Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jeff Ireland and Dez Bryant

I agree with Mike Silver's take on the Jeff Ireland questioning of Dez Bryant 100%.

There are two possibilities:

A: Ireland really did think that Bryant's mom was a prostitute. If that was the case there are many ways to get the information you are looking for without being a classless ass. "We're a family here in Miami. What's been your experience with family?" "Tell us about your relationships with the authority figures in your life."

B: Ireland wanted to get a reaction. Congrats Jeff - you did get a reaction but maybe not the one you expected. The public outcry reaction may cost you your job (or at the least it has outed you for being a complete A-hole).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Linky Links

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

- Sony Kills The Floppy Disk. I still find the random floppy disk around my office and because I never labeled stuff - I have no idea what are on the little suckers.

- Heh heh - Uzbekistan Airways (am I the only one who automatically read the sign in Borat's voice?)

- Interesting - the blind actually DO NOT have a more acute sense of smell

- A gallery of stunning Hubble images

- Who does Anheuser-Busch own? I know my beer and I had never heard of many of these brands.

- The Worst Business Decisions Ever. Surprised New Coke didn't make the list.

- A guest star quiz for West Wing fans. I got 8 out of 11.

- Heh heh - Why you drink

Monday, April 26, 2010

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Originally the Vikings in Capitol One commercials were supposed to represent the plundering done by other credit card companies through high fees and APR. Capitol One was supposed to protect against that. Now the Vikings are their inept spokesmen. This is basically Capitol One's way of saying morons are their target market... Watching High Stakes Poker last night I was struck by how much Gabe Kaplan is starting to look like Grandpa Munster... Best Mohammed Cartoon... Congrats to Holy Cross QB Dom Randolph who signed with the Giants. I saw Joe Flacco play in college and I think Randolph was the better QB... The Simpsons stand with South Park (sort of). On a related note - the drawings of Mohammed deck of cards is genius. I'd buy a few packs... Interesting:
If you'd taken the $5,700 it cost to buy an Apple PowerBook G3 250 when it came out in 1997 and invested it in Apple stock, you'd have $330,000 now. Makes you think twice about springing for an iPad.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Could the biggest offseason acquisition for any team have been Kelly Johnson for the Diamondbacks? Johnson is hitting ,327 with 6 HR and an OPS of 1.231 And he is 3rd in Total Bases in the NL with 44. Who knew?... Al Pacino turns 70-years old today. I'm sorry but I've always thought he was over-rated as an actor. People complain that Jeff Bridges always seems to be playing himself but the same could be said of Pacino... I'm starting to wonder if the real reason that Peter Gammons left ESPN was because of their Twitter policies. He's a complete moonbat. His Tweets are like listening to a crazy uncle who is fixated on Woodstock and on protesting Richard Nixon but who also happens to be a baseball savant... You're doing it wrong. Matt Kemp of the Dodgers has 2 stolen bases but has been caught 5 times... A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, 'I'll serve you, but don't start anything'... Happy 34th birthday to one of the all-time great NBA players - Tim Duncan... Today is ANZAC Day in Australia. In honor of that sacred holiday here's one of the most touching songs ever written...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Willie Mays and Ken Griffey Jr.

Just saying but when I was growing up people talked about the sadness of seeing Willie Mays play out his final couple of years as just a shadow of his former self. It seems to me that the same could be said of Ken Griffey Jr.

Last year Griffey Jr. hit just .214 with a .324 OBP and a .735 OPS. In Willie May's penultimate season he hit .250 with a .400 OBP and a .802 OPS (respectable numbers but not what people expected from a legend). In his final season with the Mets, Willie hit just .211 with a .303 OBP and .647 OPS. To put it another way - in his final season - his 22nd in the bigs - Willie Mays was cooked.

Ken Griffey Jr. is also in his 22nd season in the big leagues. Going into today he was hitting just .238 with a .289 OBP and a .551 OPS. He's cooked too.

The thing is - people won't criticize Griffey Jr. for hanging on too long like they did to Willie Mays. The reason? Junior will make $2.35 million this year. That's more than Willie Mays made in his career.

