Monday, October 31, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Tonight for Halloween I will be dressing up as a woman with no shadow - it can mean whatever I want it to mean (which actually means that I will not be wearing any costume)... Ford to reintroduce 1965 Mustang... Is it possible that Occupy Wall Street is actually some sort of David Blaine stunt gone horribly wrong?... Who knew - Ralph Wilson originally wanted his AFL team to be based in Miami. Buffalo was his second choice... Jason Giambi had his option picked up by the Rockies. Giambi has made over $131 mil in his career - better living through chemistry indeed!... Very cool video on the scale of the Earth in relation to some of the other heavenly bodies... What will be viewed as a bigger joke in years to come - Obama's Attack Watch web site or the "I am the 99%" meme?... Of Tom O'Brien, Jeff Jagodzinski and Frank Spaziani - who could have guessed that Coach Spaz would potentially be last one with a head coaching job?... Ronald Reagan came up with his 11th Commandment "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican" precisely because of treatment Mitt Romney is getting from people like George Will.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Perspective

The protesters at Occupy Wall Street argue that they are the 99% but in reality they are the 1%. Very interesting article from Motley Fools:
The recent Occupy Wall Street protests have aimed their message at the income disparity between the 1% richest Americans and the rest of the country. But what happens when you expand that and look at the 1% richest of the entire world? Some really interesting numbers emerge. If there were a global Occupy Wall Street protest, people as well off as Linda Frakes might actually be the target.

In America, the top 1% earn more than $380,000 per year. We are, however, among the richest nations on Earth. How much do you need to earn to be among the top 1% of the world?

Think of it this way. A person is very lucky to be born in the US. If you were to offer 99% of the world's population a chance to switch places with a Wall Street Protester they most likely would jump at that opportunity. And they most likely wouldn't wait very long to fold up their protest tent and get to work making their American dream a reality. Meanwhile - how long do you think it would take for that Wall Street Protester now in some foreign land to realize how good they had it back in the USA?

The whole situation reminds me of this Louis CK interview:

Link Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Man to collect $275,000 after Cardinals win World Series. There has to be a great story behind this. I image a guy in Vegas who is huge Cardinals fan. He wins some money at blackjack or something and puts bets in on Cardinals because Yankee fan friend keeps giving him crap. I hope the backstory here is something cool.

- What's the McRib made of anyway? Even after reading this - I'll still probably eat a couple.

- Pat Sajak has no idea what to say to this.

- Question of the day: What does a yellow light mean?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Scorched Earth Football

William Tecumseh Sherman was the first superintendent of LSU (at the time named Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy). By all accounts he was the best man for the job and did a tremendous job as head of the University. He was only there for a brief period of time but made a lasting contribution. Less than 5 years after leaving LSU - Sherman's name was hated in the state.

Nick Saban was the head football coach at LSU for about the same period of time as it took to wage the Civil War. He took over the program in November of 1999 and stayed on the job for 5 years. In 2003 he led the school to a BCS Championship. The program has been a top program ever since.

Now Nick Saban is the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide a program he led to a National Championship in 2009. I can't help but think that Saban and Sherman are somehow kindred. Both are probably held in similar regard by the people of Louisiana.

As a further Civil War connection - the LSU team name is the Tigers. This comes from the Civil War where Robert E. Lee started calling all soldiers from Louisiana "Tigers" after a New Orleans infantry company called the "Tiger Rifles" fought so well for him and his Army of Northern Virginia.

I can't believe I have to wait another week for this game.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rob Gronkowski

Talk about your tempest in a teacup stories. Patriots tightend Rob Gronkowski being photographed with a porn star and apologizing for it has become subject dejure. Here's my take on the situation.

Fist off - he didn't tweet the pictures - Bibi Jones tweeted the pictures. Second my understanding is that he apologized to Mr. Kraft in passing. More sorry for the attention the story is getting then for the pictures being posted I would guess.

