Saturday, July 26, 2008
'Ol Sleepyhead, Craig Hansen, got whipped again, including a up and in whacking of Mr. Ciccone. This was clearly retaliation for Joba whacking Youkilis in the arm on Friday. Fortunately, hostilities did not ensue, and Robinson Cano, who is hot as a pistol, gave the proper baseball response by banging a double off of the Wall to help seal the game.
New toy Damaso Marte came on to retire David Ortiz with runners on in the seventh, we mounted the first Manny and Papi lineup in a couple of months, and we got beat like a rented goalie.
Buster Olney is talking about a Manny trade, which is something that usually comes up at this time of year. Sigh. With his defensive issues, it is hard to imagine him going to an NL team, but Boston is certainly a much better defensive team going Drew-Crisp-Ellsbury than Drew-Crisp-Ramirez.
Look, I love the Bad Man. He is a phenomenal playoff hitter, and one of the best right handed hitters that have ever lived.
Does his Manny being Manny crap outweigh his skills? I don't know.
This ad is a lie.
Plain and simple.
The Pentagon told him he couldn't go to the hospital because his Senate staff had gone home.
What a bunch of lying, thieving thugs.
-Ty Cobb, 1914
I was less than studious in my review of the standings last evening. Tampa, in fact, beat Toronto, so Boston is one game behind them and two in front of the Yankees.
We play the Yankees again at 4pm today, Pettite against Wakefield. Timmeh has owned them at times in the best but, like all knuckleballers, they've hammered him too. We shall see.
Friday, July 25, 2008
According to news reports I received second hand, Randy Pausch has died. The author and educator became famous due to the “Last Lecture”, which became an Internet sensation, then a book. This is horrible news-not unexpected, but horrible just the same.
If you are among the uninitiated, I urge you to google Randy Pausch or The Last Lecture, and watch it. It’s on Youtube, and Google Video, and all over the place. It’s about an hour long, and like any great work of art, you will be different after you watch it. It is that good. Life affirming, sad, funny, heartbreaking, stimulating. Absolutely brilliant. In this particular case, believe the hype.
Those poor, tiny children and his beautiful wife. It's not fair. It makes me angry that the universe is this cold.
Brilliant “Word for Word” by David Cay Johnston, the muckraking reporter, about the massive injustice of the current tax system, how the very rich steal from us by sucking at the public trough for money they do not need and do not deserve.
Talk of the Nation had on the author of “The Man Who Forgot How To Read,” a memoir about a Canadian author who had a stroke and lost his ability to decode text. Dear God, please no. How terrifying.
In much, much less important news, Joba Chamberlain marched into Fenway Park and showed the Red Sox, well, that he is Joba Chamberlain and they are not. Over seven innings, the big fella gave up only 3 hits and 1 walks, striking out nine in a 1-0 whitewashing of Boston. Tampa also lost, so Boston doesn't lose any ground there, but coming up right behind us, headlights bright in our rear view mirrors, are the New York Fucking Yankees.
Like I've always said-they're like vampires-they're not dead until you pound the stake into their heart.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I really hope this is not true. It's a perfect National Enquirer story-no corroboration from anyone other than Enquirer "staff". I doubt it's true. I think Edwards is smarter than this, and I think he is more decent than this. I lean back on Ben Franklin-three can keep a secret, if two are dead. John Edwards is LOADED. If he were really the baby's father, she would demand a paternity test. Is it possible she just takes money under the table? Sure. Is it likely? I doubt it. In the world of the Drudge Report, I don't think there is any way this story would die if there were any truth to it.
I hope there isn't, because I really admire John Edwards.
Three games against the Empire at home, followed by an Angel series. Obviously, 5-1 or 4-2 is magnificent. 1 or 2 wins (or zero) (!) would be pretty awful.
Reportedly, Ortiz will be back, but Manny is day to day with his continually sore hamstring. Then again, as the old Sportscenter joke goes, aren't we all?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Next up, we have the Evil Empire at home, followed into town by those pesky Angles and the Fire Sale Athletics. It is so ON.
Another great opening to the Delta Sierra today, with Adam's voice overlaid with the opening piano signature from "Goodnight Saigon". He's really big on the War with Iran kick, which I try very hard not to think about. Adam really provides, in Henry Rollins' phrase, "the direct route to what the fuck it is all about".
We're getting some vicious thunderstorms in the area, so I shut down my Internet connection until the storm passes. I don't want to deal with it going up and down constantly, which it usually does when it gets stormy. I'm just going to compose offline for a bit, then post it tonight.
