and I was right.

• Bring out the Brooms: August was a whirlwind of games, as pals arrived from all of the country to check out the new Stadium. After losing eight straight to the Red Sox, the fragile psyche of NYY fans definitely improved when we swept them in early August.

White Sox addict Ron Stevens made his annual visit, and we got to see two games, from two decidedly different perspectives: the field level and from the aforementioned main 233b. (Another sweep, btw.) As great as the field seats are, I still prefer the upper deck with the more, um, er, well "enthusiastic" folks.

By August, we were all falling absolutely in love with A.J. and his pies — which may seem out of character for NYY fans who tend to avoid schtick -- e.g., we don't do no steenking waves.

• On Labor Day, "Ed Post," the anonymous czar of Blawg Review, joined me for a separate admissions doubleheader that was a complete blast, and included yet another brush with great customer service and celebrities at the fantastic NYY Steak restaurant. There are few people who can put up with me for 10-hours straight, but we both had a great time. The only downside: Jeet went 0-8 and did not tie Lou Gehrig's record for all-time hits.

Jd • Jeter Breaks the Record: Jeet tied it on Sept. 9 in a 4-2 win against the Rays and the city went nuts. I could not resist, so I Stub Hub'd and got playoff-priced tix for the next game, Sept. 11, where despite furious winds and swirling rain (I'm surprised NYC isn't covered in mold we had so much rain this year) Jeter stood alone at the top of the mountain.  A magic moment, especially touching on the anniversary of the attacks, and all the more memorable because I shared the game with my friend David Horrigan, who I met on 9/11/01 when we reported on the tragedy together for ALM. Nobody cared one iota that the Yanks lost 10-4 -- in fact about half the stadium escaped the lousy weather once we had honored our captain with nonstop shrieking. 

• Beyond sweep: The Yanks not only swept the Red Sox in their final matchup, but the Boys Up North had to watch us celebrate clinching the division. Too kewl.

Pie • Adios, Farnsworth: One of my happiest days as a Yankees fan was the day they traded Kyle Farnsworth. I couldn't stand him as a reliever, and it got so bad, that everytime he got up in the bullpen to warm up I would grab my cellphone and text "Farnsworth Sucks!" and hit sent to Jersey Girl. I once saw someone wearing an "Anybody but Farnsworth" T-shirt and wasted several hours unsuccessfully trying to find it on eBay.

This season, Bruney reminded me of a reincarnated Farnsworth and I was none too pleased. However, I was very very pleased on Sept. 29 when, in the Kansas City bullpen, who should start warming up, but our "friend" Kyle! I thot he had retired! I grabbed the cellphone, but JG had beat me to it, "Farnsworth!!!"

And the karma gods rewarded us! The Yanks were behind in the 9th, but sure enough, blew his save and we got whipped cream. No pie was ever sweeter!

Jbjp,jpgCity, what city? Then came one of the most amazing contests since the 2003 Aaron Boone game -- would Detroit or the Twins win the central? I had a horse in this race because I had tickets to games in both cities -- If Detroit took it, I would get to visit my dear friend Mary Kay Lawless; if the Twins won, I would head to the Dome to be with all Amdome my Minnesota pals. And I already had tix for HG 1 & 2 at the Stadium. As the fates would have it, my good friend Jon Bream (right, with JG) was in town touting his new Neil Diamond book -- and we watched the Game 163 showdown at the Mudville 9 Saloon until Alexi Casilla hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th and Sinatra started singing New York, New York. I pulled out my suitcases to pack, and JB and I headed to the Stadium for the Twins v. Yanks ALDS.

Monday October 11 — back to the Dome, to complete the season sweep, beating Pavano in a nail-biter. To Yankees Universe, Pavano is about as popular as 2004's villain Kevin Brown — we were not happy with his four-year-26-starts-9-wins-for-$39.95-million stint in Pinstripes. In fact, the disabled list is now called the Pavano List by the players. One of my signs was  "Pavano: I hope you pitch as well as you drive." (OK, OK, very inside baseball, but hysterical if you know your Yankees' DL history). But I ditched it quickly because, of course, he pitched a gem and we were lucky to scratch out the win.

The next day it snowed in Minnesota. (And the new Target Stadium has no roof. Ohhhhh kay!)

• Anaheim Angst: I did not attend any of the Angels games, but I'm still amazed I didn't end up in Bellevue's psych ward due to stress over the superlative Halos, who have always been kryptonite to the Pinstripes. I am not much of a drinker, but I went through an entire bottle of wine watching every agonizing inning on October 25 until it was over and we were heading to the World Series!

So another season is in the books. The Yankees won in '23 when they opened the old stadium, and we christened the House that George Built last night. And I am among those who are so very, very, very glad they won it for the Boss, George Steinbrenner. Break out the confetti, we've got a parade tomorrow!

Oh yeah, it's 161 days until opening day.

---------------------------------------

 2009 NYY Soundtrack:

Opening Day: John Fogerty, Centerfield, and Bernie Williams, Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

YankeesParadePlayoffs: Black Eyed Peas: I Gotta Feeling that Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Night

Anaheim: The Rally Monkey!

World Series: Jay-Z & Alicia Keys: Empire State of Mind

Queen: We are the Champions

Always: Metallica:  Enter Sandman (From 2008 last game).

Six Flags Dude (after multiple big hits)

New York on Sunday (Bobby Darin)

(Frank, never Liza): New York, New York

----------------------------------------

Letterman: Biff Henderson at the World Series.


Photo credits: Top, New York Post. Goldsmith: The New York Times. Jeter: AP/Yankees Girardi: CNN. Pie: AP/Yankees. Swisher: unknown. Parade: ALM's Anthony Mazzocchi.

November 5, 2009 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

BEISBOL TECH

Baseballcomputer

 To celebrate the World Series and the 2009 season, I thought it might be a good time to highlight tech tools available to baseball fans.

FutureLawyer's Rick George was the first to turn me onto ScorePad, which helps you score the game on your PDA. Says Georges: "The best thing is the daily MLBStats upload, which keeps the user current for every player every day."

I've shelled out a lot of money for a lot of baseball tech: I was a charter subscriber to XM Radio; and fought hard to save Extra Innings (which lets you watch almost every MLB game on TV). I even have a silly Derek Jeter message that greets callers on my cell phone.

One tech I did not like was MLB TV, which theoretically allows you to watch any game on your computer when you are out-of-market. I tried it in 2007 and it was dreadful, for a slew of reasons I won't elaborate in much detail here, other than to say the customer service was awful (45-minute waits on the phone were typical), and the system rarely recognized that you were not at home, insisting you were subject to a blackout. I suggested that it could be easily solved by simply having users (already vetted via passwords) type in the zip code where they were located, but was repeatedly told that "ohh nooo somebody might lie." (What are the odds that a significant # of users who pay $100/season for the service are going to lie?)

Anyway... I  revisited computer TV feeds during the American League Championship Series, when the Yankees played Anaheim in a day game on Oct. 19. To my surprise, I could not find any live internet radio feed and I didn't have an AM radio handy to hear our local broadcast on WCBS. I figured it wouldn't be politically correct to leave work at 4 -- or to pretend to work in our lunchroom -- so I broke down and spent $9.95 to buy the new computer postseason.tv package.

I was pleasantly surprised. Produced in affiliation with Fox, it wasn't the same as watching the Fox game on TV, but it was pretty damned good. You get Joe Buck's microphone; and can watch four (out of eight possible) camera angles. It even has Twitter integration, but I didn't try that.

It took a while to get used to, but overall, it was a satisfying alternative (for the desperate) to watch/listen to the Yankees, who lost a tight game that went 11 innings.

Good job, Fox Feeds and TBS Hot Corner!

October 30, 2009 in Baseball / Yankees, Technology, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MINNESOTA NICE (GOODBYE & HELLO)

Amdome Back from the Twin Cities,  where I had a wonderful time, catching up with pals (shout outs to Katie Montgomery, Linda Will, Jim Pancero, LaVerne Pritchard & Linda Ulbrich, Jon Bream, and of course, Teri "Jersey Girl" McCarron).

It's always an absolute treat to attend any baseball game sitting next to  knowledgeable fans of the opposing team, and having gone to quite a few Yankees away games across the U.S., I've always been impressed with the great sense of "sportmanship" among fans, even at Fenway Park. (The only notable exception are the 20-year-old Boston fans who come to Yankee Stadium drunk, get drunker, and throw up in the subways, which is why I will no longer go to summer Saturday Boston/Yanks games.)

I've made great friends through mutual love of baseball -- besides Teri, Ron Stevens and David Baker (White Sox); Silvia Coulter, Bob Ambrogi and the seemingly countless number of Red Sox Fans; Stephanie Hall and Ashby Jones (Halos); Rick Georges (Rays), Donna Payne (Mariners), to name just a few. (And a ton of Twins fans).
 
Of course, postseason adds quite a bit of intensity to the mix. I actually had my first-ever bad experience at the Dome Sunday (while completing my Cal Ripken-esque streak of attending every Yanks/Twins Minnesota game since the Clemens/Boomer knockouts in ALDS 2003.) While JG and I had absolutely lovely seatmates to our left, I got stuck next to a true lout -- a tall, hugely fat (probably 350 pounds) slob of a guy who did the V thing with his legs, (spreading them as wide as possible so they intrude on seatmates), arms pouring all over the dividers, and spewing endless hulls from his three bags of peanuts into the hair of the nice woman in front of him.

It immediately triggered my claustrophobia, and I very politely asked him if he could kindly give me a couple inches. He looked at me with complete disdain and snarled, "I am what I am. Deal with it."

Elvisflag2 Didn't set a great tone for the night. Fortunately, petite JG switched seats with me, and I could breathe again. It also didn't help that there weren't many NYY fans in our section, and Mr. $39.95-million-for-26-starts-and-9-wins Pavano actually pitched a gem, and it was a tense, taut game until the end. JG and I were figuring we were headed to a game 4.

But the boys pulled it off. I give just a little bit o' credit to the karma that came along with me -- as is my tradition, I brought a NYY flag (left) signed by just about everybody in section 409 at Game 1 in the Bronx. Jersey & I figured we'd bring a little Aura & Mystique with us, too (see above).

We didn't let Mr. Minnesota Mean ruin our sweep!

I have eight years of wonderful memories at the Dome, and I thank Luis Breazeale and his wonderful team at the Twins for so many magical, memorable times!  Congrats to the Twins for an amazing season, especially the last month!

I'm happy. I got to see the last baseball game ever played at the Metrodome, and take Jon Bream to the first postseason game ever played at the new Yankee Stadium. So far, a great postseason!

I'll turn the microphone over to JB for his report:

By Jon Bream (right, with Jersey Girl at the Dome):

Jbjp,jpgI took two chances going to the first ever playoff game at the new Yankee Stadium: Wearing a Minnesota Twins cap and sitting next to Monica Bay.

Actually, sitting next to your favorite Scolder wasn’t bad – as long as you can put up with her befriending every last person in the section by having them autograph her Yankees flag that she planned to take to the ensuing playoff games in Minnesota.
 
Wearing a Twins cap in a foreign stadium made me feel  a bit like my immigrant grandparents arriving at Ellis Island. Except I spoke a language similar to the one uttered by these stadium inhabitants, though I did hear an unfamiliar idiom, “Boston sucks.” Actually, wearing a Twins cap (it says TC not NY on the front; that’s short for Twin Cities for the uninitiated, as in Minneapolis and St. Paul) in a foreign stadium was not all that bad. For instance, when the 30-mph-winds blew my cap two rows away, Yankee fans kindly returned my headwear without comment. We’d call that Minnesota Nice back in the Land of Garrison Keillor, Prince and 10,000 Treatment Centers.
 
 While Monica was off collecting autographs, I engaged the Yankee-cap-wearing young woman next to me in a conversation. We were both at the new ballpark for the first time, we discovered. She said she’d been to St. Paul once for a wedding. She was friendly and polite and even shared her French fries with me. She’s in PR.  I couldn’t remember how many times I’ve been to New York but I’d been to the old Yankee Stadium twice. I told her that I’d been to the Metrodome, where the Twins play, countless times, including for all the games in the 1987 and ’91 World Series. About that point in the conversation, Monica returned and talked about all her trips to the Metrodome, where she has had a timeshare since 2003.
 
Wearing a Twins cap in the House That George Built proved to be OK. Not only did no one give me a hard time, one Bronx-accented man approached and told me how he loved the Chicago Bears (because of his uncle) and the Minnesota Twins (because the way they played). He then rattled off the names of Twins from the past including Harmon Killebrew and Rod Carew, two Hall of Famers, and Cesar Tovar and Steve Braun, who were about as famous in New York as Tom Tresh and Jake Gibbs were in Minneapolis. And he liked Kent Hrbek, the homegrown Minnesota kid who starred in the Metrodome.
 
Frankly, the only time I really felt out of place in Yankee Stadium was when the home team scored a run and everyone around me stood and starting high-fiving. I merely sat with my stoic Bud Grant face and no one bothered me.
 
By the ninth inning, the Twins came up short, as you know. No one around me gloated. No one mocked the Twins. The Yankee fans merely marched down the spiraling ramp shouting “Boston sucks.” I didn’t bother to tell them that my son goes to Boston University.
 
Jon Bream is a reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. His latest book, Neil Diamond Is Forever: The Illustrated Story of the Man and His Music,” was published this month by Voyageur Press.


October 14, 2009 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

DIVISION CHAMPS!

Champagne


Whooooopeeeeee!!!!


Congrats, New York Yankees!


September 27, 2009 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NOW THIS IS CUSTOMER SERVICE

Momboatsmall

Like most daughters, I share a lot of personality traits with my mom. I can "work a room" comfortably because I grew up with a mother who can talk -- and will talk -- to absolutely anyone at any time.

Years ago, she emerged from a JFK-Manhattan shuttle bus and excitedly introduced me to a slightly befuddled and definitely disheveled man who had been her seatmate. In the cab, she spent 10 minutes telling me how nice he was ("nice" is her favorite word). I told her that if she sat next to Saddam Hussein, she would have been gushing about him too.

Mom is sharp as a knife, and so enthusiastic and upbeat about everything that it sometimes makes me crave insulin -- but I have always admired her fearlessness. Lillian Bay breathes travel -- she can't go six weeks without being on an airplane (another personality trait I have inherited). But walking more than a block is now difficult for her -- so that presents some definite dilemmas when she visits me in New York City.

Making plans for her visit to celebrate her 82nd birthday required finesse. She flew in from San Francisco, and Friday's agenda included mom's first Red Sox/Yanks matchup. (Like an enthusiastic Mormon, I am constantly converting people to the Yankees Universe.) 

I'm nothing if not well organized, and I thought I had carefully plotted out the day. I made a reservation at NYY Steak for 4:30 p.m., and figured we would grab a cab at 3:45, allowing double the normal amount of time to get to the Stadium via cab. I didn't want to cut it any closer, because NYY Steak is now so popular that if you don't show up within 15 minutes of your reservation, it's cancelled (like the airlines, they give away your seats.)

I completely forgot that on a beautiful fall Friday afternoon, before a major holy day (Yom Kippur), and with the Yankees playing the Red Sox, that  85% of Manhattan residents would be attempting to get on the Deegan (I-78). By 4:15 I was antsy, and said to the cab driver, "We will get there by 4:30, right?" and he looked at me and said, in essence, "Not a chance in Hell."  So much for my plans.

So I had a dilemma -- do we Zen it, stay with the cab, and eat hot dogs for dinner -- or make a run for it via the subway. I didn't want mom's birthday dinner entree to be Nathan's, so I said, "Mom, let's go." We jump outta the cab at 125th, and mom got to experience, for the first time, the 4 train at rush hour. Mom asked if she would be able to get a seat. I said, "Not a chance in hell, we'll be lucky to have room to breathe."

The train arrives, we jam in -- and then, as if scripted by the NYC Visitor's Bureau, a lovely woman took one look at mom and gave up her seat. We made the reservation by literally one minute.

