Sunday, July 31, 2005

Cool Picture

Background info to the picture here.

Hat Tip - Spaceman
Top 5 - Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies

Arnold turns 58 today. Here are what I consider his top 5 movies:

1. The Terminator
2. True Lies
3. Terminator 2
4. Conan the Barbarian
5. Predator

Not making the list - Jingle All the Way
Baseball Hall of Fame Flotsam and Jetsam

Today Wade Boggs, Ryne Sandberg, Jerry Coleman and Peter Gammons will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Here are some miscellaneous Baseball Hall of Fame thoughts and observations.

- I wonder if there will be any "Get Laid for Wade" signs out in the crowd today. Wade was a self-proclaimed sex addict (does that now make him a recovering sex addict?) yet to my knowledge no writer has tackled the sex angle to this year's induction. I mean you obviously have Boggs who put the name Margo Adams into the national consciousness and Sandberg's very election was jeopardized by the time off he took from baseball to try and save his marriage (Cindy Sandberg is rumored to have done things that would make Anna Benson blush). Yet no mention of either of these issues? And before you explain to me that the sexual history of the players is private - I'd like you to remember that Bogg's "addiction" almost tore his team apart and Sandberg's absence had a very real impact and I'd also like to ask you to explain the recent articles written about Pudge Rodriguez getting divorced if these things are supposed to be private (selectively private I'd say).

- I wonder if Ryne Sandberg invited Ivan DeJesus to the festivities. In January of 1982 DeJesus was traded by the Cubs to the Phillies for Larry Bowa and Ryne Sandberg. Hey Phillies fans - how did that trade work out for you?

- If you've read this blog for any period of time - you probably already realize that I'm not the biggest Wade Boggs fan in the world. In fact if given the choice of a young Boggs or a young Robin Ventura - I'd take Ventura seven days a week. Consider this - Ventura leads the career totals over Boggs in the following categories; HR, RBI, SLG, and Gold Gloves (six to two). Ventura will never get close to the Hall of Fame but for my money he was the better player.

- I maintain that if there was not expansion in baseball in 1998 then Boggs never gets to 3,000 hits. He was picked up by Tampa Bay solely because he was from Tampa and his quest for 3,000 could help sell tickets. Almost as soon as he got 3,000 - his usefulness as a sideshow attraction was over and so was his career.

- Next year the following players will be eligible for the first time for election to the Hall of Fame - Rick Aguilera, Tim Belcher, Will Clark, Alex Fernandez, Gary Gaetti, Dwight Gooden, Ozzie Guillen, Juan Guzman, Orel Hershiser, Gregg Jefferies, Lance Johnson, Doug Jones, Roberto Kelly, Mickey Morandini, Hal Morris, Jaime Navarro, Luis Polonia, Mike Stanley, Walt Weiss, John Wetteland, and Mark Whiten. I don't see any Hall of Famers among this group. That's probably very good news for Jim Rice and Bruce Sutter as they will be the best choices for induction next year.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Bravo Denzel Indeed!

From the MartiniPundit:
While Denzel Washington was visiting BAMC [Brook Army Medical Center], they gave him a tour of one of the Fisher Houses [a hotel where soldiers’ families can stay, for little or no charge, while their soldier is staying in the hospital]. He asked how much one of them would cost to build. He took his check book out and wrote a check for the full amount right there on the spot. The soldiers overseas were amazed to hear this story and want to get the word out to the American public, because it warmed their hearts to hear it.
EDIT: D'oh! It seems this isn't the whole truth - from Snopes:
The problem, according to Fisher House President David Coker, is that while Washington did make a 'sizeable' donation to the program, the e-mail claim is almost entirely bogus.

"Denzel came to visit with the soldiers and Marines being cared for at Brooke Army Medical Center last December 17th," Coker said. "He visited with them and told them how much he respects their service. He also toured one of the two Fisher Houses at Brooke Army Medical Center."

Washington told Coker at the time he would like to make a commitment to support the work of Fisher House.

"Denzel did not take out a checkbook and write a check on the spot," Coker says. "He seldom carries a check book with him."

Coker said Washington did in fact make a sizeable donation to Fisher House several months after his visit to BAMC. He declined to comment on the size of the donation, but it was not enough to build a new Fisher House.

[Coker also] said the fact that Washington, 49, did not write a check 'on the spot' does not diminish his contribution to the Fisher House and his support 'for the men and women who serve our country.'
I guess I should have followed the Reagan advice of "trust but verify" before posting.
Manny Ramirez

Honestly, I'll be pissed if Manny is traded. I'm also tired of writing about it and arguing my point. Luckily Lyford is on the job.

First he analyses the reported three team deal involving the Sox, Mets and Devil Rays. This trade is so one sided to the Mets that it is laughable. In fact - I'd bet that trader Omar let leak these discussions just to make himself look good to the NY press. Remember the supposed Sheffield for Cameron trade a while back?

Lyford also had this piece on Manny posted yesterday.

The best, IMHO, was this piece on the "Red Sox problem child."
Heh Heh - Small, Wang, Brown, Johnson

I guess I'm also a 12-year old at heart because I thought this was pretty funny:
No Sox games today, but I noted that Aaron Small got the win for the Yankees in his 2nd start this season.

Maybe I'm just a puerile 12-year-old at heart, but Small Wang, Brown Johnson is either the rotation or a porno version of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Now if only the Yankees would acquire R.A. Dickey.
John Kerry - Reporting for Duty

It was a year ago yesterday that John Kerry gave his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention in Boston. A year ago yesterday a new phrase was also entered into the lexicon of political losers.

If you ever hear a candidate utter any of the following phrases - then you can be pretty sure that you are listening to a loser:

- "I've written it all out in my manifesto..."

- "According to a strict interpretation of the bible..."

- Any phrase that references "Mother Earth" (or "Captain Planet" for that matter)..

- "In accordance to the prophesies..."

- "My main goal is to unleash the wonders of modern chemistry..."

- "You may know me from such movies as..."

- "I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty..."

Friday, July 29, 2005

Top 5 - Best Tasting Draft Beers

1. Yuengling
2. Karl Strauss
3. Wachusett
4. Fat Tire
5. Sam Adams

On my Bud Light Has more Taste than Miller Light post I should have pointed out that beer taste is - well a matter of personal taste. When I'm having between 1-4 beers - the above are my preferences. More than 4 - then I'm going for Bud Light (which is to say that I mostly drink Bud light).

So you see Squidly - I agree with you.
VDH Friday

Another edifying piece from Victor Davis Hanson. I think VDH may have buried the lead in this one (preferring to build the case first). The key point:
There are a million Muslims in Israel — the mother of all evils in the radical Islamic mind. Yet very few have turned themselves into global jihadists, and hundreds are not blowing themselves up daily in Tel Aviv, much less in London or New York. Why? Perhaps the twofold knowledge that they have rights in Israel not found in the Arab world that they don’t wish to forfeit, and they are surrounded by people who would not tolerate their terrorism.

For the first time, Afghans and Iraqis have a stake in their own future — and know the United States is at last on the right side of history and intends to stay and win by their side.
Manny Ramirez

I'm a big supporter of Manny but this latest stuff has even got me scratching my head. However, let me point out a couple of things.

- the Red Sox won the World Series last year. This was something many residents of Red Sox Nation were afraid they would never see. Shouldn't people be a little more tolerant of Manny's peculiarities in view of the fact that he was the MVP in the World series people have been waiting their whole lives for? I thought the MVP of the Red Sox first World Series win since 1918 would have to be found in bed with the proverbial dead girl or live boy to be getting the treatment Manny has gotten from the media this year.

- I have no doubt in my mind that if Ted Williams played in this day of free agency - the Boston "knights of the keyboard" would have long ago driven him from town. Has Manny spent time in left field pretending to swing a bat while a ball is being hit at him? Given the home crowd the finger? Yup - no doubt in my mind that Williams would have long bailed out of Boston because of the negative press.

- This month Trot Nixon got picked off second base to kill a rally, had a ball go over his head and bounce off the wall and get past him allowing the "walk off" run to score from first and finally he just got put on the DL after hurting his back swinging a bat. If that was Manny then can you imaging the outrage or ridicule that the KOTK would have heaped on Manny? Trot? He gets a pass. Don't get me wrong, I really like Trot but the double standard here really gets to me. In the past two years Nixon has only played 137 games and hit just 17 HR with 73 RBI. Manny has 28 HR and 92 RBI this year alone. Yes Manny makes three times what Trot makes but he's also producing at three times the rate but taking 10-times the crap from the media.

- Manny's career OPS+ (a useful stat to compare players of different eras) has him slightly behind Stan Musial and just in front of players like Joe DiMaggio and Hank Aaron. Just wanted to give some context to the historical talent we are seeing in Manny and the historical level of play we are trying to give the bums rush out of town to.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Helen Thomas

I think I've mentioned before that whenever I see Helen Thomas - a little voice in my head says "who's that trip tropping over my bridge."

This time - when I saw the above picture I also thought of this.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Alan Embree

The Singapore Sox Fan had this great picture of Alan Embree which reminded me that the Red Sox will probably be trading Embree within the next two days. Sure Embree's numbers were bad this year but he is left-handed and he was starting to turn it around in July. Theo Epstein will find a taker (maybe as part of a larger deal).

