Saturday, July 31, 2004

More Nomar Thoughts

Not sure if the rest of the country can fathom the psychological bombshell trading Nomar is for Red Sox Nation. Personally - hearing about the trade will remain with me the rest of my life similar to the news of the Challenger disaster or President Reagan being shot. I know that seems to be out of whack as far as priorities are concerned but that's the God's honest truth and I'm sure many Red Sox fans feel the same way.

Some more random thoughts about Nomar and this trade:

- Theo Epstein points out that the Red Sox can now field three former Gold Glovers plus Bill Mueller at third on days when Derek Lowe pitches. That is a HUGE psychological advantage for a mentally fragile pitcher. Were talking like one run of ERA here.

- Nomar was the best baserunner I ever saw in a Red Sox uniform. He may not have been the fastest baserunner but he was the best. Just look at the number of triples Nomar was able to rack up.

- Just speaking the truth - look for questions about Nomar using steroids in the past (remember the SI cover?) or being a victim of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to become top topics of conversations in the taverns of New England and then shortly thereafter in the mainstream press. We started to see some of this back in the days when Tom Hicks and Alex Rodriguez were holding Boston hostage to that blockbuster trade.

- Even though I'm a huge Theo supporter - I think this trading deadline just made Paul DePodesta the new golden boy among baseball GM's.

- This team has been a .500 ballclub for months and there is too much talent here for .500 to be acceptable. It should be noted that the Red Sox did play their best baseball when Nomar was on the DL (just saying - that's all).

- I hope David McCarty can still get that Director of Player Development job from the A's.

- Suddenly I'm feeling bad for Brian Daubach who it is clear is not in the Red Sox plans except as an insurance spare part.

- Nomar is fifth all-time with the Red Sox in batting average with a .323 career average. He's behind Ted Williams (.344). Wade Boggs (.338), Tris Speaker (.337) and Manny Ramirez (.325)

- Nomar is fourth all-time for the Red Sox in slugging percentage with his .553. He stands behind only Ted Williams (.634), Manny Ramirez (.615) and Jimmy Foxx (.605).

- Nomar is 8th all-time for the Red Sox in doubles (279), ninth in HR (178) and 10th in total bases (2194)

- There is absolutely no way Nomar gets his number retired by the Red Sox.
Nomar Garciaparra Traded to Cubs

In a four team deal - the Red Sox recieved Orlando Cabrera from the Expos and Doug Mientkiewicz from the Twins. Nomar gets sent to the Cubs (along with minor leaguer Matt Murton). The Twins get minor leaguer Justin Jones and the Expos get Alex Gonzalez from the Cubs plus minor leaguers Francis Beltran and Brendan Harris.

Offense was never a problem with the Red Sox - so losing Nomar's bat won't hurt that much (I hope) but did the team really improve that much on defense? Sure Mientkiewicz is a Gold Glove caliber glove but is he really that much of an improvement over Dave McCarty (either offensively or defensively)? Couldn't the Red Sox have snagged Mientkiewicz without trading Nomar?

The second guessing of this trade has already begun.

Cabrera is a free agent (so I understand) - so couldn't the Red Sox have made him an offer at the end of the season? If they kept Nomar - they could have offered arbitration and if (and when) he walked - they would have had 2 draft picks in return. What happened to targeting Edgar Renteria?

I'm a big "In Theo We Trust" guy - so I'm assuming that there is more to this than meets the eye. On the surface it's not a great deal for the Red Sox but maybe:

- Nomar was more of a clubhouse distraction than was previously known

- Maybe the Red Sox feel they can sign Cabrera lomg term (three years now qualifies as long term) and maybe they feel he is the type of batter that will blossom in Fenway ala Bill Mueller

- Mientkievicz is known as a GREAT clubhouse guy

Hanley Ramirez - the door is now open for you.

SoSH will be jammed the next two days with Internet traffic from accross the country (especially from Illinois).
Heh Heh

Kerry's speech on Thursday was chock full of references to the men and women of the Armed Forces and to Veterans but if the election was just left up to service men and women (past and present) - then Kerry would lose by about 85% to 15%.

Read this for proof of what I'm saying
MLB Trade Deadline Day

The deadline for trades is 4:00 EST today - so I thought I would look at yesterday's moves and speculate about those moves that could happen today.

New York Mets

The Mets added two starting pitchers neither of which are Randy Johnson. They added Kris Benson (who has a hot looking wife - references to Anna Benson now have to be made whenever Kris is mentioned - it's a new law or something). To get Benson they gave up Ty Wigginton (who was playing Carney Lansford to David Wright's Wade Boggs if you know what I mean) and lefthanded prospect Matt Peterson plus infielder Jose Bautista who was acquired earlier in the day from KC for catcher Justin Huber.

Now I don't have any problems with this trade. Benson is basically this year's Jeff Suppan but the Mets didn't really give up anything that will hurt them long term (except maybe Peterson). When you consider that the Mets are just 7 games out of the NL East and 7.5 out in the NL Wildcard - even though until recently they were forced to use guys like Scott Erickson in the rotation - then this is a move that had to be made.

The bigger move made by the Mets yesterday though was the acquisition of Victor Zambrano (and flotsam Bartolome Fortunato) from the Devil Rays for top prospect Scott Kazmir (and jetsam Jose Diaz). Kazmir has a chance to be a star. What were the Mets front office thinking?

I get the impression that Jim Duquette was maybe goaded into these trades by other GM's who A) didn't want Benson or Zambrano to go to rival teams and B) were able to convince Duquette that the Mets have a real shot at the playoffs (even though they don't).

Dodgers / Marlins

The Dodgers and Marlins completed a six-player trade. The Dodgers got Brad Penny, Hee Seop Choi and minor leaguer Bill Murphy. The Marlins got Paul Lo Duca, Juan Encarnacion and Guillermo Mota. I like this trade for both teams.

The Dodgers have plenty of young outfielders who are both as talented and less expensive as Encarnacion. Choi's HR power basically replaces Encarnacion in the line-up with Green moving back to right field. Penny is an excellent arm (the best pitcher dealt yesterday by far) and the NL West will be won by pitching (except Colorado - all pitcher's parks in that division). Mota was a loss for the Dodgers - no doubt - but they probably had to throw him in because the Marlins were assuming Encarnacion's $4.5 million 2005 salary (the Dodgers also sent cash in the deal it should be noted).

The Marlins shore up the catcher's position with Lo Duca both offensively and defensively. Mota can both set-up and close. This added bullpen depth may be the key to wining the NL East. Encarnacion was a key part of last year's World Series winner - so he's no stranger and should fit right back in.

Three additional comments about this trade:

1. It should be noted that Encarnacion was not a Paul DePodesta guy. He was acquired by the Dodgers before DePodesta was named GM - so I have to wonder if this was a mini-purge of sorts.

2. Who will play first for the Marlins now? Miguel Cabrera? If so - let the Albert Pujols comparisons begin (or continue). Maybe the Marlins aren't done with trading?

3. Lo Duca was the emotional leader of the Dodgers. He was the "intangibles" guy. I believe his offensive production has been in decline (if you can really say that because he did just have that one big year in 2001). If the Dodgers team ERA stays the same (or maybe even improves) and the Dodgers make the playoffs - then this is a bad sign for another intangibles guy like Jason Varitek. DePodesta was also able to avoid the free agent wrangling fan favorite Lo Duca would have been able to do and thus maybe avoid a situation where a player is overpaid because of his "intangibles'.

Other Players on the Move?

Thursday I cataloged the AL players who may be on the block. Here are some more NL players who may have new addresses by the end of the day:

- Randy Johnson: in order I would say the likelyhood is A) Johnson goes to the Dodgers, B) stays in Arizona or C) gets traded to the Yankees.

- Larry Walker: he would be a fit with so many teams that it would be useless to try and name them. The problem with Walker is his $12.5 million 2005 salary and his no trade clause contract. My guess would be Yankees - followed by Boston (because Trot Nixon is such a question mark).

- Jose Mesa: the Pirates are paying Mesa very little ($800,000) so they may be inclined to just hold on to him but a good young prospect ready to step into a MLB line-up may pry him away (if you are desperate enough to use Jose Mesa as your closer)

- Steve Finley: the consensus is he either goes to the Dodgers or Padres. Finley should finish his career with at least 300 HR, 300 SB and four Gold Gloves. He was (and is) a better player than he ever got national recognition for being.

- Preston Wilson: I doubt if anyone will take on Wilson's $12 million 2005 salary but just last year Wilson was one of the top 50 players in baseball so you never know.

- Todd Helton: ????
Thunderbirds are Go!

My wife and daughters went away yesterday to go to a quilt show in Maine. I was very disappointed that I didn't get to go too. [sarcasm off]

That left me alone with my 7-year old son. So for quality time together I decided to bring us to the drive-in. My plan was to see Spiderman II but the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. Spiderman II was playing but it was the second feature - the first movie was the Thunderbirds.

This was good news for my son - he was pumped to see the Thunderbirds. Me? Not so much.

The movie is what it is - pap aimed at 7-year old boys (even though it has a PG rating).

The two big "names" in the movie are Bill Paxton and Ben Kingley. I watched the movie feeling bad for these two actors. I mean Paxton used to be a big part of summer blockbusters like Twister, Titanic, and Apollo 13. Now he's doing bit parts in Spy Kids movies and staring in movies like the Thunderbirds? Sad.

