Monday, April 30, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Why does Orange Crush need to point out that it is "Caffeine Free"? Do people expect Orange soda to be caffeinated like a cola? I do think a Caffeinated Orange or Caffeinated Grape soda might actually have some market potential...  This is an awesome man cave. I am so jealous... Wait - the movie Rosemary's Baby was supposed to be a metaphor for a woman's right to choose? It was about abortion? Really? How come nobody ever told me that? With abortion so readily available today - is that why you never see the movie on re-runs any more?... Santa Claus will not take the War on Christmas sitting down... Ichiro has homered against every team in the AL except the Mariners (which is understandable) and the Blue Jays (which is a bit of a head-scratcher)... Really looking forward to House Party 6 - The Pimp Goblet of Fire... Another reason to like Drew Brees - he bought Ted Williams WWII and Korean War flight logbooks at auction for $35,600....

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.
Very Cool - Single A team shows fans that there's more to Jamie Moyer than they know
Interesting recap of all the killings in Season 3 of Justified
Arctic ice caps are melting! Well now that we look at the data - not so much
The Dalai Lama loves George W. Bush. World leaders keep saying great things about George W. Bush. Do you think it will be the same for Barack Obama once he's out of office?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Neil Gaiman Speaks with Stephen King

Excellent interview / conversation between Neil Gaiman and Stephen King.

There was a point in my life where I was saturated by Stephen Kings novels. I just couldn't read another. They were great books but I have flaws and needing to step back from an author after so many books no matter how good the writing is one of them. Gaiman's American Gods: A Novel is on my list and I think its high time to finally fill in the gaps of my Stephen King library as well.

As an aside - how cool is it that Neil Gaiman is friends with King's son Joe?

A Beautiful Moment at Fenway

A few years ago a young man with autism was chosen to sing the anthem but he gets nervous. The crowd steps up to help him out. Beautiful.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I can see watching the first round of the NFL draft. Lots of big name players and this is the round that has the biggest impact on your team's future. I can even see watching the second day of drafting but if you are still tuned into the draft today - then you should do some re-evaluation about what's important in your life... Interesting little story from Ken Levine that bridges minor league baseball with popular culture... Perhaps the best use possible for $5 is the purchase of a box of 100 freeze pops. I consider freeze pops one of the most under-rated of man's inventions... I know I'm not the first to point this out but the initials for the new Coors Light Iced Tea product spells out CLIT. "Hey guys let's go out and grab some CLIT!"...  During some of the NFL draft I laid on the couch with my eyes closed and I would have sworn they had Sylvester the cat explaining some of the picks. Turns out it was just Mike Mayock... Very cool - a glass floor bathroom built over a 15-story elevator shaft... Pretty sure that the Romney people are thinking that Rick Santorum can shove his endorsement up his ass... Heh heh...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.
Joe Biden - the gift that keeps on giving
Cutty Sark relaunched - as God as my witness I thought they were going to be talking about the whiskey but I couldn't figure out where archaeology came into the picture
Hemingway gives F. Scott Fitzgerald writing advice
You have to admit this is a great commercial
Just how small is an atom? Learning is fun.
Newt Gingrich's fever dream of what the 2012 General Election will look like

Thank You Bruins

A friend recently asked me what I expected from the Boston Bruins in the playoffs. I responded that however far they went this year would be fine with me because after last year's magical championship - us fans are on a free roll as far as I'm concerned.

So they lost last night. So what. I cannot recall a game this year when the team did not give maximum effort. If in the series a couple of bounces went the right way - if some of the posts hit were goals instead - the Bruins would still be playing. But they are not. So what.

This is a team to be proud of. This is a team that made hockey fun for me again - and for that I thank them.

When the Bruins traded Joe Thornton - that was the last straw for me. I was done with the Bruins and with that emotional breakup - my interest in hockey waned. Last year's Bruins team brought back my passion for the team. And for that I thank them.