I just love that picture of Embree. It makes me think of a Redneck Ladies Man. Alan Embree - He's cool. He's clean. He's a love machine. Looking at that picture - can't you imagine Embree saying these words of wisdom:
What is love? What is this longing in our hearts for togetherness? Is it not the sweetest flower? Does not this flower of love have the fragrant aroma of fine, fine diamonds? Does not the wind love the dirt? Is not love not unlike the unlikely not it is unlikened to? Are you with someone tonight? Do not question your love. Take your lover by the hand. Release the power within yourself. Your heard me, release the power. Tame the wild cosmos with a whisper. Conquer heaven with one intimate caress. That's right don't be shy. Whip out everything you got and do it in the butt. By Leon Phelps
Bret Boone

Well Bret Boone is finally hitting less than his weight (.182 vs. 192). I guess this is my day for "I told you so's". Last week I predicted that Boone would soon be hitting less than his weight and the day he was traded I said this:
Bret Boone to Twins

The Minnesota Twins acquired Bret Boone from the Mariners today for a player to be named later and cash. You can mark this down as the day that the Twins bowed out of the AL Wild Card race.

Boone's washed up and 2nd is an area the Twins really needed an upgrade. Now they have just committed themselves to using Boone and precluding themselves from dealing for a better solution like Tony Graffanino of the Royals or Orlando Hudson of the Blue Jays.

The Twins have maybe one more move to make before the trading deadline and unless it is a home run (make that a grand slam) for a big bat then they are cooked. I say that the Wild Card will come down between the Cleveland Indians and the Oakland A's. The Twins are officially out of it after this move for Bret Boone.
I would like to note that Boone has just 1.3 runs created and a .217 OBP since joining the Twins. Meanwhile Tony Graffanino has a .318 batting average, a .400 OBP and 2.8 runs created since being traded to the Red Sox.

The Twins trail the A's by one game in the Wild Card race. Getting Boone instead of Graffanino is the difference. If the A's take the Wild Card - they should vote for Bret Boone to get playoff share.
Lima Time

Jose Lima went six strong innings last night as the Royals beat Mark Buehrle and the heavily favored White Sox 7 to 1.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Oakland A's

So the Oakland A;s are in first place in the AL Wild Card race and because I'll be busy today - I thought I'd just say "I told you so". Here's what I said about the A's back on June 7th:
Danny Haren of the A's is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his last two starts. Prior to this Haren was 1-7 with a 5.02 ERA. The big difference is control. In his last two starts Haren hasn't walked anyone while striking out 9. Before - he had 27 walks and 46 K's. If Haren can harness this control and Harden comes back and pitches the way he was pitching before he went on the DL and finally if Barry Zito continues his improvement - then it is probably too early to count out the A's as many people are doing. Huston Street looks like the real deal at closer and Eric Chavez is coming around. The A's need a big bat and Bill Beane isn't shy on pulling the trigger on a deal. Don't count out the A's yet.
Just so you don't think that I got lucky with that bit of foresight - here's what I said about the A's in January:
The Baseball Crank takes a look at Oakland's off season moves and he concludes that they took a significant step backward this offseason.

I disagree. I think the A's could be a real sleeper this season. Here are my thoughts:

- Kendall is a significant offensive upgrade at catcher
- Hopefully the A's will have a full season of Eric Chavez who missed significant time last year and who should be an MVP candidate year-in and year-out
- Bobby Crosby offensively had a great deal of drop off after the All-Star break. Hopefully he'll make the adjustments and add even more to the offense
- The AL West isn't exactly a pitcher's division. Even with the revamped rotation - it is possible that the A's still have the best starting pitching in the division
- The A's have a stocked farm system and have the prospects necessary to make a big splash at trade-deadline time.

I think the Oakland A's win the AL West next year.
So I'm no Johnny come lately to thew A's bandwagon but I must admit that I'm not sold on them winning the AL West.
Jacklyn Lucas

Eric McErlain has a post up today about the double standard that exists between how young potential NBA players (mostly black) and how other young athletes are treated (Sidney Crosby in hockey and Michele Wie in golf for examples). I agree that there is a double standard but I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Yes the basketball players are unfairly treated differently but the people who threw them under the bus were the NBA owners with the consent of the NBA players association. Where was Kevin Garnett, Lebron James and Kobe Bryant on this issue? Even though they won't get to play until they are 19 - I get the feeling that if the next Lebron James decided not to go to college that Nike or Reebok would make him very comfortable until he turned 19. I guess what I'm saying is that the plight of the potential millionaire 18-year old basketball player doesn't rate very high on my sympathy meter. I'm sorry but they are right up there with the plight of popular girls who get asked to all the proms and therefore have to spend more money on dresses in my book.

I think one reason why I don't get worked up over the double-standard (yes I completely agree that a double-standard is at work here) is because for some reason the name my mind associates with this issue (by now you've probably figured out that there is no telling what tangent my mind will take on any issue) - anyway - the name my mind associates with this issue is Jacklyn Lucas. Lucas was a Medal of Honor winner. Here is a brief description about his heroic actions:
D-plus-1 Day [on Iwo Jima], Private First Class Lucas and three other men were suddenly ambushed by a hostile patrol which savagely attacked with rifle fire and grenades. Quick to act when the lives of the small group were endangered by two grenades which landed directly in front of them, Private First Class Lucas unhesitatingly hurled himself over his comrades upon one grenade and pulled the other one under him, absorbing the whole blasting force of the explosions in his own body in order to shield his companions from the concussion and murderous flying fragments. By his inspiring action and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice, he not only protected his comrades from certain injury or possible death, but also enabled them to rout the Japanese patrol and continue the advance.
What the official citation does not tell you is that Jacklyn Lucas snuck into the Marines when he was just 14 and that his actions on Iwo Jima came when he was still just 17. It should also be noted that Lucas smothered two hand grenades with his body and amazingly lived to tell the tale.

It has been often pointed out that at 18 a person is old enough to join the military but not old enough to buy beer (in most states). This is the sort of double-standard that gets me worked up. What I'd like to see is a law passed in all 50-states that lowers the drinking age to 18 for members of the military. A military ID is now probably among the harder things to forge and a valid military ID should be good enough for an 18-year old to get into any bar in any state.

Sorry for the tangent rant but hey - that's one of the charms of the site - right?
Top 5 - Stanley Kubrick Movies

Kubrick would have been 77-years old today. In his memory here are what I consider his five best movies.

1. Dr. Strangelove
2. Paths of Glory
3. A Clockwork Orange
4. Full Metal Jacket
5. The Shining
Bud Light has More Taste Than Miller Lite

It bugs me when people say something and expect you to accept it as truth simply because they said it. The two things being said right now that really get my goat are "Bush lied" and the commercials that espouse "Miller Lite has more taste than Bud Light". Let's take a look at each of these statements.

First "Bush lied."

Lied about what? Ask that to someone who says Bush lied and you'll get something like "well about WMD's for starters." Well if Bush lied about Saddam having WMD then so did Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, the independent weapons inspectors and every intelligence agency in the world. They all said that Saddam either had WMD or was pursuing the capabilities.

The person may come back with "what about those 16 words in the State of the Union?" At this point Joseph Wilson has been so discredited for the partisan liar that he is that if the person you talk to brings up the 16 words then you can be sure that you are conversing with a parrot who doesn't think for himself but instead repeats talking points as if they are Gospel truth no matter if they have any basis in fact or not.

This brings us to the Miller Lite commercials.

In case you haven't seen them - they follow the following formula; a person is confronted with what should be life altering information (the guy from the diner is your real biological father or that your new wife has naked pictures of herself circulating on the Internet), the person is able to accept this new information with amazing calm and acceptance but when he is told that "Miller Lite has more taste than Bud Lite" the person acts as if his whole worldview was shattered. The person accepts the premise of "Miller Lite has more taste than Bud Lite" simply because it was spoken out loud. No studies or opinion polls are cited - the words are simply spoken and Miller wants to you accept what they say as fact based on what - trust?

If I said "red has more color than blue" - you wouldn't accept that as fact. It would be an opinion at best.

The people who are peddling "Miller Lite has more taste than Bud Lite" are no different than the Paul Begala's and Howard Dean's who peddle the "Bush lied" memes. Both groups know better but still try to peddle their "message" because they think their audience is made up of enough suckers to get what they want (in Miller's case more market share and in the Democrats case more votes or a more divided electorate).

I get upset because I hate it when people think they can play me for a sucker. By doing so - Miller has just made it more likely for me to remain loyal to Bud Light and with their actions and rhetoric the Democrats are making it more likely that I will continue to vote Republican.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Top 5 - People I Would Rather The Sox Played at First Base instead of Kevin Millar

1. Kevin Youkilis
2. John Olerud
3. David Ortiz
5. Don Orsillo
Joe Morgan Chats About the Half Blood Prince

Recently A Large Regular was able to catch up with baseball Hall of Famer and ESPN baseball analyst Joe Morgan about JK Rowling's newest installment in the Harry Potter series of books.

ALR: Thanks for the interview Joe. First off, have you read the new Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince?

JM: I read an excerpt in the NY Times. It's typical if you write a book, you want to be the hero. That is apparently what Harry Potter has done. According to what I read in the Times, Potter is smarter and braver than anyone else. I don't think it will make him popular with the other wizards out there.

ALR: Umm... Joe have you read any of the Harry Potter books? You do realize that they were written by JK Rowling - right?

: Those Harry Potter books are overrated. Nobody reads those Harry Potter books.

: Harry Potter books overrated? Nobody reads them? Aren't they the best selling books in the world? Could have sworn I'd heard differently.

