Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lieutenant Michael Behenna

Please read this story of Lieutenant Michael Behenna.

If you can - please donate to his defense. If you can't - please sign the petition.

If you have a blog - please spread the word.

Thank you.
Texas Tech Hires Struther Martin to Explain Mike Leach Situation



Yup - that pretty much sums it up.
Morning Links

Some fun stuff for your New Year's Eve morning:

- The Wire - Brother Mouzone/Omar confrontation

- Montreal craigslist, Where you can find almost anything

- If they make these for adults - I want one

- Has anyone ever seen Philip Rivers and Strong Bad in the same room?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

VDH and the BVD Bomber

Reading these observations from Victor Davis Hanson on the Obama administration's reaction to the Detroit bomber - I was reminded of a saying that I've seen many times since 9/11:
The America is not at war. The Marine Corps is at war. America is at the mall.
Morning Music

Here's a few tunes for your Wednesday morning, not much going on because it's the day before New Year's Eve and nobody feels much like working.

- Linger - The Cranberries

- Mad World - Gary Jules

- Little Bonnie - Drive-by Truckers

- Brick - Ben Folds Five

- I Will Follow You Into the Dark - Death Cab for Cutie

I didn't purposely mean to put together such a dark set (except for Linger). Please don't read anything into it. Just some songs that I like - good lyrics and music.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Mike Leach never played college football. I'm not saying that coaches need to be all former players but I am saying that not knowing what it's like to have a concussion or being dinged up from playing should not be an overlooked aspect of this story. If you're not happy with a player's effort - send him off the field. You don't lock him in a closet... Former Red Sox minor leaguer Jeff Bailey signed with Diamondbacks. Bailey is 31 but was the 2008 International League Player of the Year. Don't be surprised if Bailey ends up as the starting 1st baseman this season for the Diamondbacks. Conor Jackson is no lock to regain his starting job after his bout with Valley Fever which cost him 5 months of the season in 2009 and the $4 plus million Jackson will cost the budget minded Diamondbacks may be a consideration... Happy 74th birthday to Sandy Koufax... If you haven't seen the video of Randy Moss and the fan in Foxboro - you should really check this out... Tweet of the day:
@FrankAdman Overheard at lunch " I've got a trophy wife, but she isn't what you'd call first place."
Holy crap - this was a real Super Hero? And his name was Codpiece? Too funny... FWIW Mike Leach also hasn't been real good at producing pro players at Texas Tech. Only Wes Welker and Michael Crabtree come to mind. I'll even give you Danny Amendola but that's not much from a supposed offensive powerhouse... Fantasy baseball players sleeper pick alert - Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies could be a 25 HR / 25 SB guy in 2010. He should be available in later rounds too... Happy 34th birthday to Tiger Woods. And happy 25th birthday to LeBron James. I never noticed that Tiger and LeBron have the same birthday. This must be a very big day up at Nike headquarters...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Team of Misfit Players

With the signing of Jason Bay with the Mets - I got to wondering if you could put together a competitive team using just the remaining free agents. At the same time keep the salary total at below $100 million (my estimated signing costs are next to the names). Here's what I cam up with:

C - Yorvit Torrealba ($4 mil)
1st - Adam LaRoche ($8 mil)
2nd - Kelly Johnson ($3.5 mil)
SS - Orlando Cabrera ($3 mil)
3rd - Adrian Beltre ($8 mil)
LF - Johnny Damon ($9 mil)
RF - Matt Holliday ($16 mil)
CF - Rick Ankiel ($5 mil)

SP1 - Joel Pineiro ($10.5 mil)
SP2 - Erik Bedard ($8 mil)
SP3 - Jon Garland ($5 mil)
SP4 - Pedro Martinez ($8 mil)
SP5 - Braden Looper ($4 mil)

Closer - Danys Baez ($3 mil)

Notes: That's a payroll of $95 mil (fill out the other 11 roster spots at minimums and you have a $100 mil payroll). You could argue Orlando Hudson over Kelly Johnson but my thinking is that they are about the same but Johnson would come at a lower cost. I have Pedro down as the 4th starter but when healthy he could easily be the number 3 or 4. Baez is a crap shoot at closer but he's got the experience.

I think this team would be better than 50% of the current rosters easily. And I'm pretty sure this team could outperform the Mets.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Have you seen the clip of Max Baucus speaking on the Senate floor where he appears to be drunk? Shouldn't we compare that to other clips of him speaking? If there is an obvious difference then he has some explaining to do... Editing My Reality would be a good name for a blog... Because everyone needs a little Zombo.com in their life now and then... Admit it - Max Baucus sounds more like the name of a Roman bartender than a US Senator... I'm going to predict that Mike Leach will use the Costanza sex with the cleaning lady defense. "Was that wrong? Should I have not put kids in dark closets?" I also predict he gets fired over this... I'm going to open a clothing store called New Navy. I think it will be catchy... Wouldn't be surprised to see Chris Young traded by the Padres. If healthy - he's as good or better than all the remaining FA pitchers... Would Charlie Weiss be the right replacement for Mike Leach at Texas Tech if Leach is fired over this situation? Weis could also have a high-flying passing offense. Could be the perfect bounce-back situation for Weis... Star Trek and poker... Happy 36th birthday to Red Sox GM Theo Epstein...
New Year's Eve from Times Square

If you have a blog or if you just want to "look in" to Times Square on New Year's Eve - the Times Square Alliance has some info you might be interested in:
The Times Square 2010 Live Webcast/Blogcast will begin at 5:50pm on December 31, 2009 and end at 12:20am on January 1, 2010. The show will be available at TimesSquareNYC.org and Livestream.com/2010. Additionally, the Event Organizers and Livestream are offering free, non-commercial widgets of varying sizes for bloggers, webmasters and digital media outlets to embed in their own sites as a source of fun and entertaining content on New Year’s Eve.

Five co-hosts will cover all the action in Times Square. Viewers can tune in to watch and chat live online. The video solution is integrated with social media tools Twitter and Facebook, as well as the live blogging tool CoverItLive, allowing the New Year’s Eve co-hosts to engage participants, interact with their audience and to virtually share the moment with others.

Additional information on the widgets, including the sizes and embedding codes, and web event are available on the Web at: http://www.timessquarenyc.org/nye/2010widgets.html and: http://www.livestream.com/2010.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 5 - Characters Added to a Sitcom After the First Season

1. Reverend Jim - Taxi
2. Fraiser - Cheers
3. Deitrich - Barney Miller
4. Woody - Cheers
5. Chuck and Bob Campbell - SOAP
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The term of the day is "hapax legomenon". That's something that is only mentioned once. An example would be Gopher wood which is mentioned once in the Bible (Genesis 6:14). That was the wood Noah was told to use for his ark... Hugh Hefner originally wanted to call his magazine Stag Party but there was already a hunters magazine called Stag. The name Playboy was his second choice... Next to Francis Scott Key's Star Spangled Banner - my favorite one hit wonder is Murray Head's One Night in Bangkok... Went for a walk yesterday. The streams in Massachusetts were swollen as if it was a sudden Spring thaw. Is it strange for you out there to consider a 40 degree day with no wind to be good weather?... Have you ever heard anyone use the word "spangled" in normal conversation? Do you even know what the word spangled means? Spangled could be a hapax legomenon of American history... It was five years ago today that Jerry Orbach passed away. With him and his character Detective Lennie Briscoe went my interest in watching the show Law & Order... For the record - spangled means "A small, often circular piece of sparkling metal or plastic sewn especially on garments for decoration." So another way to think of it is the Star Bedazzled Banner...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The World Bank and Stimulus Funding

Today marks the 64th anniversary of the founding of the World Bank. There is an interesting connection between this anniversary and President Obama's stimulus package.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were created via the efforts of the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944 which took place at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. The Mount Washington Hotel is a beautiful place but an international conference like the one in 1944 would be impossible to hold there today because of the lack of available bandwidth at the hotel for Internet access, cell phone coverage, etc.

