Sunday, January 30, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I guess as long as you're not the guy who got blown up this is pretty funny... Jimmer Fredette is averaging just over 34 points per game for BYU. As a senior Danny Ainge averaged just over 24 PPG... Not a fan of Michael Jackson by any means but I found this Dueling Cellists Play "Smooth Criminal" to be very cool. If I owned a baseball team - I'd invite these two to play the National Anthem just to see what they could do with it... Bartolo Colon (4.10) and Pat Hentgen (4.34) are the only two pitchers with a career ERA over 4.00 to win AL Cy Young Awards. Bartolo Colon did not deserve his award... Joe Flacco sounds off on the firing of Jim Zorn. Interesting... File this under you can't always believe what you read - lists Bartolo Colon's weight at 185 pounds... "Taco party outside Bill's office" has to be some sort of sexist code... Penn Jillette is one interesting SOB... Danny Ainge is the only person to be a high school first team All-American in football, basketball, and baseball... A Match Made In Heaven...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Volcano Lightning

These images are awesome - in the literal sense of the word
Ray Allen vs Alex English

Watching last night's game between the Suns and Celtics got me thinking about Ray Allen. I started wondering if he was the greatest player out of the State of South Carolina. If not Allen then it has to be Alex English. It is a very difficult choice between the two because they are so similar.

First let's take a look at the stats:

Allen 1068 G/ 21752 P/ 20.4 PPG/ 4.3 RPG/ 3.6 APG
English 1193 G/ 25613 P/ 21.5 PPG/ 5.5 RPG/ 3.6 APG

Very similar. English gets the edge in rebounds per game but that is more a function of Englsih playing forward, while Allen is a guard, and the fact that teams used to shoot more in the 80's and thus there were more rebound opportunities. English may have also scored slightly more points per game because he played for the shoot em up Doug Moe Nuggets of the 80's. To be fair Ray Allen was normally the number 1 offensive option for his teams before he came to Boston so I'm guessing the offensive opportunities were probably pretty equal. Most of his time in Denver the smooth shooting English was teamed with a gritty veteran center in Dan Issel and a high scoring forward in Kiki Vandeweghe. That should sound familiar to current Celtics fans.

Ray Allen is a 9-time All-Star who has both an NBA Championship and an Olympic Gold Medal to his name. Alex English was an 8-time All-Star who didn't win a championship but has been named to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Gonna give the edge to Allen here since Ray will soon be enshrined in Springfield as well.

Both players were also involved in what turned out to be one-sided trades. English was dealt in the 1979-80 season from Indiana to Denver for aging star George McGinnis who was out of the NBA after 1982. Ray Allen and Glen Davis, the 35th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, were traded to the Celtics in exchange for Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak and the fifth overall pick, Jeff Green. I have to wonder if just Glen Davis for Jeff Green would be a fair trade today.

Both players have also had the chance to display their acting chops. English was featured in the 1987 no-nukes Amazing Grace and Chuck, playing a fictitious Boston Celtics star (while Ray Allen is a real-life Celtics star). Ray Allen was Jesus Shuttlesworth in the 1998 Spike Lee film He Got Game. Ray Allen held his own with Denzel Washington. Big edge to Ray Allen here.

The original question was who was the best player out of South Carolina and I know that technically Allen was born in California but he went to high school in South Carolina - leading Hillcrest High School to a state championship in basketball. These two players are so even that I can't pick between them. It was good to think about Alex English for a while though - he has to be one of the most under-rated players in NBA history (Ray Allen may be on that list too).

Friday, January 28, 2011

Looking for Clues - Robert Palmer

This is a good song from the past. Until today I always thought it was Squeeze singing the song not Robert Palmer. You learn something new every day.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

