Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Roger Clemens Award

The embarrassment that is Roger Clemens makes me have to point out a big problem with NCAA baseball once again.

Currently the Roger Clemens Award is given to the best pitcher in college baseball. The award was originally called the Rotary Smith Award but was renamed the Roger Clemens Award in 2004. The award is considered the college equivalent of the Cy Young Award.

The NCAA may want to rethink the name of this award or at least their support. Never mind the risk associated with naming an award after a player who was still active at the time - the NCAA should have had issues naming an award after a player who did not complete his degree. The student part of student athlete was clearly missing in Roger Clemens makeup. If that is a message the NCAA really wants to send then they should go right ahead and start paying the athletes.

I know that not every player who wins the Heisman Trophy, for instance, goes on to complete their degree or is a paragon of the NCAA supposed ideals. John Heisman at least was a man worthy of an award named after him.

I suggest re-naming the award after Smokey Joe Wood who was one of the greatest professional pitchers in history (until injury cut his career short in his prime). More importantly, however, Joe Wood served as the head baseball coach at Yale for 20-years. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who has said anything negative about Joe Wood and players should be honored to receive an award named after such a man.

Roger Clemens was no Smokey Joe Wood as a person.
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

I can't believe the Red Sox lost 5 straight before last night's 1-0 win over the Blue Jays. They won't use it as an excuse but the flu really knocked that team flat for the past week.... The record for RBI in April is 31 set by Joe Carter in 1994. Josh Hamilton of the Rangers has a shot of tying or breaking that mark if he has a big game tonight against the Royals. Hamilton has 28 RBI so far in April with that one game left to go... Today is Phil Garner's 59th birthday. Garner makes me wonder about a three-strikes and you're out unwritten rule for managers. Do managers get three chances to win it all before getting tossed on the scrap heap? Of course some guys are so bad that they only get one or two strikes (like Kevin Kennedy) but I think guys with any talent at all for managing seem to get three shots - like Garner and like Dusty Baker who I'm guessing won't get another shot if he doesn't succeed with Cincinnati... Geovany Soto and Jacoby Ellsbury are the early leaders for NL and AL Rookies of the Year... Go figure. The AL has the DH but the NL still has the higher overall slugging percentage - .404 for the NL to .397 for the AL... People always knock Mike Mussina for the fact that he never had a 20-win season. The same is true of Kenny Rogers who just won his 212th game - to tie Chief Bender for 85th place on the all-time wins list. Chief Bender is in the Hall of Fame in part because he had two 20-win seasons but also because he had a great winning percentage (.625) but also because he was a money pitcher in the playoffs. Bender had a 2.44 ERA in 10 post season starts and helped the Philadelphia A's win 3 World Series. Kenny Rogers, on the other hand, is a guy who always seemed to come up smallest when the pressure was on. That's one of the reasons he couldn't hack it with the Yankees. If Kenny Rogers gets one vote for the Hall of Fame when he's done - it will be one vote too many...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Roger Clemens and Politics

When Roger Clemens appeared before Congress it seemed like his support and his detractors were aligned along party lines. The Republicans were defending him and the Democrats were holding his feet to the fire. That's why I find these latest revelations interesting.

The Mindy McCready story was broke in the pages of the New York Daily News - a paper owned by the very conservative Mort Zuckerman. I guess Roger's suppport from Republicans wasn't exactly across the board.
Roger Clemens as Homer Simpson?

Roger Clemens has been linked with country music singer Mindy McCready (who I honestly had never heard of before). I was struck after reading the story of how much the Roger Clemens / Mindy McCready story paralleled another American icon and his brush with a country music star - Homer Simpson and Lurleen Lumpkin.

From the Simpsons Wiki on Lurleen Lumpkin:
Homer discovered her in a bar in the middle of nowhere but was amazed by her voice. He decided to help her launch a singing career, much to the chagrin of Marge. Lurleen started to fall for Homer and tried to lure him with an erotic song called "Bunk with Me Tonight". Homer, who had been ignorant of this, suddenly realized that managing Lurleen could hurt his marriage, so he quits as her manager. A saddened Lurleen sings a song called "Stand By Your Manager".
From the Daily News story on Clemens: "Clemens was with his Red Sox teammates in a Fort Myers, Fla., bar when then-teenager McCready caught his eye." Not sure if Clemens helped McCready launch her singing career but I'm guessing he didn't hinder it. Marge knew about Lurleen and Debbie Clemens apparently knew about Mindy. Lurleen tried to bed Homer with an erotic song called "Bunk with Me Tonight" while - according to the Daily News: "There were personal love missives to Clemens hidden in McCready's album liner notes." In the show - Homer never consummates his relationship with Lurleen but things might have been different between the Rocket and his country bumpkin.

Just saying but Homer Simpson is also known to have an extra thick skull. Roger Clemens has shown himself also be rather "thick". Maybe instead of Rocket - Clemens new nickname should be "the Colonel".

Sunday, April 27, 2008

An Idea for the NFL

I had this idea for the NFL a while back and thought I'd mention it again this morning. A problem that not many talk about is the rapid physical deterioration of the bodies of retired NFL players. Today's players with their million dollar contracts should be much better equipped to pay for future medical expenses but some of the games older players weren't paid much in the past and today their medical costs are out of control. Here's my idea to help alleviate the situation.

Each pre-season there would be a single night set aside where the players of each team would pick their best offensive lineman and best defensive lineman. These linemen would do a televised one-on-one drill where the O-lineman has to block the D-lineman. The D-lineman would have 5 seconds to get to a quarterback 5 yards behind the O-lineman. If the D-lineman gets to the QB within 5 seconds - he wins. If the O-lineman blocks the D-lineman for 5 seconds - then he wins. It would be a best of seven drill and the drill would take place at each team's training camp.

The NFL could sell the broadcast rights to this and the price could well end up north of $25 million with all the money going to a fund to defer medical expenses for retired players.

The NFL teams would get nothing from this - all the money would go into the fund. Even the participating players would get nothing - they would just get a trophy for the winner and the satisfaction of knowing they are helping those who went before them and those who made their current huge contracts possible. I don't think the risk to the players would be that great since they would just be doing a drill they do in camp anyway.

There are three main selling points to this idea:

1. It's a charitable cause and people love charitable causes. The PR for the NFL and the players would be tremendous. At a time when people like Pacman Jones are making headlines - the NFL needs some positive media coverage. Former NFL great players like Earl Campbell could be brought forward as a testament to why the fund is needed.

2. It gives the linemen a chance to be the stars. This would be the one and only time in an NFL broadcast where the spotlight is on the linemen alone.