JM: The Harry Potter books are the second most printed books in the world next to the Bible. The second most printed books in the world! Of course with that many books being printed someone is bound to read a couple. It doesn't mean anything. I mean all those Bibles are printed but they just end up in the bedside tables in hotels.

ALR: Ummm... OK... Changing gears - Joe if you were Harry Potter - what sort of magical power would you want?

JM: I wouldn't be Harry Potter first off. And if I was - I certainly wouldn't write any of these books about myself.

ALR: Joe I think you really aught to read the books if you are going to be making comments about them.

JM: No, I shouldn'’t read the books. 'Cause I don't care about the books. I mean the people reading these books are just a bunch of geeks sitting at computer screens. That's how we got Enron.

ALR: Joe - thanks or joining us today. I'm going to have to go now to get a couple of asprins and maybe a couple of stiff drinks to recover from this interview.

JM: My final comment on Harry Potter - I didn't read the book. If you liked Harry Potter, then follow that theory. I personally prefer my comic books with less words and more pictures.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Heh Heh

Had to move this from the comments (from Jim Savage):
An actual sign I saw at a restaurant in South Carolina this past week:

No Shirt, No Shoes - No Service
No Pants - Definitely No Service
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

- Count me among the people who don't understand the proposed Sidney "Greenstreet" Ponson for Phil Nevin deal. Not only does Ponson have a 7.40 road ERA this year - the last time he was traded mid-season to an NL West club he went 3-6 and really wasn't much of a factor. To top it off - Nevin has Baltimore on his no-trade list and the Padres must know he'll block this deal. Something smells fishy.

- Strange split: the Cardinals team ERA for night games is an excellent 2.80 (leads MLB) but during the day the team ERA is more than a run and a half higher (4.34). What's up with that?

- Why are people talking about Nevin's limited no-trade clause anyway? Nevin is a 10/5 guy (10 years in the league with 5 with the present team) - this gives him veto rights over any trade no matter if it is on his list or not.

- I have said that I wouldn't want Bronson Arroyo traded for AJ Burnett but I would trade him for Jason Schmidt. How about Arroyo and AAA catcher Kelly Stoppach for Schmidt? I think that would get it done. Schmidt (when healthy) is one of the best in the game and it is worth the gamble because he's the type of horse you can ride to a repeat World Series Championship.

- Do you think the Orioles front office just threw this Ponson for Nevin deal out there knowing it would be squashed just to get the Florida deal off the dime?

- The Bret Boone watch: Boone is listed at 192 pounds and he is batting just .206 for the Twins. I say at some point this week, Boone's batting average will dip below his weight.
Contra Cafe

Found this via Instapundit. It would be interesting to see how much business an Instalanche brings to Contra Cafe. I'm going to order a pound to start off with and I'll let you know about the quality.

On the surface - it seems like a very worthy cause.
Lance and What's His Name

Quick - what was the name of the guy who held the home run record before Babe Ruth came along? His name was Roger Connor and his old record for home runs was 136.

Quick - what's the name of the last American to win the Tour de France before Lance Armstrong came along? Come on - you must remember. It wasn't that long ago. Come on - he won the race three times and was the SI Sportsman of the Year in 1989. Surely you remember?

Well - the guy's name was Greg LeMond. Or as I like to call him - the new Roger Connor.

I did a little housecleaning on the blogroll this morning. I dropped Sons of Sam Horn because they moved to a private board and I also dropped Dugout Dollars because the site hadn't been updated in over a year.

I added Tran Sient's Watch but I'm bothered by the fact that I know there was at least one more blog I meant to add. If I told you I was going to add your blog or if you've blogrolled me and would like a return of favor - let me know in the comments.


Chelsea Davis hits her face on the diving board at the World Championships

HT Cosmic Tribune
Giambi's July vs. Tino's May

I've become weary of all the praise being heaped upon Jason Giambi because of his recent hot streak. Sure Giambi has hit 10 HR with 16 RBI and a .400 batting average in the month of July but this is just a hot streak.

Consider that Tino Martinez hit 10 HR with 23 RBI back in May. Do you remember all the "Tino is back!" stories we were deluged with back then? Did you rush out to pick up Tino for your fantasy baseball team? Tino's hit 3 HR since. Have you long since dropped Tino from your fantasy team? That's why I say check in with me at the end of the season about these "Giambi is back!" stories.

Last July Kevin Millar got hot in July with 6 HR and 17 RBI. That's less than what either Tino or Giambi did in their big months but he's been able to live off that one hot month ever since. Millar hit 6 HR last July but just 11 since. Yet people say "be patient with Millar because he'll get hot and carry the team". This is the same BS I expect to hear from Yankee apologists about Giambi once he cools off and sinks back to his non-steroids singles and walks level. Don't say nobody warned you.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Top 5 - Willem Dafoe Movies

Today is Dafoe's 50th birthday. Happy birthday you madman!

1. To Live and Die in LA
2. Clear and Present Danger
3. Platoon
4. Boondock Saints
5. Spider Man

Finding Nemo just missed making the list. I did not see The Last Temptation of Christ or Shadow of the Vampire.
Red Sox / White Sox - Game 2

Jon Garland pitches tonight for the White Sox and he's going for his league leading 15th win. A Couple of things I find interesting about Garland:

- lists the great Al Nipper as the most similar pitcher to Garland. Al Nipper? I have a feeling this will change after his season.

- Garland was drafted by the Cubs in 1997 and traded by the Cubs in 1998 for the immortal Matt Karchner. Can you imagine what a rotation of Prior, Wood, Garland and Dontrelle Willis would do for the playoff hopes of the Cubs? Garland has pitched more innings for the White Sox this year than Karchner had in his whole Cub career.

- Strange set of stats on Garland - his ERA with RISP and 2 outs is 18.82 (more than half of his earned runs have come with RISP and 2 outs) but his batting average against in these situations is just .175. So I guess if the Red Sox want to score off Garland then they ought to spot him 2 outs?
Heh Heh

This was a good joke.

HT Straight White Guy (I'm giving him the hat tip even though he took me off his blogroll)
Apache Chief

Probably the weakest (and by weakest I mean lamest) Super Friend had to be Apache Chief.

You know he was added last minute because someone probably did a PC inventory and said “hey we need an American Indian” and his super powers clearly weren’t given any thought. The guy turned into a giant – big deal – how lame. I always wished that they would have a “very special” episode of the Super Friends where Apache Chief gets into the firewater and the rest of the Super Friends have to do an intervention.
Hemingway's Top 5 Books

Yesterday would have been Papa's 105th birthday. I did raise a toast to him last night.

1. The Old Man and the Sea
2. A Moveable Feast
3. The Sun Also Rises
4. By Lines (Journalism for the Toronto Star)
5. To Have and Have Not

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Harry Potter a Rovian Plot

A Large Regular has learned that the Harry Potter series is all a clever plot by Karl Rove to try and make people see things only in terms of good and evil without the proper nuance or world view.

Karl Rove used JK Rowling as a front for his ideas which are geared to put George Bush and the Bush administration in the best possible light. The thought was that nobody would suspect a British woman as being the instrument of a Rovian conspiracy. The fingerprints of a conspiracy are clear however.

Start with the names. Karl ROve and J K ROwling. A Large Regular has learned that initially the books were supposed to be published under the name K ROwling. Also consider the timing of the books. The first Harry Potter book was released in 1998 - coinciding with George W. Bush beginning his pursuit of the White House.

A Large Regular has uncovered some of the "Rovian Keys" to the plot lines of the Harry Potter series including:

- The Ministry of Magic = the UN and Congress where people are more concerned with their own career advancement and the institution deals more with bureaucracy (the standard thickness of cauldrons) instead of the larger more important issues (fighting Voldemort).

- Dumbledore = Bush standing up to do what's right no matter what the Ministry says. Dumbledore sees evil and fights evil. It should be noted that Dumbledore's enemies nickname him "Dumbly" and that when Dumbledore treats them with common courtesy - they are unfamiliar with it and thus scoff at it. Rowling (aka Rove) has set up the final book to be Potter taking over the fight against evil to continue his (Dumbledore / Bush) legacy.

- Daily Prophet = NY Times and the MSM. The fifth book (which came out during the 2004 campaign) shows the Daily Prophet clearly taking sides against Dumbledore and Harry Potter, taking every opportunity to ridicule them. Of course The Daily Prophet has never admitted they were wrong for their blatant partisanship.

It should also be noted that the dark mark originally was going to be a donkey but it was decided that was pushing things too far.

On a final note - the key to the sixth and seventh books are "horcruxes". This is clever Rovian wordplay. Sounded out, the word "horcrux" sounds an awful like "whore crutch" and this is on purpose. Rove is poking fun at the Democratic Party. The Chamber of Secrets came out about the same time same time as the 2000 election. Looking back how could we have missed the reference to the "heir of Slytherin"? Clearly that was supposed to be Al Gore (heir to the snake like Bill Clinton). In the latest book it is made known that the second horcrux was a ring with a black cracked stone. This is clearly a reference to John Kerry whose "power" came mostly via his wedding ring to Theresa Heinz-Kerry. Will anyone now be surprised if the final four horcruxes turn out to be symbolic of the flaws of the Democratic challengers for the Presidency in 2008?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

John Kerry on John Roberts

This is rich. Here's John Kerry's statement on the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court of the US:
"“Americans deserve a Supreme Court that is fair, independent, ethical and served by justices committed to our constitutional freedoms rather than an ideological agenda. Justice O'Connor refused to use her position as a means to advance a political agenda. In replacing her, we must be confident Judge Roberts will do the same. "We know Judge Roberts is no Sandra Day O'’Connor, and the White House has sent a clear signal. There are serious questions that must be answered involving Judge Roberts' judicial philosophy as demonstrated over his short time on the appellate court. The Senate must learn whether he has clear consistent principles upholding Constitutional standards like civil rights and the right to privacy in Roe v. Wade. These issues are in serious question if you take even a cursory glance at his record. "“The American people expect the Senate to fulfill its duty to conduct a thorough, independent review of any nominee, and I intend to do exactly that. I hope Judge Roberts and the White House are forthcoming about his qualifications, background and constitutional philosophy so the Senate can act with all the facts. There'’s too much at stake to do anything less."
Where to start?

