Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kyle Lohse

I'm of two minds regarding the Cardinals signing Kyle Lohse to a 4-year $41 million contract.

On one hand - every contending team needs a number 3 starter who can give you 200 IP. Lohse can be that guy.

On the other hand - they gave him a full no trade clause.

Sure Lohse probably signed the contract in the first place for family financial security reasons and because he likes it in St. Louis. The no-trade was the price to pay. There's nothing to say the Cardinals won't be able to get Lohse to waive that clause if things go South. Lohse has pitched over 170 innings in five of the past six years so I'm guessing it's not a bad news.

The Rundown has a more detail look at the move. His feelings seem to be similar to mine - "Meh - not a bad move but nothing to get excited about."

Lohse is like a decent house salad. Nothing to get excited about - it doesn't make the meal but it's a necessary part of a healthy dining experience. (Possibly the worst analogy I've ever made in this space.)
Presidential Odds

Bad news for John McCain - he's becoming more of an underdog against Barack Obama instead of pulling closer. The betting odds now stand at:

John McCain +$155
Barack Obama -$190

Meaning - you would win $155 on a $100 bet on McCain or you could risk $190 to win just $100 on Obama. This is a reverse of the trend last mentioned here on September 13th. My guess is that the change in odds is due largely to people watching the first debate and saying "Obama isn't that bad."

Odds via Bodog.com

Monday, September 29, 2008

Edgar Renteria

ESPN is reporting that the Tigers won't be bringing Edgar Renteria back next season. I can't say this is much of a surprise. Renteria was so-so in the field (16 errors) and at the plate this season (.699 OPS) for the Tigers. Letting him go is not a problem. It's what it cost the Tigers in the first place that is the problem.

To get Renteria - the Tigers had to give up pitcher Jair Jurrjens who is just 22-years old and whose 13 wins and 3.68 ERA would have tied for best on this year's Tigers team. Jurrjens is a stud pitcher who should be the anchor of the Braves staff for years to come.

I bring this up not to rank on Edgar Renteria or the Tigers but to point out another example of bringing in a aging "All-Star" at the cost of young talent that once again back-fired. This is the Steinbrenner method and it doesn't work. It will be interesting to see which teams learn from this and which teams repeat the mistake.

It will also be interesting to see where Renteria ends up next year. If he doesn't land a job - don't feel too bad for him. He's made over $68 million over the course of his career.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paul Newman

I've spent a large part of my day reading about Paul Newman - a truly amazing person. It is sad to see the passing of such a legend but it was his time.

Paul once said something like "show me a man with no enemies and I'll show you a man with no character." Maybe Paul Newman was the exception that proves the rule because it seems nobody anywhere has anything bad to say of the man. He was an accomplished actor, a loving husband, a selfless humanitarian and maybe most extraordinary - a regular guy.

People posting meetings with Newman on various threads on the Internets uniformly praise Newman for being such a humble, likable guy in person. He was not just cool incarnate - he was niceness incarnate. It's as if Newman's guiding principle was to live life with a "there but by the grace of God go I" mentality.

Vanity Fair recently had a very good profile of Paul Newman and this was perhaps the anecdote that summed up Paul Newman the man best:
This past year, at one of the usual meetings of parents and children at the original camp, Newman showed up; crowds pressed close. The mother of one little girl spoke to Ray Lamontagne, the head of the camp’s board. Her daughter wanted to tell Paul Newman something, but she couldn’t get over to him because she was in a wheelchair. Lamontagne fought his way through the crowd and brought Newman back to the little girl, and he knelt down by her wheelchair. “For the first time in my life I have a friend,” the little girl told him. “I’ve never had a friend before, because I’ve been in a wheelchair most of my life, so kids avoided me. So thank you, Mr. Newman, for this camp.” Newman had tears in his eyes.

He had already said, “I wanted to acknowledge luck. The beneficence of it in many lives and the brutality of it in the lives of others, especially children, who might not have a lifetime to make up for it.”
Perhaps my favorite Newman role was as Reg Dunlop in Slap Shot (maybe the best sports movie ever made). It is also interesting to play the "what if" game regarding his roles. For instance - Newman supposedly turned down the role of Dirty Harry (a role that Frank Sinatra also supposedly turned down). It has also been written that Newman was offered the role of Quint in Jaws - a role that went to Robert Shaw. And speaking of Shaw - enjoy this bit from another Newman classic - The Sting.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Johnny Pesky

It is right and fitting that the Red Sox will retire Johnny Pesky's #6 on Friday. Pesky turns 89 on Saturday and has spent the better part of his life as a member of the Red Sox organization. For almost every year since 1942 Pesky has been associated with the Red Sox in one form or another.

Retiring Pesky's number required "bending" the rules the Red Sox had established that stated a player's number can only be retired if the player spent 10 years with the Red Sox, was a Hall of Fame player and also retired with the Red Sox. Technically Johnny Pesky did not meet a single one of the conditions (he last played with the Washington Senators) but the Red Sox owners wisely viewed the rules more as just guidelines.