As soon as the OT goal went into the net - I turned the channel. I didn't want to see it again. I didn't want to watch despondent locker room interviews. And today I've avoided sports talk radio. I don't need to hear knuckleheads talking about blowing up this team. I don't have time to listen it ignorant ingrates.

I just wanted to say, "Thank you Bruins. See you next year."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Who at The Concert For New York City

The Who perform at MSG shortly after the 9/11 attacks. It gives me chills watching them play.


Next Up for Newt

Now that Newt Gingrich has finally suspended his campaign - I have an idea on what his next step should be. Newt has been famous for threatening to have a series of 3-hour Lincoln-Douglas style debates with just about anyone with nobody taking him serious. Well what some cable news network with low viewership should do (which I guess could be any of them except Fox News) is take Newt up on his offer.

Here's the deal.

Well known lefty lobbyists or personalities would pay $10,000 for a half hour debate with Newt on the subject of their choosing (approved by Newt). Newt would debate five such persons which would make up to 4 hours of original programming for the network (when you factor in pre-debate time and post debate analysis) and a $50,000 payday for Newt. A win-win. They could probably do about four of such debates.

I like the idea but I don't especially like Newt. The potential exists for the network to use Newt as a stand-in for Mitt Romney and use this format to make Newt and by extension Romney seem unattractive to the viewing audience. What I'd really like to see is someone like Victor Davis Hanson or Charles Krauthammer take on their opposite numbers from the Left. That would be great television.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Northern Lights as Seen from Space Station

 Very cool - though video seems longer than it is because there's no audio.

Player Comparison

Let's compare the career numbers for these two young pitchers:

Player A: 50-35 / 3.53 ERA / 119 GS / 115 ERA+

Player B: 36-25 / 3.84 ERA / 79 GS / 117 ERA+

Player A is 26-year old Jair Jurrjens of the Braves who was just sent down to the minors because he has been ineffective so far this season going 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA in 4 starts. Player B is Clay Buchholz of the Red Sox who at 27-years old is less seasoned than Jurrjens but who is having an equally bad season with a 1-1 record, 9.00 ERA in 3 starts.

The comparison of the players maybe brings out more of a comparison of the organizations. Jurrjens was hurting the team and so was demoted. Buchholz is hurting the team but will anyone even broach the subject of sending him to Pawtucket? This is an option that has to be considered especially with the prospect of losing Aaron Cook (3-0 with 1.33 ERA in 4 starts) if he isn't brought up to the big club soon.

EDIT: I should have mentioned that I know that Jurrjens isn't the same player because of his knee issues but the same can be said of Buchholz and his back issues. The difference is the Red Sox have control over Buchholz until at least 2015 (with a 2016 option). That should be even more reason to send him down to make sure he's operating at 100%.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.
Philip K. Dick's previously unpublished letter after seeing his first glimpse of Blade Runner
These ads are good but the movie Crazy People did it first
I've linked to this before but they are too good not to link to again. Adding monsters to thrift store paintings.
Heh heh - Leaked Memos: Bobby V is losing the Red Sox and his mind 
Almost 400-years ago Shakespeare joined the choir invisible - here are some surprising things the Bard left behind
The men of Mad Men go bowling - you know you want to watch

Monday, April 23, 2012

Top 5 - Moves I'd Make if I Owned Red Sox

Things are bad with the Boston Red Sox - that's no secret. Here's 5 moves that I'd make to try and fix things.

1. Fire Bobby Valentine. I think it is clear to pretty much everyone that Valentine is a bad fit. I would replace him with DeMarlo Hale who is currently the 3rd base coach for the Orioles. Hale knows the organization and the players. I don't think the Orioles would stand in his way to get a managing position. I'd give Hale a 2-year deal with an option which would keep the door ajar for John Farrell.

