Sunday, July 31, 2005

Chuck Lamar is nuts

1) So Chuck Lamar wanted Hanley Ramirez and Jon Lester, not to mention two Met prospects, for Baez and Huff. How the hell does that work? I said it two days ago, and I'll say it again: that Kazmir fleecing screwed up his brain. Four top level prospects for a second-rate closer and a decent bat? Two years ago he would have traded those two guys away for Kevin Millar, a footrub, and a pirated DVD from Chinatown. My, how times have changed.

2) It's Sunday, and my arthritic shoulder is throbbing, so I'm calling this my off-day. I'm going to curl up on my couch and watch Jon Paplebon mow down the Twins, pop a few Aleves, rehydrate, and await the Resident Female's return. God bless.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Yeah, that's not going to happen

1) So I saw on sportcenter last night a prospective trade where:

The Mets get Manny and Denny Baez
The Devil Rays get two top tier prospects each from the Mets and the Sox (Shoppach and Anibal Sanchez)
The Sox get a pair of "outfielders", one who is all defense with an only recently hot bat and the other who is really a DH that hasn't been hitting this year.

So put me in the skeptical camp. The current Sox front office has made it a policy not to discuss trades and has eliminated leaks (from their end at least, thank you very much Tom Hicks) on an almost Bellichikian scale. So it suddenly makes sense that the team getting blatantly hosed in the deal is the Sox, since the trade (at least in terms of the prospects involved) is ridiculously unbalanced. Consider that the Mets have spent the last month floating bullshit trades that didn't make sense (remember Cameron for Sheffield?), and the fact that the Devil Rays couldn't negotiate the panties off a drunk sorority girl, I think this rumor is highly suspect. Basically, because the Sox were forced to toss Matt Murton into the Nomar deal last year, whoever leaked this figured this would be believable. But consider what the Sox are essentially giving up in this trade, compared to what they are getting back:

Giving up:
Best right-handed hitter in the game
One of the top-5 catching prospects in the minors
One of the organizations 3 best pitching prospects, with a career K-to-BB ratio just under 7, and a mid to high 90s fastball

Getting back:
Cameron, who traditionally lacks pop in his bat yet would play a corner outfield position
Huff, who has no real defensive position and has been having a down year with the bat (so basically, another Millar)

What makes sense about this, at least as far as the Sox are concerned:
losing Manny's contract is a plus
Shoppach is blocked for another year before being the back up catcher, and another two before Tek is out of the picture, so he is expendable
Maybe Cameron would take Damon's spot in center next year

What doesn't make sense:
Giving up an elite hitter, a near-ready prospect, and an extremely promising pitcher for a weaker outfield and a fifth 1B/DH type (Huff, Millar, Olerud, Ortiz, and Patagine) with four of them being left-handed.

So, basically, this deal makes absolutely no sense for the Sox. Of course, now that I've said that, it probably just went official.

2) I would like to clarify some things from the last post, as Dario raised some good points that I think are interesting.

First, when I say that the Mets are one of the more poorly run franchises in the major leagues, I mean the current incarnation and do not really care about their history. Minaya (and Duquette) have seemed content to throw money at headlines and think about public appearance when making moves rather than doing what is good for the overall health of the club.

In the same vane, I don't think it is fair to raise the integration issue about the Sox when you consider that they have new ownership, management, etc. Yes, the Sox used to be a pretty piss poor organization in terms of the front office, and the Yawkees were about as stupid and racist as they come (at least without mullets and a beer-stained Stanley shirt), but I think the new front office/ownership has shown a commitment to an ethos that the Mets haven't necessarily done. Basically, when the Mets are able to spend more money than any other team in the division (or even their league), yet they do so by tossing too much money at players to make headlines instead of working towards putting together a fiscally smart winner, I consider that to be a weakness, as there is a finite limit on their ability to purchase stars. Just as A-Rod showed on the Rangers, having the best player isn't worth a damn if you overpay for them, because it makes it harder to plug other holes. The Sox, for better or worse, have made several decisions that were not necessarily fan friendly, but in the long run were probably better for the franchise as a whole (see: trading Nomar, see also: letting post-season hero Derek Lowe go). I just don't see the Mets making those kinds of moves, or being honest/prudent in assessing their ballclub (see: last year trading for two starting pitchers, rather than punting, and buying exactly zero days more in contention).

Friday, July 29, 2005

Masochism and you: a winning combination

1) Ah, Manny. The delightful dope has suddenly decided he wants out of Boston because he has no privacy, even though he has a contract that only the Mets or Yankees could take on. I'm sure the New York press corp would be willing to give him his privacy and not intrude on his life. Then again, I'm also an idiot, so take that last sentence with a grain of salt.

