Friday, September 30, 2005

Red Sox / Yankees - Game 1 Liveblog

Watching the game at home tonight, so I thought I'd liveblog while I watch.

Let me say right off the top that even though I don't have that "sure thing" feeling about the Sox this year - I can see a three game sweep against the Yankees. Follow me here:

Game 1 - David Wells against Wang - advantage Wells. As I said earlier today, he's been 7-1 with a 3.00 ERA at Fenway this year. Wang not so much.

Game 2 - Tim Wakefield against Randy Johnson - the last time they matched up, they both pitched gems. Wakefield has been the Ace of the team in September and the Red Sox offense at Fenway will be the difference. Red Sox win game 2.

Game 3 - Schilling vs. Mussina - now it gets interesting. If the Yankees lose the first two games then all the Sunday papers will be talking about choking and how they lost last year's ALCS after being up 3-0. Choke, choke, choke!! That's all you'll hear or read on Sunday if the Sox win the first two games.

Can you imagine Steinbrenner's reaction if the Yankees lose three straight after what happened last year? That will put too much pressure on the boys from the Bronx and it will be glorious to watch if you're a Sox fan.

7:25 - Yankees take a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st. No biggie. Wells will settle down.

7:35 You know David Ortiz should win the MVP not just because he always gets big RBI hits like the one that just tied the game at 1-1 but also because he has a much better nickname. I mean "Big Papi" vs. "A-Rod"? Come on - not even close!

7:45 Very nice catch by Manny. He doesn't get enough props for his play in the field. Sure he can zone out at times but he plays the wall as good as Jim Rice ever did and better than Ted Williams.

Just want to say that I've seen posts about Bill Simmons almost everywhere I visited today. I like Simmons and I accept he's got an ego that won't fit on a 747. That's part of what makes him what he is - and that is wildly popular. I see him as sort of this century's Damon Runyon speaking in the vernacular of pop culture and Boston sports much like Runyon used the vernacular of Broadway guys and dolls to create his own unique niche. (I think I may even write a whole column on this comparison later this week.)

7:55 - Jason Varitek hits his 22nd HR of the year to make it 2-1 Red Sox. I've been worried about Varitek's bat lately. In September he's hit just .169 with just a .195 slugging percentage.

8:00 - Just cracked my first beer of the night - a Wachusett Country Ale. Just for the heck of it - let me throw one of my Top 5's in the middle here:

Top 5 - Best Tasting Draft Beers

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

8:12 - Let me let David Pinto explain what happened to end the third:
Damon's an Idiot
Damon once again was on second for Ortiz, but this time David bounces back to the pitcher. Wang looks Johnny back to second, then throws out Ortiz. Damon, for some reason, decides to head for third and is put out in a run down. Why he tried that:

With two out.
With Manny coming up.
After he retreated to second.
Is beyond me.
8:18 - Jut asking but why can't Damon be given an error for that baserunning blunder? Just askin. Also just as an FYI David Wells hasn't walked more than 2 batters in a game all year and his strikeout high this year is seven (Wells has 4 so far this game).

8:55 - I haven't blogged anything in a while because frankly not much has happened and honestly I've been more interested in my Wachusett Country Ales than in blogging (Chris now starts to sing George Thorogood's I Drink Alone...)

9:07 Wang walks in a run to make it 3-1. If this was a little league game I'd be in the stands yelling, "pitcher's blowing up! Pitcher's blowing up!" And "You suck Wang!" (Just kidding there.) Bad play by the human growth hormone and the Red Sox lead is now 4-1. Older-dude hits a sacrifice fly and the Red Sox take a 5-1 lead. Yeah baby!

9:22 Derek Jeter hits a 2-run HR to narrow the gap to 5-3 Red Sox. If you asked most Red Sox fans what Yankees they are afraid of seeing at bat in a big situation - I bet many more would say Jeter, Sheffield or Matsui before they got to A-Rod (and on cue A-Rod strikes out).

OK my laptop battery ran out and I just wanted to sweat out the end of the game so blogging came to an end. One down - two to go.

One final thought: Before every at bat on Saturday, David Ortiz should yell out to Randy Johnson "Are you not entertained!" Or "AM I NOT MERCIFUL!" just to fuck with his head.
The Tipping Point

You never know where you'll find interesting things. I was reading Bill Simmons column that was supposed to be about the Red Sox (but was really about him) when Simmons used a term I was not familiar with
The Gladwell-like tipping point happened on Labor Day, during a rainout makeup game against Chicago -- originally a much-needed off day -- when the White Sox passed through town for, like, six hours and found more than enough time to dominate Boston at Fenway. That was the "uh-oh" moment.
(Emphasis added).

I did not know what this referred to so I Googled "Gladwell tipping point" and I found this book:

I read Gladwell's site and was interested:
It's a book about change. In particular, it's a book that presents a new way of understanding why change so often happens as quickly and as unexpectedly as it does. For example, why did crime drop so dramatically in New York City in the mid-1990's? How does a novel written by an unknown author end up as national bestseller? Why do teens smoke in greater and greater numbers, when every single person in the country knows that cigarettes kill? Why is word-of-mouth so powerful? What makes TV shows like Sesame Street so good at teaching kids how to read? I think the answer to all those questions is the same. It's that ideas and behavior and messages and products sometimes behave just like outbreaks of infectious disease. They are social epidemics. The Tipping Point is an examination of the social epidemics that surround us.
It sounds interesting to read on several levels. Has anyone out there read this book? I'd be curious to know your opinion of the book before I buy it from Amazon.
Just a Reminder

Hillary Can't Be Geena (Just as Howard Couldn't be Martin)

John Fund has an article in today's Wass Street Journal comparing the new Geena Davis show Commander in Chief with Hillary Clinton's 2008 Presidential bid.

I think Fund misses a central point. The fact just can't compete with the fiction.

Geena is an athletically gifted, beautiful woman whereas Hillary isn't. Davis will be protrayed in a positive light with everything literally scripted. Hillary will have every yawn, mis-step and nose pick magnified.

A perfect example of the truth not coming close to the fiction was seen in this last Presidential election. We had a highly educated liberal governor of a New England state who holds a doctorate and whose wife is an MD coming from obscurity to become the front runner in the race for president. That's the backstory to both Martin Sheen's character Jeb Bartlett in The West Wing and of Howard Dean. The problem is - the truth couldn't match the scripted fiction and the Dean campaign fell apart.

Hillary will likewise not look good in comparison to Geena Davis' character just as Howard Dean came up way short in comparison to Jeb Bartlett. The comparison will be fun to make for a while but in the end it will probably harm Hillary more than help her.
Red Sox / Yankees

I was going to post my thoughts on the possible outcomes from this weekend's series but Lyford does a much better job in detail.

Tonight David Wells goes for the Red Sox vs. Chien-Ming Wang of the Yankees. The Bookies have Wells as a -$118 to -$102 favorite (meaning you would have to bet $118 to win $100 on the Red Sox). This is about even in betting terms. This year Wells has been huge (literally and figuratively) at Fenway. He's gone 7-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 11 starts. In his last start against the Yankees - Wells went 7 innings giving up just 1 run. Wang is OK on the road - going 3-2 with a 4.74 ERA in 7 road starts but he is a rookie and the Red Sox have faced him before.

I don't bet on the Red Sox but Wells looks to be a best bet tonight.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Separated at Birth?

Vinnie Testaverde and Bizarro Superman
Judith Miller Still in Jail

I bet you forgot all about poor Judith Miller sitting in jail because she won't reveal her source in the Valerie Plame mess. Well it's no coincidence that your attention has been drawn away from Miller's plight. Do you think it's a coincidence that the charges against Tom Delay came out of Texas? At the state level? And they come out now when reporters were just about to revisit unfinished business? And the target happens to be a very loyal foot soldier to the President? Who is the acknowledged master of Texas politics?

Yup - he who must be named - Karl Rove is behind this.

This is all a Rovian Plot.

But isn't everything these days?
Information I Did Not Need but Now Will Never Forget

Tom Wolfe's trademark white suits are usually made out of flanel.

Yup - flanel.

HT Squidly
Heh Heh

A picture is worth a thousand words.

I will hold my tongue and not make that joke about Chef from South Park and his chocolate salty balls that I was going to make. Nope I won't make any comment at all.
Not Even a Photoshop Job

Somehow I don't see the Yankees doing things like this. Not making any editorial comment - just sayin'.
Red Sox Update

I haven't written much about the Red Sox lately because to do so would be depressing.

There is a feeling that comes with winning teams and I just don't get that vibe from this year's Red Sox. Let me explain about what "feeling" I'm talking about.

A couple of weeks ago I was at the BC / Florida State game and when FSU scored in the third quarter to go ahead 21-17, the wind just went out of the entire crowd because there wasn't a feeling that the Eagles could really beat the Seminoles. Last Sunday, when there was 81 seconds to go and the score was tied - everyone in New England just knew Tom Brady and the Patriots would march down the field, score and win the game. Everyone just felt it. People in New England have that feeling for the Patriots. They're just like the Celtics of the 1980's in that regard.

This feeling isn't a bandwagon, jumping in with winning teams thing either. Last year when the Red Sox were down 3-0 to the Yankees, I still had the feeling that team could come back to win and I even detailed the exact scenario in these pages.