2. I'd move Daniel Bard to closer. I've been a constant advocate for Bard in the starting rotation but the situation warrants drastic action. Make Bard the closer until Andrew Bailey returns and then re-evaluate. The evaluation may say to keep Bard as closer and make Bailey the set-up guy. Or maybe Bailey comes back as closer and then Bard moves back to rotation? Right now Bard needs to take over closer role.

3. Taking Bard out of the rotation opens up the 5th starter role which I'd give to Aaron Cook who has done everything the team has asked of him. Cook is 2-0 in 3 starts for Pawtucket with a 1.35 ERA.

4. Trade or dump Vincent Padilla. I was against this signing from the start. The guy has a 9.82 ERA and is a clubhouse bomb waiting to go off. I'm not making him a scapegoat but I do want him out of the clubhouse.

5. This would he the hardest one to accomplish - trade Kevin Youkilis and bring up Will Middlebrooks who is killing the ball in AAA (7 HR in just 66 AB). Youkilis makes $12 million this year and has a $13 million option for 2013. If the Red Sox picked up half the tab they could probably swing a deal with some team in need of a 1st or 3rd baseman.

Those are the 5 moves I'd make if I was in charge of the Red Sox. So let it be written - so let it be done.

P.S. I'd also ditch once and for all Sweet Caroline. That gimmick has run its course. A love song to an 11-year old girl? Seriously - its an embarrassment.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Stone Roses - Love Spreads

 Big fan of the Stone Roses

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

For what its worth - Jarrod Saltalamacchia is batting .206 with a .632 OPS. I'm pretty sure Jason Varitek could have topped those numbers... Cool - a penny that is worth $1.5 million... I think I am going to randomly point at objects and say in my most officious voice, "What is the meaning of this!?!" just to see the reactions I get... The entire list of the 213 players who returned to take part in the Fenway 100th birthday celebration... Ph studies show that vaginas should smell like vaginas - not like flowers or Red Sox starting pitchers... Joe Biden Bad Lip Reading = Awesomesause... Still say that ESPN should make Bobby Knight announce women's NCAA games paired with Jeremy Schaap. Admit it - you'd watch that... It will be interesting to watch how many Democrats up for re-election choose to campaign with President Obama. My guess is not many but I wonder if the snubs get to be a major story...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fenway at 100

Yesterday the Red Sox had the celebration to end all celebrations. Fenway Park turned 100 and the Boston owners pulled out all the stops. I may be in the minority but a building turning 100 isn't that big a deal in my book.

It was really cool having those 213 players return to Fenway. We don't see enough of Pedro, it was good to see Bill Buckner get a big hand, Nomar - Nooomaaahhhh, Jim Lonborg and others. It was especially pleasing to see Terry Francona get the loudest applause of all. But a building turning 100? Meh!

I travel a lot and I get it that a 100-year beloved facility in other parts of the country would be a big deal. In New England it's not that big a deal. Half of the college campuses and town centers have dozens of buildings as old as Fenway. I lived for years in a house that was as old as Fenway. Don't get me wrong - we understand and value the history. What we don't understand or value is what is becoming of our team.

Fenway Park is now a tourist attraction more than a park for fans to root on their team. I'm glad the toast by Kevin Millar blew up in their faces as farce. Millar is a joke. Screw him. Sweet Caroline? The song is about a pedophile in love with an 11-year old girl. Time to get rid of that stupid song. Very telling that the two biggest boos of the day were reserved for Bobby Valentine - a self-promoter who replaced a winner and Barack Obama - a pure self-promoter.

The backlash on the self-promotion is growing and as the team falters on the field the wave of discontent will only grow. When people look back at 2012 - it won't be remembered as the year Fenway turned 100. It will be remembered as the season of the fans discontent. Fans want pennants - not promotions.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tao of Poker

Pauly at Tao of Poker seems to be saying goodbye.