Personally, I doubt Manny is going anywhere, and I mean that for the duration of his contract (unless the Sox are out of the race in 2008 at the deadline). The trade market has been slow this year in general, mostly because the few sellers out there are insisting that the buyers not only be held over a barrel for the "marquee" names, but also that they sing and dance while doing so. A big part of the problem, of course, comes from two of the more poorly run organizations in the league in the Mets and the Devil Rays. Last season, when Scott Kazmir was traded for Victor Zambrano (possibly the worst deal in the last 20 years that didn't involve Heathcliff Slocumb or Larry Anderson). This had two consequences which are still being felt this season:

1. Chuck Lamar has gone insane. The Devil Rays GM, who has a track record of making brutally awful deals where he gets back fractions of a penny on the dollar, absolutely fleeced the Mets. So, like a fat guy that wins a foot race against his best friend, he suddenly feels like he can run a marathon. He is dangling Denny Baez (Denny Baez!), trying to get a top tier prospect from someone. And the scary thing is, if he gets it, then this will effectively kill the inseason market for years to come, because if crappy relievers are worth a top-tier pick, then what is anyone of value worth?

2. To save a modicom of face, the Mets signed Kris Benson to a ridiculous contract and set the pitching market unfathomably high. This led this offseason to a massive over-valuation of pitching, to the extent that pitcher like Chris Redman and Kip Wells are viewed as steals insted of thieves. Also, trading for a guy like AJ Burnett (who I’m not sold on, by the way) means the team either has to concede he will be a rental (and not want to give up as much for the priviledge) or sign him to an extension right away (which will be ridiculously expensive, also making the team less interested).

So basically, when we look at the mess that is the trading deadline, then throw in the best right-handed hitter in the league into the mix, I just don’t see him going anywhere. Why? Because he looks too good to be traded in an uncharacteristicly expensive market, yet at the same time he looks too flawed to give up anything of value for him. Here is why:

The Red Sox have the best right-handed hitter in the league, have him signed for three more years, is a hell of a force in the midde of the lineup that would be hard to replace if traded away. So if you are the Red Sox, you are going to want to get a ton back in the trade, especially with how expensive everything is to get this season.
Yet a prospective team trying to get him sees a 33-year old with $70 million to be doled out over the next 3.5 years who really should be a DH (if in the AL) or is a liability in any park that doesn’t have a truncated left field wall. So if you are trading for Manny, you aren’t going to give up all that much for him without getting rid of a lot of salary.

So, basically, Manny isn’t going anywhere, just like when he was on irrevocable waivers. He is too expensive and poor defensively to give up a lot for, yet is to good a hitter to be given away for free. He is a complex paradox, which is odd when you consider he is often called simple.

2) I'm actually starting to enjoy the google adds at the top of my pages, especially when viewing a specific post (that is, try clicking on the time published, and google puts up a new set of ads based on the content of that post). For example, I emailed a freind of mine "On the origin of origin", as we were talking about it last night while enjoying a glass of port in our smoking jackets, and I noticed that three of the adds were for creationist websites. So it seems that whenever I condem some organization or movement for being a bunch of cock-swilling monkey-molesters, I also am creating a forum for Google to advertise for them. To put it more bluntly: Google is mocking me. Well, seeing as how the add revenue that I have pulled in over the last two weeks is rapidly approaching the two dollar mark, I guess I will just have to accept their crazy adds with their money...

3) Random thought of the day: it's not binge drinking if you do it every night...

4) Wow, two points in one post that end with an apoplexy (err, an ellipsis, rather). I wonder if this will become a new habit for me...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Oh baby, hurt me! Hurt me!

1) So, after paying about $90 for installation of my cable and internet, I have since had to:

Buy a cable splitter
Buy an additional coaxial cable to go with the line splitter
Drive halfway across town to the lovely demilitarized zone also known as Northeast DC to pick up a new wireless internet router
Spent about 2 hours on the phone setting up the new router
Spent about another 3 hours fighting and yelling with Comcast people on the phone about the billing

So, now that I have replaced all the components that were originally set up, what exactly was I paying for when they "installed" my cable? I hate Comcast. When I called up to say my router wasn't working, then told him all the steps I took to try and fix it on my own, he just had me do all those things again. He then told me I needed a new one and that I needed to drive across town to get it. When I said, "well that fits", he started lecturing me about some stupid metaphor how not every car works when you buy it and that they didn't give me a defective model on purpose. Of course, I didn't believe they purposely gave me broken stuff, I just thought their organization was full of a bunch of cow-scat munching whorebaggers who couldn't find cellulite on a trucker's ass, much less properly install cable.