That deficiency is about to change as Bretton Woods Telephone was awarded one of the first broadband stimulus grants and loans made under the Recovery Act (aka the Stimulus Bill). Bretton Woods' application was just one of 18 out of hundreds of applications that were approved for the first round of money. What makes the tiny Bretton Woods Telephone company so special? They have less than 1,000 access lines. The one thing they have that makes them special is the Mount Washington Hotel.

After seeing that Bretton Woods Telephone was picked from so many applications that would have benefited much greater population bases, I have to admit that my first thought was that President Obama was planning a Bretton Woods Conference of his own. Could he be planning something new for the World Bank or the IMF? If so - Bretton Woods would be the correct historical backdrop. And by the time the conference is announced - the Mount Washington Hotel should have the bandwidth needed to host such a conference.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Clemson's C.J. Spiller was the only player in Div 1-A college football to score a touchdown in every single game this season... Awesome! I really got a good chuckle out of that... Interesting - Meyer resigns, bettors jump on Gators in Sugar Bowl. The thinking is that the Gators will be pumped for Meyer's last game as coach. They won't want to let their coach down. The most interesting man in the world thinks this is a good bet... Tweet of the Day:
@RealJeffreyRoss Who the fuck is fondue?? RT @ParisHilton: Sitting by the fire eating fondue. Yum :)
I thought electing Obama was supposed to make foreign countries like us more? I don't recall anything like this ever happening under George Bush.... Happy 50th birthday to Patriot great and Hall of Famer Andre Tippett...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Babe Ruth as Santa Claus



Interesting and sad on the anniversary of the day he was traded to the Yankees.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Today will be a day of watching Band of Brothers on Spike and college football on ESPN. What a country!... The Battle of Trenton: An Eyewitness Account. I love stuff like this... The Oakland A's hit just 135 HR last YR with 25 of them coming from Jack Cust. With Cust all but gone there is a real chance the A's hit less than 100 HR in 2010. Next up for the A's giving their players Deadball Nicknames like Pud and Chief... Charlie Sheen's real name is Carlos Irwin Estevez - I did not know that... I think the San Francisco Giants could be a darkhorse team to sign Jason Bay - God knows they need a power hitter... Nugget from ESPN's Adam Schefter, "Chris Johnson will enter Titans' finale against Seattle 128 yards short of 2,000 and 233 short of Eric Dickerson's single-season record"... I think Ryan Garko could be an interesting low cost pick-up for a team that needs a 1st or DH... Another good name for a blog would be "Quodlibet" which is derived from the Latin for "whatever pleases"... I posted about the importance of the Battle of Trenton before... Happy 62nd birthday to Carlton "Pudge" Fisk. Wow - 62?
Possible Red Sox / Dodgers Trade

I'm going to throw this out there because I've been thinking about it all morning. What about a trade between the Red Sox and Dodgers that would send Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz to the Dodgers and Andre Ethier and Russell Martin to the Red Sox?

From the Red Sox perspective in Ethier they would be getting one of the more under-rated corner outfielders in baseball. A player who would be just coming into his prime and who would be under team control for a couple more years. Russell Martin would give them potentially an everyday catcher once Varitek retires and Victor Martinez moves to 1st / DH. That would give the Sox an outfield of Ethier, Mike Cameron and JD Drew (with Jeremy Hermida and Josh Reddick as back-ups). Potentially they could carry three catchers with Martinez, Varitek and Martin being both catcher and pinch hitter options.

From the Dodger perspective - they would get a young pitcher who would probably dominate at Dodger Stadium and in the NL West in general and replace one young outfielder with another. The biggest key would be the fact that the Dodgers would probably save about $10 million in salary once Ethier and Martin were done with their arbitration hearings.

Never happen but it was fun to think about.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous Christmas Night thoughts and observations.

If I was to start a new blog today I'd name it Occasional Reflections on Several Subjects after the book by chemist Robert Boyle. I just like the name... Heh heh - words of wisdom from Henry F. Potter "No man is a failure who has friends. Unless he has no money. Then he's a miserable failure"... Bacon Wrapped Steak Fries...I can't believe I just learned of this!... Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer And Friends: Where Are They Now?... If you are a boxing or poker fan this is well worth your time - interview of Billy Baxter a member of the Poker Hall of Fame and a man who was accused of fixing the Hagler-Leonard fight... Terry Francona's son Nick - the Wharton School graduate and second lieutenant in the USMC. Cool story by Gordon Edes... Hall of Fame pitcher Pud Galvin was born Christmas 1856. He was nicknamed Pud because he made hitters look like "pudding" at the plate not because he was a dick... Ernie Harwell's touching Christmas card to all of Detroit... Fun fact: The official signal for the scramble to evacuate the US Embassy in Saigon 34-yrs ago was the playing of Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas’... After tonight's loss the Tennessee Titans are now only 1-9 ATS vs. teams with winning records and is now 0-6 the last 6 times playing the Chargers... Them Crooked Vultures - how could I have not heard of this band?... Hope everyone had a good Christmas...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Very Cool

The word's smallest snowman.

You really have to watch the video. Technology is getting unbelievable.
Heh Heh

This is just too funny!
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Next time I'm in Vegas I will find a casino offering an over / under prop on Javier Vazquez' IP next year and I'm going to take the under. Everyone is talking about how Vazquez is almost a guarantee for 200 IP which will help save the wear and tear on the Yankees bullpen. When everyone is going one way - it is often very profitable to go the other... Heh heh - Milton Bradley takes out full-page ad telling Cubs fans to rot in hell... Happy 45th birthday to Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. I didn't realize he was that old... Heh heh - Tweet of the Day from kbabak: "So in the last 24 hours, the Braves have landed themselves Chip Caray and Melky Cabrera. That's outstanding work. ::snicker"... Very cool. Video from a winter train ride in Norway from the point of view of the very front of the train (video about 10 minutes long)... Here's where I announce my geekhood, Doctor Who achieves record US audience. "The Waters of Mars watched by 1.1 million viewers on BBC America – the channel's biggest prime-time audience." I was part of that audience and I must admit I was surprised by the ending. I am looking forward to watching the final two episodes very much.... I'm a fan of Dr. Who but I'm also a fan of Dr. Tits... Interesting. A comparison between Harry Reid's Healthcare Bill and Stephen Douglas' Kansas-Nebraska Act. I love historical comparisons like this.... Happy 31st birthday to Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez.... Happy Festivus everyone....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If Johnny Damon plays 3 more seasons - he has an outside chance of 3,000 hits and finishing in the top 25 all-time in runs. Just sayin'. Even with 3,000 hits and being in the top 25 in runs scored - Johnny Damon still isn't a Hall of Fame player... The ultimate business card for a divorce lawyer... Prediction - Johnny Damon signs 2-year, $16 mil contract with Detroit... I find this stuff fascinating. The tea dumped in the Boston Tea Party had a modern value of approximately $847,000... It was seven years ago today that Joe Strummer passed away....

Monday, December 21, 2009

NFL Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous NFL thoughts and observations.