How about with this line, "There are serious questions that must be answered involving Judge Roberts' judicial philosophy." Here's what Ted Kennedy said during Sandra Day O'Connor's 1981 confirmation hearings:
"It is offensive to suggest that a potential justice of the Supreme Court must pass some presumed test of judicial philosophy. It is even more offensive to suggest that a potential justice must pass the litmus test of any single-issue interest group. The disturbing tactics of division and distortion and discrimination practiced by the extremists of the new right have no place in these hearings and no place in the nation's democracy."
First Kerry's global test and now a judical test? For a guy who was a pretty poor student he really has a thing for other people taking tests. Maybe Teddy can explain to the Junior Senator how "offensive" his judicial test is.

Next - how about this line; "The Senate must learn whether he has clear consistent principles upholding Constitutional standards like civil rights and the right to privacy in Roe v. Wade." The two sacred cows of the Democratic Party except it isn't civil rights or privacy the Democrats are in love with it is affirmative action and abortion. No Democrat seems to be able to run for national office without supporting these two "ideals". Personally, I think this narrowed focus has been the downfall of the Democratic Party.

Next - "These issues are in serious question if you take even a cursory glance at his record." Why is it that I'm confident that a "cursory glance at his record" is all Kerry took?

Finally this unbelievable piece of chutzpah:
"I hope Judge Roberts and the White House are forthcoming about his qualifications, background and constitutional philosophy so the Senate can act with all the facts. There'’s too much at stake to do anything less."
This is from the guy who ran for President of the United States without releasing either his medical records or his military records. Unbelievable.
Red Sox Moves

The Red Sox made some moves and I expect some more are coming. Here's what I have to say about the moves made yesterday:

- Alan Embree: The Sox DFA'd the 35-year old lefty reliever. That means they have 10-days to trade him or give him his release. I feel bad about this move because I thought Embree had started to turn things around after a horrible start to the season. In July Embree had a 5.04 ERA but his WHIP of 0.94 and his BAA of .200 were very good. Embree will get a shot with another team and I'll remember him mainly for three things; A. he was on the mound in game 7 for the final out against the Yankees last year, B. he was supposed to be the guy Grady Little replaced Pedro with in game 7 in 2003 and C. he was one of Dan Duquette's better trades. The Sox got Embree in June of 2002 from the Padres in exchange for Brad Baker and Dan Giese. Good luck Alan. And thanks.

- Adam Hyzdu: Embree's roster spot was taken by Hyzdu who was acquired from San Diego for minor league righthander Scott Cassidy. This is basically a trade of flotsam for jetsam. I don't expect Hyzdu to remain with the big club once all the moves are made.

- Tony Graffanino: The Sox picked up Graffanino from the Royals in exchange for minor leaguers outfielder Chip Ambres and pitcher Juan Cedeno. I like Graffanino but I can't explain why. Graffanino had 7 win shares for the Royals, compare that to just 4 for Mark Bellhorn. Compare Graffanino's .377 OBP to Bellhorn's .328 OBP. I really like this move.

I know yesterday I said that Cora could fill 2nd just fine and that the Sox need not acquire a Graffanino or a Hudson but I was wrong and I did not realize Theo Epstein would be able to acquire Graffanino so cheaply. Graffanino was the player the Twins really should have traded for instead of rolling the dice on Bret Boone.

Some have speculated that acquiring Graffanino spells the end for Mark Bellhorn. If true - then I have to credit Epstein for having a huge pair of balls. Embree was a valued member of the Sox for a number of years and Epstein DFA's him because his work in the bullpen this year didn't warrant a roster spot. Epstein pulled the trigger. Likewise, Bellhorn's work at 2nd this year doesn't warrant the playing time he's gotten. Will Epstein pull the trigger here too?

Is Kevin Millar next? Epstein seems to have identified the weak spots and is setting out to strengthen them. Oh how I hope Kevin Millar is next.

Two rumors worthy of comment - the AJ Burnett and JC Romero. Put me in the camp that would rather hold onto Bronson Arroyo rather than trade for the oft-injured free-agent to be Burnett. Truly a case of a bird in the hand. In regards to the JC Romero for Bill Mueller - I don't like the idea. Mueller's mere presence is something this team of "idiots" truly needs. He's the quiet professional. While I understand he may not be here next year when Kevin Youkilis takes over 3rd - he's worth much more to a championship run than JC Romero ever would.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

State of the Red Sox

Today the Red Sox are in second place. Behind the Yankees.

Somehow I didn't mind when the Sox were in second place behind the Orioles who got off to a hot start to the season. Being behind the Yankees hurts.

Boston is in second (tied for second actually) because in their last 10 games they went 3-7 while the Yankees went 8-2. That includes the Sox losing 3 of 4 against the Yankees at Fenway. I'm not one to panic and I don't believe in making moves just for the sake of making moves but something has to be done.

Mark Bellhorn went on the 15-day DL with a sprained thumb. That made the Sox recall Kevin Youkilis from Pawtucket and put Alex Cora into the starting lineup. Cora made the most of his start last night - going 2-4. Cora's defense is superior to Bellorn's and all Cora would have to do is manage a better than .328 OBP to prove more valuable than Bellhorn's Swiss cheese bat.

My fears at 2nd are two-fold. First - with Bellhorn on the DL the Sox have no real back-up at 2nd in case something happens to Cora. Sure Youkilis could be used in an emergency and Bill Mueller has played 2nd in the past. So my first fear is something happening to Cora. My second fear is Cora doing great but Francona giving second back to Bellhorn when he gets healthy because "starters don't lose their positions because of injury".

There really isn't much out there that would be enough of an upgrade over Cora to justify a trade (unless there was a bombshell trade for Soriano). Players like Tony Graffanino, Orlando Hudson or Damian Jackson (who may become available since Mark Loretta comes back next week) are not better options than Cora. Pedroia or Ramirez coming up from the minors are interesting options but I'd as soon not do that.

What about starting pitching? AJ Burnett? He's never started 30 games in a season and he seems to have Carl Pavano written all over him. He may have better pitching "stuff" than Bronson Arroyo but Bronson is made of sterner "stuff" and that gives Bronson the edge in my book. Jason Schmidt? I don't see the Giants trading him. Mark Redman? He's no upgrade over either Wade Miller or David Wells. I can't see a trade for a starter.

I think the move to be made has to be at first. Get rid of Kevin Millar. Send a message and upgrade the position at the same time. Houston or the Nationals would take Millar in exchange for a PTBNL. Give Millar's AB to Youkilis and Olerud. Bring up Pedroia from Pawtucket to be a pinch runner and utility infielder. Let him learn from the bench. (I'm not against bringing up Ramirez or Pedroia to be bench players but I am against thrusting them into starting roles before they are ready.)

This may look like I'm blaming Kevin Millar and I guess I am. He's a big mouth who is only hitting .250 with RISP (compared to Olerud's .429 and even Youkilis' .263 is better and that has come in spotty usage).

Millar's not the best option at first and every Red Sox fan knows it. Bellhorn is hurting the team with his bat and every Red Sox fan knows it. The Sox aren't putting their best line-up in the field. That's why they are in second place. That has to change.

Trade Millar, send a message, and put the best line-up out on the field. That's how you get out of second place.
How I Invented Instant Messaging

Yes its true. I invented instant messaging. Let me tell you my story.

It all goes back to 8th grade back when all the cool guys had that fancy "electronic" football game from Coleco with the little blips that you moved down the field. My parents wouldn't buy me one of those. All I had was my calculator with the oversized buttons and oversized screen (that and my Matchbox pencil case).

It was also back in 8th grade that I became interested in girls. Problem was that I was too shy to speak to any.

One day my friend Mike took my calculator and pressed 7734. He turned the calculator upside down and I was amazed to see that the digits looked just like the word "hell". I started wondering what other "words" I could make on the screen of my calculator. Then it hit me. If I pressed 0.7734 - it looked just like "hell'o" which is really close to the word "hello".

I typed 0.7734 on my calculator and I fake coughed so as to get the attention of Susan Murphy (the new girl who was two rows away from me). When she looked over at me - I turned my calculator upside down and showd it to her. She smiled at me (careful not to show any teeth because she was very self conscious about her braces) and waved.

She had seen my "message" on my calculator's electronic screen and she had understood it from a distance. Electonic instant messaging had been born right there in Sister Theresa's math class.

Yes I invented instant messaging (though I can't take credit for LOL or STFU). However, I am not looking for credit and I have never sought to make any profit from it. Much like Benjamin Franklin who invented the lightning rod - I am content that my "invention" is being used for the good of mankind without seeking any monetary reward for myself. I am content that you - the loyal readers of my blog - know the truth.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

I'm about half-way through reading it for the second time. I'm going to give some thoughts without (hopefully) revealing any of the plotlines.