3. You could bet on it! You could bet on the individual team best of seven match-ups and the overall O-lineman vs D-lineman over/under. The betting aspect could boost the ratings through the roof.

Seems like a winner of an idea to me. Who should I talk to at the NFL to make it happen?
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

Matt Stairs is hitting .364 in his last 10 games for the Blue Jays. I still say that Toronto did the right thing in jettisoning Frank Thomas who meanwhile has hit .135 in his last 10 games... Today would have been Rogers Hornsby's 112th birthday. Bill James said Horsby would have gotten his vote for the biggest horse's ass in baseball history. Hornsby has the second highest batting average in history. What is it with high batting averages and horse's asses? Ty Cobb is first and Hornsby second... David Ortiz was out of the Red Sox line-up last night because he bruised his knee driving headfirst into 1st base trying to beat out an infield hit. That's a damn stupid play and it worries me that Ortiz was that concerned about being safe. I like hustle but Ortiz was 0-6 for the night and him pressing to the point of head-first slides is not a good sign... Great pitching match-up today between Brandon Webb of the Diamondbacks and Jake Peavy of the Padres. The over / under on that game is just 6.5 runs. I'm not placing a bet on that game but if I did - I'd take the over. The great pitching duels never wind up meeting the build-up this early in the season...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Draft Day

Are you excited that its NFL Draft Day? Will you be watching it all on TV? If you said yes - I say get a life. Sure I may check to see who the Pats take at #7 or check to see where Matt Ryan ends up but I'll do that periodically. It won't be the focus of my day.

Michael Gee sums up my feelings for the day pretty well.

My one fear about today is the Pats trading down for extra picks and the player taken at #7 becoming the next Junior Seau with the Pats ending up with Ray Agnew.
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

I remember it being a big deal when Ryne Sandberg passed Joe Morgan for most HR by a 2nd baseman (much like it was a big deal when Mike Piazza broke the record for HR by a catcher). However, when Jeff Kent broke Sandberg's record it wasn't that big a deal. My guess is that was more of a reflection on people's feelings toward Kent. If Kent can hit another 22 HR then he's almost guaranteed to be in the top 50 for both HR and RBI (he's already #50 for RBI) and his candidacy for the Hall of Fame may actually be helped by the fact that when he first comes up for a vote people could be talking about Chase Utley closing in on Kent's record for HR by a 2nd baseman. I can't make up my mind whether I think Kent is actually a Hall of Fame player... It's tough to think of Manny Ramirez as one of the senior most ambassadors of the game of baseball but there are only 8 other players currently in uniform who have played as many games as Manny. There is no doubt in my mind on this one - Manny is a Hall of Fame player... If I told you that going into the end of April only one team in the AL Central would have a winning record - how many of you would have picked the White Sox as that team?... The single season record for doubles in a season is 67 set by Earl Webb in 1931. Dustin Pedroia is on pace for 71. I know it's really early to be making predictions like this but I just wanted to be the first one on record of having said that Pedroia will break the record... Joakim Soria is off to an awesome start for the Royals. The 24-year old closer has yet to surrender a run and has 11 K's in 9 innings to go with his 5 saves...

Friday, April 25, 2008


I'd be remiss in not noting that today (April 25th) is ANZAC Day. In my mind ANZAC Day and this song are inextricably linked.

Heh Heh

That's the logo for the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom. Innocent enough - right?

Now look at the logo sideways

HT Sports Frog
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

The A's bring back Big Hurt. I don't think it's going to work out. Many people expect that Thomas is just in an early season slump but I think he may be done. And I think the more the slump worsens the more surly Thomas will become... Selective memory? Scott Miller lists off a number of moves Texas GM Jon Daniels has made in an effort to question the young GM. It is telling though that Miller left off his list the trade that sent Eric Gagne to Boston and the Mark Teixeira trade to Atlanta. The Gagne trade was a steal for Texas. They netted a very nice 3rd starter in Kason Gabbard (3-1 with a 4.43 ERA since being traded to the Rangers) and David Murphy (hitting .312 since being traded) for the succubus Gagne. Teixeira was traded for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Beau Jones, Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison, and Neftali Feliz. Miller noted that Texas' minor league system is now ranked 4th in baseball but he neglects to say that it was the Teixeira trade that had a big deal to do with that... Josh Beckett has missed a number of starts this season due to what could be termed minor ailments. I - in no way - question these injuries. I will say that knowing the Boston media - if the Red Sox had made the Johan Santana deal these injuries would have been played up as some sort of work stoppage by Beckett in the hopes of a new contract. That's the way the Boston media would be playing the situation and anyone who is a Boston fan knows it...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Red Sox / Angels Live Blog

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while. I'll explain my absence shortly. For now I figured I'd just start typing and hopefully something amusing will come of it.

6:45 - The Red Sox have one loss in their last 11 games and of course I had bet on them that night they lost their only game while I was out in Las Vegas. I came home on a red-eye flight last Thursday and I think I picked up a bug on the plane. I've been coughing like bastard since late Friday. I've started right in taking Mucinex but I think the lack of sleep coupled with the fact that I went out on Saturday and went to the Red Sox on Monday has left me in a weakened condition. I feel like crap. I've been drinking lots of fluids and trying to get plenty of sleep but I can't help but wonder if I've got he same bug that's been plaguing the Red Sox locker room.

- In case you didn't get my Red Sox flu reference - Jason Varitek has missed the last 4 games and Dice K has to skip his regular start tonight because of the bug. Gordon Edes is also missing from the pre-game but I'm guessing that's because he's leaving the Boston Globe to move to Yahoo! Sports. It used to be that the Boston Globe had the varsity roster of sportswriters in Boston and that the Boston Herald was the JV. Now the roles are reversed. I used to read the Globe sports religiously. Now I can't tell you when the last time I went out of my way to pick up a copy of the paper. Best of luck to Gordon Edes on his new venture. He's always struck me as a class individual.

7:05 - Jon Lester gets the start tonight. Combined Lester and Clay Buchholz are 2-3 in 9 starts with a 4.94 combined ERA. That's slightly above the league average. (Gary Matthews Jr. increases that ERA with a HR to make it 1-0 Angels). Lester and Buchholz look great compared to Ian Kennedy and Philip Hughes of the Yankees who are a combined 0-5 in 7 starts with a combined 9.20 ERA. Just sayin'.