What happens when a Black Bear runs into a cow? (Amazing pictures)... I'm looking forward to the Charlie Sheen anti-drug public service announcements. You know they are only a few weeks away from being made... The Men's and Women's winners at the Australian Open each get $2.2 million mean while Erik Seidel just got $2.5 mil for one day's work playing poker at the $250,000 buy in at the Aussie Millions... Mike Lombardi has a good look at why Jeff Fisher's time had come in Tennessee. I especially agree with this quote: "[Vince] Young's lack of leadership, work ethic and commitment to the team is why he is not coming back, not Fisher"... Tweet of the Day - @pourmecoffee: Mubarak on Internet connectivity: Probably your router; try turning it off and back on again... Wade Boggs for his career hit .369 at Fenway and just .307 on road yet people always point out Jim Rice's Fenway splits. Oh and overall Boggs had just a .781 OPS and just a 82 OPS+ for his career on the road. Don't get me going on Wade Boggs... 10 strange beer names and their stories... So turns out Bernie Madoff is going to be to the Wilpons and the Mets what Michael Jackson was to the Sullivans and the Patriots... Never noticed it before but Captain Crunch has crazy eyes. Just left Charlie Sheen's house kind of crazy eyes... I'm guessing Cromartie didn't put aside any game checks like NFLPA suggested. No wonder he's so uptight... Maybe it's the name "Wade" - Wade Boggs, Ed Wade, Wade Phillips - not a guy in the bunch I like...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ben Folds Five - Brick

Heard this song earlier today and it's been stuck in my head.
Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Ronald Reagan - A true believer who caught destiny's eye

- BBC: Problem with my blackberry (video)

- Charlie Sheen's Briefcase of Cocaine (or as he likes to call it - Wednesday)

- New conflict of interest concern in Clemens case - Andy Pettitte and the Yankees are going to have an interesting summer one way or another

- The United States of Beer

- The best online advertising placement ever?

- 19 Photos of Ronald Reagan With Various '80s Celebrities
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Oscar Robertson left college 51 years ago. NCAA still making buck off him. Big O not pleased. Tell me again why these activities by the NCAA are not taxable? What does playing cards of Oscar Robertson have to do with education?... About 45 minutes into Obama's State of the Union speech I really wanted someone in the gallery to yell "Freebird!"... Not bad for one day's work - Erik Seidel won the $250,000 buy-in at the Aussie Millions beating Sam Trickett for a $2.5 million dollar payday. Seidel doesn't get near the public recognition he deserves... New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman tended bar last night in NYC. Is it me or is Cashman trying to be Theo Epstein?... I agree with Stewart Mandel - how can Kirk Ferentz be out recruiting after so many of his players were just hospitalized basically for brutality? At this point does he think people will buy the line "If your child commits to Iowa I'll take care of him?"... The things you learn on the Internet via Mental Floss: "The Steelers famous Terrible Towel is made by McArthur Towel & Sports in Wisconsin. Their president is a big Packers fan"...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Player Comparison

Take a look at these similar pitchers:

Player A: 50-67 / 5.05 ERA / 918 IP / 6 Seasons
Player B: 20-24 / 4.47 ERA / 493.2 IP / 8 Seasons

Pretty nondescript players who made close to the same money over their careers, they were even about the same size (both 6 foot and about 190 pounds). To cap it off these two guys were even traded for each other back in 1999.

Player A is Mike Maroth who just officially retired. Jason Beck had a very nice article on Mike Maroth - who as the article points out is best remembered by the average fan for losing 21 games back in 2003.

Player B is Bryce Florie who is probably best remembered by the average fan for suffering a severe facial injury in September 2000 at Fenway Park off a line drive by the Yankees' Ryan Thompson.

The thing is - no matter how many similarities the two players have the thing that struck me the most from stories I've read over the years of both players was how good of persons they were first and foremost. That's what made me take the time to post this in the first place.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Very cool - Colts Owner Jim Irsay gives away Super Bowl trip to Twitter follower on a whim... I think future historians will use Rahm Emanuel getting tossed off the ballot in Chicago as a metaphor for the Obama Administration in total. Hubris and incompetence... I wonder if Barack Obama owns a Jay Cutler jersey?... Rashard Mendenhall sexually assaults Ben Roethlisberger... Just saying but Tom Brady has not won an NFL playoff game since Heath Ledger died. Maybe Tom is still in mourning (or maybe I'm reaching for any excuse)... I found this to be a fascinating story. Bizarre tale of man who donates his forgeries to museums as real... I wonder if there is any truth to the rumor that as part of Vernon Wells deal the Toronto Blue Jays will pay for a revival of No No Nannette at local Los Angeles playhouse

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jay Cutler

I've never been on the Jay Cutler bandwagon and I'm guessing today that the bandwagon is a lot more empty. When I saw Jay Cutler on the sidelines yesterday I thought he was doing his best Ladainian Tomlinson impression. Let's take a quick look at a comparison:

Jay Cutler 15 G/ 3274 Yds/ 23 TD/ 16 INT/ 52 Sacks
Kyle Orton 13 G/ 3653 Yds/ 20 TD/ 9 INT/ 34 Sacks

I wonder how many Bears fans would make a trade Cutler for Orton straight up this morning? I know that after yesterday I think Josh McDaniels was more than justified for looking at trading Cutler for Matt Cassel (small good that does for McDaniels). If you Cutler defenders are going to say that he doesn't have any weapons to work with keep in mind that the 3rd round pick Chicago traded away (along with two 1st round picks) went from Denver to Pittsburgh who used the pick to draft Mike Wallace.

