Saturday, June 06, 2009

June 6, 1944

Shame on me for not recalling earlier. It is, of course, the anniversary of D Day, the Allied invasion of occupied Europe that helped turn the tide of World War II.

Men younger than me, by the tens and hundreds of thousands, hurled themselves at the seemingly impregnable walls of Fortress Europe, and said simply that tyranny would not stand. They died there, on the beaches, having faith that we, their children, would live a better life because of their sacrifices.

I hope we're not letting them down.

Why people hate athletes.

Red Sox shortstop/pigeon sanctuary Julio Lugo says he is not happy about the amount of playing time he is getting.

Uh...Julio? You're batting .256. Try not sucking. Try batting more than .256 with a range in the field larger than a phone booth, then we'll talk about playing time. With the money he's making for the mediocre results he is producing, he should be grinning from ear to ear 24/7.

Game Fifty Six: Not So Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)

In Boston today, Jon Lester (the real one) made his 2008 debut (ha!) with a 2 hitter against the Rangers of Tejas. Boston comes away with an 8-1 win, powered by homers from Lowell and Ortiz.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Game Fifty Five: We Don't Do Fridays

The Red Sox continued their record of Fail Fridays with a real Fail of an effort from Brad "You Were Renting, Right?" Penny. The aforementioned righthander, who is rumored to be traded for everyone from Victor Martinez to Jon from "Jon and Kate Plus Eight", gave up 5 runs in his 5 2/3 innings, while Kevin Milwood allowed only an unearned run over his seven innings, giving the visitors from Tejas a 5-1 win.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Game Fifty Four: Winning With Half A Heart

The Red Sox beat the Tigers again tonight, 6-3, with Tim Wakefield, Bat Masterson, the Okey Doke, and the Lord of the Dance cleaning up. Sadly, the win had to come off of Dontrelle Willis. The D Train, once one of the most promising young players in baseball, seemed to have made his way back from baseball purgatory. The Red Sox interrupted the train with an unscheduled stop in a six run third inning.

Kevin Youkilis did play, suggesting he's ok, but left the game with "calf tightness", which suggests he isn't.

In other news, Randy Johnson punched his ticket to Cooperstown with his 300th career win.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Game Fifty Three: Whaddaya Know-Josh is Back!

Josh Beckett took a no hitter into the seventh inning tonight, handing the game off to Danny Ocean and Sensei Saito, who tried, with some help from errors by Our Man DP and Mike Lowell, American Hero, to give it away, but failed, finishing off a 10-5 win.

Sadly, Kevin Youkilis was involved in a spiking incident at first base late in the game. Hopefully, he will be fine. If he's not, this is probably going to turn into a blog about Andean mountain songs, because the Red Sox season will be over.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Game Fifty Two: Phew!

After the Official Dice K Stimulate The Economy By Making People Buy More Soft Drinks During The Game Outing, (5 innings, 96 pitches), Metropolitan District Commission, The Okey Doke, and New Guy RR held the door shut on the Tigres. Leading 5-1 after 8, The Lord of the Dance did a stunning Mitch Williams impersonation, allowing three hits to load the bases. However, also like Mitch Williams, having sustained the economy by inducing business for hypertension clinics throughout New England, he then struck out the side to end the game.

Of course.

So Boston wins, 5-1. They play these same Motor City Madmen again tomorrow, with That Guy Who Used To Be Josh Beckett facing Armando Galarraga. Who is not to be confused with Andres Galarraga, the Big Cat. Or Galaga, the video game.

Kill Your Idols

Very entertaining TWiT (This Week In Tech) podcast Sunday ( , that I finally got a chance to listen to today. After some assiduous searching, I finally found one of the articles cited during the program, an op ed about university education ( The author, the chairman of the religion department at Columbia University, argues that the university system is producing graduates that are not suited for the workforce, and thus dramatic change is called for.

The TWiT panel expanded on this point, noting that high school doesn't work either. Kids today are being raised on a collaborative model-the old regurgitate what I told you, mass produce automatons model that has been around for 100 years doesn't work with them. Kids expect to interact with their media-and frankly, I do too. Particularly interesting is the fact that the leaders of many high tech companies (Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg) have little if any higher education.

True, the rotten teaching models in high schools are largely imposed by the state, so you can't blame teachers for it. But that doesn't make it right. As one of the panelists says, the person who invents the next Google isn't going to learn how to do that by spitting back the names of English kings on a history test.

A little slice of awesome

Thanks to Surviving Grady for reminding me of this little slice of awesome-a Nike commercial featuring Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine being jealous of Mark McGwire's home run prowess. As far as I know, this is the source of the phrase, "Chicks Dig The Long Ball".

(Ironically, Glavine and Maddux were pretty good hitters, for pitchers.)

A Modest Proposal

From Randy Cohen, the "Ethicist" at the New York Times.

Ban all guns-from being owned by men.

Read it-it's silly, but in a Vonnegutian, sort of 80% silly way that makes you say, "wait a minute, maybe it's not so silly..."

The David Ortiz Problem (He Wears His Sunglasses At Night)

The Sporting News is reporting that the Red Sox may be interested in trading for Brewers OF Corey Hart. (No, not THAT Corey Hart.) David Ortiz, who is hitting like Roxie Hart at present (.185, 1 HR, 18 RBI), passed "struggling" several weeks ago. In fact, his average would have to come up about 50 points for him to make it to "struggling".

This creates a dilemma, which is how, if you are a close reader here, you know it is spelled. I think. Yes, it is. I dont know where dilemna came from, but I have been spelling it that way for a long time.

But I digress.