I do think that if he was going around wearing his uniform jersey then he should apologize for that. He's not in high school where wearing the jersey on a Friday night was thought cool by some. If he was wearing his own jersey he should apologize for being a dork (although being with Bibi Jones erases much of that dorkiness if that is the case).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Aurora Borealis

Very cool yet somehow relaxing video of the Aurora Borealis viewed from Alberta, Canada.


I think over the years the Federal Government has gotten into areas it has no business being in. One of these areas is the arena of culture and art. What business does the government have in determining what is and is not art? What business does the government have in deciding what artists deserve federal grants of taxpayer money? What possible justification can there be to a federal bureaucracy that spends money not on art but on the perpetuation of the bureaucracy itself?

Don't get me wrong - I would like to see both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to be eliminated as line items in the federal budget completely but I'm realistic enough to know that the entrenched interests won't give up the ghost without an all-out fight. Here's my suggested way to win that fight:

1. Eliminate the combined $335 million per year for the NEA and NEH
2. Any NEA or NEH staff member within 5-years of retirement to be given a buy-out or early retirement. Rest of staff to be laid off.
3. Replace combined budget with $385,000 to each Congressional District for art and music teacher salaries. Money only to be used for teacher salary only - no benefits or administrative salaries to be eligible for the money. The $385,00 for each of the 435 Congressmen works out to be a little less than half of the $335 million currently funding the NEA and NEH.
4. The plan would get buy-in from Congress as each member would be bringing home some bacon for local teachers and would also get support from teachers unions. This would make it easier to pass Democratic muster.
5. The plan should save over $1 billion over 5-years and eliminate two useless bureaucratic black-holes. This would be attractive to fiscal conservatives.

So let it be written - so let it be done.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Just as a reminder - before the season started I predicted that Mike Napoli would have a big season offensively. I predicted that he would do as well or better than Victor Martinez. I did not predict that he would be playing almost into November though... Magicians deal in sleight of hand while comedians deal in sleight of wits... Here's your feel good story for the day. I know both coaches involved and can say for a fact that they are both class acts... The last time the McRib was out Steve Rushin had a funny line where he said, "In span of 12 days, McRib and McNabb both discontinued." How funny is it that the line still applies just with McNabb being discontinued by new team... Cool update on what 2005 WSOP runner-up Steve Dannenmann is up to... As a reminder - "Britney Spears" is an anagram for "Presbyterians"... Has anyone had a more complete fall from public grace than Pat O'Brien? He must not have made many friends on the way up the ladder... The Human Torch was denied a bank loan... One of my tests for politicians is whether people who would wear giant paper mache heads would support them. If yes then I don't like the guy.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations jotted down while I watch the early NFL game.