That leaves open the question of other players such as:

Jim Rice - he will have his number 14 retired. The Red Sox are waiting to see if he gets voted into the Hall of Fame this year. If he does not - then the Red Sox will "bend" the rules once again. Rice still works for the Red Sox as a studio analyst.

Roger Clemens - nope - not gonna happen. Clemens is tied for all-time wins for the Red Sox but his number 21 won't be retired. It's not just the steroids business either. Clemens left the Red Sox with bad blood and many Red Sox fans have no love for him. Heck he's tied with Cy Young for wins and do you see Young being recognized by the Red Sox?

Wade Boggs - nope - not gonna happen. Boggs can get misty about his days with the Yankees or Devil Rays but there's a reason you never see him around Fenway Park (unless he's selling hair plugs).

Dwight Evans - many stat heads will argue that Evans was every bit the player Jim Rice was and if you include defense then I won't argue the point. However, there's a reason contemporaries voted Jim Rice in the top 5 in MVP voting 6 times and Evans just twice. Evans left the Red Sox with bad blood and look no further to the fact that the Red Sox gave 24 to among others Kevin Mitchell as evidence that they had no plans to retire 24. That could have changed if Manny Ramirez stayed with Boston but now you'll see someone else wearing 24 shortly.

Tony Conigliaro - some oldtimers will argue for the retirement of number 25 but you don't retire numbers for "could have beens". Gord Kluzak could have been one of the greatest defensemen in NHL history but knee injuries caused him to retire early. You don't see the Bruins retiring his number. There have been 12 players to wear 25 since Tony C - the most current being Mike Lowell.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Greetings from Nashville

Greetings from the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. This is one of the nicest hotel complexes I've stayed at but you do feel kinda of captive here. Sure they have shuttles that will take you to downtown Nashville but in my mind that's been equated with some sort of work release. The hotel is pretty much self contained with all the dining and entertainment needs met under a single very large roof.

Don't get me wrong - it's very nice here. I'm sure I'm going to enjoy my time here. If I'm honest - then maybe it's the name Gaylord Hotel that has me a little off my game today. As a kid - two of the insults we used to hurl at each other without thinking were "queerbait" and "gaylord". We never stopped to think about the meaning of the insult. We just called each other that without thought and in most cases without hesitation. At heart I guess I'm still a little kid but now I do think about the meanings of words. Do you really want to call someone "bait for queers"? And what is a gay lord? Is that like King Edward II of England?

My sense of humor is still very juvenile which explains why I laughed when I learned that spa at the hotel offers facials including "the Gaylord Glow." Fabulous! I heard that was supposed to be good for the skin.

Maybe if I'm more honest - it's really the ass whipping that the Patriots got yesterday that has me with a not so fresh feeling. I blame myself. I was at the last game the Patriots lost at Foxboro - which was also to the Dolphins. That was the game Doug Flutie hit a dropkick. I blame myself because every time I post my picks in this space bad things happen. Did I really need to have Benedict Arnold picking the Patriots? That won't stop me from still posting my picks from time to time when the spirit moves me. I'm sure there are many out there who either had the Patriots or picked them in a knockout pool thinking it was the safest pick they had all season.

While I'm getting things off my chest though - let me ask if you saw the final game at Yankee Stadium last night? (Yes I know the Green Bay / Dallas game was on at the same time.) The Yankees trotted out all sorts of "Legends". I can understand most of them being included but did you see Wade Boggs on the field? WTF? This is an example of why I dislike Wade Boggs so much. This was also the final nail in the coffin of Wade Boggs' chances to get his number retired by the Red Sox.

Wade Boggs molests collies.

If you need to find me - just check Rusty's sports bar at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. That's probably where I'll be the next few nights.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Leonard Cohen

Happy 74th birthday to the vastly under-rated singer songwriter.
Benedict Arnold Gives You His NFL Picks

On this day in 1780 - Benedict Arnold betrayed his country by giving the British the plans to the American position at West Point. Today we are "lucky" to have the ghost of Benedict Arnold here to make his NFL picks.

ALR: Welcome and thanks for joining us today.

BA: Pleased to be here young master Lynch.

ALR: Before we start on your NFL picks - I must ask you if it bothers you that your name has become synonymous with treason or treachery?

BA: As I say in purgatory - better infamy than no famy at all. What? Right?

ALR: OK... ummmm... so who do you like today in the NFL.

BA: Well I thought it would be nice to start off by picking a game involving a New York team since I won my fame at the battle of Saratoga and my infamy at West Point. However it seems the only team that actually plays in the state of New York is the team in Buffalo of all places. Anyways - the team named the Bills is favored by 9.5 points but if you tease the Bills with the Oakland Raiders you can win with any final score that has the Bills winning by 4 points up to 15 points.

ALR: So like in life - you want to play both sides against the middle?