At some point a tipping point of pride versus cold hard cash was passed. Willie Mays was on one side of the line and Ken Griffey Jr. was on the other. That's why baseball fans will remember the ends of their careers in different lights.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

My favorite moment of the NFL draft Thursday night was the crowd chanting, "She said No!" during the Steelers pick. I really hope that chant is picked up by all crowds during Pittsburgh road game. Ben Roethlisberger is a creep... In 1865, Col Anderson asked his ex-slave to return and work as a paid employee. Here is the exquisite, sardonic reply... If David Ortiz changed the name of his club in Dominican from 40/40 to FU-JZ he'd make more money at the club and ruin the JZ lawsuit... Marvel Science: Iron Man's Flight Capabilities... In fantasy baseball you will see lots of people picking up Met rookie Ike Davis. They should be warned - the guy is not a HR hitter despite his big blast first big league HR. Davis only has 20 homers in 644 minor-league at-bats... Charlie Rose has met his match... A new book has the premise that close to 50% of all scientists are religious. I like the corollary - at least half of all scientists are godless... One thing the real draft proves is that mock drafts are ALWAYS a waste of time...
Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- A reminder of the greatness that was Earl Weaver (NSFW language)

- A curmudgeon of another sort - James Randi's fiery takedown of psychic fraud

- Spectacular photo of volcanic explosion by an Icelandic farmer

- The saying goes that 50% of marriages end in divorce has the corollary that the other 50% end in death. This seems to be a third path - you are more likely to die from a heart attack when having sex while having an affair, than during sex with your regular partner, although this seems largely to apply to men.

- Speaking of cheating husbands - the great show Mad Men will only go 6 seasons

- The saying goes - you can tune a piano but you cannot tuna fish. Well - it turns out that mathematically you cannot even tune a piano.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

10 Greatest Mathematicians

Interesting list.

How long before MSNBC blames the Tea Parties on the death of the second mathematician mentioned?
...she was murdered by a Christian mob who stripped her naked, peeled away her flesh with broken pottery and ripped apart her limbs.
Only slightly disappointed that the Unibomber (either the real one or Phil Laak) did not make the list.
Happy Boy

Happy Boy by the Beat Farmers. I'd forgotten all about this song but back in the day it never failed to put a smile on my face when I heard it. Still does.
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

As bad as David Ortiz and JD Drew have been for the Red Sox - Mark Teixeira has been equally bad for the Yankees. By going 1-4 yesterday - Teixeira RAISED his batting average to an even .100... Most recent no-hitters by team. Of all the great Braves pitchers in the 1990's - it was Kent Merker who got their no-no. Not pictured - New York Mets, San Diego and Tampa Bay... Livan Hernandez (2-0) hasn't allowed an earned run in two starts this year for the Nationals. Why can't the Mets get pitchers like that?... Could the Angels be a trade partner for the Red Sox? Brandon Wood has been awful so far this season at 3rd base (hitting just .088) and the Angels could use a guy like Mike Lowell as insurance Wood doesn't completely crap the bed. Plus Lowell could spell Kendry Morales at 1st and Hideki Matsui at DH. The Red Sox probably wouldn't even be compelled to eat as much as Lowell's salary as they would have with the Rangers. Just a thought... The Red Sox have the same record as the Kansas City Royals... Going into yesterday's 20 inning marathon the Mets team ERA was 4.30. After giving up just 1 run in 19 innings their team ERA dropped to 3.63...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

In the 10th game of the season - Red Sox fans learn Tim Bogar is the name of 3rd base coach as he sends Kevin Youkilis home with no outs after the less than fleet afoot Youkilis had run from first on a double by David Ortiz. To top it off - this morning he says he'd do it again... 7 Things Mario Games Have in Common With the Bible... Is it me or did ESPN really throw their original programming series Tilt down the memory hole? Do you remember the poker drama starring Michael Madsen?... Holy crap! Richard Pryor doing the alphabet. You can't tell me he's not high on something when doing this... Wonder how things would have worked if the Dolphins took Brady Quinn with the 9th pick in the 2007 NFL draft and Ted Ginn fell to the Browns at 22?... Dustin Pedroia (4) and Jason Varitek (3) lead the Red Sox in HR. That's what happens with no Manny, no Bay and a Zombie Ortiz. Incredibly Varitek now has a slugging percentage of 1.714 and an OPS+ of 438. Just as incredible the performer formerly known as Big Papi has 15 strikeouts in 29 AB... Top 50 Breweries in America. I would have had Gordon Biersch higher on the list and am disappointed that Wachusett Brewing did not make the list at all...
Top 5 - Best NBA Players Not to Win a Championship

LeBron James is still very young but if he can't get it done this year with Cleveland then there's no guarantee he'll get a better chance in seasons to come (whether he stays in Cleveland or not). Keep in mind that Dan Marino went to the Super Bowl early in his career but as good as he was - Miami never had a team good enough to get him back. Here's my list of the top 5 NBA players never to win an NBA Championship.