I loved this paragraph from the book:
A young woman was standing in the doorway, a woman of such breathtaking beauty that the room seemed to have become strangely airless. She was tall and willowy with long blonde hair and appeared to emanate a faint, silvery glow. To complete this vision of perfection, she was carrying a heavily laden breakfast tray.
I'm sorry but the paragraph made me think about the old joke about watching a Celtics / Lakers game with Cindy Crawford, making mad passionate love to her at half-time and then she turns into a pizza. That was the old vision of perfection.

The book was excellent but be warned the last lines should have been "to be continued". This book stands on its own but it clearly is meant to set up what happens next in the Harry Potter saga. This is a trend that started with the third book but in this book it really stands out (probably because of the emotional tone of this ending in contrast to the other books).

I was completely wrong in my guess about who the Half Blood Prince was and you have to hand it to Rowling - she's very unpredictable.

Having said that - I'm pretty sure I know who R.A.B is and I think I have a good guess about what one of the remaining horcruxes is. I'd be happy to discuss my guesses in the comments section.
The Day Mary Jo Kopechne Died

On this day, 36-years ago, Mary Jo Kopechne died. She had been riding with the married Ted Kennedy when he plunged his Oldsmobile into a pond at Chappaquiddick Island. Kennedy did not report the accident for 10-hours. Kennedy received a two-month suspended sentence, and had his license suspended for a year for his actions.

Mary Jo Kopechne did not live to see her 29th birthday.


John Leo has a good article on Hollywood and he points out how out of touch they are. I thought the idea that the writer of War of the Worlds wrote the screenplay with the idea that the attacking aliens = the US military and the fleeing humans = the Iraqi man and woman fleeing an "occupation" says it all.

One thing Leo missed though - he should have mentioned the movie The Sum of All Fears. In the original Tom Clancy book the bad guys were radical Islamists but Hollywood had to change the bad guys to Neo-Nazi's to avoid hurting anyone's sensibilities.
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

The Bret Boone era in Minnesota isn't exactly off to a hot start. Boone has gone 2 for 16 in his first 4 games with both hits being singles... Long term - it is probably good for the Red Sox that Al Leiter came out and pitched as well as he did last night. Pitchers, like water, find their own level. Leiter may have pitched like Cy Young last night but soon he'll find his level of Shaky McWashup. It would be best for the Red Sox if Leiter (and Kevin Brown for that matter) pitched well until after the trading deadline... Jon Garland won his 14th game yesterday. Count me among those who were skeptical of Garland but who are now convinced that he's the real deal (my skepticism didn't keep me from picking Garland up months ago on my fantasy baseball teams though)... Today Nick Johnson is supposed to see a Dr. about his bruised heel. It wouldn't surprise me if Johnson will be out longer than expected (shades of Nomar last spring). That will prompt Jim Bowden to find an inexpensive replacement for Johnson and soon (the Nats have lost 5 of 6 and the Braves are breathing down their necks), It will be interesting to see between Theo Epstein and JP Riccardi - which GM will be able to dump their underperforming firstbaseman on pitiful Jim Bowden. Epstein will try to dump Kevin Millar (.744 OPS) while Riccardi will try and dump Eric Hinske (.702 OPS). Bowden needs to win now so a good prospect could probably be had for the taking... Jason Kendall still hasn't hit first home run as a member of the A's (328 AB)... Don't look now but the A's are just 2.5 games back for the AL Wild Card...

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Indian Influence on Founding Fathers?

Recently Betsy had a post about the possible influence of the Iroquois Confederation on the Founding Fathers and the writing of our Constitution. Betsy seems to posit that there was no influence. While I agree that the main theoretical basis and inspiration for our Constitution comes from John Locke, Adam Smith and other European thinkers - I have to think that the example of the Iroquois had to have had some practical influence.

In 1754 Benjamin Franklin came up with a plan of confederation among the colonies that became known as the Albany Plan. This plan used the Iroquois Confederation as an example and was in response to dangers posed by the French and Indians along the frontier of the colonies.

According to Walter Isaacson's biography Benjamin Franklin: An American Life this is what Franklin wrote when formulating his Albany Plan:
"It would be a very strange thing," he had written his friend James Parker in 1751, if six nations of ignorant savages [the Iroquois] could be capable of forming a scheme for such a union... and yet that a like union should be impracticable for ten or a dozen colonies, to whom it is more necessary."
Maybe no single issue united the colonies more than the passage of the Stamp Act. In response to the Stamp Act, representatives from nine colonies met in New York in October of 1775. Again from Isaacson:
The motto they adopted was the one Franklin had written as a cartoon caption more than a decade earlier, as he sought to rally unity at Albany: "Join, or Die."
While I think it is clear that the framing and final finer points of the Constitution are clearly the influence of Locke, Smith and other European thinkers - I think it is also clear that the example of the Iroquois was there at the genesis of the idea of uniting the colonies under a single Constitution. What is the harm in acknowledging this influence?
Heh Heh - Too Funny

HT The Happy Carpenter
Top 5 - Fantasy Baseball First Half Bargains

Top 5 baseball players who played at the highest levels way above their expect level of play.

1. Morgan Ensberg, Houston
2. Derrek Lee, Cubs
3. Chris Carpenter, St. Louis
4. Carlos Lee, Milwaukee
5. Chad Cordero, Washington

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Sometime later tonight this site will get its 200,000th visitor. I started this blog back on March 12th of last year and I have to think 200,000 this quick is a pretty good accomplishment (unless you're Captain Ed or the Anchoress).

Bloggers lie if they say they aren't traffic conscious. They also lie if they tell you they aren't grateful for the visits we get. I feel like I've made many friends here since last March.

Thank you all very much.
WSOP Final Table

We have a winner! The 2005 Main Event champion has been crowned!

I won't give away who won because reading how the winner outlasted the other 8 players is so much better when you don't know the outcome.

As always Paulie at Tao of Poker was outstanding. Here is his blow-by-blow on the final table.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

I went to a midnight event at my local bookstore last night and picked up 3 copies of the new Harry Potter book. The store has a cafe and I awaited midnight with my two oldest kids there - drinking gingerale and eating french fries. I often go to this cafe and most of the waitresses know me. It is a great place to sit and read while having something to eat or drink.

The place was absolutely jam packed. However, the store had put in place a system for getting people their books as quickly as possible once the clock struck 12:00. You bought your book(s) at one of five registers at any time before 12:00. The store had set up the boxes and boxes of books at two spots on either side of the exit. You got into one of two lines and when you got to one of the stacks of books, you showed your receipt. One person checked your receipt and a second gave you the books from the huge stack. Even though hundreds of people bought books - the last person got their books about 12:30.

I've enjoyed what I've read so far but my reaction was predictable.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Heh Heh - Too Funny

HT What Attitude Problem?
Michael Gee Loses His Job

David Scott has an interesting piece on former Boston Herald sportswriter Michael Gee in today's edition of Scott's Shots. It seems that Gee posted what have to be called stupid comments on the chat board and these comments cost him his job as a teacher of a journalism at Boston University. From Scott's Shots:
Here is what Gee wrote at on that day: "Today was my first day teaching course 308/722 at the Boston University Dept. of Jounralis (sic). There are six students, most of whom are probably smarter than me, but they DON'T READ THE PAPER!!! Not the Globe, Times, Herald or Wall Street Journal. I can shame them into reading, I guess, but why are they taking the course if they don't like to read

But I digress. Now here's the nub of my issue. Of my six students, one (the smartest, wouldn't you know it?) is incredibly hot. If you've ever been to Israel, she's got the sloe eyes and bitchin' bod of the true Sabra. It was all I could do to remember the other five students. I sense danger, Will Robinson
Read Scott's Shots for the rest of the story and comments made by Gee. I'm very familiar with the site and I give Gee props for using his own name on a site that is full of people hiding behind screen names. Jason Whitlock is the only other person of note that I can think of that uses his own name at the site. A few points.

1. Gee chose to use his own name and the site is a public site. He should have been smart enough to only post comments that he would be OK with seeing in print. Now he has to go through the rest of his career as the "guy who got fired for making lecherous comments at".

2. This is the second person to be fired from a job in about the past six months because of posting at The other person was an anonymous poster but his work tracked internet use and was not happy with him posting or spending time at on the company dime. No Internet site is worth losing your job over.

3. The site is not that great. Take a gander at some of the titles of some of the threads; "Game show hosts can be pretty smart", "Point Break is on right now!", and "Hitting on your dental hygienist's assistant" (this last one was up to three pages at last check)). Can you imagine losing your job just to preserve your right to post on those threads? Me neither.

4. I have to give props to Dave Scott. His Scott Shot's are consistently better than anything I read in the Boston Herald.

I feel sorry for Michael Gee but BU was right to fire him.
Yankees Suck

So last night wasn't the best of results for the Red Sox as the Yankees beat them 8-6 in the first game of a 4-game set. Some people may complain about Schilling giving up a 2-run HR to A-Rod in the 9th - but not me. Some people may complain that Bronson Arroyo spent the night before his start giving a concert instead of preparing for the game - but not me. What gets my goat is the fact that the Red Sox took a 4-0 lead and couldn't hold it.

Tonight David Wells and his 5.00 ERA takes on Tim Redding and his 7.94 ERA. That means the game will probably be a pitching duel.

