No alarms and no surprises, please.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A failed test of character

Rudy Giuliani was in Boston today and was asked a question about the upcoming World Series. His response:

"I'm rooting for the Red Sox," the Republican presidential contender said in response to a question, sparking applause at the Boston restaurant where he was picking up a local endorsement.

Wait, a sec... THIS RUDY?

Or, was it THIS RUDY?

Or maybe it was THIS RUDY...

Listen up, people. This is clearly a minor issue in terms of Presidential politics. The future of Iraq doesn't rest on whether Rudy roots for the Yankees, Rockies or Red Sox (this is of course unfortunate because it's a subject that's right up our president's alley). But let's not fool ourselves. In my opinion, there has never been a more telling indicator of Rudy Giuliani's true character. It's really this simple: If you are a Yankee fan who roots for the Red Sox for political reasons, you are capable of selling out any value for any reason. Rudy Giuliani is a cheap political whore. I know this because as I know that no self-proclaimed #1 Yankee fan would ever root for the Yankees sworn enemy for ANY reason, much less the potential for a few more votes in a state that will certainly vote against him. Even the AP article is smart enough to point this out.

Indeed, if Giuliani was pandering, he miscalculated.

In the last presidential election, Colorado went with Republican President Bush, and recent history shows Massachusetts voters would sooner adopt Manhattan clam chowder as the state's official food than vote Republican in 2008

So not only is Rudy a soulless shell of a Yankee fan poseur, he's either stupid or he's just such a natural whore that he doesn't care. Holy Crap. Rudy Giuliani has just moved himself to the top of the list of political whores in a field full of them. And I thought no one would top Mitt Romney spinning the "dog on the roof story".

As an aside: As a Yankee fan who finds religious zealotry distasteful, I have nowhere to turn this series. Manuel sent me this link to a NYTimes article pointing out that the Rockies have the highest concentration of evangelical christians in baseball. What's with that mountain air? First the gazillion mega-churches and the Promise Keepers and now this? Maybe they should put Todd Helton in the humidor with the baseballs. I guess I'll have to vote for them anyway. Actually, it's the fucking Red Sox. Screw it. I'm PRAYING for the Rockies to win.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ok, I've finally decided.

White Stripes - Over-hyped Bullshit? Catchy, quirky and fun?

It's official: Over-hyped Bullshit. Off my iPod they go.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well, we won't have Joe Torre's bullpen skills to kick around anymore

The Torre era is over. The Yankees didn't seem to make him much of an offer, so I can't blame him for blowing it off.

Looking at the positive side, I won't have to watch another season of a manager who nods off regularly only to wake up in time to call the same reliever in to the game that pitched last night (probably because he forgot who else was in the pen). I won't have to groan because of the lineups he sets and his reliance on more experienced and more crappy players over young guys.

On the negative side, I won't have him to hum A-Rod off to sleep each night after making him green tea. The media won't be able to worship him and will probably be all over the next guy. Worst of all, it may mean that A-Rod and Pettitte opt out and Posada and Rivera don't return. That would be pretty incredible as a fan, as those guys have been with Torre the entire way.

Who should they get? Well, the Yankees clearly aren't listening to me, as I said they should bring Torre back and they barely tried. But, here's who I think should be next. Not Don Mattingly, who has shows all the signs of being a Torre lite. Not Bobby V who, despite being twice the baseball strategist of Torre, would likely be chewed up and spit out by the NY media in his second run. To me, there's one choice. Joe Girardi. He has the cred that might keep the old dudes and the fire and smarts that have been missing in Sleepy Joe. He's intense and driven and this team has taken on their managers laid back demeanor for too long.

Make it happen, Cash. Announce Joe Girardi tomorrow.

Updated: Toast and I have known each other too long. Our brains are starting to work the same way. We both wrote "don't have Joe to kick around anymore". Joe first, then me. I'm always a tad concerned when I too much like Toast.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"Bush League"

Stolen from and posted without comment.

UPDATED: How in the FSM's name did I forget the immortal words of the WoW geek himself, Curt Schilling, when A-Rod made the same exact play?

Curt Schilling, who made recruiting calls to Rodriguez while the Red Sox chased him last winter, criticized Rodriguez before Game 7 for the Slap in Game 6.

That was "junior high school baseball right there, at its best," Schilling told ESPN Radio, adding: "First off, Bronson wasn't in the base line to begin with. He could have easily broken his arm right there."

Schilling continued to malign Rodriguez by comparing him unfavorably to Jeter. He said Jeter would not have done what Rodriguez did because Jeter is a class act and a professional. Schilling said that Rodriguez could end up as the greatest player ever, but that he would not consider him classy.