- Excellent night for watching TV in the Boston area tonight. You have the Red Sox on at 7:00 and the Celtics playing the Hawks on at 8:00 and later tonight at 11:00 one of the HBO channels has been showing Deadwood episodes each night. Is it bad that I'm actually looking forward to the Deadwood repeat more than anything else? Speaking of Deadwood - I'm still amazed that W. Earl Brown who played Dan Dority also played Mary's brother Warren in There's Something About Mary. And no - I have not seen his baseball. The Angels pick up another run to make it 2-0. The Red Sox are lucky that it's only 2-0.

7:36 - Some people would argue that the Red Sox have been lucky their whole season so far. The Red Sox are 15-7 going into tonight but according to the Pythagorean W-L they should be 12-10. I'm a fan of the Pythagorean but it's still took early in the season and the sample size still too small. Lyford does a great job breaking down the Pythagorean on a weekly basis. Julio Lugo drives in JD Drew to close the score to 2-1.

7:55 - The Angels scratch out another run to make it 3-1. And speaking of small sample sizes - I get a kick out of this comparison;

David Ortiz - .181 BA / .292 OBP / .277 SLG
Kevin Cash - .227 BA / .292 OBP / .272 SLG

And I make the comparison just as Cash gets a double to lead off the bottom of the 3rd inning.

- Cash comes in to score to make it 3-2. I should mention that Cash is a graduate of the Jack Cust school of base running.

- I meant to post something on John Smoltz getting his 3,000th strikeout last night. Is there any doubt that he's a first ballot Hall of Fame pitcher? Just saying but I'd also like to point out that Smoltz is a career 15-4 with a 2.65 ERA in the post-season. Compare that to Roger Clemens' 12-8 with a 3.75 ERA in his post season career. I'd take John Smoltz over Roger Clemens any day of the week.

- Hey - speaking of steroids guys - Gary Matthews Jr hits his second HR of the game to make it 4-2 for the Angels.

8:36 - David Ortiz tied the game with a 2-run HR and makes me $20 in the process. I have Ortiz in my HR pool with my buddy Tim. I also have Vlade and Kotchman while Tim has Manny, Youkilis and Torii Hunter for his picks.

- Casey Kotchman puts me up $40 for the night but also gives the Angels a 5-4 lead with his 6th HR of the season.

8:57 - During a game break they showed Matt Stairs hit 2 HR against the Rays. I have no idea where that game is being played. It certainly wasn't the Trop or the Rogers Center. Is there any player out there today in greater need of a nickname than Matt Stairs? Also in news around MLB - there is a report that Jimmy Rollins actually has a broken ankle. Meanwhile the Celtics are up by 13 in the second quarter.

- Just checking on some fantasy stats and do you realize that Dustin Pedroia is the second best fantasy 2nd baseman going behind only Chase Utley?

- Made a couple of moves in one of my fantasy leagues. I dropped James Loney and picked up Casey Kotchman. I also dropped Manny Corpas (I have two good closers ahead of him) and picked up Rich Hill. I'm just picking up Hill because he's got 2 starts next week. I hope I don't get burned by that move. Speaking of being burned by a move - I still contend that the Yankees were burned badly by their decision to pick up Gary Sheffield instead of Vlade Guerrero when they had the chance. If they signed Vlade then they would have won at least one World Series these past 4 years. Angels pick up an insurance run to lead 6-4.

9:58 - Red Sox go quietly in the 9th and lose for just the 2nd time in a dozen games.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ray Allen Professional Basketball Player

Excellent article on Ray Allen and how he prepares to play basketball.

You have to love articles like this that give insight into how a team actually jells and what preparation is needed to be a pro basketball player.

Jackie MacMullan will be missed at the Globe.
Frank Thomas Released

I can't say that I'm surprised by this move. Do I think that Frank Thomas' contract situation played a role? Of course. The Blue Jays don't want to be on the hook for $10 million to a guy who may be falling off a cliff talent wise. Do I think the benching of Thomas was also a move to improve the offense for the Blue Jays? Again - yes. There are many facets at play here. Such as:

- Matt Stairs probably does bring more to the plate than Frank Thomas at this point. I know it must hurt Thomas' ego that a Hall of Fame player like himself could be equaled or bettered in production by a career scrub player like Matt Stairs.

- Both Stairs and Thomas have posted OBP of about .370 the past two seasons. While Thomas has averaged a HR every 20.4 AB in his time in Toronto. Matt Stairs has averaged a HR every 18.1 AB during that same time frame.

- Frank Thomas comes off as surly and self-centered. Matt Stairs comes off as scrappy and blue-collar. Plus Stairs is Canadian.

- Some people will speculate that this will open the way for the Blue Jays to sign Barry Bonds. That's not going to happen. It is much more likely that it opens the door for top prospect Adam Lind.

- Will anyone be surprised if nobody picks up Frank Thomas? Thomas is a Hall of Fame player but his career could be over.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Late Morning Music

Here's this late morning's listening (and watching I guess) music selections.

- Psychedelic Furs - Pretty in Pink - Definitely a better band to listen to than to watch.

- Queens of the Stone Age - No One Knows

- Iggy Pop - Candy

- Alanis Morissette - You Ought To Know

- Bonnie Raitt - Something to Talk About. It occurs to me that these last two songs are direct opposites in many ways.
Why People Don't Trust the MSM

I couldn't help but think "this is why people don't trust the MSM" over and over again as I read this letter from Karl Rove. I also couldn't help but think of the criticism aimed at bloggers that they have no editorial layers to keep them from just publishing whatever they want to portray as truth:
It boils down to this: as a journalist, do you feel you have a responsibility to dig into the claims made by your guests, seek out evidence and come to a professional judgment as to the real facts? Or do you feel if a charge is breathtaking enough, thoroughly checking it out isn’t a necessity?

I know you might be concerned that asking these questions could restrict your ability to make sensational charges on the air, but don’t you think you have a responsibility to provide even a shred of supporting evidence before sullying the journalistic reputations of MSNBC and NBC?
This was the real dig that rings the truest:
The difficulty with your approach is you reduced yourself to the guy in the bar who repeats what the fellow next to him says – “The glove fits! The glove fits!” - only louder, because it suits your pre-selected story line ("Bush Justice") and you don’t want the facts to get in the way of a good fable.
HT Instapundit

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Leaving Las Vegas Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations from my trip to Las Vegas.