But that wasn't the end of the adventure. After a fantastic dinner and a terrific home-run-filled bashing of the Red Sox, it was time to get back to Manhattan. This was the part of the day I was dreading the most -- there was no way mom could do the subway again, and under the best of circumstances, getting a gypsy cab involves walking eight to 10 blocks to their car.

During the game,  the Jumbo-tron featured an ad for car services at Gate 2. I thought, yes! We'll do that.

It was a mistake. If I had realized how long the walk was, I would have gotten a wheelchair for mom. By the time we finally got to the gate, we were literally some of the last stragglers to leave the stadium. And then I find out that the cars are incredibly expensive and unavailable without an advance reservation.

By now, I'm not just exhausted, but absolutely overwhelmed. I didn't know HOW I was going to get mom back to Manhattan without requiring an ambulance. Mom went to sit down while I figured everything out, when suddenly  a Yankees customer service fellow is helping mom, and a second comes and talks to me. (I think my distress was as visible as my mom's physical discomfort.)

The next thing I know, we are being escorted to the VIP reception area, and the Yankees front desk staff are arranging for a car service for us. As we sit in the small lounge, I start recognizing people. We were sitting with the STEINBRENNER family and their friends!!! (Hal, Hank, Jennifer et al.). COO/attorney Lonn Trost walks by. I was absolutely blown away. Suffice it to say, I did not open my mouth. I do, occasionally, recognize when silence is golden.

And then John Sterling comes off the elevator. Now I had a dilemma -- I doubted seriously that he would remember me, but I had met him on Labor Day when we had a delightful conversation about Jane Heller and her book. I didn't want to be rude, so I said instinctively "Hi John," and he warmly said "Hi, how are you" (but I'm sure he did NOT remember me, because he had that same split-second look that I often get when, during LegalTech, I can't remember the name of somebody I know I've met).

In the best moment of the day, Mom turns to me, with complete amazement and sez, "HOW do you know these people?"

All I can say is, the Yankees really understand customer service. I thank, from the bottom of my heart, the kind gentleman who noticed us, and took above-the-call-of-duty steps to help an average fan and her mother. I will never, ever forget the day I spent -- getting to and from Yankee Stadium -- and enjoying every minute of mom's first Red Sox game. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Oh yeah: P.S. We won!!!

September 26, 2009 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

A PERFECT DAY

Ed97 "Ed Post" — the esteemed editor of Blawg Review -- launched his "Blawg Review Bucket List Tour" this week (no, he's not ill -- no need to start writing obits). Perhaps another name for it should be the Magical Mystery Tour, because "Ed" is keeping everyone in suspense as to his itinerary. (You'll hafta folo it on his blog.)

We had a great visit, which started with a wonderful sunny! lunch at Rhinebeck's Beekman Tavern (allegedly the oldest pub in the nation). Then yesterday, we spent all day at the Stadium for two rounds with the Rays. (In tribute to "Ed" 's tradition of "anonymous" photos (above left), here's a shot of me (below) at the make-up Game 2 of the doubleheader, in my "upgraded" #33 shirt. )

-Media Card-BlackBerry-pictures-IMG01478-20090907-2143The weather was fantastic, the company splendid, and the boys were on fire. The first game was a taut pitchers' duel between A.J. Burnett and Garza, with the Yanks exploding in the 8th. (I appreciate pitchers' duels, kinda like the way I appreciate Dixieland Jazz, but find both boring. OK, OK, I admit it: chicks do love the long ball.)

Between the two games, despite being unable to get reservations, the incredible staff at NYY Steak managed to work us in and get us a table. While waiting, we met WCBS broadcaster John Sterling (who is a friend of my pal Jane Heller) and we had a wonderful chat singing the praises of Jane (and deciding that the best thing that happened to Jane was that the Yankees' media czar/moat protector Jason Zillo never granted her press privileges —  which at the time seemed near-disasterous, but ultimately provided the main plot line of her terrific book, Confessions of a SheFan). Zillo, btw, is the brains behind the Yankees' brilliant HOPE project this summer, and from all reports is a very nice dude.

Nyysteak And if that wasn't enough, when we were seated, who should be sitting opposite us but one of my heroes, Brian Cashman (No, I did NOT pounce) — along with a posse of Yankees' front office top guns, including prez Randy Levine, and (I think) asst. GM Jean Afterman -- a fellow Univ. of San Fran law school alum. Too kewl. To the credit of Yankees fans, NOBODY bothered them! 

If you have not tried NYY Steak, I can't sing its praises enough. The atmosphere's perfect, the design and architecture is subtle and sublime, and the food is out of this world --  and very reasonably priced. I absolutely love this 125-seat facility, and have been three times already. It's the ideal restaurant for a business meeting, because it's comfortable -- and you can hear conversations without straining (important for Baby Boomers like me who wrecked our hearing with too much rock and roll!) Definitely go for the asparagus, it's the best I have ever had! (Caveat: do get reservations; we chatted with general manager Jacques Lamour -- who told us they are turning away 150 people a day!)

After our brushes with celebrity, it was time for game 2. I had bought separate tickets for #2 (it was not in my 20-pack) and couldn't believe it when we ended up in the same row in section 233b that I had the week before with my friend Ron Stevens for the Chicago series -- right in the middle of the greatest group of folks who all have a half plan (41 games) and have, shall we say, "bonded" over the years. They have now officially adopted me! 

Game 2 was as loose as game 1 was taut, and an NYY blowout. Joe pulled almost the entire team by about the 7th inning and brought in all the Sept. call up kids (Shelley Duncan et al) and it was like Spring Training in Tampa. Youngster Michael Dunn was such a newbie that he started the 8th inning with a 28 ERA and closed the 9th with a 10.80 ERA -- with every batter we were hootin' and hollerin' about his dropping stats, cheering him to the close with "Get it Dunn!"

From sublime to silly, it doesn't get any better -- I thoroughly enjoyed Labor Day and my 10 hours with  Mr. Blawg Review in the Bronx! 

P.S. Richard George: Welcome to Yankees Universe! We're happy to have you aboard. 

 

September 8, 2009 in Baseball / Yankees, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

SWEEP

Sweep Thursday: NYY 13, Bos 6

Friday: NYY 2, Bos 0
15 innings, 5 hours, 33 min. (I was there for every pitch.)

Saturday: NYY 5, Bos 0

Sunday: NYY 5, Bos 2


August 10, 2009 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MAILBAG #090730

Email Rummaging through the in-box:

Monty Lunn has answered the siren call of New Orleans, and moved back. He most recently was a director at Huron Consulting Group. We'll letcha know when he gets settled in with new contact info.

* Connie Moser,
formerly of Elite, has joined another Elite-ite, Mark Goldin at American LegalNet. Goldin's the new CTO, Moser's the new marketing director She'll be at ILTA so you can reconnect with her there, or reach her here.

*Angelique Schaffer checks in from Thomson Reuters to advise us that Legal Current has replaced Westblog. Check it out!

* Herbert Roitblat of Oratec forwards  this encouraging article chastizing local governments for their version of "solution-speak." Note the list of 200 no-no words, including "beaconicity," "holistic governance," and "incentivising."

* Better late than never: This slipped thru my inbox cracks, so it's a bit old now, but still interesting: Katherine Petusek, of the National Association of Women Lawyers and its foundation, are conducting a fourth annual survey on retention and promotion of women in the largest 200 U.S. firms. Contact Cheryl Oblander here for an update. Copies of past surveys can be viewed here.

*Finally, a treat courtesy of SheFanJane (Jane Heller). A fun YouTube that you can embedding where appropriate. (BTW, she just featured an excerpt of my book review of her terrific new book, Confessions of a She-Fan)  on her book's website (scroll down below "advanced praise.")  Full review here. And I've also started posting my book reviews on Amazon (username Monica Bay. We'll use it to close out this edition of TCS: 

July 30, 2009 in Baseball / Yankees, Books, Law Firm Management, Marketing, People, Surveys, Tech Turbulence (Economy) , Technology, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

ANGELS UNVEIL 2010 ALL STAR LOGO

Angels Particularly neat how they have incorporated the signature "halo" from the stadium!

Way kewl!

July 23, 2009 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

THE BOOKS OF SUMMER

Going through beisbol withdrawal as the boys take their All Star break? Never fear, here are three books that will tide you over until Friday:

MunsonMunson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain, by Marty Appel, is a rich and poignant account of #15, Thurman Munson, who was killed while flying his private jet.
I'm about half-way through the book, and it is a tearjerker, but so worth the read.

I was once talking to my brother about kids who get too upset when they miss a play or strike out, and Bill's reaction was "It's all about the fathers."

Munson's father was the definition of an undermining bully, and Appel's understated exemplars of his cancerous behavior towards his son are as compelling as Joe Torre's sad tales of his father's abuse.  But don't let that deter you from this book. It's a wonderful biography.

This is Appel's second book about Munson; the first was written with Munson (his official authobiography). But Appel said he wanted the proverbial second bite (sorry, I couldn't resist) so that he could explore the more personal side of the player. Well done indeed, and just as with Torre's story, it is so very important for youngsters who are abused, emotionally and/or physically, to help them realize they are not alone -- and that their heroes overcame abuse, and they can too.

The Little White Book of Baseball Law, by John Minan and Kevin Cole, from the American Bar Association, covers 18 "Innings" of key beisbol cases, staring with "Ticket Seller 'Scalps' Police,"  Lanier v. City of Boston, to "Fan Cries Foul," (Jeffery Swiecicki v. Jose Delgado). Minan is a law prof at the Univ. of San Diego; Cole is the dean of its law school.

Heller Confessions of a She-Fan: The Course of True Love with the New York Yankees, by Jane Heller. Despite living in Santa Barbara, novelist Jane Heller  is a die-hard Yankees fan. (She has NY roots, of course.) Heller normally focuses on "chick lit" books (Some Nerve, An Ex to Grind), but this is her first non-fiction book.

It all started when she wrote an hysterical essay in early summer 2007 in The New York Times, demanding a "divorce" from the Yankees -- that infuriated and delighted fans across the country. That lead to a book contract, and Heller and her husband Michael hit the road, with the goal of attending (almost) every game, talking to players, and writing about the 2007 season from a "she fan's" POV.

The result is a funny yet amazingly nuanced non-fiction book that reads like a juicy novel. After hunting for it all over NYC (Hey! Barnes & Noble - get your act together) I finally found a copy at the Wall Street Borders. I started reading it at the beginning of Monday's Home Run Derby, which proved no distraction, and didn't go to sleep until I had finished it.

I've always wondered why I care so very very much about games that I absolutely have no control over -- and that's a constant theme in Heller's book.  (Yes, part of it is that the Yankees tend to end up in the playoffs despite all odds  and I'm the world's most competitive person -- I once had my friends form a tenants' union against me when playing Monopoly). 

My recessive sports gene did not kick in until I moved to New York in 1998, and  became curious about why Joe Torre switched pitchers. Within a year I was drinking the Kool-Aid.

My biggest revelation after becoming a beisbol addict was how powerful a baseball game is as "social networking" -- it empowers you to talk to just about anyone in this baseball-crazed city, from cab drivers to top executives. But it ALSO teaches intense lessons about how to succeed in business (a theme explored years ago by Betty Harragan, in Games Your Mother Never Taught You.)

But as much as I love the game, I'm so not a "groupie" -- I have zero interest in meeting (most) players, or getting autographs (although one of my favorite possessions is a signed pix of Scooter with Sinatra, that my bro gave me). Think about it -- would you really want to endure a long dinner with 80% of the players? Sure, Moose, Leiter, Mo or Jeter -- but I'd be bored to tears if I had to spend 15 minutes with preening A-Rod, and I don't speak Spanish so that would rule out Melky. I'm much more interested in talking to the managers, administrators, and media -- especially folks like Michael Kay, Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman, and Kevin Dart. I'd happily give up a weekend in Hawaii to have a quiet lunch with any one of them.

And that turns out to be the real heart and soul of Heller's book -- her plot line revolves around whether she'll be able to break through the NYY administrative moat (which makes getting a visa to Cuba look easy) and get the coveted press credentials she needs to get  access to players for her book. In the end, the book is more about the beat reporters and the "traveling circus" of away games -- and that's what makes it absolutely magical. I won't give away the ending, but let's just say it involves one of my all-time favorite players.

I flat-out loved this book on so many levels:

• As a journalist, I resonated to her subtle revelations about how tough it is to cover the Yankees, and how guarded folks like Suzyn Waldman and John Sterling must be to cope with all the demands on them, and yet how warm and caring they prove to be.

• Because I go to a lot of away games as part of my job, I thought she absolutely nailed the "traveling circus" -- including  the dynamics of rooting against the home team (especially at Fenway). And the unique rituals of away parks (eg, the "O" at Camden, the umpire intros at McAfee, etc.)

• Her light, respectful touch gave dignity to even some of the young naive women who don't really understand the Jose Canseco perils of being too eager of a fan. And she gracefully explores how much going to even one game can mean to many folks who are facing astounding personal challenges.

• Her insight into the politics of access to the team, and how "who you know" can make all the difference in the world; and yet how the surprises of unexpected encounters ultimately prove productive. 

• Why it's a lot more fun, if you are a true baseball fan, to sit in the upper deck, and why night games are usually better than weekend games.

• The sheer joy of watching nine talented athletes take the field almost every day of summer, and the sheer bliss in February when Pitchers & Catchers finally report.

Here's a video trailer.

And a review on Yankees.com

Follow Heller on Twitter: @shefanjane.


July 16, 2009 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

7th ANNUAL TWINS/YANKS FEST

Bye Bye Dome.... The 7th annual Twins/Yanks fest was, as always, Big Fun -- a chance to connect with the terrific Twins Cities tech community and say goodbye to the Metrodome... (well, unless we meet again in October!)

Jssasmall As always, it was a jam-packed three days of vendor meetings and beisbol! We started off the trip with our annual visit to Thomson Reuters, with huge thanks to John Shaughnessy (far left), Gretchen DeSutter (below)  and Scott Augustin (left) for setting up a day of helpful briefings. We had a chance to say a quick hello to Allison Guidette, who has returned to Eagan as vp of litigation (she was headed to the airport for a trip west); then visited with Preston McKenzie, vp of  Hubbard One (which includes ContactNet, Hubbard One and Monitor Suite). Then we got a fascinating update from Rob Sargeson, senior vp & CIO, about the company's expansion plans for its massive data centers.

Gretchsmall Over a yummy evil midwest lunch, (TR's commissary is just too tempting!)  Mike Abbott and Stephanie Krause updated us on pro bono projects designed to help displaced legal professionals. It's always great to see vp Laurie Zenner and the corporate communications team, which also includes Kevin Hunt and Michele Endgahl in addition to the aforementioned folks.

Then Denis Hauptly (vp strategic development), who has just returned from a long stint in Switzerland, offered his mighty wisdom about uber search and other trends on the horizon. Here's a link to his new book, Something Really New, which I will be reading shortly!

Next on the agenda was a briefing on the Westlaw Business' global outreach, with marketing vp Gus Thompson)  and sr. director Rob Kirchstein (with Gretchen, above).  The day wrapped up with sr. director Brian Knudsen mktg mgr John Vonhor offering me a tour of the company's PeopleMap public information software that helps everybody from litigators to skip tracers track down 411 on folks.

Jrzgrlsmall Before I headed to the Dome with Teri "Jersey Girl" McCarron and Teddy Lindgren for game 1 of the Twins/Yanks series, Incisive's Michael Medwig and Marnie Maroney (below left in white shirt, with Paul Godlewski from Thomson Reuters) and I  visited 3M -- with mktg communications mgr Joan Olseen and Erik Johnson for an update on the company's popular RFID system that helps law firms and companies track their paper files.(BTW, apparently Teri is not the only "JG" in Mpls -- check out the license plate I saw at Thomson Reuter parking lot!)

Day 2 began with an update from NightOwl, which offers document management services. Scott Sterkel, director of sales and mktg, told us how the company is growing with its e-discovery offerings.

Cbsmall Then it was off to Eden Praire to meet up with the Kroll Ontrack gang, including Christian Betancourt and Megan Kubacki, (left). Kaitlin Shinkle regaled us with reports on her June wedding at the St. Paul hotel (Congrats! plus a shout out to Michelle Lange, who is on maternity leave!)