There wouldn't be a Wall Street in the US if it wasn't for Alexander Hamilton. Seeing how NYC's original favorite son once said that "anarchy is the handmaiden to tyranny" - I have to wonder what he would made out of the Occupy Wall Street protesters... Theo Epstein thanks Red Sox fans with a full page ad in the Boston Globe. Very classy move but seeing how he's now working in Chicago - from now on when he says "Go Sox" he should probably specify Red Sox so the South Siders don't get excited... My sources say that there is no truth to the rumor that Gaddafi's last words were, "Tom can you get me off the hook for old time's sake?"... Just like TO - I will be holding a workout on Tuesday that is open to all NFL scouts. I'll be just drinking beer but the NFL scouts are welcome to join me and even grade me on how well I do it if they like... Biggest trick Gaddafi ever pulled was convincing the world that he was dead...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If the sources who leaked the stories about the Red Sox drinking in the clubhouse and dugout were given whistle-blower status by the Federal Government or were protected somehow by the FBI - would the Boston Globe then reveal who they are? That's what they did with the woman who turned in Whitey Bulger... Toby Ziegler's best rants from The West Wing... Joe Biden continues to warn of rapes and murders if the Jobs Bill isn't passed. Based on recent news - does he mean these rapes and murders will come from the Occupy protesters?.... Cool International Space Station flyover video... Teddy Roosevelt was not keen on those who worked to convert others to their religions. He didn't like it because first the proselytizer would have to destroy the person's existing beliefs to get them to accept the new beliefs. I had never thought of it that way... Sin City meets Disney... Teddy Roosevelt's boiled his own personal religious convictions to doing justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with God. Not a bad creed if you think about it... Sports by Brooks has a good point - the NCAA went kicking and screaming into Title IX - fighting it every step of the way. Now they try to use Title IX as the reason for not paying players. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are all on pace to break Dam Marino's record for passing in a season. I wonder if there has ever been 3 NFL QB's with more than 2,000 yards passing after just 6 games... Cool - three years worth of views from the Mars Rover... Interesting things are happening in Red Sox Nation but I don't know what to think until Doris Kearns Goodwin lets us know how this fits in the historical scheme of things and relates it to a childhood tale of her watching the Sox with her dad... Ball-camera that you toss in the air for a 360 degree panorama - I really want one... If I was artistic I would do a fake Ken Burns take on the Red Sox situation. I think that would be really funny in a Conan O'Brian old-timey baseball kind of way... I feel genuinely bad for people who ended up with Donovan McNabb on their fantasy football teams because of autodraft... Very cool chart if you want to get drunk not fat... Funny that you don't hear President Obama talking about "Winning the Future" anymore. That message should be in the Bad Idea Jeans hall of fame... The things you learn via the Internet (via Mental Floss), "The 1975 Dictionary of American Slang defines 'happy cabbage' as money to be spent 'on entertainment or other self-satisfying things." Happy Cabbage would be a great name for a band or a fantasy football team.

Shipping Up to Boston

Normally a Boston fan hears this song and they get all pumped up. For the past month or so though the song first brings to mind the phrase, "freaking Red Sox!"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Red Sox / Cubs Negotiations

In the next two weeks or so you will see lots of stories about the negotiations between the Red Sox and Cubs breaking down regarding the compensation for Theo Epstein. Don't waste your time reading stories like this.

Theo Epstein will be announced as the new Cubs GM but it won't be until after the World Series. Everyone knows that. MLB has an embargo on announcements until then because they don't want anything or anyone to take attention away from the games. Everyone involved knows that. Remember how MLB treated A-Rod as a douchebag when he announced during the World Series that he was opting out of his Yankees contract a few years ago?

That doesn't mean that a certain anxiety won't become prevalent. The Cubs and Red Sox represent the two most neurotic fan bases on the planet. The media will feed that neurosis. Don't fall for it. The Cubs want Theo Epstein and will pay a fair compensation price - my guess is one top prospect. The Red Sox will act like they hold all the cards but they don't want Epstein back at this point because the offseason has already become a three-ring circus. They don't need the return of Theo to make things into a further national joke. MLB in turn will see to it the deal is completed.

The whole situation reminds me of the great movie The Quiet Man. In the movie there is a problem with the dowry and John Wayne calls the brother-in-laws bluff by returning the wife and thus shaming his family. Picturing Larry Lucchino as a less manly Squire "Red" Will Danaher also amuses me.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Scott Williamson is going to auction off his 2004 World Series Championship ring. Good for him. I'm not sure if the recent crap surrounding the Red Sox will hurt the value of the ring or help him as people long for the "good old days" of 7 years ago... Heh heh the more things change - "The Democratic Party in power is a standing menace to the prosperity of the country" Republican campaign motto from the 1888 election... Very interesting article on life on the road for comedians. The Beards are a Joke... The words "for shyness" are too close to the word "vaginas" if you say them fast. That might be why shyness continues to be so untreated. Doctor, "Take this - it's for shyness." Patient, "Did he just call me a pussy?"... White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley was smart to announce that he will leave after the 2012 election. He knows Obama will lose the election but by making the announcement now - he's free to start fielding job offers.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Curse of John Henry

OK - I'll say it! Yesterday Bob Hohler of the Boston Globe had an extensive piece on the epic fail of of the 2011 Red Sox. Among the "revelations" was the fact that Terry Francona had separated from his wife and was living in a hotel. Hohler missed or refused to see the big picture though - a fish always stinks from the head down. How come there wasn't any talk about principal owner John Henry's personal life? If marital issues are fair game at the Boston Globe - why no mention of John Henry's divorce and remarriage?