1. LeBron James
2. Charles Barkley
3. Karl Malone
4. Dominique Wilkins
5. Dan Issel

Just missing the list - Reggie Miller, Patrick Ewing and John Stockton.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Six Pack of Prayer
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Ben Franklin
I have to get me some salvation.

Brilliant marketing idea.

I tried to watch David Simon's new show Treme last night. I tried and failed.

Maybe I was just tired having spent the day playing golf and then watching golf.

Maybe I was turned off by Steve Zahn's naked white ass and John Goodman's ranting.

Maybe the juxtaposition of watching two consecutive episodes of The Pacific as a lead-in to Treme put me in a mindset where I was more disgusted by people like Steve Zahn's character. It was tough to watch the self-sacrifice of the Marines in The Pacific compared to the no-sense of responsibility Steve Zahn character and then hear John Goodman's character blaming the Army Corps of Engineers for the city's woes.

I'll give Treme another shot but honestly so far I'm lukewarm on the show.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Masters Note: When I see that commercial of the two guys crossing the green carrying the picture of Bobby Jones - I keep thinking it's a picture of Bob Hope... Cincinnati Reds starter Bronson Arroyo's ERA since last year's All-Star Game (16 starts) is just 2.17. Who knew? Arroyo is still available in many fantasy baseball leagues and may be worth a waiver claim (he also has two starts this week)... Christopher Walken filling out the Census is pure gold... Masters Note: Is it me or does Phil Michelson have the oompa lumpa look going on?... Heh heh - Rejected Beers... They say that a good umpire is never noticed during the game. You always know when Joe West is behind the plate. Just sayin'... Is reneging on cab fare the rock bottom of ex-pro athlete criminal offenses? And if reneging is not paying does to neg mean to pay? Isaiah Rider should have neged his cab fare...

Friday, April 09, 2010

General David Petraeus

Fascinating look at General David Petraeus.

After reading the opening few paragraphs that recall how he was rudely interrogated by Biden, Obama and Clinton before Congress in 2007 but how Patreaus has proven to the one who knew what he was talking about and about how that trio now rely on his expertise - I pictured Patreaus laying out the truth to that trio Bruce Willis "Welcome to the party pal" style from the first Die Hard movie.

Fascinating look at a singularly driven soldier who doesn't have time to bleed and to whom losing is not an option. America wants Petraeus on that wall. America needs Petraeus on that wall. (OK - enough movie cliches - go read the article.)
David Simon

Very interesting profile of David Simon - creator of The Wire. (Warning the article is several pages long.)

I'll watch his new show Treme but I'm not too jazzed up for it (pardon the pun).

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Top 100 Movies of the 90's

Here's one group's list of the Top 100 Movies of the 90's.

Of the movies listed - I've only seen 20 (many of them multiple times) and parts of another 10 movies. Of the top 10 movies listed - I only saw Goodfellas at #10. So I'm guessing I have a different taste in movies. The fact that they don't even list The Shawshank Redemption (1994) makes me think the list is crap. Also missing Fight Club, The Matrix and The Usual Suspects. Yup - the list is crap.

HT Instapundit.
Tiger's Theme Song

I heard this song on the radio yesterday and all I could think during the song was that it makes the perfect Tiger Woods Theme Song. I'd love to see a Tiger highlight film spliced with pictures of his women with this as the background music.

Sheena Easton sure was easy on the eyes.
New York State of Mind

I was in New York the past couple of days. I drove out to Syracuse taking the back roads of Route 20 most of the way. It was just one of those things. I had a bunch of phone calls to make and I preferred taking my time.

One of the consequences of this was that I was in my car for the first inning of Tuesday's Red Sox / Yankees game. I must say that for a team that has almost limitless resources - the Yankees have perhaps the worst radio announcer in baseball. Suzyn Waldman is just awful. She described Jon Lester the following way, "He throws strikes. He's a strike thrower." Well duh! It was almost enough to make my ears bleed. I don't know how Yankee fans put up with it.

