Sunday, October 31, 2004

No Way To Run a Campaign - October Timeline - Update

October Timeline

Full September Timeline

Full August Timeline

Oct. 30th - The latest poll numbers are all pretty much bad news for Kerry.

Oct. 31st - John Kerry's stepson Chris Heinze bemoans the "Israel lobby" and call Bush a "cokehead". Yup - the Kerry campaign - all class right till the very end. Jack Welsh - former CEO of GE - has five questions you should ask before casting your vote. The New York Daily News endorses Bush.
Hot Stove League - Third base (Part 1)

Hot stove time may actually be my favorite part of the baseball season. I'm going to take a look at position by position using the following as a guideline for my posts:

- Where do the Red Sox stand (the Sox are my primary interest - so most or all posts will start with the Sox)

- Who's the best at the position in MLB

- Who are the available free agents at the position

- Predictions

Red Sox - Third Base

On Friday, the Sox announced that they had picked up the 2005 option for Bill Mueller. The official press release says that it was a $2.1 million otion but I'm pretty sure that it got boosted to $2.5 million because Mueller met a plate appearences clause in the contract. Either way - it's a bargain.

Mueller (if healthy) will give the Sox a solid glove at third plus about 15-20 HR, 35-40 2B, .300 BA and an OPS btween .810 and .860. In addition Mueller is a switch hitter and is the most solid of clubhouse guys. What's not to like?

Mueller is backed up by 25-year old Kevin Youkilis who will give you similar offensive numbers to Mueller but who has the added benefits of being both young and cheap. Third base will cost the Red Sox just about $3.0 million in 2005 (which is important for a team that needs to spent those salary dollars elsewhere like catcher, short stop and starting pitcher).

Second baseman Mark Bellhorn can also play third if the need arises. The Red Sox are well covered at third.

Top Third Basemen in MLB

1. Scott Rolen - Cardinals (best all-around)
2. Alex Rodriguez - Yankees (I don't like him but no denying the talent)
3. Adrian Beltre - Dodgers (free agent)
4. Eric Chavez - A's (maybe the best glove at third and 40+ HR potential)
5. Mike Lowell - Marlins
6. Hank Blalock - Rangers
7. Aramis Ramirez - Cubs (often overlooked)
8. Troy Glaus - Angels (if healthy - he's higher up the list - free agent)
9. Chipper Jones - Braves
10. Melvin Mora - Baltimore (just awful with the glove - was going to put Mueller here)

(Just missing the cut - Bill Mueller, Aaron Boone, Casey Blake, Shea Hillenbrand, Vinnie Castilla and Corey Koskie)

Top Free Agent Third Basemen

1. Adrian Beltre - Dodgers (may be re-signed - he was their MVP this year)
2. Troy Glaus - Angels (won't be re-signed - Angels going with Dallas McPherson)
3. Corey Koskie - Twins
4. Vinnie Castilla - Rockies (only batted .218 away from Coors Field - he should stay with the Rockies if he knew what's good for him)
5. Tony Batista - Expos (32 HR in 2004 but just .728 OPS)
6. Joe Randa - Royals (I always though Randa was over-rated)

No Way To Run a Campaign - October Timeline - Update

October Timeline

Full September Timeline

Full August Timeline

Oct. 27th - Won't you think of the children! (As free get out the vote labor.)

Oct. 28th - Ouch - the German paper BILD (the largest paper in Europe) endorses Bush - at least Kerry still has the French. Double ouch - the Cape Cod Times also endorses Bush.

Oct. 29th - Is "Wake Up!" the new Kerry campaign slogan? Did it beat out "time for school" or "don't forget to bring a jacket"? Oh and about those munitions at Al Qaqaa - the US Army has them. Meanwhile Osama bin Laden sends election greetings (appearently the words - "I'm John Kerry and I approved this message" were edited out at the last minute).
Morning Links

- Mark Steyn - Justifications for backing Kerry fall flat

- The economy is in good shape - despite what Kerry tell ya

- Jackie MacMullan on Curt Schilling

- Boo hoo - the AL has all the money and gets all the good free agents

- Excellent piece by George Will

- Peter Gammons - chock full of baseball goodness

- Curt Schilling goes to bat for Bush

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Yo Ho Me Mateys - Go Red Sox!

The above is the bar sign for "I'm four sheets to the wind and I'm sailing to Blackout Island." That about sums it up for me.

No Way To Run a Campaign - October Timeline - Update

October Timeline

Full September Timeline

Full August Timeline

Oct. 24th - The New York Times reports that Bush has a higher IQ then Kerry. Questions abound in regard to who is to blame for the failure to get out the "over the hill Diva" and "lesbian talk-show host" vote. Rosie blames Tom Selleck and the NRA. Maybe the October surprise is that Democratic Hawaii is in play?

Oct. 25th - Ouch! This has to hurt Kerry in Wisconsin. Meanwhile Elizabeth Edwards promises / threatens "no riots if we win". In related news - John Edwards sues all you can eat buffet on behalf of wife (sorry cheap shot - I know - but my road to hell is already paved). Oh and those members of the UN Security Council that Kerry claimed to have met with - seems like that meeting most likely occurred in Kerry's Swift boat in Cambodia maybe even over Christmas vacation. Meanwhile Kerry hammers Bush over "disappearance" of explosives from a place that is phonetically called AL - Caa - Caa (later reveiled that US Army removed and destroyed munitions - oops Kerry's bad!).

Oct. 26th - Bad news for Kerry - will he be terminated in Ohio on Friday? More bad news from Hollywood - and the rumor surfaces that Kerry /Edwards enjoy gladiator movies.
I'm So Proud

If you Google
"tim mccarver sucks" fox
a column I wrote for comes up as the fourth web site and A Large Regular comes up as the 11th choice.

Tim McCarver sucks - indeed!

Presidential Odds

The betting line on the Presidential race continues to be a roller coaster ride. Today Bush is at -$165 and Kerry +$135 (meaning you would have to risk $165 on Bush to win $100 or risk just $100 to win $135 on Kerry). Just yesterday the line was Bush -$145 and Kerry +$115. Thursday the line was also Bush -$165 and Kerry +$135. The line Monday was Bush -$175 and Kerry +$145.

It seems like -$165 / +$135 is about the level although Osama's new video may have bumped up Bush's odds. It should be noted that Bush has always been the favorite in this race. The closest the line has been was even just after the DNC but that only lasted a couple of days.

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Will 2004 be remembered as the year of the Dynamite Monkey or the year of the Silky Pony?... I wonder if more people will be at the parade for the Red Sox today than will vote in Massachusetts on Tuesday... Theo Epstein, the GM of the Boston Red Sox has reached rock star status in Boston... BALCO VP - Bonds used steroids... The crowd for today's parade is estimated to be 5 million strong. This has to be sort of culture shock for the Dominican players on the team. The entire nation of the Dominican Republic has a population of just 8.8 million...

Friday, October 29, 2004

Osama's New Tape

So Osama has put out a new tape.

Many people are saying that it's a fake and that Osama has been dead for quite some time. Others are saying "It's October- surprise!"

I had been one of those who firmly believed that Osama has been food for worms and I actually still believe that. However, there is no arguing that a tape with a new message supposedly from Osama has been released. People are saying that the message has been released now in order to affect Tuesday's election. I think it was released now for a different reason.

On October 17th - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was pledging allegiance and fealty to Osama bin Laden but just a few days ago Abu Musab al-Zarqawi proclaimed himself the new head of Al Qaeda. I think this tape was released now to refute that claim and to keep the power in the hands of those around Osama (or his corpse) instead of shifting over to the up and coming Zarqawi.

Al Qaeda is no longer the rich organization it was before the US went after their base in Afghanistan and their funding worldwide but it still has enough cash to make men greedy for control and for power. If Osama is still alive - he needs to reassert himself in order to prevent a power vacuum. If Osama is dead - then the people wielding power today want to protect that power from the likes of Zarqawi. What better way to reassert his power or prove that Osama is still alive than by releasing a tape?

One thing I would look for is for either Zarqawi to be betrayed or for one of his top lieutenants to be suddenly killed or captured publicly as a message (like this maybe? - or maybe this?). If there is a power vacuum - look for things to get bloody quick and look for the US Special Forces start to become very busy following up on the leads provided by one lieutenant selling out another with hopes of filling upward openings.

Why did Zarqawi pledge fealty on the 17th? Shouldn't that have been a given? Is Zarqawi staking a claim as "head of the family" as the new Al Qaeda Godfather? Like Joey Zasa? Or is he a loyal lieutenant like Clemenza?
Interesting Observation

Something I did not realize - nice observation from Mike Ganis:
It turns out that the last time a team from St. Louis made it to the championship round in each of the four major sports, it was a team from Boston (New England) that beat them.

In 2004, the Cardinals lost to the Red Sox in the WS.