I admit to living vicariously via Pauly and I'd be sad if he's all done with this poker reports from points far and wide. But my sadness would be selfish and I know the feeling he has. Is this scribbling here worth the time and effort? Shouldn't I be using this time more productively? Shouldn't we all be using out time in more worthwhile pursuits?

If it is the end of The Tao of Pauly - thanks for the laughs, insights and all-around good times. May the road rise to meet you Pauly and may the wind always be at your back no matter where that road takes you.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Will the phrase "Physically or emotionally into the game" become to Bobby Valentine what the phrase "pumped and jacked" became for Pete Carroll in New England?... Awesome...  Heh heh - some UMass fans are glad Boston College doesn't want to play them. They were tired of BC dragging down their strength of schedule and RPI scores...  It doesn't matter what the menu says - Kobe beef is not served in the US... Am I the only one who keeps forgetting that Ron Paul is still in the Presidential race?... The Science Channel now airs TED Talks. That is fantastic... One Jackie Robinson Day nugget to keep in the back of your mind - when Jackie was first on the Hall of Fame Ballot 22% of the BBWAA did not vote for him... I miss 70's beer ads like this...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Secret Service Scandal

Nice overview of the Secret Service Scandal and why it matters.

One thought occurred to me while reading - years ago I used to joke with some friends in law enforcement that to be in the FBI you had to be Mormon or from Boston College. There seemed to be lots of BC alumni at the FBI and Mormons were said to be favorites of Hoover because of their strong moral convictions.

I don't know how much truth was in that small talk from long ago but I do know that Mitt Romney's squeaky clean image will stand in stark contrast to the frat boy atmosphere that seems to permeate the Obama Administration. That contrast is bound to help Romney.

Bobby Valentine

Let me weigh in on Bobby Valentine and his recent comments about Kevin Youkilis. I have three points I'd like to make.

1. Let me first say that I don't think Valentine knew at the time that he was saying something wrong or controversial. He was not trying some motivational ploy. It was just a poor choice of words by a guy in love with the sound of his own voice.

I have never thought Valentine to be that articulate. Sure he was a big improvement over Joe Morgan on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball but that's not really that much of an accomplishment. Valentine is much closer to Chance the Gardner than Einstein no matter what his supporters would have you believe (remember Chance the Gardner's supporters thought he was smart enough to be President).

Bobby can't help being Bobby (like Manny couldn't help being Manny). He may be chastened by this accidental brouhaha for a while but with all of his media commitments (the Michael Kay show in NYC and his own weekly show on NESN just the tip of the iceberg of his need for attention) - Bobby V will strike again and again. He will make another offhand remark or try to make a joke about a player that will fall flat. He won't be able to help himself. That will be his downfall.

2. The Red Sox management are not stupid people. They knew what they were getting in Valentine. This makes me wonder if there is a bit of Machiavellian genius at work here. Is this like the book Dune where Baron Harkonnen first sends in the Beast Rabban with the idea of replacing him with the lovely Feyd Rautha (played by Sting in the 1984 movie).

The Red Sox probably looked at their candidates to replace Terry Francona and decided that none of them would make people forget the discarded Francona. There were no John Farrell's in the bunch and the closest thing - Dale Sveum - probably made it clear that he had no intention of working for the bunch that did his friend Francona so dirty.

With that in mind the Red Sox management made a 180 degree pivot to Bobby V. Knowing full well what they were getting. Let Bobby V implode and let the fans and players see what the other options look like then bring in a guy like DeMarlo Hale.

3. In the meantime Bobby V is in a position to do a lot of damage. I'm not talking about the season because almost no Red Sox fan has any hopes this year. I'm talking about him blowing out the arms of his starters on the way out the door. Daniel Bard had 111 pitches yesterday in 2nd start ever. Last year he had dead arm in September. If Bobby V keeps using him like that he might as well schedule his appointment with Dr. James Andrew right now.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

15 Pop Culture Riffs On Van Gogh

These are really cool.