I don't get that "we're going to win" feeling this year. (And yes I realize that I don't play for the team so I shouldn't use "we" when describing the Red Sox.)

The reason many Sox fans, like me, don't have a good feeling with club is because of pitching. I know hindsight is 20/20 but wouldn't that 4th contract year for Pedro in exchange for a real shot at a back-to-back championships look like a good deal now? Maybe management should have pulled the trigger way back on that Bartolo Colon for Bronson Arroyo deal or this year's trade deadline Arroyo, Kelly Stopach and prospects for AJ Burnett deal. Going cheap with Wade Miller seemed a low risk-high reward deal at the time but it turned into a low risk-low reward thing in reality.

The only pitcher (starter or releiver) that the fans have any confidence in is Tim Wakefield (and maybe rookie Craig Hansen). You can't win with a pitching staff in shambles and that's the word to use when talking about the 2005 pitching staff.

People will quickly be turning their attention to the 2006 Red Sox even before the end of this season because the feeling that this team can win just isn't there. This will be evidenced by all the Johnny Damon contract speculation you'll be hearing even during the Yankee series.

I wish I was wrong about the Red Sox but I feel that I'm right.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Heh Heh

I'm just gonna steal this joke from Big Stupid Tommy
Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his daily briefing.

He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed."

"OH NO!" the President Bush exclaims. "That's terrible!"

His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the president sits, near tears, head in hands.

After a long, uncomfortable silence, the President slowly looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?"
You have to be able to laugh at your own.
Bill Belichick - the Greatest NFL Coach of All-Time

That's what Dan Pompei says. I won't argue against the premise because no matter where or when Belichick is one of those guys who could (as Bum Phillips would say) "beat your'n with his'n and his'n with your'n".

Very good article - well worth the read by any NFL fan. This stood out for me:
The journey of possibly the best coach in the history of the National Football League goes through a rocky stretch of road starting at a press conference in Berea, Ohio, in 1995.

There, the coach announces the Browns have signed controversial receiver Andre "Bad Moon" Rison. Team owner Art Modell goes to five banks before he can get a loan to pay the $5 million signing bonus.

Within a year, the cash-poor Browns leave town for a better deal in Baltimore, Rison is cut and Belichick is fired.
I think this answers the question of whether Belichick would ever trade for a Randy Moss or a Terrell Owens. He's been there and done that and he knows how many championships coaches will win with those guys - ZERO.
Captain Carl

Excellent article on Carl Yastrzemski by one of the best writers around, Stan Grossfeld. My favorite tidbit:
''I remember Ted [Williams] asked me to go fishing with him once at Winter Haven," he says. ''It was one of those ponds that are stocked with fish. He told me not to bring any live bait. I got there and he was already waiting for me. He said, 'What's in the cooler?' and I said, 'I brought a couple of beers.' He said, 'No beer on this boat,' and I said, 'No fishing for me on this boat. See ya.' "

Now Yaz just brings bottled water. ''I haven't drank beer for 15 years," he says.
Yaz was a bit before my time. I remember the older Yaz not the Yaz of '67. I remember that Yaz popped up to end the 78 playoff game but I forget that he also hit a home run off Ron Guidry that day. He was just 5'10" and 180 pounds but he was the first AL player with 3,000 hits and 400 home runs. He was one of the all-time greats and I for one will try to appeciate him more.
What if Instapundit was a Woman?

That's the question The Alliance is asking. I must say the Glenn or Glennda aspect amused me. For what its worth - I think Instapundit would be very similar if written by a woman instead of a man. The only changes you might see would be links about Mazda sportscars would be replaced with links to Volvo stationwagons and nanotechnology themes would be replaced by megastructure themes.
Max Schmeling

Max Schmeling would have been 100-years old today. Max is mostly remembered as a champion boxer and as a man Hitler tried to turn into a symbol of Aryan superiority. What is little known is Schmeling's heroic humanitarianism:
In an article, published in History Today, two professors at the University of Rhode Island, Robert Wiesbord and Norbert Heterich, tell how Schmeling agreed to hide the two teenage sons of a Jewish friend of his, David Lewin, during the awful time of Krystallnacht, November 1938 when Nazi pogroms against the Jews reached new heights.

He kept the Lewin boys, Henry and Werner, in his apartment at the Excelsior Hotel in Berlin, leaving word at the desk that he was ill and no one was to visit him. Later, when the rage of hate died down a little bit, did Schmeling help them flee the country to safety. They escaped and came to the United States where one of them, Henri Lewin, became a prominent hotel owner. This episode remained under shrouds until 1989, when Henry Lewin invited Schmeling to Las Vegas to thank him for saving his life. To this day, Henri Lewin believes that he and his brother owe their lives to Max Schmeling and he is convinced that Schmeling himself could have died for his humanitarian gesture.

Hitler never forgave Schmeling for refusing to join the Nazi party, so he had him drafted into the Paratroops and sent him on suicide missions.
Real Life Win One for the Gipper

This post at Newmark's Door about Chalie Weis' recent decent act to a kid dying of cancer reminded me of another inspirational story.

This year the Irish were on the other end of an inspirational cancer story but back in 1993 they were on the receiving end.

Notre Dame was #1 in the country, coming off a big win against Florida State and was sure it would win the national championship. All that stood in their way was Boston College. What the Irish did not know was that the Eagles had "adopted" a kid with cancer. Tom Coughln had made arrangements for this kid to attend all the practices and home games during the season and the kid was basically treated as a member of the team. The week of the Notre Dame game the kid died and his last wish was to see Boston College beat Notre Dame.

The kid did not live to see the final score of Boston College 41 / Notre Dame 39 but the Eagles players knew he was watching somewhere.

True story. I wish I could find a link. It makes me misty every time I think about the story.
Martha Burk Opposes John Roberts Nomination

Martha Burk and the National Council of Women's Organizations (NCWO) have come out against the nomination of John Roberts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. This stance made me think of two questions:

1. When Burk was trying to get Augusta National to integrate their men's only clubhouse the New York Times time and again portrayed her as an important voice of women in America. I would argue that the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice will have a much bigger impact on women than getting a woman into a private golf club and yet the Times has not made mention of the NWCO's opposition to Roberts. If Burk is such an important voice for women in this country - why isn't the New York Times covering her on this subject?

2. Eric at Off Wing Opinion pointed out that that Burk is also protesting the NHL and their new ad campaign. Could it be that Burk is just throwing things up against the wall to see what sticks?

What does Heywood Jablome think of all this?
Gotham Girls Roller Derby

I may be warped but I think this is way cool! Now I'll be humming Jim Croce's Roller Derby Queen all day.

I love the fact that "games" between two teams are called "bouts" just like in boxing. Providence plays Boston on October 14th and I just may have to go.

HT Eric at Off Wing Opinion
Sheehan Calls McCain a "Warmonger"

Cindy Sheehan met with Senator John McCain and all McCain got out of the meeting was the label "warmonger". It serves the attentioned craving McCain right - he had no business inserting himself into this mess and giving the unbalanced Sheehan more publicity along the way.

What interests me is Sheehan's choice of words.

Many new words are formed by simly putting two words together - for instance "pancake" which comes from a combination of the word "pan" and "cake" to make pancake. The word "warmonger" comes of course from combining the words "warm" and "onger". My understanding is that Onger is a variation of eggs Bennedict but instead of using Canadian bacon - breaded and fried eggplant is used. So my question is - is "warmonger" a bad thing? Warm would be the right temperature - so is she calling McCain a good thing? "Hotonger" could burn the roof of your mouth and "coldonger" doesn't sound too appealing. Never mind the question of whether using eggplant instead of a meat in a breakfast meal is the right thing to begin with.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Heh Heh

This may be both cruel and unusual but it did make me laugh out loud.

HT Sports Frog (specificly Costumed Vigilante)
The Extra 52 Seconds

As LargeBill first pointed out to me - the Patriots benefited from an extra 52 seconds in Sunday's win over the Steelers. puts it this way:
Tom Brady, among the leagues best in late-game drives, led the Patriots down field for the winning score against the Steelers in 1:21 on Sunday.

But could he have done it in 29 seconds?
I say "yes" but we'll never know. I do know a couple of things though:

1. The game was tied and the chances were very good that Brady would have driven the Pats to a winning score in either those 29 seconds or in over-time.

2. The Steelers may fall trap into becoming like the Raiders whose fans cries of "if it wasn't for the tuck rule" can be heard carried by the wind on dark and stormy nights. Now New England fans will get to hear Pittsburgh fans talk about the extra 52 second conspiracies and how the NFL front office and officials are against them.

3. The Celtics used to have this kind of aura. People would blame Red Auerbach or leprechauns for any sort of mishap. Now the Patriots have the aura.

4. The extra time was a problem and this problem will be fixed. Chances are we don't see this problem again.
Top 5 - AL Manager of the Year

Here's how I would rank the candidates for AL Manager of the Year

1. Eric Wedge Cleveland
2. Ken Macha Oakland
3. Terry Francona Boston
4. Joe Torrie New York
5. Lou Pinella Tampa Bay

Monday, September 26, 2005

Don Adams Dead at 82

Actor Don Adams has died. He was probably best known for playing Maxwell Smart in the hit comedy show Get Smart. I remember Adams first for playing the voice of Tennessee Tuxedo ("Tennessee Tuxedo will not fail!") and then for Get Smart. Basically, I knew Adams from reruns.