Thank you, Dustin Pedroia, you freaky little hobbit. I needed another reminder that Curt Schilling truly and completely SUCKS ASS.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Right Brain - Left Brain Test

Ok, supposedly, this image is a right brain-left brain test. Take a look and see which direction the dancer is spinning.

Here's the link to the original article. You should go look at the original image in case importing it to Blogger hosed the functionality. And here are my three immediate thoughts.

- It amazes me that anyone else can see this and have it spin counter-clockwise (left brain, supposedly). I just can't imagine this woman spinning anything but clockwise.

- Since this article is from Australia, does it relate at all to the "water drains the opposite direction below the equator" business?

- Did they have to give her nipples?

Anyone see this lady "dancing" counter-clockwise? If so, are you people crazy?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What to do this Yankee Offseason - Q&A

In a fair and just world, I'd be the Yankees General Manager. However, it's my lot in life to be a Software Architect and I'm forced to leave that to the capable hands of Cashmoney.

But, if given the task of preparing the 2008 Yankees, WWFD? (bracelets soon to be available at the Fridge Marketplace) Well, here goes, Q&A Style.

Q: Whither Joe Torre?
A: Hardest question first. I'm a huge critic of "Sleepy Joe/Green Tea Joe/For the Love of God stop picking your nose on TV Joe". It's been my adamant position that his baseball strategy acumen places him as at best average amongst his managerial peers. However, I must acknowledge the following. He is exceptional in handling the mildy retarded and constantly irritable NY Media. He is exceptional in managing the diverse personalities of a clubhouse. In fact, the only players who've talked bad about him in the 12 years he's been the Yankee manager were Chad Curtis and Gary Sheffield, both of whom are clinically insane. Addditionally, he did a pretty darn good job handling the team over a difficult season where one third of the games were started by rookies. Several key players returns hinge in part on his return. Lastly, there's the legitimate question of where the available upgrade is? It's hard to see. So... as much as it will pain me to say so.... Bring back Joe Torre.

Q: What should be the prevailing vision of the offseason?
A: Continue rebuilding around the core of All-Stars. Lost in the tearful dismay over the Yankees loss is that they in large part rebuilt on the fly and those parts that they introduced to the team were mostly young and are likely to get even better. Each player should be evaluated into these. Keep players who are approaching or in their primes. If they are in their primes, be sure you have a reasonable window of prime performance left. If you don't fall into one of those categories, sayonara. The first phase of rebuilding is seeing what you have in the young guys. The second phase is placing those young guys in important roles. It is time to be cutthroat with some of the veterans. Lets' apply this approach on a case-by-case basis.
Q: What are the weaknesses of the team?
A: In order:
1) Need younger arms in the rotation
2) power arms in the pen
3) Right-handed hitting

Q: What to do with A-Rod?
A: Duh! You try and keep him. He's the best player in baseball and your team won't be as good without him. It's that simple. Whatever his way overrated faults may be, he's a dude who works incredibly hard, plays hard every day and if anything wants to win TOO much. Hopefully, we can extend him, thereby keeping the 10 million that Texas pays each year to be rid of him. However, it's not up to the Yanks completely. Should he leave, swing a deal for a big first baseman and play Betemit at third.

Q: Who's under contract and not going anywhere?
A: Jeter, Melky, Cano, Wang, Joba, Hughes, Vizcaino, Farnsworth, Mientkiewicz, Betemit. Jeter is the captain, the face of the Franchise and is entering the Cal Ripken at the end of his career phase where his diminishing range is becoming an issue. Still, #2 will be the SS. Melky is the starting CF. Cano is the best second baseman in the AL. Minky is relatively cheap and keeps A-Rod happy. I'll address the pitching in a minute.

Q: Who should be sent to a condo next to Mr. and Mrs. Seinfeld in Del Boca Vista?
A: Roger Clemens and Mike Mussina. Clemens is a no-brainer as his obscene contract, bad hamstrings, injured elbow and declining velocity should mean the end for the Rocket. The Yanks are under no obligation to re-sign him and I say let someone else pony the $$$ if he dusts off the ol' jock strap again in '08. Moose is a different situation. He's under contract of increasing cost with decreasing skill. When I close my eyes I see the word "buyout". Give him half the 12 we owe and he can go off and do whatever really smart guys from Stanford with 85 MPH fastballs do.

Q: Who should we simply get rid of?
A: Jason Giambi and Carl Pavano. Pavano is obviously a blight on humanity. If you can get anyone to take anything for him, fine. Giambi is in the last year of a guaranteed contract and has a 5 million buck buyout in 2009. That's 26 million. I say pay 13 of that and trade him to someone else. He simply is too one dimensional at this point in his career. He can't do anything but take walks and hit home runs. His defense and base running are pathetic. He's not the hitter he was. Maybe Houston would take him to play first? Maybe back in the bay area to fill up some of the gap from Bonds? I don't know, but if the Yanks take half the salary, someone will want him.