If seeing Bill Paxton star in a movie like the Thunderbirds was sad - watching Ben Kingsley in the same movie was tragic. I mean his character was named "The Hood". Kingsley is a very accomplished actor. I mean he was freakin' Gandhi for Christs sake! You expect Ben Kingsley in movies like Schindler's List - not the Thunderbirds. Last year Kinglsey was getting Oscar nominations for House of Sand and Fog and this year he's in Thunderbirds? Tragic. I hope the pay was worth it.

Well I made it through the movie which wasn't half bad if you accepted it for what it was. Now came Spiderman II. I would love to give you a review of the movie but I can't since I only got to see the first hour. Just when Dr. Otto Octavius is transformed into Dr. Octopus - my son decided it was time to leave. Not sure if Spiderman was getting scary for him, whether he was tired or if it was just lack of interest (there were a lot of girl stuff in the first half of the movie). Anyway - home we went.

Friday, July 30, 2004

VDH Friday

I swear I get more out of reading Victor Davis Hanson on Friday's than I got out of four years of college. Today is another keeper:

Those who follow bin Laden may be poor and confused; so were many of the Hitlerjugend who murdered their way into Normandy. But like the Hitler Youth, for the killers of the mujahideen all efforts at compromise and mutual understanding are the mere parlor games of the academic. We do not need to educate the Arab world that we are better than bin Laden any more than we had to beg Arab immigrants to try out new lives in an 'unknown' United States. They know what we are about, they know...

At this point the American message of religious tolerance, equality of women, democracy, and secularism is too well known — and it is no more welcome to Islamicists than the idea of tolerating Jews was to an SS Panzer division. Yet, like Hitler's young minions, the masked men in bathrobes and machetes have not yet learned to fear the power of Western democracy that could, if it so wished — as the 10,000 resting at St. Avold have so proved — put a stop to their cowardly murdering rather quickly and thus end the Arab tolerance of these beheading fanatics.
Top 5 James Bonds

With Pierce Brosnan retiring from the 007 role - I thought I would rank the Bonds

1. Sean Connery
2. Pierce Brosnan
3. Roger Moore
4. Timothy Dalton
5. George Lazenby
Kerry's Speech

Just some thoughts on John Kerry's acceptance speech last night:

- The rhetoric of the speech was well done. The speech writers deserve a raise for that one. It touched on all the points the Democrat voter wanted to hear. As a speech - it was very good.

- Kerry's delivery was too rushed. At some points the convention crowd wanted to give him a standing ovation and he just rushed right past them. Kerry forgot that the speech was for the party - not for him. He should have let the crowd cheer for themselves. Clinton would have basked in the applause. At one point Kerry even cut short a "USA, USA" chant that was gaining momentum.

- Maybe Kerry was afraid of having the longest convention speech on record and that's why he rushed through it? Too bad because stopping to pause for ovation would have given him an opportunity to wipe off some of that sweat.

- Somebody is going to do an accounting of Kerry's speech and ask him how he plans to pay for everything. He said he wasn't going to raise taxes on the middle class but he was going to implement universal healthcare, add 40,000 troops to the Armed forces and increase dozens of other programs. Where's the money coming from?

- Between now and the election - people are going to be asking for specifics and not just platitudes. If Kerry can't come up with reasonable answers - he's screwed. "Mr. Kerry, Bill Clinton also promised universal healthcare but that turned out to be the biggest failure of his administration. How are you going to do things differently?"

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Lest We Forget

Charles at Little Green Footballs put together this slide show.

Warning it is not for the faint of heart and you will be (or should be) angry after watching it.

This is what this election is truly about.
Players on the Move - Part 1

With the MLB trade deadline approaching - I thought I would start my own personal rumor central.


- Kerry Ligtenberg: he's been pretty bad this year (5.97 ERA) but he has a career ERA of 3.37 and someone like Atlanta may be willing to shore up their bullpen with a guy who had mucho success in Atlanta. The Jays would probably be just happy to move his $2.5 million 2005 salary and would accept flotsam and jetsam in return.

- Carlos Delgado: he has a no-trade clause but the Jays would like to move him and save $7.5 million for the rest of the season (maybe the difference between finishing in the black vs. the red financially). LA or Atlanta may be landing spots for Carlos. If Delgado is traded - he could have the biggest impact of any player moved by the trade deadline.

Tampa Bay

- Tino Martinez: would anyone be shocked to see Tino back with the Yankees? Tony Clark has done a very good job subbing for Jason Giambi but Tino holds a special place for Yankee fans (plus he still has some pop in the bat - hitting .276 with 14 HR). The Devil Rays would save about $3.5 million by trading Tino.

Kansas City

- Tony Graffinino: a contender may decide to shore up their bench with Graffinino. My guess is that the Royals would fire sale him to the first bidder.

- Joe Randa: are you as surprised as I am that he hasn't been moved yet? Maybe the delay is that the Royals always viewed Randa as a better player than he actually is.

- Benito Santiago: what is he now? 62? 63? Signed through 2005 - which will probably cause any potential buyer to balk. (Always thought that Santiago would be great in a remake of Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea.)

- Scott Sullivan: maybe the most likely Royal to find themself with a new address. His 3.88 ERA is decent enough for someone to take a chance.

(Mike Sweeney isn't going anywhere. His contract is a millstone.)


- Brett Boone: only the Yankees could afford to take on his $9 million 2005 salary. I think Seattle is stuck with Boone. The Mariners may decide to cut Boone and risk the grievance.

- Randy Winn: I bet the Mariners would desperately love to move Winn. The Yankees could use a centerfield back-up but even the Yankees have a limit of stupid moves they can make. Speaking of stupid moves - maybe the Mets will take a flier on Winn.

I don't Baltimore will make any trades. By all rights they should be a seller but I think management is committed to finishing in third place in the AL East (in front of Tampa Bay). The Orioles live in a bizzarro world.
Miscellaneous Baseball Thoughts

As I type this - there are only approximately 55 hours left till the 4:00 PM MLB trading deadline on Saturday.... Mike Piazza is in a tailspin. He's only hitting .167 (.544 OPS) for the month of July. Maybe he should get himself checked for parasites.... Does Roger Clemens qualify for Comeback Player of the Year? I mean he wasn't bad last year but he did comeback from retirement. Currently he's 12-3 (2.77 ERA) and may have a pretty good shot at a seventh Cy Young Award... Has anyone gotten to 299 wins more quietly than Greg Maddux? Last year there was a huge party for Clemens everytime he took the mound in anticipation of 300. Let's hope that Maddux's 300th gets the attention it deserves... Keep an eye on Jeromy Burnitz. Right now he's 6th in the NL in HR with 26 (5 behind Jim Thome). Remember that I picked Burnitz as a darkhorse to win the NL HR title (I think he was a 60-1 shot)...
Rescue Me

Saw FX's Rescue Me last night for the first time and I am hooked. I am willing to say that it is the best show on TV and is now the only "must see TV" show on the air (not including Baseball Tonight).

The West Wing used to be "must see TV" for me but since Aaron Sorkin left the show has definitely slipped past the point of having to watch it.

Rescue Me is compelling and funny with characters who are both likeable and who also have room to develop in different directions. Denis Leary is a king in this show and I would look for the show to do for Leary what The Shield did for Michael Chiklis (another Central Massachusetts guy).

Watch Rescue Me - trust me you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Miscellaneous Thoughts

I get lots of hits on this site for "Jose Lima's wife" which is understandable because I post that picture of him and his bountiful wife almost every time he starts a game. However, I also seem to be getting random hits for "Ryan Klesko naked" and this I do not understand... For two days now has had something on its home page that talked about the convention being full of "dems and celebrities like Omarosa" (with a picture of Omarosa). Omarosa? Celebrity? The Democrats are doomed... Some of the scariest words you can hear as a parent shopping with kids are, "I have to go potty NOW!" And those words always seem to come while in the middle of a check-out line... Last night Theresa Heinz Kerry said, "In America, the true patriots are those who dare to speak the truth to power." I wonder if someone dared to step to the podium at the DNC and say, "Late term abortion is murder" if they would be viewed as a patriot by the DNC delegates? Something tells me that the party of abortion on demand would view the person as something else...
Amanda Beard

I am begining to think that maybe Amanda Beard is the hottest women in all of sports (and maybe just the hottest woman period). If she medals in Greece this summer she may become a super-star.

You can get all your Amanda Beard info here (including more photos!)

Edit: I changed the picture because of the dreaded "red x". It was a picture of Amanda wearing this suit that I saw in Outside Magazine that convinced me that she is the hottest woman athlete alive. In the picture she is shown full body from the front with her hands on her hips and she is just stunning

The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!

Ever since reading about speculation that the Russians would be sending troops to Iraq - I have had that possibility stuck in my head. On the surface it makes tremendous sense.

The Russians have plenty of troops and if the US helped with the cost of their upkeep - then it becomes a no-brainer for President Putin. Consider the following:

- Putin has shown a willingness to help out President Bush - most recently with his announcement that after 9/11 Russian intelligence agencies warned the US of further potential attacks on the US coming out of Iraq.

- Putin and Bush seem to genuinely like each other.

- Having the Russians come on board in the coalition in Iraq severely undercuts Kerry's claim about Bush harming traditional international relationships. All that would be left out of Iraq would be France and Germany (and I think Kerry may want to take a long look at how France is polling among voters here in the US).