Finally, we had a very interesting meeting with Avantstar's Matt Knudson about the company's content management system, and how they are getting increasing traction within the e-discovery community.

Sg Then it was to the Dome for the Twins/Yanks fest. Thanks to everybody who joined us, including LTN edit board members George Socha and Tom Gelbmann (right); consultants LaVerne Pritchard and Linda Ulbrich. As usual, the gangs from Thomson  Reuters and Kroll. 

DorseysmallThe Dorsey & Whitney crew included partner Melissa Krasnow, left in red -- who with colleague Nick Ackerman, was the star of our May Law Technology Now podcast. Next to Krasnow is her friend, General Mills counsel Cam Hoang. Also from Dorsey was Patrick Courtemanche (in light blue shirt) who has joined the firm's marketing department, with Dorsey marketing colleague Bob Kleiber (in royal blue shirt).

CurtseansmallWe were also thrilled that LTN's former associate editor Katie Montgomery could come north from Iowa to be with us! Incisive's Rob Hafiz of LegalTech also joined in the fun, as did Curt Meltzer of Meltzer Consulting, and Sean Solberg, of Faegre & Benson (far right).

BTW, we send our best wishes to Linda Will, who's on the DL, for a speedy recovery, and a shout-out to Amy Juers, who missed her first Twins/Fest because she was in California (good excuse!). 

Huge thanks to Luis Breazeale of the Twins for all his help getting us such great seats (behind home plate!) It was a great, tight game, a nailbiter all the way to the end, when Mariano faced Mauer, and for only the third time in our seven year Twins/Yanks fest history, the Yanks actually won. (Sorry, Minnesota fans :) On top of the good game, one of our rows was selected as the Hormel Hot Dog Row of the Game  -- so everybody in the middle of our group got a free hot dog! What a hoot!!

Marniesmall Day 3 started with a few "issues" with my Garmin Nuvi 200 -- actually, it wasn't the tech's fault, it was my fault for not updating the maps. The Twins City is undergoing a massive amount of construction (Three people told me the same joke: "Minnesota has two seasons: winter and road construction") and the whole area is completely chewed up (especially downtown) rivaling Boston's Big Dig. Trying to get to Roseville to meet up with the Merrill gang, I could not find an open on-ramp to 35W North -- and ended up almost at Bloomington trying to get north. I am soooo updating my maps before my next adventure!

But because I'm paranoid and always leave extra time to find new places, even with Garmin's 90% reliable "Jill," I pulled into the parking lot just at the meeting time. Thanks to Leonard Lee and the Merrill team for a terrific conversation about social networking, e-discovery and all the challenges they present. We enjoyed meeting with marketers Scott Snyder, Diana Lepper, and Dawn Edwards!

Lz Finally, before heading back home, I had a chance to visit with Jon Bream, my colleague from my days at the Minnesota Daily, who is the veteran music critic at the Star Tribune. (His latest "coffee table" book is Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin). We headed to Wasabi, which I highly recommend as a terrific Japanese restaurant right about halfway between the  Guthrie theater and the Dome. 

We noticed a lovely new restaurant in the same complex, Sanctuary, and took the opportunity to get a quick tour from Michael Kutscheid, owner and GM. The charming bistro also has a sweet outdoor garden -- and I definitely plan to visit it on my next trip to Minnesota, hopefully in October! 

And if not for post-season, we'll look forward to returning next year for OUTDOOR baseball at the new Target Field (we'll bring our down coats). 

More photos here.

July 12, 2009 in Baseball / Yankees, EDD: E-Discovery, Journalism, Law Firm Management, Marketing, Social Networking, Technology, Travel, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

NEW IS OLD AGAIN

BBTexNS Sorry, Baltimore, we got Tex & we ain't givin' him back. Even if he got jussssst a little bit  spooked by the "welcome" booooos he got on opening day at Camden.

Now usually when the Yanks meet up with the O's in Maryland, there's about 65% Yankee fans in the stands
(I suspect most from New Jersey because it's so easy to get to from the Garden State, and Camden is so economical and family friendly.)

But not on Opening Day. It was more like 10%. To be honest, it's the first time I've felt juuuuussst a little intimidated in the friendly confines of Camden. The hostility to our newbie Tex rivaled that of the pissed off Yankee fans chanting "Who's Your Daddy" to Pedro Martinez in 2004 postgames, the noise level so intense that the Stadium literally shook.

But anyway..... it was big fun, even tho we got clobbered. My colleague Jai Wallace and I are sending huge thanks to our guests, the delightful Mary Ellen Belusci, Yankees fan Joe Zanta, and Scott Bogash of Needles; and Yvonne Dornic  of eSentio Technologies and her finace Jim Rhodes,  and Red Sox fan David Horrigan of Covington & Burling. Yvonne and Jim helped me recover from the trauma with a nightcap at their amazing restaurant, Ze Mean Bean in Fells Point.

I'm hoping tonight's game has a much happier ending for the New Yorkers. Should be interesting, as my O's rep Matt Dougherty notes: It's the Far East match-up, with Taiwan's Chien Ming Wang facing the O's new addition, Koji Uehara -- former ace of the Yomiuri Giants-- in his major league debut. And Thursday I get the pleasure of spending time with Cataphora's fascinating Susannah Smith, and Kelly Klyn, litigation technology specialist for Goodwin Procter. Can't wait!

0407090853a I'm also LOVING the brand new Baltimore Hilton -- Check out the view from my room! It is literally yards from Camden, and gorgeous. But I must admit has a kinda odd color palette -- but it works: tangerine, gold, cobalt blue and lime green. So much better than 2008's obsession with chocolate and aqua (Yes, yes, yes, I watch way too much HGTV.)

Tuesday was an off day so we headed down to DC to visit with Robert Erich Jr. of Select Associates. We had a terrific conversation about how the economy is affecting the time/billing/acctg vendors -- Erich noted that his company's star* collect  product has seen quite a spike in sales in recent months. Select Associates, says Erich, specializes in a variety of add-on software that integrates with Elite, Aderant, and other T&B/A software that targets the top AmLaw firms, he explained, including data warehousing and business intelligence tools. One of the newest offerings star* targetCash which helps firms project cash flow.

I suspect that interest in these types of products will most definitely continue to jump as purse strings tighten throughout the legal industry.

Tuesday night, we had the pleasure of joining Sally Gonzalez (Baker Robbins & Co.) and Stan Wasylyk (Michael Farrell Group) for a boisterous dinner at the Hard Times Cafe in Alexandria. Years and years ago, when I was vice-chair of the ABA's Law Student Division, we had a ton of meetings in D.C. and made regular pilgrimages to the HTC. It's a lot of fun, and it was great to return, although I probably ate more carbs in one sitting than I normally eat in a month.

Sally and I can bore anyone to death when you get us talking about our adventures on United Airlines. Sally's in the coveted rareified air of Global Services -- so elite that they don't even publicize it or tell you what the membership requirements are -- but it pretty much boils down to flying overseas a lot. Sally was based in London for a long stint, and also frequently visits clients in Switzerland, so she has that elusive BLACK Mileage Plus card that the rest of us mere mortals drool over. I hope we didn't drive our companions toooo nuts but we sure had a good time comparing road warrior stories.

(Btw: this could be a very interesting year for road warriors because so many of us will probably drop at last one level in the elite tiers because so many firms/companies are reducing travel.)

BradNewStad So... two more days in the wonderful Inner Harbor before I head back to NYC. Of course I save the best for last.... thanks to a dear friend who is a Cubs season ticket holder I actually got tix for last Saturday's Cubs/Yanks Exhibition game at the New Stadium.

OMG, it totally takes your breath away. It's just magnificent. But the strangest thing about it is that once you are inside, in your seats, it's almost Twilight Zone Deja Vu -- because it FEELS like the old Stadium. Even the FTI ad is in its proper place. The new video screen is awesome, and the Batter's Eye is now a restaurant, but the subway still screams right by the Short Porch, the Bleacher Creatures still do roll call, and it just feels great. Only the courthouse is missing from the tableau, because of the slight change in real estate.

BBsullyNS And making the day even more touching: the first pitch was thrown out by Captain Sully, and the USAir 1549 skyboat crew! (He was joined by the first officer Jeff Skiles and chief flight attendant Doreen Welsh.)

Saturday, Cano christened the Stadium with its first home run,  and Tex got back-to-back homers! (Jeter got the Stadium's first hit Friday night.) Joining me at the day game was the fabulous consultant Brad Blickstein, of Chicago's The Blickstein Group (above left), who took most of the photos on this page, and two terrific marketing dudes from Deloitte: Alan Numsuwan and Michael Rachlin. (We had a great conversation about off-shoring e-discovery and the impact of the economy on outsourcing.)

BBNS Two things da Yankees gotta do: 1) Get Sweet Lou (who got a standing ovation from the crowd during the Saturday game) to give us another one of  his bats to sit on top of the center field flag pole, so we can see the wind direction (Mattingly took the original from the old stadium) and 2) they HAVE to install those nylon rope bank-line things to control the concessions line from blocking traffic all the way across the huge broad concourse.

But no complaints. It's wonderful.  It's awesome. Even the birds are already finding their niches. And yes, no question about it, Aura & Mystique and the other ghosts have cheerfully crossed the street. Welcome home. 

April 8, 2009 in Baseball / Yankees, Distractions :), News & Analysis, People, Social Networking, Tech Turbulence (Economy) , Technology, Travel | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

CONNECTING BUSINESS & PLEASURE

Twitter Marc Osborn and the gang over at LexisNexis' Martindale Hubbell have now officially launched Martindale Hubbell Connect, which has been in beta for a while. Bob Ambrogi raved about it in his Web Watch column last September in Law Technology News.

As part of the launch celebrations, MHC invited six bloggers to do a mini-carnival from March 30-April 6. MHC asked us to pontificate on social networking for lawyers, and MHC is posting links to each of our blogs. I'm honored to be invited, and happy to participate — especially in such good company: LexisNexis' Kathleen Delaney started it all Monday; Rees Morrison (Law Dept. Management)  had day 2; Law.com's tech editor Sean Doherty tackled April Fool's Day; Bob Ambrogi drew the straw for Thursday;  I have the reins today, and then Larry Bodine closes it all out on Opening Day. 

Speaking of Ambrogi, he's always hipper-than-hip, and I count on him to point the way to new, kewl tech stuff. In fact, Ambrogi and Incisive Media's CEO Bill Pollak (@wpollak) can be mildly annoying to this tech editor, because they always seem find the latest greatest tech tool (or toy)  just slightly faster than I do — which I generally attribute to the fact that both of them are parents of young adults. I'm parent only to a dog and cat who somehow have not mastered the computer keyboard (give them time), but one of these days I'm determined to find something kewl before these two dudes. :)

Anyway, all three of us are now pretty damned obsessed with Twitter. Bob (@bobambrogi)  has written two great columns in the last year:  Tweet Sixteen -- in December, where he talked about 16 reasons why lawyers should take Twitter seriously, and  Let Twitter Sing, in March, where he ID'd numerous 3rd-party tools to help addicts become efficient power-users. 

Indeed, many Incisive folks have contracted Twitter fever, and others are at least testing the water. One of the latest folks to dive in is Aric Press (@aricpress), the editor-in-chief of The American Lawyer. And Incisive "entity" IDs are popping up like Spring daffodils: @AmLawDaily; @LegalTechShow; @LawTechNews; @EDDUpdate, so on and so forth.

Sean Doherty (@legaltechtrek) and I (@commonscold) are both on board, but the winner for first early adopter within Incisive is probably LTN's new associate editor, Theodora Blanchfield (@tblanchfield) -- who was twittering LONG before the I.M. Baby Boomers got wind of it -- she was singing a full year ago. 

Anyway.... for me, at first, Twitter didn't make a whole lot of sense. I thought it was fun and interesting and arguably more productive than playing BubbleBreaker on my Samsung Saga when I needed a quick break from editing. But my Eureka moment came when a story crashed, and I needed a last minute replacement. I tweeted that I was looking for a security story. Within an hour,  Vivian Tero pinged me expressing interest, and wrote an absolutely terrific article, "Dangerous Shadows," about why it's important to be careful when social networking because seemingly innocuous personal information can come back to haunt you.

I knew I was officially drinking the Kool-Aid when I moderated a panel at LegalTech New York, featuring Kevin O'Keefe (@kevinokeefe), Chris Winfield (@chriswinfield), and Matt Homann (@matthoman) -- with a cameo from Bob Ambrogi. They were awesome, and outlined even more ways to effectively use Twitter. The best takeaway was their instructions on how to use Twitter's search functions (www.search.twitter.com). My skills grew logarithmically after Guy Kawasaki's (@guykawasaki)  intoxicating keynote at our Search Engine Strategies conference in March. (See Kawasaki's link for a huge list of 3rd-party apps).

One of Kawasaki's points was that companies can use Twitter to monitor complaints and accolades, and immediately respond to customers. Sure enough, I soon experienced that first-hand.  After being stuck in Manhattan for three weeks with the Nor-eastern flu from hell, I ran into a leeeetle problem when my car battery died while I was loading up the aforementioned dog and cat to go to my upstate cottage. Of COURSE I was illegally parked (this is Manhattan!) and I went into a cold panic. I called AAA and they rescued me in 20-minutes with a battery boost, and offered such amazingly good service (they even called me back to be sure I was OK) that I tweeted about it. Sure enough, within minutes of my rave, I got a thank-you tweet from @AAAauto saying they were happy I was happy. Good customer service? You betcha. 

So what's next?  We're going to reprise the LTNY Twitter panel at LegalTech West Coast, June 25 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, at 2:15 p.m. Kevin O'Keefe and Matt Homann will be returning, joined by solo Denise Howell (@dhowell) and Baker & Hostetler associate Nina Goldberg (@Ninakat). Do join us. We've already set up a "hash tag"* for the LA show - #LTWC. (The New York panel #LTNY was widely live-Tweeted.)

Well, enough. Gotta go Twitter. I'm still looking for tix to the April 16 home opener at Yankee Stadium, and hoping that my Tweets and Facebook posts will help me find someone who wants to sell 2 tix for under $250. (No bleachers please). Sellers can reach me at [email protected]

Bodine's watching the store on Monday. I'll be at Camden Yards -- It's Opening Day 2009!!!

Go Yankees!

* a code so others can easily find tweets related to the topic.



April 3, 2009 in Baseball / Yankees, Distractions :), Social Networking | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

ANDY'S BACK

Andy Whoppeee... the staring contest is over. Pettite's back --- $5.5M 1 yr, with incentives that could bring it to $12M. 

YEAHHHHHHH 411 here. 

P.S. - Cash, now couldja please put Joba where he belongs: as set-up and successor to Mo!

January 26, 2009 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

CISCO'S INFRASTRUCTURE IN YANKEE STADIUM

Kewl story today on the Yankee's website about how Cisco Systems Inc. has wired the new Yankee Stadium, which will open in April. Among the infrastructure is Cisco's Telepresence conferencing system, which LTN wrote about last February.

Cisco's already installed about $16 million in wiring, as well as about 1,100 high-def video monitors in the stadium. They will be used for everything from interactive video replays to ordering food from the concessions, says MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.

The whole joint is wired to the point where eventually every seat could have monitors, but of course, it will start with the luxury suites.

November 12, 2008 in Baseball / Yankees, Technology | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

2008 FINAL REPORT

Price_2 O.K. -- This will come as a surprise to most of you, but I am not upset that the boys did not make it to the postseason. Frankly, I was secretly relieved. To be honest, I was exhausted by the end of September. Between the All Star Game, and all the hype about the final season at the Stadium, I was toast.

And I'm a very happy camper that Boston — after looking like it was going to make its usual Lazarus revival (especially after that 7 run heartbreaker comeback) — fell to young Mr. Price in game 7 of a terrific ALCS. While we were all dreaming of Torre's revenge in a Dodgers-Boston World Series (can't you just see Manny winning the game in the bottom of the 9th in game 7?) it was great to get Boston off the field earlier.