Of course an even bigger question than "Does Jay Cutler have any guts?" is the question "Why is Todd Collins the Bears back-up QB?"

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Keith Olbermann is out at MSNBC. Just curious but does anyone think the Olbermann ratings came close to justifying his contract? Is anyone really surprised at this business decision? Most people deriding this move say that they just fired the guy with the highest ratings at the network but they never mention the guy had lower ratings than Samurai Jack re-runs... Interesting - Why We Have Different Types of Screws and Screwdrivers... Schtup With People will be my Fantasy Baseball team name this year. Exploding Dildos is out. I got the name from this list of awful band names. Too bad Gynecological Whack-A-Mole is too long... The trade between the Angels and Blue Jays looks like an absolute disaster. The Blue Jays get two players they can actually use while the Angels get a franchise crippling contract. Oh and did I mention that Vernon Wells has been awful at Angels Stadium (.226 BA/ .267 OBP/ .340 SLG/ .607 OPS in 159 AB). Absolute disaster... Also interesting - An elevator that publicly shames people who go only one floor... Saying Olbermann had the best ratings at MSNBC is like saying some player is the best on the Pittsburgh Pirates roster. Faint praise indeed... Meanwhile the Tampa Bay Rays signed both Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez. Just a couple of years ago who would have guessed that Damon would get twice as much as a free agent than Manny?... I so want to have a poster sized picture of this... Those Captain Morgan commercials about rum and coke being greatest idea ever crack me up but not for the reason they intend. They have two guys with a gallon of rum and just one 2-liter bottle Coke. Those are going to be some strong drinks. I can't help but picture how those two schmucks will look when they are half-way done with the bottle of Captain...

Friday, January 21, 2011

WOW! Mike Napoli Traded to Toronto with Vernon Wells to the Angels

EDIT: Wow! The Blue Jays have offloaded the contract of Vernon Wells to the Angels for Mike Napoli according to Fox Sports. Wow - this has potential disaster written all over it. Not only has Wells been struggling - he's been awful at Angels Stadium - .226 BA/ .267 OBP/ .340 SLG/ .607 OPS in 159 AB. Vernon Wells salary for the next 4 years: 11:$23M, 12:$21M, 13:$21M, 14:$21M

Supposedly Toronto has just traded for catcher Mike Napoli. Pretty much an even swap for the Blue Jays - trading for Mike Napoli and losing John Buck to free agency.

Napoli 453 AB/ 26 HR/ 68 RBI/ .238 BA/ .316 OBP/ .784 OPS
Buck 409 AB/ 20 HR/ 66 RBI/ .281 BA/ .314 OBP/ .802 OPS

Buck signed a 3-year $18 million deal with the Marlins. Buck is also a Type B free agent, so the Blue Jays will receive a supplemental round draft pick for losing him. Napoli will probably get less in arbitration than what Buck will make this year so this move plugs a hole for the Blue Jays (Napoli can also play 1st) while at the same time really doesn't cost them much in money or talent (what they trade for Napoli will probably be the equivalent type player they will get back with the supplemental draft pick for losing Buck).

The wildcard is that Napoli has never hit well at Skydome/Rogers Center - .128 BA and .657 OPS in 12 games (29 AB).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Brett Favre: What should I do? [kinda SFW]

- So this biologist walks into a bar

- You want to know what two feet of snow looks like?

- Having Mad Men withdrawal - Don Draper's Carousel (as an aside - sometimes when I think of Mad Men - I remember the episodes being in black and white - strange)

- Hershel Walker is a freak of nature. I would pay to watch him pummel Jose Canseco.

- Synthetic Cocaine Sold As 'Bath Salts'

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Iguazu Falls

I have a friend visiting South America who just visited Iguazu Falls. I had never heard of Iguazu Falls until today. Now I am extremely jealous.