- If Russia came on board in Iraq - Bush could point out that he went to NATO first to get addition troop support but those traditional allies refused (i.e. the request was blocked by France and Germany). NATO is pretty much an organization that has outlived its purpose and partnering with Russia would underscore that fact. Have you heard anyone at this week's DNC ask why we still have troops in Germany? Why not?

- Russia has historically been at odds with both France and Germany. A Kerry election clearly benefits France and Germany but there seems to be nothing in it for Russia. Sending troops right before the election helps cement a Russian / US relationship.

- The Russians aren't squeamish when it comes to terrorists or hostages. Last year when terrorists seized that opera house - can you recall any terrorists walking out alive?

- Doing this in Iraq will give Putin a freer hand in dealing with his own radical Islamic problem in some of the former USSR states.

When you look at the idea of Russia sending troops to Iraq - it seems to make a lot of sense. Of course if it does happen - the Democrats will say that Karl Rove orchestrated the whole thing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Player Comparison II

Javier Vazquez was supposed to be the "new Pedro" but let's take a look at how he stacks up against the original Pedro so far this year (and keep in mind that this has been an off-year for Martinez):

Vazquez - 11-6, 135.1 IP, 4.06 ERA, 108 K, 1.22 WHIP, .246 BAA
Martinez - 11-4, 136.2 IP, 4.15 ERA, 132 K, 1.17 WHIP, .239 BAA

Call me traditional but I like the "old" Pedro better.
Miscellaneous Thoughts

I woke up early this morning and put on a pot of coffee. While flipping through the channels (between ESPN, NESN's morning Sportsdesk and Imus in the Morning on MSNBC) I happened upon Ricky Williams on the Golf Channel of all places. He was part of the Natural Golf infomercial. It just struck me as strange... With all the attention being paid to Anna Benson and her supposedly posing for a "gentlemen's magazine" let's not forget the uber hottie among baseball player's wives - Laura Cover (wife of Aaron Boone and November 1998 Playmate of the Month)... If you looked at Pedro Martinez's line from last night's win you may get the impression that he wasn't dominant but he was. The Red Sox should not have had him in there for that last inning with the rain coming down and the pitcher's mound a mess... I think you will hear an announcement today that Carlos Delgado has been traded from the Blue Jays. The rumor is that he has agreed to waive his no trade clause... Count me among those who would be in favor of trading for Larry Walker. The Red Sox need an outfielder with Trot Nixon a major question mark and next year Walker can play the outfield or first base. If Ellis Burks doesn't come back (likely) and the Red Sox can move Byung-Hyun Kim and his $6 million 2005 salary to Colorado - then there isn't anything not to like about this move... Scott Erickson has a 7.88 ERA and opponents are hitting .395 off him. Is anyone surprised by that?
Player Comparison

Just for fun and just because they are close friends - here's a comparison between super sub and Framingham's own Lou Merloni vs. Super Star Nomar Garciaparra and what they have done so far this year:

Merloni - 151 AB, 20 R, 4 HR, 27 RBI, .299 BA, .810 OPS
Nomar  - 153 AB, 24 R, 5 HR, 21 RBI, .320 BA, .870 OPS

Of course the big difference is salary. Nomar will take home $11.5 million this year while Mayor Lou will just make $560,000 - so I hope if they go out for dinner that Nomar grabs the check.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Heh Heh 

Actual Kerry photo found at Instapundit via My Aisling

Somebody has to have a caption contest for this.

Who is Kerry hiring to be his advisors on things like this?

Top 5 Presidents

1. George Washington
2. Abe Lincoln
3. Thomas Jefferson
4. John Adams
5. (tie) Ronald Reagan (tie) Harry Truman

Presidential Baseball

Last night we had the Yankees and the Red Sox (with the Red Sox prevailing 9-6 - ooh-rah!) but we also had an extended TV appearance by Senator John Kerry and I think the appearance probably did him more harm than good.

Kerry threw out the first pitch. He started on the grass in front of the mound and he still bounced the pitch. The last time I saw George H. Bush throw out a first pitch - he threw a strike and he did it from the pitcher's mound and he's 80! After 9/11 when George W. Bush threw out the first pitch at the World Series - he threw it from the mound where a pitch is supposed to be thrown from.

John Kerry is a Red Sox fan but supposedly he has Massachusetts pretty much in his pocket. I can't see his cheerleading for the Red Sox helping him gain any undecided voters in New York - just the opposite. Somehow I don't think Karl Rove would have allowed Bush to put himself in that position. Sure go to the game. Sure throw out the first pitch. But then get up to a sky box where the cameras won't be able to watch you high five Kevin Millar after he hits a home run off Yankee pitching.

Have I mentioned the fact that Kerry was booed last night when he went to throw out the first pitch? Sure there was applause but anyone watching the game on ESPN could clearly hear the boo's. It sounded almost 50/50. Karl Rove wouldn't have allowed that (I keep bringing up Karl Rove because he's the left's third favorite bogeyman after Ashcroft and Cheney - just having some fun).

Maybe Kerry was angling for votes up in New Hampshire which is solidly Red Sox Nation and supposedly still up for grabs among the red staters and blue staters? Sure go after New Hampshire's 4 Electoral College votes but why do it at the potential expense of New York's 36? Just plain dumb.

The current odds on the Presidential election are Bush -$125 and Kerry -$115 (meaning you would have to risk $125 on Bush to win $100 or risk $115 on Kerry to win $100). Even money would be Bush -$120 and Kerry -$120 (with the $20 being the house vig). Things are closer now than at any point since I started monitoring the lines.

I would expect Kerry to get a bump from his convention to either put him even with Bush or a slight -$125 favorite but that won't last long. Bush will get both a bump from his convention in a months time and momentum. Anyone in sales could tell you that in any competitive situation you always be the one who presents last.

The Kerry folks may be counting on Kerry doing well against Bush in the debates but after seeing Kerry get stumped by a Jon Miller softball on Pete Rose (paraphrasing "I know that there is a lot of passion about this especially in Ohio [another state up for grabs BTW] but I think the writers should decide that one"). If Kerry waffles on Pete Rose - what makes anyone think he can handle hardballs about Iran?

If you are a betting man - wait for the line to get to even and then load up on Bush. Money in the bank. 

Top 5 War Movies of All Time

1. All Quiet on the Western Front (either 1930 or 1979 version)
2. Paths of Glory
3. Saving Private Ryan
4. Gettysburg
5. (tie) To Hell and Back (tie) Sargent York (tie) Gardens of Stone

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Varitek vs. A-Rod

Obviously as a Red Sox fan - I will take the side of Jason Varitek on this one but even looking at it without bias - Alex Rodriguez was in the wrong.

A-Rod was hit by a pitch in the elbow. The pitch was a change-up and A-Rod didn't make much of an attempt to avoid it. Plus the pitch hit A-Rod on his body armor that he wears on his elbow - so don't tell me the pitch hurt him very much.

Being hit by a pitch is part of the game. That's why they keep a stat for it. When you are hit - you are supposed to go down to first and take your base. But I guess A-Rod is different. I guess A-Rod is special.

Instead of taking his base A-Rod starts swearing out at Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo (who was named after Charles Bronson we should be reminded - so I wouldn't doubt if Bronson could handle himself in a pinch).  Jason Varitek, as is his job, stays between A-Rod and the pitcher's mound.

A-Rod then changed his focus to Varitek. The TV cameras clearly show him saying, "Fuck you" over and over right in Varitek's face. It then showed A-Rod saying "Let's go" to Varitek. Should he be surprised that Varitek gave him a catcher's mitt in the mug for his troubles? 

At the risk of sounding like Carl Spackler, my big disappointment was for Varitek's lost opportunity. In Baseball fights, players always go for the head or try some stupid two handed neck-grab. After Varitek smooshed his glove in A-Rod's face he went for a leg lift. Instead he should have gone for a series of short quick uppercut jabs to the ribs. He probably had time to get off three or four devastating body blows. Those shots could have at the very least cracked some ribs and taken away all of A-Rod's HR power for months.

Some additional observations about this run in.

I don't think A-Rod actually thought he was going to catch a punch. I think he was thinking that he was "Gumby damnit!" and could damn well say whatever he pleased. Varitek simply gave him a real world dose of what for. Also don't think that A-Rod was doing anything to defend "Yankee honor". He's been with the team for half a season. This was all about his spoiled self.

A-Rod reacted out a sense of unrealistic entitlement and frustration. He's hitting just .261 against the Red Sox this year and in "the clutch" of hitting with RISP this year - he's hitting just .222 as a Yankee. All of A-Rod's stats seem to happen with no pressure. He's Mr. May and I'm sure he knows it.

Varitek getting a suspension may actually be a good thing for him. First - this increases the argument of him being an "intangibles" player whose value to the team cannot be measured in stats. Secondly, last year he slumped badly at the end (just a .230 BA and a .741 OPS post All-Star game) and this July he was hitting just .259. Maybe a forced rest is just what the doctor ordered.

My final observation is that I find it strange that when you see the historical highlights of aggression between the Red Sox and Yankees - you never see the Jeff Nelson and his Hitler mustache jumping a bullpen attendant with Karen Garcia piling on for cheap shots. Just an observation.

Ricky Williams Retires

Wow! This came as a shock but it wasn't surprising.

Williams has always been different. What other "macho" NFL player would have appeared on the cover of ESPN the Magazine in a wedding dress? What other player can you name wore his helmet during interviews? Off season pursuits - how about photography and touring with Lenny Kravitz? Williams has always been different.