In early 2002, the Rams lost to the Patriots in SB 36.

In 1970, the Blues lost to the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals.

In 1957, the Hawks lost to the Celtics in the NBA Finals.

It seems that St.Louis has become Boston’s “bitch”, as Jim Rome would say.

And to add insult to injury, the first time that St. Louis became Boston’s bitch was back in 1956, when they drafted Bill Russell and traded the rights to him to St. Louis for Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan. The Celtics went on to win eleven NBA Championships from 1957 to 1969 with Russell at the center position.
Presidential Odds

Yikes! Yesterday I said that I didn't think that the betting line would deviate much over the final six days and today I see it has moved a great deal.

The new line is Bush -$145 and Kerry +$115 (meaning you would have to risk $145 on Bush to win $100 or risk just $100 to win $115 on Kerry). Just yesterday the line was Bush -$165 and Kerry +$135. The line Monday was Bush -$175 and Kerry +$145.

The line seems to be inching toward a dead-heat - which on the betting line would be -$120 for both Bush and Kerry (bet $120 to win $100 with $20 going to the house as "vig"). The last time (and only time) the line was even was just after the DNC in early August.

Morning Links

- Brian Gunn looks at the Series from the Cardinals point of view - good stuff

- Here's the list of potential free agents in baseball (hot stove league has begun!)

- Curt Schilling to stump for Bush

- Victor David Hanson - a Friday staple

Red Sox - Looking Back - Looking Forward

Here are the Red Sox thoughts that have been percolating in my brain.

I went on record saying that the key stats that foretold what would happen in the World Series were the pitching stats of HR allowed and strikeouts. Here's what I said about HR's:
First off - home runs. St. Louis allowed 169 HR this year compared to 159 for the Sox. This difference of just 10 may seem slight but it is more pronounced when you consider that St. Louis did not have to face a DH while the Sox staff did. Simply put - the Cardinals tend to give up more home runs than the Red Sox
In the series - the Sox out-homered St. Louis 4-2. The offenses for the two teams were basically equal - it was the difference in pitching that was key.

Here's what I said about strikeouts:
The second stat I would like to take a look at is strikeouts. Cardinal pitching struck out 1,029 batters this season. The Red Sox pitchers stuck out 1,132. Again this difference may seem slight until you consider that the Sox pitchers were striking out DH's while many of the Cardinals' K's included strikeouts by pitchers who have to bat in the NL.
In the Series - the Sox struck out 32 Cardinal batters compared with the Cardinal pitchers striking out 20 Sox batters (and three of the Cardinal K's were against Sox pitchers Pedro Martinez - 2 and Derek Lowe - 1). That's 12 more balls in play for the Red Sox than the Cardinals. That's a huge difference.

I'm trying to decide whether I want to go into the "rolling parade" tomorrow. Right now I'm leaning toward staying home. I'm not one of those guys who dreamed being at a Red Sox victory parade my whole life and honestly - I went into Boston for the last two Patriots parades and ended up watching the festivities from a bar in Fanuel Hall. I've never felt the need to be part of a crowd and there are a few good college games on tomorrow (plus the Breeder's Cup). I'm leaning toward staying home.

The Red Sox will be facing some tough contract decisions soon. Here's what I would recommend and what I would like to see:

- First off - exercise the 2005 option on Bill Mueller. At $2.1 million - this is a no-brainer. (At the same time - exercise the $2.75 million option for Mike Timlin.)

- Second - offer Pedro, Varitek, Derek Lowe and Orlando Cabrera arbitration. This costs them nothing and if any of the free agents sign elsewhere - the Red Sox would get draft picks because they offered arbitration. Offering arbitration also shows good faith on the part of the Red Sox in terms of keeping all these guys in Sox uniforms. The best possible scenario for the Red Sox would be for these guys to accept arbitration.

- As far as contract offers to the above players:

I would offer Pedro 3-years $36 million. I think this is fair and it also shows proper respect to a player who deserves to retire as a member of the Red Sox and get his number retired.

I would offer Jason Varitek a 3-year $24 million contract. Javy Lopez signed with Baltimore last year for 3-years $22.5 million - so again I think this would be fair. Varitek wants to stay here but he has Scott Boras as his agent - so that's a mixed signal. You have to ask who out there needs a catcher and who would bid over $8 million per year? I can't think of anyone. Nobody wants to tie up a big chunk of their payroll at catcher the way the Pirates have.

Derek Lowe may be best served by accepting arbitration and getting his numbers back to where they were in 2003. The Sox should offer a 3-year $21 million contract to the guy who is now a post-season hero. Also represented by Scott Boras - Lowe may be able to top that on the free market.

Orlando Cabrera turned down a 5-year $40 million offer from the Expos because he wanted to play for a winner and now he has a World Series ring. Maybe 3-years $24 million will do the trick. I would go to 3-years $27 million if need be.

Consider this - if you totaled up my proposed salaries for next year for those four players - it would actually represent a considerable savings over 2004 salaries (because Pedro was on the books at $17.5 million and the Sox had Nomar on the books at $11.5 million). The drop in salary for Pedro pays for the raises for Lowe and Varitek - meanwhile Cabrera is still much cheaper then Nomar even at $9 million per year.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

No Way To Run a Campaign - October Timeline - Update

October Timeline

Full September Timeline

Full August Timeline

Oct. 21st - The "youth" vote choses Bush by a 55% to 40% margin. A Kerry aid is rumored to respond "Don't they know that Bush has a secret plan to draft them?" Meanwhile Al Gore goes on the stump for Kerry in Florida (and Oliver Stone goes on record as saying this is a Karl Rove conspiracy by the Republicans aimed at annoying independent voters).

Oct. 22nd - The new Bush ad "Wolves" debuts today. The Kerry campaign says they will counter with their own animal ad - one showing an ostrich with his head in the sand and a soaring eagle. Problem is - most people associate Kerry with the ostrich.

Oct. 23rd - The election in a nutshell - Kerry thinks of Osama bin Laden as the world's "number one criminal" while Bush thinks of him as vermin to be exterminated.
Presidential Odds

The odds on the Presidential race had a little movement sometime over the past three days (sorry I was traveling and caught up with the Red Sox to track it accurately) . The new odds are Bush -$165 and Kerry +$135 (meaning you would have to risk $165 on Bush to win $100 or risk just $100 to win $135 on Kerry). The line Monday was Bush -$175 and Kerry +$145.

I don't think the line will deviate much over the last 6 days.


The one word that kept coming up last night from both players and reporters was "unbelievable". That about sums it up.

The headline I'd like to see is "We Came, We Saw, We Conquered"

I don't recall hearing the Standells' Dirty Water once last night. I'm sure I'll hear it about 10,000 times over the next several days.

Theo Epstein should consider retiring. He could be this generation's Mike Eruzione and live off this moment for the rest of his life.

Next year the Red Sox shold have Bill Buckner throw out the first pitch on Opening Day. Enough is enough.

The Red Sox get to raise this championship banner against the Yankees next April 11th. How great is that?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Red Sox / Cardinals Game 4 Diary

Live blogging what may be the final game of the 2004 season and an end to an awfully long wait for Red Sox fans.

Three quick thoughts to start off the night:

1. If the Red Sox win tonight - who's the Series MVP? Manny has been the best hitter but there are so many others close to him (like Damon, Bellhorn, Mueller or Ortiz). My suggestion would be to have a split MVP between Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling (like Schilling and Randy Johnson back in 2001). Keith Foulke also has to be in the running.

2. I think it would be pretty funny if someone were to send copies of the book ">Who Moved My Cheese to all the Yankee players and front office personnel.

3. Tim McCarver sucks.

Speaking of long waits - I just cracked my first beer.

In case you are wondering why the Cardinals are down three games to zero - consider that if you took away Larry Walker and Albert Pujols the rest of the team is batting just .134 (even with Walker and Pujols - they are hitting just .200 as a team).

Johnny saves! Damon with a HR! 1-0 Red Sox! Damon's third HR of the post season. Maybe he'll be the Series MVP?

Oh crap - I just learned that Manny won the AL Hammer Award. Good for you Manny! They should wait till the World Series is over to announce these awards.

Paulie points out an excellent interview of Curt Schilling over at Boston Dirt Dogs. Wow - he questions LaRussa's lineups, calls "reporters" Laura Vecsey, Pedro Gomez and Joel Heyman bad people "with little skill in their profession" and he says that Foulke should be the Series MVP. Good stuff.

Good bunt by Derek Lowe. If he hustled down the line he would have been safe. That out may be important if Damon doesn't get a hit. Still - it was good bunt.

Trot Nixon hits a double with the bases loaded making it 3-0 Red Sox. I give plenty of credit for that to Terry Francona. No manager in MLB gives hitters the green light on a 3-0 count as often as Francona.