I think visiting Iguazu Falls just made my bucket list.
Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

Gil Meche retired yesterday and some people are praising him for putting his family happiness ahead of the $12 million remaining on his contract. I think my family would have been happier if I took the $12 million... The Red Sox signed Jonathan Papelbon and Jacoby Ellsbury to one-year deals yesterday to avoid arbitration. Papelbon got $12 million and the consensus is that this will be his last season with the Red Sox. I would agree but not for the same reasons many think. The Sox have positioned Daniel Bard to be the closer in waiting with Bobby Jenks as insurance. Next year the Red Sox won't want to pay Papelbon what he'll think he's worth so they will let him walk. They will also covet the draft picks that will come for him as a Type A free agent. They will rid themselves of him and not the other way around... When you look at the stats - Gil Meche was basically same pitcher as Matt Clement except Meche was 30 pounds heavier and $10 million richer. Gil Meche was also basically the same as Kris Benson - 84-83 with a 4.49 ERA for Meche vs Kris Benson's 70-75 with a 4.42 ERA. Benson was the same player who just got less fanfare when he announced his retirement last week... To illustrate why those draft picks (a 1st and a sandwich) would be so important to the Red Sox if they were to let Papelbon walk next season consider Jacoby Ellsbury who signed a $2.4 million deal with the Red Sox yesterday was drafted in 2005 with a pick that was compensation for losing Orlando Cabrera to the Angels. Jed Lowrie, who could be the starting shortstop this year, was also compensation in 2005 for Anaheim signing Orlando Cabrera. Lowrie was the sandwich pick... LAPD confirms Milton Bradley was arrested for violating California penal code section 422 - making a "criminal threat". The Royals may have saved $12 million in 2011 with Meche retiring and now the Mariners may have just saved $12 million too with Milton Bradley being Milton Bradley... I can't believe this is true but I read yesterday that the Twins offered Francisco Liriano $5 million and he countered with $3.6 million. I wonder if this guy was Liriano's agent.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Very cool (I guess I should say cold) video of boiling water being evaporated by tossing it into -30C air.
Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Ricky Gervais really took some shots at people at the Golden Globes. I go back and forth on Gervais from finding him funny to just finding him annoying. Anyway - here's David Bowie poking fun at Ricky Gervais

- Malcolm Gladwell on the difference between creative and noncreative people

- Awesome - if you ever wanted to hear President Lyndon Baines Johnson burp, say bunghole and use the phrase "down where ya nuts hang" then this clip of President Johnson ordering pants is for you

- Some truly awe inspiring photos from the Hubble telescope

- Has Google lost its mojo? What will be the next big thing? Will it be Blekko?

- Reaching one of the last untouched environments on earth. Should it be done?

- Wicked cool - 1964 Dodge Hemi Charger Concept Car

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Morning After

The dropped touchdown by Alge Crumpler and the dumb fake punt. Two plays. If the Patriots could have those two plays back things would have been different. Ah of all the words of tongue and pen - the saddest are "it could have been".

The Patriots can't have those two plays back and now have to live with the loss. We fans also have to live with the loss. Just like in 2007 when the Patriots lost the Super Bowl on a fluke once and a lifetime catch. Just like in 2006 when the team was up 21-6 over the Colts at halftime only to lose 38-34. The team has rebounded from those losses and the fans have moved on but this loss seems different.

Now there will be no humbling for Rex Ryan. The world will have to endure his bluster unabated. Now Pats fans will be forced into a Sophie's choice next week - do you root for these Jets who you found so classless or do you root for a rapist in Ben Roethlisberger? Or do you put football in the background completely and concentrate now on the Celtics (and Bruins for those so inclined)? My guess is that the ratings for next week's games will be lowest among the top cities in the country in Boston. People are just going to tune out.

Is that provincial? I guess it is but the Boston area is so blessed with good sports teams that this loss by the Patriots will not fester. The NBA playoffs will soon be here and the Celtics should go far. And pitchers and catchers is right around the corner with the Red Sox favored by many to win it all this year. No this loss won't fester.