His 1975 show, Don Adams Screen Test may have been the birth of reality TV now that I think of it. Regular people would play famous scenes from movies and the person who did the best according to a panel of judges won prizes and a bit role on a TV show or movie.

Even my kids recognize Adams unique voice because he later became the voice of Inspector Gadget.

EDIT: Found this tidbit via Instapundit.

I knew that Mel Brooks and Buck Henry wrote the pilot to Get Smart but I never knew that Adams was a Marine who served on Guadalcanal.
Top 5 - Sci-Fi TV Shows

Greg had a link to's Top 50 Sci-Fi Shows but I like my top 5 much better.

1. Rod Serling's Twilight Zone
2. Star Trek
3. X-Files
4. Dr. Who
5. (tie) Star Trek the Next Generation (tie) Mystery Science Theater 3000

The list was missing both The Night Stalker and Land of the Lost not to mention Red Dwarf.
Uber Harpy

Eric had a post up about how Martha Burk has targeted the NHL because their new ad campaign is somehow demeaning to women. I think most people will agree that Burk's 15 minutes of fame are already spent but I wanted to mention 2 things.

1. Van Walker who used to blog over at came up with one of the most perfect nicknames in the history of sports when he tagged Burk as "Uber Harpy" Martha Burk.

2. I know the whole argument that Burk is trying to make s inane but wouldn't it be cool to see her try to debate Don Cherry about it? I think that would be pay-per-view good.
NFL Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous NFL thoughts and observations.

- That 4th quarter against Pittsburgh is illustration of why the Patriots are champions. After the Steelers scored a TD to tie the score at 20-20, thousands of Patriot fans all thought "they left too much time on the board". I knew that Tom Brady would put the team in position for the win. Just knew it. It was like giving Larry Bird in his prime the ball at the end of a game with the score tied.

- Nick Saban is exhibit A on what a good coach can do for an organization. If Dave Wannstedt was coach the Dolphins this year - I'm convinced they would be 0-3 right now.

- Did you hear any of the announcers talk about how the Patriots miss Charlie Weiss during the fourth quarter of the Pittsburgh game? I didn't think so.

- Did anyone else catch Paul McGuire of ESPN say that "Antonio Gates catches everything with his hands"? What did McGuire think people caught balls with - their chins? I'm really glad that McGuire is getting put out to pasture after this year. And yes I know he was contrasting a "hands" guy with a guy who catches ball with his body but I really wanted to work that balls on chin joke in there.

- Chad Pennington = Rob Johnson. No question in my mind. OK maybe Chad Pennington = Tony Eason.

- If I was starting a team - I would much rather have Carson Palmer as my QB than Ben Roethlisberger. Just sayin'.

- After 3 games - there are 9 teams in the AFC who have scored more points than the vaunted Indianapolis offense. There are 20 teams total in the NFL with more points scored than the Colts.

- Drew Bledsoe can't run yet he's been sacked 6 times to Michael Vick's 7 times. Put me in the camp that says Vick is overrated. The Falcons would be better off with Trent Dilfer as starting QB and they definitely would have been better off with Ladainian Tomlinson at RB than Vick at QB. Vick and the Falcons play the Patriots in a couple of weeks and I can almost guarantee that Vick will have 3 turnovers against the Patriots and he'll basically cost them the game.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The West Wing

The new season of The West Wing started tonight with the big story line being who gets to be the next TV President - Alan Alda or Jimmy Smits with a lesser current story line of who was the White House leak on the existence of a military space shuttle.

First some general observations - whoever does the hair for the show should be fired. CJ Cregg (Allison Janney) is supposed to be a blonde, Oliver Babbish is supposed to have a goatee and what's up with Donna Moss's (Janel Moloney) new hairstyle? Is everybody getting a new look? What's next - Toby wearing a toupee?

The lighting on the show is still too dark. That's the one thing that really bothers me since John Wells took over from Aaron Sorkin. Just too damn dark. Its not artsy - its just dark.

Tonight's show opened with a flash forward three years to the opening of the Bartlett Presidential Library. I couldn't help but wonder why write a scene like that when many people would just look at it and say "where's Sam Seaborn?"

The big point of tonight's show was to get Congressman Santos and Leo McGarry on the same page. OK - boring but done. Let me take this opportunity to point out that the White House leak subplot is way too predictable. How obvious is it that Toby is the leak? His brother was an astronaut and of course he did everything he could to make sure the stranded astronauts were saved. While I'm on the subject - how lame is it that The West Wing is stealing plot elements from Armageddon?

I don't know who wins between Alan Alda (Arnold Vinick) and Jimmy Smits (Matthew Santos) but I do know that Donna Moss WILL come back into Josh Lyman's life in either a professional or personal capacity. I also know that what made the show great in the first place was snappy dialog and that's something that has been sorely missing since Sorkin left the show. Surely there's some screenwriters out there that can write good dialog - right?

Friday, September 23, 2005

U Delaware

Hey I'm down in Newark, DE for the Holy Cross game this weekend. If anyone knows of a good bar at the U of Delaware - please let me know in the comments.

Top 5 Bruce Springsteen Songs

Today is Bruce's 56th birthday. Happy birthday boss.

1. Darkness on the Edge of Town
2. Backstreets
3. Candy's Room
4. For You
5. (tie) Point Blank (tie) Racing in the Street (tie) Trapped (tie) Jungleland
Corey Dillon

I heard that yesterday all the Patriot's news in the local papers was centered on Corey Dillon and his slow start to the season (99 yards on 37 carries). I imagine at least one writer made a "when did we trade for Antoine Smith" joke.

I think people should back off the criticism of Dillon until at least the 6th game of the season. It should be remembered that two years ago Curtis Martin got off to a slow start (133 yards on 40 carries after 3 games) and many writers were writing about how Martin lost a step and that the Jets should go in another direction. How silly do those writers look today?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Superman Should Have Had a Better Agent

Here's what Ben Roethlisberger had to say about Tom Brady:
"To me, he's the best quarterback in the NFL -- hands down," Roethlisberger said. "People say (Peyton) Manning. Tom Brady is, by far, the best quarterback in the NFL. The things he does, the way he manages a game, manages the offense. It seems like he has a force field around him all the time. It is fun to watch him play."

Roethlisberger called Brady -- who returns to Heinz Field on Sunday for the first time since leading the Patriots past the Steelers in the AFC title game - Superman.

"It seems like he can make all the reads before the ball is even snapped," Roethlisberger said. "It's like he has special powers. That's how good he is. Hopefully, our defense will have a bunch of Kryptonite."
Roethlisberger is wrong. I would like to point out that Superman never made any money saving the world from Solomon Grundy but Tom Brady just signed a 6-year, $60 million contract.

Speaking of Solomon Grundy:
No one ever mentioned it on the [Super Friends] show, but I bet Grundy's main super power was really smelling like ass. Maybe that was Luthor's plan - make sure all the Super Friends have to hold their breath when they're fighting him.
I think if Jeff George was a super-villian - he'd be Solomon Grundy.

HT to the Sports Frog for the Roethlisberger quote.
Odds to Win 2005 World Series

Here are the current odds to win the World Series:

St Louis Cardinals 3/1
New York Yankees 4/1
Chicago White Sox 7/1
Houston Astros 15/2
Atlanta Braves 8/1
Boston Red Sox 8/1
Cleveland Indians 9/1
Anaheim Angels 11/1
Oakland Athletics 12/1
San Diego Padres 17/1
Philadelphia Phillies 30/1
Florida Marlins 35/1

For most of the season, the Red Sox were equal to or favored over the Yankees but now....

It is also interesting to note that the Red Sox are still favored over the Indians even though the Indians currently have a better shot at the playoffs. This is more a function of the amount of money that would be bet on Boston vs. Cleveland and not a reflection of the true odds.

The best bet may be the Astros. Their starting pitching could easily make a run to a championship.
Red Sox vs. Yankees

The Red Sox find themselves in second place as of today. Everything points to the AL coming down to a three-game showdown against the Yankees at Fenway Park the last three days of the season. Here's some points I'd like to make:

1. The best team will win. If the Red Sox come in second - so be it. No crying from me. Both the Yankees and the Red Sox have had to overcome a lot. One team will probably miss the playoffs. The Yankees have come back from a lot of games. If they fall short - they have nothing to be ashamed of. If the Red Sox miss the playoffs it will be due to the weakness of pitching staff finally coming home to roost.

2. I speak for most Red Sox fans when I say - we really want the White Sox to go into full free-fall. That's the only way the wildcard comes out of the East. Cleveland is the toughest team in the league right now and they will definitely make the playoffs.

3. The injuries to Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke really hurt and in the end - those two injuries may be the reason the 2005 Sox miss the playoffs. However, those two players were also the reason the 2004 Sox won the World Series. If the season isn't extended into October this year - I'll remain thankful to those two players for 2004 and turn my attention fulltime to football.

4. The Yankees have 7 road games remaining on their schedule and they should not overlook Toronto at home. Oh how I wish Halliday was still pitching for the Blue Jays.

5. Mo Rivera and Derek Jeter vs. Mike Timlin and Edgar Renteria. This may be even more the reason why the Sox are in second while the Yankees are in first today.