From my buddy Bill:
As a six year old, I watched as the Sox lost to the Cardinals in 67. That year we decorated our garage with Sox signs for the world to see, even though we lived on a dead end street that held 6 houses. I was surprised when we didn't make the news. In 75, I was heart broken with the loss, but Bernie Carbo and Fisk and Tiant and all the boys were still heroes. In 86, the pain the pain. And since 67, I've watched and hoped every year. Rice brakes his hand, bad teams, bad signing, more bad signings, and bad breaks. Today I think the Sox will win the World Series. I have the same confident feeling that I get when I watch the Patriots play. But standing right behind me is the kid that has been through all the disappointment. He's telling me that this is going to be the biggest let down in Curse history and he can't believe that people have fallen into the trap again. Then he tells me that it's a no-win situation for the Sox. If they lose, everyone will be in tremendous pain, but if they win, people will actually be hurt worse. It's the Moonlighting Syndrome. Bruce Willis and Sybil Sheppard were kept apart for a few years and the everyone loved the show - until they were put together. The Sox and the Championship have been kept apart for 86 years. The team could not be loved any more (because they are losers like you and me). Can you imagine the disappointment and indifference after this brief affair? It will be like a bad accident that you can't look away from - at first it was spectacular, but in the end something died (the curse). Talk radio will start in on missing the curse three days after the parade. Unfortunately, It will take another 86 years to get one as good as the one we have now. And that's something we won't see again in our lifetime. Go Curse, I mean go Sox!
First off Bill - don't listen to your inner child here. The curse doesn't exist and if it did - it still wouldn't make the Sox "lovable losers". Secondly - Moonlighting had just run it's course. Putting Willis and Shepard together was a last gasp effort by a dying program. (BTW - have you seen pictures of Cybil Shepard lately?) Let down your defense mechanism here and enjoy the moment. With Theo in charge this will be a regular occurrence.

Back to the game - Lowe is coming up huge. No runs into the fifth inning.

Did you see that Ashley ad? That ad makes me misty every time. Did you know that the ad was paid for in large part by Alex Spanos the owner of the San Diego Chargers?

Jason Marquis is giving the Cardinals their best starting effort of the Series. He's only given up three runs in six innings. However - he's up over 120 pitches now and will probably be done for the night. I've said it before - it was a huge mistake for LaRussa not to pitch Marquis in game 2. Huge mistake.

Derek Lowe is only at 54 pitches going into the sixth. He could pitch a complete game. OK - now after six complete Lowe is only at 71 pitches and has only allowed 2 hits. It should be pointed out that many believe that Lowe's sinker works better when he gets tired. We could be looking at a shut-out by Lowe.

In politics everyone has been waiting for an "October surprise". Could the Red Sox be the surprise? Kerry is supposedly a fan but do you think he'd show up at a Red Sox parade? Not in your life.

Scott Stapp's version of God Bless America was as lifeless as the Cardinal offense. Man - that may have been the worst rendition I've ever heard. Donna Summer kicked his ass.

Derek Lowe ends the 7th with just 85 pitches thrown. Just sayin'. The Series MVP is still up in the air. I'm gonna step out side for a minute to check out the lunar eclipse.

Second and third with no outs as Nixon hits a double. I'm thinking that this is now a done deal. Bellhorn walks and Millar pinch hits for Lowe. I know this is the right move but still I'm disappointed that Lowe didn't get the chance for a complete game.

OK - bases loaded and no outs and the Red Sox fail to score and Lowe is taken out of the game because Millar pinch hit for him. I'm going to get some Rolaids - I'll be right back.

Just a thought but could the Red Sox winning the series be part of a Ben Affleck deal with the devil? Could Affleck have traded a Red Sox victory in return for his career? Is there a better explanation for Gigli or Surviving Christmas? Three outs to go!

For the record - I'm not a "long suffering" fan. I've been a fan all my life but the Red Sox have been good for almost every year I've been alive. The Tampa Bay Devil Ray fans are long suffering.

Pujols gets a hit but I smell double play. OK - fly ball but still one out in the ninth. Edmonds strikes out - TWO OUTS in the ninth!


Red Sox / Cardinals Game 3

Watched the game from the ESPN Zone in Times Square. I was surprised that the crowd was about 90% Red Sox fans. Spontaneous "Let's Go Red Sox" chants broke out periodically along with a couple of "Who's your daddy?" chants. At the very end of the night someone tried to start a "Yankees suck" chant but it got no traction. I think "Who's your daddy?" has replaced "Yankees suck" as the chant of choice among Sox fans.

Let me just say that Pedro is still the man. He has been the heart of the Red Sox pitching staff for years and every year he finishes in the top 3 for Cy Young Voting. He was the third best starter in the American League this year (behind Santana and Schilling) and the Sox should do everything in their power to make sure Pedro retires as a member of the Red Sox.

Pedro just turned 33 on Monday. His fastball tops out at 93-94 now but consider that is about the same as what Santana tops out at and better than what Greg Maddux was able to get up to at the same age. Wouldn't you want a 33-year old Greg Maddux on your pitching staff? That's what Pedro basically is and I feel secure that the Sox front office know his worth and value him accordingly.

Seven innings, 3 hits and no runs. Sign Pedro as soon as the season ends. Announce it at the parade in Boston.

I didn't notice any overhead shots from the Ameriquest blimp Liberty last night so maybe it didn't make it down to the game in time (or maybe I just missed it).

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

M*A*S*H Doctor Veterans for Truth

(Edit: I wrote this back on August 26th but because I got nothing today - I'm reposting it for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!)

ANNOUNCER: Welcome to HARDBALL. Tonight we have Democratic Presidential Candidate Dr. Frank Burns and the leader of M*A*S*H Doctor Veterans for Truth - Dr. Benjamin Pierce.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I'm Chris Matthews let's play Hardball.

MATTHEWS: This half-hour on HARDBALL, Korean Veteran Dr. Ben Pierce, Frank Burn's longtime nemesis, on his contested new book, "Frank Burns Eats Worms." Dr. Pierce is here to debate Dr. Frank Burns, the Democratic nominee for President.

Dr. Burns and Dr. Pierce served together in the same unit in Korea but while Dr. Burns returned home to a successful practice and political career - Dr. Pierce suffered a mental breakdown and is now making a living as an author attacking the beloved Frank Burns and his politics reportedly at the behest of the Republican Party.

Let me ask you gentlemen about these questions. But let's start with the central notion that a lot of us have of Frank Burns. Whatever you think of his politics, he was a war hero. Is that true?


MATTHEWS: Why isn't it true?

PIERCE: Well first off he fabricated the citation for his Purple Heart, I think conclusively, based on the documentation in my book.

MATTHEWS: But according to the Army - Dr. Burns received the medal for getting a shell fragment in his eye as the result of an enemy attack on your hospital unit. Are you saying the Army is wrong and you are right?

PIERCE: It was an egg shell fragment. Frank was having breakfast at the time of the attack. Frank put himself up for the medal. The medal is a fraud. Tell him Frank.

DR. FRANK BURNS, DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT: Chris, who are you going to believe? The Army or this man who is clearly working on the instructions of the Republicans to smear me?

I understand that Hawkeye has been a bit disturbed since he came home from the war but what you have to understand is that Dr. Pierce has always been jealous of me both because I was a better surgeon than him and because I was his superior officer.

PIERCE: Oh please! Frank you know that is a load of...


MATTHEWS: Dr. Pierce, is it true that you had an issue with Frank's authority?

PIERCE: What authority? Nobody listened to him.

BURNS: Chris when I served I considered myself a surgeon first and a soldier second. I wasn't there to order people around. Pierce was the one who had to have all the attention. Always doing things to shine the spotlight on himself. Things like showing no nevermind to rank or military authority.


PIERCE: Surgeon first? Frank was like regular Army. He got a big kick out of his rank.

BURNS: Pierce what would you know about regular Army? I mean you wouldn't even carry a gun.

MATTHEWS: Is that true? You wouldn't even carry a gun?

PIERCE: When I got thrown into that war I had a clear understanding with the Pentagon: no guns. I said I'll carry your books, I'll carry a torch, I'll carry a tune, I'll carry on, carry over, carry forward, Cary Grant, cash and carry, carry me back to Old Virginia, I'll even 'hari-kari' if you show me how, but I will not carry a gun.

MATTHEWS: Was that supposed to be clever? Were you afraid of carrying a gun? Are you jealous of Dr. Burns because he was not?

PIERCE: What's to be jealous of? I'm just here because those of us who served with Frank in Korea know for a fact that he is unfit for command. Especially as Commander in Chief.

MATTHEWS: In your book "Frank Burns Eats Worms" you allege that Dr. Burns had a breakdown of sorts and that's why he was shipped out of Korea but isn't it true that you're the one who went into a mental hospital?