But today it hurts.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Cave

Excellent song - Mumford and Sons The Cave.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Just saying but here's what I wrote back on December 18th, "I could see the Yankees spending for Rafael Soriano to be set up guy and as insurance for Mo Rivera especially given weakness of their rotation." Just saying... Is anyone else curious what Nick Fairley scores on his Wonderlic test?... It has to be even money that Rafael Soriano goes on the DL at least once during his 3-year deal with the Yankees... The Mass Keno game is a ripoff but it is a bargain compared to the NY lottery QuickDraw game. But even still I ended up playing QuickDraw anyway... There is a deli in my town named Sam & Ella's - my wife the microbiologist laughs at it every time... From now on when anyone asks me a question I don't know the answer to - I'm going to say "I have to consult Edwardo on that." I think that will be cool and cryptic at the same time...
Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Father uses robocall to get revenge on school officials

- Boston Metro reinforces that Rex Ryan has become a punchline

- With the Yankees signing Rafael Soriano, the Red Sox are guaranteed to get the Rangers' first-round pick

- Every NFL Playoffs Quarterback Except Matt Hasselbeck Is Gay, Suggests Google

- What would Theodore Roosevelt do in the wake of Tucson

- This is so true

- This is also true

Friday, January 14, 2011

Patriots vs Jets

Three points I'd like to make about this Sunday's playoff game between the Patriots and the Jets:

1st - Many people are saying that the Jets will need to run the ball to chew up the clock and at the same time keep Tom Brady off the field. That's all well and good but if the Jets get down by a touchdown or 10 points - then they will have no choice but to go to a passing attack.

2nd - Everyone always says one of the most important keys to a game is turnovers and they are correct for saying so. Who do you think is more likely to turn the ball over on Sunday - Tom Brady or Mark Sanchez? Sure Sanchez cut his number of interceptions down this season but Tom Brady's lack of interceptions has been historic. For their careers Sanchez throws about 1 interception for every 25 passes thrown which probably means an interception on Sunday while Brady has averaged about 1 interception for every 50 passes. Also this season Sanchez was three times more likely to fumble the ball (9 fumbles to 3) than Tom Brady. Given all that - who do you think is more likely to win the turnover battle on Sunday?

3rd - In regard to Wes Welker's foot reference laden spiel from yesterday - I couldn't help but be reminded of the under-rated comedy Super Troopers. I wonder if someone in the locker-room bet Welker on the number of foot references he could make similar to the bet on the number of times the trooper would say "meow" during a traffic stop.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Those Dominoes commercials are stupid. How about having one where they secretly bring customers to a slaughter house to see where their meat ingredients come from? That would be a fun one... Monday night I couldn't help thinking that Jeremiah Masoli had to be sitting at home thinking he could have done a better job at QB for Oregon. I wonder if he felt any remorse for his missed opportunity?... There is one very deserved medal missing from Major Dick Winters military awards - the Medal of Honor... Boston College has been to a bowl each of past 10 years - 5 of the Bowls they went to technically no longer exist. Good luck Humanitarian Bowl! By the way - is the Humanitarian Bowl sponsored by the Human Fund?... I know some people on Monday saw Nick Fairley and thought Albert Haynesworth. I saw Fairley and thought of Charles Jefferson - the Forrest Whitaker character from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Every time Fairley made a play in my head I heard, "Fairley's gonna shit! Then he's gonna kill us!"... My name is Larry Page. Millionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht. I want to live on this yacht - full time... There are many males (and some females I guess) in Red Sox Nation who are saddened by the news that Hazel Mae is off the market. She recently got married. Sorry boys... I laughed at this. It is pretty accurate...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I wonder if Michael Vick would still vote for himself for MVP after yesterday's performance. I hate to toot my own horn but I did call that Vick would make the Eagles a one and out playoff team... Kind of funny to see Drew Brees and Peyton Manning in commercials now that their teams were eliminated in the first round... I guess "Wealthy Hippies" don't exist... The things you learn from the Internet: The La-Z-Boy got its name in a contest. Other submissions included the Sit-N-Snooze and the Slack-Back (via Mental Floss)... Very interesting theory - is Roger Clemens the real reason Andy Pettitte is retiring?... Every time I see that ad for Lectric Shave with Carmen Electra - I think the ad is going to be for a porn movie... When I was growing up people were worried about Irish bombs. Today it is Irish bonds. Is that progress?... Most comic use for activated carbon ever. If you are anything like me - you actually read that and think about buying some... The things you learn from the Internet Part II: Before renaming the team "Jets" in 1963, the New York Titans franchise considered the names Dodgers, Gothams and Borros (via Mental Floss). Too bad they didn't go with Borros because with a jackass for a coach it would really fit...
Top 5 - Moments from A Band of Brothers

With the passing of Dick Winters I thought I'd repost what I consider my Top 5 Moments from Band of Brothers.