Q: Who's options should we pick up?
A: Bobby Abreu. He's not the most exciting player out there. He isn't a leader. But he is a grinder and was one of the few Yanks who didn't look lost against the Indians. He's the ideal hitter between Jeter and A-Rod. He's merely OK in the OF, but RF in Yankee Stadium is pretty easy to play. He seems to be well liked and a good teammate.

Q: Who's gonna opt out that we should resign?
A: Other than the aforementioned A-Rod, who may want to opt out, but I think the Yankees should extend, Andy Pettitte! He gave himself the out for not wanting to stay in NY. But he looks as strong and gutty as ever. Bring him back and give him a raise on a 2 year, 30 mill deal. It's a big hole in the staff in terms of innings and leadership if he opts out. We gotta make this happen.

Q: Who's a free agent that we absolutely NEED to resign?
A: Mo Rivera and Jorge Posada. Mo is getting up there. He's clearly not as dominant as he was, but he's still incredibly effective. He's publically said he wants to pitch until the new Yankee Stadium opens and that tells me a 2 year - 32 million deal is open to him. Posada is 35 and had a career year. The chances he'll repeat that are almost nil. But, he's still a very dangerous hitter, a solid defender and the fact is there is no one on the FA market or in the Yanks system to replace him. Pudge just got his option picked up in Detroit for 13 mill. That means Posada is worth at least 16 mill. 2 years, 32 mill.

Q: Who should be starting next year?
A: The rotation should be as follows, assuming the above moves: Wang, Pettite, Hughes, Joba, Ian Kennedy/Horne/Igawa/FA. Hughes and Joba showed in the Cleveland series that they are the Yankees best pitchers. Both should start. Some will say that Joba should stay in the pen, but to me, Sunday's game showed the value of starting pitching. We need to give Joba the opportunity to grow into the ace-level starter he has the ability to be. Hughes showed how much better he is with his legs under him now that he's completely recovered from the hamstring tear. Ian Kennedy looked very promising, but it's early to count on him to be a solid ML starter. He could be, but you have to plan for the case that he isn't. In the Yankees case, I recommend leaning on the ML depth with guys like Alan Horne, T-Clipp and Kei Igawa (I know, he's pretty bad) or potentially kicking the tires on a mid-level FA.

To me, the main difference between the Yankees and the Indians wasn't the bats, per se, as much as it was the difference between the "live" arms of the Indians and the "old" arms of the Yanks. The Yanks bats were dead because the the Indians were throwing gas (except for Byrd, who confounds with average stuff). The yanks, meanwhile, only seemed to pitch well when their young heat throwers were out there - Hughes and Joba. That's the model the Yanks need to continue to adopt as they have throughout the minors.

Alan Horne fits this mold as a hard throwing righty. He could be the mystery 5th starter if Kennedy needs more seasoning. His ceiling is nearly as high.

Q: What to do with the bullpen?
A: Re-sign Mariano. This is a must. After that, you'll need to fill out the space around the over-used Vizcaino and the fragile Farnsworth with a few younger power arms. Ohlendorf needs a shot. If Steven White, Kevin Whelan, Steven Jackson and others rock in the Arizona Fall League, they should get a shot. But, kick the tires on any available relievers. I also think there are a few Japanese closer types available. Those guys have had a very good track record of adjusting to the majors, moreso than starters (Saito, Otsuka, Okajima, etc). Bring in a real lefty if you can.

There are also three minor leaugers, all coming off of TJ surgery that can have a bit of a "joba-lite" effect on the bullpen. JB Cox, Mark Melancon and Humberto Sanchez. All of them, especially Sanchez, could be impact arms later in the season.

Q: What about Matsui?
A: DH. The dude can still hit but he can't run and he was always a bit of an adventure out there. If you're convinced that his declining speed will be better with an offseason of rest on his knee, than he is passable in left field.

Q: Johnny Damon?
A: Trade him. I like the dude, and he's been a solid citizen. But his numbers are diminishing and his defense is pretty sketchy, with the exception of his speed. He's very tradeable and doesn't have a no-trade. Maybe to SD for bullpen help?

Q: Any other outfielders?
A: This lineup needs to be more right handed. Or, we could go a totally different direction and play Brett Gardner in Left and Melky in center. Gardner is basically Juan Pierre with walks and would add a tremendous amount of speed and OF defense to the team.