I'm sitting in the McCarran Airport having a beer and doing some email. Finally I have a chance to jot down some of my observations from nearly a week in Sin City... One of the pleasures of being in a West Coast time zone is the ability to catch Vin Scully calling a Dodgers game. He's simply the best of all-time and a treasure which I greatly appreciate every time I hear his dulcet tones imparting baseball wisdom... Almost every day here I passed a billboard that exclaimed, "Music is our Currency - Club Rain at the Palms". Every time I passed the sign I wondered if I went there with a song in my heart whether I'd be able to drink for free. Somehow I doubt it... One night I ended up playing poker at Excalibur (mostly because I wanted to catch the end of a couple of games in the sports book and Excalibur was the closest casino). Anyway - Excalibur has this reputation as a very family friendly hotel but I couldn't help but be struck by the fact that almost as soon as you enter - you are visually assaulted by two huge posters for "The Thunder Down Under". I could just imagine a family walking in and little snowflake asking, "Daddy - what's the thunder down under? Why are those men not wearing shirts? Do you have the thunder down under? Daddy? Do you? Mommy - why are you laughing?"... I had to use the facilities on the Venetian casino floor and something in the stall struck me as amusing. There were sanitary toilet seat covers whose box bared the message "Provided by management for your protection." Two things struck me as funny by that statement. First - its not really for protection but more for peace of mind. Second - I was mostly amused by the spelling out that the paper toilet seat covers were provided by management. Shouldn't that be just assumed? I mean who else would be supplying them in a hotel? The Gideons? Maybe they are branching out from just bibles? And yes - I had nothing else to read... The Red Sox won every game they played since I came out here on Sunday. Every game that is except the one game I bet on them. Sometimes that's the way it goes...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bill Simmons Obviously Wasn't A History Major

I wonder if the Jesuits at Holy Cross cringe when they read Bill Simmons' ramblings. It must to be as obvious to them as it is to the rest of the world that Simmons liberal arts education just didn't take hold.

I am referring to Simmons latest piece on Barry Bonds and how he's been airbrushed from the national consciousness this year. In particular - it is this line that gets under my skin.
It [the Baseball Hall of Fame] can't pick and choose its lessons, for the same reason the Smithsonian doesn't ignore nadirs in this country's history like slavery, Hiroshima or Vanilla Ice.
First off there can only be one "nadir". You can only have one lowest point just as an artist can only have one "masterpiece". I've long given up on the idea that actually has editors who would catch things like that.

That first point is picky. I grant you that. The second point, however, is not picky at all.

Hiroshima was not a nadir in the history of the United States. Far from it. The Manhattan Project was one of the few instances in US history where the full resources of the Federal Government were harnessed successfully. The US set off to be the first to develop an atomic bomb and we were successful. Harry Truman really had no choice but to drop the bomb on Hiroshima. It was the culmination of a chain of events that started with the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor.

The US had no choice. It was either use the bomb or invade mainland Japan. The military expected such a great number of casualties from such an invasion that a huge number of Purple Hearts were ordered. The number of Purple Hearts ordered was so great that the military has been awarding those very same medals in every conflict since WWII and we still haven't used them all up (and hopefully never will).

The atomic bomb was terrible in its destruction but it was necessary to end a war that the Japanese forced upon us. It was hardly a "nadir" in our history. If Bill Simmons wasn't skipping history classes to watch Match Game back when he was in college - he might know that.
BC Eagles the 2008 NCAA Hockey Champs

Congratulations to the Boston College hockey team for winning the 2008 men's NCAA hockey championship.

Nathan Gerbe was the team's Josh Beckett. Gerbe lost out on the Hobey Baker Award just as Beckett lost out on the Cy Young Award but like Beckett - Gerbe will have a championship ring that trumps any individual award.
Morning Music

Here's this morning's listening (and watching I guess) music selections.

- ELO - Mr. Blue Sky

- Alabama 3 - I Ain't Going to Goa. If the sound seems familiar its because this is the band who did the opening theme song to The Sopranos.

- Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.

- Flash and the Pan - Hey Saint Peter. A forgotten hit from the 70's complete with cheesy video.

- Dire Straits - Lady Writer

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Friend Jim's Imaginary Friend

Imaginary friends are often a normal part of growing up. It is not unusual for children to have imaginary companions. It can be kinda cute. But when you are talking about a man nearing 40 having imaginary companions - well that's just kinda creepy.

Sure Jimmy Stewart was amusing with his 6 foot imaginary rabbit but Jack Torrance was less cuddly in The Shining. I'm reminded more of Jack Torrance because this week I was up at the Mount Washington Hotel which is eerily reminiscent of the hotel resort in The Shining.

What am I talking about? Well let me explain.

Tuesday after a fine dinner at the hotel my friend Jim and I went down to the hotel bar called "the Cave" located in the basement of the resort. Like most bars - it had a bathroom nearby. Nothing unusual about the bathroom at all. Or so I thought.

After a number of beers I had to use the facility. Nothing special. When Jim used the facility he came back talking about how strange it is to see a bathroom attendant in the restroom of a bar like the Cave. I saw no such bathroom attendant handing out paper towels but Jim gave such a vivid description of an older bald black man that I assumed that maybe the guy came on duty after I had used the urinal. However, the next time I used the bathroom - once again there was no bathroom attendant.

I came back and kidded Jim for his choice of imaginary friend. He could have picked anything but he picked a bathroom attendant to be his invisible companion? Jim swore that the guy was real and that the guy's name was Felix. I asked Jim if by chance Felix looked anything like Scatman Crothers?

The next time Jim went to the bathroom - there was Felix with paper towels in hand. Jim went to the use the urinal and while doing his business "let out an A-bomb that shook the bathroom stalls". By the time Jim zipped up. Felix the imaginary bathroom attendant was gone.

I guess vampires can't stand garlic and hotel ghosts can't stand the smell of Jim's farts. I don't blame them. They're like someone lit a bag of potato chips on fire using a whole can of lighter fluid.
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

Going into the season many thought that offense would be a problem for the Padres but going into today San Diego holds the best team batting average in the NL with a .282 mark. In fact the top 5 hitters in the Padres line-up are all over .300. San Diego just needs to convert those hits into runs - the Padres are 13th out of 16 teams in runs scored.... 16 years ago today Boston's Matt Young pitched 8 innings of no-hit ball at Cleveland and still lost 2-1. Matt Young wasn't Chan Ho Park or Mike Hampton bad a s a free agent signing but he's up there in terms of the worst free agent signings by the Red Sox... Speaking of bad free agent signings - Barry Zito is now 0-3 for the Giants... Sophomore slump? Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki is hitting just .175 for the Rockies... The adult thing would have been to ignore the story. It was stupid to begin with... Symmetry - both Orlando Cabrera and Miguel Cabrera are hitting .182 for the season. Orlando has more RBI though. That has to be making fantasy baseball owners who took Miguel with their first pick real happy...
Morning Music

Here's this morning's listening (and watching I guess) music selections.