BA: Well that is a vulgar way to put it but it is a matter of money you see. My next pick may put me in a more favorable light. I strongly support the Patriots giving 12.5 points against Miami.

ALR: So in real life you stabbed the "Patriots" in the back but today you advocate supporting the Patriots?

BA: Well in real life I was getting money for not supporting the Patriots - here I'm only giving points. Speaking of giving - since I "gave" those plans for West Point to the British - I thought it would be humorous to take the team from Pittsburgh but then I learned it's spelled Steelers and not Stealers. So in that case I say take the team from Philadelphia and give the 3 blasted points.

ALR: Thanks for joining us and good luck trying to win another 30 coins of silver.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Modest Proposal

Everyone is aware of the mortgage crisis and US Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson addresses the situation. I would like to make a modest proposal to help insure that the situation does not repeat itself.

It seems to me that the situation was caused as much by people serially refinancing their mortgages as it was by first time buyers who were unqualified for a loan. I would suggest studying the "bad" loans caused by multiple refinancing to find out the most common time frames but in lieu of that hard data - I would suggest taking away the tax-deductible status of any mortgage that is the third mortgage by the borrower within a 5-year period.

People use their equity to pay off credit card loans when the tax deductibility for mortgage loan interest was never meant for such purposes. It was supposed to make home ownership more attractive and affordable. Not credit card binges. If you treat interest on mortgages the same as interest on credit cards for serial refinancers - then the incentive to refinance goes away.
God Hates Shrimp!

On Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th each year) a bunch of pirate dressed Pastafarians out protest the hate-monger morons of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Very cool.

I like to think though that anyone touched by his noodly appendage wouldn't "hate" anything.
Trees Make Aspirin When Stressed

Interesting article. It made me think about the series Rome when people were offered "Willow water" when not feeling well.
Plants make aspirin when they need an immune boost, according to new research, sending a form of the compound airborne to signal a health problem to the rest of the tree or to other trees.

The finding may help growers more readily identify plants under stress by monitoring for the airborne distress signal.

Researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. made the finding over a walnut tree grove in California. They used sensitive instruments to detect the organic compounds in the air over the grove at different locations, including different heights.

The researchers found levels of an unidentified compound that swamped the levels of the compounds they set out to look for.

"It was kind of a surprise to us because we weren't really looking for this product," said study lead author Thomas Karl. "We weren't sure what we were seeing to begin with."

The compound turned out to be methyl salicylate, a volatile form of salicylic acid. Salicylic acid was originally derived from willow bark and shown to have the pain- and fever-relieving effects known for aspirin. A modified form of salicylic acid, acetosalicylic acid, is now sold as the active ingredient in aspirin.

Salicylic acid is produced by plants when they are under stress like drought or attack by a fungus or insect. It travels through the plant's vascular system and activates the plant's version of an immune response.
HT Sports Frog

Friday, September 19, 2008

Carnac Reveals the Baseball Playoffs

Answer: The Boston Red Sox
Question: Who will win the AL East?

The Red Sox will win the AL East in large part because the Tampa Bay Devil Rays finish the season with 8 road games.

Answer: The Boston Red Sox
Question: Who wins the AL Championship Series?

Tampa Bay will be forced to fly out to play the Angels and though they will make it close - the Angels will prevail. Meanwhile the Red Sox just overmatch the Twins. This sets up an Angels / Red Sox ALCS which will be won by the Red Sox.

Answer: The Boston Red Sox
Question: Who will win the World Series?

The Red Sox will end up beating the surprising Los Angeles Dodgers who have perhaps the hottest starting pitching in the NL. It will be the starting pitching which gets the Dodgers into their first series since 1988.

Answer: Conspiracy Theorists
Question: Who else will be predicting a Red Sox - Dodgers World Series?

You know the TV network folks really don't want Tampa Bay to advance. In any other year the best TV match-up for the World Series would be Red Sox / Cubs. But with the Manny Ramirez uber-storyline lurking in the wings - a Red Sox / Dodgers match-up will be too good to be true and lead to many cries that the fix was in.

And if you don't like my predictions - may a camel with a weak kidney condition find your hope chest.
History's View of George W. Bush

Charles Krauthammer has an interesting article this morning on how history will view President Bush. Not to steal his thunder but here's how Krauthammer finishes the piece:
In this respect, Bush is much like Truman, who developed the sinews of war for a new era (the Department of Defense, the CIA, the NSA), expanded the powers of the presidency, established a new doctrine for active intervention abroad, and ultimately engaged in a war (Korea) -- also absent an attack on the U.S. -- that proved highly unpopular.

So unpopular that Truman left office disparaged and highly out of favor. History has revised that verdict. I have little doubt that Bush will be the subject of a similar reconsideration.
If you've read this space for any period of time - you'll know that I've been saying that exact same thing for over 2 years now.
Funny Screen Shots

Barack Obama's email - the really funny subtle thing is the Monster.com ad for getting more experience.