PIERCE: This isn't about me. This is about Frank Burns complete inability to be a leader worthy of respect.

BURNS: Chris, when I was transferred out of Korea I was assigned to a veterans' hospital in Indiana, and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Would the army promote a crazy person? I'll also have you note that Pierce was never promoted. Chris, I think it is clear that the Republicans must be putting Pierce up to this.

MATTHEWS: Dr. Pierce are you a Republican? Are the Republicans putting you up to this?

PIERCE: Me a Republican? I can't see how anyone could possibly picture me as a Republican. I mean that's laughable. I mean if I was an actor and you put me on the most successful show on TV - even then nobody would be able to see me as a Republican. I mean I'd probably kill that show if they tried to show me as a Republican.


MATTHEWS: Then why are you doing this?

PIERCE: Because Frank is lying about his service in Korea and those of us who served with him know him to be unfit for command and in fact the biggest danger I think our country has ever faced.

BURNS: Well, you know that President Bush never served in Korea.

PIERCE: Frank - he would have been 6-years old at the time

BURNS: Well, I'm not here to...


MATTHEWS: Thank you to Dr. Burns who clearly has nothing to hide and to Dr. Pierce who must be working for the Republicans. Next time on HARDBALL - does Jimmy Carter's spit cure cancer?
On the Road Again

Down in New York City - in the belly of the beast so to speak.

Yesterday I drove down and I happened to catch the Ameriquest Blimp Liberty ambling down from Boston on its way to St. Louis. The blimp must have been going about 50 mph tops. I saw it as it was passing over the George Washington Bridge about 4:00 - so it might be tight for it getting to St. Louis on time for tonight's game.

Lots of "Vote or Die" signs here in the city (especially around Times Square). That has to be one of the dumbest slogans ever thought of. It's insulting when you think of it (but that's the problem - the people who came up with the slogan didn't really think of it). If any Republican organization used a slogan like "Vote or Die" it would be hate speech (and it would also probably be in German - just kidding).

I'm spending my days at a trade show at the Javitts Center. There is also a Kosher Fest here at the Javitts and I'm going to have to check that out. The list of food vendors at the show is pretty impressive and just thinking about it is making me hungry.

Tonight I plan to catch Game 3 from the ESPN Zone in Times Square. I'll keep you posted.


Monday, October 25, 2004

MMQB Review

Here are the five things I think I think about today's Monday Morning Quarterback by Peter King:

1. Peter points out that the folks in Cleveland who selected Tim Couch over Donovan McNabb may want a do-over right about now. King doesn't mention it but McNabb was booed by Philly fans who wanted Ricky Williams. Couch over McNabb may be the football equivalent of Sam Bowie over Michael Jordon (hyperbole - I know).

2. King still has Atlanta ranked over Seattle, Baltimore and Detroit (and Detroit beat Atlanta head to head). Crazy.

3. Dave Wannstedt coach of the week? I bet people in Miami never saw that coming.

4. "Seahawks, you're paper tigers." This from the same guy who still has the Falcons ranked 9th even after they get blasted by Kansas City like they were a Pop Warner team. The Falcons are the biggest paper tigers going.

5. Ummm...why would a guy from New Jersey be rooting for the Sox?
I think one thing in football shocks me right now: Dallas being 2-4. Not even the Red Sox being up 2-0 can cheer Bill Parcells this morning.

Good Stuff

Always good Red Sox stuff at Singapore Sox Fan

Happy Birthday Pedro

There will be a lunar eclipse during Game 4

Red Sox schedule victory parade in New York City

Presidential Odds

The odds on the Presidential race had a little movement today. The new odds are Bush -$175 and Kerry +$145 (meaning you would have to risk $175 on Bush to win $100 or risk just $100 to win $145 on Kerry). The line yesterday was Bush -$170 and Kerry +$140.

Just a reminder - Kerry has never been favored in the betting line. The closest he's come is right after the DNC when the odds had both Kerry and Bush at -$120 (this is considered dead-even in betting - you would bet $120 to win $100 with $20 going to the house as "vig").
Red Sox / Cardinals Game 2

Red Sox go up 2 game to 0 with last night's 6-2 win! Woo hoo!

Curt Schilling again came up huge for the Red Sox. He pitched 6 innings (94 pitches) and allowed only one run (unearned). Curt was huge but to me the real story of the game was Tony LaRussa's decision to pitch Matt Morris on three days rest instead of Jason Marquis who he ended up using for an inning of relief anyway (???).

Morris allowed 4 runs in 4 innings. He only gave up 4 hits but he also allowed 4 walks. Going up against a pitcher like Schilling - the Cardinals couldn't afford anyone who was less than 100% on the mound and Matt Morris quite honestly wasn't up to the job.

Pitching Morris was a huge mistake on the part of LaRussa but a big deal probably won't be made of the move because LaRussa is a super-genius.

The second major story line for last night's game was Larry Walker, Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds going a combined 0-11 with 4 strikeouts. The Cardinals simply don't have a chance against the Red Sox unless the heart of their order comes through. Sure Albert Pujols went 3-4 but the Cardinals need more than one batter to come through per game to win.

The third major story line will be Bill Mueller's three errors last night. On Saturday I thought it was pretty funny that Fox played Andrew Gold's Lonely Boy after Manny's two error inning. There was no theme music for Mueller's miscues. I really felt bad for Mueller because he is truly one of the nicest guys in baseball and normally one of the best gloves. If I were Jason Varitek - I would hound the official scorer to get the first error changed from Mueller to Varitek because a guy like Mueller doesn't deserve a record for the most errors in a World Series game. (As an aside - Mueller was the only Boston hitter with more than one hit. The Cardinals did do a good job of holding the Red Sox offense in check except really for Morris who again should not have been pitching on three days rest.)

The announcers for these games pretty much suck. It was kinda funny to hear them talking about things that appeared in that day's Boston Globe without attribution. If I were Gordon Edes - I'd be pissed. How bad were they? Well the old lady did a much better job analyzing the game in her 30 seconds than McCarver in his 9 innings. Not bringing Al Leiter back for the Series was as big a mistake by Fox as pitching Morris was for LaRussa.

Some miscellaneous thoughts:

- It was cool to hear the crowd at Foxboro break into a "Who's your daddy?" chant during the closing moments of the Patriots win over the Jets ("Who's your daddy" may just supplant "Yankees suck" as the chant of choice and that's a good thing).

- Fox had Johnny Pesky on before the game and instead of asking him about the foul pole that is named after him - they tried to make him uncomfortable with veiled references to "Pesky held the ball!" Kevin Kennedy sucks as an announcer too. The guys at NESN run circles around the Fox guys.

- Speaking of Pesky - he disappointed me somewhat when he said that Schilling was the best pitcher the Red Sox have had since Clemens. What's Pedro? Chopped liver?

Sunday, October 24, 2004

No Way To Run a Campaign - October Timeline - Update

October Timeline

Full September Timeline

Full August Timeline

Oct. 18th - Terrorist Yasser Arafat endorses Kerry. The Kerry campaign tries to deflect the news with more silly sports photo ops. Meanwhile, the idea to mention Mary Cheney was not a good one. The Kerry campaign heads to its logical conclusion.

Oct. 19th - The Kerry campaign will have to deal with a very emotional commercial on behalf of President Bush. The Ashey ad debuts today. Meanwhile Kerry speaks French on the campaign trail (maybe he was telling people that he served in Vietnam in a different language just for a change?). Kerry also has to deal with General Tommy Franks taking the hammer to him in a frank comparison between Bush and Kerry.

Oct. 20th - Hmmm...another relatively quiet day. Is there irony in the fact that Kerry spent this relatively quiet day in Waterloo, IA?
Game 1 Flotsam and Jetsam

- The over / under for last night's game was 11 runs. That was reached in the 4th inning.

- It is unanimous that Tim McCarver has reached new levels of suckitude as an announcer. Even his stats page at is sponsored by

- Brian Gunn has a game 1 rundown at The Hardball Times. Gun also has perhaps the best blog on the Cardinals going - Redbird Nation.

- Many pundits are already penciling in Carlos Beltran into the Yankees line-up for next year but as Lee Corso would say, "Not so fast my friend." Beltran is a mid-America guy who has publicaly endosed George Bush and has made it plain that he would like to play in Chicago. Now Chicago has declined the option on Moises "the moistest" Alou - they have a war chest that could go toward signing Beltran. Also don't rule out Beltran staying with Houston. I don't see him in pinstripes next year.

- If the Sox do win the Series - I hope Bill Buckner is invited to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day next year. Enough is enough.

- I'm not concerned with Manny's fielding and I'm sure that neither are his teammates. That said - I do hope he takes some extra fielding practice today.

- When people ask me about a curse - I respond by saying, "Oh my God! Is that your breath?" Talk of the curse is stupid.