- Iggy Pop - Lust for Life

- Dropkick Murphy's - I'm Shipping Up to Boston

- The Pixies - This Monkey's Gone to Heaven

- Puscifer - Queen B

- Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Second Law of Thermodynamics and Housekeeping

I'm in the process of reading The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe by Stephen Hawking. When speaking of the behavior of black holes - Hawking talks about the Second Law of Thermodynamics:
It states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases with time. Moreover, when two systems are joined together, the entropy of the combined system is greater than the sum of individual systems.
My initial thought was of a post earlier this week at Instapundit which had the line:
Both the men and the women who got married did more housework than those who stayed single, the analysis showed.
Both black holes and newlyweds acting in the same manner? I guess when Stephen Hawking said it was "the Theory of Everything" - he wasn't kidding.

Of course I could be completely wrong here since my grasp of physics is as bad as my ability at house work.
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

Interesting interview with Hunter Pence of the Astros... Dusty Baker will be under the microscope for how much he uses both Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez. It will be interesting to monitor. Maybe it was a fluke that exceptional pitchers like Kerry Wood and Mark Prior just happened through the Cubs at the same time Dusty was managing and that both were predisposed to injuries. It's possible that Baker had little to do with it. That's not the popular opinion right now though - which again gets us back to Dusty being under the microscope with Cueto and Volquez... Dan Johnson was DFA'd by the A's. I always thought that Johnson getting double vision and having trouble hitting the ball because he got suntan lotion in his eyes would have made for a great premise for an episode of Seinfeld... Chien-Ming Wang has not had much succes at Fenway Park. He is 2-3 with a 6.17 ERA in 6 starts. That has me worried since it is guys like that who suddenly pitch a shutout after having trouble over the years...
Best Bands from Each State

Ken Jennings - the Jeopardy Uber Champion - has a post where he picks the best band from each of the 50 states. Take the picks with a grain of salt. I think they must be crap as Jennings picks the Pixies over Aerosmith for bands from Massachusetts. The J Geils Band was way better than the Pixies and they weren't close to topping Aerosmith. Hell - the Lemmonheads were a better band than the Pixies. Not to mention the Cars or Boston.

HT - Steve Silver
Morning Music

Here's this morning's listening (and watching I guess) music selections.

- Mark Knopfler - What It Is

- They Might be Giants - Particle Man

- Go Gos - Our Lips Are Sealed. A blast from the 80's. As an aside - they are singing "our lips are sealed" but I used to think they were singing "honored to see you."

- Clancy Brothers - Patriot Game. I get the chills every time I hear this song.

- Dire Straits - Calling Elvis. A double shot of Mark Knopfler this morning.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

You want to know why the Orioles are in first place in the AL East with a 6-1 record? Going into today's games the Baltimore Orioles have used 8 pitchers in relief and only Greg Aquino among those 8 has allowed an earned run (he has allowed 2 in 1 and a third innings). That's 7 relievers with 0.00 ERA's. They have only allowed just 3 runs all season from the 7th to 9th innings. That's why they have been winning... Jason Kendall is leading the NL in batting with a .522 average. Is it too early to ask if he'll be able to hit .400 in a season? No? Well is it too early to speculate if he'll break Hugh Duffy's single season mark for batting average? Duffy hit .440 in 1894. Kendall's got that topped by over 80 points at the moment... I'm frankly surprised that the Giants have managed to win 3 games already with that line-up...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

An Awareness Test

Charlton Heston - The View from England

Interesting take on Charlton Heston's support of gun owner rights from England of all places:
The revolutionary founding fathers of America took a rather different view of the people (even if they did exclude slaves). As James Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers, Americans enjoyed “the advantage of being armed” over “almost every other nation... [where] the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms”. Mistrust of the masses explains why tyrants have backed gun control ever since, from Adolf Hitler to the oppressor apes in one of Heston's famous films.
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

Opening Day at Fenway today and the boys will get their rings and the banner will be raised. Praise them with great praise. Yankees suck... Torii Hunter looks like a good investment for the Angels. Last night he hit 2 HR with the second being a game winning grand slam... Speaking of last night's Angels game - between closer Joe Borowski of the Indians and Frankie Rodriguez of the Angels 7 runs were given up in less than one combined inning (both closers only managed one out). That's some end of game gasoline... The Boston Symphony Orchestra will be doing the National Anthem and providing general class atmosphere. I hope to God that the Cowsills are not part of Opening Day at Fenway. Or any future games at Fenway for that matter... Mark Reynolds of the Diamondbacks is my darkhorse candidate for NL MVP. I've said it before but if he hits 30 HR and drives in 100 then the Diamondbacks will be representing the NL in the World Series... As great as Tom Seaver was - Tom Glavine has a chance to pass him in wins this season (Seaver has 311 wins to Glavine's 303). What's impressive is the fact that Glavine has accumulated those 303 wins in much fewer innings (Seaver ended up pitching 4782 innings to Glavine's 4361 and counting). I guess that's really a result of pitching in two different eras. Seaver had 231 career complete games compared to 56 for Glavine (and Glavine was top 10 in complete games 8 times in his career). Pitchers just don't finish games like they used to. And no - I'm not implying in any way that Glavine was as good as Seaver. I do think that Glavine gets short shrift in terms of recognition though... On this day in 1974 - Hank Aaron hit HR # 715 to break Babe Ruth's record...
The Basketball Hall of Fame Selections

I clicked on the story about who was selected to this year's class of inductees into the Basketball Hall of Fame looking for one name in particular and when I saw it wasn't among those honored - I was disgusted. I still am.

The injustice of Dennis Johnson being once again overlooked for the Hall of Fame is a joke. Dennis Johnson was a complete player and a complete teammate. He could score, pass, rebound and defend. In fact Johnson made 9 straight NBA All-Defensive First and Second Teams and was one of the best defenders in the history of the NBA. Not to take anything away from Adrian Dantley but compared to DJ - he was a one-dimensional player.

Larry Bird called Johnson the best teammate he ever had. That teammate was the MVP of Seattle's 1979 World Championship and was the glue that held the team together on two Boston Celtics Championship teams. Dantley piled up meaningless points and gets rewarded with induction to the Hall of Fame. DJ made clutch plays that won championships and he gets bupkiss in terms of recognition.

It's a joke.
Morning Music

Here's this morning's listening (and watching I guess) music selections.

- Tears for Fears - Mad World. The Original. I agree that the dance moves shown are known as "doing the seizure."