1. Spiers takes command of Easy - the scene of Spiers jumping through the smoke to assume command from Lt. Dike gives me chills every time. The talk with Sgt. Lipton about Tersius is the cherry on top.

2. Liebgott translates the defeated German General's speech to his men. A poignant speech which showed the German soldiers as similar to the men of Easy Company. The humor of Captain Sobel having to salute Major Winters and Captain Nixon's reaction always makes me laugh.

3. Easy Co takes the Eagles Nest. It was nice to see the guys enjoy some well earned R & R (and spoils of war - including a nice cache of booze for Captain Nixon).

4. Easy takes out the German 105s at Brecourt Manor - I've written before that Dick Winters should have been awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that day.

5. After the first raid across the river for prisoners when Captain Winters is ordered to have the men make a second raid but instead disobeys orders and falsifies a report instead of risking the lives of his men.
Dick Winters - RIP

Dick Winters, a real American hero, passed away over the weekend. If you recognize the name it is probably because of the HBO series Band of Brothers or the Stephen Ambrose book of the same name. I never met Dick Winters but I am saddened by his passing.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Sweden in One Photograph: A Moose Jumping over a Volvo

- Kennedys miniseries pulled From History Channel because of political pressure. Which I guess is OK because The History Channel ceased being about history long time ago.

- List of common misconceptions - missing from the list is the misconception that Derek Jeter is a Gold Glove caliber fielder

- Cool betting story - Exhibit A on why it is so tough to bet the NBA

- Very difficult not to smile when watching this. Good for her.

- TCU Billboards Near Ohio State Are The Best Comeback. Somebody with money has a good sense of humor.

- Interesting closer look at Tom Brady's stats and the Patriots in general.

- Supplies!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Rick Rosner

I was drawn into these videos about Rick Rosner - a genius who is unusual to say the least. Watch the first one and if you are anything like me you'll end up watching all six.

His Wikipedia page is equally interesting.

Hat tip to Pauly at Tao of Poker for recommending the videos.
Todd Haley and the Kansas City Chiefs

Very enjoyable read by Jason Whitlock on why he feels Todd Haley is not a legit NFL coach.

Nicely done.

It also - without expressly saying it - greatly complements Bill Belichick who hasn't lost a step in the personnel department despite losing Scott Pioli. Look at some of the draft picks and free agents that are helping the Patriots this year and it is hard not to think that Belichick may not just be the best coach in the NFL but also the best GM.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I find it amusing that many of the same people who are criticizing Andrew Luck for returning to Stanford for his senior year are the same people who will rip Terrelle Pryor when he changes his mind about returning to Ohio State... Caution? More like WTF?... From 1000 BC to 1830 AD there were about 100 generations of people and yet no significant changes in transportation. That makes what has been accomplished since simply mind blowing. Having said that - I'm still not happy that we don't have flying cars and jet packs... Very Cool Bill Murray story... With Matt Hasselbeck starting for the Seahawks on Saturday - that means Boston College is the only major college football program with two starting QBs in the NFL playoffs (Hasselbeck and Matt Ryan for Atlanta)... Rafael Palmeiro made over $89 million in career. Explain to me again why I should feel bad that he only got 11% on the Hall of Fame ballot... This is why I never leave my all my money or chips at the table if I have to step away for a minute at a casino. The idea that the casino will be responsible for your money if you step away from a table is a myth...
Coach Bruce Boudreau Addressing the Capitals

Awesome speech by Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau which was captured on HBO's awesome 24/7 series.

Even better is this animated version of Coach Boubreau's speech.


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Alan Trammell

The 2011 Baseball Hall of Fame vote was announced today and a couple of things struck me. First, I agree 100% with the selections of both Robbie Alomar and Bert Blyleven. I wasn't always a supporter of Blyleven but I'll get to that in a minute. Another thing which struck me was Barry Larkin getting 62.1% of the vote - which bodes well for him getting to the 75% needed for induction next year. Good for Barry! He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

All of the above is fine and good but wouldn't normally be enough for me to take the time to comment on. What struck we tonight was a couple of graphs and an old story which combined to urge me from my inaction.

First - the graphs.