Q: How about first base? You said to ditch Giambi.
A: No Minkie. No Phillips. Go out and get a plug in the middle of the lineup right handed hitting first baseman. Paul Konerko type. The team was destroyed by lefties all year and were exposed by Sabathia and Perez in the ALDS.

So, after all that. What would the roster look like?

C: Posada (+4 mill to payroll)
1B: RH power hitter (about 13 million more to payroll)
2B: Cano - no change
SS: Jeter - no change
3B: A-Rod (+8 to payroll)
LF: Brett Gardner (-13 Mill from payroll)
CF: Melky (no change)
RF: Abreu (+ 2 mill)
DH: Matsui (no change)
Bench: A. Gonzalez, Minkie, Betemit, Shelley Duncan
SP1: Wang (no change)
SP2: Pettite (+3 Mill to payroll)
SP3: Phil Hughes
SP4: Joba Chamberlain
SP5: Kennedy/Igawa/Horne/TBD (-35 million from payroll)
CL: Mo Rivera
Pen: Ohlendorf, Farnsworth, Vizcaino, New 8th inning guy, New Lefty

That's the 25 Man roster. 22 million trimmed from the payroll, too. That's how I'd build the team. What do you think?

There's no crying in baseball

That is, unless you're Suzyn Waldman. Here, you can listen to the worst baseball radio announcer ever crying because the Yankees lost. Unbelievable. Can we fire her in a package deal with Joe Torre?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I am Spiderman

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

Iron Man
The Flash
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

HAHA!!! This is fantastic because I've always wanted to be Spiderman. No, seriously. I was Spiderman for Halloween several times and I collected his comics from the time I was 5 to about 13. He's still a favorite of mine and the Spiderman movies are by far the best comic book adaptations. Sweet. This is the first of the goofy web quizzes that nailed me. Beautiful. Take the quiz!

UPDATED: The "cut and paste" HTML from the quiz is looking funny in my Blogger Template. Not sure why, as it looks fine in "preview" mode. Stupid

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Because I can't wait for Toast to post one.

1) Neil Diamond - "Cracklin' Rosie" The Neil Diamond Collection
This song is about getting loaded and is excellent for drunken sing-alongs.
2) Frank Sinatra - "Making Whoopee" Songs for Swingin' Lovers
Now, this is one of the more cynical pop songs ever.

He's washing dishes and baby clothes
He's so ambitious, he even sews
But don't forget, folks, that's what you get, folks
For makin' whoopee

3) Turin Brakes - "Clear Blue Air" Ether Song
Here she comes,
Buzzing through my memory,
Here's the ghost,
Perfume trickles through the...

Air... I need you like air
Water... I need you like water

4) Neil Diamond - "Done Too Soon" The Neil Diamond Collection
This song is fantastic for being simultaneously pretentious and stupid.
5) Stereophonics - "Looks Like Chaplin" Word Gets Around
Kelly Jones probably has one of the top ten rock voices I've ever heard. He's ranked far lower as a song writer, especially a lyricist. If you're not paying attention to the words, they sound fantastic.
6) Led Zeppelin - "Tangerine" Led Zeppelin III
In this wiki entry, you can learn that this is the second song title that references a fruit.
7) The Verve - "Drugs Don't Work" Urban Hymns
This band is most famous for being sued by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for their hit Bittersweet Symphony where they "sampled" a Stones tune. But the rest of this album is fantastic, too.
8) Alice In Chains - "Nutshell" Alice in Chains Unplugged
We chase misprinted lies
We face the path of time
And yet I fight
And yet I fight
This battle all alone
No one to cry to
No place to call home

Man, that's some uplifting stuff!
9) Cracker - "Dixie Babylon" The Golden Age
I really must confess
Id like to get undressed with you
and though the thought had never really crossed my mind,
oh, but that was a lie so we went along

10) Screaming Trees - "More Or Less" Sweet Oblivion
One of my favorite Seattle Grunge bands. They never made it big. I think it's because they're pretty fugly.
11) Queens Of the Stone Age - "Someone's In the Wolf" Lullabies To Paralyze
Once you're lost in twillights's blue
You don't find your way, the way finds you...

12) Red Hot Chili Peppers - "This Velvet Glove" Californication
Is it weird that this is my favorite RHCP album?
13) Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - "Complicated Situation" Howl
The young must be our sacrifice, they say with crippled grins,
The eyes of youth must lose their way and stumble here within,
So the sleeping children were awoke, in time to haze their eyes,
So it's never known on which they choke's worth books of old and time,

This album is GREAT.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Help me decide. Is this awesome? Or does it suck?

The original cast of Karate Kid get back together for a video to a crappy song that's actually called "sweep the leg".

I'm leaning toward awesome.