My friend thinks Notre Dame football is a bunch of vaginas anyway - this actual screenshot of Rivals.com (before it was changed) probably supports his assertion

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Carson Palmer

When did Carson Palmer become Duante Culpepper - the destroyer of fantasy football worlds? Palmer has been a dessicated husk of a quarterback. People who have played him on their fantasy teams would have been better off playing a tackling dummy. I have him in one of my leagues and I thinking of changing that team name to Carson Palmer and the Negative Mojos.

Am I a bad person because I'm secretly hoping for Palmer to get hurt so that the Bengals would have to play Harvard's Ryan Fitzpatrick?

Speaking of Harvard - Holy Cross plays the Crimson this Friday. I wish they had 1-AA lines because Harvard's going down and I would have made a bundle with the money-line.
Greetings from Pittsburgh

I spent last night in Pittsburgh. I'm pretty sure it was a full moon and I'm absolutely sure things were weird.

In Ohio and Western Pennsylvania the high winds from the recent storm have literally been a disaster. Trees and tree limbs litter almost any street you drive down. Tens of thousands are still without power. Many schools are still closed. It's been a trying time for hundreds of thousands of people. Yet you won't catch anyone from Ohio or Western Pennsylvania complaining.

The storm after effects have indirectly impacted my life. I do my travel arrangements mostly last minute because my schedule is always changing. It was tough getting a rental car in Pittsburgh because so many people have come in to help with the storm damage or have rented a car because their car is now in the shop after having tree limbs fall down on them. I'm not complaining since my inconvenience was an extra 15 minutes checking 4 web sites instead of my usual one or two. I rented from a company where I don't have "points" (poor me) but I got a nice Pontiac Torrent - a small SUV I never would have thought to have rented.

The storm after effects also impacted my hotel accommodations. So many rooms have been rented by people without power, people like first responders and out of state electrical crews that most of the rooms are occupied. I ended up having to get a smoking room at a Holiday Inn Express (Holiday Inn is about my fifth choice for hotel stays). I didn't feel smarter for staying at the Holiday Inn Express either. To be honest - if anything I felt "oogey."

Let me explain. The smell of smoke and seeing ashtrays all over the room (even in the bathroom) made me think back to the 70's when that was common place. That made me think of this old-timer sales road-warrior I knew who explained that back in the day it was 50/50 that when staying in a hotel that you'd find a Penthouse or Playboy under the mattress. This made me start thinking of my room as seedy - and I explained my feelings about seedy hotels before. I almost decided to sleep in my clothes.

As far as the weird. I stopped at the Pittsburgh Chop House for dinner. As I was alone and as I expected to find a game on - I decided to eat at the bar. You can smoke in the bars in Pennsylvania but smoke has never bothered me (unless its a smoking room in a seedy hotel I guess). Anyway - I was eating at the bar but there was no game on. The Pirates were playing at home but the bar didn't have the channel. Being from Boston - that's almost unimaginable. And weird.

The really weird thing though happened while I was finishing up my meal. Next to me at the bar sat a lady in a wedding gown who was soon joined by her groom. After I offered my congratulations - the bride explained that this was her second wedding and that they were married that afternoon. They had a small reception and then they went to the chop house to have dinner alone. She thought it was perfect. I thought it was weird. Who gets married on a Tuesday? Who asks their friends and family to take a day off in the middle of the week to attend the wedding? There's some things a bride and groom should be doing in private on their wedding night but it never occurred to me to include having dinner as one of those things. Weird.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Greetings from Ohio

Yesterday was what I'd call a "travel day". The most part of the day was spent either flying from Providence to Pittsburgh or driving from Pittsburgh to Columbus.

Wait - what? Driving from Pittsburgh to Columbus? Isn't that like flying into Boston just to drive down to New York City? Well - yes. But I have my reasons. The rest of my week is to be spent in the Pittsburgh area - and heck - I don't mind driving.

I do mind being tired and yesterday I was tired. Monday night I stayed up to watch the Steelers and Browns and I also stayed up to re-read the first Harry Potter book. Like driving from Pittsburgh to Columbus - re-reading a book you've read several times already on a night when you need your sleep because you're leaving for the airport at 6:30 am doesn't seem to make sense. Unlike the driving decision - I really can't explain this one. OCD maybe? I picked up the book and I just had to finish it.

The sports talk in Pittsburgh was about Ben Roethlisberger and his right shoulder. If this was politics - they would be calling it "shoulder-gate". Does Big Ben have a slightly separated shoulder? How could all of the reporters and bloggers in Steelers obsessed Pittsburgh have missed this story? The team is basically dismissing the NBC report. I actually feel bad for NBC. Roethlisberger told them he had a slightly separated shoulder - what are they expect to do?

The sports talk in Columbus is of course all about the ass-kicking the Ohio State Buckeyes received Saturday night at the hands of USC. The finger of blame is being pointed all over the place. Talk about fickle fans. Firing Jim Tressel won't change the fact that USC was just the better team. Having Chris Wells in the line-up wouldn't have changed that fact either. Can't Buckeye fans just accept that their team maybe isn't the greatest team in all of the land? From what I've heard on sports radio - I think not.