These graphs compares Barry Larkin, Roberto Alomar, Alan Trammell and Derek Jeter. I added Derek Jeter into the mix because I think most people who follow baseball would agree that Derek Jeter will get elected into Cooperstown. So that makes the graphs a comparison between a Hall of Famer, a player who probably will get voted in next year, a guy who is almost a guaranteed lock and then also Alan Trammell - a guy who just got 24.3% of the vote on his 10th year on the ballot. Take a look at those graphs and tell me that Alan Trammell isn't almost exactly the same as the other players.

This brings me to the story.

Aristotle was perhaps the smartest man of his age. He is still studied today. Yet Aristotle wasn't always right. For instance he believed that since a man is bigger than a woman then logically a man must have more teeth than a woman. The problem is he never bothered to check. Any dentist can tell you that a man and a woman have exactly the same number of teeth. The brilliant Aristotle looks stupid for not checking.

I feel Aristotle's pain because I'm guilty of not checking as well. First it was not checking on Blyleven's case for the Hall of Fame. I changed my mind a while back on that but it wasn't until I saw the above graphs that it struck me how equal Alan Trammell was to the other players he was being compared to.

I don't have a Hall of Fame vote but if I did - I'd vote for Alan Trammell.
Less Ambitious Films

There was a meme going around on Twitter last night on Less Amitious Films. Here were my offerings:

Planes, Trains and Rickshaws
The Meaning of Lief
Tora! Tora!
Smoldering Saddles
Edward Nail-Clipper Hands
Dances with Prairie Dogs
Gay Pride of the Yankees
Caddyshack II
Monte Kiffin and the Holy Grail
Rosemary's Nephew
Children of Women
The Madagascan Candidate
Blade Walker
Mr. Reid Goes to Washington
Once Upon a Time in Canada
Anything with Nicolas Cage

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- The best animated GIF's of 2010

- I want one of these hybrid airships. Can you imagine cruising around the USA in the sky for 3 weeks at a time?

- Very cool - the special effects behind HBO's Boardwalk Empire

- Truths for Mature Humans

- Read this Dan Wetzel piece and tell me why Division 1 athletics TV revenues shouldn't be taxed. Bowls have nothing to do with education - the opposite could be more correctly argued.

- The HMS Bounty is for sale

Monday, January 03, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Wow just Wow! I'm not sure Patriots fans appreciate just how great Tom Brady is. He finished the season with 9.0 TD-INT ratio which beat the record of 6.25 held by Tom Brady. No other QB has ever been above a 6.0 ratio... 33 Cents of Awesome... Hyundai wanted Captain and Tennille to sing Jingle Bells in that commercial but they were unavailable so they got impersonators instead. The next Hyundai commercial will have the hipster singers doing Muskrat Love... Interesting look at a woman with no fear... It would be cool if those "never miss a Super Bowl" guys had a secret tontine where the last surviving guy gets everyone else's estate... Which team had more hair - the 2004 Red Sox or this year's Patriots team?... Very cool - I'd love to have one of these for my backyard... Vengence Quakers would be a good name for a band... The guy in the commercial who would rather watch Beyonce on TV than live right in front of him has to be gay - are they trying to sell TV's to gay men? NTTAWWT...

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Michael Craig

If you don't know Michael Craig - he is one of the most informed, intelligent and humorous of the poker writers. If you do know Michael Craig - you will be saddened to learn he is giving up his Full Tilt poker blog as of January 1st.

I look forward to following him in his future endeavors. If you have not read his book The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time- buy it. I consider it the finest and most entertaining poker book I have ever read.


I need to get this off my chest. With the Hall of Fame ballot results to be announced this week - many writers have been discussing their selections and with their votes how they feel about steroids.

What has gotten me worked up most is the attitudes of normally bright and logical people like Joe Posnanski who becomes illogical and hypocritical when it comes to steroids.

In discussing Jeff Bagwell - Posnanski opines:
I think my e-migo Craig Calcaterra has made this point on Twitter, but I’d like to also make it as strongly as I can: I’d rather a hundred steroid users were mistakenly voted into the Hall of Fame over keeping one non-user out.
He doesn't see that this thinking leads to the exact opposite results. You let in 100 steroid users and their numbers keep clean players from getting proper consideration. You let in a Mark McGwire and you make it harder for a Fred McGriff or Don Mattingly. Posnanski makes a case for Kevin Brown without once mentioning Brown was named in the Mitchell Report for taking human growth hormone and Deca-Durabolin. At the same time he takes shots at Jack Morris. I guess if Jack Morris had improved his numbers by taking steroids then he'd have a better shot in Joe's book.

