Saturday, January 12, 2008

Showdown with Jaguars

Well, the Patriots play the Jaguars tonight. Obviously, they should win, and they are favored by two touchdowns. I think the Jags are better than that, and even with the world against them, Coach Bill and his RoboTeam should be able to get the job done. 24-17 Patriots is my call.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Rice Pudding

So Goose Gossage made the Hall of Fame. An excellent choice, I think-it's pretty inarguable that Gossage was dominant for a very, very long time.

Jim Rice fell short, in his next to last year on the regular ballot. Tom Caron said, on Globe 10.0, said that Rice was "the most feared hitter in baseball for a decade". Well, that's a subjective statement. I want it to be true-I rooted for Jim Rice-but I don't think there is a ten year period where he is the best hitter in baseball.

From 1975-1986 is really Rice's whole career-1974 he only played in 24 games, and from 1987-1989 he was a shadow of himself.

So, from 1975-1986, Rice was:

10th in Runs Created Above Average
27th in Runs Created Above Position (Below Dwight Evans, a teammate and my favorite player)
19th in Isolated Power
3rd in Home Runs (Below DAVE KINGMAN, who is no more a Hall of Famer than I am a turnip)
2nd in Runs
1st in RBI
1st in Total Bases
3rd in Slugging Percentage
33rd in Intentional Walks
28th in Home Runs/100 PA
2nd in Extra Base Hits

Interesting. In most sophisticated stats, he fares poorly. In most conventional stats, he looks great. So why the resistance?

According to most accounts, he was a jerk to the media, but it seems like there should be more than that to keep a guy out of Cooperstown.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Seasons of Wither

January 8, 2008

Listening: Aerosmith, “Seasons of Wither” (Live)

The lead story on NPR’s “Day to Day” today took the wind right out of my sails. It was a story about a father whose son was in Iraq, clearly troubled, and was given inadequate treatment, and wound up killing himself. The Army, naturally, lied about it, not telling the father that they had his suicide note.

Of course, when it comes to shortcomings in taking care of flesh and blood soldiers, the deadenders in the Republican Party are not nearly as outraged as when they can make symbolic gestures like wearing lapel pins. This is a national tragedy, and an obscenity of the highest order.

I wouldn’t trust these people (the current Administration) with a box turtle, never mind the life of a loved one.

Listening: Metallica, “Sad But True” (Live)

I don’t care what Henry Rollins says, Metallica is the heaviest, most badass band I have ever heard.

I just bought the “Live Sh*t” CDs again, with some Best Buy gift cards from Christmas. I sold them to a used CD store a few years ago, which was stupid. I missed them. I thought I wasn’t going to be angry anymore, I guess. One listen to the “Justice Medley” from that album reminds me how huge they were.

Listening: “Frayed Ends of Sanity”, Metallica

“Never hunger/never prosper/I have fallen prey to failure…”

This year’s holidays have left me with a lingering feeling of failure. Hell, life leaves me with a lingering feeling of failure all the time. I hate getting gifts from people you don’t expect. I know it is about giving, but there’s this unspoken understanding about who you are supposed to give to that I always seem to mess up.

Listening: “I Go To Extremes” (Live), Billy Joel

I hate families, I hate responsibility, I hate deadlines, I just want to be left alone for a very long time.

Is that too much to ask?

I turn more and more into my father every day.

Listening: “Angry Young Man” (Live), Billy Joel

This song used to mean a whole lot to me. Now it’s more like “teenage angst has served me well, now I’m bored and old.”

I should clarify-it's not really family that's the problem. Just all the burdens involved in running one.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Teddy Ballgame

Until today, this blog had 406 posts. Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941.

Just once, I'd like to hear a politician say, "Yes, I changed my mind. I used to believe something, and now I believe something else. You know why? Because when I get new information about something, when I learn something, when I encounter something that contradicts or changes something that I thought was true, then I change my mind. That's what intelligent people do. Given new data or a different perspective, you change your mind. "