This move definitely hurts the Dolphins but in the end it is probably a blessing in disguise. The Dolphins are primarily a defensive team and their running game helped them with ball and clock control but it honestly didn't put tons of points on the board. Miami has some good receivers and this will nudge the offense to pass more. The subtraction of Williams should also help team chemistry. What good would it do for Miami to have a player who really didn't want to be there on the roster?

Williams retirement seems destined to become a textbook example of Bill Simmons Ewing Theory.

There will be a backlash from Williams decision. I'm glad he's putting his home in South Beach up for sale because hell hath no fury as a football fanatic who feels betrayed. I don't feel bad for the Miami fans but there is a glimmer of sympathy for any fantasy football players who already had their draft and used a high pick on Williams.

Part of the backlash, I predict, will be for stories about Williams being gay to surface.

I have heard unsubstantiated rumors of Williams being gay for a couple of years but I always put them into the misunderstood category along the lines of "Les Nessman is a queer fellow" from an episode of the great WKRP in Cincinnati. Williams is single and different and in many people's minds that equals gay. Social anxiety disorder? - "he must be gay". Wedding dress on the cover of ESPN the Magazine? - "he must be gay". Retire from the macho world of pro football at 27? - "he must be gay". The Internet will be ablaze in innuendo and print journalism will sadly soon follow.

For every action - there is an equal reaction. Williams shocking announcement of retirement will be met will an equally shocking reaction from people looking to explain his decision and part of that reaction will be to label him as "gay". (Please note that I'm just predicting the reaction here - not making any editorial comments about gay athletes or even about Ricky Williams' sexual preference.)

Williams isn't following in the footsteps of Garbo. He doesn't want to be alone. He just doesn't want to play football. He isn't following in the footsteps of Robert Smith who wanted to quit before his body took a debilitating beating.  He just doesn't want to play football. He isn't following in the footsteps of Jim Brown who walked away to pursue an acting career. He just doesn't want to play football.

That's enough of an explanation for me but mark my words it won't be enough for most people.

(OK - now the editorial comment: please, please don't use the analogy that Williams is putting aside childish things and quitting playing "games" to pursue something more adult. The NFL world is an adult world of business just like any other pro sport. This business has made Williams a multi-millionaire. Don't say that he is putting aside games to pursue serious career choices when he's just going to use the money he made from the NFL to travel the world as an amateur photographer. The NFL as "games" is insulting to all the players and coaches who treat it for what it is - a profession.)

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Miscellaneous Baseball Thoughts

I watched a grand total of about 2-innings of the Red Sox this week (although I did catch about 6 innings of Padre baseball) - so I have some stuff to say but it could be dated for all I know... I hope the Red Sox have no interest in Kris Benson. He's a stiff with a real good looking wife and not worth any prospects (but did  mention the good looking wife?)... Bob Nightengale of USA Today's Sports Weekly reported that the Red Sox turned down a trade of Derek Lowe for Brian Lawrence and Xavier Nady. I hope this isn't true because I would have made that deal in a heartbeat. The old Derek Lowe ain't coming back and Lawrence has the potential to be a big innings eating pitcher plus Nady is the kind of prospect you can use to make other trades. Again - I would have made that deal in a second... Isn't July great? You have the 4th of July, the baseball All-Star Game and it is both American Beer Month and National Hot Dog Month. I love July.... Ramiro Mendoza got his first win of the year and it was against the Yankees. The odds of that happening had to be bigger than the odds of winning Powerball...  

San Diego II

Sorry for the lack of posts but it's been kinda hectic. I think I left off on Wednesday morning so how about if I take it from there?

Not sure if you realized it but Wednesday July 21st would have been Ernest Hemingway's 105th birthday. When I think if of Hemingway - I think of Margarita's (after thinking about several other things first - however thinking of Margarita's furthers this particular tale). Hemingway, Margaritas, San Diego - that can only mean one thing - Casa de Bandini.

I had only heard of Casa de Bandini before Wednesday night. My buddy Tim had found the place at the end of Old Town in San Diego when he was in town to watch the Holy Cross Crusaders take on U Cal San Diego in football last fall.  The food was good and Tim told me that the Margaritas were not only excellent - they were huge!

Well on Wednesday night I found out Tim was right. The food was excellent and the margaritas were enormous. Bigger than a Scorpion Bowl at a Chinese restaurant (and those are meant for two people).  After two of them I was feeling pretty good.

Sorry that there isn't much more to report on San Diego but since the time I landed in San Diego late Tuesday morning till I caught the red-eye back on Thursday night I spent about 28 hours in the office not counting doing emails from the hotel or dining with co-workers.  The only other thing I may add would be the opinion that Karl Strauss is the best beer in San Diego (although I haven't tried all the local stuff).

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

San Diego

Yesterday was a very long day. Woke up at 3:00 am to be at the airport at 5:00 am to catch a 6:00 am flight. Yup - long day.

Everytime I fly I always wonder why a plane "takes off" but a rocket "lifts off".  They are both achieving separation from the Earth. Both are becoming airborne. I guess it's just one of those things.

Anyway, while seated at my window seat waiting for the people sitting next to me to board - I began to think, "Wouldn't it be funny to ask them if they had body lice when they sat down?" And when they answered "No" - then I could say "Me too" but start vigorously scratching my head as if to remove grains of sand or something. I thought that would be funny but I didn't act on it. (In case you are curious my "row mates" ended up being two older women who took naps and talked between themselves about their grandchildren the whole flight.)

The in-flight movie ended up being 50 First Dates with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. It was actually a much better movie than I expected. I expected loads of stupidity but the silliness was pretty much isolated to anytime Rob Schneider was on screen. I would recommend the movie as a rental for when you and your hunny want to cuddle up and watch a flick.

Out here in San Diego the weather is excellent but since I'm here for work - I really won't get to enjoy it. The Padres are at home but I won't be able to catch Petco Park this time around and today is the start of racing at Del Mar but since they don't race at night - no betting on the ponies for me.

Probably the coolest thing so far was sitting outside in the hotel jaccuzzi while fighter jets from nearby Miramar Air Force Base (where they filmed Top Gun)  scream through the sky.

Well that's about it for now.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Mike Hall

Mike Hall won the ESPN Dream Job on Sunday night - which is not surprising to me. What is surprising to me is that nobody has set up a web site yet.
Edit: I first posted this on March 30th and I am still surprised that website isn't up and going

Top 100 April Fool Hoaxes of All-Time

From Sidd Finch, to Burger King announcing the left-handed Whopper, to the State of Alabama changing the value of Pi to 3.0....there all in this list of the Top 100 April Fools Hoaxes.
Edit: More stuff to read while I'm on a plane

Bill Murray as HST

Below I mentioned that Bill Murray played Hunter S. Thompson (in the movie Where the Buffalo Roam). Little known is the effect of "being" HST had on Murray. I found this article very interesting and I'll be sure to look for signs of HSTism on SNL repeats from 1980 and 81.

Edit: Traveling on Tuesday to the coast but I wanted some stuff for the regular visitors
Heh heh

The Singhsons

Edit: Traveling Tuesday - so enjoy the re-run

Top 5 Favorite Christopher Walken Movies
1. The Dead Zone
2. Pulp Fiction
3. Suicide Kings
4. Biloxi Blues
5. The Deer Hunter
Lima Time
Almost forgot - Jose Lima won again last night to improve to 9-3 on the season.

Ancient Riddle
Here's an ancient riddle that nobody ever seems to get.
What we catch we throw away. What we don't catch we keep. What are we talking about?
The answer is body lice. I know ewww - but nobody ever gets this riddle. Still Down - Day Number I've Lost Count
If you googled and came here trying to find out what has happened to - well that story is too long to tell and I'm not in the mood. If you are looking for where most of the regulars (large, small and medium oh and since this is sports journalists we are talking about XXXL) are now gathering - click the link (tell them Chris sent you)
This seems like the new gathering place (in accordance with the prophecy).
A-Rod vs. I-Rod
A-Rod - .277 BA, .369 OPB, .529 SLG
I-Rod - .364 BA, .404 OBP, .554 OBP
Advantage I-Rod
A-Rod - 64 R, 21 HR, 61 RBI
I-Rod - 46 R, 12 HR, 62 RBI
Advantage A-Rod
Win Shares (as of 7/5)
A-Rod - 16 WS
I-Rod - 16 WS
Advantage - Tie

Top 5 Outfield Arms in Baseball
1. Ichiro Suzuki
2. Vlade Guerrero
3. Jose Guillen
4. Torii Hunter
5. Mark Kotsay