Think of it this way - the Red Sox last tasted post-season success in 2007 when they swept the Colorado Rockies in the World Series. That was also the year that owner John Henry got divorced and you can argue when things started going downhill with the hometown nine. The divorce coincided with the creation of Roush-Fenway Racing. But of course that wouldn't diminish the attention and focus of John Henry on the Red Sox. Then John Henry married a woman who was almost half his age, Linda Pizzuti, in 2009. She got pregnant and had a baby girl with Henry in 2009. That will obviously change a person's priorities and focus. A man of Henry's age - would it be OK to ask him about any Viagra usage? I mean if Francona's marital situation and prescription pill use can be put on the table by the Boston Globe - shouldn't they also be asking the team owner if chemically induced tumescence and fatherhood made his ability to oversee the company slip?

Then we have the purchase of the Liverpool Football Club. At the time of the purchase Henry said that it would in no way take away any resources or attention to the Red Sox. But bringing that up - doesn't that show it was in ownership's thinking? And giving the player $300 headsets and a night on John Henry's yacht - doesn't that show he was out of touch with the team? I mean how many players do you think just gave those headsets away? And were these the Dr. Dre headsets the team was pimping the year before? How gauche if there were.

Ownership is now on recod of saying they didn't know things were that bad in the clubhouse. If that is the case - then when did they start to lose touch of what was happening in the clubhouse? Couldn't this be traced back to John Henry's divorce as easily as it could to Terry Francona's marital issues?

I guess the real point is that John Henry, Tom Werner and especially Larry Lucchino should spend more time getting the beams out of their own eyes before sending their anonymous sources to complain about the mote in their ex-manager's eyes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Only 4 players remain from the 2004 World Series Champion Red Sox team - Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield, David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis. I think after today's hit job in the Boston Globe by Bob Hohler that it is very likely that none of those guys are back for 2012... Here's my one sentence recap of Rick Santorum's performance at last night's GOP debate, "My proposed war with China will lead to many manufacturing jobs for this country"... Theo Epstein is gone. He'll probably be announced as the new Chicago Cubs GM either today or tomorrow... I've mentioned before that I'm a fan of Dan LeBatard's show but this article makes me like it all the more... The reason I call Hohler's article a hit piece is because the only two real new revelations are Terry Francona's marital issues and pain pill taking and also the ownership being torn over Theo's wanting to sign Carl Crawford. Francona showed much more grit managing hurt than most of his players and if marital issues are open game - how come the Globe never mentioned anything about owner John Henry's when he was going through a divorce? The Carl Crawford thing is just PR for certain front office folks who like to smear people on their way out of town. A goodbye gift for Theo from Larry Lucchino most likely... Herman Cain has pinned all his hopes on his 9-9-9 plan and that will be his undoing. As Rick Santorum pointed out people in states like New Hampshire will not like having to pay any sales tax and have gone out of their way to avoid sales taxes. Also the plan puts extra burden on retired seniors as this article points out. The more scrutiny that is given the plan the more unrealistic it will appear... Not many people know that the Occupy Wall Street "movement" actually started as an Ablutophobia (fear of washing or bathing) Convention in New York and kinda of just mushroomed from there... Mitt Romney was the clear winner of last night's debate.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tebow and Flutie

You had an older coach who inherited his quarterbacks and among the three choices of veteran, overwhelming crowd favorite and former 1st rounder the coach made no bones that he favored the veteran because in his eyes the vet was proven and gave his team the best chance to win. The crowd favorite was even 3rd on the depth chart as the former 1st rounder was held in higher esteem in the coaches eyes. The coach was basically forced to start the overwhelming crowd favorite, however, after stumbling out of the gate with a 1-4 record. It was a situation you could tell the old-time NFLer was not happy with.