- Cardinals go with Matt Morris in Game 2 instead of Jason Marquis. I think this is a HUGE mistake on the part of the Cardinals.

- Interesting insights into Red Sox owner John Henry

- Peter Gammons on Game 1. (Not a maximum effort to be honest.)
Red Sox / Cardinals Game 1

One down - three to go! Ooohh rah! Red Sox 11, Cardinals 9.

The two numbers people will dwell on this morning are probably 11 and 4. The Red Sox offense scored 11 runs and the Red Sox defense committed 4 errors. I prefer to look at some other numbers which I think help explain what happened and may foretell what is in store.

Most of the analysis you will read or hear focuses on the offense but there are a couple pitching statistics that I think may end up telling the story of this series.

First off - home runs. St. Louis allowed 169 HR this year compared to 159 for the Sox. This difference of just 10 may seem slight but it is more pronounced when you consider that St. Louis did not have to face a DH while the Sox staff did. Simply put - the Cardinals tend to give up more home runs than the Red Sox and true to form - last night the Cardinals gave up 2 HR to the Sox allowing 1 and it was the second HR off the bat of Mark Bellhorn that proved to be the difference.

The second stat I would like to take a look at is strikeouts. Cardinal pitching struck out 1,029 batters this season. The Red Sox pitchers stuck out 1,132. Again this difference may seem slight until you consider that the Sox pitchers were striking out DH's while many of the Cardinals' K's included strikeouts by pitchers who have to bat in the NL. Again - last night true to form - Red Sox pitchers struck out 9 while Cardinal pitchers struck out just 3. You can't get a hit if you don't put the ball in play. (Oh- and I agree that the third strike on Jim Edmonds his final at bat was a ball.)

Now that I've mentioned those two indicators to keep an eye on - let's take a look at the game.

The first pitch last night was thrown out by Carl Yastrzemski - who threw a perfect strike from the rubber. Tonight I hope the Red Sox honor Johnny Pesky by letting him throw out the first pitch. I bet the 85 year old Pesky would also throw a perfect strike from the mound and not throw a ball from in front of the mound that bounces 3 feet before the plate like a certain Massachusetts politician who is seeking higher office.

Speaking of John Kerry - you won't see him at Fenway this series. He is too concerned about getting booed to attend. His campaign rightly acknowledges that getting booed at Fenway would not have a positive effect on Kerry's campaign.

I'm thinking that this morning the folks in St. Louis have a better appreciation for how balanced and dangerous the Red Sox line-up is. Only Trot Nixon among the starters failed to get at least one hit. In the early going - it looked like it would be a route as the Sox opened up a 7-2 lead (led by the 3 run bomb off the bat of David Ortiz).

Two things allowed the Cardinals to get back in the game - the extremely hot bat of Larry Walker (who went 4-5 and is slugging .755 this post season) and the inconsistent strike-zone of home plate umpire Ed Montague. It seemed like Montague had a moving strike-zone and this even caused the impeturbable Tim Wakefield to get ticked and it helped contribute to Wakefield's 4 walks in the 4th inning. It is true that the Sox benefited from the floating strike-zone with the Edmonds strike-out but here's one fan that is wishing that we don't see Montague behind the plate for the rest of the series.

Whenever the Cardinals scratched back into the game - it seemed that the Sox answered right back. The final answer being Bellhorn's 2 run blast in the 8th inning. That HR did seem to seal the deal but I admit to getting nervous when Fox showed Ben Affleck on camera in the 9th inning. I saw Affleck (who is a true fan of the Sox) and I immediately thought, "Oh God - Fox just jinxed the Sox." Happily I was wrong.

Game two tonight (I may live blog it or I may be watching the game out).

Just an aside - Boston truly is the Hub of the sports universe this weekend. Yesterday we had both Game 1 of the World Series and the Head of the Charles Regatta (which is the foremost rowing event in the country - a true international happening and good time if you ever get a chance to attend). Today we have the undefeated Patriots playing the undefeated Jets in Foxboro and Game 2 of the Series.

Good times.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Presidential Odds

The odds on the Presidential race tighten some more. Today the odds are Bush -$170 and Kerry +$140 (meaning you would have to risk $170 on Bush to win $100 or risk just $100 to win $140 on Kerry). The betting line on the race for the Presidency has been very active lately. Thursday Kerry closed the gap a bit (maybe due to the Red Sox big win over the Yankees?) to Bush -$185 and Kerry +$155 . Wednesday the line was Bush -$200 and Kerry +160. Tuesday the line was Bush -$170 and Kerry +$140. The day before the line was Bush -$155 and Kerry +$125.

The line today is back to where it was on Tuesday. Very active line. Not sure what it means.
World Series - Cardinals Roster

As a public service for Boston fans who may not be familiar with the Cardinals - here are some tidbits you may find interesting and some of the story-lines you should be aware of in the series (read this and impress your friends in barroom conversation!)

Starting Line-Up:

Edgar Renteria - SS: He's a free agent at the end of the season and many folks in Boston were looking at Renteria as the natural replacement for Nomar Garciaparra if Nomar left Boston as a free agent. Now that Orlando Cabrera is here - this is moot.

Larry Walker - RF: The greatest Canadian baseball player of all-time (please no Fergie Jenkins arguments). Walker is also a good friend of Boston Bruins great Cam Neeley.

Albert Pujols - 1B: If he keeps up the pace he's started his career off with - you are looking at one of the all-time greats. Put it this way - if Pujols keeps it up Stan may no longer be the Man in Cardinals history.

Scott Rolen - 3B: Generally regarded as the best 3rd baseman in baseball. In 2002 he was traded from the Phillies (along with flotsam Doug Nickle) to the Cardinals in a deal that sent Placido Polonco, Bud Smith and Mike Timlin (yes our Mike Timlin) to the Phillies. Rolen was drafted in the second round in the 1993. That was the draft that Alex Rodriguez went first overall and which the Sox drafted Trot Nixon and the Mariners took Jason Varitek in the first round.

Jim Edmonds - CF: One of the most under-rated players in baseball. A 6-time Gold Glover and a threat to hit a HR every time he comes to the plate (302 career HR). Edmonds is as dangerous with the bat as Gary Sheffield but because he is so good in the field people overlook his offense to some degree.

Reggie Sanders - LF: He went to Spartanburg Methodist College in South Carolina which would be the New England equivalent of going to St. Joe's in Maine.

Tony Womack - 2B: You will hear plenty of how Womack was traded from the Red Sox to the Cardinals in spring training in exchange for Duffman. Womack was good for the Cardinals but Red Sox fans were pretty happy with Mark Bellhorn. Sure Womack had a higher batting average (.307) but Bellhorn was better in OBP (.373 to .349) and SLG (.444 to .385). Bellhorn also had more HR (17 to 5) and more RBI (82 to 38) while still managing to score more runs (93 to 91).

Mike Matheny - C: Classic good defense no offense catcher. You know you can't just put down the trumpet and pick up the flugel. That's all I have to say about that.

Woody Williams - SP Game 1: Has a career 4.62 ERA at Fenway (10 games incluing 4 starts). His real first name is Gregory. Maybe we'll hear chants of "Greg-ory, Greg-ory" from the Boston stands tonight.

Jason Marquis - SP Game 2: He could be a wild card. Everyone will be focused on Curt Schilling in game 2 but Marquis has the ability to match Curt pitch-for-pitch. In three games at Fenway (including 2 starts) - Marquis has an impressive 2.87 ERA and an even more impressive 0.96 WHIP and .200 BAA. Game 2 is the proverbial "trap-game".

Matt Morris - SP Game 3: Matt Morris is supposedly the staff ace but he can be hit (witness the 4.72 ERA this year). The story for game 3 will be free-agent to-be Morris against free-agent to-be Pedro Martinez.

Jeff Suppan - SP Game 4: Suppan pitched for the Red Sox last year after the trade deadline and he soon came to be known as "Suck-pan" (because of his 5.57 ERA). He could be just one of those guys who can't pitch in Fenway because the Green Monster gets into his head. The Cardinals would be wise to only pitch Suppan at home in this series.

Julian Tavarez - RP: Best known for playing Bennie on LA Law

Jason Isringhausen - closer: Capable of shutting a team down. Doesn't give up a lot of home runs (jinx, jinx).

World Series - Team Histories / All-Time Leaders

Here's a quick comparison of some of the All-Time leaders for both the Red Sox and Cardinals:

Batting Average: St. Louis has the edge with Rogers Hornsby's .359 career average (Ted Wiliams leads the Sox with a career .344)

Home Runs: Ted William's 521 rule over Stan Musial's 475 (Musial is the only Cardinal with more than 350 HR - the Red Sox have four players)

RBI: Stan the Man is the man here with his 1,951 RBI (Carl Yastrzemski leads the Sox with 1,844)

OBP: Ted Williams was ahead of his time with OBP - his .481 is way ahead of Mark McGwire's .427

Wins: Bob Gibson (251) and Jesse Haines (210) blow away Cy Young and Roger Clemens 192 wins each. (I had honestly never heard of Jesse Haines.)