Anyway, huge congrats to the Rays, -- and to another great Joe -- Maddon, now officially Joe #3 in my hit parade of Joes. From worst, to first, with flair and enthusiasm.

As for the Phillies -- well, sure, congrats, but frankly, I find that team boring, except for Chase Utley, who I've always rooted for ever since he got that inside-the-park home run at the '06 Classic. And his ooopps expletive was funny.

Bottom line: how could ANYONE complain about the 2008 season!

Among the highlights:

Teriparrotsmalljpg_2 • Discovering Grapefruit: Spring Training was absolutely wonderful. Mike Medwig & I went to Winter Haven to see  the Indians with DocuLex' Tim Nissen & David Bailey. FutureLawyer Rick Georges & I got rained out of a game, Mike and I took the Hudson team to a Phillies game; but my favorite game was at wonderful the Pirates facility in Bradenton. Teri McCarron (aka Jersey Girl) and her sweetie Teddy Lindgren were in fine form, and Teri and the Parrott almost eloped by the end of the game. We even got a chance to wave at Brian Cashman who was walking off the field with one of our favorite players, Doug Meintkiewicz. (This will become relevant later in this story). A nice start to the season!

The Opening Day that Wasn't: My Final Season Opening Day hat sez March 31, but we all know it was really April Fool's Day. Complaint #1: For once, could the GreedMongers call an obvious rainout earlier in the day rather than making us stand around for hours so you can sell beer. Not cool.

• The Mets game that wasn't: Ditto for the rain cancellation on May 16.

Katiemom • Katie Montgomery, our associate editor from Wisconsin, joined the cult after about two Yankees games. It was great fun to watch her catch Yankees fever — and she stayed a fan even after getting pickpocketed outside the Stadium! Katie, who is now attending grad school at the Univ. of Iowa, even joined us in Minneapolis for our group game, with her delightful mom.

Wrigley_2 • The Chicago/New York doubleheader: April 22: Watched the Cubs beat the Mets at Wrigley with Sonnenschein's Andy Jurcyzk, then el'd it over to the Southside to meet up with David Baker, for our annual CWS/Yankee game, where the boys slammed the White Sox 9-5. An absolutely perfect day with two of my favorite dudes!

• Minnesota Times Two: Not one, but two series at the Dome — so always big fun.

MinnesotaFirst memorable Minnesota moment: A great group game, our 6th annual, and the Yankees actually win a thriller. So much fun to hang out with the legal tech gang. Photo album here.

Second: Jersey Girl gets so excited about A-Rod's home that she jumps up and her cell phone flies right into her beer. Her insurance covered the cost of her new phone.

Third: Meeting Joba Chamberlain's dad and mispronouncing Joba's first name. Everybody who knows me teases me about how bad I am with names. I was mortified. But Harlan C, who was snotty about it at first, was gracious when I explained my notorious dyslexia with names. His demeanor changed immediately and we had a wonderful conversation.

Ortizjersey_2 • It's Jimmy Hoffa's Fault: The Ortiz jersey buried in the new stadium was just too funny and ended up raising money for a very good cause.

• Joe #1: We had a great time at the Dodgers/White Sox game the night before LegalTech West Coast. Of course, I wore my #6 Jersey to honor my hero, Joe Torre. (I won't wear it at home because I don't want to show any disrespect to Joe #2).

• Oh Say Can You See? Watching everybody in our section turn around in awe at the June 17 Padres game, when SPi Legal's Babs Deacon -- an opera-trained soprano -- sang along to The Star Spangled Banner -- a huge strong voice coming out of such a tiny person!

• Flying insects #2: Hands down, the most depressing and weird moment of the 2007 season was poor Joba facing the Biblical invasion of those magflies at Cleveland -- the '08 version of flying bugs was much more benign but equally bizarre -- the swarm of termites at the Zephyrs game in NoLa. Tom O'Connor assured me it was normal. Yeah, right, sure. (P.S. Tom, thanks for reminding me!!!! How could I forget such a fun night.)

• Cash #2:  I miss a game that I was scheduled to go to with Navigant Consulting's Shawnna Childress (who is very active with the Women in EDiscovery group) and Barrie Harmelin of our ad-side team. Colleague Mike Medwig subs for me. They end up at dinner at the Stadium Club, sitting next to Brian Cashman. They start chatting and they ask Brian to sign a note to me, which he does, "To Monica, Wish you could join us. Brian Cashman." I frame it.

Moallstars_3 • The All Star Game: Absolute magic, a memorable evening shared with Teri McCarron.  Aura & Mystique finally showed up at 1:48 a.m.

• Hot seats: My brother Bill and I roasting literally and figuratively as he bravely wore full Oakland As logowear on a blistering Saturday game  that was so hot that I dragged him from great seats in section 8, to section 25 where we happily found two empty seats in the shade. The next day, Johnson & Johnson's Deanna Coffman (an LTN board member) endured my antics as I cajoled two guys to take my two $60 MVP Tier Box seats behind home plate in exchange for their $5 row X seats under the overhang. Suffice it to say I don't do well in hot, humid weather.

• Pen Pal: At one of the Yanks/Red Sox games, meeting Clay Robbins and his delightful son Campbell, a gifted writer who is debating between a career in law or journalism — and has become a wonderful pen pal.

• Rituals and traditions: Opening day with Roberto Jimenez, a Mets game with Bijah Shah, an Anaheim game with Ashby Jones, and away games with David Baker and Eric & Stephanie Peck Hall, and seeing every single Yankees/Twins Dome game since 2003 — almost all with Jersey Girl and Jon Bream.

• July 30! We offload Kyle Farnsworth to those suckers at Detroit, for Pudge. Poor Ivan wasn't all that great, in fact he was pretty awful, but what the hell -- we got rid of Farnsworth. I was very very happy, and it meant I could give up my search for the T-shirt I saw on another fan and hopelessly coveted,  that said "Anybody but Farnsworth." But even after he was gone, I kept up my tradition of text-messaging Jersey Girl with "Farnsworth Sucks" during the 8th inning of every game. We have to keep our game rituals going, ya know.

• Surprise in St. Pete:  Ad-side's Jai Wallace and I added a quick trip to Florida enroute to our California group game at Anaheim. Took the aforementioned Shawna Childress and her hubby Robert (of Wave Software)  and LTN board member Cathy Paunov, for a terrific game in a stadium that is lot lot nicer than it looks on TV. Next day, joined FutureLawyer Rick Georges in the cowbell section -- awesome, but dangerous territory to be wearing Yankee logowear :) Talk about loud -- next time I'm bringing earplugs! Big fun! 

• Cash #3: On our Anaheim trip, the ad-side team was staying at the same hotel as the Yankees (I was at the Hilton) -- and while waiting for them to finish a vendor meeting,  I noticed that Brian Cashman was sitting alone at the next table. Normally, I don't approach celebrities, but I couldn't resist thanking him for being so kind to Michael, Barrie & Shawnna and for writing the note to me. We end up chatting for about 10 minutes, about the season, about Dougie M, etc. He was delightful. What a class act he is.

We had a great time in Anaheim, thanks to everybody who joined us for a super night! Unfortunately, my batteries died and they didn't sell any at the stadium, so no photo album :( 

Bakerblog_2 • The Final Week: It was Chicago, Chicago, Chicago: First, David Baker (right) and the Baker Robbins crowd, then my pal Ron Stevens, arrived from the Windy City. We saw Derek Jeter pass Lou Gehrig's record for the most hits in Yankee Stadium; every game had a delicious poignancy. And at Fenway, Moose finally got his elusive 20th win.

The actual last game was the best and the worst of the Yankees. I was furious, just absolutely furious, that they ignored Joe Torre.  It was inexcuseable that they did not honor his contributions. And don't even get me started about the poor planning -- on everything from concessions to the mess created when they failed to deliver on the promise that attendees could walk the warning track before the game.

But overall, despite the screwups, it was a sweet, memorable day, and I'm so glad I was there. Seeing Bernie Williams was wonderful, and I loved that it was Molina -- not A-Rod -- who got the final homerun. It's always the unexpected in baseball.

So congrats to the Rays. I would have loved to have rooted you on in the Trop, but I  turned down a very kind invite to the World Series because I was already committed to go to Phoenix to see my brother and niece (who both thought I was nuts for not changing my airline tickets to Tampa) play in the Men's Senior Baseball League World Series tournament in the Father/Son division. Kelly is the only daughter who plays, she was awesome. The Tri-Valley [California] Giants made it to the last round of the playoffs. Just like the Rays, they had a very good year, to quote Frank S. 

Oh yeah, technically I did attend a World Series -- On Saturday Oct. 25, my 9 a.m flight from Phoenix back to JFK was diverted twice due to the windy Nor'easter, first to Harrisburg to re-fuel, and then, and at about 10 p.m., to Philly. We flew over Citizen's Bank so low that we could see the Jumbotron and the players on the field. (Really smart U.S. Air -- pick a town to strand a full plane of travelers where there are no hotels and no rental cars because of the World Series -- but that's another story.)

O.K. boys, it's time for the future. Aura & Mystique, let's take that walk across the street.

P.S. This one's for Bobby Murcer.    A life truly well lived.

Photo credit: Rays, Mo: courtesy MLB.

November 2, 2008 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

BEISBOL PLACEHOLDER

Campers: Just a note to say that if I ever close the LTN October issue (we've had unbelieveable tech infrastructure problems, but I won't go there) I WILL be posting about the magical final fete at Yankee Stadium Sunday night.

Short version -- it was the best and the worst of the Stadium and the Yankees. Biggest faux pas --it is absolutely inexcuseable and unconscionable that there was no acknowledgement of Joe Torre. A complete disgrace. Shame on the organizers. The best will take a longer essay, but it's summed up in two words: Derek Jeter.

Who cares about Roger. He was toast once he threw Debbie (his wife) under the bus.

More later... it was truly wonderful, with that one big blemish.

M

September 23, 2008 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

SUNSHINE STATES OF MIND

Fla First stop, Tampa/St. Pete on a three-city sprint to visit some vendors, consultants, and board members -- and head to our final Group Game of the 2008 season next week in Anaheim.

My colleague Jai Wallace and I had the pleasure of spending time with LTN board member Cathy Paunov, and the First Couple of EDD (Shawnna and Robert Childress, she of Navigant Consulting and Women in E-Discovery, he of Wave Software). I was looking forward to hanging with Tim Nissen  from DocuLex but we had to settle for a nice long phone call when he had a last minute work emergency and couldn't join us at Tropicana Field.

The Childresses are two of the most enthusiastic people you could possibly meet. High school sweethearts, they now live outside of Orlando. Robert brought me up to speed on the latest adventures at Wave Software, and Shawnna gave me an update on the activites at Navigant and WIE, where she is is one of the leaders of the organization. We got into quite a spirited discussion of some of the issues that still face women -- and men -- who are trying to advance their careers in the e-discovery arena. One typical mistake that folks make is going to an interview without first Googling the company and doing due diligence in order to ace an interview.

Paunov still does her legal technology consulting and stays active within the ABA, but like an increasing number of Baby Boomers, she has started teaching. In her case, (and it's a fascinating but convoluted story), she now teaches social studies at Gaither High School -- which she obviously loves. She enthralled us with tails of her adventures in the school, which is located on the same highway as the Yankees' Legends Field (actually, now George Steinbrenner Field). She's a great storyteller -- no doubt the hallmark of a good teacher.

Monicaraysgame Last night, Rick Georges, St. Pete solo, blogger, and #1 Rays fan invited me up to his incredible seats in the upper deck just above the "L" in the Tropicana Field sign -- behind home plate. It was an enclave of season ticket holders, who tolerated my clothing (and occasional outbursts when A-Rod actually hit the ball). Rick has bought every baseball-related tech device known to man/womankind and faithfully scored the game on his PDA with amazing software. (See update below for the 411 about his tech). (He took the photo above.)

He is a hoot, and full of energy and a walking baseball encyclopedia. We stopped by the Trop's Ted Williams museum, which was fascinating, and walked around the very family-friendly facility. Call me crazy, but just like Minnesota's dome, and despite the lousy "grass" -- there is a certain charm to the two domes. I love all the illustrations on the wall, and the big blow-up cow (but I sure could live without the cowbells... they are truly migraine inducing).

It's fun to spend time with the Floridians -- they just exude the proverbial joy de vivre (am I spelling that right?) -- And what better way to catch up on their latest tech developments than at a ballgame, right? Oh yeah, the 3rd place Yanks won both games. :)

Next stop, SF Bay Area, then da Halos!

Update: Here's Rick's info about the Scorepad software:

Scorepad helps you score the game on a Palm smart phone. Later, the data syncs to the computer, and automatically prints out a complete score sheet, including box scores, pitch by pitch, spray charts, and score sheet. The best software, however, is MLBstats, also available at Scorepad, which automatically downloads the day's current stats on every player in the bigs. Technology, it can do anything. Of course, it is only available on the Palm OS. You can't do this on an iPhone.

September 4, 2008 in Baseball / Yankees, Climate Change: Katrina, Oil, etc. , Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A WONDERFUL TRADITION

Angie_2 What a fun evening last night (August 12) at the Dome in Mpls, for our SIXTH annual Twins/Yanks fest! Michael Medwig, Marnie Maroney & I hosted the event, which drew about 50 folks for a lively evening of beisbol and conversation!

We had a blast in section 222, with contingents from Thomson/Reuters/West, Kroll, Merrill, the EDD consultants gang, Teri "Jersey Girl" McCarron and her entourage, Amy Juers' Edge Legal Marketing crew, Dorsey, Parsinen Kaplan, et al. It was also delightful that LTN's former associate editor, Katie Montgomery and her mom could join us! What a great group.

Westies_3It was great opportunity to see everybody, chat about the latest developments, and see a great game, with so many ups and downs that the fans of both teams were happy. (The Yanks won, but only after the Twins' Delmond Young hit a home run off Mariano Rivera to take the game into extra innings).

Kroll_2Thanks to everybody for joining us for such a memorable evening! Thanks as always to the Twin's fabulous Luis Breazeale and Lisa Rasmussen for taking such very good care of us!

Here's a quick photo album.

August 13, 2008 in Baseball / Yankees, Conventions, Meetings, Live Programs, Distractions :), People, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT

Moallstars_3 YES, of course,
I stayed to the bitter end
— barely — my friend Teri had to leave at 11:15 to get the last train back to Jersey, but I hung in there with my new friends in section 8, row J.

What an amazing night! Just amazing. I am soooooooooo lucky that I got tickets, (long story, involving perseverance and a 15 minute TicketMaster screwup) -- and not just tickets, but GREAT seats half way up the Tier just to the left of home plate. I must have done something to please the karma gods recently.

• Can’t decide favorite moment:
• The opening ceremonies, with 49 of the living Hall of Fame members, including Yogi, Whitey, Goose — and four of my childhood idols from the SF Giants: the Willies (Mays & McCovey), Juan Marichal & Orlando Cepeda.
• Yogi, Whitey, Goose & Reggie throwing the ceremonial first pitch(es) to Joe G, Mo, Jeet & A-Rod.
• Mo coming in from the bullpen with 1 out in the 9th, to those wonderful opening notes of Metallica's Sandman. 
• The whole Sharks v. Jets thang. (Hey! I don't wear no steenking red.)
Booing Papelbum – and watching him screw up.

Amd_back • The entire stadium shouting "Mar-i-an-o"  and "Under-Rated" when Papelbum was pitching (In case you didn't read it, FishFace publicly said he should be closing the game).

• The Village People singing YMCA with the groundskeepers.

•  Tito (truly a classy guy) inviting Girardi to join him, and Girardi (ditto) insisting on sharing his manager's office with Tito.