The hypocrisy drips from his choices.

Fred McGriff and Mark McGwire - he votes No on McGriff but he votes Yes on Mark McGwire! Even if you think McGwire just used steroids for the last 3 seasons of his career (yeah right) then that's 3 seasons in which McGwire made $30 million and hit 126 HR. If for the last 3-seasons of his career McGriff used steroids to hit just half of those HR that McGwire got over his final 3 years then McGriff has well over 500 for his career and is probably in the Hall. Even more insidious though is the fact that McGwire used steroids to secure contracts bigger then what McGriff ever came close to making. The $11 million McGwire made for his final season was 34% more than McGriff ever made in any one season in his career. So not only did McGwire cheat to get paid - his cheating now screws clean players like McGriff's chances at the Hall of Fame as well. That's too much to swallow.

To take it one step further - if you buy what McGwire is trying to sell Posnanski about using steroids just to heal from injuries then what about a player like Don Mattingly? What if Mattingly had used steroids to extend his career? Would that have made him a Hall of Famer? I know you can't play this what if game but at the same time you can't reward a player like McGwire for cheating to get what was denied to a Donnie Baseball. Put another way - Posnanski's thinking on steroids is 0% logic and 100% bullshit.

Rafael Palmeiro - Posnanski has the balls to compare Palmeiro to McGriff:
McGriff: .284/.377/.511
Palmeiro: .287/.369/.510
You know what this comes down to - clean player who will be kept out of the Hall of Fame versus dirty player who would have been in Hall of Fame if he didn't get greedy and come back for one last season. Boo-freakin-hoo for Joe Posnanski who feels bad that he has to vote No on Palmeiro.

I am slightly surprised that Posnanski didn't go full-jackwagon when it comes to steroids and make the case for Jose Canseco.

One argument that really bugs me is the "he was a Hall of Famer before he started using steroids" argument. This is normally used to defend Barry Bonds. Well what about a player like Dale Murphy? He was a Hall of Famer in his prime - what if he started taking steroids at the same time as Bonds? Is he a Hall of Famer now? What if Bonds never took steroids? Does he break down like Murphy?

Two discussions on Twitter really set me over the edge on the subject of steroids.

A number of baseball writers were doing an echo-chamber re-Tweet-athon about how fans don't care about steroids and the Hall of Fame and that it was just the writers making a big deal of this. They have a point but they miss the forest for the trees. People are stopping to care about the Hall of Fame but it is precisely because of steroids.

The other Twitter discussion which pissed me off was the uber-smug King Kaufman knocking Jim Rice as not being Hall of Fame worthy but granting he was at least not a mediocre player. Jim Rice is the poster child for players whose accomplishments have been harmed by comparison to steroid cheats. It was nice of King Kaufman to say at least Rice wasn't mediocre. I'd like to return the favor. King I don't think your writing comes close to being worthy of Sports Illustrated good but I think at least you could hold your own at the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Free Will - the Argument for Alcohol

Reading this article got me thinking.

Some scientists - like Sam Harris in his new book, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values - are arguing against the existence of free will or what they call causality.
He [Sam Harris] cited experiments in which magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) "predicts" that a subject is going to do something—on the basis of activity in the subject's brain—up to 10 seconds before the subject consciously decides to do it.
I say put that same person into the MRI with 10 beers in them and then see how predictable they are. Not so much I'd guess.

Alcohol - it gives you free will! What better argument for drinking could you make?
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and Observations.

Happy New Year everyone... People making big deal out of today being 1.1.11 but bigger deal is that 2011 is a prime number. The last year to be a prime number was 2003... Central Florida covered the spread for 11th time this year. That ties Hawaii. Virginia Tech also has chance to tie mark. I wish people told me this before the season started!... Sigh - another year goes by without science giving us those flying cars we were promised... Thank God for stairs!... "Sin that pays its way can travel freely, and without a passport; whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers." - Herman Melville... In college football betting - going into the bowls - there were 412 overs and 365 unders. It just seemed like over was always coming in... Wicked cool - Russia's Flying Submarine... If Charlie Weis can go to Florida as the Offensive Coordinator - could Josh McDaniels surface in Kansas City as his replacement?... New Years resolution is that if I see any luxury cars driving around with big red bows on them I will do my best to run them off the road... Today may be January 1st but it is still November in my soul.