Monday, April 27, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Is there anything more useless or time wasting than NFL mock drafts?... Heh heh... William Shakespeare, perhaps the greatest writer of all-time, was married to a woman who could neither read nor write... An excellent point... Paul Pierce is going to make an awesome contributor to NBA Countdown when he retires...  Did Tom Brady travel back in time to play drums for the B52's?... Richard Nixon is the only sitting President to ever attend a running of the Kentucky Derby...

Origin of the Term "Stool Pidgeon"

The phrase “stool pigeon” comes from the fact that “marks” or victims of con men are called pigeons. In the old days – when operating rigged games such as Monte or Banco (which was so prevalent that the police started to have special squads to deal with them – squads that soon were known as “bunco” squads” because the Irish brogue of many cops confused reporters) – the con man would employ someone who would work for him and who the con man would allow to win. This person sitting on a stool would then help draw others into the game to be fleeced by the con man. When the pair were caught – the cops would press the “stool” “pigeon” to confess and promise a reduced sentence in exchange. Because the guy running the game made most of the money but the stool pigeon would get the same punishment – they often took the deal and provided evidence against the con man running the game. Soon – people forgot the origin of “stool pigeon” and just started to use it to mean anyone who would inform on their friends or associates.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Today's Feelgood Video

Leah Still scored the first touchdown of Temple's spring game yesterday.

Top 5 - Red Sox Thoughts

With the baseball season more than 10% done - here's my Top 5 thoughts on the Boston Red Sox so far.

1. Boston is in a three-way tie for first despite the fact that their team ERA is 24th in all of baseball (4.37). If the pitching staff had just an American League average ERA then they'd be in first place all by themselves (they currently have an ERA+ of 95).

2. Boston is in a three-way tie for first despite the fact that the team is hitting a dismal .234 (20th in all baseball). The team has an OPS+ of just 92 (100 is league average). Does anyone not believe this team's offense will heat up as the temperatures rise?

3. If the Red Sox are to retire the number 26 - I predict that it will be for Brock Holt and not Wade Boggs. The super utility man is leading the team in batting (.424), OBP (.441), OPS (1.017) and OPS+ (184) while having played 5 positions so far (SS, 2B, 3B, LF, and CF). Big fan favorite is Brock Holt.

4. Not only do I predict that the Boston offense will heat up - I predict the Red Sox will lead the AL in HR by the time the season is over.

5. The Red Sox Magic Number is now 145. Today is the running of the London Marathon. There is also the Grand Union Canal Race held in May which is a 145 mile ultra-marathon that also finishes in London. Here's a useful piece of advice when running either a marathon or ultra-marathon.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Just a reminder that today is the perfect date

- Seven tips for picking your Kentucky Derby horse(s)

- We were promised flying cars!

- Heh heh - so true!

- A Nassau Coliseum retrospective

- The Hubble Telescope turned 25 yesterday. Here are 15 amazing images from those 25-years.

- A reminder that today is ANZAC Day (also a reminder that the song And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda is one of the most emotionally powerful songs ever written)

Picking at 32

With the NFL draft coming up - I thought I'd take a look at what sorts of players historically have been taken with the 32nd pick of the draft in order to get an idea of the quality of player that may be coming New England's way.

2014 - QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville (pretty good value for the Vikings)
2013 - SS Matt Elam, Florida (has started 26 of 32 regular season games for Baltimore)
2012 - RB David Wilson, Virginia Tech (more fumbles than touchdowns and just 504 yards rushing for Giants)
2011 - OL Derek Sherrod, Mississippi St. (has started just one game in 4 seasons for the Packers)
2010 - DB Patrick Robinson, Florida St. (basically a spare part nickel back for the Saints)
2009 - DT Evander Hood, Missouri (had just 9.5 sacks in 5 seasons with Steelers was with Jaguars last season)
2008 - DB Kenny Phillips, Miami (started 41 games in 5 seasons with Giants was a reserve for Saints in 2014)
2007 - WR Anthony Gonzalez, Ohio St. (drafted by Colts only played parts of 5 seasons - out of NFL since 2011)
2006 - DE Mathias Kiwanuka, Boston College (solid pick - has averaged over 4 sacks per year since being drafted by Giants)
2005 - OL Logan Mankins, Fresno St. (6-time Pro Bowler for Patriots)

Not a very encouraging collection of players for Patriots fans. Silver lining is that best pick of the bunch was pulled off by New England.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Rajon Rondo

As an optimistic Boston sports fan I used to view and argue that Rajon Rondo was a top 5 point guard in the NBA. So it saddens me to see how everything seems to be falling apart for him in Dallas.