How important is rushing to a team's success? The conventional wisdom is that a successful team needs a good running game to set up the passing game. The Colts put this theory on it's head. Indianapolis is tied for last in rushing in the entire NFL with just 86.1 yards per game. Yet they are the only team in the NFL with a perfect record... Nugget from ESPN's Adam Schefter: "Ricky Williams reached the 1,000-yard mark for the first time since 2003, the longest gap between 1,000-yard seasons in NFL history"... Not beating yourself - another reason the Colts are undefeated is the fact they don't beat themselves with penalties. Indianapolis has the second fewest penalties in the NFL (68 - two behind Jacksonville's 66) for the second fewest penalty yards (516 - just 8 more than the Chargers)... Against possibly the best defense in the NFL (Green Bay) - Ben Roethlisberger passes for 503 yards. A week earlier against possibly the worst defense in the NFL (the Browns) - Roethlisberger passed for 302 fewer yards. You figure it out... Another nugget from Adam Schefter: "By losing to Tampa Bay, Seattle helped St. Louis get the No. 1 overall pick - and now the Seahawks might have to face Suh in NFC West"... In week 1 of the NFL season - Tom Brady led the league in passing yards. He hasn't led the league any week since. Doesn't really mean anything - just thought I'd mention it...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Suffragette City

I was listening to the radio when David Bowie's Suffragette City came on. After hearing the song for most of my life - it suddenly struck me what a silly name for a song Suffragette City really is. Metropolis of women who vote isn't as catchy but if you think about it that's what suffragette city means. It's like a MadLib where a thing and a place are mashed together to make up the lyrical basis of a song.

I got to thinking that if I had a band - I'd do a remake of Suffragette City but I'd rename if Jury Pool Kingdom (just swap out the words). And that part of the song that has "Wham, bam, thank you mam" - I'd replace that with "Grudge, grudge, thank you Judge."

If only I had a band.
Top 5 – George Roy Hill Films

Today would have been director George Roy Hill’s 88th birthday (he died in 2002). You probably haven’t heard of George Roy Hill but you have heard of his movies. Here are what I consider his top 5:

1. Slap Shot
2. The Sting
3. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
4. The World According to Garp
5. Slaughterhouse Five

It should also be noted that Hill was a Marine who fought in both World War II and Korea.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

From now until Christmas instead of saying "Hello" - I will instead say "I bring you tidings of comfort and joy." Comfort and joy... According to the Rasmussen Poll 29% of people polled expect the Colts to win Super Bowl, 26% Saints, 14% Vikings (poll taken before last night's loss by New Orleans)... 40 things that were popular at the beginning of the decade that aren't popular any more... Iron Man II trailer. Cool... People keep talking about a possible Javier Vazquez deal to the Dodgers. I don't understand that. Vazquez got traded to the Braves in the first place because he didn't want to play on the West Coast... 20 Secrets your waiter will never tell you. I never understood people who are condescending to the people who handle your food in restaurants. The golden rule people - the golden rule...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nick Johnson

Brian MacPherson looks at the Yankees acquisition of Nick Johnson and comes to the conclusions that A: the Yankees may have a better DH than the Red Sox next year and B: Nick Johnson batting second in the order should replace the offensive contributions of Johnny Damon.

I think MacPherson underestimates two very important factors here:

1. Johnson is moving from the NL to the very competitive AL East (his career OPS against AL East teams is as follows - Bal .704, Bos .705, TB .789 and Tor .735).

2. Johnny Damon is one of the most durable players in baseball. Nick Johnson? Not so much.
The Greatest Blue Jay Pitcher

Tim Marchman has an analysis in SI regarding the three team megatrade. In his analysis he says that Toronto was the loser in the deal. That's fine but what got my attention was Marchman calling Halladay "the second-best pitcher in team history". What?

He doesn't expound on that throwaway line but one has to guess that he thinks Dave Steib was the best pitcher in Toronto history. That's just crazy.
Favorite Actor

A buddy of mine last night asked me who was my favorite current actor in a drunken attempt to start a conversation between hands of cards. I told him Gabriel Byrne to throw him off his game (I knew he wouldn't know who Gabriel Byrne was).

This morning after thinking about it for a while - I came to the conclusion that I don't really have a favorite actor (someone who I'll watch just because they are in something). The closest to that for me is Nathan Fillion and Timothy Olyphant.

Favorite actor of all-time? Not sure I have one of those either but either Ward Bond or William Powell come closest to fitting the bill.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The Simpsons has been on TV for 20-years. I was thinking that if the characters aged in real time then Bart would be in his early 30's by now and Grandpa Simpson would be in his late 80's... John Heisman - the man for whom the Heisman Trophy is named - used to supplement his income when he was coach at Georgia Tech by being a Shakespearean actor in the offseason. I just find that a very interesting morsel of information. Can you picture Charlie Weiss doing Hamlet? Bobby Bowden or Joe Paterno as King Lear? Nick Saban as Brutus in Julius Caesar?... According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports - the Mariners are considering trading Brandon Morrow for a hitter. Morrow was Seattle's version of Joba Chamberlain so it is interesting to hear that he may be on the trading block... The origins of "Om Nom Nom". Cool video.
Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tiger Woods

The fantasy that Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren were the perfect couple with the storybook marriage has long since been shattered. Now with the news that Elin Nordegren will divorce Tiger Woods - I couldn't help but think of another so-called perfect marriage between David Justice and Halle Berry.

That marriage also dissolved over sex - David said he wasn't getting any and Halle accused David of being addicted to porn (maybe a case where both sides were telling the truth). Nobody except Tiger and Elin knows what happened in their relationship and what Tiger did with all his fooling around was wrong. I just wanted to share the observation.
Top 5 - Christmas Songs by Rock Stars

1. Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Bruce Springsteen
2. Do They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid
3. Father Christmas - The Kinks
4. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Bare Naked Ladies
5. Little Drummer Boy - Bing Crosby and David Bowie
Occupation of the Day

I hope to God that I never have need of the services of a Prison Consultant or become qualified to be one.

But it is interesting to read about.
Ho Ho Ho


Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Player Comparison

Let's compare two players:

Player A - 24 HR / .250 BA / .342 OBP / 111 OPS+ / 246 TB
Player B - 36 HR / .267 BA / .384 OBP / 134 OPS+ / 285 TB

Player A is Mike Cameron and Player B is Jason Bay. Clearly Bay's offensive numbers are better across the board than Cameron's. Some players benefit greatly from Fenway Park's Green Monster and clearly the Red Sox front office feel that Mike Cameron is one of those players. It is reasonable to expect an increase in HR from Cameron along with an increase in doubles (wall-ball hits combined with Cameron's speed). Probably positive thinking on my part but I really can foresee Cameron coming close to matching Jason Bay's total base mark from last season.

EDIT: Very interesting comparison of Bay and Cameron done a couple of months ago. The bottom line conclusion they drew was that Cameron was actually the better overall value.
Red Sox Roster

With the addition of Mike Cameron - the Red Sox opening day roster seems almost set (barring a big trade). I count 12 position players with spots that should be locked up; Martinez, Varitek, Kotchman, Pedroia, Scutaro, Youklis, Lowrie, Cameron, Ellsbury, Drew, Hermida and Ortiz. There's 6 starters; Beckett, Lester, Lackey, Buchholz, Matsuzaka and Wakefield. There's also 6 bullpen pitchers; Papelbon, Bard, Okijima, Martinez, Delcarmen and Bonser. That's 24 players total which just leaves the final spot on the roster. The big question I guess is if that spot goes to an extra outfielder, third catcher or extra bullpen arm.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The Knicks are 5-1 in their last six games. Looks like New York coach Mike D’Antoni is really starting to earn his money (although I probably just put the hex on the Knicks game tonight)... I enjoyed the 30 for 30 show The U about the rise of Miami's football program. I was disappointed in two things though - first they didn't even mention Doug Flutie's Hail Mary pass and second you would think they could have interviewed Bernie Kosar when he was sober... So I'm looking at the stats for the top scoring rookies in the NBA and it hits me that I can't remember who the Celtics took with their first pick in last year's draft. Not sure if that says more about my memory or the quality of their pick. I looked it up and the pick was Lester Hudson in the 2nd round. That makes me feel better about my memory... I think if I saw that ESPN NBA Winnebago driving on the highway - I'd try to run it off the road... Lyford has a couple of very good posts that you should check out:

- On the Red Sox "Philosophy"
- This is just outrageous - I agree that someone should lose their job over this
- Some data on the John Lackey signing and other Red Sox moves

Monday, December 14, 2009

Strange

So I checked into my hotel out here is Syracuse and as is often the case as soon as I'm in my room - I'm reading the hotel information booklet they put in the room (if you know what I'm saying).