This was my favorite.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

In the wake of the Secret Service hooker scandal - shouldn't some reporter ask President Obama if he favors legalizing prostitution? If I was willing to pay good money for that question does that make me a "John"?... 100 years ago Leonardo DiCaprio drown for your sins, he rose and now reads your dreams for your deepest secrets. Move over Flying Spaghetti Monster - I'm thinking of founding the Church of DiCaprio... Quid pro quo literally means "something for something". Prostitution is a quid pro quo arrangement. You give money you get sex. According to Patrick Kennedy - the Obama White House operates on the same principles as hookers... If the season ended today - Derek Lowe would probably get some votes for the AL Cy Young Award. Think about that for a minute... I may have business cards printed up - Chris Lynch, President, Americans for Bacon. Seriously - I may set up as a lobbyist... Last week's Mad Men recut as a horror movie trailer... If Ian Kennedy was still with the Yankees - would he be the team ace?... Is there any doubt that Doc Rivers should be the NBA Coach of the Year?... Johnny Cash with a kitten. Awwwwww....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Red Sox Magic Number - 158

The famous Murderer's Row of the 1927 Yankees which included Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig hit a combined 158 home runs. The Red Sox were supposed to have an excellent offense but I'm thinking that may have been an exaggeration. With Jacoby Ellsbury out for an extended period of time (at least 6 weeks it seems) that leaves Boston with just two players who are well above average offensively at their position (Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez). Sure Kevin Youkilis could rebound to have a healthy year where he hits close to .300 with 25 HR but that's hardly a lock. I'm guessing Vegas would take all the action it could lay its hands on that Youk won't hit 25 HR this season. Carl Crawford could also rebound to his normal productivity when he gets back but when I think wrist injuries I think Nomar Garciaparra who was never quite the same after he injured his wrist.

While I'm talking injuries - I hate to be "that guy" but one silver lining about Ellsbury's injury may end up being the fact the team didn't sign him long term before the season.

Why am I being a Debbie Downer? Maybe its because yesterday's 12 run outburst may have some people fooled into thinking this team will continue to be an offensive juggernaut. There are 5 players in the AL who have more HR than the Red Sox have as a team. The Magic Number is 158. That's the only thing this line-up has in common with a Murderer's Row offense.

That's all I'm saying.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.
The time they found a mass grave in Ben Franklin's cellar
Steve Nash - girly man
How much is Jim Koch, the founder and chairman of Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams) worth?
Where do we get such men as Captain Barry Crawford?
John Lennon may give you some perspective today
11 Memorable Images from the 1970's
Heh heh - Where the Wild Obama's Are
If you dropped a penny - how long would it take to get to the bottom of the Mariana Trench? (The answer is actually 3.5 hours but the math involved is pretty cool)

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I love the show Justified. I was a fan from the very first time I saw the commercial for the new show. The writing, the dialog and the action on the show are all top notch but one factor that really makes me love the show is the various actors who populate the world of Harlan County who have played roles in two of my other favorite shows - Deadwood and Band of Brothers.

Deadwood veterans:
Timothy Olyphant is the star of Justified and was of course Sheriff Seth Bullock.
Jim Beaver plays Shelby and on Deadwood he was Ellsworth. Beaver seems to specialize in characters with just one name.
Brent Sexton was the dirty Sheriff from Season 1 and he played Harry Manning the bartender at Tom Nuttall's saloon.
The excellent Stephen Tobolowski plays FBI agent Barkley and was also Yankton's man Yugo Jarry.
W. Earl Brown had a memorable episode in Season 1 where he played Cal Wallace a dangerous prisoner. Of course he was also Dan Dority on Deadwood.
Sean Bridgers also had a stand-alone episode in Season 1 and he was Dan Dority's sidekick at the Gem - Johnny Burns.
Ray McKinnon was memorable as hitman Mr. Duke in Season 1 but he'll always be epilepsy sufferer Reverend Smith to me.
Pruitt Taylor Vince was an amusing Harlan roulette playing Glen Fogle and equally amusing Mose Manuel.
Peter Jason who was Con Stapelton on Deadwood played Owen Carnes in one episode in Season 1. I honestly don't recall him on Justified.
Clay Wilcox played a loudmouth drunk who cussed at Wild Bill and he was the drug dealer with the Samurai sword in Justified. He's actually the reason I put together the list. I saw him and thought "where do I know him from?" It was then I realized just how many Deadwood and Band of Brothers veterans were on the show. 