You might think the above paragraph was describing the situation in Denver from the past weekend where coach John Fox was basically forced to go with fan-favorite Tim Tebow. The above paragraph was not about the Broncos of today - it was actually describing the situation the New England Patriots were in during the start of the 1988 season.

Coach Raymond Berry had a roster of QB's that included veteran Steve Grogan, highly touted former 1st rounder Tony Eason and also crowd favorite Doug Flutie. A poor start to the season and injuries forced Ray Berry to go with Doug Flutie and the fans went wild. Then Doug Flutie started winning. It wasn't pretty and the stats weren't close to eye-popping but his combination of running and hitting the clutch pass led the sad-sack Patriots to a 6-3 record during his starts. Suddenly the playoffs were in sight and the coach again decided that the veteran Grogan would give his team the best chance to win even though the actual results on the field said otherwise. Of course with Grogan and then Eason playing the Patriots fell short. To this day Raymond Berry is remembered in New England more for screwing over Doug Flutie then for leading the team to the 1986 Super Bowl.

The situation seems eerily similar to today's situation in Denver. You have the coach who inherited the QB situation. You have the veteran (Orton) the crowd favorite (Tebow) and the former 1st rounder who is actually listed 2nd on the depth chart (Quinn). It was too similar not to comment on. I just hope that Tebow is treated better by Fox than Flutie was by Berry.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

In today's dollars - the tea actually dumped into the harbor during the Boston Tea Party would be worth $847,000. That means the US government dumped 631 times as much money down the Solyndra sinkhole. Yet there are some people who counsel that we shouldn't be bothered by that... Las Vegas had the over / under for the Patriots / Jets game at 51 points. The final was 30-21. I am always amazed when Vegas hits the number on the head even though they do it all of the time... Secret Daytime Drinking would be a good name for a band or a fantasy football team... Andruw Jones is just 1 day older than Carlos Beltran. If you were a GM - would you risk a multi-year deal with either player?... Joe Paterno is 2-years older than Al Davis - just saying... If you took the TV series The West Wing as a whole - the real lesson is that Josh Lymon could get anyone elected President of the US... Rhetorical Hitler would also be a good name for a band or a fantasy football team...

Sunday, October 09, 2011

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

George Harrison has been in my thoughts of late. I was born too late to really appreciate the band but almost instinctively - he was always my favorite Beatle. This version of what may be his masterpiece is just outstanding. Just as an FYI - that's George's son playing the guitar next to Tom Petty. How great is Prince in this video?
Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- The 25 smartest things that Steve Jobs ever said. This one seems especially apt:
25. "Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. Going to bed saying we've done something wonderful ... that matters to me."

- Just a reminder that new White Sox manager Robin Ventura wasn't just a good player - he was also a medical marvel. Ventura was a recipient of an ankle transplant.

- Sinatra Has a Cold - Gay Talese's legendary profile of Frank Sinatra.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Player Comparison

Here's a comparison that had me thinking today:

Player A - 746 R/ 232 HR/ 813 RBI/ .267 BA/ .817 OPS/ 114 OPS+
Player B - 944 R/ 242 HR/ 795 RBI/ .278 BA/ .873 OPS/ 125 OPS+

Let me also note that Player A Played 14 seasons and won 6 Gold Gloves but was never an All-Star. During his career he made a little over $75 million. Player B also played 14 season and was named to 1 All-Star game but made over $94 million in his career.

Player A was probably the better defender while Player B has a slight edge offensively. Both players could have easily changed their first names to "Often Injured". Pretty similar over-all.

Player A is Eric Chavez while Player B is JD Drew. Both are probably retiring - JD Drew will just be retiring with a little more scratch in his pockets.

The Hypno-Marlins

If I was the creator of the hypno-toad I might be pissed off.