- The Waterboys - The Whole of the Moon. I wish I was able to find a nice copy of Fisherman's Blues.

- Warren Zevon - Boom Boom Mancini. Great boxing clips to go with the singing of Warren Zevon.

- They Might Be Giants - Ana Ng

- Gary Jules - Mad World. A very different but equally good remake.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Free Trade with Columbia

Secretary of State Condolezza Rice has a column in today's Wall Street Journal regarding the free trade agreement with Columbia. I don't understand who could be against this agreement and why. In a world where we give favored nation status to Communist China - who could oppose treating a democracy in our own hemisphere to just as favorable terms? In an economy where everyone is warning about a coming bad spell - why would people want to repeat the mistakes of Smoot-Hawley on a lesser scale?

If there is a valid argument against the Free Trade Agreement with Columbia - I'd like to hear it.
Iraq and Its Costs

An article in The Wall Street Journal by Senators Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham - well worth the read.
Today's antiwar politicians have effectively turned John F. Kennedy's inaugural address on its head, urging Americans to refuse to pay any price, or bear any burden, to assure the survival of liberty. This is wrong. The fact is that America's prosperity at home and security abroad are bound together. We will not fare well in a world in which al Qaeda and Iran can claim that they have defeated us in Iraq and are ascendant.

There is no question the war in Iraq – like the Cold War, World War II and every other conflict we have fought in our history – costs money. But as great as the costs of this struggle have been, so too are the dividends to our national security from a successful outcome, with a functioning, representative Iraqi government and a stabilized Middle East. The costs of abandoning Iraq to our enemies, conversely, would be enormous, not only in dollars, but in human lives and in the security and freedom of our nation.
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

It's not so much that Detroit is 0-6 to start the season. It's that they are already 4 games back in the standings... Many Red Sox fans are frustrated with Coco Crisp and would like to see him traded already. But Terry Francona has shown an ability to get bench players their at bats and Coco at the least makes the best late inning defensive replacement in the game (moving Ellsbury to left for Manny Ramirez). However, the frustration Red Sox fans have with Crisp's situation must be nothing compared to how the Dodgers fans must be feeling about Juan Pierre. Both Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier deserve to start and both of those players make the Dodgers a better team than what Pierre brings to the table. Yet there's Pierre continually trotted out to take up valuable AB from Ethier and Kemp. Here's the catch - both Crisp and Pierre are light hitting defensive specialists but Pierre has $36.5 million left on his contract that runs through the 2011 season and the contract includes a limited no-trade clause. Meanwhile Crisp is a better defensive player and his contract calls for only $4.75 million in '08, $5.75 million in '09, with a $8 million club option in 2010. My guess is that it will be very tough for Ned Colletti to trade Pierre for any sort of value while Coco Crisp is also available on the market... It very could be that Derek Lowe will be the best free agent pitcher available after this season. Lowe has had two real solid starts to begin the season. It could also very well be that Lowe ends up trade bait for the Dodger since the Dodgers are pretty deep at starter if Estaban Loaiza remains steady and Jason Schmidt comes back healthy. Lowe could be traded mid-season for the simple fact that Scott Boras is his agent and Lowe will probably be going to the highest bidder at the end of the year... The season is less than 10 games in and already Oakland's Joe Blanton has two 2-1 losses on his record. I feel bad for the guy... My early season fascination with David Murphy continues as the ex-Red Sox farmhand had another 2 hits last night and is now hitting .409 on the season... The Colorado Rockies have only scored 10 runs so far this season and are only hitting .209 as a team. Yet it is the Cubs fans you hear complaining... Who knew? Gabe Kapler (2) now has more HR than either Manny Ramirez (1) or David Ortiz (1). I guess that year off really helped. Just the same - I wouldn't rush out to pick up Kapler for your fantasy baseball team nor would I drop either Manny or Big Papi from your line-up... John Smoltz just needs 19 more strikeouts for 3,000 in his career. Smoltz should be a first year selection for the Hall of Fame when he's done....
Morning Music

Here's this morning's listening (and watching I guess) music selections.

- Psychedelic Furs - Heartbreak Beat

- Dire Straits - The Man's Too Strong. One of my favorite Dire Straits songs. Too bad you never hear it on the radio.

- Leonard Cohen and U2 - Tower of Song. Awesome lyrics.

- Better than Ezra - Good

- Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem - Brennan on the Moor

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Iraq and Germany

Interesting comparison between Iraq and post-war Germany:
Self-government did not come until 1949, and Allied troops remained in West Germany as occupiers until 1955, a full decade after the defeat of the Third Reich. Unrepentant Nazis stayed active on the extreme fringes of West German politics for years, and a few ex-Nazis held high positions even in mainstream politics until the 1960s. The Christian Democratic politician Kurt Georg Kiesinger, who had joined the Nazi Party in 1933, was chancellor of the Federal Republic from 1966 to 1969.
Iraq is actually far ahead of Germany when it comes to a self-government timeline.
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

How about those first place Marlins, Royals, Rays and Orioles? You have to love early season standings.... Dontrelle Willis gave up 3 earned runs in 5 innings yesterday on just one hit. Of course he left inherited runners who were driven in on a ground out and a single. Most telling was the fact that Willis walked 7 batters and struck out zero. I don't think Willis will fare well in the AL with a walk to strikeout ratio like that... Happy birthday to Framingham's Lou Merloni... Alex Rodriguez needs just 3 RBI to pass Mickey Mantle for 46th place on the all-time list. I'm sure Yankee fans have mixed feelings about that... If A-Rod's 3 RBI come on 3 solo HR - then he will also pass Ted Williams and Willie McCovey for 15th place on the all-time HR list. Of course any way the next 3 HR come from A-Rod he will still pass Williams and McCovey. I just like to think of A-Rod as a solo HR type of guy... Carlos Delgado is still the all-time leader in Toronto team history for HR (336), RBI (1058) and total bases (2786). Those numbers would only put him 5th, 6th and 7th respectively on the Red Sox all-time team lists... Kyle Snyder's time with the Red Sox is probably over. There are just too many teams out there who are desperate for a 5th starter for him to clear waivers... Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe likened the situation of Mike Hampton to lottery winners who are beset with bad lucky after striking it rich. It seems like an apt comparison... It's worth noting that David Murphy (who the Red Sox traded to the Rangers in the Gagne deal) qualifies as a rookie and with his HR last night - he's probably the early leader for AL ROY. Murphy currently has an OPS of 1.180....
Morning Music

Here's this morning's listening (and watching I guess) music selections.

- Radiohead - Karma Police. I sending this song out to Thomas L. Athans - husband of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) Michigan.