Band of Brothers veterans:
Neal McDonough is psycho carpetbagger Robert Quarles and was Buck Compton.
Rick Gomez is ADA David Vazquez and who played Sgt. George Luz.
Richard Speight Jr. plays one of Dickie's flunkies and in Band of Brothers he was Warren "Skip" Muck.
Frank John Hughes played a criminal in the witness relocation program and was also Wild Bill Guarnere.
David Andrews plays Sheriff Napier and he also had brief role as the General who interviews Major Winters and who tells him his men have earned the right to keep him around.

I may be missing a couple of actors but you have to admit that's a lot of crossover from those two shows on Justified.

I know that there is also a lot of Sons of Anarchy veterans but while that show is very good - it is not in the class of Deadwood or Band of Brothers.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.
Newt Gingrich's campaign's check to get on Utah ballot bounces. Talk about your metaphors.
Gas prices will be President Obama's soft underbelly. He can't spin the story he's been telling and when / if he caves on the Keystone XL pipeline then he will have to answer for why he waited so long.
Shamefully enjoyable collection of people simulating masturbation at sport events. Sometimes I'm as mature as  a 12-year old.
Speaking of masturbation - the size of Internet porn sites is just staggering. Consider that YouPorn is six times larger than the networks owned Hulu. 
$45 million later - James Bond now drinks skunky beer
10 Famous actors who have advanced degrees

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Tim Curry - I Do the Rock

 I hadn't heard this gem in years. Silly but catchy. I too do the rock!

Red Sox Magic Number - 163 (Yes still)

The Red Sox haven't opened the season with 3 losses since the 1930's. The Red Sox are slight underdogs in this game (+111) and I think they would be a good pick. The Tigers are at home and probably slightly distracted by family Easter obligations. Clay Buchholz is a better pitcher than Max Scherzer. Pick the Sox today.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.
Interesting look at the longtime friendship between Mitt Romney and Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel
Awesome - photo of supply ship docking with International Space Station
With the passing of Mike Wallace in mind - here's a look back at his interview 4 years ago with Roger Clemens. Even at his advanced age Wallace showed the interviewing skills that made him famous and made you sure Roger Clemens was using steroids
I would seriously buy one of these Bobby Petrino T-shirts
Very Cool. How to make the perfect vertigo picture
Never has Hillary Clinton seemed so likable. Texts from Hillary
 Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Old Man and the Sea - Stop Motion

the old man and the sea from Marcel Schindler on Vimeo.

Awesome way to tell the Hemingway tale (except there is no way to mention Joe DiMaggio).

Red Sox Magic Number - 163 (Still)

Did you know that according to Wikipedia - Cy Young and Tim Wakefield both hit 163 batters in their careers? Well that's crap. Cy Young hit 161 batters in his career and Tim Wakefield hit 186 (how do you confuse 186 with 163?). As Abraham Lincoln is famous for saying - it just goes to show how much trust you should place in things you read on the Internet.

Seeing Tim Wakefield and Cy Young mentioned in the same sentence may look strange to people outside of Boston but Red Sox fans are well aware that Tim Wakefield was actually only 6 wins behind Cy Young (and Roger Clemens) for the team record for wins at 192 (Wikipedia probably has that number listed as 162).