6. The day off for the Red Sox today comes at a good point for the fans too. Most of us were getting burned out.

7. Many Red Sox fans want to blame Terry Francona but the only thing I blame him for is sticking with Kevin Millar all season. Millar is a stiff and if the Red Sox lose by one game - then I'm laying it squarely on the doorstep of Bigmouth Millar. If anything sticks in my craw from 2005 - its the play of Millar.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

American Casualties in Iraq - A Perspective

Since March 20th of 2003 - there have been 1,908 American military casualties in Iraq. That's about an average of 64.5 per month. I know that the math is morbid but what got me thinking about the numbers was this post by The Happy Carpenter - specifically this comment:
The media's breathless tabulation of casualties in Iraq--now, over 1,800 deaths--is generally devoid of context. Here's some context: between 1983 and 1996, 18,006 American military personnel died accidentally in the service of their country. That death rate of 1,286 per year exceeds the rate of combat deaths in Iraq by a ratio of nearly two to one.
People join the military and sometimes these people die. They die in peacetime and they die in times of war. That's the sad truth.

The number of US troops in Iraq is usually reported at between 120,000 and 150,000. Put another way - the fatality rate for a member of the US military in Iraq in 2004 was about 565 fatalities per 100,000 troops. Stay with me on this comparison because I'm coming back to it later:

565 fatalities per 100,000 troops in Iraq in 2004
92.4 fatalities per 100,000 workers in the logging industry in 2004
92.4 fatalities per 100,000 for pilots and flight engineers in 2004
86.4 fatalities per 100,000 fishermen in 2004

(Source for occupational fatality stats)

Another bit of perspective that is often overlooked is the fact that our troop deployment to the Middle East did not happen in a vacuum.

Prior to the invasion of Iraq, specifically between 1991 and 2003, the US and our allies had significant troop deployments to enforce the so-called "No-Fly Zones". Some estimates say that the US had over 200 planes, 19 ships and 22,000 military personnel dedicated to enforcing these no-fly zones.

The US flew more missions and fired more missiles enforcing the no-fly zones than we did during the entire Kosovo War. Even though we had all those missions - we did not lose any pilots to enemy fire in the no-fly zones. That means it was statistically safer to be a pilot or flight engineer in these war zones than it was in the US last year.

Now some other numbers to throw out there to kinda tie my whole point together. While we were enforcing the no-fly zones, the country of Iraq, all 26 million, was under the rule of one brutal dictator. This dictator was using money that was supposed to go to food and medicine for "his" people and instead using the money on palaces, military uses and on mass graves. His actions were killing his own people at a rate that doesn't seem to get much mention in the press.

Just about two and a half years ago, Andrew Sullivan wrote the following at his blog (sorry I don't have the link):
Sanctions are inevitably the cornerstone of containment, and in Iraq, sanctions kill. In this case, containment is not an alternative to war. Containment is war: a slow, grinding war in which the only certainty is that hundreds of thousands of civilians will die. The Gulf War killed somewhere between 21,000 and 35,000 Iraqis, of whom between 1,000 and 5,000 were civilians. Based on Iraqi government figures, UNICEF estimates that containment kills roughly 5,000 Iraqi babies (children under 5 years of age) every month, or 60,000 per year. Other estimates are lower, but by any reasonable estimate containment kills about as many people every year as the Gulf War - and almost all the victims of containment are civilian, and two-thirds are children under 5. Each year of containment is a new Gulf War. Saddam Hussein is 65; containing him for another 10 years condemns at least another 360,000 Iraqis to death. Of these, 240,000 will be children under 5.
Think about those numbers for a minute. Think about how many children under 5 have been "saved" by our actions in Iraq. Now look at all the stories about freedom breaking out all around the Middle East.

Consider that the men and women of the US military who are making this all possible are all volunteers. They volunteer to do a job that is statistically about 6-times as dangerous as logging. Their brave actions have given freedom to millions and saved many thousands of lives.

No matter how you do the math - it would be difficult to calculate the debt we owe to our military men and women serving in Iraq for their service. I think that the calculus of just counting how many of them die and judging ther success by this number is about the greatest injustice I have seen in my life.
Joe Sheehan Interview

Good stuff from Red Sox Nation:
RSN: How would you compare, and project, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez?

JS: They've become similar hitters now, although Ramirez was at 23 what it took Ortiz another four years to become. Ortiz is four years younger and has a little better handle of the strike zone at the moment. Ramirez is exiting the back end of his peak, and while still a great hitter, isn't the same one who was an MVP candidate from 1999-2002. Neither player has any defensive value or speed.

On a year-to-year basis, I'd rather have Ortiz, who should sustain his peak and be a better hitter than Ramirez in 2005 and 2006, at least. His body type makes me think he could have a rapid decline, along the lines of what Mo Vaughn and Kent Hrbek experienced. Ramirez could shift into Edgar Martinez mode, especially if he were to become a DH in a few years, where he just hits .300/.400/.500 until he can't physically run the bases any longer. I wouldn't be surprised to see him retire after Ortiz, even given the age difference.

Loosely speaking, David Ortiz is a good hitter who's had an MVP peak. Ramirez is a Hall of Famer, maybe an inner-circle one.
Read the whole thing. Good stuff.
Player Comparison

Just sayin'

Tim Wakefield - 15-11 / 205.66 IP / 138 K / 4.07 ERA
Randy Johnson - 14-8 / 204.33 IP / 195 K / 4.01 ERA
Top 5 - Best Bill Murray Movies

Today's Bill's 55th birthday. Happy birthday you wildman.

1. Groundhog Day
2. Stripes
3. Caddyshack
4. Lost in Translation
5. (tie) Meatballs (tie) Ghostbusters (tie) Quick Change
The Iraqi President Says "Thank You"

Interesting letter from Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.
The rapidity of the democratization and reform of Iraq is staggering. There was no German state for four years after the Second World War. By contrast, Iraq has moved from a centralized, one-man dictatorship to a decentralized, federal republic in half that time.

Inevitably, there have been stresses and strains. In Iraq these have been amplified by the terrorism of the remnants of the fascist Baathist dictatorship and our interfering neighbors. To contain these tensions, and to defend our young democracy, requires the support of American and other troops. Foreign forces are needed to train and equip the new Iraqi armed forces and to give Iraq its own counterterrorism capability. Only the United States and its closest allies are able to provide such assistance.
The speed at which we defeated Saddam and turned Iraq into a democracy has no parallel in history. All Americans should be proud at what we accomplished - instead some would use it to divide us. The bottom line:
Without American forces, the vision of American leadership and the quiet fortitude of the American people, Iraqis would be almost alone in the world. With its allies, the United States has provided Iraqis with an unprecedented opportunity. Iraqis have responded by enthusiastically embracing democracy and volunteering to fight for their country. By giving us the tools, your troops help us to defend Iraqi democracy and to finish the job of uprooting Baathist fascism.
Top 5 - NL Rookie of the Year

Here's how I see the race for NL Rookie of the Year.

1. Jeff Francoeur Braves
2. Willy Taveras Astros
3. Ryan Howard Phillies
4. Zach Duke Pirates
5. (tie) Clint Barmes Rockies (tie) Garrett Atkins Rockies

Taveras may be the least talented among the candidates but he rates so high because he's played all year for a team that will probably make the playoffs. This was Clint Barmes award to lose and lose it he did when he got injured.
Red Sox Magic Number

The Red Sox magic number is now 11. Any combination of 11 Red Sox wins or Yankee losses will clinch the division title for the Sox.

11 to play for the Sox and their magic number is also 11. This is tighter than I would have liked.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Lynch Family Book Fair - or How My Day Went

I had a very busy day (I will refrain from any Teddy Geisel Hop on Pop rhyming) and my two youngest kids had their first book fair of the year plus my wife had a ladies night out. This confluence of events brought together a confluence of events.

Blogwise today was a banner day here at A Large Regular.. I had about 13,000 hits from my latest Instalanche (duel Instalanche? - Glenn did mention my post twice). That's great! An Instalanche is something a blogger like me savors. I've had eight or nine now and each one is akin to the blogger high a heroine junkie probably experiences when that needle first pierces the skin. I bet the behind the scenes biography of Instapundit is probably called Train Spotting II (I'm just kidding - I've never done heroin but can it be more addicting than blogging?).

First off - sorry for the lack of posting today. I had to go to HQ and we had some Internet access issues. My company has a very unique solution to IP congestion issues but it doesn't work re: firewall issues. (FYI normally real-time IP flows cause congestion at just 8-10% of network utilization but my company can pump that up to 75-80% plus - without packet loss - email me if you have applications! I work on commission!)

Anyway - about my post about Clinton and the "new and old media" - some very valid points were made in the comments. Many of the people who visit here think I'm a died-in-the-wool Republican but its probably more true that I'm a Democrat that wants to believe.

I got some additional thoughts on the subject but I'll probably post them later.

Today was the first of many book fairs for my two youngest. As far as fund raisers go - I like book fairs the best. Magazine drives probably fall second on the list but the other junk drives really drive me nuts. Teach the kids the Four R's and I'll teach them how to sell - thank you very much.