ERA: John Tudor was a good player but his ERA doesn't come close to Smokey Joe Wood's 1.99 (Tudor is the All-Time Leader for the Cardinals with his 2.52 - which would have been good for a tie for 7th with Pedro Martinez with the Sox)

Complete Games: Cy Young's 275 will never be touched by a Sox player EVER and neither will the Cardinals record of 255 by Bob Gibson

Strike Outs: Bob Gibson has 3,117 for the Cardinals while Clemens had 2,590 for the Sox

Friday, October 22, 2004

Heh Heh

Morning Links

- A Survey on the World Series match-ups

- Joel Sherman on what changes to expect from the Yankees - Bonus: Here's yesterday's takedown of A-Rod by Sherman

- If you're a Sox fan - you should check out Singapore Sox Fan - he always has good stuff

- This is worth the time if just for the "Step Money" crack
Sports and Politics

The world of sports may have an impact on the Presidential race in three key states.

In Ohio, the Bush campaign should feel the impact from three former athletes. Very popular former Cleveland Brown quarterback Bernie Kosar has come out publicly for Bush. Ditto in Cincinnati with NFL Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz who played his entire career with the Bengals. The extremely popular Governor of California, Arnold Swartzenegger will be campaigning in Columbus. Arnold runs a yearly body building contest in Columbus and is no stranger to the area (and please no side-tracking discussion on whether body building is a sport - it is much more a sport than golf).

In Missouri, Kerry could feel the backlash from "professing" to be a Red Sox fan (everyone in New England knows he's not a fan). If the Red Sox beat the Cardinals in the World Series (please God) - then voters in St. Louis may take out their frustration on Kerry (please God).

The same is true in New Jersey where frustrated Yankee fans may also lash out at Kerry just for being from Boston. This could be especially true among the coveted "undecided" voter because "undecided" voters and Yankee fans tend to fit the same profile (high school education, low IQ and uninterested in current events).

Let me take a moment to address Kerry as Red Sox fan. Kerry is a Red Sox fan the same way that the fictional Frazier Crane would be a fan of the Mariners if they made it to the World Series. And while I'm ranting - kudos to Red Sox ace Curt Schilling for his recent comment. In case you missed it - Schilling was asked if Alex Rodriguez trying to knock the ball out of Arroyo's glove was a "bush-league" move and Schilling responded "No - it's Kerry league."

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Five Reasons I'm Rooting for the Houston Astros Tonight

I'm pulling for the Astros to win tonight - here's why:

1. My friend Mike Ganis works for the Astros

2. I've always been a Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio fan - these are two class guys and two certain Hall of Famers - they deserve to experience a World Series

3. Craig Biggio and Carlos Beltran have publically come out in support of re-electing George Bush

4. The Astros making the World Series after firing Jimy Williams mid-season will probably prevent Williams from getting another managing job. No team's fans deserve to be subjected to Jimy Williams.

5. I'm sure Mike Ganis has money riding on the game and I don't root against a friend when I have no monetary interest involved
Bar Signs

Last night I showed you how to explain what happened to the Yankees 3-0 lead in the series to a deaf friend.

Today - Bar Signs.

(Caption for above: Let us spring up out of our sober shells. We shall soar like drunken eagles.)

I found these so funny that my brain hurt.
Presidential Odds

The betting line on the race for the Presidency has been very active lately. Today Kerry closed the gap a bit (maybe due to the Red Sox big win last night?). Anyway - today the line Bush -$185 and Kerry +$155 (meaning you would have to risk $185 on Bush to win $100 or risk just $100 to win $155 on Kerry). Yesterday the line was Bush -$200 and Kerry +160. Tuesday the line was Bush -$170 and Kerry +$140. The day before the line was Bush -$155 and Kerry +$125.

I think today's bump for Kerry was more of a isolated event - the trend is definitely for Bush.

Go Red Sox!

Go Bush!
Morning Links

- Aaron Gleeman had a running diary of last night's game. Good stuff.

- Bush up by 4 points in Michigan?!?!

(Just wanted to interrupt these links to mention that one of the side benefits of seeing the Red Sox win last night is now we Red Sox fans get to watch all the Yankee fans turn on Alex Rodriguez.)

- Interesting. I never realized that it was remade a second time - now a third time?

- Bob Ryan on the Red Sox win

(One final aside before I post - please note that John Kerry is not a Red Sox fan and there is no "either / or" associated with the Red Sox winning the World Series or Kerry / Bush winning the election. That's just asinine. If Kerry thought it would gain him electoral votes - he'd claim to be a lifelong Cardinals fan.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Red Sox / Yankees Game 7 Diary

Staying in tonight to watch the game with the family. Normally bedtime would be 9:00 for the oldest but we're letting all four stay up (or try and stay up) for the game. I'll let them sleep in and then drive them into school (after a stop at Dunkin' Donuts).

I'm sipping Kahlua mudslides tonight because I think it will be good for my nervous stomach. Hmmm mudslides.....

There is a certain irony in the fates of both teams being in the hands of the biggest head cases on either pitching staffs. Derek Lowe is known for making the "Derek Lowe face" and for allowing mistakes to really throw himself off his game. Meanwhile Kevin Brown is just a psycho redneck (and hey let's be honest - probable steroids abuser).

I'm hoping that Doug Mientkiewicz starts at first tonight. That should help Lowe's psyche and I have a feeling that Mientkiewicz will come up big.

I meant to give a tip of the hat to Steve the bartender at Mahoney's last night. The second the last out was made - Dirty Water was blaring on the house speakers. That was followed by Journey's Don't Stop Believing and then Van Halen's Right Here, Right Now. Good job on the tunes.

Captain Caveman starts the game off with a single and a stolen base (but then gets thrown out at home). Let me say up front that I really don't like Kevin Brown. I think he's a total jerk.

Who's your Papi! Home run Ortiz! Red Sox up 2-0. Just as important - it took Kevin "Jerk" Brown 23 pitches to get through the first inning.

My oldest announces that there's a girl in her school named Alex Rodriguez. I resist the temptation to ask if she is a whiny bitch like her namesake. Derek Lowe gets out of the first with just 13 pitches.

Two quick asides - Bucky F'n Dent threw out the first pitch tonight. I have a soft spot for Dent because my wife can trace back the night of the conception of our oldest to the night he was fired as manager of the Yankees. We had gone into Fenway for the game, had too much to drink and then weren't as careful as we should have been (oops - was that too much information?). The second aside - did you know that if you did a Google search for "Kevin Brown jerk" that you would come back with 23,600 matches?

Jim Morrison lights my fire! Johnny Damon grand slam! Red Sox go up 6-0. My son actually called for the grand slam. What can I say about the Yankees right now? BTW - the over / under for this game was 10 runs.

Is that Johnny Damon or Johnny Storm? I ask because Damon is on fire! Second HR of the night - 8-1 Red Sox! Kevin Brown was bad but Vazquez has turned into the matador of shame. I hate to say it but this is almost anti-climatic.

Kevin Brown finishes the 2004 post season with a 21.60 ERA. I'm pretty sure that Jeff Weaver could have done better than that. Hey Kevin - the jerk store called to say that they were out of you.

I don't mean to be mean - it's just that Kevin Brown and Kenny Lofton really get under my skin. I don't loathe the Yankees like some people do. I've had Yankee favorites over the years like Mattingly and Guidry. I also think Steinbrenner is one hell of an owner. He wants to win every year and what's wrong with that?

Bottom of the sixth and I would like to take this opportunity to point out that my Fever Pitch Theory is holding up pretty well. I may have to drink nothing but mudslides the whole world series.

Derek Lowe has been super. Maybe his best outing of the year. I hope he's got another good one in him for the World Series. The honest truth though is that he's all done with the Red Sox. The only possible way for him to be on next year's team would be if the Red Sox offer him arbitration and he accepts.

Lowe's final line - 6 innings, 1 run, 3 K's and just 69 pitches thrown.

Ummm...I don't understand this move to Pedro. I'll give Francona the benefit of the doubt but it puzzles me. I think this may be a personal thing to Pedro and maybe Francona thinks Pedro has earned this right. I have no problem with that.

Pedro gives up 2 runs but finishes strong and Bellhorn gets one right back. 9-3 Red Sox.

OK now Timlin is in. I have no idea what's happening with the bullpen. I wonder if Brian Cashman goes into the witness protection program after this game rather than face up to the wrath of George.

When the Fox guys mentioned great upsets I think the example they should have used was the 1993 AFC Playoff game between the Oilers (who were in Houston then) and the Buffalo Bills. The Oilers built an insurmountable 35-3 lead only to have the Bills surmount them. That's what the Red Sox have done. They have surmounted an insurmountable lead. The Red Sox have surmounted the Yankees.