• Girardi warming up Mo.   
• The Nike booth with the fabulous huge massive posters of Mo inscribed with our Yankees mantra, "We Stay For All Nine."
• The simple "Bobby 1946-2008"  sign on stadium. (We're going to miss you Bobby Murcer, very much), and the tribute to him during the game. 
• Bald Vinny and the Bleacher Creatures (who all stayed for all 15) doing roll call for Jeter, Pretty Boy — and Bobby Murcer.
• Hank.
• No Roger, no Bonds.
• The "Let's Go Yankees" chant when there were no Yankees on the field.
• Josh Groban getting booed because he was wearing a red shirt -- and and then giving everybody goosebumps with the most beautiful rendition of God Bless America I’ve ever heard.
JOSH HAMILTON!!!!!!!!!!! (Ooops, that's Monday night).
• We missed you, Bob Sheppard. Our thoughts are with you to come back soon.
• Booing Francona and Manny even tho we all secretly like them both. 
Cheering JD Drew  (never mind his laundry). He earned that MVP.
• Definitely not my favorite moment: Once again, weasel A-Rod showing his complete lack of class by departing the stadium after he was taken out of the game around the 5th. (I will restrain from repeating all the comments involving Madonna and early bed times.) 
• Jeter. ("We stay for all nine." Make that 15.)   
George crying. 
• Maalox Mo pitching 2 innings and as usual, getting out of a nailbiter jam.
• Did i say Mo?
• The 14th inning stretch.
• The great headlines in the Monday morning Post: “Late Late Show” and “Marlin has Uggly Night.”
• Joe Buck and not Jon Miller.
• All the reruns of Yankees highlights, showing my all-time favorite Yankees moment, the Aaron Boone homerun.
• Like too many Yankees game, the inability to get someone across home plate with no outs and the bases loaded.
• David Baker of my LTN edit board text messaging me with every batter.
• Aura & Mystique and the ghosts of Babe, Mick, Lou, Maris, et al, finally arriving at about 1:30 a.m. so we could finally go home.
Thank you Mr. Young and Mr. Morneau (but you really shoulda handed that Monday night trophy right over to Josh.)
• Finally hearing Frank at 1:37.
• A seat on the subway at 2 a.m.

All_nine_6

Images courtesy of Yankees, Daily News,  and Nike. Click to enlarge.

July 17, 2008 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A PERFECT DAY

Wrigley_2 Huge thank yous to LTN edit board members Andy Jurczyk of Sonnenschein, and to David Baker of Baker Robbins Co., for conspiring to grant me a perfect beisbol day, as part of a trip to Chicago this week.

It was a very rare day/night Chicago/NY doubleheader at Wrigley (Mets) and the Cell (Yanks). Last time that happened was 1980. Too kewl for word -- but here's The NY Times coverage (and their photo, right, actually, a Getty photo.)

Tuesday was one of those holy grail travel days where the stars absolutely aligned -- I got a NYC cab in 2 minutes, there were no lines at LGA, I got right out on an earlier standby flight, with an upgrade. Time from alarm clock to seat 2B: 54 minutes.

Bakerblog_2I bought a $5 CTA day pass so I could shuttle from O'Hare to the hotel and between the parks. The Palmer House (1 block from the El) gave me an upgrade to an outrageous art deco suite (why is it you only get realllllly great upgrades when you will be awake in the room for less than one hour --but I'm not complaining).

The weather was flat-out awesome all day, warm with a hint of humidity. And the Yankees won a great slugfest -- with home runs and grand slams flying outta the stadium. Fabulous seats in both parks. Great conversation. Lousy hot dogs. Even a black cat running across the Yankees' dugout could not jinx this day.

In fact, it was perfection. A perfect day. Thank you, thank you, beisbol gods. Thank you David and Andy. Life is good.

P.S. Check out Baker at this year's Arizona Fantasy camp! (above)

April 24, 2008 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

IT'S JIMMY HOFFA'S FAULT

YankeesWhy I love the Yankees #5,461: 

A Boston Red Sox fan sneaks his way onto the new Yankee Stadium construction site, and buries an Ortiz shirt in concrete in the visitor's clubhouse construction, to doom da Bombers.

What happens? Ortiz goes into the worst slump of his career. Moral: NEVER taunt the Karma godz!!!!!

No worries. The Steinbrenner boys ain't stupid. We know about curses. We ain't gonna let no steeeenking Red Sox jersey be buried in OUR new stadium! Whaz a little extra moolah to get it out? Priorities are priorities, and we take no chances with curses.

Ortizjersey BUT THEN.... when the Yankees crew finds it, class act that it is, the team GIVES IT TO THE RED SOX to be auctioned off for the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancert Institute.  the Red Sox's charity for children's cancer research. The winner will get the buried shirt, a brand new Ortiz authentic jersey, a Yankees Universe T-shirt, and two tickets to a TBD Red Sox game (hopefully against the Yankees), where the booty will be presented.

It's on eBay and as of 3:35 today, has a current bid of $36,200. (to bid, you must be pre-approved). This is FOR REAL folks.

OK, Ortiz, I hereby declare your curse is over. Your shirt is outta our stadium. It's OK now. But granted, we'll still all just be a lot happier if you hit all those homeruns when you are playing other teams.

"When it comes to cancer, we're all on the same team," said Mike Andrews, chair of the Jimmy Fund.

BTW, Yankee fans, all proceeds from Yankees Universe T-shirts benefit NYC's Sloan-Kettering  efforts to fight cancer. To buy one, visit here. BTW: I will send $10* to the Jimmy Fund for any Red Sox fan who buys a Yankees Universe T-shirt and sends me a picture proving that he or she has worn it in public. (*Up to $300).
 

Read all about it in The New York Times here, here, here.

Papalhat P.S. Ain't it just amazing how clever people can be, especially if there is cash to be made? Check out the latest Yankees hats, courtesy of Guzilla on Flicker. (In case you've been living on Mars, Pope Benedict XVI will say mass at our Cathedral Sunday). Click to enlarge so you can see the pinstripes.

Life is good.

Update: Wow. I exorcise the curse Friday afternoon and Friday night Ortiz hits a grand slam. Hmmmmmmm. ;)

Update #2: Jobst Elster alerts us that that the auction has now closed and that it generated a top bid of $175K for the Jimmy Fund. Terrific!!

April 18, 2008 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

IT'S NOT A GANG, IT'S A CLUB

Beisbol YEAH, yeah yeah, I know the Sox took the first series. Lousy pitching all around last night. (Sorry about Ortiz --- NOT). That's just the first 3 o' 18, and the Yanks always suck in April. Nuttin' to worry 'bout.

Meanwhile, my colleague Geof Smith, editor of Law Firm Inc., gave me a terrific magazine, Forbes' SportsMoney: Baseball (available until June 23). It's flat out awesome, edited by Michael Ozanian, and I read it cover-to-cover on my flights home from Minnesota last week. Terrific analysis of the business of sports, with articles analyzing everything from TV and radio franchises, MLB team valuations, women in baseball (including the Yankees' Jean Afterman, a fellow University of San Francisco Law School alum) and more.

But my favorite article was an analysis of the Sox/NYY rivalries, as they develop their global brands, by Monte Burke, and a great line: "If the Yankees were a corporation, they would be Microsoft. The Red Sox would be Apple."

So true!

April 14, 2008 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MAILBOX #041308

Checkin' the inbox after my Twin Cities trip:
 
Barcamp * Peter Buck, the ever-hip San Francisco-based "chief technical architect" at Baker Robbins & Co., wants to give you a heads up if you are planning to attend Interwoven's upcoming Gear UP 2008 conference later this month. He's inviting you to participate in a one hour Interwoven/BRCO "Mini Bar Camp" Thursday April 24, from 9:30-10:30 am PST. (It's limited to folks planning to attend Gear Up 2008.)

I'm new to this whole BarCamp concept but here's wikipedia's explanation.

Buck and Neil Araujo will serve as session leaders and they'll screen the topics and choose five attendee leaders to lead discussions. Confused? E-mail Buck, who, btw, is the author of a terrific article in the next issue of LTN, about wikis. (I'll add a  link when the issues goes live.)


* Bruce Marcus is upset about an add that appeared in The Wall Street Journal.

* Bruce MacEwen  reviews Altman Weil's Legal Transformation Study, released late last month. Four possible scenarios for delivery of legal services between now and 2020 are outlined, including:

Blue-Chip Mega-Mania: A model that emphasizes the global consolidation of legal service providers and the dominance of giant law firms with vast global presence and offerings spanning all legal areas.

-Expertopia: A scenario that envisions the increasing complexity of the law and challenges of corporations operating in multiple environments worldwide, thereby placing a premium on specialization and expert-driven cultures at legal services organizations.

E-Marketplace: A model built on the premise that technology will be a catalyst, but not the core, for an industry transformation in which an array of Web-based technologies will make information more available and expert judgment more valuable.

Techno-Law: A scenario that contemplates rising corporate investment in automation capabilities throughout the legal services industry, leaving only the high-end services to be delivered by legal professionals and potentially requiring a complete reconstruction of the traditional business models in the legal services industry.

Disclosure: ALM has just bought Altman Weil Publications.

* Stuart Brodsky checks in to let us know he's left his spot as National Program Manager, Commercial Properties, for the EPA's Energy Star program:

Anna Stark at the EPA will be continuing to coordinate outreach to you and your peers. To smooth her transition, we are requesting that any questions you would have for me be forwarded to Sandra Khananusit ([email protected]) at ICFI International. ICF will review your inquiry and identify if it should be immediately addressed by EPA, or managed by one of the many consulting support team members who have gotten to know many of you so well over the years.

I'll update you when Stuart lets us know his next gig.

Fox * "Ed Post" of BlawgReview, with a hat tip to Kevin O'Keefe, spotted this breaking news about the Yankees and NY's Belluck & Fox law firm. :) Check out the firm's URL: www.homerunlegal.com. (They do mesothelioma and other PI cases).

April 13, 2008 in Baseball / Yankees, Green Law, Law Firm Management, Marketing, People, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WHY I LOVE MINNESOTA #2,547

Twinspark_2 Sure, it takes a certain kind of person to live in a state where there's two kind of weather: winter, and August, and neither are good for baseball. But why should that stop the Twin Cities from building a new ballpark -- WITHOUT A ROOF??? (Hey, the Yankees' new stadium doesn't have a roof either, but we don't routinely have 20 below Aprils, and our state bird isn't the mosquito).

Hey! The seats will have heaters. Hey! Whaz a leetle snow? The whole Minnesota Tough thang can be summed up by this report of Saturday's frigid game, from the St. Paul Pioneer Press: (Yeah, yeah, I SEE that the game was played in Kansas, but the point's still the same:)

Minnesota Twins Freeze Out Royals

By Phil Miller

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Darn right the Twins' new ballpark isn't going to have a roof on it. If they keep rolling like this, the Twins might decide to schedule a few games in January, too.

Playing in freezing weather for the third consecutive game, Minnesota's abominable snowmen made their constituency of ice fishermen and snowmobilers proud, functioning just fine in the Arctic air. While Twins starter Boof Bonser and the bullpen froze Kansas City's bats, the Twins managed two runs and won 2-0, their third straight victory at Kauffman Stadium.

"It was tough to feel my fingers. Unbelievable," Bonser said after securing his first win of the season — and first-ever in April. "I don't know how it got done, but it did."

after securing his first win of the season — and first-ever in April. "I don't know how it got done, but it did."

Bonser used his standard mixture of sinkers and curves, along with plenty of control, and dared the Royals to risk their frozen hands on his bat-breaking fastball. Bonser didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning, and gave up just three singles in six innings. Matt Guerrier, Pat Neshek and Joe Nathan were just as successful, extending Minnesota's shutout streak against the Royals to 20 consecutive innings.

"Hitting's not the best in weather like this," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's tough to put the cold out of your mind."

Tough for the Royals, maybe. The Twins have done it pretty well. Since the baseball weather turned Minnesota-like, the team from the north has thrived, outscoring the opposition 19-5.

Sure, only two of thoseruns came Saturday — one on Jason Kubel's fly ball that curled around the right-field foul pole for his third home run — but that might have had as much to do with K.C. starting pitcher Brett Tomko, who beat the Twins in the Metrodome a week earlier. Besides, two runs was plenty.

"Boof made it stand up," Gardenhire said. "He was fantastic."

Kansas City, which finished with five hits, all singles, threatened only once, when a rare Bonser walk and an error by shortstop Matt Tolbert put runners at the corner with two outs in the third inning.

But the Twins' right-hander, now 1-2, fooled Mark Teahen with a sinker, and the Royals never pushed another runner to third base, making a winner — after two decent, but unsuccessful, starts — of Bonser.

Last season, the 26-year-old right-hander didn't win a game until his eighth start, on May 13, so "this one was the best," he said. "I got the hard one out of the way."

And make no mistake, it really was hard. Light snow fell in Kansas City throughout the day, and while it ended by game time, the temperature was 41 degrees at first pitch — and falling.

"You just try not to think about how cold it is out there. You just have to block it out," Bonser said.

His night would have been a little longer if the temperature had been higher, but when the Twins sent seven men to the plate in the seventh — and left the bases loaded — Gardenhire decided Bonser had sat too long in the cold, and summoned the bullpen.

The rest of the Twins had to keep fighting the weather.

"It's pretty difficult," said Denard Span, who drove in an insurance run with a solid single to center in the seventh inning. "It's hard to get your hands warm, and it makes your hands slower."

That wasn't a problem for Kubel, who this season has half of the Twins' six home runs — Justin Morneau hit the other three. Tomko tried a formula on Kubel that had worked on Mauer and Morneau earlier in the game: get ahead in the count, then come inside for the putout.

"Kube didn't let him in there," Gardenhire said. "He was able to get the bat head through the zone quick."

It produced a high fly ball to right that headed for the corner and appeared headed for foul ground. But it stayed fair just long enough to get past the pole, providing all the offense Bonser needed.

Joe Nathan pitched the ninth to earn his fourth save of the season (but first in a week). It was his 28th career save against the Royals, more than against any other team.

April 13, 2008 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

IT'S SPRING... FINALLY!

What a wonderful break from New York's winter weather... Five days in Tampa, with the good company of some of our legal tech denizens in Rays-ville. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's no longer the toothy, gritty DEVIL Rays, it's just plain bland Rays. Somebody ought to fire THAT marketer...)

Ssb3_2Sunday, it was a road trip to the land o' the Pirates, in Brandenton - about an hour south of Tampa, over spectacular blue waters and a 5.5 mile gorgeous bridge, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which is very aptly named.  (Here's the NY Times architecture review).  According to wikipedia, it's the world's longest bridge with a cable-stayed main span. (Photo courtesy of Bridgeworld.net).

Fieldsmall_2Anyway, trusty Garmin "Jill" kinda tilted once we got to Brandenton. She (nuvi 200) is good, but not perfect, and kept insisting on sending us to an area of town decidedly more devoted to chihuaha dogs and beer than to beisbol. It was an interesting scenic tour, but we quickly defaulted to the tried-and-true "ask a gas station dude" method, and with his directions, finally found the charming McKechnie Field at 1611 9th street WEST (not east, as Jill insisted on sending us).

Anyway -- the "we" in this case being the intrepid Teri "Jersey Girl" McCarron (of Minnesota's McCarron Advanced Computing Services Inc.) and her boyfriend Teddy Lindgren, who shows great bravery going out in public with us when Teri and I are bedecked in Yankees-wear.

Beersmall We absolutely loved McKenchnie Field. Alan Byrd sums it up in his Florida Spring Training guidebook: 'Everything seems to be a little better here than at most Spring Training sites. The grass is greener, the people friendlier, the stadium prettier and the atmospher livelier." He says it's because just about everybody at the facility is a volunteer -- and baseball and the Pirates "are woven into the fabric of the town." The local boosters raised the bucks to renovate the stadium, and they run it. It's beyond charming.

Teriparrotsmalljpg_2Teri is so enthusiastic, she makes me look like a wall flower, and she soon was engaged to the Parrott, or was it Mike the Super Beer man (above)? Who knows! But EVERYBODY has fun when Teri's at a game. Even Doug Mientkiewicz waved at us from right field -- and then after the game, shook Jersey Girl's hand and signed my cap after we urged him to come back to the Bronx. (Cashman was with him and grinned at our suggestion).

Lineupsmall It was a balmy, wonderful afternoon, and the perfect way to spend an Easter Sunday. Who cares that just about none of the superstars players were on the lineup card, and the boys lost, it was a complete hoot.