What struck me as odd was the fact that at the end of the book where you find the ads for the local restaurants, pizza delivery places and sports bars - there was an ad for a local tattoo parlor. What the heck? Is the idea that someone thumbing through would see the ad and say, "Hey - nothing else to do tonight - I guess I'll go get some ink!"

Seriously can you imagine anyone staying in a strange town deciding to permanently mark up their body based upon an ad they saw in a hotel info booklet? And this is a nice hotel I'm staying at. That's what also makes it odd. I'm not staying at a place that would have bail bondsman info on the lobby bulletin board. The whole thing just strikes me as odd.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tiger Woods as Don Draper

I can't help but think of the parallels between what Tiger Woods is going through and the Don Draper character on Mad Men.

Don Draper is a successful man whose business is advertising. He is married to a beautiful blond and has two kids. Don Draper is also living a double life and cannot keep his penis in his pants.

These past few weeks we've learned that not only is Tiger Woods a very successful man who makes a ton of money in advertising and who has a beautiful blond wife and two kids but also that he's living a double life and has trouble keeping his penis in his pants. And don't tell me Elin Nordegren doesn't look a lot like January Jones (who plays Don Draper's wife on Mad Men).

Don Draper had his secret of really being Dick Whitman. The public and married Tiger had the secret of really being the Rakes Progress. On Mad Men, Don Draper's home life falls apart after his wife learns of his double life. Ditto Tiger Woods.

However, from what the porn star has said about Tiger in bed he still doesn't have the "full Don Draper treatment" down. Yet.

On the show Mad Men the last episode had Team Draper striking out to start their own firm. How interesting would it be if Tiger did something similar? The Tiger Tour. Screw the PGA just like Don Draper eschewed the big ad agency on Mad Men. Both stories are cliffhangers right now with everyone waiting to see what's next.

EDIT: Damn it! Bill Simmons played the Tiger as Don Draper card as the last entry in this mailbag! Damn you Bill Simmons (of course thousands of people probably made this same connection in their minds)

Friday, December 11, 2009

2010 Red Sox

I know many Red Sox fans are not happy with the lack of activity by the Red Sox front office during the recent Winter Meetings. I'm comforted by the thought that the team they will put on the field for Opening Day 2010 is bound to be better than its 2009 counterpart. Follow me here through a position by position comparison and see if you don't agree.

Catcher - 2009 Jason Varitek / 2010 Victor Martinez - big edge 2010
1st - 2009 Kevin Youkilis / 2010 Casey Kotchman - big edge 2009
2nd - 2009 & 2010 Dustin Pedroia - push
SS - 2009 Potpourri of Players / 2010 Marco Scuturo - edge 2010
3rd - 2009 Mike Lowell / 2010 Kevin Youkilis - big edge 2010
LF - 2009 Jason Bay / 2010 I'm assuming either Jason Bay or Matt Holliday will be signed and call it a push
CF - 2009 & 2010 Jacoby Ellsbury - push
RF - 2009 & 2010 JD Drew - push
DH - 2009 & 2010 David Ortiz - push

Starting rotation - 2009 Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Brad Penny, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield / 2010 Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Clay Buchholz and Wakefield - edge 2010

Bullpen - 2009 Jon Papelbon, Hideki Okijima, Ramon Ramirez, Manny Delcarmen, Takashi Saito / 2010 Papelbon, Okijima, Ramirez, Delcarmen, Boof Bonser - push

I think it's clear that if Bay or Holliday are added to the mix then the Red Sox will field a superior team to what started the season last year. A couple quick notes:

* Marco Scutaro is no great shakes but he's a solid glove and a tough out plus he should provide a consistency that was completely absent last year at short
* I think Casey Kotchman could equal the offense of Mike Lowell and surpass his defensive contributions
* David Ortiz is a year older but when you consider the awful start he had last year and the fact that this is a contract year for Big Papi - I wouldn't be surprised if the 2010 DH was better than its 2009 counterpart even though it is the same player
* No Brad Penny - this cannot be stressed enough (24 starts and a 5.61 ERA in 2009)
* Dan Shaughnessey can suck it
Interesting

On this day in 1964 - according to Wikipedia:
Che Guevara speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. An unknown terrorist fires a mortar shell at the building during the speech.
The thing I find interesting is the description of the terrorist as unknown. That has to mean that nobody was ever arrested for the deed. I bet there's an interesting story there.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Did you know that Marlboro cigarettes were originally designed for women? The manly Cowboy marketing campaign was a last minute change. The rest is history... Heh heh - Sports Minute "The Eagles signed Andy Reid until 2013. He's the second member of his family to be locked up for the next three years"... There are loads of reports that the Red Sox are interested in Adrian Beltre as a replacement for Mike Lowell. All these public reports are the reason I think this so-called interest may be an invention of Scott Boras. The Red Sox are never this open about what their plans are... Heh heh - Sports Minute Gatorade dropped their Tiger Woods sports drink. Probably because it'd be tasteless to say, "Is it in You?"... Amazing scientific images... What are the odds of Tiger Woods going the Wade Boggs route of claiming to be a sex addict?... The 50 Best Protest signs of 2009...
Lowell to Rangers for Max Ramirez

Supposedly the Red Sox will be sending Mike Lowell to the Texas Rangers for catching prospect Max Ramirez. My initial thought was "What's with all the Ramirez's?" First they trade Coco Crisp to the Royals for Ramon Ramirez. Then they trade for another guy named Ramon Ramirez. Now Max Ramirez? Are they still trying to make up for loss of Manny Ramirez? The trade of Hanley Ramirez? Probably just a coincidence but you have to admit it is a bit weird.

As far as the trade is concerned - I like it. Getting a top prospect (albeit one whose shine faded last season hopefully due to wrist injuries) is better than taking on someone else's bad contract (see Bradley, Milton). Lowell had become an obstacle in Boston. Even if he recovers even more from his hip injury the Red Sox can improve over what he has to offer both at the plate and in the field. However, Lowell is such a veteran presence that if he stayed in Boston and was healthy - then the Red Sox would almost be forced to play him.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Granderson to Yankees

Curtis Granderson went to the Yankees as the main part of a three team, seven player trade. As a Red Sox fan - I like this trade. I like it a lot.

Granderson's defense is over-rated and his offense has been in steady decline the past three years (his OPS has declined from .913 to .858 to .780 this season). He plain can't hit lefties (.210 career batting average against lefties) and if the Yankees plan to use him as a lead-off hitter then this year's line-up will be a step down from last year's line-up that had Johnny Damon setting the table. On top of all that - Granderson has a career .728 OPS against Boston.

The Yankees greatly weakened their bullpen with this trade by sending Phil Coke who was a rock last season. They also gave up two of their biggest trading chips in Ian Kennedy and Austin Jackson - meaning that they probably cannot make another big trade this offseason without completely depleting their farm system.