One observation to make from Saturday's ass-whipping. I can't help but think Michigan made the right move to go with Rich Rodriguez and his speed oriented offense. You saw what speed can do on Saturday. Even though Michigan may be down for a few years - if Rodriguez can get the speed he wants at the skill positions then Ohio State is in trouble.

If Michigan can get the type of speed Rodriguez wants and they start beating Ohio State with it - then you'll really start to hear the "fire Jim Tressel" demands. And maybe then they'll be warranted.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

This is pretty funny.

Fey is spot on as Palin but you have to think that given Fey's politics that the portrayal is going to be very mean spirited. I guess with the different comediennes like Fey playing Palin - Mean Girls will take on a whole new meaning
Play with Spider

This is a pretty cool little time waster.

I covered France with bugs and let the spider have a banquet.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Presidential Odds

Just an update on the only poll I think worth paying attention to - the betting odds on the Presidential race is now:

John McCain +$110
Barack Obama -$150

That means you would bet $100 to win $110 on McCain but have to risk $150 to win just $100 on Obama. As I keep saying - the race is drawing even and soon McCain will be the betting favorite. Obama may have pulled out to a large early lead but as the bookies say - "We don't pay for halftime leads."

Remember that for betting purposes -$120 is dead even (with the house getting the extra $20 as vig).

Odds via Bodog.com

Friday, September 12, 2008

Jacked Up!

Awesome video. I guessed what was going to happen and I still laughed. Does that make me a bad person or just a regular guy?

And I laughed the second time I watched it too.
Separated at Birth

This is Jack McBrayer. He plays Kenneth on the TV show 30 Rock.

This is Steve Nash. He is Canadian.

I swear to God - when I saw the picture of Steve Nash over at Awful Announcing - I thought for sure that it was Kenneth from 30 Rock.

Has anyone ever seen Jack McBrayer and Steve Nash in the same room?
Pete Carroll Guy

I'm a Pete Carroll guy. And obviously in the 80's I was (and still am) a Celtics guy.

BYU has won 4 of it's last 5 games against PAC 10 foes. But don't read anything into that since their one loss was to UCLA last year (27-10). Of course BYU did later beat UCLA 17-16 in the Las Vegas Bowl. BYU is favored by 8 points on Saturday. Read between the lines to guess who I'll be putting my mythical money on.

Take the points and the Bruins who could win this game outright.
Bush Doctrine Question

Here's how I would have liked to have seen Sarah Palin handle Charlie Gibson's question on the "Bush Doctrine".
Sarah Palin: Charlie, each President comes into office under different sets of circumstances and they have to form their own policies based upon those circumstances. For example - the Soviet Union was clearly in violation of the Monroe Doctrine when they placed troops and missiles in Cuba. Did that mean that President Kennedy was supposed to go to war with the Soviet Union? No. President Kennedy had to deal with the circumstances of his time. President McCain will do likewise. To paraphrase a recent movie - the doctrines of past Presidents are more like guidelines than rules.

Charlie Gibson: But do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?

Sarah Palin: Charlie if you want to get into the details of the Bush Doctrine - I'd be happy to spend the rest of the interview time discussing them. If you are just fishing for a "gotcha" quote to use as a soundbite for the ads for the interview then I suggest you move on to the next question.
JibJab's Time for Some Campaigning

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

HT The Cropduster

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Brett Farve Factoid

Interesting stat from The Cold Hard Football Facts:
Cold, Hard Football Facts: [Aaron] Rodgers completed 18 of 22 passes (81.8%) in his first regular-season start. How many times did Brett Favre complete 80 percent of his passes in his 16 years with Green Bay? Believe it or not, just once: in his very last regular-season game in a Packers uniform. He went 9 of 11 (81.8%) in the 2007 finale against Detroit.
Never Forget.

American Airlines Flight 11

American Airlines Flight 77

United Airlines Flight 175

United Airlines Flight 93

The Pentagon

The World Trade Center

Let’s Roll

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Sarah Palin Effect

Wow - just wow. You can't manufacture this sort of sincerity.

Or this sort.

The humanity and decency of the McCain/Palin ticket is what is going to put them over the top this November
Presidential Odds

The odds on the US Presidential election have changed. At the time of the RNC - it was:

Barack Obama -$200
John McCain +$140

Meaning you would have to risk $200 on Barack Obama to win $100 or risk just $100 on John McCain to win $140.

Today those odds are:

Barack Obama -$160
John McCain +$120

That means that you would have to risk $160 to win $100 on Obama or risk just $100 to win $120 on McCain. It should be noted that -$120 is even money (the "house" takes $20 as vig). That means that the race for President is inching closer to a dead heat in the only poll I think is worth keeping an eye on.