Later, "Won't Get Fooled Again...", a Van Halen cover version. Another great choice by Adam. A lot of people hate on the Sammy Hagar Van Halen years, but I never did. It wasn't the same, of course, but what is?
Is there a more sublime intro than the simple beginning of the studio version of Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Woman"?
"Wall Street Got Drunk", says Bush.
Yes, and deregulation of financial markets, pimped hard by McCain adviser Phil Gramm, bought the booze.
A whole lot of my favorite guitar riffs come from U2, which is a band that, though I like, is not among my very favorites.
"I Will Follow"
"Bullet The Blue Sky"
"Silver and Gold"
"Angel of Harlem"
"Sunday Bloody Sunday"
Clive James on the nature of gaffes. The thing that drives me crazy about McCain gaffes is that most of them are substantial, and repeated. I don't think the same is true of Obama.
Mark Hemingway on the New Yorker cover.
He basically says that the cover is an insult against conservatives, because the cover is supposed to show conservatives' impression of Obama, and conservatives don't feel that way about Obama. He says, "Can [a critic] produce any evidence that shows that the New Yorker cover is “how McCain wants the world to view Obama”? [A critic]-doesn’t — and can’t — point to a single thing that John McCain has said or done that to support this conclusion."
" ”When we adopted the surge, we were losing the war in Iraq, and I stood up and said I would rather lose a campaign than lose a war,” McCain told reporters. ”Apparently Sen. Obama, who does not understand what’s happening in Iraq or fails to acknowledge the success in Iraq, would rather lose a war than lose a campaign.” "(from http://blogs.reuters.com/trail08/2008/07/22/mccain-says-obama-would-rather-lose-a-war-than-lose-an-election/)
I think suggesting a politician would rather win an election than a war is suggesting something close to treason. I think the New Yorker cover does represent a possible extension of how conservatives feel about Obama.
Hemingway also refers to a Rolling Stone cover with McCain in a cage being poked with sticks held by Clinton, Obama and Bush, who are represented as North Vietnamese fighters. Now, Hemingway has pointed out that RS is in the bag for Obama-they've made that clear. But Hemingway complains that there was no outcry over this image.
Well, that's because they are different. First of all, the RS cover does not represent McCain in a less than complimentary way, unless you count the fact that it's a caricature. Now, it's a tasteless image, true. But it doesn't dishonor McCain or make fun of him.
Hemingway also suggests that it is fair to question Obama's fitness to lead because of his association with 60s radical William Ayres and his failure to wear a flag pin.
Really? Jewelry and an old scumbag of a friend? That's a fair attack on a Presidential candidate?
Wow. That's pretty desperate.
Those pesky Yankees are lurking in the weeds, 3 1/2 games behind. Like the enemy in a horror movie, they are never far from my thoughts.
The only mild shading of the win is that it came over RA Dickey, who is a knuckleballer, at least part time. Like Rob Neyer, I have a soft spot in my heart for knuckleballers.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Brit Hume, who used to be a sensible person before he was assimilated by the Borg at Fox News, was on CSPAN being interviewed by Brian Lamb. Conversation naturally turns to Fox' conservative bias, and Hume tries to point out that, when the White House issued a report saying that the Iraq government had met 15 of 18 Congressional benchmarks, no one else covered it except Fox. "Gee, if that's true," I thought, "that's quite notable. I sure didn't know that."
Well, I did a little bit of checking, and well, that mostly isn't true. First of all, the Washington Post covered it, Time covered it, USA Today covered it. It was covered.
Second of all, while the White House did, in fact, say that, it's mostly not true. First of all, the "progress" is incomplete-they've passed legislation, but not implemented it. Second of all, the three missing benchmarks? Oh, nothing big-only the oil law, disarmament, and the police. That's all. Oh, and third of all? Bush said all 18 would be achieved by the end of 2007.
Granted, the Seattle Mariners are woeful, but in a street fight like we have on our hands, we'll take wins, cheap or otherwise.
Dice K takes the hill tonight. What's Japanese for "In the name of all that is good and decent, please throw strikes!"?
Monday, July 21, 2008
Boston plays Seattle tonight up in the Emerald City, with Big Jon Lester (I believe) taking the hill. I will not stay up to follow the result, so I will engage in the age old Sox ritual of catching the score the next morning.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Speaking of my field, I had my first day back from vacation today. What a disaster. Stuff everywhere, and I spent the whole day just digging out. I guess it's partially my own fault-we don't really train anyone, and everytime I'm with someone new I'm too busy to show them anything.