The Yankees trading Austin Jackson is akin to the Red Sox trading Lars Anderson. It was a nice move by Detroit landing Jackson. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Jackson at least matched Granderson's .780 OPS from last season if the 22-year old Jackson is given the chance to start this season.

Adding Jackson also puts in question the Yankees determination to sign either Jason Bay or Matt Holliday.

As a Red Sox fan - I like this trade a lot.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Remembering Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941 - the United States was attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. This site has a very interesting timeline of the attack - click on the multimedia map and timeline.

The United States has a hard time remembering days like this because in essence we are a forward looking people who doesn't dwell on the good or bad in our history. I find it sad that if you gave a pop quiz to most high school seniors - over 50% probably couldn't tell you the significance of today's date.

Like I said - it's sad but I understand. Take a few minutes to watch the timeline to insure you understand the hell US sailors and soldiers went through during those eternal hours on this infamous day 66 years ago.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Blogroll

Cleaning up my bookmarks by adding some blogs and sites to my blogroll.

- Red Sox Stats Blog

- The Scott Adams Blog (Dilbert)

- Poker News Daily

- Reason

- Taylor Made Tirade

- Covers.com

- Poker Road
The BCS and Heisman Voting

As unfair as the BCS system has been to TCU and Boise State - I think the Heisman voters who are considering Case Keenum of Houston but not Kellen Moore of Boise State are being equally unfair. Moore has 39 TD's to Keenum's 43 but just 3 INT's to Keenum's 9. Moore also has the best passer rating in all of FBS with a mark of 167.35 (Keenum is 5th with a 159.59 rating).

It is sheer hypocrisy for a writer with a Heisman vote to deride the BCS system if that same columnist did not include Kellen Moore on their Heisman ballot.
Happy Birthday Steven Wright

He turns 54 today - here are a few of his gems:

I've been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract. No brush, no paint, no canvas, I just think about it.

I was once walking through the forest alone. A tree fell right in front of me -- and I didn't hear it.

I bought my brother some gift-wrap for Christmas. I took it to the Gift Wrap Department and told them to wrap it, but in a different print so he would know when to stop unwrapping.

A friend of mine is into Voodoo Acupuncture. You don't have to go. You'll just be walking down the street, and... Ooooohhhhhh, that's much better...

When I woke up this morning my girlfriend asked me, "Did you sleep good?" I said, "No, I made a few mistakes."

When I was little, my grandfather used to make me stand in a closet for five minutes without moving. He said it was elevator practice.

On the other hand... You have different fingers.

I was watching the Superbowl with my 92 year old grandfather. The team scored a touchdown. They showed the instant replay. He thought they scored another one. I was gonna tell him, but I figured the game *he* was watching was better.
Americana

It is interesting to note that Sam Phillips - the man credited with discovering and helping to make Elvis Presley into a star - only made $35,000 off Elvis (by selling his contract with Elvis to Atlantic Records). Phillips, however, made millions from being an early investor in the Holiday Inn corporation.

I just find it interesting that Phillips' fame comes from playing a part in a cultural phenomenon from which he made very little but his main financial success is likewise very little known or remembered. Our society will make make a bozo who appears on a reality show famous yet a man who makes millions by building a business and creating hundreds of jobs can walk down any street in anonymity. Funny world we live in.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Recasting Kelley's Heroes with NFL Coaches

Kelley's Heroes starting Clint Eastwood is one of the more underrated military classic movies of all time. It struck me today that it would be fun to recast the movie to star current NFL coaches.

Kelley (Clint Eastwood) - Bill Belichick (Patriots) - the mastermind of the movie and a guy cool under fire. It has to be Belichick.

Big Joe (Telly Savalas) - Mike Singletary (49ers) - the no-nonsense, in charge, get the job done sergeant. Both slightly crazy. Singletary just needs to shave his head to be the perfect match. Who loves ya Singletary!

Crap Game (Don Rickles) - Rex Ryan (Jets). Wise cracking is what they bring to the table. Which is a good thing because they don't offer much else

Sgt Oddball (Donald Sutherland) - Jack Del Rio (Jaguars). Come on - you know Del Rio is a little nuts.

Moriarty (Gavin MacLeod) - Minnesota coach Brad Childress. He's actually the guy who got me thinking about this in the first place. Spot on for Moriarty.

Major General Colt (Carol O'Connor) - Jerry Jones - I know technically Jones isn't an NFL coach but this one is perfect! Can't you see Jerry Jones chasing the action trying to hand out medals?

Captain Maitland (Hal Buckley) - Jim Zorn (Redskins) - Captain Maitland had no say in what Kelley and the boys were up to. Jim Zorn ditto with the Redskins.

And just for the heck of it we'll make Eric Mangini (Browns - for now) the Nazi Tiger tank driver from the end of the movie.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I Slept with Tiger

Just something I needed to get off my chest. It's not something I'm proud of but I need to get it out there. I slept with Tiger.

I'm also Spartacus.
Dog Fighting and Language

Not sure why I started thinking about this but it occurred to me that many phrases that have their roots in dog fighting have worked their way into everyday legitimacy. For examples:

The phrase "I don't have a dog in this fight".

The saying "It's not the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog".

Finally - the everyday popular term "underdog" which I assume referred to the dog on the bottom getting the worst of it in a dog fight.

Not sure if using these terms and phrases is bad but I had to write this to get the thought out of my head.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tiger Woods

Charlie Pierce has the best take on the Tiger Woods situation that I've seen yet.

Why is it that all coverage of athletes always seems to veer between worship and salacious gossip? Seeing Woods as a "hound" should come as no surprise to anyone with a brain or who has eyes to see. Yet I'm still not interested in reading details of his marriage crumbling on live TV.
Isildur

Isildur was the name of a JRR Tolkien character. Isildur is also the name of the most discussed on-line poker player on the planet today.

In Tolkien lore Isildur was the second King of Gondor and the man who cut the ring of power off the hand of Sauron. Isildur kept the ring of power for himself and that proved to be his undoing.

In poker - Isildur - in a manner of speaking - has taken the aura of power from Tom "Durr" Dwan but whether his undoing is pre-ordained is a subject of disagreement.

Go here to read the background of Isildur's rise to poker prominence.

Go here to read about his latest adventures.

Fascinating stuff.
Linky Links

Some stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- I'm not sure I buy this 100%. There are at least 2 sides to every story and I just find it too convenient that all of a sudden it's all JR Ricchardi's fault and that Roy Halladay is just an innocent bystander.

- Awesome cubicle pranks. The Chia-keyboard was my favorite.

- Another voice in the chorus that the true cost of Roy Halladay may be too high for the Red Sox.

- How to fix the economy. Yeah but those 48 and 49-years old will be pissed.

Monday, November 30, 2009

TiVo and the Pony Express

The Pony Express was an iconic business service that cut mail delivery time from the East (Missouri) to the West (California) down to days. Even today most people recognize the name Pony Express even if they don't know the history.

The truth is the Pony Express was a fairly short lived service - from April 1860 to October 1861. That's it. Just a year and a half in business but forever in the collective memory of the country.

I think TiVo is destined to a similar fate.

Everybody recognizes the name TiVo today. You hear TiVo and even if you've never owned a TiVo box you think of being able to watch your shows when you want to. A tremendous improvement over the existing services (or lack of services) prior to TiVo just like how the Pony Express was a great improvement of the delivery services of its day.

The Pony Express was doomed by a triple-threat of expanding railway lines, telegraph lines that could deliver messages in minutes not days and the Civil War which disrupted everything. TiVo today also faces a triple-threat. The service is really just a hard drive with scheduling software. Most cable and IPTV providers are now deploying set top boxes that have built in DVR capabilities. Most cable and IPTV providers have some sort of VoD service that includes access to many of the same shows people were using their TiVo's to record. Services like YouTube, Hulu and web sites of content providers like NBC allow for on-line viewing of some of the shows TiVo was being used to record as well. The new technology is making TiVo redundant. Just as the telegraph pretty much eliminated the need for the Pony Express.