Truth is Tim Wakefield never should have been allowed to get close to that number. The last two seasons in Boston were just bad. In 2010 Tim had an ERA of 5.34 and a WAR of -.07 and in 2011 he had an ERA of 5.12 with a WAR of -1.2. Tim Wakefield is a very likable guy but the naked truth is letting him have a combined 42 starts the last two season probably kept the Red Sox out of the playoffs both seasons. Sorry but that's just the truth.

Another uncomfortable truth for Red Sox fans is the fact that JD Drew was more valuable in his 5 years in Boston than Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek combined over that same period. As a member of the Red Sox - JD Drew had a combined WAR of 14.6 while Varitek (4.3) and Wakefield (4.2) had a combined 8.5. Yet on Opening Day at Fenway I'd guess that JD Drew's name won't even come up even though he also "retired" after last season just like Wakefield and Varitek. Yeah I know that Drew was overpaid and that WAR isn't the most accurate barometer of success but it just struck me strange that JD Drew probably will be a complete afterthought to almost everyone.

What does all this mean? Who knows. Nothing makes sense this early in the season. For example - the Baltimore Orioles are currently in first place.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

President Obama weighed into Augusta National not having any female members but I'd be willing to bet a months pay that if you took the number of women who have played rounds of golf at Augusta this year versus the number of rounds women have played with the President since he was elected - the percentage of women playing at Augusta National would be higher. Very hypocritical comments by the President... Any time you think your favorite baseball team made a bad financial move (Hello John Lackey) just remember that the Mets still owe Bobby Bonilla $1.2 million a year until 2035. I laugh any time I think about that... The Manchurian Candidate indeed. Obama's Budget: Interest payments will exceed Defense Budget in 2019. And who will we be paying those interest payments to? The Chinese... Every Opening Day I wish for just two things - a Red Sox victory and for Dan Shaughnessy to get explosive diarrhea... Harvard Law Review must be so proud of President Obama's views on the Supreme Court. This will make the President releasing his college transcripts a campaign issue. What if his marks aren't all that his supporters have made them out to be? If he doesn't release them then that's an issue all by itself... I am so pissed at myself that I didn't go to a bar that served fried chicken to watch the Red Sox Opening Day!... Wonder if the advisor who convinced Al Gore to use the word "lockbox" as a centerpiece of his campaign is still employed in politics... The price of food at the Masters is awesome. You can't go there and not get the Pimento Cheese sandwich... Tweet of the day - imagine if Bush said this:
Obama said under Ryan's budget plan, "hundreds of national parks will close." There are 58 national parks.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Red Sox Magic Number - 163

Opening Day for the Red Sox (and pretty much everyone else) - so their magic number for the season is 163. If you gave me enough time I could give you 163 reasons why Bobby Valentine makes me nervous as a manager but given my schedule - I'll just give you the top few.

I think for many Red Sox fans the news that Valentine will be doing weekly radio spots with Michael Kay, the voice of the Yankees, immediately brings to minds some reasons to be nervous about Valentine. People at the top levels of sports are bound to have healthy egos but this is a little over the top. Put it this way - could you see Joe Girardi of the Yankees doing the same thing? Joe Torre was a Hall of Fame manager - do you think the idea to do weekly radio spots with a Boston sports station ever would have made it past first base with Joe? Heck - Joe Torre and Terry Francona are friends but they used to play that down because of the Red Sox / Yankees rivalry. They though such chuminess was unseemly given the passion of their fans. Valentine doesn't seem to understand this.

Speaking of Terry Francona - he was basically fired because the Red Sox missed the playoffs two seasons in a row. Valentine's claim to fame is the fact that he led the Mets to the playoffs two years in a row (something no Mets manager was ever able to accomplish). Francona won two World Series - what has Valentine ever won?