- Aerosmith - Living on the Edge. I sending this song out to Thomas L. Athans - husband of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) Michigan.

- Fionna Apple - Across the Universe. This version of the song has really grown on me. Nothing to do with Tommy Athans.

- Reverend Horton Heat - Slow. I sending this song out to Thomas L. Athans - husband of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) Michigan. The Big Beaver Road reference is perfect.

- Martha and the Muffins - Echo Beach. I bet Tommy Athans likes muffins.
Charlton Heston

[Charlton Heston has passed away. Below is something I wrote about Heston a couple of years ago. I think it's still relevant as I doubt you will find mention of much of what I say in any MSM article.]

Today is Charlton Heston's 82nd birthday. Since he announced to the world that he had Alzheimer's disease - Chuck Heston hasn't made many public appearances. I even had to double check to see if he was still alive.

It seems to me that the political voyage of Charlton Heston is a reflection of the changes many in the country have also undergone these past 50 years. Heston was a civil rights crusader (he marched with Martin Luther King Jr.) and the Democrats asked him to run for Senate in California in 1969 but the left turn of the Democratic Party turned him off and made him more conservative in his views.

In the early 60's - Heston could have been the face of the Democratic Party. Now he's viewed as an icon of arch-conservativism. When you know the history - the transformation is enlightening. Chances are that Heston always remained the same person but it was the Democratic Party that changed. Take a look at this quote from 2003:
"There is no duty more noble than that which has called you across the world in defense of freedom. Yours is a mission of hope and humanity for the oppressed. Rest assured that while pretend-patriots talk of supporting you, even as they condemn your noble cause, an unwavering vast majority of Americans share and take pride in your mission. You represent all that is good and right about America and are the true face of American patriotism. You walk in those same righteous footsteps of all those patriots who, before you, fought to preserve liberty for all. Our prayers and our personal gratitude are with you and your families. May God Bless You, Charlton and Lydia Heston." - Message sent to the US troops in Iraq, April 2003
It is tough to imagine a Democratic Party icon making that statement in 2003 but could you see a Democratic stalwart from the early 1960's saying it (think of Kennedy's "bear any burden" attitude)?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

Today would have been Mickey Cochrane's 105th birthday. Cochrane was both one of the 5 best ballplayers to ever come out of Massachusetts and one of the 5 best catchers of all-time (Bill James has him ahead of Carlton Fisk). Not bad for a kid from Bridgewater... I thought OBP was Billy Beane's thing? Travis Buck is supposedly Oakland's leadoff hitter but Buck has yet to get a hit or a walk this season... Just when you thought the Eric Gagne trade to Boston couldn't get more aggravating. Last night Kason Gabbard went 7 scoreless innings to earn the win and outfielder David Murphy had a two hits (including a double), two runs scored and a stolen base in last night's 11-6 victory over the Angels. Gabbard and Murphy were traded for Gagne late last season... Last night Matt Stairs hit his 242nd HR. I like Matt Stairs if just for the simple fact that he doesn't look like an athlete. He looks like he should be tearing it up in a local beer league not the major leagues but there he is in his 16th season in the bigs. Stairs is also 2nd on the list of HR hit by a Canadian born player (Larry Walker tops the list)... Ian Kennedy gave up 6 earned runs in less than 3 innings yesterday and the Yankees were pounded by the Rays. I'm pretty sure that Clay Buchholtz can top Kennedy's start when Clay pitches for the Red Sox today. LaTroy Hawkins also managed to give up 6 earned runs last night but he did it in less than one inning. My guess is that Girardi may be better off only using Hawkins on the road until Hawkins gets his ERA under double digits... Matt Holliday probably has a large number of people second guessing their decision to take him with their first pick in their fantasy baseball drafts. Holliday has just one single so far this season but now's the time I remind you that the season is just a week old and to just wait. Holliday will put up the numbers (at least I hope so since I too took him with a first round pick)...
Morning Music

Here's this morning's listening (and watching I guess) music selections.

- The Lemmonheads - It's a Shame About Ray. Supposedly this song was about Boston Mayor Ray Flynn.

- They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse in Your Soul

- Maroon 5 - This Love

- Fionna Apple - Criminal

- Counting Crows - A Long December

Friday, April 04, 2008

Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

Last year the Tigers were 3-0 in games after being shut out in the game before. With yesterday's 4-1 loss to the Royals - the Tigers are now 0-1 in games after being shut out in 2008... Last season Mark Teahen was moved from 3rd base by the Royals to make room for super prospect Alex Gordon. I wouldn't be surprised if Teahen actually outperforms Gordon though. Teahen has the potential to be the best player to ever come out of St. Mary's College (of course that just means beating out the likes of Tom Candiotti and Von Hayes)... Well that didn't take long. If you had 1 inning in the over under in how long Mike Hampton would last before going on the DL - YOU LOSE. Without an inning pitched Hampton is now on the DL. The boy in the bubble had more resilience than Hampton... Justin Morneau is 0-12 to start the season.... If you take away Kosuke Fukudome's numbers then the Cubs are hitting only .180 as a team. With Fukudome's numbers the Cubs are hitting just .206 which still stinks.... Tris Speaker would have been 120 today. Speaker is largely a forgotten player but he was one of the best centerfielders of all-time. He is also 5th in all-time hits and 6th in all-time batting average (just ahead of Ted Williams). His defense was superb as this poem will ascribe:
Lineup for Yesterday

S is for Speaker,
Swift center-field tender,
When the ball saw him coming,
It yelled, "I surrender."
— Ogden Nash
Morning Music

Here's this morning's listening (and watching I guess) music selections.

- The Cult - Fire Woman. I love cranking the volume on this song.

- Peter Gabriel - Come Talk to Me

- Dead Can Dance - The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Haunting.

- Squeeze - Cool for Cats

- Foo Fighters - The Pretender

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Heh Heh

John McCain and David Letterman exchanging insults.