I fully expect to race to draw even and then have McCain as the favorite sometime within a month.

Odds via Bodog.com

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Barack Obama Interview

Today we were lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with Democratic nominee for President Barack Obama.

ALR: Sir - than you so much for granting me this interview. I'm so glad that you chose my humble blog.

Barack Obama: It's my pleasure Chris. I know I can be completely honest and open with you. I don't have to worry about having to look combative like I did on the O'Reilly interview on Fox or getting creeped out by some "yes" man undressing me with his eyes like in the Olbermann interview.

ALR: We'll let's jump right into it. Your recent comments have been interpreted by many as you calling Sarah Palin a pig? Didn't it occur to you that the lipstick on a pig metaphor would be interpreted as an insult to Palin and to women in general?

Barack Obama: Of course I knew how it was going to be interpreted. I'm a Harvard grad for God's sake. I was speaking in not so veiled code calling Palin a pig. I had another joke written where I called her Miss Piggy. I didn't think I had to use that one because I figured the lipstick on a pig comment would be plain enough.I can't believe some people are defending what I said as an innocent comment.

ALR: But why do it then? Why make the lipstick on a pig comment? It's like you want to sabotage your own campaign.

Barack Obama: See Chris - that's why I agreed to the interview. You obviously get it. Of course I'm trying to sabotage my own campaign. I don't want to be President. I never thought it would go this far. And Michelle has made it clear that she absolutely doesn't want me to win this election.

ALR: Well I guess that explains the Joe Biden pick for Vice President.

Barack Obama: Exactly! If I really wanted to win - I would have picked Hillary to be the VP. Everyone knows that. I pick Joe Biden and the Hillary supporters jump ship. Sure they all say they will vote for me but come election day - they'll vote McCain just to spite me for my choice of Biden. I expected Joe Biden to have made a big gaffe by now that would alienate a bunch of voters but since he's been quiet - I figured "if you want something done right - do it yourself." That's why I called Palin a pig.

ALR: But why? You are so close to being President. Your election would be historic.

Barack Obama
: Well that's part of the problem. Do you think the first black President wouldn't be a major target? I don't want to live the next 4 or 8 years of my life worrying about some nut with a rifle. And if I really wanted to win and had picked Hillary - then I'd have to worry about somebody poisoning my food too. Those Clintons are hardcore power junkies.

ALR: But if you are worried about your safety - why run in the first place?

Barack Obama
: The money! You kidding? If I win this election I get paid peanuts as President and have the threat of assassination hanging over my head. If I make it close then lose - then I can make millions and millions going around the world and giving speeches. Look at Al Gore. He's making a bundle and having a blast. I just need to keep it close. I figure the pig comment should swing more women voters and some independents over to McCain. If it stays too close to call then I plan on being caught on tape saying something nasty about Asians or Mexicans. I haven't decided which group to alienate yet - probably the Mexicans because I don't see many big paying speaking opportunities in Mexico.

ALR: Well I'd like to say I'm shocked but these days not much in politics shocks me.

Barack Obama: Thanks for letting me vent.
Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at the RNC

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Joe Eacobacci No. 35 Memorial Jersey

The Joe Eacobacci No. 35 Memorial Jersey is one of the cooler traditions in college football. Nicholas Umar has the honor of wearing #35 this year for the Georgetown Hoyas who open their season tomorrow against Howard University.
Tom Brady and Albert Pujols

Maybe I'm a New England Patriots fan whistling past the graveyard but I can't help but think of how the pre-season talk about Tom Brady's foot injury seems so similar to the talk this baseball pre-season about Albert Pujols' wrist injury.

If you recall - there were all sorts of speculation about Pujols' wrist. That it would cause him to miss significant parts of the season or rob him of his power. Pujols fell in almost every fantasy baseball draft to the point that almost everyone on autodraft ended up with him.

The talk of Tom Brady's foot seems similar to me. I'm hoping that the resultant performance is just as similar.
John McCain

Bill Whittle has an excellent essay on John McCain and his speech on Thursday. It is truly must reading.
And a final thing: I had heard before that John McCain had been beaten in prison, and I admired him for it. But when he said he had been broken . . . I gasped. When this sometimes cocky, arrogant old man told me he had once been a cocky, arrogant young man until he was “blessed by hardship,” until he had been broken and remade — and in that remaking discovered a love of country so fierce and pure that even as a patriot myself I will never approach it — well, in that moment John McCain won my heart, to add to the respect and admiration he had already had.
I too gasped when McCain said he had been broken. I too teared up at his description of being made anew by the love of his comrades and the love of his country. And Bill Whittle and I am not alone. I spent Friday afternoon at the Victory Cigar Bar doing emails (free wi-fi) and making calls. I couldn't help but notice that every one of the patrons there was talking about John McCain. Talking about the man and his story. How does Barack Obama's story stack up? You would have to be the biggest Obama apologist in the world to think Obama is more inspiring than John McCain at this point.