Not that Michael Kay on TV is any better. I got to my hotel room in time to hear him declare that he's a Phil Collins fan (NTTAWWT). Yeeash.

I came away thankful for the radio and TV talent that the Red Sox provide for their fans. The disparity is great enough to make me wonder (kiddingly) if Waldman and Kay are some sort of punishment from the Commissioner's Office. Sort of a Luxury Talent Tax.

While I'm typing away - let me address two other items.

First - David Ortiz. Some sports writers (and sports talk radio personalities) in Boston are nothing more than professional shit-stirrers. I've learned over the years to differentiate those who bring information and interesting opinions from those who just do things to stir the pot. When you listen to (or read) Ortiz's expletive laced tirade it is clear that he's talking about the latter. It saddens me that many out of market people view the shit-stirrers as representative of the fans view. For the real fans the truth couldn't be more removed from that perception.

Second - Chan Ho Park. I heard Joe Girardi saying before last night's game that Chan Ho Park was not available Tuesday due to the flu but then he came out and pitched last night. Have you ever heard of a one-day flu? I have to wonder if this was perhaps the Saki-bomb flu.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Pick of the Day

Today's pick of the day is the Giants with Matt Cain starting for a mythical $50 at -$135 to win a mythical $37.

Record 2-2 -$19

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Pick of the Day
Numbers 3:50 "From the firstborn of the Israelites he collected silver weighing 1,365 shekels, according to the sanctuary shekel."
Yesterday I had Lamentations - like good God why are the Marlins playing this awful! Still I split for the day with Tim Lincecum coming though in the second game. Today I'm taking the Red Sox with Jon Lester and Kevin Youkilis - the firstborn of the Israelites - for 50 mythical shekels at -$140.

Record 2-1 +$31
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The over has gone 11-1-2 in the first 14 MLB games of the season. Each year I tell myself that I'm going to take the underdogs in each game of the NCAA Men's basketball tournament and the over in each game on Opening Day. Each year I fail to do so and leave money on the table... This would have been better than the real movie... The Braves Jason Heyward's nickname should be Hot Damn! Combines Hotlanta and what you say every time he's at bat. Jay Hey Kid just doesn't do it for me... So Marc Bulger's wife gives birth to a baby girl on Sunday and he wakes up feeling good on Monday because it's his birthday and then BAM! he gets cut by the Rams. Couldn't the Rams have waited a day so as to not cut a guy on his birthday?... Marlin is still the plural of Marlin (i.e "I caught several marlin") - right? Then why do people call them the Marlins?... Omar Vizquel needs one hit to reach 2,673 and tie Luis Aparicio for 2nd most hits by a shortstop in history (Jeter is 1st with 2,731 and counting). You would think that Cal Ripken would be in the top 3 but he spent his last few seasons as a 3rd baseman... Silver lining for Cleveland fans; even though Mark Buehrle dominated your team yesterday the Indians are still the only AL team Buehrle has a losing career record against (12-14)... People who make me immediately change the channel; Rick Reilly, Dan Shaughnessy and Colin Cowherd... When the Patriots traded Matt Cassell people were upset they didn't net a higher draft pick but New England got the 34th pick of the draft while the Eagles just got the 37th in exchange for Donovan McNabb. Not sure if this says something about the Patriots or about Donovan McNabb or both... The most interesting man in the world circa 1900...

Monday, April 05, 2010

Linky Links

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

- Ballet Tiger - I couldn't stop laughing at this (watch the Tiger on the left)

- How to defeat a sliding chain lock with a rubber band

- Should you buy an iPad?

- Classic Fantasy Baseball bit

- Barack Obama Looking at Awesome Things
Pick of the Day
Lamentations 3:63 "Look at them! Whether they sit or stand, I am the object of their mocking songs."
Today I have two plays. The above bible quote could easily be ascribed to the Mets. Having Johan Santana start is negated by having Alex Cora bat leadoff against Josh Johnson. The Marlins do pretty good against lefty starters and they are my POTD - a mythical $50 at -$103 to win a mythical $48.54.

The second play is Tim Lincecum and the Giants -$125 against the Astros for another mythical $50.