Steve Jobs

Like many I have had Steve Jobs in my thoughts of late. The other morning I woke up thinking that Steve Jobs had become the international symbol of what an American is much like John Wayne was to an earlier generation. Both men were very protective of their image and both had gained mythic status which will last long after their deaths.

Then I started thinking the death of Steve Jobs must have been what it was like in earlier ages when a long-serving Pope passed away. Apple fans have given over a religious like zeal to their technology and Jobs had attained a God-like status for many Apple afficianados. The bad thing to this analogy is the fact that there is no and can be no white smoke announcing the next Steve Jobs.

Joseph Campbell, who was to the study of mythology what Jobs was to technology, may have said that Jobs life embodied a hero's journey. That thought is brought home by this old ad (narrated by Steve Jobs) about The Crazy Ones. Steve Jobs certainly would have been included in that group of heroes in the Joseph Campbell concept of a hero who travels outside the known to return to the community with a new knowledge or power.

Of all that has been written of Steve Jobs since his passing - nothing is more relevant than Steve Jobs' own words from the now famous 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech. If you haven't seen the speech yet - make watching it a priority today.

For the record - I am not a Mac guy. I've had PC's and Blackberry's and MP3 players with nary an Apple product in my life. That's not to say I can't recognize genius when I see it. Or appreciate that genius when it is gone.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Theo to the Cubs

There has been so much smoke about Theo Epstein going to the Chicago Cubs to be their new GM that you have to think that there is really something to the story. Consider that the "organization" used house organ Dan Shaughnessy to announce that the Cubs had indeed asked permission. The club could have quietly said no. But they didn't do that. Announcing it like this through the Curly Haired Boyfriend says that the team wants the buzz out there. Buzz out in Chicago will build demand from the fans and create more pressure on the Cubs ownership to pay a price that normally might be considered too high.

This Red Sox organization may not be able to tell the worth of a free agent starting pitcher worth a damn but they can maximize value on assets. Theo Epstein is nothing but an asset at this point - an asset that has just one year left on a contract that Epstein will not renew. They want to sell high and they know the Cubs will be willing to pay the price.

The way I'd love to see this play out is the Red Sox grant the Cubs permission to speak with Epstein wit some basic ground rules. Then assuming Epstein signs with the Cubs - I'd like to see the compensation eventually worked out being the Red Sox assuming the final year of Carlos Zambrano's contract and the Cubs taking on the final 3-years of John "JaMarcus" Lackey's contract. The Red Sox could then eat part of Zambrano's contract and flip him to the Marlins for a prospect. I think this would be a fair deal. The Cubs would get the GM they want, the Red Sox would shed themselves of a cancer of a player and who knows - John Lackey may actually rebound to be a good 3rd started for the Cubs. To replace Theo - Ben Cherington would then be promoted to be the new Red Sox GM.

Keep in mind that potentially the Cubs have the contracts of both Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena coming off the books. That's almost $25 million which could be put towards a mega-contract for Albert Pujols. Can you imagine the buzz around the Cubs if they got both Theo Epstein and Albert Pujols?

This could be a rare situation where everyone gets what they want. So let it be written - so let it be done.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- A guy decides to live on $0 per year (I did this too but I just called it senior year in college)

- 1 Minute Physics - Explaining Dark Energy

- Holy crap - remind me to NEVER mess with Russian security guards. I had to watch this three times to get the full effect of the violence.