Just in case you need to explain what happened to the Yankees to a deaf friend.

One final note - the Yankees gave the Red Sox the Sinatra version of New York, New York instead of the Liza version and that might have been a small thing but it was a classy move by the Yankees and it did not go un-noticed.

Bring on the World Series!

I happened upon Nick Nolte's Diary today. I think this may actually be the real thing. If so then Nolte is either the king of unintentional comedy or he's playing an elaborate joke.

I'm pretty sure that Hulk's Diary That is on the Internet is a put-on.
Presidential Odds

More movement today on the betting line. Today the line is Bush -$200 and Kerry +160 (meaning you would have to risk $200 on Bush to win $100 or risk just $100 to win $160 on Kerry). Yesterday the line was Bush -$170 and Kerry +$140. The day before the line was Bush -$155 and Kerry +$125. There is a definite trend here and it's not good for Kerry.

Game Seven!

Are there any more magically words in sports than "game 7"? The Red Sox have definitely earned a game 7. Last night was great! Great I tell you!

I watched the game from Mahoney's (home of the world's coldest bottled beer - seriously every fifth beer is frozen). Nobody had the slightest doubt in the world that Curt Schilling wasn't going to come through with a big game (and he did with 7 innings of 1 run ball).

Jon Leiber also pitched a good game but the Red Sox made him work harder in his 7 innings (124 pitches to Schilling's 99) and his mistake pitch was taken out of the park by Bellhorn (while Schilling's mistake pitch to Posada was knocked down by the wind and stayed in the park).

To me - this was the most exciting game of the series. Possibly this had to do with the fact that the noise from the bar kept me from hearing Tim McCarver's voice all the time. Red Sox fans are really spoiled with Jerry Remy (the best in the business). Everything is a step down from Remy but McCarver is just awful.

Tonight is game 7 and I can't wait.

Interesting side story - Sean the bartender's day job is as a high school teacher. After the Sox got down 3-0, Sean told the class "Everyone who thinks the Red Sox can come back and win this series - stand up." Only two students stood up. When it was 3-1 he asked the same question and a few more stood up. At 3-2 - half the class stood up. Sean fully expects everyone to stand up this morning when the question is asked.

Some miscellaneous thoughts and observations:

- Last night this knock out named Niddia sat to my left for a few innings. She is from around here and is back from LA (where she's lived for the past 2 years) to be in a movie called The Nuance of Casual Sex. Man did she smell good.

- I'm convinced that at least one member of the umpiring crew must wear a receiver that allows someone to see the replays and send down word to help them get the right call.

- Probably my favorite moment of the night was when Schilling went very high and very tight on A-Rod in the first inning. A-Rod has quickly become "Most Hated Yankee Number 1". If A-Rod were a hockey player - he's be Ken Linesman. Come to think of it "The Rat" would be a good nickname for "A-Rod" (although "Swinger" would be good too).

- If the Red Sox win tonight - what sort of wholesale changes do you think you'll see in New York? Brian Cashman would be the first goat but what of Torre? What of Giambi? Does he get his ass booted for not being available to play while still cashing a munga check? Can Carlos Beltran name his own figure to sign with the Yankees?

- Next year Bronson Arroyo will drill A-Rod with the first pitch no matter what. I wish I could bet on things like that.

- Game 7! Does it get any better than this?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Ashley Ad and Sports

You may be aware of the very touching ad that will be running in many of the so-called battle states. The ad tells the story of the moving encounter of Ashley Faulkner, who lost her mother on September 11th, and President Bush. The ad can be seen here.

You may also know that the ad will be the centerpiece of THE largest ad-buy of the campaign. An estimated $14.2 million will be spent on the Ashley ad campaign.

What you may not know is that the money man behind the group sponsoring the ad is San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos. The group running the Ashley ads is a 527 called Progress for America Voter Fund. The largest contributor to this group has reportedly been Alex Spanos (who has given a reported $5 million).

Spanos is the wealthy owner of the Chargers who came from very humble beginnings.
Spanos was born September 28, 1923, in Stockton, California. He developed his tireless work ethic early, starting at age eight in his father's restaurant, rising before dawn to help prepare pastries before attending school. In 1951, Spanos borrowed $800, purchased a truck and set out on his own. He began his own catering business and later began investing in real estate. In 1960 he formed the A.G. Spanos Construction Company.
Spanos was a close friend of Bob Hope and he had Rush Limbaugh write the forward to an autobiography Spanos wrote. The book was called Sharing the Wealth which sounds like a strange name for the autobiography of such a successful capitalist.

This gives me another reason to root for the Chargers but it also makes me wonder if Spanos ever had any political discussions with Doug Flutie (who was a very visible supporter of Hillary Clinton when she was running for the Senate and Flutie was playing for the Bills).

Presidential Odds

There has been a change in the betting line on the Presidential race since yesterday. Today the odds are Bush -$170 and Kerry +$140 (this means you would have to risk $170 to win $100 on Bush or risk just $100 to win $140 on Kerry).

Yesterday the odds were Bush -$155 and Kerry +125.

A change in the odds is usually caused by more money coming in on one side than the other. More people must be betting on Bush (putting their money where their mouth is) than Kerry. This is the only poll worth following in my opinion.

For those interested - the Red Sox are a -$155 favorite to win tonight (vs. the Yankees who are at +$135). The over / under for the game is 10 runs.
Morning Links

- This is Just too funny - John Edwards and his hair

- New Mark Steyn - always worth the read (The folks at LGF will he pleased to see Steyn use the phrase "Bush Derangement Syndrome" BDS for short.)

- SI's John Donovan on the Red Sox

- When the Man Come Round Just an awesome video (via LGF)

Are You A Yankee Fan?

Saddam Hussein, Billy Crystal and Fidel Castro are all Yankees fans. You are known by the company you keep. Friends don't let friends root for the Yankees.

The Fever Pitch Theory

I have a theory on the Red Sox / Yankees series. In a nutshell my theory says that the Red Sox are going to win this series because they are making a movie about it.

The movie Fever Pitch is being filmed as we speak. The movie stars Jimmy Fallon (from SNL fame) and is a remake of an English movie that was about soccer and the Arsenal "football" team in particular. In the movie, Arsenal didn't finish in second place - so why should the Red Sox come up just short in winning the American League Pennant?

Think of the drama that's been building here. The beloved Red Sox are down 3 games to none to the hated Yankees. Jimmy Fallon's character loses hope and questions his life-long allegiance to a team that always lets him down. The Red Sox win one game and there is a ray of hope. Fallon's girl friend (Drew Barrymore) tells him that he has to believe. The Red Sox win a second game and the series moves back to New York where the team's ace comes back from injury to pitch the team to a dramatic game six win. In game seven the improbable comeback is complete and the Red Sox move on to the World Series.

In the script, Jimmy Fallon's character also becomes complete after the win as years of heartbreak are washed away and the character can now see that his life and the fortunes of the Red Sox are not truly tied together. Fallon decides to make his own happiness and marries Barrymore's skanky character.

This just has to happen because it has already been scripted.

(Of course and alternate ending would have Fallon's character go to Yankee Stadium for the dramatic game 7 only to watch the Red Sox lose and Fallon's character gets the snot beat out of him after the game when he inadvertently stumbles into a lesbian bar full of Yankee fans.)

Some miscellaneous notes from last nights game:

- 14 innings and 5:49 - the only word to describe this game is exhausting. I went straight to bed after Ortiz's hit. I keep thinking that even if the Yankees won - they wouldn't have the energy left to pop a cork in celebration.

- OK - this has really been bothering me. Has anyone else seen that bottle in the Red Sox dugout? You know the one I'm talking about. The water bottle that has had the label taken off and instead of water - it is now 2/3's full with a yellow liquid that to my mind is probably urine. Have you seen this bottle? This bottle has been there for all three games and it's starting to get to me.

- Manny Ramirez is hitting .333 for the series with a .462 OBP but his SLG is only .381 - if the Red Sox are to win they will need more than singles and walks from Manny.

- Besides David Ortiz - the Red Sox line-up has been pretty quiet. If the Yankees treated Ortiz the way the National League treats Barry Bonds (intentional walks) - then the Yankees would be resting up to see who they play in the World Series right now.

- The Red Sox never bunting really came back and bit them in the ass tonight.

- Mariano Rivera is toast for tonight's game. If it is close and Rivera gets into the game - look for the Red Sox to light him up.

- My loathing for the sound of Tim McCarver's voice grows every day.

- I love Tim Wakefield. Man what a great performance last night. I had full confidence in Wakefield. It was like he could have gone another 6 innings without a run. Timmeh!