David Ortiz is, of course, literally a Red Sox legend. His heroics in 2004 give him a permanent place in the team's canon-back to back walk off hits to fell the mighty Yankee machine in the 2004 playoffs and claw back from the brink of oblivion alone make him a hero.

But it's 2009, the calendars tell me. And the 2009 Red Sox are interested solely in winning games during 2009, and David Ortiz is not helping them do so at the present time.

There are steroid whispers, of course, as there always are. There is no evidence at the present time. He doesn't look dramatically different than did 10 years ago-he mostly just looks fatter. He has had a dramatic drop off in production in 2008 and a cliff dive-sized drop in 2009. He has also had a horrible wrist injury that appears to be still bothering him.

You really can't do forensic statistics. Look at Jason Varitek, who went from "acceptable for a catcher with good defense" in 2007 to "Children, look away" in 2008, right back to "acceptable" so far in 2009. That wasn't steroids.

So I am forced to conclude I don't know if he used, and you don't know either.

In summary, it is nauseating to think of Ortiz on the bench or (shudder) playing for another team. But it is also nauseating to watch him continue to flail away hopelessly.


I'm glad I'm not Terry Francona.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid

(which was my second choice for a blog title.)

Thanks to Ang, here's another memeful idea. Things left unsaid-things heard by me, in my head, that I wish I had been brave enough to say to people, some that I know, some that I don't.

-You looked spectacular Friday night.

-It's not that I don't believe you. What makes me angry is the fact that you're so childish about it.

-I love you, but I resent the fact that you exist sometimes.

-I have always, in some sense, loved you.

-If you asked me to come, I'd be there without hesitation.

-I will never get over you.

-You're so pretty it hurts me. I hope someone is being good to you.

-You were sitting outside the library, in a long skirt and flip flops, staring at nothing. What were you thinking about?

-I haven't seen you in more than a decade, but I can still picture every inch of your skin vividly.

-I miss you like hell.

Reorganizing The Meme (Mambo Number Five)

Searching for a theme, or an inspiration, or something that will enable me to put off balancing my checkbook for just a few more minutes, I tuned in to, which seems to provide, well, memes. And stuff.

The one that appealed to me was "5 Things You Want Your Children To Know", which can be found at That site was a little too earnest for me, so I then went on to discover that Ananda,( is counting down to her summer vacation. Today being number 5 on her list is just too perfect.

So today, with all these fives, and knowing that you all just couldn't continue without me for another 24 hours, I present to you my own FIVE THINGS.


1. Jamie Moyer is only the tenth left handed pitcher to win 250 games in the major leagues. I tried to think of the other 9 at work today, while I probably should have been working-and I came up with Warren Spahn, Tommy John, and Steve Carlton before petering out. The other six are Gettysburg Eddie Plank, Tom Glavine, Lefty Grove, Randy Johnson, Jim Kaat, and Eppa Rixey. (How could I have forgotten Billerica's Tom Glavine? And the Lonacoming Lefty? And Kitty? And the Big Unit? I really should have gotten all of them except Rixey and Plank. Sigh.)

Point being: Being curious about stuff like this, and knowing enough about stuff like this that you can do it from memory, is both good training for the 'ol cabeza and a way to keep you from going insane. Caring about stuff is good for you.

2. It is critically important-more so than almost anything else I can tell you-to do something as a career that you love. If you can find something that you love, and get really really good at it, I think eventually someone will pay you to do it. Of all the mistakes I have made, I regret this one the most.

3. If you have a good book, you'll never be alone.

4. It really, truly does not matter what other people think of you. You have to live with yourself at the end of the day.

5. Skip school at least once. It's good for you.

And to wrap things up, also thanks to Ananda, we have this YouTube tribute featu ring two of my very most favoritist things, Billy Joel and Kurt Vonnegut.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

In Search Of Competence

ESPN's Bill Simmons wrote a great column about the NBA and the problem it is having (and won't admit to) about officiating and the quality therein. On his podcast, he had a long, fascinating talk with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban about, more or less, the same thing.

It has become an incredibly frustrating part of my middle agehood to see so many bright people (Jimmy Pardo, Dan Carlin, Adam Carolla, Bill Simmons, Jason Calacanis, Mark Cuban, Adam Curry) who are approximately my age and have really intelligent, interesting, funny takes on the world-ideas and theories and ways to change things and make things better and cheaper and safer and more entertaining-and invariably, these people get slighted or ignored or mocked or shut out in favor of people who are manifestly less smart but are tied in to the Powers That Be and telling them what they want to hear instead of what really is.

The Parade Of Horribleosity continues....

Abortion doctor George Tiller was shot to death during a church service Sunday morning

Tiller was shot once already-during the 1990s-and survived. This story is just awful on so many levels.

Something has always troubled me about the logic of shooting a clinic doctor. If you honestly believe that life begins at conception and abortion is murder, aren't you a hero for shooting an abortion doctor? If you prevent a murder, you're a hero, right?
The whole thing just makes me sick.

General Motors is going to go bankrupt.

Probably inevitable, but this is going to have some horrific aftereffects.

Another 500000 jobs were lost in May.

They say the rate of descent is slowing, which is good news, I guess.

Anybody who decides to have a child in this day and age-good luck to you.

(In The Morning, In The Evening, Aint We Got) Game 51

Jon Lester gave a very convincing impersonation of himself today, tossing 6 innings while striking out 12 and only allowing 3 hits, and the offense awakened from a sound sleep, threw off its bedclothes, rubbed the sleep from its eyes, and slammed 4 homers, 2 from Our Man Youk, 1 from Our Man DP, and 1 from the Great Canadian Hero.

It all adds up to a 8-2 win, Bat Masterson and New Guy RR mopping up. Boston is off duty tomorrow, and the road trip will continue Tuesday in the Motor City.