- They Might Be Giants plus 80-year old Rip Torn bare knuckle fighting = AWESOME

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I think we should thank Fox and Friends. The show seems to serve as a weeding out process of the sane versus batshit insane. They could even rename the show Thoughtful Political Commentary or Moonbat Crazy and I would be fine. At the very least let's hope that MNF will finally get rid of the Hank Williams Jr. song. I mean the song was really good at the start but then it just went too far... Wow - I never knew that Hercules actor Kevin Sorbo was battling a series of strokes... If I ran a team in the English Premier League - I'd hire Terry Francona to do commercials for my team in the US. That would at the least draw support away from Liverpool which is also owned by John Henry and the rest of the Red Sox ownership... Speaking of Hitler - you knew this was coming - Hitler reacts to the Red Sox collapse... I could get behind the new nicknames for Red Sox players of Beckett the Boozer and JaMarcus Lackey... One final Hitler thought - the Internet has really made Hitler an off-limits historical figure. You have Godwin's Law and Hitler in the Bunker satire and none of that furthers any rational argument a person may hope to make. You would be much better pulling out any other historical figure like Churchill's father after he went crazy from Syphillis, Ghengis Khan, Eric the Red or William the Conqueror - anyone. If you do that then the historically ignorant will have no clue what to think. Was the reference amusing for some obscure reason? You would really keep them guessing - and you would get to keep your job.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- What if the NFL played by teacher's rules? Very true. Excellent analogy.

Cheating at Craps

Very interesting tale of the Wynn Casino allegedly being cheated out of $700,000 at craps. You don't hear tales of cheating at dice very often and especially not in what I assume was a high-roller section of the Wynn:
The Strip resort has filed a lawsuit in Clark County District Court against frequent customers Leonardo Fernandez and Veronica Dabul, both Argentine nationals, asking for the return of about $700,000 Wynn officials say they illegally won during a monthlong cheating spree that ended with their arrest on July 18.

The two are suspected of working with several unidentified customers who placed bets or distracted dealers and are accused of pulling off their gambit by using an infrequently seen technique known as dice sliding.

As the name implies, dice sliding involves sliding at least one of the dice across the table after positioning it in the hand so that the desired number, generally a six, remains face up.

No one claims that sliding, also called scooting, can deliver exact numbers, but skilled sliders can considerably shorten their odds of winning.

Dabul was released after two days in the Clark County Detention Center. Fernandez was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service on July 25. Immigration officials could not say what Fernandez's current status was late Friday.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Sweetness and Lucky Lindy

The other day I was listening to author Jeff Pearlman on the Dan Patrick Show defend his decision to write his biography of Walter Payton. My take is an author can spend his time on the subject of his choosing. No big deal. What did get under my skin a little was Pearlman talking about his book as a "definitive" biography and his comparing his book to some of the great sports biographies that were published in the last 20 years.

The "definitive" remark made me think of the A. Scott Berg biography of Charles Lindbergh - Lindbergh - which was hailed at the time of its release as the definitive biography of Lucky Lindy. Of course a few years after publication it was found out that Lindbergh had lived a double life with a wife and three children in Germany that the "definitive" biography never knew about never mind mentioned. So much for being a "definitive" biography.

Pearlman touting his book as a "definitive" biography and comparing it to some of the great sports biographies of the past few years was very off-putting for me. It smelled of hubris. I probably won't be buying Pearlman's book but it isn't the subject matter keeping me away - it is the ego of the author.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam Terry Francona Edition

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The departure of Terry Francona from the Red Sox has made me seriously re-evaluate the team. I discovered that I really only find Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury likable enough to root for. If honest - this Red Sox team is truly unlikable. Blow it up... Heh heh... I saw the Catching Hell 30 for 30 film on Steve Bartman. I couldn't help but think of it as a modern retelling of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Bartman is so Hester Prynne - making one mistake which society does not let them forget... So when does the Hitler in a Bunker learns Francona was fired video come out?... And if I as a die-hard Red Sox fan find this team unlikable now - imagine how bad it will get when the stories about the bad behavior starts leaking out in dribs and drabs... The idea for this movie is pure genius - Tucker and Dale vs Evil.... Ph studies show that vaginas should smell like vaginas - not like flowers or Red Sox starting pitchers... Hello New York Mets front office - yes I'd like to pitch a John Lackey and Josh Reddick for Jason Bay deal. (I like Reddick but you have to throw something into the mix to get a team to take Lackey)... Foo Fighters and Roger Waters perform In the Flesh - one of my favorite Pink Floyd songs... I think history will show that Terry Francona got out of Boston at the right time. I wish him nothing but the best.