2) Found out yesterday that doesn't like the words "c0ck" and "suckers" together, and instead posted "########" in its place. Nut-humpers, however, appears to be okay.

3) Wow, that beaning of Clement was scary. He seems to be doing well, and hopefully it won't affect his pitching. I do find it odd, however, that the two prominent NL free-agent pitchers from last year both took a ball off the side of the head this year (remember when that happened to Pavano?). Also have to say that Edgar "Don't call me the Latin Finding Forester" Renteria made a hell of a play last night.

4) Seeing as how yesterday's oppressive heat was followed by a War of the World's type thunderstorm, I spent a lot of time indoors. By the end of the day I had gone a little stir crazy, and decided I would listen to a "directory commentary" on a movie. For those that have never done this, I highly recommend it, but only if you pick the right kind of movie in the first place. For example, if the commentators are the script-writer, the director of photography, and the boom man, skip it. These people tend to be too technical, and just drop interesting tidbits about the film industry throughout the whole thing rather than be actually entertaining. Really, there are a few types of people to look for if you want to listen to a commentary:

A) a particularly dumb actor or actress, who most likely took his or her role in a bad movie way too seriously.
B) an extremely sarcastic or funny actor, the kind who would rip on the rest of the cast, crew, and plot. Especially effective when teamed up with an A-type actor.
C) a no-name actor or actress whose one big role was in the movie.

If you can get any one of those types to do the commentary, it usually bodes well. However, you also need to select the right kind of movie. If I were to sum up the genre that produces the best commentaries, I would have to use only one word: Bad. Bad movies are great for these types of things. Get a bad movie, especially one where the cast and crew commenting know it was a bad movie, and the things really take off in the commentary. Personally, I think that commentary tracks have singlehandedly saved the horror genre. In fact, keeping with the High Fidelity mode I've been in for a while, here are the top 5 commentary tracks to listen to when you are bored (note: they are even funnier while enjoying a few tasty beverages):

5) The Evil Dead II - This track has Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, et al talking about possibly the greatest "bad for the sake of being bad" movie ever. If you enjoy these guys' sense of humor enough to watch the movie straight, then add them ripping on the movie throughout the entire thing and you've got a winner.

4) Resident Evil: apocalypse - This is a combination of an A and two Bs from above. Take Milla Jovovich and the dude from deuce Bigalow cracking jokes with each other, throw in a British chick that took her role way too seriously, and the unintentional comedy just flows. The formula for the thing is as follows: deuce and Milla crack immature jokes for 10 or 15 minutes, then Sienna Giullory randomly launches into a 5-minute over interpretation of the motivations behind her character, including how she modeled her walk and her attitude and talking about the nuances of her performance. Once she finally shuts up, the other two are so stunned that they don't speak for several minutes. Repeat. Although the best part comes when Sienna suggests that, what with genetic testing and all, the best part of the movie is that it is a feasible side effect of these areas of research. Remember, this is a movie about the dead coming back to life and feasting on the living.

3) Return of the Living Dead II - This one is spectacular because it takes the supporting boy character (not the leading boy, but the supporting boy) who never worked in film again and puts him with the director of the film. It was really cool because the boy has grown up and is like a normal 20 something who is laughing at himself, and is incredibly sarcastic; the director is obviously still bitter that he had to do the movie, and is unbelievably pissed off that he had to make so many horror movies early on in his career. So basically, you have two guys who are ripping into the movie, with one making the jokes that a good buddy would normally make when you see it in the theatre while the other just slams everything about the whole process of doing the thing and really doesn't want to remember having any part in it.

2) The Evil Dead - Bruce Campbell track. It's Bruce Campbell critiquing his first movie and making fun of the people that would actually listen to his commentary track. What more could you want?

1) Cannibal! The Musical - inebriated Director Commentary track. This is the movie that Trey Parker (of South Park fame) made in college, rewatching the movie for the first time in a long time with Matt Stone and a few other guys that were in the movie. The twist? They are also drinking during the thing, and updating the progress of their drinking throughout. So what starts off as a mildly funny discussion of what went into the script process, as well as the making of and such (including Trey getting mad about an ex-girlfriend and including her in the movie as a bad character) turns into a drunken mess of flatulence, off-color jokes, and just general mayhem. Greatest commentary track ever. In fact, it is significantly funnier than the movie.