Hudson Monday, it was back to Legends Field, for a chilly night game that was a slug-fest win for the Yanks. Joining ALM's Mike Medwig (left) et moi was Denise Malivuk, (right) marketing manager, and her colleague Tracey McSheffrey, (middle) of Hudson Legal. Two delightful women, they updated us on the activities of their international company (with operations in the U.S., Europe and Asia). Hudson places attorneys, paralegals and legal support professionals, in both permanent and temp posts. It targets both corporate law departments and outside counsel -- and has been particularly active in the emerging area of e-discovery, specializing in large-scale lit matters, antitrust reviews, goverment investigations, and other matters that are document intensive.

Denise and I had a fascinating conversation about how EDD is changing the career terrain, especially for lit support folks. (I'll be speaking on that topic next month at ALM's Paralegal conference in NYC).

Doculexsmall Tuesday, we wrapped up our 2008 adventure with a trip to Winter Haven, to Cleveland turf (although they probably are moving to Arizona next year) at the Chain of Lakes Park complex - about 70 minutes east of Tampa. Another charming stadium, (although we won't talk about how poorly organized and congested the parking situation was).

It was terrific to spend time with David Bailey, president of DocuLex (right) and Tim Nissen (left) the company's marketing czar. The company recently sold its Discovery Cracker product to CT (to the CT Summation unit), and has decided to focus on document management as its "core competency." We had a great time learning about its operation, until it was time to head back west. Oh yeah, they lost.

Mmsmall Now it's time to head north -- with my newly-autographed hat (The Parrott, the beerman, the bullpen catcher, and Dougie, who we want back in the Bronx), new and renewed friendships  -- and just a hint of a sunburn. Spring Training has been great, but now it's time for the games that count.

Monday! Opening Day! Whoopeeee! Let's go YANKEES.

As always, click on images to enlarge. Photo album here.

March 25, 2008 in Baseball / Yankees, Distractions :), People, Technology, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

DRIZZLED OUT IN TAMPA

I won't even begin to bore you about how difficult it was to fly on Thursday. Two words: Spring Break (for every child in America.) Two more words: Easter weekend. Two more words: Winds & LaGuardia. One word: Delays. Two words: Tight connections. Opps. You're bored. Moving right along!

Rick08_2Friday night was perfect beisbol weather, and it was fun to defrost in Tampa on a balmy warm night -- with a Yankees 2-run 8th inning rally to breakup a scoreless encounter with a very impressive Tampa Bay Rays team. This may be the year the Rays aren't in the cellar all season!

But a cold front came in Saturday morning, and with it some insistent drizzle -- Rick Georges and I were disappointed when the Toronto/ Yanks game was called in the second inning, so we moved to drier quarters to continue our conversation over lunch. Rick, a St. Petersburg solo, is the author of the FutureLawyer blog, which he is extremely devoted to -- in fact, he posts several times a day (something that is breathtaking in and of itself). A morning person, he gets up around 5:30 a.m., before his family is awake, and spends about three hours scouting out the latest gadgets, tools, commentaries, etc., he told me.

His blog, which is featured on the Law.com Blog Network, is always unpredictable: in the last few days he has written about a Microsoft Vista Service Pack 1, Palm Addicts Phone Favs, How to Stay Happily Married, the dangers of BigFirm lifestyles, and about Novell fighting Microsoft over WordPerfect. He even wrote a post about how his Bluetooth headset survived being chewed on by his dog.

Georges' blog has been featured as Typepad's Featured Blog, and he just co-authored the cover story on The ABA Journal, taking the PC side of a Mac v. PC shootout. He's a true character, as anyone would guess from perusing his blog. It was a great afternoon.

Click on the photo to enlarge.

March 22, 2008 in Baseball / Yankees, People, Technology, Travel, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

HIGH TECH HOLIDAZE

36659798 Call it green, call it inexpensive, call it creative, but I just LOVE getting (and sending) holiday e-cards. And it's a hoot to see how the technology is getting so sophisticated that you can even personalize the cards.

I just sent a batch out from Hallmark.com (inspired by Ross Kodner's hysterical Thanksgiving card, which is no longer on the website -- an ode to mashed potatoes), and I've long been a fan of www.pacprod.com's goofy options, that allow you to construct cards with various elements including music.

Several firms, including MoFo, are using e-cards to announce not just holiday wishes but charitable donations, including Loeb & Loeb, and Sonnenschein.   Most (Arnold & Porter) even permit individual notes within the card itself, or as an intro or end-note!

My law school, the University of San Francisco, really went all out with a slide show with music that made me a bit homesick, its exact intent.

Even beisbol gets in on it. The Yankees sent out an absolutely wonderful one a year or two ago, with NYY "snowflakes" covering Yankee Stadium's field. Here's this year's version (be sure to disable your pop-up blocker).  Almost as nice is the lyrical message from the Orioles.

Send/get a favorite? Send me the link and I'll post 'em.

I'm heading out.... back to Kauai (Hey, I need 9,000 miles to stay in Premier Exec!),  so Melekalikimaka to you! Stay warm, stay healthy, enjoy companionship and solitude, noise and quiet, and don't forget to eat some peppermint ice cream.

P.S. I can't leave you without sharing this "ad" for Stanford University. (Hat tip to brother Bill).

Update: Everybody's ga ga about Office Max's Elf Yourself, including the gang at Legal Talk Network and the Three Musketeers (aka, Bruce Dorner, Dan Coolidge & Ross Kodner. United's Mileage Plus offers an elegant ad card, here.  Here's eSentio Technologies' card.


 

December 17, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, Good Works, Green Law, Technology | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

E-WEEK'S TECH ADVICE FOR JOE GIRARDI

01425i19356200 Tee Hee! This one's a day brightener: e-Week has put together this nifty slide show to help Joe Girardi, the new manager of the NYY, effectively use technology in his new gig. Enjoy, and YES, of course, it's applicable to YOUR organization. :)

November 1, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WHAT I LEARNED FROM JOE TORRE

Before I moved to New York, I had no interest in spectator sports. I thought sports events were just an excuse to drink a lot of alcohol, and blow off some steam with friends, in a venue where you were certain to be either freezing or fried. I still hate football and boxing (I don't enjoy watching people make orthopedic surgeons and neurologists rich, via testosterone-fueled primal shoving/slugging matches).

Yes, I read Betty Harragan's astounding book, Games Your Mother Never Taught You. And despite being a klutz, I always managed to get on the B team for each season's sport at Notre Dame Belmont high school. So I "got" the "There's no 'I' in Team" propaganda.

But I didn't understand the real power of sports, and specifically baseball, until I arrived in New York in 1998. And it's because of Joe Torre that I now understand why baseball is so important. How it is a social glue, a lubricant, a steam vent, a unifier, a common denominator, how it is flat-out primal fun. And how it teaches life lessons.

Yeah, yeah. I'm late to the party. But until I became a New York Yankees fan I just didn't get beyond the bland pablum happy talk and Kevin Costner-isms.  

Now I get it. Over the last decade, I've come to see the nuances in all the metaphors. And to understand that those life lessons aren't just clichés. Joe Torre and the Yankees taught me about -- yes -- the role of teamwork as well as individual accomplishments. About business. About success. About failure. About diversity. About hard work. About seredipity and superstition. About rally squirrels and monkeys. About second, and third chances. About not taking "no" for an answer. About accepting things that are out of your control. About free agency. About friendship. About bonds. (And Bonds.) About patience. About bad luck. About hope. About lucky streaks and slumps. About never giving up. About 2 down, 2 outs, 2 strikes, bottom of the 9th wins. About heartbreaking 13th inning losses. About 13 runs in an inning. About Aura & Mystique. About grace. About bullies. About loud and quiet. About today. About the Big Show. About being mired in the minors. About improbability. About getting the 27th out. About never forgetting to praise your competitors, especially when you win. About "We just need to win today's game." About generosity. About humility. About courage. About family. About magic. About "we." About dignity. 

Itsover400 Thank you, Joe Torre, for showing us a road map, an owner's manual, to this life. I've had many remarkable teachers, but none stronger than you. You have stood up to bullies, small and looming, at home and at work. You have inspired quietly, chastized in a whisper, you say just the right thing at just the right time. You correctly assess who needs a push and who needs a pat. You are a true leader. As good ol' Dr. Phil says, "We teach people how to treat us." Boy did you teach yesterday.

You showed all of us how to pick our battles, stand tall, and quietly demand respect. You walk away with class and dignity.

I'm sure it's not the last lesson we'll learn from you. But thank you.

Photo: The New York Times slide show

Update: A petition drive is happening. Sign it here to keep Joe.

October 19, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, People | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

INDULGE ME ...

21729635... with one more quick baseball post, but Richard Sandomir of The New York Times hit a huge double this week, with two terrific articles about the media coverage of the division series.

• First, this spot-on report, "Error-Plagued Game, but from the Broadcast Booth," about the phenomenally sloppy "journalism" from TBS.
I wanted to throw things at the TV with all the flat-out errors the commentators were making. Don't they have researchers?

• Secondly, a very thoughtful piece, "Yes, There is Crying in Baseball (and it's O.K.)" about Suzyn Waldmann's reporting when the Yankees tanked, and Joe's job was obviously on the line.

I became an instant fan of Sandomir's last Spring for his tireless coverage of the MLB Extra Innings cable/satellite brouhaha, and I personally credit him (and cringe, John Kerry) for salvaging baseball fans' ability to watch out-of-market games on cable, squalshing the DirecTV exclusive deal.

October 11, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2007: FINAL REPORT

S3 What headline to use? Indian Summer? The Year of the Squirrel? The Plague of the Gnats?

What it feels like, the most, is the reassuring words oft-repeated during the season by Yankees commentators: "Baseball is a game of failure." Yes, reassuring. After all, consider that a reallllly good batting average is .300 -- that means you fail seven out of ten times.

Success in baseball, as in life, requires failure. It's overcoming challenges that makes you strong.

I don't need to remind Yankees fans that on May 29, we were 14.5 games back, in the cellar, having lost 13 of the last 18 games. And that after the All-Star break, the Yankees were the hottest team in baseball, coming within 1 game of Boston, ultimately ending the season just 2 games back, grabbing the Wild Card slot. That's not failure.

But it still hurts, especially with Steinbrenner emerging from his fog long enough to threaten Joe Torre's job if they didn't win the ALDS. Sure, he no doubt meant to fire up the team, but his bully tactics are just that. Bully tactics. With no backbone.

The Steinbrenner family should be begging Joe to stay on at least one more year -- if they want to keep Mariano, Jorge, Pettitte and A-Rod. And let's be real, the kids are GREAT, but we NEED those four. Don't humiliate the best manager in baseball, who has brought class, honor, and prestige to this team. Let it be Joe's call when he wants to step down. There's no one better.

Now onto some highlights of this wild 2007 ride:

Jgaalemonade_1 • March: My first visit to Tampa for Spring Training. In complete serendipity, it turned out that Teri "Jersey Girl" McCarron had bought tickets for the same weekend I did, so we decided to go together, and had a fantastic time. I spent time with denizens of the LTN community, including  Rick Georges and Cathy Paunov, and Andy Adkins — and I had fresh grapefruit juice right off a tree. (JG and Andy, left.) A good way to start the season!

Ph_puppet_175x126 • April: Can you say frigid??? Opening day was a Yanks win, but the first weeks required lots of hot chocolate. I attended a night game in my head-to-toe down parka, with jeans, boots, hats, gloves and I still had to buy a fleece blanket to stay warm! Things were better at the Dome in Minneapolis, where we held our fourth annual Twins/Yanks group game on April 10. All 50 of us enjoyed the warm venue, and a great game (the only time ever the Yankees have won during one of our group adventures). Here's a photo album. We won 1 of 6 games against Boston.
We swept 3 from Cleveland.

J1 • May: Seattle! True to form, the Yankees lost a slugfest -- making our 50 guests very happy -- at the fabulous Safeco Field. But what fun! (Electronic Evidence Discovery's Mary Hunt, left, with Jaelene Price). A terrific trip, and a chance to meet up with so many of the key vendors up in the Northwest! Photos here.

Bakersmall • June: What a month! First, Chicago, where I got to see both Wrigley and U.S. Cellular for the first time. With the fabulous David Baker, of Baker Robbins & Co., I watched the Yanks lose. But surprise, surprise, they won the rest of the four-game series, hinting at better things to come. In interleague play, they swept Arizona, took the Mets series, but were whalloped by Colorado. (A foreshadow of things to come).

The highlight of my season was the Yankees/SF Giants series, where for the first time since the 1962 World Series, the Yankees played San Francisco (my longtime home). I was 13 in 1962, and that year, I was a baseball fan. Dad would take us to Candlestick to see the Willies, Orlando Cepeda, et al. The Yankees won the '62 World Series, barely, in a tight matchup. It came down to the 27th out of the 7th game.

On June 24, 2007, the two World Series teams were honored, and my childhood icons took the field again -- Willies McCovey & Mays, Cepeda, Jim Davenport, Gaylord Perry, Juan Marichal, the Alou brothers. During the ceremony, Willie Mays took off his jersey (which he had autographed) and handed it to Joe Torre. I'm sure everybody around me was puzzled at why the woman dressed head to toe in Yankees gear was screaming in delight with each announced name. The Yankees lost the game, (and the series), but it was O.K.

Atamaralowrez_2 • July: Things begin to turn around for Joe & the boys. We take three outta four in a Toronto series, six outta seven Tampa Bay games, and three outta four against Kansas. Meanwhile, I get to finally see the fabulous Pittsburgh Pirates' stadium, with the wonderful company of Tamara Bigford, after delivering the keynote address at the first Technology Institute of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.

• August: To quote Cole Porter, "it's too damned hot." We won't talk about how I broke my fifth metatarsal bone in my right foot, and not realizing it, ran around Yankee Stadium on August 2, with my pal Ron Stevens. It was so hot I traded my realllllly good Tier Box MVP seats ($55 each) for $5 seats wayyyyy up in row T -- but in the shade. The White Sox smashed eight runs in the second inning, and we answered back with another eight in the bottom of the frame (a MLB record) but still managed to lose it. The foot's healing just fine.

Everybody was on A-Rod watch that weekend, and I was ALMOST in the Stadium on August 4 when he hit that #500 HR, setting the MLB record as the youngest player to join the 500 club. I was  literally just outside the stadium, driving on the Deegan back to NYC, listening to John Sterling and Suzanne Waldman on WCBS.

Joba Chamberlain sizzled in his debut with a lights-out eighth inning on August 13, instantaneously winning the hearts of Yankee fans and T-shirt vendors. Mo blew a save, but Jeter saved the day.

Holycowjpg1_2In the early morning of the 14th, we lost Scooter. Phil Rizzuto was 89, and absolutely beloved, as much for his wacky "Holy Cow!" broadcasting skills as for his talent on field. 

Shortly thereafter, the Rally Squirrel, immediately named Scooter, makes his first appearance at the left foul pole. (See here and here). He would show up four times, and the Yankees always win when he made an appearance.

Oh yeah: We swept Cleveland, three-zip.

• September: We inch closer and closer to Boston. My mom declares herself converted. She flies to NY to see her newly-adopted team play at the Stadium. Unfortunately, the Yanks' latest winning streak comes to a crashing end, but she is not deterred. 

We take the Boston series, with an electric opener where we beat up on Papelbon in a 4 hour and 43-minute game on Sept. 14.

On the 19th, Pettitte gets his 200th win, and we are 1.5 games behind Boston.

Friday, Sept. 21, against Toronto, was ultimately a heartbreaker, but a real thriller.  Down four-zip, with 2 outs and 2 strikes in the bottom of the ninth, we tie it up with four runs. Unfortunately, this year we just couldn't seem to close out the come-from-behinds, and lost it when Gregg Zaun homered in the 14th. The next day, we win 12-11 in a 5+ hour game that used 10 pitchers and generated 23 runs and 35 hits. On Wednesday, Sept. 26  (mom's birthday), we clinch the wild card spot. 