Monday, October 18, 2004

MMQB Review

Here are the five things I think I think about today's Monday Morning Quarterback column by Peter King:

1. King calls Terrel Owens "The Solution". Is that really Owens official nickname or is King just trying to set a trend? Did I miss the memo on that one?

2. Dear Penthouse - I never thought this could happen to me:
Last week, HBO dispatched me to Philadelphia to interview Owens for Inside the NFL. We were supposed to have 20 minutes. We had 55. We sat on stools so close that my left leg was touching his right leg the entire time.
Just then an angry Frank Costanza burst into the HBO studios and yelled, "That's my move. Stopping short and the leg on leg interview - those are my moves! Serenity now!"

3. King and Owens talk about Owens breaking his collarbone last year. I never heard this before. Owens said it wasn't a big deal. I broke my collar bone and it was VERY painful (of course I was in second grade at the time).

4. "Indianapolis (5-1). On his bye Sunday, I am guessing Peyton Manning watched the NFL from noon till 11 p.m." So how does that make Peyton Manning any different than me? Sunday was a day off for me too and I watched football from noon to midnight.

5. Defensive Player of the Week - Jerry Azumah. Another St. Peter-Marian alum. You never read about any pro players (or bloggers for that matter) from Holy Name or St. Johns.
Morning Links

- Heh Heh - George Clooney is a political liability to his dad

- Interesting analysis by The Jawa Report on Kerry's claims about Bush and job loss

- The California Yankee on more fallout from Kerry's comment about Mary Cheney

- Mark Cuban has a new post up

- Mark Steyn on Australian PM John Howard
No Way To Run a Campaign - October Timeline - Update

October Timeline

Full September Timeline

Full August Timeline

Oct. 16th - Cops who want nothing to do with Kerry:
"As the elected leader of the largest organization representing America's Federal, State and local law enforcement officers, I believe it's important to point out yet again that we do not support his candidacy for President," [Fraternal Order of Police President Chuck] Canterbury said. "And to be perfectly frank, the groups which do support him actually share the same membership rolls and, taken together, probably comprise less than one-quarter of our nation's police officers."
Remember Kerry claiming 56 pieces of legislation during the debate? (In my best Maxwell Smart voice) "Would you believe 11? How about 5?"

Oct. 17th - Gallup poll has Bush up by touchdown and two point conversion.
One Step at a Time

Red Sox 6 - Yankees 4. That's the first thing I checked this morning.

Last night I watched the game on and off but I gave myself a 1:00 am cutoff point and then went to bed. When I got up this morning the third thing I did was check STATS - Red Sox 6 - Yankees 4 in 12 innings. (The first and second things I did were visit the Irish library and get myself a cup of coffee.)

Truthfully, I was ambivalent about last nights game. If they were going to lose - I didn't want to invest too much time in the game. In fact I only really watched the first 7 innings during the commercial breaks from AMC where Arnold's True Lies was showing. Even after the movie - the game had to share clicker time with ESPN (the football game at first and then Sportscenter). As things dragged on - I set my 1:00 curfew. Red Sox 6 - Yankees 4.

Yesterday, I discussed the Red Sox with a friend. We were trying to decide if it was best if they were just swept and we were put out of our misery. My friend and I are both the type of guys who rip off band-aids quickly and if the Sox were to lose - just get it over. However, my friend pointed out that if the Red Sox lost it wouldn't be fair to the people who had tickets to Friday night's game that got rained out. Their tickets were good for Monday's game 5. It would suck to have tickets and then not get to use them because of a sweep. I then pointed out that it also wouldn't be fair to the Patriots. If the Red Sox season ended - then they would be hogging the spotlight and that wouldn't be fair to a team that just won 20 games in a row.

So last night my friend and I were rooting for the Red Sox to win on behalf of the Patriots and on behalf of the people who had tickets to today's game. It's not like we were emotionally invested - naw - we were just rooting on behalf of others.

After thinking about it. I have decided that I really don't want to see the Yankee players celebrating on the field at Fenway or popping Champaign corks in our locker room. The Red Sox have to at least win today to send it back to New York. That's not rooting - it's just propriety.

If there is going to be a game six - why not take things to the limit? Forcing a game 7 would be a moral victory in itself. Yeah - that's the next goal. As entertainment - these games are pretty good and there really isn't anything else worth watching on TV.

Hey - if you are going to have a game 7 - why not win that game and really stick it to the Yankees? Hey - why not? One game at a time. It seems to be working for the Patriots.

Go Red Sox! (Do you see how easily it is to be sucked back in?)

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Heh Heh

All I am saying is give peace a laugh.

Via Instapundit
Presidential Odds

As it stands right now - President Bush continues to be a strong favorite for re-election. The betting line on the election has Bush the favorite at -$155 and Kerry at +$125 (this means you would have to risk $155 to win $100 on Bush or risk just $100 to win $125 on Kerry).

The line was at Bush -$150 and Kerry +$120 on Wednesday and it moved to the current line on Thursday (which means that the casinos at least saw the third debate as a slight Bush victory). It is also interesting to note that Bush is the favorite in the two biggest battle states - Florida and Ohio.

In Ohio - Bush is a -$150 to +$125 favorite over Kerry and in Florida Bush is a big -$200 to +$160 favorite.

Kerry or Stillson?

A Senator from a New England state uses a child on the campaign trail? Sound familiar?

No Way To Run a Campaign - October Timeline - Update

October Timeline

Full September Timeline

Full August Timeline

Oct. 13th - Unfortunately for Kerry - the only thing that people will remember from the third Presidential debate is the fact that he tried to use Dick Cheney's daughter for political gain. Whatever campaign advisor suggested that as a strategy should be fired on the spot.

Oct. 14th - What does Dick Cheney think of John Kerry using Cheney's daughter as a campaign prop?
You saw a man who will say and do anything in order to get elected. And I am not speaking just as a father here, though I am a pretty angry father, but as a citizen.
Oct. 15th - Kerry continues to use the myth of a draft on the campaign trail. Maybe Kerry wants a draft because the volunteer armed forces overwhelming don't like him? Meanwhile Teresa uses a home remedy (i.e. gin and white raisins) to deal with the aches and pains of the campaign trail. Teresa's snake oil is probabbly better than what Edwards and Kerry are offering - at least in the eyes of Charles Krauthammer.
Morning Links

- Jason Stark on Roger Clemens

- Steven den Beste is back (sort of)

- Mark Steyn on "Hard Cultures" and "Soft Cultures"
Wicked Pissed

OK - last night did it. I used to be a "sunny side of the street" type of guy when it came to Terry Francona's managing but now my eyes are open.

The reason why the Yankees have won more games this year than the Red Sox can be explained in two words - Joe Torre. The Red Sox actually have better talent but the Yankees have the trump card in Joe Torre.

It's not even a question of Joe making the right moves that makes him so successful. Many times it is a question of him not making a dumb move just for the sake of making a move.

Last night Terry Francona made a dumb move just to make a move and I'm still wicked pissed about it.

Bronson Arroyo was ineffective and was pulled after 2 innings. Ramiro Mendoza was very effective in his inning of work but when he hit a batter to start off the forth - Francona pulled him in favor of Curtis "now sporting a 20.25 ERA" Leskanic.

I screamed at the TV when this move was made. Mendoza had only thrown 20 pitches. Francona was nuking his bullpen options in just the forth inning. When Leskanic blew-up - I did the only thing that seemed reasonable at the time - I started doing shots of Jaegermeister at the bar.

Now I fully understand that managing in the post-season is new to Francona and that he'll hopefully improve. I also realize that without Francona - Boston may have not gotten Schilling to agree to a trade here. I'm not advocating firing him. I'm just mad about the way he managed last night's game.

Scratch that - I'm not mad about the way he managed last night's game - I'm wicked pissed.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Game 3 - Red Sox / Yankees

Going out with the wife tonight so no live-blogging of the game. I do have a bit of news. I haven't seen this anywhere in the news but I understand that Kevin Brown took the opportunity of the night off to get a hair cut.

Kevin probably should have found out if his barber was a Red Sox fan or a Yankees fan before he let him anywhere near his head with the clippers.

Blogroll Update

Just wanted to note that I've updated my Blogroll. If you have linked to me and I haven't returned the favor - please let me know and I will fix that toot-sweet (or is that "tooth-sweet"?).
A Riddle

What is greater than God and more evil than the Devil?

Poor people have it and rich people need it.

If you eat it - you'll die.

What is it?
Morning Links

- The Dutchess of Nothin' But What the Lord Gave Her - Fergie Poses for Charity

- Kerry asks for equal time from Sinclair Broadcasting

- How the Red Sox have increased their "nonbaseball" revenue

- A new post from The Belmont Club that's must reading for this morning

- Victor Davis Hanson on a "good death"

- If you missed Something Awful's Photoshop Friday yesterday - you are missing out on some very funny stuff . This was my favorite.