They say that "pride goeth before a fall." John McCain was a prideful fighter pilot who fell into captivity. It was in captivity that he was broken and came out a new man. A stronger man with his beliefs set and his priorities in order. Barack Obama is so prideful that he can't bear the slightest criticism or admit when he's been wrong. Barack's fall is coming this November and he's going to fall hard.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

The Red Sox are 3.5 games behind the Rays but keep in mind that the Red Sox have 7 more home games left than the Rays. The Rays play their next 9 games on the road and they play their last 8 games on the road. I still think the Red Sox will catch the Rays but that Tampa Bay will make the playoffs as the Wild Card... Too little too late. The Indians are 20-10 in their last 30 games. That’s the same as the Red Sox and 1 game less than the Rays. Where was this Indians teams earlier in the season? Keep in mind that they went 20-10 without CC Sabathia. The Indians should have been the team to beat in the AL Central this year... Today would have been Nap Lajoie's 132nd birthday. Lajoie is one of the most under-rated players in baseball history and easily the best player to ever come from the State of Rhode Island...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A Comparison

Barack Obama tonight in an interview with Bill O'Reilly:
As recently as July, the Democratic presidential candidate declined to rate the surge a success, but said it had helped reduce violence in the country. On Thursday, Obama acknowledged the 2007 increase in U.S. troops has benefited the Iraqi people.

“I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated,” Obama said while refusing to retract his initial opposition to the surge. “I’ve already said it’s succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.”
This quote from Obama in which he basically refuses to admit he was wrong about the surge made me think of the movie Jaws.Remember when the shark first bites through the piano wire when Hooper thought it was some sort of game fish but then refused to admit it was a shark? Quint said, "Well it proves one thing, Mr. Hooper. It proves that you wealthy college boys don't have the education enough to admit when you're wrong."
Sarah Palin as Mrs. Weasley

Last night I got home too late to have seen Sarah Palin's speech live. I did find the text of her speech on RealClearPolitics and my initial reaction was "Wow!" Flipping around the channels I noticed that one of the C-Span channels was replaying the night's RNC events. I knew I would have to wait a while to see the speech but I had to see it. I couldn't wait till the morning when the speech would be available on video. The anticipation was killing me.

I fell asleep but awoke during Rudy Giuliani's speech. Governor Palin would be next. I sat up in rapt attention and when she started in my reaction was, "Wow - simply wow!" Her speech generated strong emotions in me. Feelings that were eerily familiar. It took me most of the day to realize when I had felt those feelings before.

Before I explain - let me back up. Like many people I was disgusted at the way the media had been attacking Palin through her children. Her speech reminded me on a visceral level of a lioness protecting her cubs. Governor Palin knows her family is not perfect nor rich nor to the aristocracy born. But it's her family and they are a family. Whole and intact. Like the Weasley family from the Harry Potter books.

It hit me tonight that the last time something generated such feelings was at the end of the last Harry Potter book - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

At the end of the book Bellatrix Lestrange is trying to kill Mrs. Weasley's youngest daughter Ginny (along with Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood). Mrs. Weasley's response? "NOT MY DAUGHTER YOU BITCH!"

Mrs. Weasley did not need anyone to protect her child. She did it herself. Much like Sarah Palin last night. If you substituted the liberal media elite for Bellatrix - then to me the cry of "NOT MY DAUGHTER YOU BITCH!" seems spot on.

To continue the analogy - again substitute the main stream media for Bellatrix and the reaction to Palin / Mrs. Weasley again seems spot on:
"Bellatrix's [the MSM's] gloating smile froze, her eyes seemed to bulge: For the tiniest space of time she knew what had happened, and then she toppled, and the watching crowd roared..." Deathly Hallows Page 736-737
The gloating smiles over an inexperienced, white trash hick with no experience is gone. Evaporated by a speech like no other I can recall in my lifetime. The mainstream media has been exposed for their shabby treatment of a mother and her daughter. And last night the crowd cheered as the mother protected her family and prevailed over her would be tormentors.

The crowd is still cheering. Not my daughter you bitch indeed!
Medal of Honor Story

Wow - just wow.

Where do we find such men?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

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
Holy Cross Football

The news that Joe Flacco (formerly of Delaware) has been named the starter for Sunday's Ravens season opener against Cincinnati got me thinking about another 1-AA* quarterback who may some day play in the NFL and a couple of other Holy Cross football related thoughts.

1. Holy Cross QB Dominic Randolph is poised to have a huge breakout year. The type of year that not only will put Randolph in the thick of things in terms of winning the Walter Payton Award but also put Randolph in forefront in the minds of many NFL scouts. Last season Randolph passed for 3,604 yards with 30 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. Improving on those numbers this year will make his season hard to overlook. At 6'3" and 223 pounds - Randolph has an NFL body and I think he will prove once again that he has an NFL arm and QB smarts. I was perhaps the first person to publicly tout Harvard's Ryan Fitzpatrick as an NFL QB and I'm hoping to be likewise correct about Randolph.