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Chris Lynch - Winner of the First Annual Thurman Munson I Love the Yankees Award
Based upon who won the first annual Ron Ridenhour Award for Truth-Telling - I'm skeptical that there will be a second annual award (and please no notes about how "first annual" is incorrect and that something can't be annual until after the second one in two years - I agree - let's move on).
Joe Wilson winning the award is like Maddona winning the Mother Theresa Award for Chastity or me winning the Thurman Munson I Love the Yankees Award.
Miscellaneous Thoughts
God I hate those late starting West Coast games. First inning I decide to just "listen" to the commercals with my eyes closed. Next thing I know it's the middle of the night and some 25-year old kid who is trying to sell his get rich quick scheme is blaring from the TV....  Not sure about you but I'm probably looking forward to watching the women's softball team in this year's Olypics more than the men's basketball team... Falling asleep kept me from watching the Red Sox get handled 8-3 by the Angels last night. Richard must be happy... Vlade Guerrero and Manny Ramirez are the most likely players to have a shot at the triple crown this year. Vlade has now dropped 3 points behind Manny in BA with a .339 average (good for 4th in the league), he's five HR behind league leader Manny, and one RBI ahead of Manny (and one behind lead leader David Ortiz)... Johnny Damon has quietly climbed into the league's top 10 in batting average with his .315... Johan Santana of Minnesota is definitely the best left-handed starter in baseball right now and maybe the best starter period. He got off to a real rocky start but take a look at what he's done over his last 10 starts... Can anyone explain to me why the Blue Jays are playing so bad? Their line-up and rotation are both better than decent but now they have lost 5 in a row and are the third worst team in the AL... Brett Boone now has 317 AB's for the Mariners. I'm pretty sure that if he gets to 450 AB then his 2005 contract that would pay him $9 million vests. Why are the Mariners playing him? His average and OBP are neck and neck with Tom Glavine's. Seriously. Trade him or sit him... If you knew that Travis Hafner would have more HR and RBI plus be hitting more than 100 points better than Carlos Delgado at this point in the season - then you should stop reading this right now and get your ass on a plane to Vegas so that you can start betting baseball proposition bets... Jason Schmidt is the best right handed starter in baseball right now. You could argue that he's been better over his last 10 starts than Johan Santana but can we at least agree that the best starter in baseball right now has the initials of JS?... Detroit is only 5.5 games out of first in the AL Central. They definitely can make a run at it. If they get close - then I think they might just be the baseball story of the year... The fact that Scott Erickson is slated to be the starting pitcher for the Mets tomorrow tells you all you need to now about their chances of winning the division...  

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Quick Rant
Have you ever heard someone use the phrase, "I don't want to get in a pissing contest over this"? Have you ever stopped to think about what that really means.
Now I've been in both literal and metaphorical pissing contests so let me wax on / wax off for a moment.
Real pissing contests usually coincided with drinking lots of beers with my friends. Not sure if it is a competitive survival thing or if it's a nature's clock synching up type of thing (like girls who live together all getting their periods at the same time)  but next time you are out with the buds wait for a lull in the drinking and then go to raise your glass - almost guaranteed your friends will also lift their glasses too. Also notice that when a friend gets up to go pee - many times you will suddenly realize that you have to pee too. What does this have to do with pissing contests? Nothing - but this is a rant and rants have tangents.
Whether you are out in the woods or crossing swords in a men's room - pissing contests are won by the guy who pisses the longest (as opposed to writing your name in the snow contests which are won by the guy with the shortest name). The key to winning a pissing contest is to relax and be sure not to exert any un-needed pressure.
The same is true in metaphorical pissing contests (especially on the Internet). Relax - let the other guy blow a hole in his helmut. Don't apply too much pressure - people reading or hearing your comments will be impressed by how cool and calm you are. Your opponent will conversley develop a brain clot.
End of Rant - Yankees Suck
Red Sox Thoughts
Last night was a strange / typical night for the Red Sox.
Pedro Martinez was excellent despite being squeezed by the plate umpire. Perdo won his 10th game (pitching 6 innings,  giving up 2 runs, throwing 115 pitches and striking out 8). For the season Pedro is 8th in the AL in ERA,  tied for 4th in wins, and second in strikeouts (he has 120 and Curt Schilling has 118). Those are All-Star level numbers but of course Pedro was by-passed because he's held to a higher standard. You get the feeling that Pedro would have to win the pitching equivalent of the triple crown for some people to be happy.
Trot Nixon ran through a stop sign by the third base coach with no outs in a close game. You could tell the third base coach was steamed but Nixon did score easily. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I don't want Wave 'em in Kim at third but I also think based upon how easily Nixon scored that maybe Svleum was being too conservative (and that's also not what I want in a third base coach). Nixon was being aggressive and that's good in a player but running through the stop sign shows disrespect to the coaching staff (and that's not good). Again - I'm not sure how I feel about this.
Nixon is known as a hard-playing dirtdog but what if this was another player who ran through the sign? What if it was Bellhorn? Would discipline be forthcoming from the coaching staff (maybe a couple of days on the bench)? What if this was Nomar (would certain writers use this as a sign of his "selfishness")?
Chinless Shaughnessey did the game story for the Globe and he skipped over the incident completely (although he did take tme to take a swipe at Pedro for going home during the All-Star break). Nice reporting jackass.
Manny Ramirez sat out again with sore hamstrings (although he did pinch hit and got a single). I've torn a hamstring and I can tell you that it sucks. I once reinjured it months later by just stretching. I have nothing but sympathy for what Manny is going through and I hope the Red Sox are careful with the best hitter Boston has had since Ted Williams.
The big story of course was David Ortiz going off. Man I would hate to have him angry at me. If you saw the incident there isn't much to add except 1. he apologized to the fans and umpires for his actions (nice to see an athlete taking responsibility), 2. the homeplate umpire did suck last night and 3. I can't wait to see someone try to charge the mound while he's at first.
Terry Francona did a yeoman's job of holding Ortiz back. I hope at least one reporter asked Francona how much he can bench after the game.
The Xtreme Video Fest
On Wednesday night I ended up attending the Xtreme Video Fest held at the Westin New York at Times Square.
This was actually an awards show acknowledging the chosen best in categories such as best xtreme cinematography and best xtreme editing. There were eight short films ranging from 2 minutes in length (Xtreme Sport: Kite Surfing)  to 70 minutes in length (High Life - a film on skiing and snowboarding which won the best overall xtreme video award).
My personal favorite was The Texas Paragliding Massacre which won the best xtreme story award.  The film by Darryl Czuchra was about Will Gladd's attempt (along with other fliers) to break the flat-land flying distance record (successful atempt BTW - oh sorry should I have said something about spoilers?) .
For those unfamilar with flat-land paragliding basically a flyer is towed from "flat land" up to about 1,000 feet above the ground behind a truck (think kid running with kite at the beach but instead of a kid you have a big pickup truck and instead  of a kite you have a crazy person with a parachute). Once in the air the flyers try to find thermals to take them even higher and then glide hoping to hit more thermals to allow them to get more distance.
There was supposed to be one guest speaker but there ended up being two. Thomas Lucas spoke about his experiences filming tornado chasers (from the University of Massachusetts - Go Minutemen!) for a Nova special. The guy from High Life was also there (sorry I forgot his name). I was going to challenge the guy from High Life to some xtreme thumb wrestling after the show but I couldn't stick around (you can see trailers from the movie on this page) .
My favorite part of the night was the fact that the event had door prizes. Every once and a while between films the lights would go up and the MC dude (that seems the most apt description) would pick a winner via raffle tickets we were given on our way in. He would pick a winner and then say something rad as the ticket winner recieved their prize.
One time this big black guy won and when the MC dude saw him he said "Right On!" and just started nodding his head Spiccoli like. I had to chuckle to myself because I found this so Starksy and Hutch. Of course the next number to be picked was my own. I forget what the MC dude said but it wasn't "Right On!" So shy guy that I am I ask, "What no Right On for me?" So the MC dude went back to the microphone and gave me my "Right On!" After the handshake and pictures I lifted my prize above my head and gave the room my best Howard Dean, "Yeahhhhhh!"
Fuck it - I only knew one person in the room and he thought it was funny.
My prize BTW - was a copy of Final Draft Version 7 (professional scriptwriting software - a $229 value) . And so a screenwriter was born, "Yeahhhhhh!" You can probably look for episodes of Days of our Red Sox on these pages to come.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Top 5 Songs Inspired By Superheroes
1. Crash Test Dummies - Superman's Song
2. Kinks - Catch Me Now I'm Falling (Captain America)
3.  3 Doors Down - Kryptonite (Superman)
4. Queen - Flash's Theme (Flash Gordon)
5. (tie)  U2 - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (Batman) (tie) Spin Doctor's - Jimmy Olsen Blues (Superman)
New York State of Mind

For the past two days I have been in New York for business. Yesterday was a grind-it-out not much of interest to anyone but me day but Wednesday was spent in the city and there were a couple of things I thought I'd share.

I was in the city because I had a couple of people I was supposed to meet. They weren't customers but either consultants who had clients I may be able to help or people who work for companies whose products are complimentary to my own. There was an industry related trade show at the Javits Center - so we decided to meet there.

My day was spent meeting with people, making phone calls, sending emails (thank you Blackberry) and waking around the trade show floor trying to spot potential customers or companies I could network with. By 3:00 I was getting pretty beat.

Most trade shows now feature booth space dedicated to massages. Sometimes these massage spaces are sponsored by a company. For example - at the NAB show in Las Vegas a company had brought in these foot massaging machines that were incredible. You would sit down and just be loving the foot massage after a long day of either standing at a booth or walking the show floor. The benefit for the sponsoring company was the fact that while you were sitting there getting a foot massage a sales guy from the sponsoring company could come over and talk to you to see if you were a potential customer. What a great idea. I bet everyone who walked the show floor stopped at that booth.

Sometimes the massage areas are not sponsored. You want a massage you pay for it. That was the case at this show.

It was $10 for a ten-minute massage they called "the re-energizer". By 3:00 I was ready to be re-energized. There were three people giving massages - an Oriental woman, a black girl and a black guy. Of course I got the guy.

You kneel into the massage chair and put your face into a donut-shaped cushion hygenically protected by a specially shaped piece of paper. Much like the specialy shaped pieces of paper you find in public restrooms. While I was thinking about resting my face against a toilet bowl seat the massage began.