HT Liberal Values
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

Many people in Boston bring up the Red Sox trading away of Josh Bard when they talk about the lack of depth in the organization behind Jason Varitek at catcher. To me though - the big loss was Kelly Stoppach who was traded to Cleveland in the Coco Crisp deal. Stoppach is the perfect back-up for Cleveland and he would have been perfect in Boston too... You have to be rooting for Doug Davis as he makes his first start of the season against the Reds today. Davis will make his first two starts and then begin treatment for thyroid cancer... I'm also rooting for Jamie Moyer. I just like Jamie Moyer. I hope he gets at least 11 wins this season. He already has 230 and if he gets 11 wins then he'll pass fellow lefties Whitey Ford (236), David Wells (239), Frank Tanana (240) and Herb Pennock (240) and take over 53rd place on the all-time list. And speaking of 53rd place on the all-time list - Moyer needs just 25 K's to pass Dennis Martinez for 53rd place on the all-time list for strikeouts... Baseball fans in Worcester were all happy to see Wes Helms get designated for assignment by the Phillies. It's not that we dislike Helms its just that the other likely candidate to be dropped to make room for Rudy Seanez was Worcester's Tim Lahey who was a rule 5 pickup by Philadelphia.
Morning Music

Here's this morning's listening (and watching I guess) music selections.

- The Call - Here's to You. Appropriate to let the day begin with the "let the day begin" song.

- AC/DC - Thunderstruck. Get the testosterone flowing. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like victory.

- Violent Femmes - Gone Daddy Gone.

- The Godfathers - She Gives Me Love.

- Rhapsody in Blue

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Pedro and Schilling

Pedro Martinez will be out for 4-6 weeks with a hamstring strain. I had wished that Pedro would have re-signed with the Red Sox and have retired with the Red Sox but if wishes were fishes as they say...

I find it interesting that some folks have started calling Curt Schilling "dead money" because he will miss much (if not all) of this season with an injury. Almost as soon as I heard about Pedro's injury I thought about how Pedro will cost the Mets $11 million this season while Curt's deal with the Red Sox is a more reasonable $8 million (plus incentives).

It will be interesting to follow both players and see who contributes more this season (probably Pedro since I'm not expecting much out of Schilling).

Just for the heck of it - Pedro has been with the Mets since 2005 - here's how his numbers compare to Schilling's since he went to New York:

Pedro - 27-17 / 381 IP / 3.69 ERA / 378 SO
Schilling - 32-23 / 448.33 IP / 4.30 ERA / 371 SO

Not making any editorial comment with this comparison. I just thought it was interesting. I will say that Theo and the front office was correct in not giving Pedro that 4th year in the contract and allowing him to move on.
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

Interesting - the Royals have never lost a regular season game in March. With their victory Monday over the Tigers they are now 3-0 in their history of March matchups... The Red Sox duo of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez is regarded as perhaps the best 1-2 punch in baseball but the Brewers Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun may give them a run for their money. I've long said that the lack of someone to protect Vlade Guererro in the Angels line-up is the major reason they won't be able to win it all... Gabe Kapler is supposed to start today for the Brewers. Last season he was a minor league manager for the Red Sox. His comeback will be an interesting situation to watch. I wish him well... The Nationals have had 6 different centerfielders the past 6 Opening Days. The Angels have also used 6 different centerfielders the past 6 years.... What? Chan Ho Park didn't have one? Interesting tidbit:
The Rangers have gone 193 games since they had a starting pitcher throw a complete game. If Jennings doesn't go the distance on Wednesday, the Rangers will tie the Major League record held by the Tampa Bay Rays
Manny Ramirez is tied with Goose Goslin for 27th place in RBI with 1609. Next up on the list for Manny - Harold Baines with 1628... It will be interesting to watch Greg Maddux this season. He needs just 8 wins to pass Roger Clemens for 8th place on the all-time list. Maddux has 347 wins and after Clemens - he has a shot at Kid Nichols in 7th place with 361...
Morning Music

Here's this morning's listening (and watching I guess) music selections.

- Peter Gabriel - Here Comes the Flood. One of my favorite songs.

- Eddie Vedder - Guaranteed

- The Shins - Phantom Limb

- The Clash - Radio Clash (live).

- Silver Chair - Straight Lines. This band came out of nowhere with a sound that reminded people of Led Zepplin but now they sound like a less masculine Coldplay. I still like this song though.
Living History

I was touched by this post
. Especially the words:
I am proud, and awed, too, to say that he is one of the Americans who saved the world from fascism and tyranny when everything dear to civilization was threatened with destruction.
Too often we forget the price that was paid for our freedom. Too little do we acknowledge the sacrifices of those who went before us. Those of us born in the US these past 40 years are the luckiest humans born anywhere at any time in history.

HT Instapundit

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I think that if Barack Obama does win the Democratic nomination that the McCain campaign will be just as successful using Obama's relationship with Ted Kennedy to turn off centrist voters as it will be with the Reverend Wright... Does any political position fly under the radar more than the position of Speaker of the House? Fredrick Muhlenberg was the first Speaker of the House. If you knew that then you are a total history geek... Happy 54th birthday to Dave "Devil Fish" Ulliott. I'm not particularly a fan of Ulliott but I'll wish him happy birthday just the same... This is actually rather important and the analysis can't really be argued with. I think you will start to see a drastic change in the way print media covers games. For instance - the humor and insight of someone condensing a SoSH Red Sox game thread into a column would be equal or better than almost anything the Globe or Herald can offer. And that's not a knock on the Herald or Globe. It's just the way it is.
Morning Music

Some morning music for your listening enjoyment.

- Lynyrd Skynyrd - Simple Man. With lyrics in Spanish or Portuguese (I don't know which).

- Jim Carroll Band - People who Died. Is it bad that I'm surprised that Jim Carroll is still alive?

- The Godfathers - Birth, School, Work Death. A blast from the 80's.

- Echo and the Bunnymen - Killing Moon. I love Echo and the Bunnymen's 1984 album Ocean Rain.

- Def Leppard - Foolin. In honor of today being April's Fool day.
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

Goose Goslin has the most HR of any visiting player at Yankee Stadium in history with 32 dingers. Manny Ramirez has an outside shot at that record though. Manny Has 27 career HR at the House that Ruth Built... Is Jeff Kent a Hall of Famer? Consider that he's just going into his 17th season and already he has more total bases (4067 and counting) than Wade Boggs (4064) who played for 18 seasons. Kent is also in the top 75 in all-time HR with 366 (and counting). That puts him 5 ahead of Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio and just 10 behind Carlton Fisk (though to be fair to DiMaggio - the Yankee Clipper did lose 2 seasons to military service)... Chris Young of the Diamondbacks could be be a 30 HR / 30 SB guy but if your fantasy baseball league punishes you for player strikeouts - then he's probably not worth it. Young had a HR and 3 strikeouts yesterday... In the future - I wonder if people will look at the 2003 NL Cy Young Award as being as tainted as the 1988 AL MVP... Tom Gordon's ERA after one game is 135.00. Put another way - Gordon could have a bunch of scoreless appearances in a row - say 8 2/3's innings worth and his ERA would still be 5.00 which is poor for a reliever...