It is so amusing that on Boston sports radio the very same guys who were arguing that Danny Ainge didn't get enough in trading Rondo to the Mavericks are now screeching that Ainge was lucky to get Jae Crowder, Brandon Wright plus a 2015 1st round pick and a 2016 2nd round pick. Heck it could even be argued now that Rondo for just Jae Crowder would have been win for the Celtics given how the 24-year old Crowder has fit in with Brad Stevens' team.

But what's next for Rondo? He's a 4-time All-Star who for his career has averaged 10.8 points and 8.3 assists. I'm also not feeling bad for a guy who has already made over $47 million in his NBA career but as a player who was integral to Boston winning the 2008 NBA Championship - I am still wishing him the very best.

That best probably no longer includes a "max" NBA contract. That best will now have to come from a diminishing number of teams as Rondo has burned bridges in 10% of the NBA's franchises. Boston won't have him back. Dallas is now a non-starter. And don't forget that Rondo said he'd never play for Miami (I'm sure Pat Riley hasn't forgotten that). But as they say - all it takes is one team.

I hope Rondo finds his "one" team. Godspeed Rajon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I know the Celtics are going to lose to the Cavaliers in the first round but I think the experience Brad Stevens gets coaching in the NBA playoffs far exceeds the value of dropping down a few spots in the draft...   I'm rooting for Tim Tebow. I hope his throwing motion and confidence have been fixed (although hearing people describe his passes as looking like a guy throwing cans of paint is kind of funny)... Interesting look at Josh Whedon and his place in the Marvel Universe... MLB is just two more Tommy John surgeries to starting pitchers away from some team calling up Jamie Moyer to ask if he's been keeping in shape... Public Service Announcement - please do not taunt the dynamite monkey...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Star Pats

Nice video from Julian Edelman. Although I think he's taking a risk calling Brady his "sister".

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein died 60-years ago today. Here's an interesting look at why Einstein never received the Nobel Prize for his theory of relativity.

E=MC2 may be the most famous scientific equation in history but it was never quite good enough for the Nobel committee. The committee eventually gave Einstein the Nobel Prize in 1921 for his 1905 explanation of the photoelectric effect but that was really too little too late.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

April 16th really should be a holiday in the New England states. The anniversary of Tom Brady being drafted by the Patriots and Bill Belichick's birthday. Easily could be a holiday...  If David Ortiz finished the season with 104 RBI - he will have passed Ernie Banks for 29th place on the All-Time RBI list... Climate science is a religion "belief is strong where evidence is weak"... Strange but true - Dan Uggla (who plays for the Nationals) is the highest paid player on the Braves payroll. Atlanta is paying Uggla $12.6 million not to play for them this season... Cool flying squirrel suit video... If David Ortiz finishes the season with 30 HR - he'll have 498 for his career. That would be good for 27th place on the All-Time list just ahead of Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff... Donuts in space!!... Idea for smaller towns - vehicles that are half ambulance and half ice cream truck... Seven things you might not know about Calvin and Hobbes... Someone should republish the Encyclopedia Brown books but replace his sidekick Sally Kimball with Courtney Love... I'm hoping the Red Sox can trade some really good coupons for Cole Hamels... Vinnie Testeverde Private Eye would be a show I'd watch on TV... If I had a bar in Boston or Worcester this photo of Bob Cousy would definitely be hanging on the wall... You know fans at all the Colts road games will be holding up signs that say "GO FOR 9!"...

Thursday, April 02, 2015

The Church of How God Made Us

Wanted to jot down a couple of thoughts on the Religious Freedom law recently passed in Indiana. First off I think the whole controversy over the pizza place is just made up and silly. No pizza place is going to take an order for say 10 large pepperoni and then ask, "OK before I fill this order - who will be eating these pizzas? No gay people I hope." No they would take the order and then ask for a delivery address. End of transaction.

I do kind of keep hoping that a lunch counter in Indiana run by religious African-Americans decides not to serve gays just to see what kind of moral quagmire results in the main stream media. Imagine a lunch counter run by an old black couple with a prominent picture of  President Obama right next to a sign that said, "No Gays Allowed". I'm an awful person but I think that would be awesome.

To further illustrate how my mind works differently, have to heard about how the new law will allow for the creation of a Church of Cannabis? If a church can be created for people who like to smoke weed - then why not a church for people who like to be naked? The Church of How God Made Us. How great would it be for nudists to demand service from pizza parlors or lunch counters too? And if refused service they could claim discrimination. If arrested they could claim their religious freedoms are being infringed upon. Imagine the argument that according to the bible we are made in God's image but these local intolerant laws force believers to cover up that fact! Please God - make it happen!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015