Anyway part deuce - my wife was heading out and she fed the youngest three but the oldest had crew practice. When I got home I decided on an impromptu Lynch Book Fair. A local bookstore has a very good restaurant/cafe and I gave each kid who already had dinner $6 to pick out a book ($6 just because I knew I'd spend $20 between the three kids). My son was upset because he had already read every Animorph book they had (he's in 3rd grade and has been tested at a 136+ IQ) so he settled on a Secrets of Droon book plus a magazine. The other kids found their books while my oldest had some dinner (vegetable shepherds pie plus side of red mashed potatoes) and I had a beer and read a book (Ace on the River by Barry Greenstein).

Well that's my day so far. Let me end by saying that my dream is to sometime greet visitors to my home by saying "Welcome to the Bonanza my friends!" and mean it without dementia or asking if they would like a smoking or non-smoking section.

Top 5 - AL Rookie of the Year

Here's how I currently see the AL Rookie of the Year race.

1. Huston Street A's
2. Tadahito Iguchi White Sox
3. Gustavo Chacin Blue Jays
4. Joe Blanton A's
5. (tie) Nick Swisher A's (tie) Scott Kazmir Devil Rays

Street wins the award even though Iguchi may be more deserving because there is a bias against Japanese players and because the White Sox are choking so badly. In addition, Street is the poster boy for what MLB wants their players to be. He's articulate, educated and he has a sense of community and responsibility. In short - he's more likeable than Iguchi.

Russ Adams of Toronto just missed making the cut.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Clinton Criticizes Bush on ABC's This Week (Yawn!)- AKA More Harm than Good

Much of the blogosphere is abuzz today because of what former President Bill Clinton said on ABC's Sunday morning politcal program This Week.

Betsy's Page links to the Anchoress who looks at the motivation behind Clinton's comments and what she sees isn't flattering to Clinton.

Powerline also looks into the This Week comments by Clinton and comes to this scathing conclusion:
Again and again, President Bush has tried to work with the Democrats as if they were loyal Americans first, and partisans second. He has treated Bill Clinton with a friendship and respect that, candidly, is disproportionate to Clinton's meager accomplishments. Again and again, the Democrats have rebuffed Bush's overtures and taken advantage of his patriotism and good faith. Clinton's politically-motivated tissue of lies and distortions is just the latest example out of many. But it is unprecedented, coming from a former President. That is a sad thing: the latest wound inflicted on the body politic by the Democratic Party.
Lorie Byrd at PoliPundit calls Clinton's performance "shameless".

Personally, I'm not surprised that Clinton is taking the path blazed by Jimmy Carter (sorry Powerline guys - this act is nothing new). What does interest me is the "old media vs. new media" aspect of this story.

George Stephanopolous hasn't exactly been a ratings darling Let's say the This Week show was slightly better than its normal ratings and had 2.5 million viewers. Who were those viewers? Some were sure to be hardcore Democrats but Clinton was preaching to the choir with them. Others like Lorie Byrd, John Hinderaker and the Anchoress were obviously listening and listening closely.

How many people do you think read what that trio had to say about Clinton's comments (plus Betsy's traffic and the other blogs who commented but I didn't name)? I'll SWAG and say maybe 200,000. That's just today. Unlike This Week (which for all intents and purposes exists just for those precious few moments of Sunday morning airtime) - there will be more people reading what the bloggers wrote about Clinton tomorrow and the next day. In the future when people Google "Clinton This Week appearence" - they won't get George Stephanopolous' show - they'll get the blogs that commented on Clinton's comments.

When all's said and done - I'd bet that the number of people who learned of Clinton's comments with the added context of the blogger analysis will far outweigh the original audience of the original This Week show.

All this without the benefit of an Instalanche from Glenn Reynolds on the subject.

Clinton did himself (and his wife) more harm than good with his comments. I wonder if he's new media savvy enough to realize it.

EDIT: Welcome Instapundit readers - I guess its guaranteed that more people will see Clinton's comments in context now.
Amazing Grace

Many times on a long drive or long walk - I've tried to come up with a list of the five greatest American novelists or novels. I've never been able to come up with a list that I feel comfortable with. Too many variables and styles. Poe's technical style was better than Twain's and the time difference makes it difficult to compare to Hemingway or Fitzgerald and what about Melville or Faulkner. I can't even narrow my list of the great American novels to less than ten - never mind the greatest American novel.

There is no doubt in my mind when it comes to the greatest American song ever written. No doubt at all. The greatest American song ever written is Amazing Grace by John Newton. Everything else is a distant second.

EDIT: I was informed and I confirmed that John Newton was from Old England and not New England as I thought. As I said in the comments "D'oh!"
What if Pedro Stayed with the Red Sox?

Just saying but consider Pedro's numbers this year and then take a look at the pitching leaders in the AL this year. If Pedro Martinez had stayed with the Red Sox - I think he'd be the front-runner for the AL Cy Young right now.

Pedro 2005 w/ Mets: 15-7 / 2.80 ERA / 212 IP / 207 K

I think Pedro would have a couple more wins with the Sox because the the offensive firepower and I'd guess his ERA would be a half run higher in the AL. So if Pedro was 17-7 with a 3.30 ERA - who would have been better in the AL? Who would have been in a better position to win the Cy Young Award?

What's ironic is that many people predicted that moving to the NL gave Pedro a better shot at another Cy. The thinking went that Johan Santana, Curt Schilling or Randy Johnson would be too tough to beat in the AL but the NL was wide-open.
A Different Twist to the Musberger Drinking Game?

I shouldn't laugh but:
Capt. Allen Soukup said Musburger was cited at 6:10 p.m. Saturday on a public street just west of Memorial Stadium. Musburger was a passenger in the car and was drinking a beer, Soukup said — a Budweiser.

Musburger, 66, had just finished broadcasting the Huskers' game against the University of Pittsburgh
To be honest, my respect for Brent Musberger just went up a notch.

HT Sports Frog
Red Sox Magic Number

The Red Sox magic number is now 12. Any combination of 12 Red Sox wins or Yankee losses will clinch the division title for the Sox.

The Red Sox and Yankees both lost yesterday - reducing the magic number by one.

Rumor has it that sales of Zoloft in the Boston area are at their all-time peak.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Just a Reminder

Two years ago today, Hurricane Isabel struck the Eastern Seaboard. This little tidbit has always struck me as emblamatic of what our military is truly all about:
At Arlington National Cemetery, soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknowns were given - for the first time ever - permission to abandon their posts and seek shelter [because of Hurricane Isabel], Superintendent John Metzler said. But they stood guard anyhow. (From
Happy Birthday Lance

Today was Lance Armstrong's 34th birthday.

Can you imagine being 34 and retired?
Top 5 - Best Cover Versions

1. Hurt - Johnny Cash (original Nine Inch Nails)
2. Nothing Compares to You - Sinead O'Connor (original Prince)
3. Ring of Fire - Social Distortion (original Johnny Cash)
4. The Band Played Waltzing Matilda - The Pogues (original Eric Bogle)
5. Mrs. Robinson - Lemmonheads (original Simon and Garfunkel)

Any cover songs you think I should give a listen to? Name them in the comments and I'll download them and update the post with what I thought.

Edit: Here are the recommendations:

Donald recommends Jason and the Scorchers version of Ring of Fire
Sandy had two excellent recommendations with Boys of Summer by Ataris (original Eagles) and Baker Street by the Foo Fighters (original Gerry Rafferty)
Gooseneck recommended Hanky Panky by the Cramps (original Tommy James & the Shondells)
Donald came back to add Powderfinger by the Beat Farmer (original Neil Young) and Mule Skinner Blues by the Cramps
Rick from Toronto had a good call with Suspicious Minds by the Fine Young Cannibals (original Elvis) and Tom Jones and New Model Army doing Gimme Shelter (original Rolling Stones)
Me - I'd like to add the Black Betty cover by Tom Jones (you know he's intentionally campy)
Jeremy suggests Rusty Cage by Johnny Cash (original by Soundgarden)
Red Sox Magic Number

The Red Sox magic number is now 13. Any combination of 13 Red Sox wins or Yankee losses will clinch the division title for the Sox.

Both the Red Sox and Yankees won yesterday - this reduced the magic number by one. Boston's 1.5 games up on the Yankees in the East and now just 2.5 games behind the fading White Sox for the best record in the league. It very well could happen that the Yankees, Red Sox and Indians all make the playoffs while the White Sox stay at home to figure out how they blew it so bad (Chicago's lead over Cleveland is just 3.5 games now).
BC vs. Florida State

I went to the BC game last night against Florida State and here are my thoughts and observations.

The Eagles ended losing the game 28-17 but it definitely could have been much closer - in fact it was a game Boston College easily could have won.

My buddy Jim got tickets to the game. His in-laws have season tickets but unfortunately his mom-inlaw isn't doing well, so they weren't able to go to the game. We went in their place. The tickets were on the 30-yard line - so we had a good view of the entire game.

Did I say entire game? Well that's not exactly true because we missed the opening kickoff and FSU's interception for a TD and we ended up leaving after the Seminole blocked the punt in the 4th quarter that really put the game out of reach (note we weren't being fair-weather fans - Jim's car was low on gas and we faced the very real risk of running out if we got stuck in a post game traffic jam).