For the record I think that Schilling will do just fine as a closer. I also think that people who refer to it as "the Schilling experiment" are biased against it no matter what they may say or write.
Martha Burk and Michele Wie

I'm a bit peeved at ESPN because every time they show Michele Wei trying to make the field for the Masters they mention Martha Burk. The two have nothing to do with each other.

Uber harpy Martha Burk was protesting to get a woman member at Augusta National not get a woman to play at the course. In fact women play at Augusta all the time, probably at least 1,000 rounds per year. In fact Hootie Johnson is known for inviting the women's golf team from South Carolina to play all the time.

Having a woman in the field for the Masters would be unique and a first but WHAT MICHELE WEI IS TRYING TO DO HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MARHA BURK.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

I think the Rockies definitely got the best end of the deal that sent Preston Wilson to the Nats and Zach Day and JJ Davis to Colorado. Wilson's numbers on the road are just awful. This year Wilson is hitting .224 with a .280 OBP in away games. They get him just as Ryan Church comes back to the roster. They didn't need Wilson - they needed insurance at first since Nick Johnson is so fragile. Meanwhile Zach Day is just 27 and he seems to be in the same mold as Derek Lowe. I get the feeling that Nats fans will look upon Preston Wilson much the same way that Mariner fans look at Heathcliff Slocumb in the not too distant future... I have to hand it to Billy Beane. In separate deals, he replaced Chad Bradford with Witasick (an even talent exchange) and Eric Byrnes with Jay Payton (another equal talent exchange) with pitcher Joe Kennedy also coming to Oakland for a prospect thrown into the Colorado deal. That's three pro's for 2 plus a prospect. Beane strengthened the team with these moves without adding any more salary... OK - so Preston Wilson hit a HR in his first AB for the Nats. I predict that will be the highwater mark for him in DC... Am I the only one who sees a connection between the awful ratings for the All-Star Game and the act that Tim McCarver and Kevin Kennedy were prominent in the broadcast?...
Like A Cheese Cracker

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If I owned a big pharmaceutical company I would hire Tim McCarver to do a genital herpes medicine commercial just so I could hear him say, "I'm Tim McCarver and I have genital herpes"... Back in Colonial days a slang expression for being drunk was "getting half-way to Concord". I really like that and I'm going to add it to my list of expressions... I've come to the conclusion that Chris Moneymaker is to poker what Chumbawumba is to pop music... Heh heh - from Tom at Balls, Sticks & Stuff
Jeanie Zelasko of Fox Sports, presenting Miguel Tejada the Ted Williams Trophy for being the All-Star Game MVP, looks to be 22 months pregnant. Either that or she has Ted Williams' frozen head under her blouse
WSOP Update

The field has been narrowed from 5,661 to just 27 and the action now moves to the Horseshoe. Here's the top 10 in chip count:

Top 10:
1. Mike Matusow (Las Vegas, NV) $5.14M
2. Phil Ivey (Las Vegas, NV) $4.635M
3. Steven Dannenmann (Severn, MD) $4.3M
4. Tex Barch (McKinney, TX) $3.9M
5. Greg "Fossil Man" Raymer (Stonington, CT) $3.84
6. Brad Koudrachi (Kingston, PA) $3.16M
7. Joseph Hachem (Melbourne, Australia $3.125M
8. Scott Lazar (Studio City, CA) $3.025M
9. Michael Kessler (Spotsylvania, VA) $2.7M
10. Daniel Bergsdorf (Umea, Sweden) $2.55M

Tao of Poker remains THE place for your WSOP information.
Top 5 - Movie Car Chase Scenes

1. The French Connection
2. Bullitt
3. The Blues Brothers
4. Ronin
5. The Bourne Supremacy

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Keith Foulke

Two thoughts on Keith Foulke have been noodling around my brain for the past few days. I want to take this opportunity to comment on his knee and his confidence.

First his knee.

You have to look no further than Foulke's teammate Bill Mueller to see what effect a balky knee can have on performance. Last year Mueller was a shadow of his 2003 self until he had his knee scoped. He missed June but came back to post solid numbers.

Of course not being 100% had to have effected both Foulke's performance and his confidence. After Foulke's last stink-a-roo against the Indians, he had to be feeling like Tom Cruise in Top Gun after Goose died. Personally, I have no doubts that Foulke will use this time off to get his body and head healthy and come September he'll be the same ole Maverick. Come to think of it, Maverick would be a pretty good nickname for Foulke.
P-Lame Affair = Masters Protest?

Karl Rove probably has just six words for the Main Stream Media this morning, "Iron my shirt! Make my dinner!"

This morning it hit me - the same desire to create a story out of whole cloth that drove the New York Times to try and make uber harpy Martha Burk's protest of Augusta National a leading national story is the same madness that is driving the Main Stream Media to try and make a tenuous connection between Karl Rove and the P-Lame Affair (I've decided that this issue needs a hip-hop name because Plamegate would be so - well - so lame).

For a voice of reason on this "affair" - read this article from the Wall Street Journal.

The one thing the article misses is the fact that the general public has absolutely no interest in this issue. London bombings yes. Heroic actions of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan yes. Very low levels of unemployment yes. P-Lame affair no.

This morning it also hit me who the source Judith Miller is protecting actually is. For the longest time I was convinced that her source was non-other than Joseph Wilson (with the reasoning of "follow the money" - Wilson is the only one to make out monetarily in this "affair"). Now I'm convinced that Miller's secret source is actually Heywood Jablome.

Miller probably decided that it was better to go to jail than to admit how she fell for such a sophomoric prank name.

The NCWO protest of the Masters proved to be one of the lamest protests in the history of the US and the interest in the issue (even by the NY Times) fizzled to zero. I have no doubt that the P-Lame affair is destined for the same ending.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

All-Star Game Thoughts

I'll do some live-blogging as I'm staying in tonight to watch the game.

8:00 - Is it just me or does Kevin Kennedy and Jeannie Zelasko have a Nick and Jessica thing going on?

8:19 - Introductions. I'm glad to see Morgan Ensberg on the team but when did he get added? How did I miss that? (Oh he replaced Scott Rolen - well that rights that wrong I guess.) In case you are wondering the A's guy is Justin Duchscherer who has a 4-1 record with a 1.49 ERA and 4 saves. I think Mark Kotsay or Hudson Street would have been better choices. I know Tampa Bay ownership is cheap but you' think at least they would buy their players uniforms you couldn't see through. You can read the "Tampa Bay" right on Danys Baez's T-shirt through his white uniform shirt. How psyched was Shea Hillenbrand to be introduced after Kenny Rogers? Hey - what nobody brought Jorge Posada's kid out this year?

8:30 Somebody yells Hail Britania after a moment of silence and then they play the national anthem of England. Very classy move by MLB.

8:40 While I'm watching the game, while I'm writing these entries - I'm also playing in a $7,500 guaranteed poker tournament on-line. There were 545 players and the top prize is $1,875.

8:44 I'm not sure who I despise more - Scooter or Tim McCarver.

9:02 I really hope that Al Leiter retires and takes Tim McCarver's announcing job next year. I also think ESPN would do the world a favor by replacing Joe Morgan with Jerry Remy or Dennis Eckersly. Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver are why the terrorists hate us. Mike Piazza steps to the plate and a little voice in my head flashes back to seeing The Fantastic 4 by saying "flame on!"

9:08 I wonder if Ameriquest Mortgage realizes that the song they feature from the Rolling Stones includes the lyrics "you make a dead man cum"?

9:10 Tejada takes John Smoltz yard. I bet that made Donald from Georgia real happy.

9:18 Is it just me or does Bartolo Colon look a little like a young Fred G. Sanford? BTW - in case you were wondering - the AL was favored -$129 to +$119 (meaning you would have to risk $129 to win $100 on the AL vs. risking just $100 to win $119 on the NL). The over / under for runs is 9.5 which seems low for an all-star game.

9:24 I don't know why but the commercial on steroids suddenly reminded me of Jason Giambi's huge contract with the Yankees. What is it that steroids do to you again? Damon leads off with a nubber single, A-Rod walks and Ortiz hits the longest, hardest-hit single in the history of the all-star game. Damon scores - 2-0 AL. Manny K's. Yuk. Tejada drives in his second run with a force out. He's now the front-runner for game MVP.

9:42 OK I just busted out of my poker tournament. I was the small blind with 8c, 9c. The button raised twice the big blind and I called because the guy had been stealing blinds all night. The flop comes Kc, Jc, 7c. We both check. The turn is a blank so I bet all-in (I know - big mistake) and he calls with the Ac, 4c. River is another blank (I needed 10c for a straight flush). His flush beats my flush and I finish 248th and out of the money by far. I'm all-done with poker for the night. Fiddle-dee-dee.

9:49 So do they throw out that guy who grabbed the ball Roberts hit? Fan interference gets you kicked out - right? I mean - this time it counts right? I bet he's still there in his puke green shirt (because its really an exhibition). Ortiz hits a foul down the first base line and puke green shirt guy is still there. That's what I thought.

10:13 OK I'll say it! This is a very boring game.

10:15 My buddy calls Tim McCarver a "no good cockknocker". Not quite sure what that means but it seems to fit. Did McCarver just say the Moistest Alou was voted to the all-star game? Wasn't he a managers choice because San Fran needed a rep? McCarver you stupid cockknocker.