However, having said that - I can see the name "TiVo" remaining in the consciousness of the American public just as people remember the Pony Express.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Halladay Not Such a Good Value?

Very interesting look at the history of similar pitchers to Roy Halladay.

The upshot is that Halladay probably won't be worth the king's ransom in prospects that Toronto will be demanding. This isn't trading for Pedro Martinez at age 26. This is a pitcher with a lot of innings pitched in his career at age 32. Since there are published reports that the Red Sox are making a big play for Halladay - I'm guessing that the opposite is true. The Red Sox never make their intentions known to the press.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

One thought on the Tiger Woods accident - it should be noted that Tiger had just spent the past two weeks in Asia. So his internal clock has to be screwed up. That's why I'm not placing too much emphasis on the fact that this accident happened at 2:30 am. As far as his body was concerned it could have been 3:30 in the afternoon (Hong Kong is 11 hours different from EST)... Lego Matrix (I love Lego stuff)... Good news for online poker players.
The U.S. Department of Treasury and Federal Reserve Board anounced (sic) today that the compliance date for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act has been extended by six months to June 1, 2010.
That basically means that there is a good chance that an agreement will be reached to both regulate and legalize online poker in the US... TMZ is offering a scenario of what happened with Tiger Woods. Very plausible. I have to admit that I'm kinda bothered by the fact that she never took his last name when they got married. That bugs me - sorry but it does... Tiger Woods related quote of the day, "Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same." - Oscar Wilde... Patton Oswald and the Christmas shoes. Very funny stuff (NSFW language)... 88 days till pitchers and catchers report...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Heh Heh

Thanksgiving, football and Obama.

Saddling our children's children with debt and outlawing contact sports because it might make them sad or liable to insurance lawsuits. He is the smartest man alive!
How Private Property Saved the Pilgrims

We need to be reminded of this every year
.

This year more than ever.

HT Instapundit

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

State of Fear

It occurred to me that with the facts behind Climategate now coming to light - if Michael Crichton's book State of Fear was made into a movie - it could now pass the Hollywood smell test of "based upon a true story." It is too bad that Crichton died before seeing that in many ways he was right about the sloppiness of the global warming "science".

Hide the Decline



HT Instapundit
The Top 50 Movies of the Decade

Big Stupid Tommy posted his top 50 films from the past 10 years. Interesting list.

Tommy laments that he's behind on his movie watching. I was amazed that of the movies that he picked as his top 50 - I have seen only 22 of them (and some of them I haven't even seen the whole thing). And of the 19 movies he listed as almost making the cut - I have only seen 4 (and again some like The Station Agent or The Simpsons Movie - I haven't watched the whole thing).

My movie viewing habits have changed over the years. I used to see lots of movies as a kid - either with friends or on dates. College cut down on my movie viewing (no drinking in the movie theaters) and after college real life cut down on free time. Once I had kids I saw movies all the time but they were all by Disney. Today it really has to be a movie I'm looking forward to for me to see it at the theater. I do have make a better effort on my Netflix viewing but I know that's a promise bound to be broken.

I guess the point of this post is that I found Tommy's list interesting and I also found myself more than a little jealous that he's seen all those movies.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Economics of Pinball

Interesting look at the economics of pinball machines.

What really killed pinball machines is portability. Video games can have home versions via game consoles or handheld versions. The physical size of a pinball machine was the real killer. Many bars don't even have them anymore because their footprint is twice the size of a Golden Tee or like video game. People won't go places just to play a game any more. When's the last time you went to an arcade?
NFL Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous NFL thoughts and observations.

Kudos to Adam Schefter of ESPN who said that Oakland was a team to watch for an upset this weekend during an appearance on WEEI radio last week... If the Patriots finish with the second best record in the AFC - then I think they and not Indianapolis will be the team to beat in the AFC and the team to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl... If Arizona found a way to score just one more point (actually all I needed was just 1/2 a point) - I would have had a much better weekend... Pittsburgh out-gained the Chiefs 515 yards to 282 but lost. This game was the poster child for the point coaches always make about the importance of turnovers (the 2 INT's by Pitt negated the huge lead in yardage they were accumulating) and special teams (completely different game without KC's game opening kickoff return for a TD)... Indianapolis' last 4 games have been won by a combined total of just 10 points. To accomplish that a lot of luck has to be in place. Sure luck favors the prepared mind and nobody seems more prepared than Peyton Manning but you have to wonder how long Indy's luck will hold up... File this under it's not over till it's over - Green Bay looked in complete control yesterday. They had a 23-3 halftime lead and everyone who bet on them was breathing pretty easy. The final score, however, was 30-24 but the line was Green Bay -6.5. Bonus for 49er fans... Do you think anyone playing fantasy football started either Brady Quinn or Matthew Stafford yesterday? Who knew?... The Cowboys have the weakest 7-3 record in football. This team won't make the playoffs. They still have to play San Diego and Philly plus games at New York and New Orleans. Not gonna make the playoffs... Justin Forsett led the Seahawks in rushing yesterday with 9 yards on 9 carries. You read that right - 9 measly yards... Carson Palmer has a career QB rating of just 88.7 to go along with 121 TD's and 75 INT's. He's not a great QB. He just isn't. In general I'm not sure what's more over-rated - USC QB's or Big 10 running backs?... Speaking of "not a great QB" - Jay Cutler is now aspiring to be as good as Jeff George...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cool Meteor Video

Cool video of a meteorite that lit up the Utah night.

I agree that the coolest thing was the meteorite tricking the photovoltaic streetlights into thinking it was daylight. It had to be very bright to do that.
Dallas McPherson

The A's have signed Dallas McPherson to a minor league deal. This could be a real steal for the A's. I know McPherson has serious back issues but if he's able to stay healthy then he'd be an upgrade over the players the A's trotted out at 3rd base last year.

Consider that in 399 MLB AB's McPherson has 18 HR. If he's able to stay healthy and get 500 AB in a season - then 25 HR should not be out of the question. Last season only A-Rod and Brandon Inge had more than 25 HR playing primarily 3rd base (Kevin Youkilis had 27 and he could be back at 3rd base next season).

Low risk - possible high reward move by the A's.

By the way here's a picture of Elle MacPherson - no relation.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Heh Heh

This is awesome!
Seeking two tickets to the Dec. 2 UW mens' basektball game vs. Duke. Would prefer tickets somewhere in the lower level and near the team benches. I figure if I can get a seat close enough, I can at some point sneak down to the Duke bench, drop trou, and stick my hairy crack in Coach K's face. I've been wanting to do this for quite some time, so anyone who can help facilitate the dream on a budget would be most generous. I figure if there's one guy in the world who deserves to have a hairy, sweaty ass stuck in his face, it's Coach K. After all, he's been turning out team after team of cocky, whitebread under-achievers for the last two decades, and it's time someone showed him how the rest of the country feels about his brand of basketball.
HT Sportsfrog
Heh Heh

I love science humor.

I know I'll be telling the "host" joke sometime this weekend.

I'm a dweeb.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Malice in the Palace

It has been five years to the day that Ron Artest went nuts in that Palace in Auburn Hills.

Here was my reaction from the time. I think the sentiments hold up pretty well after 5 years. Even with the Celtics riding high - my enthusiasm for the NBA has waned because of the sense of such self-entitlement by the players.
Tom Brady's First Completion

Interesting story about Tom Brady's first pass completion.