Who Bobby Valentine isn't may be just a big a reason Red Sox fans aren't embracing him. He's not Terry Francona. As an aside - I hope Francona enjoys his stint as announcer for ESPN - I think he could excel at that job and he'd finally make listening to Sunday Night Baseball something that wouldn't make your ears bleed.  Valentine isn't Dale Sveum of the Cubs. He was the guy the Red Sox really wanted this off-season but Sveum probably didn't like the way Francona was treated on the way out the door (Francona has lots of friends in baseball and the Red Sox did themselves no favors smearing him on the way out the door). Have your heard anyone use the word "circus" to describe Sveum's managing style? Heck have you heard anything about Sveum this Spring training? He's been lower than low-key.

Valentine also isn't John Farrell, the manager of the Blue Jays, and the one guy every Red Sox fan would have liked to have replaced Terry Francona. Now Red Sox fans will have to watch Farrell 19 times a year and you know conscious or unconscious comparisons with Valentine will be made. I'll state my feeling plainly - if the Red Sox finish behind Toronto this year then Valentine should be fired right away and the experiment deemed a failure. Period.

Valentine is who he is and that's the problem. Let me circle back to his weekly radio spots with Michael Kay to finish up. I predict that at some point this year Kay will bring up something about a player and Valentine will say something or try to make a joke that will immediately make the situation much worse. You know this will happen. The man can't help himself. This is something you'd never have to worry about with Terry Francona - heck not something you'd have to worry about with any other manager in baseball.

Bobby Valentine makes Red Sox fans nervous because we remember Kevin Kennedy. And how did that work out?

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

In the wake of NBC News admitting they edited audio from George Zimmerman to make him sound racist it should be asked if NBC would be better off just getting rid of their News Division completely. The money they will lose in a lawsuit from Zimmerman is bound to be more than any profits the News Division will bring to NBC for the next several years.. 17 offbeat holidays you can celebrate in April. Oh and happy National Tell a Lie Day. Seriously that's today - I'm not lying... I love the show Justified but one thing bothered me about last night's show. Mags Bennett made that $3.2 million everyone seems to be chasing by dealing weed. Boyd would have a monopoly on selling weed in Harlan at this point - why doesn't he just make the money the same way Mags did?... Heh heh - 10 brutally honest office signs... Damn it! "Keith Olbermann's Comfort Hookers" is too long to use as a fantasy baseball team name... Am I the only one who gets upset at the end of the movie Taken because Liam Neeson's ex-wife lets him take a cab home after he risks his life to save their daughter? She should have insisted on giving him a ride. They had a limo! It's not like they didn't have any room in the car for him... An honest snapshot of the Santorum campaign would look like this. He should drop out.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Alan Sepinwall interviews Hodor

With Season II of Game of Thrones airing tonight on HBO - media critic Alan Sepinwall took time to interview one of the minor but more interesting members of the Game of Thrones cast. I have no idea why Alan asked to have this interview placed on this blog and not his own What's Alan Watching.

Alan Sepinwall: One question I've been asking any of the cast members is if they read the George R.R. Martin books first or if they have just tried to rely on both the directorial instructions and scripts. Have you read the books?

Hodor: Hodor.

Alan Sepinwall: Minor characters don't always have the opportunity to make an impact but you seem to steal each scene you are in even with limited dialog. How's the fan reaction been to your character?

Hodor: Hodor.

Alan Sepinwall: Could you elaborate on that a little?

Hodor: Hodor? Hodor, hodor, hodor, hodor. Hodor! Hodor, hodor.

Alan Sepinwall: Interesting. One question some in the industry have been asking is given your limited dialog on the show - does that impact your pay scale according to SAG rules?

Hodor: Hodor, hodor, hodor.

Alan Sepinwall: OK. I understand if you don't want to get into contractual details but can you at least let us know if they is any truth to the rumor that you will be releasing your own line of fragrances? And if so what will it be called?

Hodor: Hodor and Hodor.

Alan Sepinwall: Thank you so much for your time. Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?

Hodor: Hodor.