Closed out the regular season with my final road trip, the annual jaunt to Camden — where my colleague Jai Wallace and I met with folks in D.C. and Baltimore, and joined Steve Behrendt, (StarLaw) Malke Kramer (Venable), David Horrigan (Magazine Publishers Assn.) and Yvonne Dornic (eSentio Technologies) for games. Friday night's game was yet another heartbreaker, as Baltimore took a come-from-behind win, securing Boston's spot as division champ. But we weren't too keen to face Anaheim in round 1 anyway -- so it was fine.

Mayfly • October: We knew we'd have trouble with CC Sabathia and Carmona, but gnats? BUGS???? Canadian soldiers, aka Mayflies. UGH. Shame on the umpires. They should have delayed that game until the bugs subsided. A very painful and undeserved 2-1 loss. Inexcusable, umps.

Off But ultimately — we didn't get swept by Cleveland. We had one glorious, exhilarating Sunday night at the Cathedral. Phil Hughes was brilliant, Johnny how-we-love-you Damon got us ahead with a three-run homer, and Cano blew it open. The ramps and walls of Yankee Stadium vibrated with 55,000 ecstatic people singing "New York, New York," as we left the building, with hope in our hearts.   

And those walls will reverberate again — next year. With Joe, please.

October 9, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

MAAAAALOX MON

Off_3 I'm a bundle of nerves, with no voice, after last night's wonderful Yankees win. All these Cs loom before us: Cleveland tonight; CC Wednesday if we can get past tonight with Chien-Ming's help; then, you know it will be Colorado. They are sizzling sharper than the '03 Marlins.

S3_2 Who, who, who, woulda thought BUGS --- GNATS -- would humble Joba, the Warrior. But no worries, I've got my OFF and the lucky Squirrel hat.

Let me turn to the in-box for a little distraction:

• Fred Lederer reports that The Center for Legal and Court Technology has joined forces with the American Foundation for the Blind Consulting Group, to help eliminate the barriers between people with disabilities and the nation's state and federal courts. They have launched the Accessible Courts Initiative, a partnership "aimed at getting government agencies, law firms, law schools, judges, lawyers and other members of the legal profession to make use of appropriate access technology in the courts, in addition to making their websites and other services available to people with disabilities." 411 here.

• Don Hutchenson wants you to know about The Complete Lawyer's Weblog Directory, "an annotated listing of weblogs whose mission or content corresponds to TCL's editorial scope." TCL covers professionalism, quality of life, and career topics.

• Rick Wolf, of Lexakos, tips us off to a very interesting article in CondeNast's Portfolio.com, "Nobody Loves a Lawyer."  He's quoted in the article, which delves into billing issues, among other topics.

O.K., I'm off to the Cathedral. Do it for Joe, boys!

October 8, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, Good Works, People, Technology, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

LUCKY 13

13use_2Whoopeeee!!!! They did it!
Thirteen consecutive post-season romps for the New York Yankees! Aided, so very much, by no-doubt MVP Alex (13) Rodriguez

Here's to all the "J"s: Joe (6), Jeet (2), Jorge (20), Joba (62), Johnny (18), Jason (25), Jeff (58), Joses (51)(26), Juan (52) ...

and all the other 31 members of the roster -- plus HUGE HUGE Kudos to Brian Cashman -- you were right, Brian. Thanks, George, for stickin' with the leaders thru thick and very thin, and for the delightful infusion of youth. We wouldn't be here without Melky (28), Cano (24) Shelly (17) Chien-Ming (40), Joba (62), Kennedy (36) or Hughes (61). And of course, it took the veterans to  lead: Clemens (22), Pettitte (46), Georgie (20), Moose (35), Bobby (53), Johnny (18), Dougie (11), Hideki (55) and of course, always, Mo (42).

And thank you to DL'd Andy Phillips (12) and departed Miguel Cairo (Cardinals 3) and Mike Myers (White Sox 36) who were so a part of it all.

Now, on to October!!!!!  Please bring back lucky #27.

Hat tip to Richard Georges for St. Pete story

September 27, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

ARCHITECTURE!

Fountain2After work, time for a little exploring. It was my first visit to this charming city, and even though it was a brief trip, it definitely won't be my last. Today, the weather was perfect -- no humidity and the '70s -- and the downtown sparkled. The conference hotel, the Omni William Penn, is full of incredible architectural details, and the entire area tempts to you to stop everything and put on your walking shoes. Across the street, I was mesmerized by an amazing city garden with a mini-Stonehedge circle of granite. (I couldn't for the life of me find the URL for it, but I will ask tomorrow.)

Ppg The city's architects over the years seem to have a shared sense of humor. Case in point, the dramatic, modern glass-dominated PPG Place high-rise complex -- complete with witty, Tudor-esque top detail. (NYC's iconic Phillip Johnson was involved with the design.) (Photo courtesy of PPG Place.)

It's also a city of many bridges - in fact, 1,945-- and its nickname is the City of Bridges. One of those bridges, the Roberto Clemente Bridge, leads to PNC Park, where Tamara Bigford, left below, joined me for the Pirates v. Astros game. Bigford is technology coordinator for the National Federation of Paralegals Associates, and served on the new Tech Institute Speakers Committee. She works at Goldberg Segalia, a Buffalo, New York-based insurance defense firm.

Atamaralowrez_2

While we both enjoyed the game, we were even more enthralled with the stadium itself, which takes advantage of a wonderful location on the edge of the Allegheny River. Let me turn the mic over to the Pirates:

Bridgelowrez"This riverfront facility takes advantage of scenic vistas of the downtown skyline and riverfront, as well as pedestrian and riverboat access, creating an exciting and dramatic urban sports venue. On game days, the [Clemente] bridge is closed off to vehicular traffic and spectators are met by a dynamic retail/restaurant and sports pavilion. ...The facility was designed by Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum (HOK), Inc. ...It is the first ballpark with a two-deck design to be built in the U.S. since Milwaukee's County Stadium was completed in 1953. Because of its intimate design, the highest seat is just 88 feet from the field."

Yes, I'm definitely coming back. Especially because I just read that Frank Lloyd Wright's marvelous Falling Water is in the 'hood.

July 21, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, People, Technology, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN

Yanks62_3The last time the New York Yankees faced the San Francisco Giants was in 1962, and I vividly remember sitting in my dad's black T-bird when Lon Simmons and Russ Hodges screamed "The Giants win the Pennant!" after a three-game playoff against the Dodgers, to send them to the World Series.

The Giants games were the soundtrack of my childhood, and dad would take us to the occasional game -- I've seen the Willies (Mays and McCovey), Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry, Juan Marichal, the brothers Alou, Jim Davenport. That year, everyone in Northern California was a Giants fan and we hung on every inning.

Sunday, 1962 came flooding back: Before the game, the Giants held a ceremony honoring that World Series matchup, and most of the still-living players took the field: 13 Giants and 6 Yankees. Lon Simmons called their names, and one by one, those heroes of my 13th year came on the field. It was just amazing. The two teams lined up along the baselines, and I fought back tears. All these amazing athletes, and how lucky I was to have seen them all play on such a remarkable team. Willie Mays was always my favorite. And such a class act. We couldn't see it from our nosebleed seats, but I later learned that Willie had a surprise for Joe Torre -- he had autographed his #24 jersey, and took it off and handed it to Joe.

I knew vaguely of the Yankees back then; after all, who didn't know Mantle or Maris, or a young catcher named Yogi Berra? (The 1962 series went seven tight games, and the Yanks took the finale in a 1-0 game to win the trophy.

Pacbelljpg The 2007 Yanks/Giants series was wonderful. Picture perfect weather -- gorgeous skies, and PacBell-SBC-ATT park was in technocolor glory. Secret: the best seats are the cheapest ones -- the "View" seats where you have spectacular vistas of the ocean, McCovey cove, the Berkeley Hills and the Bay Bridge.

Terryjpg Saturday, my friend/CPA Terry Lloyd (left) snared club level seats, and we watched the 13-inning marathon with Larry Dugoni, a partner with Barulich Schoknecht Dugoni Law Group Inc. in San Mateo (a tax and business practice), and his brother, Tom, a surgeon in the Sacramento area. Terry works with lawyers on valuation matters, and is a long-time contributor to ALM publications. After A-Rod tied it up in the 9th with his 28th HR, the boys ultimately lost it 6-5  in the 13th inning. But who can complain about a game like that?

Juliejpg_2As for Sunday we won't talk about the actual game, except for A-Rod's magnificent at bat with the bases loaded. (He must have fouled off 15 pitches) and a Rocket Man cameo. Back up in row 18, Julie Pearl, who practices immigration law in SF and is also a frequent ALM contributor, and I had an absolute blast. Between the innings we had a fascinating coversation about the changes in immigration law and how they are affecting Silicon Valley's technology industry.

We were surrounded by mostly Yankees fans, and enjoyed bonding with them. But to our right was a woman with the largest flag I have ever seen at a game, mounted on a broomstick -- and a voice she rivaled RoseAnn Barr.

Flagjpg_6 Cognizant that we were guests at an away game, the Yankee fans endured her screeching tirades for about 3 innings. Then it was time to retaliate. I looked at Julie and said, "Let's go see if they have any Yankees flags downstairs." To our absolute delight, they did, so we bought 2 flags, and all the $5 Yankees pennants they had left.

We marched back up the stairs, waving our flags and giving out the pennants to every Yankee-jerseyed kid we saw on our hike up to row 18. The section went absolutely NUTS -- the Yankee fans shrieking and the Giants fans booing. It was a classic Monica moment and I loved every second of it.

Yanks photo AP; click on photos to enlarge.

June 25, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

...MY KINDA TOWN

Aacloudsmall_3I was born in Chicago (to quote Paul Butterfield) and everytime I visit my roots show. Mom grew up on the south side (Sox), dad on the north (Cubs), (both were perpetually surprised that my beisbol gene was recessive until I moved to New York). We relocated to California when I was two -- all my siblings are native Poppy-staters. But every summer I spent weeks in Evanston and Wilmette, with grandparents and cousins. So it has a huge pull on my soul.

Ronjackiesmall It's an amazing baseball town, and this was my first trip since my addiction kicked in where I was able to take in both stadiums. Everybody told me that Wrigley is almost as wonderful as Fenway, and boy are they right. It's just awesome. My Chicago friends almost refused to let me leave the city because the Cubs actually won on Sunday . I had the pleasure of attending the game with Jackie Colbeth of our ad-side team, and my friend Ron Stevens, who is retired from his career in child protection services. We had terrific seats, high above home plate. (Amazing views.)

Wow. Wow. Wow. I absolutely loved it. Didn't hurt that Soriano got 4 hits and some dude hit a grand slam. I loved the ivy, I loved the (in)famous 7th inning stretch ("Take Me Out to the Ball Game" sung with pure gusto by the entire stadium, I loved the smell of the brats and sausage and onions. The only disappointment was that I missed Sweet-and-Sour Lou Pinella who was suspended for a few days for animatedly exercising his First Amendment rights a few days before. And how can you not love a team whose catcher and pitcher get into a fist fight in the dugout?

I also became just slightly obsessed with trying to find the funniest Tshirt I've seen in years: "Every team is entitled to a bad century" worn by a woman with a great sense of humor.

Bakersmall Monday night, it was southside, to the Cell, (nee Comiskey) which was so much better than I expected. It's soooo intimate, which never comes across on TV. David Baker, of Baker Robbins & Co., has terrific season tickets -- about 15 rows up from the Sox dugout, and we had an absolute blast. We had an animated conversation solving all the problems of e-discovery over a wonderful buffet dinner at the Stadium Club, then watched the Yankees lose, to David's delight. Of course, the Yanks were zombies after Sunday night's Maalox Mo midnight+ marathon at Fenway -- and only showed some life in the 9th. Garland pitched so well even the Yankee fans joined the standing O when he left.

Roadtripperssmall The boys did a lot better Tuesday night, with some sleep. This time, we were up in the nosebleed cheap seats behind the Yankees dugout (where Yankees fans tend to congregate at away games). When the Yanks finally woke up in the 6th, it was a rousing game, complete with Farnsworth screwing up in relief (again) to require the services of Mariano Rivera to close it out. It was wonderful to spend time with Hope Daniels, who is on the faculty of the School of Media Arts at Columbia College Chicago, and who has been a close friend since my cub reporter days in Sacramento. I also got to catch up with the delightful gang from YES' Ultimate Road Trip, (above left) who were sitting a few rows back, and hear about their adventures since I last talked to them in Minneapolis.

All in all, it was terrific beisbol-- if very very cold. It was 90 degrees when I left NYC, I didn't even bring jeans. I now own a lovely ridiculously expensive Sox acrylic scarf. Trust me, it was necessary!

June 6, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, Law Firm Management, People, Technology, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

RANDOMIZING

Safeco2 Wow, my head is exploding three days into our Seattle adventure. What a glorious city, everytime I come here I am just completely blown away by Puget Sound's breathtaking beauty. It takes my words away!

Thursday, I learned a new verb at Microsoft: "Randomizing" -- it's a polite way of saying interrupting, and I plan to use the word  a lot. Context: during a presentation, asking a question that takes the presentation on a non sequitor path. The gang at the Mothership was very kind about tolerating my questions, and allowing their presentations to go down fascinating and sometimes unplanned paths.

Norm1 Huge, huge thanks to Norm Thomas (left, with his family) -- and to Karin Breedis and Brian Zeve -- for orchestrating a fascinating day that included briefings on Exchange, Vista (and the chance to re-connect with the fabulous and wacky Duncan Sutherland), SharePoint (I think I finally understand it now), Office 2007, Mobile (attn, Lenore and the gang at ALM: there will shortly be a new version of the mobile OS, which allegedly will make the cranky Motorola Q "smart" phones work better in the next iteration); and so much more. We had a great day at Redmond, and as always, completely appreciate the insights. More thanks to Laurie Woicik of Ignite; Diane Prescott, Nishant Padhye, Gerardo Dada, and Reed Shaffner, for taking time from their busy schedules to brief us!

J1Friday was a whirlwind, starting in Kirkland with Electronic Evidence Discovery, meeting with Jaelene Price (right, with colleague Mary Hunt) and her team. As was the case with all our e-discovery discussions on the trip, we talked about the shift from "reactive" to "consulting" styles among the vendors, and the emergence of more "litigation partners" in firms, plus the changing role of GCs in the process.

Marc2Next stop, a few miles over to Bellevue, was LexisNexis, where Marc Osborne (left) had organized a fast-paced but very thorough presentation on recent developments within the litigation services programs, including LN Applied Discovery, CourtLink, Concordance, CaseMap, etc. -- all with baseball-themed PowerPoints. They even Photoshopped a concluding slide to get us in the mood for Friday night's game! (See above right, click to enlarge). Thanks to Scott Nagel (VP discovery services), Linda Lewis (mktg mgr), Scott Merrick (director of mktg) and Michael Gersch (VP case analysis & assessment) for spending a great morning with us.

Honora_2Then back downtown for a great lunch at Sazerac (www.sazeracrestaurant.com) with the Attenex team, and a cameo visit from Honora Wade (left, with a pal) of Perkins Coie, who spotted us and we couldn't resist inviting her to join us. We enjoyed the discussions with Kathy Thrailkill,Attenex' director of corporate marketing; and Kate Holmes, PR manager. We got an update on Attenex' plans, but I must admit, we did diverge from discussion of EDD for a while, and got into a rousing analysis of when House and Grey's Anatomy jumped the shark. (We pretty much concurred that it was a) the Sela Ward/David Morse story lines and b) Meredith's near-death experience.) But I digress.

Seattle07game2_001 Last but very much not least, the irrepressible, charming Debbie Caldwell (left, with ALM's Joe Pavone) lasso'd the Fios troups, who came from Portland to join us... We met up near the stadium at a kewl Tapas joint, Ibiza's Dinner Club and had a lively discussion about everything from EDD to HDTV (which I have declared is the new heroin). I want to bottle Debbie's energy! She's one of the few people I know who has absolutely no need for caffeine, even at 4 p.m. when normal people have mini-meltdowns. Debbie, Fios' PR manager, is also one of the nicest people on the planet, and the gang presented me with a Yankees jersey which I will proudly wear to Safeco!