10:26 Teixeira just hit a 2-run HR to make it 7-0 AL. Teixeira was originally drafted by the Red Sox but the old management was too cheap to sign him. I think the only people really into watching this game right now are the people sweating the over / under. Let's see what else in on.

10:35 Kenny Rogers comes into the game greeted by a solid wall of boos. McCarver feels the fans' boos have softened. People still despise Rogers its just that this boring game has lulled the fans at the game into some sort of zombie trance. OK Rogers gives up a 2-run HR to Andruw Jones. The people with the under hate Rogers even more while the people with the over have "softened" their stance on Rogers.

10:43 Did MLB get the black version of Up With People to sing God Bless America? Ronin is on USA. This is an under-rated movie with a top-notch cast. DeNiro, Jean Reno, Stellan Skarsgard, Sean Bean, and Jonathan Pryce.

10:48 Kevin Kennedy interviews Kenny Rogers and I'm torn over who is the bigger jackass.

10:53 The car chase in Ronin has to be one of the best ever filmed. Jean Reno is going to be in the upcoming film version of The DaVinci Code. He'll play Bezu Fache who is the French detective knicknamed "the bull" if I recall correctly. Tom Hanks will play Robert Langdon. Not sure about you but Hanks is probably the last person I pictured when I read this book or Angels and Demons.

11:00 My TV guide says this game should be over by now (well maybe if Fox didn't have a 45 minute pregame). Is the crowd at the game dead or what? I don't think I've ever heard so many people be so quiet. Let me also take this opportunity to say that Walter Matthau was a giant and this new Bad News Bears is just pissing on his grave.

11:10 Chad Cordero comes into the game and I can't help but notice that he really has a block head. Seriously. Its like a cinder block with a hat.

11:16 Bob Wickman is in to pitch the 9th for the AL. I predicted that he'd give up a HR if he got into the game. Let's see how I do on my prediction.

11:22 Wickman walks Jones and is gone. BJ Ryan comes in and during the break it pours. It wasn't rain though - it was Walter Matthau pissing on Fox from heaven for showing so many commercials for the new Bad News Bears. BJ gives up a hit to Gonzo but then gets a ground out. Mariano "Fruit Bat" Rivera comes in to get the last out. Ensberg strikes out and Rivera secures home field advantage for the Red Sox (oh did I say that out loud?).

Good night.
Sosa Redux

This is something I wrote about Sammy Sosa back in January:
Take a look at Sammy Sosa's numbers from the past four years:

HR: 64, 49, 40, 35
BA: .328, .288, .279, .253
OBP: .437, .399, .358, .332
SLG: .737, .594, .553, .517
TB: 425, 330, 286, 247
OPS+: 201, 160, 135, 110

Do see any positive trends there? I see a players who has gone from hitting at historic levels to being Rob Deer. Now I know that in this deal the Cubs will be paying about $10 million of Sosa's $16 million salary but that still means that the Orioles will be picking up $6 million of the tab and giving up some quality trading chips in the process. All that for the Dominican Rob Deer.

People like Peter Gammons see this as a win-win for both teams. They will argue that the Cubs are happy to be rid of Sosa and the Orioles get a big name star for what they see as a minimal cost. The Orioles think this deal will help them sell tickets.

I see this as a bad deal for the Orioles. Sure Sosa may sell some tickets now but he will drive away an equal amount of fans in the summer months if he continues his downward trends.
Not to pick on Gammons but I wonder if he still sees this as a win-win for both teams? The Cubs were able to replace Sosa's production with Jeromy Burnitz at a reduced rate, they got Mike Fontenot a 25-year old former 1st rounder who had 30 doubles and 10 triples last year at AAA levels and Jerry Hairston, Jr who has been hurt but OK when healthy.

Oriole fans were excited at first but now at mid-season they have definitely turned . I have to say - I told you so(sa).
WSOP Update

Tao of Poker remains THE place for WSOP updates. I just hope people remember the remarkable job Paulie did on the WSOP when the Bloggies roll around. He deserves an award for his work this week.
Place Poker Player Chip Count
1 Greg Raymer $ 1,064,000
2 Rodney Pardey Jr. $ 1,041,000
3 Brad Kondracki $ 962,500
4 Johnny Howard $ 910,500
5 Bob Larsen $ 796,500
6 Tim Phan $ 746,000
7 Phil Ivey $ 722,500
8 Steve Marx $ 679,500
9 S Bartholomew $ 659,000
10 Gabe Wells $ 655,500
Greg Raymer is the man! But Phil Ivey may be the man to beat.
Top 5 - Impact Players Who May be Traded By the Deadline

1. Alphonso Soriano, Texas
2. Adam Dunn, Cincinnati
3. Billy Wagner, Philadelpha
4. A.J. Burnett, Florida
5. (tie) Matt Lawton, Pittsburgh (tie) Eddie Guardado, Seattle

Honorable mention: Danys Baez, Tampa Bay; Orlando Hudson, Toronto; Tony Graffanino, Kansas City; Jeremy Affeldt, Kansas City; Joe Randa, Cincinatti; Preston Wilson, Colorado; Mark Redman, Pittsburgh

Some notes - Soriano will only be traded if the right offer is made but I think he's certainly on the block; I don't think Lyle Overbay is on the block and for some reason I don't think Jason Schmidt will be traded (the Giants can't afford to throw in the towl because of attendance concerns) and finally - I think Preston Wilson's value is greatly over-rated.
Rove's Role

I had a friend in college who was an extra in the movie Jaws. He was one of the kids on the beach when the little kid on the floatie was gobbled by the shark. To say Rove had a role in the Plame affair sounds a lot like me saying my friend had a role in the movie Jaws.

Here's what I understand to be the facts:

1. Rove never used Plame's name and basically just warned Matt Cooper not to get too close to Wilson because Wilson was a loose cannon not to be trusted and that Wilson had gotten his job via the nepotism of his wife.

2. Most political reporters in DC knew Plame was in the CIA

3. Does anyone think that Rove is the source that Judith Miller refuses to identify? Please! A New York Time reporter couldn't get information negative to the Bush administration into print quick enough.

4. Let me repeat something - Joseph Wilson got the job for a supposedly sensitive intelligence gathering mission because his wife interceded for him. To me the real story here is the nepotism. The CIA like most integral intelligence agencies should be meritocracies. To me it is most alarming that nepotism could go on at this level and it also bothers me that the MSM seems to be fine with this.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Bret Boone to Twins

The Minnesota Twins acquired Bret Boone from the Mariners today for a player to be named later and cash. You can mark this down as the day that the Twins bowed out of the AL Wild Card race.

Boone's washed up and 2nd is an area the Twins really needed an upgrade. Now they have just committed themselves to using Boone and precluding themselves from dealing for a better solution like Tony Graffanino of the Royals or Orlando Hudson of the Blue Jays.

The Twins have maybe one more move to make before the trading deadline and unless it is a home run (make that a grand slam) for a big bat then they are cooked. I say that the Wild Card will come down between the Cleveland Indians and the Oakland A's. The Twins are officially out of it after this move for Bret Boone.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Just saw a commercial on TV for some genital herpes medicine. It had a guy saying, "I have genital herpes and I haven't had an outbreak in months. That's a great way to be." I have to disagree - I think a great way to be would to actually be free of genital herpes (but maybe that's just me)... I think someone from MLB or from the AL should put out the story that Jeremy Bonderman of the Tigers was going to be the player to replace Kenny Rogers if he did the right thing and declined his spot on the All-Star team. I know that this will just add more ill-will towards Rogers out in Detroit but hey - that's what I'm here for... Commercials for genital herpes always make me think of Ron Mexico... Theo - if you are reading this - please trade Kevin Millar now! How about the Nats? Nick Johnson will be out longer than thought. How about Houston? They could move Berkman back to the outfield or Millar could play left. How about the Mets? They need someone for first. I'm begging you - please trade Millar... I saw the movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy and while it does have a couple of good laughs - its pretty much a waste of 2-hours. Watching the DVD commentary is definately a waste of time... I'm sick of hearing Tony Larussa talk about the All-Star game by saying "they keep score don't they? That means we'll be playing to win." Hey Tony - they also keep score in Spring Training. I know that MLB makes him say things likee that but I'm sorry - it just gets on my nerves...
The Biggest Sin in Sin City

At the World Series of Poker if you drop an F-bomb then you will be assessed a 10-minute penalty away from the table (meaning you will be paying the antes and small and big blinds without the opportunity to actually play a hand for 10-minutes). However, if you are caught smoking you will be disqualified from the tournament.

I don't smoke but this seems really excessive. I bet you could whip out your c*ck Lyndon Johnson style ("Do you think Ho Chi Min has a d!ck like this?") and not be disqualified but smoking does the trick. I find that perversly amusing.

Oh and our second favorite baseball wife - Anna Benson was assessed a 10-minute penalty for dropping an F-bomb. She asked if there were any other banned words and when told no she tested it out by using every cuss word she could think of. Rumor has it that Anna said every dirty word and phrase George Carlin ever heard and then some. Good for you Anna!

Mrs. Jose Lima remains this sites favorite baseball wife.
How Stella Got Her Groove Back By Marrying a Gay Man Who Was Just Scamming Her to Get US Citizenship

I did not read the book or see the movie (chick flick) and I'm probably an awful person for finding amusement in this but I find this as amusing as Cliff Claven falling off a bar stool while opining about gravity.