Some people will tell you that a big turning point in the game came when BC QB Quinton Porter left the game with an ankle injury and Matthew Ryan came in. I disagree with this to a degree. Yes - I think BC wins the game if Porter doesn't get hurt (and it should be noted that he was hurt on a stupid play call) but Porter also dug BC into a 14-0 hole with his first quarter interceptions. If Ryan started it is unlikely that his jitters would have resulted in a likewise 14-0 deficit. More likely, Ryan's scrambling ability would have accentuated the dominate running game even more.

After the 14-0 deficit, the BC offensive and defensive lines took over the game and really dominated. This is what allowed BC to prevent FSU from scoring further and what allowed BC to score 17 unanswered points to take the lead.

In the middle of the third quarter, Bobby Bowden finally realized that his team could not run on BC's defense and started to pass full time. BC couldn't make the adjustment or just didn't have the speed to keep up. This was the real turning point in the game.

Let me make two observations about playing time. I was surprised how little highly regarded defensive lineman Mathias Kiwanuka actually played. It had to be only 50% of the defensive snaps. I don't know why this was but it seems like a huge mistake. Kiwanuka was a huge disruptive force and his ability to bull rush to get to the QB could really have been used more once FSU decided to pass fulltime. I didn't understand his absence. I didn't understand it at all. Secondly, Will Blackmon played too much. Blackmon plays both sides of the ball. On defense he's a corner and on offense he's a wide receiver. He dropped some balls on offense that either would have continued the drive or would have really changed the game. You have to wonder if a fresh receiver catches those passes?

Two final observations.

First - BC is a great place to watch a game but they have those aluminum benches that just have the seat numbers. That leads to people taking up too much space or getting too little. Don't get me wrong - I'm a good sized guy and I got my space. It's just that its annoying to always have to be conscious of protecting that space. BC should take some of that ACC cash and put in individual seats.

Secondly, unless you are being sarcastic, anyone who in a serious tone says "how 'bout them (insert team name here)" should get tazered. There was a guy who kept on saying "how 'bout them Eagles" every time BC made a big play. I swear God took an IQ point away from the guy every time said it.

Bonus observation - yes I have the mentality of a 10-year old but I did chuckle every time FSU's number 81 made a catch and his name was announced. His name is De'Cody Fagg and I swear that the announcer either paused some times between the first and second names or placed the emphasis on the second name. I'd hate to have that last name. I fact if I did - I'd probably change my name to Lipshitz.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

College Football Action

Mike Ganis has a "Super Best Bet" today. He says to take Arizona getting 8 over Purdue. Consider it done Mike.

In addition to that game - I like the following:

BC +1 over Florida State
Notre Dame -5 over Michigan State
Ohio +34 over Va Tech
Florida -6.5 over Tenn
Inside the Actors Studio

Welcome to this edition of Inside the Actors Studio where James Lipton (JL) inteviews Wally the Green Monster (WTGM)

JL: This is the questionaire that was invented by Abner Doubleday. Wally, what's your favorite word?
WTGM: It's Papi. Big Papi.
JL: What's your least favorite word?
WTGM: Dent. Bucky F'n Dent.
JL: In this whole wide world, of everything that's in it, what turns you on?
WTGM: Oh boy. Oh god... what turns me on, I mean... well... you know... stuff... what turns me on...
JL: Don't censor yourself.
WTGM: Well no, I mean there's like, you know, of course there's this thing, you know, beautiful women. You know, I mean, you'd think, you know, those are the obvious things... you know, like, that's good. And...
JL: Or Jerry Remy.
WTGM: Oh yeah, or Jerry Remy, yeah, yeah... But... What turns me on, I was thinking about that the other day, and you know, you know what turns me on in the way that I think that that question's about, is when you, and I mean this, is when all of a sudden you're just going through your day and like da-duh-duh-duh-da, you're here, there, you're everywhere, and all of sudden you run into somebody who's just like nice because they wanna be, and that's just like such a buzz, man. And it never happens.
JL: And if it turns out that she's a beautiful woman, then you've got it all.
WTGM: If she's a beautiful woman... [big smile]
JL: What turns you off?
WTGM: When people think they have the right to somehow let their baggage be your news. That and when Remy rubs my stomach for luck. That's wicked gay.
JL: What sound or noise to you love?
WTGM: Sometimes I'll have to pee and I have this bucket in the Green Monster wall that Manny sometimes uses too, well anyway, when the bucket is empty and you pee into it it makes this loud noise and coupled with the echoes you get inside the wall - well it sounds really loud and sometimes I'm sure that the people sitting in the Monster seats can hear me. Sometimes while I'm peeing I talk to myself. And it's not cool to talk to yourself, so I'll... hum. And that's what I think sounds kind of corny cuz it's very much... like a baby, I think. And then, all of sudden you're like hmmm hmmm hmmm... so, the... the humming to myself. A very pleasing sound.
JL: What sound or noise do you hate?
WTGM: Car alarms are the worst. I have one right outside my apartment, right now, that is just screaming...
JL: What's your favorite curse word?
WTGM: [bleep] you, you mother[bleep]er, you stupid [bleep]ing [bleep]sucker, shut the [bleep] up, right, something like that.
JL: What profession, other than yours, would you like to attempt?
WTGM: Mime.
JL: What profession would you not like to participate in.
WTGM: Oh god, a critic.
JL: Finally, if heaven exists, what would you like to hear god say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
WTGM: Ted Williams wants to go fishing with you but first Marilyn Monroe wants to see you.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Latigo Flint

This is one of the blogs you have to check from time to time because you never know what mischief the squinty eyed gunslinger will be up to.
Latigo Flint once said the following to a female co-worker: "Chest-to-chest is passionate but our hearts are on different sides. Let me press upon your back and our ventricles will align."

(Latigo Flint doesn't work there anymore.)
Favorite Presidential Photo

Today's Lauren Bacall's 81st birthday.

The above photo with Harry Truman at the piano (he was quite good) and a young (19 I think) Lauren Bacall on top of the piano is among my favorite Presidential photos of all-time. Harry caught hell from his wife Bess when she saw the picture.
Coach Tom Gilmore - A Name to Remember

A Jesuit college has everyone excited because the football team is off to a 2-0 start - could be Notre Dame, could be Boston College but I'm talking about Holy Cross.

The excitement is back because the team is 2-0 and also because the head coach is a guy who just gets "it". Remember the name of Tom Gilmore because within 5 years he'll be coaching at a top 1-A program. I've seen enough football to realize the real thing when I see it and Gilmore is the real thing.

Holy Cross is 23rd in the nation in total offense at 428.5 yards per game but they are third in the nation in scoring average with 52 points per game after 2 tilts. Gilmore has this team punching the ball into the endzone whereas the past few seasons the Crusaders would always seem to come up short.

Gilmore has some solid players - make no mistake. John O'Neil is solid as the starting QB (8th in the country in QB passing efficiency at 166.2) and Steve Silva is a solid running back whether running the ball or receiving out of the backfield. Silva won the Golden Helmet Award last week as the top 1-AA player in New England last week.

This Saturday the Crusaders face off against Harvard. The Crimson beat HC 35-0 last year in the People's Republic of Cambridge. Last year Harvard was 10-0 and finished 13th in the 1-AA. That was last year. This year the game will be played in Worcester and there is a very different feel to this Holy Cross team.

Saturday's game will be a good gauge to how good HC really is. Not to put a jinx on them but the HC offense has not had a turnover yet this season.

I know none of you care about Holy Cross - but remember the name Tom Gilmore because he's going places.
Morning Links

Some stuff to enjoy over your morning coffee.

- Sorry but it sounds like Paul McCartney married a crazy woman.

- Transcript of President Bush's speech last night

- Nice article on Danny Wuerffel and how he continues his good works in the face of what Katrina has wrought. The only issue I have with the article is the describing him as "retired" from the NFL.

- Victor Davis Hanson on the media myths of Katrina

- The Brent Musberger Drinking Game
Red Sox Magic Number

The Red Sox magic number is now 15. Any combination of 15 Red Sox wins or Yankee losses will clinch the division title for the Sox.

Sorry I had the number wrong yesterday - it should have been 15 (damn Catholic school education).
Top 5 - Worst NFL Coaches

1. Mike Tice Vikings
2. Mike Martz Rams
3. Joe Gibbs Redskins
4. Jim Haslett Saints
5. (tie) Brian Billick Ravens (tie) Mike Shanahan Broncos

I easily could have swapped Martz and Tice in the 1-2 slots. Neither seem to have a clue how to manage a team. I feel bad putting Gibbs on the list but like the comeback of Bloom County - this was something that never should have happened in hindsight. How does Jim Haslett still have a job? The last two coaches have Super bowl victories but I think that was due more to "perfect storm" circumstances than anything else. Shanahan should have taken the Florida college position when he had the chance. I'm starting to think Al Davis was right about Shanahan.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


This post reminded me of something.

Happy Anniversary Pete! Many more years to come!

What it reminded me of was the fact that Eric had his second blogoversary on Saturday.

With all the drinking I did on Saturday and Sunday being 9/11 - I meant to post something but never got around to it. Sorry Eric. What is a bit ironic is that I found SWG just about as soon as he started blogging. I think I Googled Warren Zevon and came across his site.

While we're going down memory lane - here's what I had to say about the demise of Zevon two years ago.
Even Fictional Life can Be Unfair

One of the top comic book villians is Dr. Octopus, who was born Otto Octavius in Schenectady, NY (according to Marvel Comics). That just might make Dr. Octopus the most famous "person" to ever come from Schenectady.