I never knew that Brady was drafted by the Montreal Expos as a catcher.
Scary

This interactive map charts unemployment from January 2007 to September 2009. It's scary. Like seeing some sort of mutant virus take over the country.

HT Instapundit

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pats / Colts

It's been a few days since Sunday night's controversial decision by Bill Belichick and I'm just now weighing in on it.

I've avoided the subject because it is associated with a loss in my mind and I try to stay away from things that have negative connotations in my mind. During the baseball season I don't read about the Red Sox after a loss. Likewise the same is true for the Celtics and Patriots. The anger and self-righteousness from the nattering nabobs of negativity in Boston is strong and to be avoided if at all possible.I'm only weighing in because this is an opportunity for me to share one of my pet peeves with you.

I am always amazed when a team has a first and goal at the one or two yard line and the offense just doesn't run quarterback sneaks until the ball gets into the end zone. Instead - how often do you see a run outside for no gain or a loss, followed by an incomplete pass, followed by a power run off-tackle, followed by a field goal? It drives me nuts! Even Drew Bledsoe should be able to get the ball into the end zone with three straight QB sneaks!

This brings us to Sunday's situation. On 3rd down with a yard and a half to go for a first down - why not run a QB sneak? The defense probably wouldn't have been expecting it and if it failed the clock still continues to run and you still have fourth down to run another play if in your mind you had decided that this was a 4-down situation (I'd prefer another QB sneak please).

The strategic decision to go for it on fourth down I agree with. The tactical decision of how those downs were spent is what I disagree with.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Who Will Be the New Ted Koppel?

The decision to bring KSM to New York City for civilian trial is a huge mistake from any way you look at it. It is outrageous - in the dictionary sense of going beyond all standards of what is right or decent.

This is also going to be a circus.

It brings to mind November of 1979 when Iran took American hostages and ABC started the tv news show Nightline to update the American public on the latest developments. That crisis and that show made Ted Koppel a star. He went from being a State Department correspondent to being a household name. He rode that Nightline gravy train for 25 years before retiring.

This trial of KSM in New York has the potential to bring about a new Ted Koppel. People will be outraged but yet still unable to turn away. A nightly show dedicated to the trial has the potential to be big and the host of that show could be the new Ted Koppel. You would have to think one of the talking heads on one of the news shows will separate himself or herself from the pack.

I also have to say that just when you think the Obama Administration has sunk to a new low - they set the bar even lower. I would say that this trial of KSM could be the final nail in the coffin of liberalism but I'm guessing that President Obama still has some more giant mis-steps yet to come. I'm guessing a giant tax increase may be the next shoe to drop.

It is as if he's systematically taking away any reason to ever vote for a Democrat. Out of control spending? Check. Jobs? Are you kidding me? Weak foreign policy? Check (Iran and Russia are laughing at us while China is pissed that they have to explain to Obama how capitalism is supposed to work). Soft on terrorism? Absolutely.
The Coolest Thing You'll See All Day

Drop of Water

Unless of course you've already seen it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

One Million

Sometime last night this site got it's one millionth page view. I think that's pretty cool. I know that number isn't that great when compared to some of the bigger blogs out there but still to be able to get one million of anything is an accomplishment in my eyes.

The site also has had over 700,000 visitors. That means since starting this blog back in March of 2004 - this site has averaged over 10,000 visitors and 14,000 page views per month. Many of you have been here since the start. Thank you very much for stopping by.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christopher Walken's Poker Face

Dan Uggla for Jason Bay?

Interesting thought - why not replace Jason Bay with Dan Uggla?

I don't like the fact that Uggla is a strikeout machine who averages a K per game (1 SO per 4.4 plate appearance) but that's only slightly worse than Bay. His OPS+ of 114, however, is 17 points worse than Bay's career 131 mark. The interesting split is Uggla's career .847 OPS against righties. Maybe a platoon is in order?

I like this idea but I don't see it as a Plan A or Plan B for the Red Sox. I still think Plan A is to re-sign Jason Bay. This is something to keep in the back of the mind though.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

In 1918 at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month the most bloody war in the history of mankind came to an end. The "official" paperwork would later be signed a few months later at Versailles but this "armistice" on November 11th is widely regarded as the end of the war.

Twenty years later Congress made Armistice Day an official national holiday. By 1954 the holiday's name was changed to Veteran's Day because the promise that World War I would be the "war to end all wars" proved to be false.

It should be noted that the armistice signed this day 91-years ago was signed in a railroad carriage at Compiagne, France. This place was chosen because it was where the Germans had previously dictated surrender terms to France to end the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. Many people fail to remember how that earlier war in 1871 sparked the war in 1914.

The onerous terms placed on Germany in the Treaty of Versailles are credited with helping the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany and with putting in motion the events that led to World War II. And the roots of the Korean War and the Vietnam War can be traced to the end of World War II.

It should further be noted that much of underlying structure and strife in the Middle East can be traced back to the end of World War I as most of the modern boundaries of the Middle East emerged from the end of the war including the boundaries of modern Iraq.

In many ways we are still feeling the ripples from the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. Too bad too few remember.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

H1N1 and the Bubblers

In my part of the country public drinking fountains / drinking fountains are called bubblers. In my part of the country H1N1 seems to be everywhere. My brother's 2 kids are home sick with it. I know lots of people who have had it, have it or know someone who has it. With the flu that pronounced - why would anyone use a bubbler?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Yankees are World Series Champions

Congratulations to the New York Yankees - the 2009 World Series Champions. They won and they deserved it. They were the best team this year.

Here are my thoughts on them winning and what the future holds in store for not just the Yankees but other teams as well.

- Two of the biggest stars of the victory were Hideki Matsui (Series MVP) and Johnny Damon. Both are free agents and I'm guessing that prior to the World Series the front office was probably counting on cutting one or both of the players loose. Now what do they do? Matsui will be 36-years old next season and is now pretty much a DH. He could probably be a 1st baseman but not for the Yankees who have Mark Teixeira there for the foreseeable future. Do the Yankees keep Matsui as their DH? Matsui did hit 28 HR this season. But what about Jorge Posada who will eat up a bunch of the DH AB's next season and is signed for big money through 2011? It will be interesting to see what happens with Matsui this offseason. Will the Yankees re-sign him? Will he sign with another team? Will he retire to Japan as a conquering hero and legend who went out on the top of his game? It will be interesting?

- Wither Johnny Damon? Today is his 36th birthday (happy birthday Johnny Damon). Damon has proven that he can not only survive the heat of playing for the Yankees but thrive in that environment. The new Yankee Stadium seems custom built for Damon. The Yankees could very easily bring Damon back AND sign either a Jason Bay or Matt Holliday to play right with Nick Swisher being an expensive $9 million backup.

- What about the Phillies? The worm has certainly turned for Cole Hammels. He's gone from hero of the city to almost unwelcome. Could he be packaged as part of a three team trade in exchange for a young starter who doesn't have foot-in-mouth disease?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Arnold Rothstein

I was reminded that on this day in 1928, Arnold Rothstein was shot. The gunshot was fatal.

Most people only know Rothstein as the man accused as being the brains behind the 1919 Black Sox scandal. That part of his life is in question. What is not in question is that he was to organized crime what JP Morgan was to our banking system. His was a fascinating life. That life was documented in the book The Big Bankroll: The Life And Times Of Arnold Rothsteinby Leo Katcher. If you like history and gambling then this is a book for you. I picked it up today for a second read.


Man Caves

The 15 Best Man Caves on the Internet.

I am so jealous of the garage man caves. I'd love a poker-room / sports bar man cave.
Morning Links

Some interesting links to go with your morning coffee break.