Record 1-0 +$43.86
Top 5 - Red Sox / Yankees Game 1

Here are five thoughts on last night's Red Sox / Yankees game:

1. Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia are going to have monster seasons. I know it's just one game but I just get that feeling. Combined the duo was 5 for 8 with 5 RBI and 5 runs scored. Mark down Kevin Youkilis as the real early leader in the clubhouse for AL MVP.

2. Fat CC Sabathia. Man did he look huge. I know that some players are just going to be big ala David Wells. However, when you're that big and you run out of gas so abruptly like Sabathia did in the sixth then you have to wonder at his off-season conditioning and commitment. You also have to wonder at how in tune Joe Girardi is with his players. Everyone at home could see that Sabathia was gassed yet Girardi still left him in for another few batters.

3. The Red Sox won despite the best efforts of the Yankees AND the umpiring crew. Joe West was squeezing Josh Beckett for all he was worth. With another guy behind the plate - Beckett escapes without much damage done. First base ump Angel Hernandez wiped out two Red Sox baserunners by himself and you get the feeling that he would have rung up more if given the opportunity. Awful, awful umpiring for last night's game.

4. With all the gimmicks and singers I had to wonder if this was in some way an inside joke by the Red Sox owners. Were they sending a big FU to Bud Selig who wanted quicker games by the Red Sox? If not then I hate this crap. It was opening night - real Red Sox fans don't need dancing ponies. Having Pedro come back was great but the impact gets diluted by having straight out of rehab Steven Tyler looking like Gollum in a wig trying creepily to french kiss his own daughter. I have to be careful about saying anything bad about Neil Diamond because he'll smack you in the mouth. And what is worse - the NCAA trying to expand March Madness to 96 teams or ESPN and NESN peddling Dr Dre's headsets? I hope we don't see all this crap for all 162 games.

5. It was great having Pedro throw out the first pitch. Him giving Johnny Pesky a big hug was my favorite moment of the game.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Pick of the Day

OK - let's see how this goes. I'll be making my pick of the day (POTD) as often as possible and keeping track of my mythical wins and losses.
John 3:19 "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil."
The Yankees are the Evil Empire and CC Sabathia's spring training ERA was an evil 7.23. I'm picking the Light of Josh Beckett and the Red Sox (-$114) for a mythical $50 to win a mythical $43.86.

Odds to Win the 2010 World Series

Here are the odds to win the 2010 World Series. I put a mythical $200 to win $1300 on the Red Sox.

New York Yankees - 13/4
Boston Red Sox - 13/2
Philadelphia Phillies - 13/2
St. Louis Cardinals - 12/1
Los Angeles Dodgers - 16/1
Seattle Mariners - 16/1
Chicago Cubs - 18/1
Chicago White Sox - 18/1
Los Angeles Angels - 18/1
Minnesota Twins - 18/1
Tampa Bay Rays - 18/1
Colorado Rockies - 20/1
Atlanta Braves - 22/1
San Francisco Giants - 22/1
New York Mets - 28/1
Texas Rangers - 25/1
Detroit Tigers - 30/1
Arizona Diamondbacks - 35/1
Florida Marlins - 35/1
Milwaukee Brewers - 45/1
Cincinnati Reds - 50/1
Oakland Athletics - 60/1
Cleveland Indians - 75/1
Houston Astros - 75/1
Baltimore Orioles - 100/1
Kansas City Royals - 100/1
San Diego Padres - 100/1
Pittsburgh Pirates - 150/1
Toronto Blue Jays - 150/1
Washington Nationals - 150/1

Friday, April 02, 2010

1971 MLB Draft

Jim Rice was taken by the Red Sox with the 15th pick of the 1971 MLB Draft. Couple of observations about the first round of that draft:

- Of the 24 picks - besides Rice only Frank Tananna taken 13th by the Angels and Rick Rhoden taken 20th by the Dodgers had significant MLB careers.

- All of the picks from the 1st round were taken out of high school - compare that to today where picks are just as likely to be college players

- The state of NY had more picks (4) than the state of FL (3) - my how times have changed!
Douglas Adams

This was a very interesting (and funny) talk given by Douglas Adams the author of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

It is made even more poignant by the fact that Douglas Adams died of a heart attack shortly after this talk was filmed.