I was mildly hopeful that a week off would have given me some perspective, some renewed energy to devote to my tasks and remind me why I do this for a living. Nope. Right back into the same fatigued, miserable shell I was in before.
HBO's Hard Knocks is coming back this year. Starting two weeks from Wednesday, 10pm on HBO. It's the Cowboys again, but with Terrell Owens around, as he says, better bring your popcorn.
Hard Knocks is a reality show, of a sort-they seed an NFL training camp with cameras, and report on meetings, strategy sessions, and really let you get to know some of the players. If you have any kind of a football interest, it really is worth your time.
I've watched every season, I think, and the part of it I most enjoy is the feeling you get that you really know certain players, and you can follow them for the rest of their careers. I still feel that way about Todd Heap of the Ravens, who was on the first season.
Football is a lot more intense than baseball, in the sense that there are only 16 games, and so much of it can depend on freakish, random events. The pressure on these people is immense, and although they do get fairly well compensated for it, what you have to remember is that they are on an extremely tight leash-NFL players can get released, essentially, at any time. I guess I wouldn't like living on a knife's edge like that.
The Boston Red Sox lead the Anaheim Angels of Anaheim in Anaheim who play in Anaheim, 3-2 in the seventh. According to the ESPN game cast, Coco Crisp (his real name is Covelli, and his grandmother used to call him Coco) walked, stole second, and then scored on an error by Vlad Guerrero. I have trouble picturing that. Coco is pretty fast, but what kind of an error is this? The game is actually on TV, but to watch it, I'd have to get up, and I'm too damn tired.
Darren Oliver just struck out JD Drew to end the inning. Darren Oliver is still playing? Damn. He's older than dirt.
He's actually one year and 11 days older than me. Hot damn. For a baseball player, that's old.
He started pitching in 1993. Looking through the list of his teammates, I see Nolan Ryan, Geno Petralli, Josias Manzanillo (The Dominican Mystery Man), Willie Banks (who once earned a save in a 24-5 game), Steve Balboni, Jose Canseco AND Roger Clemens, Tony Fossas (whose name my brother used to relish mispronouncing), Benny Agbayani, who was from Hawaii, Jack Armstrong(The All American Boy) , Gary Redus (not to be confused with the word puzzle), Richard "Guadalupe" Hidalgo, Rickey Henderson (who I think was teammates with everyone, going back to Cap Anson), and Donovan Osborne (who should have been a superhero's secret identity).
It's kind of like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon for baseball geeks. In fact, there is a version of that game, where, using teammates, you can get from any modern player to Cap Anson in 6 links or fewer.
Let's try that.
Darren Oliver played with
Rickey Henderson(02 Red Sox) , who played with
Dave Hamilton (79 Athletics), who played with
Orlando Cepeda (72 Athletics), who played with
Hank Sauer (58 Giants), who played with
Lloyd Waner (41 Reds), who played with
Heinie Groh (27 Pirates), who played with
Christy Mathewson (12 Giants), who played with
George Van Haltren (00 Giants), who played with
CAP ANSON! (1887 Cubs).
That was ten links, granted, but I did it by hand.
Baseball-reference.com has an automated tool that does this.
Its version went a little more efficiently than mine:
Oliver-Tom Henke (93 Rangers)-Phil Niekro (87 Blue Jays)-Warren Spahn(64 Braves)-Si Johnson (47 Braves)-Edd Roush (31 Reds)-Nixey Callahan (13 White Sox)-Cap Anson (1897 Colts).
If you read through the previous couple of inches, you have my sympathy.
Ah well, it was too good to last. Tim Wakefield gave up a pair of doubles in the 8th, tying the game at three, and then Metropolitan District Commission gave up a double to Casey Kotchman to score two more runs. Boston now trails 5-3 in the top of the ninth, and they need three runs off of Francisco Rodriguez, who throws 853 miles per hour, to avoid a sweep. A sweep! Horrors!
K-Rod, so called because he racks up strikeouts by the fistful, struck out Coco and Sean Casey to start the ninth. He always looks like his arm is going to come off at the shoulder-a very violent, herky jerky motion that shouldn't work, but does.
After going 3-0 on Jacoby Ellsbury, he throws three straight strikes for a third strikeout that wins the game for the Angles.
"Holy Moses, I have been decieved."