- Investing in Superstars - very interesting concept about investing in people and getting a return off their lifetime earnings. Personal Investment Contracts could be the new new thing.

- Sports betting destroys poker bankrolls. I've been guilty of this.

- Tampa Bay sends Iwamura to the Pirates for Chavez. Salary dump by the Rays but still a good pickup for Pittsburgh. No truth to the rumor that Iwamura means "Freddy Sanchez" in Japanese.

- Alan Sepinwall on 30 for 30's Without Bias.
Hawaii Chair - Really?



This is a real product. I think if I saw someone using one that I would just crack up. Can you imagine getting interviewed by someone sitting in one of these chairs?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Interesting Bar Story

I really enjoyed Gene Bromberg's One-Outer story
.

And I think like everyone who reads the story - I'll be tempted to play some Russian roulette the next time I'm with a bunch of friends at a bar.
Collapse of Nasca Civilization Human Induced or Oncler Induced?

Very interesting post over at Sexy Archaeology.
As the paper explains, however, the huarango was more than just a tree – it was a crucial part of the desert’s fragile ecosystem, which enhanced soil fertility and moisture and helped to hold the Nasca’s narrow, vulnerable irrigation channels in place.

Eventually, they cut down so many trees that they reached a tipping point at which the arid ecosystem was irreversibly damaged. The authors do not dispute that a major, El NiƱo-style event then occurred – finding hard evidence for this for the first time. But they also find that the impact of this flood would have been far less devastating had the forests which protected the delicate desert ecology still been there.
If only the Nasca had a Lorax around to speak for the trees.
Martha's Vineyard and the Garden of Eden

Yesterday the Boston Globe had an article about the death of 500 acres of oak forest on Martha's Vineyard and how it is related to climate change. I couldn't stop thinking about the article all day.

To me the key quote from the story was the following:
“It’s what makes the story interesting,’’ Oswald said. “The same two types of trees are dying at the same time’’ today, just as they did 5,000 years ago.
That's right - 5,000 years ago almost the exact same thing happened in almost the exact same place. I immediately thought that this fact makes blaming man-made carbon emissions for what is happening a bit of a stretch. I mean it's not like what happened 5,000 years ago was because of slash and burn farming practices or driving SUV's. It occurred to me that the author of the article was careful to use the term "climate change" instead of "global warming" all through the article.

I also started thinking about what was happening 5,000 years ago and then it clicked. About 5,000 years ago civilization was taking root in the fertile crescent around the meeting of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. This is the area that many have identified as the most likely setting for the Biblical Garden of Eden. Today this area is part of modern day Iraq.

That area today is home to the so-called Marsh Arabs. This is worthy of note because Saddam Hussein tried to punish the Marsh Arabs in 1991 by draining the marshland and destroying both the ecology of the area and the way of life of the Shia Marsh Arabs. We are talking about one of the most ecologically diverse areas on the planet which encompasses roughly 8,000 square miles. That area is just about exactly equal to the size of the entire state of Massachusetts. We are talking about the setting of the Biblical Garden of Eden.

You don't hear much about the restoration of the ecology of this area - do you? You would think that restoring the area that is the metaphorical Garden of Eden in an area roughly equal to the entire state of Massachusetts would rate as high as the problems of 500 acres of forest in Massachusetts. You would be wrong. The reason, I'm convinced, is that George W. Bush was the main cause for this ecological recovery in Iraq and no main stream media wants to give Bush credit for anything. I'm amused by that.

I'm also amused by the fact that 3,000 years ago in this same fertile crescent - man started fermenting beer. Glorious beer! Yet in this modern day there are towns on Martha's Vineyard that are dry. They don't allow alcohol. You can't blame George Bush for that. You can only hope that these towns will eventually become civilized.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Odds to Win 2009 WSOP Main Event

Here are the odds on the November 9. I threw $100 on Phil Ivey because he's Phil Ivey.

Darvin Moon +300
Eric Buchman +400
S Begleiter +500
J Shulman +500
Phil Ivey +450
Joe Cada +1200
Kevin Schaffel +1400
James Akenhead +1500
Anoine Saout +1500
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

On this day in 1765 - the British Crown enacted the Stamp Act. This was taxes placed on the colonies to help pay for British military expenses in North America. These taxes, it can be argued, were the main cause for the eventual American Revolution. What I find ironic is when viewed from the prism of what taxes our government burdens us with on a regular basis - the taxes from the Stamp Act were actually reasonable... The Cincinnati Bearcats are the only team in Division 1 football not to lose a fumble so far this season... Today would have been Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler's 69th birthday. From the outside it looks like Sadler led a pretty fascinating life... Today also is former CNN anchor Lynne Russell's 63rd birthday. Russell is a sentimental favorite among many gamblers because she was the anchor of CNN Headline News at night and CNN Headline News was the first to run a sports ticker with the score of all the games at the bottom of the screen. Thus many gamblers were tuned into Headline News and looming right above the ticker was Lynne Russell's ample breasts. I have fond memories of Lynne Russell and her breasts... Today is World Vegan Day - so I'm going out to have a bacon cheeseburger. I suggest you do the same...
Seinfeld as Just a Remake of Welcome Back Kotter

The TV show Seinfeld was supposedly a groundbreaking concept of a TV show but it occurred to me yesterday that there was nothing new about Seinfeld at all. It is in fact a rip off of the the 1970's show Welcome Back Kotter.

Let's start with the obvious. Both shows were sitcoms set in New York City where the title character is Jewish. Also both shows opened with the star telling a joke. The main difference here was that the opening joke in Welcome Back Kotter was occasionally funny. The openings of Seinfeld with Jerry doing standup was never ever funny. Another parallel between the two shows is the fact that as the show became popular - the opening joke was dropped on both shows. You can't tell me that Jerry Seinfeld wasn't aware of one of the most popular TV shows of his youth that was based in New York and starred a Jewish standup comedian. Yeah - can you say plagiarism?

In the comparisons - Seinfeld is obviously the Gabe Kaplan character. George Kostanza is the Vice Principal Woodman character - both bitter men who knew the star from childhood. Mr. Woodman was old and short while George is short and bald. Elaine is the Vinnie Barbarino slutty character. Newman is Arnold Horshack but instead of skinny and ethnic you get fat and postal. You can equally picture either character exclaiming, "Ooh-ooh-ooooh!" Kramer was the Juan Epstein character - they even had similar hair. Epstein's mother's maiden name was Bibbermann. According to the state of New York - Kramer was the Bibbermann. There was no Boom-Boom Washington character in Seinfeld because Welcome Back Kotter was the more progressive of the shows - not that there's anything wrong with that.

As an aside - a movie version of Welcome Back Kotter is planned with Ice Cube playing the title role but with the school set in South Central LA instead of New York.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

College Football Picks

Here's my picks for today. Good luck to one and all.

Cincinnati -14.5 over Syracuse
Georgia Tech -11.5 over Vanderbilt
UTEP -7 over Alabama Birmingham
Michigan -6.5 over Illinois
Connecticut -7 over Rutgers
Indiana +17.5 over Iowa
Iowa State +6 over Texas A&M
Ole Miss -5 over Auburn
Houston -6.5 over Southern Mississippi

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Morning Links

Some interesting reading on a Friday morning.

- Michaela Murphy and THE Kennedy's (PDF) - very amusing story

- The Philosophy of Knish - giving Joey Knish from Rounders his just due

- How the NFL mismatches have been killing the sportsbooks - though I fully expect people to turn around and give that money right back to Vegas or Joey Bag-o-donuts.

- Interesting look at the strange happenings in the Northwest where seven human feet in sneakers have been found washed up on shore in the past 2 years
Heh Heh