Schenectady only has a population of 63,000 while Worcester, MA has a population of 173,000. Why does Schenectady get to be the birthplace of a comic book super villain? It’s not fair.
Iraqi Film Festival

Wouldn’t it be cool if someone organized a Baghdad Film Festival just so that the Iraqi people would have a chance to tell stars like Sean Penn and Tim Robbins what they really feel about them?
Truly First Class

This is a bit dated but it worth revisiting once and a while to remind one's self of what first class is really all about.

I get "dusty" every time I read it.
Bill Simmons Mailbag

The Sports Guy has a new mailbag up. This bit reminded me of something:
Q: Is there any better way to say that a couple is actively trying to have a baby than, "They've pulled the goalie?"
-- Bassel, Sunnyvale, Calif.

SG: Absolutely not. It's the single-best thing that hockey has done for our culture since Barry Melrose single-handedly saved the mullet.
My brother-inlaw used to play goalie in a couple beer leagues. My wife and I took our first daughter to see him play a couple of times and I had to explain to my daughter what all that goalie equipment was for. Afterwards, my daughter started explaining to people that her uncle Dennis was the one who "used protection."
New Impromptus Up

Jay Nordlinger has a new Impromptus up. Here's a taste:
In the past few columns, we've been sort of mocking the global-warming craze — the itch to attribute every event under the sun to this new phenomenon, or theory, or whatever it is. For example, I published a letter in Tuesday's column reading, "Back in the early Sixties, the common explanation for violent weather was H-bomb testing."

Another reader adds this:

"Sir: We lost our house in Hurricane Camille in 1969 (Gulfport, Miss.). I was nine years old. I remember many times hearing that the reason was our 'messin' 'round up there on the moon.' We had only landed there a few weeks before. This came from a number of surprisingly educated individuals, and I think of it when people talk about that ol' sorcerer Bush. Damn his weather machine!"

Isn't that priceless? I thought you'd agree.
Top 5 - AL Cy Young Race

Here's how I currently see the race for the AL Cy Young Award.

1. Bartolo Colon Angels
2. Mark Buehrle White Sox
3. Jon Garland White Sox
4. Mariano Rivera Yankees
5. Johan Santana Twins

Fans of Johna Santana will say that he's getting screwed by his lack of run support from his Twin teammates. That may be but it doesn't explain why his ERA is worse than Buehrle and just better than Colon. The real person getting screwed is Roy Halliday of the Blue Jays. He was running away with the award before getting injured.
Red Sox Magic Number

The Red Sox magic number is now 16. Any combination of 16 Red Sox wins or Yankee losses will clinch the division title for the Sox.

Last night the Sox beat the Blue Jays while the Yankees nipped the Devil Rays. That reduced the number by one game. Some people have been nervous about the Yankees catching the Sox but not me. The people who should be nervous are the Chicago White Sox because the way things have been going - the Red Sox will pass them and get home field advantage for the entire AL playoffs. That would be huge for the Red Sox because Fenway gives them the biggest home field advantage in baseball.

Currently the Red Sox trail the White Sox by 3.5 games for the best record in the AL.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Larry Johnson - Tangled Up With the Blue

Larry Johnson mimics a Bob Dylan song. He helped her out of a jam I guess but he used a little too much force.

I know this is old news but the Tangled Up In Blue thought just occured to me.

Oh yeah - he'll meet her again some day down on the Avenue (where they have the court that handles civil suits). Tangled up in blue.
OK I'll Say It!

The desk on the ESPN show Pardon the Interruption is designed to look like a penis and it is shaped so that Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon are positioned to be "the balls". The show should be called Pardon the Testicles.
Michael Moore to Make Movie on New Orleans Katrina Disaster?

After reading Michael Moore's "open letter" from 9/11/05 you can almost see it coming.

Here is a man who has made his fortune off American tragedies. He has literally gotten fat off the pain and suffering of fellow Americans - whether it be auto workers losing their jobs, kids being killed by kids or on the suffering caused by 9/11 (where he paints George Bush as the bad guy and Saddam Hussein as a lover of kite flying Iraqi kids). I wish there was a casino where I could bet that Michael Moore will make a movie about what happened to New Orleans and who is to blame.

Want evidence the project is already in the works? Read this from his latest open letter:
My staff and the vets spend their 18-hour days delivering food and water throughout the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. What they have seen is appalling. I have asked them to post their daily diaries on my website ( along with accompanying photos and video so you can learn what is really going on. What the media is showing you is NOT the whole story. It is much, much worse and there is still little being done to bring help to those who need it.
How about this nugget:
The truth is that there are dead bodies everywhere and no one is picking them up.
You know this is too juicy a tragedy for him to pass up the opportunity to make more money and gather awards from the French to pass up.

You just know it.
Red Sox Magic Number

The Red Sox magic number is now 17. Any combination of 17 Red Sox wins or Yankee losses will clinch the division title for the Sox.

I find it amusing that some Yankee fans have puffed out their chests after the Yankees pummelled the Devil Rays last night. Memo to Yankee fans - your team is supposd to beat the second worst team in the league.
New McGurk Goodness

John "KFC Napalmed my anus" McGurk has a new column up. Here's a couple of my favorite nuggets:
Falcons coach Jim Mora Jr. looks like a third-generation photocopy of Marky Mark Wahlberg. Eagles coach Any Reid, on the other hand, looks like a guy you wouldn’t want to fuck with. Like, if he was your boss at the office, he’d know a lot more about your lousy work habits than he lets on. Then one day with no warning, he shows up in your office with a cardboard box and tells you to clean out your desk. And when you protest and ask why, he’d calmly say, “I think you know why.” Then he’d let the silence hang there for what seems like an eternity until you sighed and started packing up your shit.
And this perfect observation about Michelob's bottle caps:
I bought some Miller Lite this week, and the package advertised a new Easy Open Top. I thought the old tops were pretty damn easy to open. Did Miller do some research and find a lot of people were struggling to twist off the old caps? If you’re too weak to open a twist-off cap, that might be God’s way of telling you to start working out more and drinking less beer.

There is, however, one exception to this theory – Michelob. Every so often, you’ll get a Michelob bottle that feels like it was sealed with a pneumatic gun. Don’t know why. Must be something they do at the factory to make themselves laugh.
Jack Welch on Katrina

Interesting take on the crisis management involved in the disaster from the former GE CEO:
In the terrible days since then, there has been a hurricane of debate about what went wrong in New Orleans and who is to blame. Mother Nature, perhaps for the first time in the case of a bona fide natural disaster, has been given a pass. Instead, the shouting has been about crisis-management--or the lack thereof. Everyone from President Bush to the police chief in a small parish on the outskirts of the city has been accused of making shockingly bad mistakes and misjudgments. The Katrina crisis, you would think, is unlike any before it.

Unfortunately, that's not completely true.
I had recently read Welch's new book but it never occurred to me that the Katrina aftermath fit the five stages of crisis management. Fortunately Welch is here to point out the interesting parallels:
The first stage of that pattern is denial. The problem isn't that bad, the thinking usually goes, it can't be, because bad things don't happen here, to us. The second is containment. This is the stage where people, including perfectly capable leaders, try to make the problem disappear by giving it to someone else to solve. The third stage is shame-mongering, in which all parties with a stake in the problem enter into a frantic dance of self-defense, assigning blame and claiming credit. Fourth comes blood on the floor. In just about every crisis, a high profile person pays with his job, and sometimes he takes a crowd with him. In the fifth and final stage, the crisis gets fixed and, despite prophesies of permanent doom, life goes on, usually for the better.

We are a way off from the fifth stage in New Orleans, but the first four played out like an old movie.
Read the whole thing - Welch goes into detail on what happened in each stage. And if you're involved in business - his new book is a must read.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Top 5 - Schoolhouse Rock Songs

1. I'm Just a Bill
2. Conjunction Junction
3. My Hero, Zero
4. No More Kings
5. Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here

EDIT: Off Wing Opinion has Eric's top 5

Its all good.
Heh Heh

I got a kick out of this sign I saw in NH today as I was getting gas at a minimart.
Powerball $80 million (or one month free gas with 4 candy bars).
More Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

More miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

- Not sure about all Red Sox fans but the three man playoff rotation I'd like to see is Curt Schilling, David Wells and Tim Wakefield. Matt Clement just scares me and Bronson Arroyo really helps the bullpen.

- I fucking hate Barry Bonds.

- Albert Pujols has to be the most famous person to ever attend Maple Woods Community College.

- For the people on the Dontrelle Willis for Cy Young bandwagon - please note that Chris Carpenter has as many wins and complete games as Willis and trails in shutouts by one. Carpenter on the other hand, leads Willis in innings, strikeouts, K/BB ratio, baserunners per 9 IP and ERA. Somebody will have to explain to me how Willis gets more "Win Shares" than Carpenter. Seriously - I don't get that and this is an example of why I don't trust Win Shares as a measuring stick.
America the Beautiful

I meant to mention this yesterday but did anyone catch James Taylor and his son Ben performing America the Beautiful prior to the US Open final on Sunday? Man - that was as good a rendition of that song as you will ever hear.
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

- I've been saying this for a while but I think the AL Wild Card goes to Cleveland. The Indians have the best schedule by far and they are already 1 game up on the Yankees with 2 games in hand. I do think that the Indians young team is being set up for a first round loss though. But just getting to the playoffs will be a major step for the Indians.