2. Coach Tom Gilmore is in his 5th season as head coach of the Crusaders. I would not be surprised if it turns out to be his last. Tom Gilmore is a very good coach and barring a complete collapse of the team - I expect a number of Division 1* schools to come a courting by the end of the season.

3. Holy Cross opens up the season with 4th ranked UMass. The game will be played at Fitton Field and I for one think an upset may be in the making. Holy Cross lost to the Minuteman 40-30 last year up in Amherst but it should be remembered that Holy Cross out scored UMass 21-10 in the second half. The Crusader seniors know they can play with the Minuteman and next Saturday I expect them to show it.

* We have to get away from this "football championship subdivision" crap and go back to just 1-A and 1-AA.
Baseball Awards

With Cliff Lee winning his 20th game he has all but guaranteed that he'll be the AL Cy Young Award winner. That got me thinking - who gets the rest of the awards? Here's who I think is most deserving at this late point in the season.

AL Cy Young - Cliff Lee Cleveland
AL MVP - Justin Morneau Minnesota*
AL Rookie of the Year - Evan Longoria Tampa Bay
AL Manager of the Year - Joe Maddon Tampa Bay

NL Cy Young - Tim Lincecum San Francisco
NL MVP - Albert Pujols St. Louis
NL Rookie of the Year - Geovany Soto Chicago
NL Manager of the Year - Lou Piniella Chicago

* - A real tight race but Morneau currently edges Boston's Kevin Youkilis in my mind right now

Monday, September 01, 2008

Wow - Just Wow

I'm convinced that history will be much kinder to President Bush than many people think. A free and democratic Iraq will do much to change the politics of the Middle east. Our economy is much better than Bush gets credit for. But the reason I think he'll be viewed much better is because stories like this will become more and more common and well known by both the public and historians alike:
A short time later, the Secret Service opened the door and President Bush walked in. I thought we might get to shake his hand as he went through. But instead, he walked up to my wife with his arms wide, pulled her in for a hug and a kiss, and said, "I wish I could heal the hole in your heart." He then grabbed me for a hug, as well as each of our sons. Then he turned and said, "Everybody out."

A few seconds later, the four of us were completely alone behind closed doors with the President of the United States and not a Secret Service agent in sight.

He said, "Come on, let's sit down and talk." He pulled up a chair at the side of the room, and we sat down next to him. He looked a little tired from his trip, and he noticed that his shoes were scuffed up from leaning over concrete barriers to shake hands and pose for photos. He slumped down the chair, completely relaxed, smiled, and suddenly was no longer the President - he was just a guy with a job, sitting around talking with us like a family member at a barbeque.
HT American Digest
Heh Heh

HT - American Digest
Button Gwinnett

An interesting name and more interesting tale. The second man to sign the Declaration of Independence and a man who died from wounds suffered in a duel just 2 years later. Button Gwinnett is one of the lesser known stories in American history. In a strange twist of fate - the autograph of Button Gwinnett is perhaps the most expensive (and among the most rare) of any American in history. Single autographs of Gwinnett have supposedly gone for as much as $150,000. The autographs are so valuable because there are so few (about 30) and many collectors want to have autographs from all 56 signers of the Declaration.
Should I Take Offense at This?

On the show This Week with George Stephanopoulos - John Kerry made the following statement:
KERRY: What John McCain has proven with this choice — this is very important, George. John McCain wanted to choose Tom Ridge. He wanted to choose Joe Lieberman. He wanted to choose another candidate, but you know what? Rush Limbaugh and the right wing vetoed it.

And John McCain was forced to come back and pick a sort of Cheney-esque social conservative who’s going to satisfy the base.

What John McCain has proven with this choice is that John McCain is the prisoner of the right wing, not a maverick.
Emphasis added. I'm reminded of Tim Russert telling Bob Kerry regarding a certain issue that he didn't have a leg to stand on. Russert immediately realized his mistake and apologized. Is calling John McCain a prisoner of anything on a similar level of mistake? Or am I just being overly sensitive?

As an aside - given what we now know about John Edwards - should John Kerry really be criticizing anyone else's choice for VP?

HT - Liberal Values
Mr. O
Do you know those stickers you see on cars for vacation locales? The white oval with black outline and lettering that simply says MV for Martha's Vineyard or KBP for Kennebunkport. There are lots of those type of stickers.

The other day I was driving my daughter home from crew practice and we saw one that said MRO. For the life of me I couldn't figure out what MRO could possibly mean. Then my daughter jokingly suggested that maybe it stood for Mr. O. I liked that explanation and openly wondered if there was also a MRSO or if MRO was a single guy.

My daughter suggested that I get a sticker that said MRL and one for my wife that said MRSL. I suggested that if she kept it up I was going to give her a sticker that said GFY (just kidding).

I looked up MRO on the Internet and now understand that it stands for Monroeville. But I still think Mr. O is a more amusing explanation.