At first I was thinking, "What's so good about........ooohhhh..."

The guy had begun putting pressure on my top vertebrae and then just worked his way slowly down the spine. It was as if he was forcing all my stress slowly right out my ass. When he was done with my back he did each arm and my neck. I was so relaxed that the only thing keeping me awake was a slight fear that I would start drooling if I dozed off.

When he was done I was completely relaxed. Best $10 I ever spent.

I went to meet a consultant friend of mine who has more industry contacts than anyone I know and who I was supposed to go to dinner with. We met up at the entrance to the show and he asked, "What did you think of the show?"

"It was OK. The best thing was that I got a massage from a black guy."

Good thing he understands my sense of humor.

Well - that's enough for now. In part two I'll talk about attending the first ever Xtreme Video Fest.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004 Fallout Shelter

I think 21 first mentioned it in a comment and both flaghokie and HB have sent me emails saying this is the place so be sure to check out

This seems like the new gathering place (in accordance with the prophecy).

While there you can discuss whether Webby not paying his bills or post-padding hell was to blame for the crash.
Jerry's All Star Game Thoughts

Mike Piazza is a catcher - not a pitcher.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Do you think Mike Piazza told Manny and A-Sor what pitch was coming ala Crash Davis before they hit their home runs off Clemens in the first?

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

It looks like Debbie Clemens used the BeDazzler on her hat and a Flo-Bee on the kids' hair. How much do you want to bet that they have family portraits done on velvet canvases?

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Did you see the homerun Adebesi from Oz hit off Carl Pavano in the sixth?

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Taco Bell and Pepsi seemed to be everywhere during the broadcast last night. All we needed was travel spots from Branson and sponsorships from The Dollar Store to really make the white trash ad pages complete.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Sometimes I wish the players could turn around and ask the interviewer a question. It would have been cool to see Derek Jeter turn around and ask Kevin Kennedy why he can't get another managing job.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

If there was a Scott Cooper Award for the least deserving player in each All-Star Game - Ted Lilly would be this year's recepient.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

All-Star Game Thread

Thought this would be handy.

Who wins the home-run derby? (My guess is Bonds.)

Who wins the game? (I say AL.)

Who's the MVP? (I'm gonna say A-Rod)

Anyone going to be at the game?

EDIT: Bumped to top by request Update

It seems that when I now click on - I get an AOL Hometown message saying "Sorry can't find that page."

It was earlier reported by 21 and Sterling_incognito / Mr. Plow that Webby posted the following message:
Temporarily down

Well, I received an e-mail from my hosting company telling me that has become so popular they pulled the plug! What happened is the site has had so much traffic and was using so many of their system resources that we were crashing hundreds of other sites, they claim. I'm working to do whatever I can to get the site restored, but it might take awhile. So take a little time off and actually do some work! Your sports editor will appreciate it.

- Webby

So it looks like Webby will either have to spend some cake on a server and bandwidth of his own or find a new hosting company. Given the AOL message I think he's looking at the latter.

On another note - Webby sends greetings from his vacation.

EDIT: Guy_Incognito points out that the message is still there

British Open Pool

StormSurge wanted a pool on the British Open and I am happy to try and oblige.

EDIT: StormSurge says the format should be top 4 plus an alternate - so I am adjusting my choices

1. Mickelson
2. Garcia
3. Harrington
4. Woods

Alternate: Clarke

The Home Run Derby

Last night, like many of you, I watched the home-run derby on ESPN. I didn't watch the entire show because it was too drawn out and the combination of Chris Berman and Joe Morgan was making my ears bleed.

I found myself wondering if I had ESPN Desportes could I tune in listen in Spanish but get English closed captioning? That would have been so much better than Berman and Morgan. Watching the Dominican players like Tejada, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz (or as Senator "Smoochie" Kerry likes to call him "Manny Ortiz") - they just seem to have so much more fun than the rest of the players. I couldn't help but wonder if the Spanish language broadcast was more fun too (although it wouldn't have far to go to pass Berman and Morgan).

Was I the only one who was completely distracted by Lance Berkman's eyes? I mean he's got Cover Girl eyes. Seriously - doesn't it look like he's got a ton of eye-liner on?

My mind works in strange ways and I found myself wondering if you took Berkman's eyes, Manny Ramirez's hair and Tommy Lasorda's breasts and combined the three - would the result be a prettier looking woman than Whoopi Goldberg? I think that may actually be too close to call.

As I mentioned before - the competition was way too drawn out. What I would suggest is getting rid of most of the video segments and definitely the segments where the viewers are forced to watch Berman and Morgan interview anyone. That should speed things up.

Now I understand that ESPN has a certain block of time to fill so I would suggest adding another layer of competition to the derby to fill up that time.

I would choose three pitchers from each league and let them compete so that each league would have one champion home-run hitting pitcher. These pitchers would then be allowed to compete in the regular home-run derby but they would be given the advantage of double the number of outs. So if the number of outs for Barry Bonds was 10 - then Tim Wakefield would get 20.

This could also be a revenue opportunity for ESPN and MLB. You could have a major corporation sponsor the pitchers for each league. For example Kodak could sponsor the American League (Kodak pictures - get it?) and Lipton could sponsor the National League (pitchers of ice tea - get it?). If a pitcher won the competition - then a lucky fan would win a $1 million paid for by the corporate sponsor (Kodak or Lipton).

Anyway - those were my thoughts on the home-run derby. Still Down

Sports journalism held hostage day 7.

I have been clicking the link to a few times a day ever since the site went down. Everytime I do there is a brief hope that I will get the main page to but instead I get the overwhelming whiteness of the "page suspended" announcement.

I know that technically the heading says "The page cannot be found" but if you look up at the url address you see the word "suspended". It seems no different from calling a number that is "temporarily unavailable" because the phone company turned it off due to non-payment.

Webby's sig line always read "Click an ad". Not sure about you but I never did. I mean fuck the University of Phoenix. Now I kinda wish I did click an ad at least once and a while. Webby made no bones about it. Clicking an ad is how he could generate some money for the site. Still I never clicked an ad. Now I feel guilty about it.

Maybe when the site gets back up and running Webby can share the math of what it takes to keep the site up. Maybe we can figure out how many times we would have to "click an ad" to pay the bills. Maybe a PayPal button can be added. Maybe.

That's assuming that the site does come back. I mean - I assumed that OK it's down for the weekend because it's the weekend. But then it didn't come back on Monday. If it doesn't come back today - is it time to start worrying that it won't be back?
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.

Monday, July 12, 2004

This Land Parody Song

This was pretty funny (found via NRO's Corner). Still Down

Sports journalism held hostage day 6.

Six long days and six equally long nights. Webby, my Webby why have you forsaken us? (Rich Johnson sits back and laughs, "This never happened while I was running the board.")

In a related story - productivity at the sports desks at major newspapers across America is up 26% and the wives of many sportswriters begin to wonder if the renewed interest in their sex lives is due to a spouse secretly taking Cialis or Excyte.

Conspiracy theories abound. Webby was really Andy Glazer. Don S. uses the lawyers from his new corporate behemoth to finish a job he started long ago. Bandwagon boy strikes again! This was a clever intervention to help break Dooley of his Internet addiction. Webby and Moddy abducted by aliens! The truth is out there.

The vigil continues.
Morning Rant

Yesterday the Red Sox lost a game to the Rangers and now they finish the first half of the season with the third best record in the American League (if they won yesterday - they would have had the second best record in the American League). If the playoffs started tomorrow - the Red Sox would be the Wild Card.

The Red Sox have gotten to this point despite extended time on the DL for Trot Nixon, Nomar Garciaparra, and Bill Mueller (one third of their line-up). The team is finally healthy and has won 5 out of six before the break. Things should be good in Boston right?


Yesterday Manny Ramirez sat out because of tight hamstrings. He did pinch hit late in the game but today the subject of the day is Manny "taking the day off." The Red Sox have played 86 games before the break and Manny has been in the lineup for 84 of them. That leads the team (Johnny Damon and David Ortizzle played in 83). Some people will just criticize Manny no matter what he does.

I've said it before and the more I look at the circumstances - the more I become convinced that if Red Sox Nation was an actual country it would be France. I'm a Red Sox fan but I can no longer ignore the negativity, the superiority, and the willingness to give up on the team at the drop of a hat (one year the headline after an opening day loss was "Wait Til Next Year").

Manny is 4th in batting (.344), first in HR (26) and tied for 2nd for RBI (77). I have absolutely no complaints about his first half. Anyone who does should take the next few days to find themselves some perspective.

The Red Sox are the team nobody wants to face in the playoffs. The Chowder Eating Surrender Monkeys can kiss my ass.

Sunday, July 11, 2004 Orientation

Luggie suggested a FAQ type thread (at least that was my interpretation of what she wanted). has been down for a few days and it may be back within a few hours or few days. Until then - SJ.commers can have squaters rights here.

I've started a bunch of threads that seem to cover most of the bases of interests. All you have to do is click on the "comments" to add your $.02. The comments can be completely annonymous but I would suggest using your screen name just so people know who they are talking to.

EDIT: I'm going to stick this one at the top for the rest of the weekend just as sort of a welcoming sign for folks who wander in.


Saturday, July 10, 2004

When Political Reporters Attack

Idaho had this link on one of the Yahoo fantasy leagues.