Thanks to Mark Reber, director of marketing; Mary Mack, technology counsel; Kate Kockler, marketing and events manager John Cogan, product marketing manager and Julia Wotipka, online marketing manager for making the trek!

Kevdave Then it was off to wonderful Safeco -- we had a phenomenal turnout, with folks from Attenex, Perkins Coie, ProVantage, K&L Gates, EED, Kevin O'Keefe's LexBlog, (right, with David Bowerman);Exterro, Fios, solo consultant Gayle O'Connor who (really) is currently working helping the defense team in a big Hell's Angels criminal trial (and who drove her Harley to the game)(speaking of another person who needs no caffeine); Microsoft, Marketry, IKON, Serengeti Law, LexisNexis, , et al.

Safecoscene2We all let out a hearty cheer when the "Welcome Law Technology News" flashed on the big screen (alas, my photo of  it on the jumbotron was a bust). It was a great night, lots of schmoozing, fun. And of course, the Yankees lost -- 3 zip -- in a tight pitchers' duel -- making everybody even more happy.

Allie Saturday Update: Allison Walsh (right), of LexisNexis, joined me Saturday (Yanks 7, Seattle 2), after a tour of her charming Tacoma neighborhood, full of parks and fabulous Craftsman homes, all with stunning gardens. I met Allison on my first ALM visit to Seattle, circa 1999, and I always look forward to the chance to catch up with her.

Today, Honora Wade joins me at Safeco, then I'm headed back to NYC Monday.

What a trip! THANKS TO EVERYBODY.

Photo album here. Check out the Space Needle cam, with a hat tip to Kevin O'Keefe (and thanks for his nice blog post here).

May 12, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, People, Technology, Travel | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

MAILBAG #050707

19852385 Several launches (besides Rocket Man :)

Sedgwick Detert Moran & Arnold off-shoot Xerdict Group has debuted a new website. Xerdict's Kenneth Jones says the e-discovery site includes with opinions, case law, articles, etc. "The project was done in conjunction with the creation of a new e-discovery practice group, related to the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for our parent firm."
He sez it uses collaboration technology to construct an educational/biz dev site, rather than a traditional lit support/deal room. The team includes lawyers, marketing staff, and content management folks. Check it out here.

• Another blog launch:
W. Lawrence Wescott II,  a solo based in Towson, Md., has debuted his Electronic Discovery Blog and invites you to check it out.

• Christine Parizo checks in to let us know about her new site, A Paralegal's Blog. She covers "news, views and information," and even tackles grammar! Check out today's post about no comma in nonrestrictive relative clauses. (A nonrestrictive clause does not restrict any words in the sentence but merely adds to it. I didn't know either.)

Parizo works for a solo practitioner in Western Massachusetts, where she focuses on estate administration and planning in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. Christine serves as NFPA Primary and Technology Coordinator for the Western Massachusetts Paralegal Association.

• Break out the vodka: Bob Ambrogi, LTN's Web Watch columnist, is headed to Russia. I'll turn the mic over to him to explain:

Bobpic_smI am thrilled to announce that I will be visiting Russia May 12-19 as part of a five-person delegation to discuss the relationship between the news media and the courts. We will be visiting the Siberian city of Tomsk, some 2,200 miles east of Moscow, where we will meet with Russian judges, lawyers, journalists and law students. Through a series of meetings and presentations, we will share perspectives on libel and defamation law, media access to judges and court proceedings, media coverage of court proceedings and other issues of common interest.

The trip is under the auspices of the Russian American Rule of Law Consortium, an organization that promotes partnerships between legal communities in the United States and Russia. Massachusetts has had such a partnership with Tomsk since 2001.

Details on the trip I am part of can be found here.

• Trisha Winter and the gang at Compuware have released two interesting surveys, both addressing problem resolution at law firms. You can download them here:

Download it_problem_resolution_in_law_firms_survey_results.pdf

Download firm_view_of_it_problem_resolution_survey_results.pdf

• Professor Kingsfield subbed in at the last minute for Professor Bainbridge, on Blawg Review #107, so won't you please take a minute and go visit and show him some love.

May 7, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, Technology, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MINNESOTA WRAP-UP

A final thank you to the many, many folks who made our Minnesota visit so productive and much fun.

We really enjoyed the opportunity to share ideas with Craig Levinsohn, exec vice president, marketing, and Allison Guidette, vice prez, marketing, at Merrill Corp., where we got into a lively discussion of the delivery of electronic data discovery and litigation support services.

Before our group game Tuesday night, we connected with the Compuware gang, including Craig Pratt, director of sales, and Trisha Winter, marketing manager. They brought us up to speed on their latest efforts to provide application service management systems for the legal arena.

Wednesday, I met with the gang at Thomson West. I particularly enjoyed the chance to meet with Rick King, executive vice president and COO. John Shaughnessy, Thomson's ace communications chief, had to literally drag me away to my next appointment.

Gretchen "Cruise Director" DeSutter arranged a jam-packed agenda, with briefings with Dawn Gaetke about Medical Litigator; Chris Kiobarian, the new prez and GM of Findlaw; Kurt Engelmeier, director of new product development for LiveNote (which was founded by the irrepressible Graham Smith); Preston McKenzie, senior director of Monitor Suite. George May was utterly gracious when I ran out of time and had to take a raincheck for a phone briefing on the lastest developments at West km.

Thanks also to our lunch crew, that also included Leonard Lee, Amanda Grayson, Scott Augustin, and Karin Munksgaard, all of the communications team.

Ph_puppet_175x126 Knowing that I was headed back to the dome for game 3 of the Yanks v. Twins series, the gang presented me with a Twins hat featuring Los Pirhanas and my very own beanie baby fish. I wore the hat (of course, adorned with a sequined NYY pin) to the game. (It musta given their boys good luck, cuz the Twins beat the Yankees when Farnsworth hadda meltdown.)

Finally, very warm thanks to Twins staffers Lisa Rasmussen and Luis Breazeale, for taking such good care of our team at the Dome.

April 16, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, People, Technology, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

HERE'S TO YOU, JACKIE ROBINSON

180pxrobinsonxSixty years ago today, Jackie Robinson played his first Major League Baseball game, as a Brooklyn Dodger, at Ebbets Field in New York City, and changed the world.  "A life is not important," he said, "except in the impact it has on other lives."

"Life is not a spectator sport. ... If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion, you're wasting your life." -- Jackie Robinson

The Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Hall of Fame Biography
ESPN: Jackie changed the face of sports.
Auction of jerseys.
Mariano Rivera wears 42

April 15, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, Good Works, People | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

ROLL CALL!

Shelli_96_vid_thumb Logo_ultimateroadtrip1The many Yankees fans at last night's Twins game at the Dome successfully pulled off "Roll Call" in the bottom of the first inning. If you aren't familiar with Roll Call, here's a You Tube video from Vinny and the Bleacher Creatures doing Roll Call at Yankee Stadium on 2007 opening day April 2. And here's the wikipedia listing (complete with my note about Minn.)

G8w9grjl_2 It took Bobby Abreu (the first one chanted) a few minutes to catch on, and wave, but once he did the whole team got it. It was an absolute hoot, and noticed by the Star Tribune. 

Big credit to Shelli (above right), Indio and Justin, three of the 2007 YES Network's Ultimate Road Trippers, for leading the chant!

Great way to end a great trip.... I'll have a final wrap up tomorrow!

Update 4/18: Ah wikipedia... somebody keeps nuking my post about Mpls. roll call, but I keep putting it back up. I'm nothing if not obsessive persistent. :)

April 12, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

MAILBAG #070411

Mailbox_2Playing catch (up):

* LaVern Pritchard says the Twins Cities community was not completely surprised to hear the news that Mpls. law firm Rider Bennett announced that it will close its doors on May 31. What was a bit unusual was the firm's blunt admission from managing partner Steve Plunkett that "the firm's breakup was caused by 'today's increasingly challenging legal marketplace.' He said the loss of several attorneys who took their clients with them also hurt the firm," wrote the Strib.

Mpls07yanks_037_2 * It wasn't just the ballgame that was keeping everybody at the Dome entertained yesterday. "The Amazing Hondo" kept the spirits up in the first two rows, distracting Twinkie fans with card tricks while the Yankees were blasting homeruns against the Dome walls. Even Yankees fan Teri "Jersey Girl" McCarron was mesmerized.

* Jon Bream passes along a chart from ticketmaster that lists the top 10 most requested sporting events in Q1 2007: #2 -- the New York Yankees. #1: Monster Jam (I have NO idea what that is)... #3 WWE World Wrestling.

*Change your Outlook: Marifran Manzo-Ritchie and Paige Miller have decided to go their separate ways with their PR company. I'll turn the microphone over to the two women:

[We have] divided the company into two separate marketing companies. While Paige has retained the name and brand of MultiPlanet Marketing, Marifran is now the president of Manzo Ritchie Communications, Inc. ... We've opted to form two companies to allow each of us to pursue the opportunities and growth paths that appeal to us individually. Both of our companies will offer marketing and public relations services, and you'll still see us working together on National Association of Women Business Owner committees and projects. Yes, we will occasionally compete against each other, but as partners for the past seven years, we know that "no one wins 'em all" and that enough business exists to keep both our companies busy. 

* New Website, Book & Blog: Vince Thomson checks in to let you know that he has created a new website and blog and book, Ignited, Managers Light Up Your Company and Career, For More Power, More Purpose and More Success.

*

April 11, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, Law Firm Management, Marketing, People, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MON'S CURSE IS BROKEN

Mpls07yankssocha We had big fun at the Dome tonight, and finally -- for the first time in four years of group games, the Yankees WON!!!  Pettitte beat out Boof, 10-1. A-Rod had ANOTHER home run, and we even got Mo to close it out (he obviously needed the work since it sure wasn't a save situation).

We had a fabulous turnout of Twin Cities-based vendors, LTN edit board members, law firm folks, PR leaders, and consultants. Among them, George Socha, Thomas Gelbmann and Loren Jones, right.

Mpls07yanks_005 Allison Guidette, left, with West's George May in the background.

Here's our photo album for more shots!

Jim Giordano, this one was for you. xxxxoooo

April 11, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, Marketing, People, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MORNING LIGHT

Mpls07_034There's something very centering about Minnesota. It's just a place where people don't waste time on BS. They are straightforward, unpretentious, funny and kind. They call it "Minnesota Nice" here, and it's lovely. I spent five years in the Twins Cities for grad school at "The U" -- where I was arts and entertainment editor of the Minnesota Daily for two years. I was young, green, naive and inexperienced, and it was a good place to grow strong.

The friendships I made back in the early '70s have stood the test of time, and are sturdy as the plains soil. It's very nourishing. I love coming back here, which I do at least once a year.

It's also a hotbed for our legal technology community, not just for Eagan's Thomson West et al, but for countless other companies that find the ground fertile. Among them, Kroll, Xiotech, Merrill Corp., Amy Juers' Edge Legal Marketing, and so many more.

Yesterday, we had a wonderful meeting with the gang at Xiotech, over in Eden Prairie, and got into a fascinating discussion about the next phase of EDD -- which a bunch of us have dubbed EDD 2.0. (Not very clever, but....) Xiotech (which also includes Connecticut-based Daticon) is among the EDD vendors that have moved to a more "consulting" style model, with the idea that if you have an existing relationship with your clients, and have helped them develop EDD protocols and systems before they are needed, when a case comes knocking at the door, they will be better prepared, and the end result will be cheaper, more efficient, and more complete.

Adam Rubinger, Michael Stolz, and Bruce Caswell, as well as Weber Shandwick's David Ratz and Kira Jorvig, graciously hosted us for the interesting discussion.

They have produced a series of short "Early Discovery Assessment" booklets (some with CDs) to help clients and potential clients get their arms around EDD. The set includes an "E-mail Counter," an "EDA Calculator," a really nifty File Extension reference guide (which I will most certainly keep at my desk), and a "Best Practices" guide.

Xiotech, of course, is not the only company that has positioned itself like this -- Portland's Fios has been offering a series of consulting-style "pre-need" assessment programs, and similar programs have been announced by other vendors. Another clue that protocols are changing is how many firms have been appointing "technology partners" (such as John Alber at Bryan Cave, who's a real pioneer in this area) to help bridge the worlds of IT and lawyers.

* Earlier in the morning, I had a chance to catch up with Mary Kay Zieniewicz, of Parsinen Kaplan Roseberg + Gotlieb's marketing team, for a lively discussion that ranged from marketing strategies to her delight in being a new mom, to the role of pro bono work in law firms. Mary Kay gave me a copy of the premiere issue (Winter 2006) of NEED, a new photojournalism magazine with the tag line "Human | Disaster | Success - Need exists when something is missing." The effort is lead by Kelly Kinnunen, executive director and co-founder, and is a powerful, beautifully produced publication.

*Likewise, it's always fun to connect with Amy Juers, who updated me on the developments of Edge Legal Marketing -- the successor firm to LegalVoice. She's been on a whirlwind as she grows the organization.

Twinsyanks_2  *Then it was off to the Dome! I was surprised that the Twins were duped into picking up a contract for Sidney Ponson -- he lasted about 5 minutes with the Yankees after getting thrown out by the Orioles. To our delight, he was as lousy in Mpls as he was in the Bronx, and with our red-hot A Boys (A-Rod and Abreu) slamming balls against the Dome walls, we hammered the mighty Twins 8-2. And to everyone's delight, Pavano came through BIG time -- only 4 hits in 7 innings!

Tonight is our big group game! I'm counting the hours til our 4th annual Twins fest and looking forward to catchin' up with everybody!  (Photo: AP/NYT)

April 10, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, Law Firm Management, Marketing, People, Technology, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

THE HITS KEEP COMIN'

BallparkI'm always amazed at the never-ending creativity of blawgers who compose each edition of Blawg Review, and this week is no exception, as Jonathan Frieden's E-Commerce Law blog, hits a grand slam with Blawg Review #103, the BaseBlawg Review.

Frieden_2Jonathan is a principal at Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, in Washington, D.C. celebrates the opening week of beisbol, with his review that is structured on key elements of the game. He opens with "A (very) brief history of baseball," then picks blawgs using the subheads "The Ceremonial First Pitch," "The Umpire," "The Designated Hitter," "The Black Sox Scandal," etc.

VERY clever, with very good picks for each category. For example, he explains his choices for the "Infield Fly" rule here:

When there are fewer than two outs and there is a force play at third, the batter who hits a fair fly ball that, in the umpire’s judgment may be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, is out. Rule 6.05e, commonly referred to as the "infield fly rule," is among the most commonly misunderstood rules in baseball. This portion of the BaseBlawg Review is devoted to laws which have proven to be inscrutable, ill-conceived, or simply odd.

Among his blawg citations for that topic is a list of quirky Connecticut laws listed in the Walking the Berkshires blog, and Eric Goldman's technology and marketing blog's discussion of recent Utah ban on keyword advertising.

April 9, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, Law Firm Management, Marketing, Technology, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

HALLELUJAH!!! WE DID IT!!

Baseballtv Bloggers make a difference!  We've got our Extra Innings package back on cable!!!

Three days into the season, when die-hard beisbol fans had given up all hope, Major League Baseball just announced this compromise new deal, -- signing a 7-year contract to allow In-Demand to provide major cable outlets with the fabulous service that lets us watch almost all baseball games across the country. MLB had previously announced that it would do an exclusive deal with DirecTV, which meant that those of us who can't put up dishes were going to be out of luck.

THANK YOU to The New York Times' Richard Sandomir who kept this issue front and center; to Massachusetts Senator (and Red Sox fan) John Kerry, who held hearings on it; to the countless bloggers who relentlessly and vociferously protested the proposed exclusive DirecTV deal, and to Bud Selig, baseball's commissioner, who apparently really did listen to the infuriated fans across the country. And to DirecTV for no-doubt cooperating to make it all happen.

This is a very, very smart decision that will benefit baseball, DirecTV and cable -- and the fans. Thank you to everybody who helped make it happen.

Sandomir report here.

ESPN/AP report here.

April 5, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

 
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