HT Aaron Gleeman

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

Shea Hillenbrand is an all-star but is just hitting .267 with runners in scoring position. That's not that great. I like Hillenbrand but his choice feels awful Scott Cooperish to me... The more I think about it - the more I have to ask why Preston Wilson would accept a trade to Washngton. Wilson needs to put up big numbers in his free-agent year and JFK is not the place to do it... When I first heard about the Wilson trade I immediately thought that Jay Payton may be going back to Colorado but maybe the Rockies wany to see what Cory Sullivan can do in center. Either way - I wouldn't be surprised... With all the talk about Derrek Lee and the triple crown - one triple crown possibility seems to have been over looked. The Red Sox could win the triple crown as a team. Johnny Damon easily could win the batting title, David Ortiz could easily win the HR crown and who's going to catch Manny Ramirez for RBI's?.. If the Preston Wilson deal falls through - how about a three team trade between Washington, Boston and Houston. The Red Sox could send Kevin Millar to Washington and Wade Miller to Houston. The Sox would get Zach Day from the Nationals and a prospect from Houston. Miller would be a prodigal son to Houston, the Nats need a bat but can't pay too much (plus they have Church and Johnson coming back - so they need a guy who can fill in for either guy if the DL time is longer than anticipated for either) and the Sox get a young starter with at least one year of arbitration left and they rid themselves of pudgy Millar... Am I the only one who chuckles every time Fox puts on that pinball commercial for the All-Star game that features Derek Jeter?... It should be noted that the Red Sox play 24 of the last 36 games at home. That could be the difference in them winning the AL East for the first time in years... It needs to be said again that Kenny Rogers is a jackass...
Interesting Take on War of the Worlds

I have to admit that the lack of guns did bother me when I saw the movie. There was something else about the movie that I couldn't put my finger on but Debra Saunders nails it.

War of the Worlds is perhaps the least "heroic" blockbuster you'll ever see.
Doyle Brunson

Good article on Brunson in The New York Times.
WSOP Update

Here are who the bookies pegged as the top choices to win the 2005 WSOP and their current status:

Phil Ivey - 180/1 -
Daniel Negreanu - 180/1 - OUT
Phil Hellmuth - 200/1 - OUT
Howard Lederer - 200/1
Gus Hansen - 200/1
Chris Ferguson - 210/1 - OUT
Erick Lindgren - 215/1
Johnny Chan - 225/1 - OUT
Barry Greenstein - 235/1 - OUT
Dan Harrington - 225/1
Erik Seidel - 225/1 - OUT
Doyle Brunson - 225/1 - OUT

Can you believe that? We are not even into the official day 2 and already half of the top players have been eliminated. Wow!

The official numbers are out. There were 5619 players and a $52.8 Million prize pool. The top payouts are as follows:

1st = $7,500,000
2nd = $4,250,000
3rd = $2,500,000
4th = $2,000,000
5th = $1,750,000
6th = $1,500,000
7th = $1,300,000
8th = $1,150,000
9th = $1,000,000

If you do the math - the total should come out to over $56 million but the casino takes a small cut and some of the remaining money is used for tips for the dealers.

As always Tao of Poker is the best spot for WSOP info. For instance how else would you know that Shannon Sharpe is in this year's WSOP? I wonder if the Anna Benson mentioned is Kris Benson of the Mets Anna Benson? Must be.
Fantastic Four

I saw the Fantastic Four on Friday night and I really liked it. The three things that really made this a good movie were the pace, the special effects and the actors.

Many things were changed from the original comic books but how could you integrate Doom's WWII roots into a 2-hour story flow? Instead we get a pace where we meet the principle actors then BAM - they are in space. Just as quickly they are back on Earth and they discover their powers. All-in-all the movie flows along at a quick pace and the 2-hours pass in a blink of the eye.

The special effects were superb. The effects used for Johnny Storm and Mr. Fantastic were particularly good.

As soon as I learned they were making this film - I started wondering about the casting. The final cast though was excellent. All were very believable. I've been a fan of Ioan Grufford since his playing of Horatio Hornblower. Michael Chiklis and Julian McMahon steal the show with their roles as the Thing and Dr. Doom. Chris Evans was perfect as the Human Torch and Jessica Alba has wonderful breasts.

The movie compares very favorably to Batman Begins which had higher peaks than F4 but also had more slow time than F4.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The State of the Red Sox

This week has seen a series of tempests in teacups in Red Sox Nation and I just wanted to get my $.02 in on what it all really means.

Let me start with Curt Schilling going to the bullpen.

If you listen carefully to Terry Francona you never would have heard him say that Schilling was going to be "the closer" - just that he was going to the bullpen. Let's look at this logically.

Word is that Schilling isn't in the game shape to do anything more than 5 innings. If that is the case then all the current starters (Clement, Wakefield, Arroyo, Miller and Wells) are better options to stay in the rotation. Keith Foulke going on the DL opened a roster spot on the pitching staff and 2 innings of Schilling is much better than 2 innings from any of the other options the Red Sox would have had to fill Foulke's roster spot.

If Schilling went right into the starting rotation and stunk the first couple of times out - you can be sure there would have been grumbling about how Arroyo never should have been bumped from the rotation for a less than healthy Schilling.

Now if you are going to have a fireballing bulldog in the bullpen like Schilling - then of course it makes sense to use him in a closing role. I say "a" closing role instead of "the" closing role because Francona probably won't be using Schilling on back-to-back games. This means that Mike Timlin will also be closing and this is good for Timlin because he's really a setup man and in the past the pressure of closing has gotten to him. There is a lot less pressure in being an occasional closer than being THE closer.

Once Schilling gets his strength back - he'll be moved back to the rotation. Now I'm guessing this will happen about mid-August which also happens to be the time-frame for Keith Foulke's return. When Foulke returns - look for Timlin to maintain at least some of the closing responsibilities (if not all - Foulke may start off in a set-up role) until Foulke is 100%.

It should be noted that the bullpen has been THE weakspot for the team this year and it should also be noted that Matt Mantei is probably gone for the year. This move of Schilling to the bullpen makes a tremendous amount of sense.

Jay Payton never should have left the Rockies. He signed with the Padres and was exposed as just a so-so player. However, in Payton's mind he's one of the better outfielders in baseball. Getting traded to Oakland will be a slap of reality for Payton. If he was going to be a problem - then Theo and the front office acted correctly in jettisoning Payton immediately.

By trading Payton - the Red Sox will supposedly get Chad Bradford in return. Bradford is coming off the DL for a back injury but he's good insurance against Alan Embree melting down. I'd look for Bradford to start off at Pawtucket for rehab.

Kevin Millar isn't worth the trouble and I have no doubt that Theo Epstein has been trying to trade him. Peter Gammons reported that Millar requested a trade but Millar is now denying this and Theo Epstein is basically giving a "no-comment" when asked. My guess is that Millar's agent asked for the trade (giving Millar his deniability) and Theo is too classy to call Millar on the carpet for this purely selfish move. I'm also guessing that Theo hasn't found much market for the big-talking, no-power, pudgy firstbaseman. For the 1,000th time - give Millar's playing time to Kevin Youkilis.

Theo Epstein did make a trade this week - sending Ramon Vazquez to the Indians for Alex Cora. This is an excellent upgrade for the Red Sox. Cora is an excellent defensive replacement for both short and 2nd (so good in fact that Bellhorn's job may be in jeopardy). The Indians won't use Vazquez - this was just a salary dump on their part.

Johnny Damon has made it clear that he's an idiot. But he's playing the best centerfield of anyone in the AL. Damon wants to be in Boston but he won't do any better than the 4-year $40 million deal Varitek got. If he wants more - then he'll be playing elsewhere next year. (Also don't discount the possibility that Damon injures himself with his reckless style and really hurts his market value to the point he accepts arbitration from the Red Sox.) I think if Millar is jettisoned - then Damon doesn't get into any further problems with his mouth this year.

I think the person really being screwed here is Terry Francona. You know he wanted clement on the All-Star roster but his hands were tied by MLB. Francona is taking heat for just about everything and very little of it is deserved. I credit Francona for handling things within the clubhouse and this winter we'll probably learn the real story of what he had to put up with.

The Red Sox have in no way sewed up a playoff spot. They are just 4 games up in the AL East and just 1.5 up over the top Wild Card team. Theo Epstein can't and won't stand pat during the trading deadline.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Doyle Brunson in Takeover Attempt on WPT

Poker legend is leading a $700 million takeover attempt of WPT Enterprises - the parent company of the World Poker Tour.
Market rumors of the bid, which were later confirmed by WPT, sent its shares surging almost 59 percent on Friday to a new high of $28.20 on Nasdaq.

The bid offers a 100 percent premium over the Thursday closing price of $17.75 which valued WPT at about $357 million.
More info here.

I find the timing of the takeover bid interesting. I wonder if people at the WSOP are talking about it.
WSOP Day 1

Last year it was Greg Raymer and the holographic lizard-eyes glasses

This year its the giant Elmo head guy

Some day one nuggets via Paulie at Tao of Poker and his WSOP preview for

- Some notables that were said to be eliminated on day one include Jennifer Harman, Jennifer Tilly, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Barry Greenstein, Johnny Chan, Dave "Devil Fish" Ulliot, Josh Arieh, Ted Forrest, David Grey, Freddy Deeb, Humberto Brenes, Mike Sexson and Mike Caro
- Poker legend TJ Cloutier has admitted to "entering $10 tournaments online to get accustomed to playing against younger internet players"
- supposedly sent 1,116 players to the main event
- And yes - Greg Raymer has brought his famous glasses back for this year's event