- Yes A-Rod is having a great year for the Yankees but I don't think that the Rangers would take him back (and I think that says alot). His replacement, Michael Young is leading the AL in batting at .330, he has 22 HR, 101 runs and 81 RBI. Not too shabby. I'm not sure if I'm trying to take a shot at A-Rod here or just pointing out how good a player Young is - so I'll just move along.

- Shea Hillenbrand leads the AL in HBP with 22. I think pitchers just don't like Shea and I don't know why.

- Hardball Times had an interesting look at how inept Jason Kendall has been this year. Two things to add to this fine work - Aaron Gleeman should have also mentioned the fact that even though Kendall has some speed - he has also led the AL in number of times grounding into a double plays this year (22 - tied with Tejada to be more precise). That makes him even worse. In Kendall's defense I should note that I had him on one of my fantasy baseball teams and I thought about dropping him a number of times but the truth is there just isn't anyone doing that much better than Kendall so I ended up keeping him all season.

- Maybe we have the idea of what steroids will do for you all backwards. In 2000 Jason Giambi hit 43 HR (an average of 1 HR per 11.9 AB) and had an OBP of .476 and Giambi has admitted to steroid use that year. This year when he's supposedly steroid free, he's hitting a HR every 12.6 AB and has an OBP of .444 - both very close to his averages from 2000. However, his batting average is down by 49 points. So maybe steroids actually help you hit singles or maybe Giambi isn't as drug free as he says. Just sayin'.

Monday, September 12, 2005

An Oldie But a Goodie

I haven't linked to this in a while.

FWIW - my kids know all the words and somethimes we sing this on long car trips.
A Public service Announcement (without Guitars)

Now they tell me:
Experts say putting ice cubes up the rectums of unconscious people has no physiological benefit and can even lead to seizures and stroke.
Thank God for experts!
VDH - The Perfect Storm in New Orleans

Always an education to read Victor Davis Hanson. Today he hits the nail squarely on the head.
But besides topographical peril, New Orleans suffers from an ossified Louisianan political culture that has not evolved all that much from the crass demagoguery of Huey Long of the 1930s. The party machine's reason to be is providing exemptions for the very wealthy and subsidies for the dependent poor. We saw the dividends of this old "every man a king" politics in the scapegoating by paralyzed public officials.

The clueless mayor of New Orleans, who initially hesitated over federal requests to evacuate the entire city, was reduced to expletive-filled rants as hundreds of empty public buses sat idle. The teary governor of Louisiana whined mostly about the federal government. Meanwhile Sen. Mary Landrieu railed at the president: "I might likely have to punch him —literally."

This sad trio proved how fortunate New York was to have a Rudy Giuliani on Sept. 11, or Los Angeles a Richard Riordan in time of earthquake.
I really liked this broadside:
Jurgen Trittin, Germany's environmental minister —without memory of Americans eliminating German Nazism, saving Berlin from starvation, keeping the Red Army out of Western Europe and lobbying for German unification —preened that the ruination of New Orleans was duly earned for our neglect of the global atmosphere. This was from a government that counts on exporting thousands of its luxury gas-guzzling Mercedes, Audis and BMWs to the United States.
Impromptus Point

Jay Nordlinger has a new Impromptus up. He makes an interesting observation about the Barbara Walters interview of Colin Powell.
But at the beginning, Walters said something quite weird: She said (and I don't have a transcript, so I'll have to paraphrase), The president has not given General Powell a formal role in Katrina relief, even though he is one of the most prominent black leaders in the country.

Huh? Bush was supposed to give Powell some role in Katrina relief? And because of skin color?
Powell is from New York City - what would he have to do with New Orleans besides being black? Is he an expert on disaster relief? No but Powell is black so in Walters mind there is a connection. I wonder if in one of the out-takes Walters asks Powell to do a number. I picture her asking, "you know a number, a song, like Camp Town Races or Sweet Chariot."

BTW - I still say that Powell should be the next Commissioner of Major League Baseball.
Top 5 - NY Cy Young Race

Here's how I currently see the race for the NL Cy Young Award

1. Chris Carpenter Cardinals
2. Dontrelle Willis Marlins
3. Roger Clemens Astros
4. John Smoltz Braves
5. Roy Oswalt Astros

Carpenter is having a career year and many are impressed that he leads the league in wins. I'm more impressed that he leads the league in innings pitched while being second in both ERA and strikeouts.
Michael Yon - Battle for Mosul: Progress Report

Michael Yon has a new dispatch up. Here's what I thought was a key point:
In between the daily secret reports [LTC Erik] Kurilla has brought to his hospital room so he can track his battalion, the Commander watches television news, increasingly frustrated by what he sees as a clear, and inaccurate, negative bias. “When you get the news back here in the states, it’s all doom and body counts. I only wish the American public could see the incredible progress that is being made every day in Iraq, particularly in places like Mosul.”
Fisking Princess Buttercup

Lloyd Grove of the NY Daily News has the low-down on Robin Wright Penn. Some good stuff:
TORONTO - For jaded journalists who ridiculed Sean Penn's rescue mission last week in New Orleans, his wife has a salty message.

"To them, I say 'F--k you!'" Robin Wright Penn told me yesterday at the Toronto International Film Festival, where she was hawking a very peculiar indie movie, "Sorry, Haters," in which she stars as a deranged but beautiful rap video channel employee who's seeking post-9/11 vengeance against a Syrian taxi driver.
Robin Penn Wright is known for two things - being Sean Penn's wife and for playing Princess Buttercup in The Princess Bride. Not that I think anyone will actually pay to see her new movie "Sorry, Haters" but I do think she is in peril of being typecast as "deranged but beautiful."
"I think it's f-----g pathetic to be belittling him," Wright Penn raged - a blond, blue-eyed lioness protecting her mate (who was on hand for Friday's premiere, sitting with his spouse in the back row and well-positioned to gauge the expressions on the faces of a few audience members who walked out of the film early).
First off kudos to Grove for the people leaving early dig - nice work. Secondly, if anyone knows "f-----g pathetic" I guess it would be RWP. Here's a list of her last five movies, Sorry, Haters; Empire Falls; Nine Lives; A Home at the End of the World; and Virgin. F-----g pathetic indeed!
The 39-year-old actress was responding to news accounts of her husband's trip - to help children stranded by Hurricane Katrina - that said his boat sprang a leak and began sinking under the weight of his huge celebrity entourage (including pop historian Douglas Brinkley), and that the motor wouldn't start and regular citizens taunted him.
First kudos gain to Grove for labeling Douglas Brinkley as a "pop historian". That's perfect. Secondly should it have been "to allegedly help children"? I mean was there even room in the boat for a victim of the hurricane?
"Do we have to go to the bowels of infantile behavior?" she demanded. "Here people are dying, and if it wasn't Sean Penn going crazy watching CNN and saying, 'I have to do something' - but instead it was 'Joe Smith from Morgan City' - then those people would be thanking him, not attacking him."
Ummm... first off if hubby felt the need to do something he could have written a check for a million dollars like Nicolas Cage did (without any fanfare it should be noted). Secondly there were plently of "Joe Smith's from Morgan City" helping out. They were helping out from the goodness of their hearts though. If any Joe Smith from Morgan City had been pretending to help "the children" but instead sinking his boat filled with personal boigrapher and photographers - then they would have gotten their own thread on FARK with an "Asinine" tag to boot. Finally - at least she admits that her husband has gone crazy and that CNN is to blame. How many cases of CNN induced craziness will have to happen before the Center for Disease Control finally steps in?

F-----g pathetic indeed!
NFL Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and obsevations.

- Here's the difference between fantasy football and real football - the top two fantasy football QB's after one week are Kerry Collins and Drew Bledsoe. The real life top QB's Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are right on their heels.

- Speaking of Bledsoe - what a nice start to his Dallas career. He finished with 226 yards on 18 of 24 passes with 3 TD's. He also was sacked 4 times and had two fumbles (one recovered). If the W's don't keep coming then the Dallas faithful may start grumbling at the sacks and fumbles. I admit to having mixed feelings yesterday. I love Bledsoe but I took the Chargers (remind me never to take Marty S. in a game where he's matched up against a HoF coach on the other sideline - he always chokes those games). First and goal with the game on the line at the end of the game and Ladainian Tomlinson does touch the ball once? WFT?

- I agree that its a nice story having the Saints win in week one but I think things have gotten a bit overboard. In pure football terms - this was a mild upset. The Sainst are right there with Carolina in terms of talent and I know the Saints have to deal with emotional and logistical issues no team should ever have to deal with but making more out of this win in reference to Katrina just seems sort of purient in my eyes.

- Mike Martz continues to be the Wiley Coyote of coaches. Supposed "super genius' but he never ends up catching that roadrunner.

- Nick Saban is Bill Belichick Jr. (but with a much better choice in clothes). Not sure what the over/under for wins for Miami was this year but I think its safe to say that they'll do better than expected because of the coaching.

- Good God was Daunte Culpepper bad yesterday. I wish I knew how many fantasy football teams he single handedly destroyed yesterday. I haven't seen a performance this bad since Chevy Chase in Caddyshack II.