Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lieutenant Michael Behenna

Please read this story of Lieutenant Michael Behenna.

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

If you have a blog - please spread the word.

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

Yup - that pretty much sums it up.
Morning Links

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

- The Wire - Brother Mouzone/Omar confrontation

- Montreal craigslist, Where you can find almost anything

- If they make these for adults - I want one

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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

VDH and the BVD Bomber

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

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

- Linger - The Cranberries

- Mad World - Gary Jules

- Little Bonnie - Drive-by Truckers

- Brick - Ben Folds Five

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

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

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

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

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Team of Misfit Players

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

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

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

Closer - Danys Baez ($3 mil)

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

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

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

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

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

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

Additional information on the widgets, including the sizes and embedding codes, and web event are available on the Web at: and:

Monday, December 28, 2009

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

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

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

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

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The World Bank and Stimulus Funding

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

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

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

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

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

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

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Babe Ruth as Santa Claus

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

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

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

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

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

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

Never happen but it was fun to think about.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous Christmas Night thoughts and observations.

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Very Cool

The word's smallest snowman.

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

This is just too funny!
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

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

Monday, December 21, 2009

NFL Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous NFL thoughts and observations.

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

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Suffragette City

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

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

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nick Johnson

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

I think MacPherson underestimates two very important factors here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 18, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

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

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tiger Woods

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

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

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

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

But it is interesting to read about.
Ho Ho Ho

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Player Comparison

Let's compare two players:

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

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

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

Monday, December 14, 2009


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

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

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

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tiger Woods as Don Draper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 11, 2009

2010 Red Sox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Granderson to Yankees

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 07, 2009

Remembering Pearl Harbor

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

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

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

Sunday, December 06, 2009


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

- Red Sox Stats Blog

- The Scott Adams Blog (Dilbert)

- Poker News Daily

- Reason

- Taylor Made Tirade


- Poker Road
The BCS and Heisman Voting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 04, 2009

Recasting Kelley's Heroes with NFL Coaches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I Slept with Tiger

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

I'm also Spartacus.
Dog Fighting and Language

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tiger Woods

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go here to read about his latest adventures.

Fascinating stuff.
Linky Links

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

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

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

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

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