Andy Glazer

If was still up - I definitely would have started a thread on Andy Glazer who was laid to rest Thursday. The "Poker Pundit" was only 48. This is from his FinalTablePoker site

Anyone have any background into what happened? Was it a heart attack? Was it related to his recent trip to Ireland? Any good Andy Glazer stories or remembrances?

Friday, July 09, 2004

Welcome Knicksfan

Here's a thread where using the words "Monday" and "Sportswriter" are not verboten. This one can be for favorite drinks, movies (like Spiderman or Anchorman - two distinctly different superheros) or whatever catches your fancy.

Beware the dynamite monkey.
Hockey Thread

What's up with Joe Thornton signing with a Swedish team? All hockey comments can go here.
F911 / Mike Moore Thread

This was the longest thread at - so there had to be some interest.

Basketball Thread

Coaching changes, Coach K sucks comments, new Lakers coach, all basketball comments can go in the comments here.

Baseball Thread folks can post baseball thoughts in the comments here.

(PS - for new thread ideas - just mention it in the comments and I will try to oblige.)
Politics Thread folks can post their politics stuff here.
The Ambiguously Gay Duo?

When I first read this moniker for the Kerry / Edwards ticket - I couldn't stop chuckling. Ace and Gary! Restoring the pride to the USA one codpiece at a time! Vote for Ace and Gary because they have better hair!

Do you think the Kerry / Edwards campaign posters will look anything like this?

VDH Friday

Your weekly dose of wisdom from Victor Davis Hanson:
For over a year now, we have witnessed a level of invective not seen since the summer of 1864 — much of it the result of a dying 60's generation's last gasps of lost self-importance. Instead of the "innocent" Rosenbergs and "framed" Alger Hiss we now get the whisk-the-bin-Laden-family-out-of-the-country conspiracy. Michael Moore is a poor substitute for the upfront buffoonery of Abbie Hoffman.

The oil pipeline in Afghanistan that we allegedly went to war over doesn't exist. Brave Americans died to rout al Qaeda, end the fascist Taliban, and free Afghanistan for a good and legitimate man like a Hamid Karzai to oversee elections. It was politically unwise and idealistic — not smart and cynical — for Mr. Bush to gamble his presidency on getting rid of fascists in Iraq. There really was a tie between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein — just as Mr. Gore and Mr. Clinton once believed and Mr. Putin and Mr. Allawi now remind us. The United States really did plan to put Iraqi oil under Iraqi democratic supervision for the first time in the country's history. And it did.

This war — like all wars — is a terrible thing; but far, far worse are the mass murder of 3,000 innocents and the explosion of a city block in Manhattan, a ghoulish Islamic fascism and unfettered global terrorism, and 30 years of unchecked Baathist mass murder. So for myself, I prefer to be on the side of people like the Kurds, Elie Wiesel, Hamid Karzai, and Iyad Allawi rather than the idiotocrats like Jacques Chirac, Ralph (the Israelis are "puppeteers") Nader, Michael Moore, and Billy Crystal.

Sometimes life's choices really are that simple. Down - Day Three

I know by now HB and Dooley are going through withdrawals. 21 and Boom have probably channeled their energies into other endeavors (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). BYH and Flag are fine - too well adjusted to be too bothered (only inconvenienced). I miss Casty's and Sandy's baseball talk. JR and True North - you guys almost made the list of favorite Canadians. Lugnuts - still waiting for you to show me your tits. Idaho is still in Idaho (come to think of it - you haven't shown me your tits either). Buck - Cosmo says hi. Webby and Moddy are probably working on their story right now (last time it was "stupid hosting company").

This post probably looks like gibberish to most folks but sometimes the posts are just for me.

EDIT: Found this note from Luggie on one of my Yahoo fantasy leagues; "It has been speculated that Webby forgot to pay the bill again since the last time this happened was also the 6th of the month. I hear Webby's on vacay, so who knows when it will be up again." Just thought I would pass it along.
Top 5 Canadiens of All-Time

1. Guy Lafleur
2. Rocket Richard
3. Ken Dryden
4. Larry Robinson
5. Patrick Roy

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Top 5 Favorite Canadians

1. Cam Neely
2. Ray Bourque
3. Phil Hartman
4. Alex "sitting on a gold mine" Trebek
5. (tie) Michael J. Fox (tie) William Shatner

Close Talkers? Breath Testers?

Top 5 MLB Disappointments as Starters This Year

1. Bartolo Colon
2. Sidney "Greenstreet" Ponson
3. Derek Lowe
4. Mike Hampton
5. (tie) Mike Mussina (tie) Jose Contreras
Morning Rant

This morning I have had very little sleep but still want to make some observations on Pedro, Lance and Animal House.

Last night the Red Sox beat the Oakland A's 11-3 behind a potent offensive attack and another fine start by Pedro. I don't know what there is not to like about Pedro. You know that he will finish the season in the top five in wins, ERA and strikeouts and he does this every year.

Last night Pedro pitched 7 innings and gave up just 2 earned runs. Sure he was only in there for 102 pitches but with that big a lead and no shut-out at stake - why not use the bullpen?

Pedro had a bumpy May but is 4-0 in June and July. So far this year he has averaged better than 6.5 innings per start (he's sixth in the AL in innings pitched). Right now he's second in the AL in strikeouts with 112 (but will surely drop to third after Curt Schilling's start tonight). He's also tied for fourth in wins with 9.

In almost every major pitching statistical category - Pedro is top 5. Again - what's not to like? Sign him up!

I love the fact that Lance Armstrong is wearing the Yellow Jersey in the Tour de France after just the fourth stage. I have to wonder if the French press goes out of their way not to ask him any political questions. Obviously Lance is focused on just the race but the press has to know that he is a Texan and also a friend of President Bush. I have to think that his dominance in what is supposed to be an European sport has to ruffle just a little and that the analogy between Lance and fellow Texan George W. must chafe.

Last night I couldn't sleep. I finally went into dream world around 11:30 but was awake again at 2:30 am. I just couldn't fall back to sleep - just one of those things. About 3:15 - I decided to go lay on the couch and watch TV - sometimes that works. Many is the morning that my wife awakes to find me asleep on the couch with ESPN quietly droning on in the background.

Anyway - checking the on-screen guide I saw a special treat. Animal House was on at 3:30 on Turner Classic Movies!

The movie is a classic (note to self - must do a Top 5 comedy movies list). It is now 26-years old and by today's standards it is rather tame (although the gratuitous boobies would definitely still garner a R rating). What's not to like about a movie that taught us that knowledge is good?

It was interesting to see the characters (actors) from 26 years ago and to realize what they went on to become. Bluto went on to become dead of course but most of the others had second careers.

Otter went on to become Vice President of the US in the Bartlett administration but in true Otter fashion - he had to step down due to a sex scandal.

Pinto put his liberal arts education to use and went on to become Mozart.

I could have sworn that "D" Day went on to become Spiderman's boss - Mr. Jameson but I was mistaken (although he did go on to become a classic "that guy" in the Bill Simmons sense where you see him in bit roles and you recognize him but can't recall his name).

Flounder will forever go through life fat, drunk and stupid and will forever be Flounder.

In an interesting twist of fate - Chip Diller went on to become the most connected man in Hollywood (maybe he was responsible for getting Babs her job as Universal Studios tour guide?).

In real life I have a couple of friends who know Mark Metcalf who played Neidermeyer and it turns out that he is one of the nicest regular guys you'll ever meet. Too bad he basically was typecast as Neidermeyer.

Well enough typing for this morning. With so little sleep - I know it is going to be a long day.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

A Tremendous Loss

Andy Glazer passed away on Sunday. This is from his FinalTablePoker site:
It is with deep regret that we report that Andrew N.S. Glazer, "The Poker Pundit" passed away on July 4th at the young age of 48.

He will be missed dearly by his family and friends, and by the thousands of poker players he entertained with his articles over the years.

Born in Massapequa, N.Y., a cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan and the Emory University School of Law, Andy was a talented author, educator and poker enthusiast dedicated to bringing the thrill of poker to "regular folks."

Services will be at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Wandy Memorial Chapel, Huntington Station, N.Y.; burial at the New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon, N.Y.

He is survived by his sister, Donna Hall, his mother, Shirley Glazer Shafron and his brother-in-law, Ken Hall. Condolences may be sent to his sister at or mailed to:

Mr. and Mrs. Ken Hall
5 Serendipity Way
Atlanta, GA 30350

More information will be published as soon as it is available.

I was a recent convert to the writings, wisdom and wit of Andy Glazer who was to poker what Will McDonough was to football.
Jennie Finch Naked

Miscellaneous thoughts under a miscellaneous post title...

If I ran the PA system at Fenway - I would play Helen Reddy's Angie Baby whenever Derek Lowe pitched - just because I could... Maybe instead of Angie Baby I would play Marie Osmond's Paper Roses for Lowe - again just because... Wait, wait - let's make it Debbie Boone's You Light Up My Scoreboard (I mean Life)... Even better - how about the Commodores (I'm) Easy?... Am I being a little harsh on Derek Lowe? Yeah probably but he decided on leaving the Red Sox the minute he picked Scott Boras as an agent and his turning down the Red Sox offer of 3-years $27 million was both plain stupid on his part and a slap in the face of the Red Sox fans. The truth of the matter is that the Red Sox would have been better served with Frank Castillo so far this year than with Lowe. Wrap your head around that fact and then you can start to undersand my frustration. Derek Lowe makes me long for the days of John Burkett - how's that for a cold slap of reality?
Lima Time

Jose Lima won last night to improve his record to 7-3 (as well as picking up a hit and and RBI). This gives me another excuse to run the picture of Jose Lima with his wife. Enjoy the bountifulness.

Morning Rant

The big news of the day (depending if you read the front section first or the sports section first) is either John Kerry picking John Edwards to be his running mate or the Red Sox coming back to Fenway for some home cooking and winning 11-0 last night.

We'll start with the Kerry / Edwards ticket.

This was first and foremost a safe choice. Edwards is a known commodity and is generally perceived as likeable. This choice guarantees the full support of the trial lawyers in this country and with their support - their money. The Kerry / Edwards ticket won't fail due to lack of funds. Edwards (as any choice would) also brings some negatives:

- He wasn't the first choice. It is well known that Kerry lusted after John McCain.
- He's a lawyer. Cheney may have made a ton of money off Haliburton but he didn't help drive up the costs of healthcare in this country by doing so. Edwards' riches came at a cost to the common man and look for the Republicans to drive this home. (Also start watching for references of Lionel Hutz for VP.)
- The trial lawyers may be happy with the choice but the US Chamber of Commerce definitely is not. Check yesterday's Wall Street Journal for details.
- The middle of the road Democrat may be happy with the choice but the Howard Dean contingent can't be happy with Edwards (and these are the majority of campaign volunteers).
- He doesn't have GRAVITAS

Let's take a closer look at that last one because I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere yet.

Truman was added to FDR's ticket because of the work he did in the Senate controlling cost overruns and waste in military spending in a time of war. Johnson was added to JFK's ticket because he was a mover and shaker in the Senate and he could deliver Texas. Bush 1 was added to Reagan's ticket because he not only was a Senator but also a former Ambassador to China and former head of the CIA (in fact for a long time - Bush was Reagan's acting NSC chief as well as VP). Cheney was added to Bush 2's ticket not because of any state he could deliver but because of the council he could offer.

What does Edwards bring to the ticket besides a petty face and lawyer money? Where's the gravitas?

I envision the announcement of Edwards being picked being watched at the White House and getting this sort of reaction:

Cheney: Edwards that no good motherfucker lawyer.
Bush: Big time.
Rove: This is a very good thing for us.

One thing that has many Democrats happy with the choice of Edwards is how they imagine he'll do in a debate against Cheney. This has to be the most asinine reason for choosing a running mate I have ever heard (besides don't underestimate the power of Cheney to deliver two or three cutting one liners during any debate that will be ALL anyone remembers). Besides - the debate I really want to see is between Laura Bush and Theresa Heinz Kerry.

As of this morning - the Vegas line still has Bush with a comfortable -$145 to +105 advantage over Kerry (risk $145 to win $100 on Bush or risk $100 to win $105 on Kerry). So if things remain the same - so will the Bush ticket. If Kerry / Edwards picks up steam - look for Cheney to drop out for health reasons. Among the usual suspects of VP replacements (Rice, Powell, McCain, Giuliani) - I would add the wild card / dark horse of George Herbert Walker Bush. Think about what a bomb shell that would be. Talk about adding gravitas and think about how that would sew up the vote of the elderly. (Hey if he can jump out of airplanes at 80 - why not the VP job? Just the rumor of Bush the elder is bound to add some points at the polls.)

OK - now the Red Sox.

The Red Sox need to pick up the pace (they're on track to win just 88 games) and last night was a good start. As I have been saying for a long time - the best for this team is yet to come (but that doesn't mean I don't want them to go and get Todd Helton).

Many people have been critical of Terry Francona for being too player friendly but one move he could make that would show he holds a strong hand and is looking out for the best interests of the team is to go to a 4-man rotation until maybe after the first 4 games after the All-Star game. Drop Lowe into the bullpen to do this and send a clear message that this is business and not some support group for head case free agent starters.

That seems like enough ranting for this morning.

PS - no I don't know what's up with

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Remember - You Can't Spell Kerry without "K-Y"

Top 5 Movies with a Number in the Title

1. The Ten Commandments
2. The Two Towers
3. Seven
4. Three Days of the Condor
5. (tie) 12 Angry Men (tie) Stalag 17 (tie) Twelve Monkeys
Miscellaneous Thoughts

Time to pile up the miscellaneous thoughts that occur to me during the day. I'll post them when there are enough.

Did you know that in addition to the Yellow Jersey in the Tour de France that connotes the overall leader that there is also a White Jersey for the top rider 25 or younger?... Recently I have had hits on my site for people looking for "gay Paul Loduca pictures" and "Ryan Klesko naked". I have no joke to make about this. Just wanted to share the information... Happy 58th birthday to President Bush... Happy big 5-0 to Willie Randolph... On this day in 1933 - the first MLB All-Star game is played at Comiskey Park... "the password is clitoris"... So John Kerry picked John Edwards as his running mate. There is a certain synergy there but no real sizzle. I agree with the Instapundit that Cheney will soon drop from the Republican ticket for health reasons and a big name gets added to the ticket. My short list of replacements for Cheney would be Condi Rice, Rudy Gulliani and maybe Colin Powell (what better way to silence someone than to make them VP?). Whoever is picked will add a lot more momentum than Kerry's pick and will immediately become the Republican her apparent. So let it be written - so let it be done...
Stream of Consciousness

OK - trying something different this morning. Last time I did a "stream of consciousness" rant - I was pretty happy with the results. So I figured what the heck - I'll do it again.

First thing to rant about this morning is the Red Sox.

Before the season started - many people (myself included) were talking about how well put together this team was. The rotation of Pedro, Schilling, Lowe and Wakefield was compared to the best in the game with very favorable results. The offence was considered the equal of last year's historic line-up. Things looked good for Red Sox Nation. But as they say, "the best laid plans of mice and men..."

Who could foresee Trot Nixon hurting his back driving his car to spring training? Who could foresee Nomar's "bruise" keeping him on the shelf for months (not days as originally reported)? Who could foresee Bill Mueller needing knee surgery? Byung-Yung Kim? Scott Williamson? And I have to say that I don't think Pedro was 100% to start the season. If you look at the tapes from his first few starts vs. how loose he is today - I think it is more than just the warmer weather (but Pedro never complained - so I guess we'll never know).

The Red Sox have yet to be completely healthy and have yet to hit a hot streak of their own. Now I may be a complete optimist but I think the best is yet to come. The Red Sox will be the Wild Card (at least) and I repeat the same question over and over - who would want to face this team in the playoffs?

Probably the most disappointing thing about the Red Sox "being closer to the Devil Rays than the Yankees" has been the attitude of the Red Sox fans. If Red Sox Nation was a European country - I'm afraid we would be France. Haughty, superior, condescending and willing to surrender at the first signs of difficulty. Sorry to say but that description fits.

As an aside - if this analogy works then I guess Larry Lucchino would be Jaque Chiraq. The French President seems to exist solely to try and cock-block the US at every turn and that would also seem to describe Lucchino's role against the "Evil Empire".

As a second aside - New England even seems to have it's own Vichy fans (the Vichy were the French who collaborated with the Germans for those in the audience victims of public school history education). You run into a surprising number of Yankee fans in New England (and I'm not talking Southern Connecticut here). Howard Dean for example was a Yankee fan who changed his (pin) stripes just before the New Hampshire primary. My roommate from college was another example (maybe it's a Vermont thing?).

OK - enough Red Sox blather. Let's turn to the "steak".

Eric Gagne streak of 84 consecutive saves ended last night and you can color me unimpressed. Don't get me wrong. I have been greatly impressed with Gagne. He's lights out. But I'm not falling down at the wonder that is 84 consecutive saves. It's not like it was 84 consecutive scoreless innings. It's not like Gagne is ever asked to give the team more than 3-outs. It's not like he didn't blow the save in last year's All-Star Game (whose theme was "This time it's real"). Gagne is the best closer in the game but his streak isn't in the same ballpark as Dimaggio's hit streak.

Finally today let me rant on Coach K. Who really thought he was going to leave his kingdom to be the vassal of another? This whole thing was about Coach K's ego. Pure and simple. There is a new school president at Duke and this was Coach K's not so subtle way of showing who really wears the crown a the school.

Time to give my two fingers a rest.

Monday, July 05, 2004

The Chess Queen

Interesting article on the story behind the queen being the most powerful chess piece on the chess board. I have wondered about this and I'll probaly end up trying to read this book.
Choosing Players for the All-Star Game

Every year without fail some deserving player is left off the All-Star roster. Every year people trot out articles on how it is time to change the selection process so that teams who don't have a "real" All-Star don't take away a roster spot from a more deserving player.

There are three truths about the All-Star game:

- MLB dictates that every team have a representative at the game
- Every year some deserving players are left off the roster
- the game is a made for TV exhibition

People always seem to debate about the first two truths while completely forgetting the third. Sure Frank Thomas may have been more deserving than Ken Harvey but guess what - there will be TV viewers in Kansas City who watch the game just to see Ken Harvey get his at-bat. Every ratings point counts.

I find it kinda ironic that the same people who complain the loudest about big market teams "buying championships" are often the same people who think the one representative per team rule has outlived its usefulness. Am I alone in seeing these concurrent attitudes as incongruous?

The All-Star Game is fine for the most part. I would leave it alone. The only rule change I would earnestly support is allowing each manager to bring back 2 position players and 2 pitchers who have already been in the game if the exhibition reaches extra innings.