5) The following is a letter that was forwarded to me from my old apartment building:

Fletcher McGuffin
Old Address
Washington, DC

Dear Customer:

Please accept this letter as confirmation of your request to change the mailing address for your account(s) with Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company. As you have instructed, the address on the account(s) was changed from the one listed above to the following:

Fletcher's new address
Washington, DC

If you have any questions regarding this change, please contact one of our customer service representatives.

I knew there was a reason I was changing banks...

6) Am I the only one loving the fact that, ever since I said that the NRA sucks and that they very well might be misinterpreting the 2nd amendment, the google adbot has had a few links for gun nuts at the top of my screen? And did you realize that people who think that having mild controls on the ability to own and use a gun are considered "gun grabbers" (sic)? Meh. They can call me whatever they want, just so long as my ass remains capless.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Guest Column!

Due to Comcast being a bunch of nut-humping douche-mongers, I am once again without internet. As such, we are pleased to present a guest column, from one A. Sean Feddish:

We at Blogspot apologize for the following inconvenience, but today’s instalment of Fletcher will be cancelled due to unforeseen technical difficulties (note: read as debilitating flatulence). However, we at Blogspot value all of our loyal readers, and have instead replaced your normal cup o’Fletcher with new, 100% Irish, slow-roasted A. Sean Feddish. Again, we apologize whole-heartedly for this unforeseen circumstance, and hope that you will tune in tomorrow, same bat-time, same bat-channel.


Allow me for a second to introduce myself to all of you there reading this in cyberspace (1, 2, 3…wow Fletcher, you’ve got quite the fan base). My name is A. Sean Feddish, and I am one of M…er…Fletcher’s "sometimes" friends (basically, he wants nothing to do with me when he invites all of his high-brow, Ivy League alum friends over to his haute-couture inspired-Potomac penthouse for Sunday afternoon high tea, yet suddenly I’m the most popular guy on the other side of the Beltway whenever the ol’ "Iceman" is looking for "a few good wingmen" [yes, I know I just mixed up war movies, but like I said, he’s the one that got all the brains]). Yup, I’m the wingman…always have been, always would have been if someone wasn’t on the path to matrimony. Stupid Fletcher… couldn’t even remember rule number seven (it’s tattooed on your favourite butt cheek stupid).

7) Marriage is nothing more than a mutual arrangement between two consenting adults aimed at maximizing assets and assuring future financial stability allowing for eventual consummation as means for transferring said wealth to a future generation (Feddish et al 1999).

But I digress. Fletcher has always been a good friend, even from the first night we met when he regaled me into the wee hours of the morning with stories of his childhood when he was a successful young actor, fairly attractive and going places. Makes you think, huh? I mean, in an instant your entire life can just spiral down without warning. Makes me wish I was doing something meaningful with my life these days instead of clicking on all those ad links on Fletcher’s page so that he can keep racking in the nickels and earn a decent living wage from all of his ungrateful readers. Anyway, what I wouldn’t give to back in college and on the prowl with good old Fletcher at my side. Wow, I remember this one time when Fletcher and I pulled these two girls at the Beta Mu Chi Spring Panty Fling. I believe it went something like this:

Fletch: A. Sean! Check out those two chicks dressed as bunnies. Which one you want?

Feddish: Wow. It’s so on! I’ll take the Asian one.

Fletch: Good, ‘cuz I’ll take anything.

If the Resident Female is reading this, I’m glad to hear that Fletcher’s standards have gone up, because he really hit rock bottom a few years back when he kept hitting on all those women at the Weight Watchers meetings. Not that I’ve been a beacon of success either, but even a fat, balding, mildly unattractive Mormon like myself can get laid in Japan (all it takes is 1/127,417,244th). God my life is pathetic. I should’ve ended it all in high school and at least scored a full page in the year book. Now all I’ve got to show for 25 years worth existence is this one time appearance on Fletcher’s Blog and my back hair. Well, at least no one can take away the latter from me…

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

CD review, public apologies, & smarmy remarks

1) I just got my boy Bronson Arroyo's new album "Covering the Bases" (see link on the side), and I have to say I'm very impressed. The guy actually has a fantastic voice, and even though the recording company probably used the same space-aged re-mixing technology that makes Britney Spears sound half human, I still would recommend picking it up. There really were only two criticisms I had:

a) on a few of the songs, Bronson tries to emulate the original versions with his voice a bit too much (the album is all cover songs) which detracts from his real voice and
b) the song that best showcases his true singing ability, Dirty Water, has Johnny Damon, Kevin Youkilis, and Lenny Dinardo talking over it with mindless banter about the 2004 season, which kind of ruins the song. If I could get my hands on a version mixed without those guys, I would grab it in a second.

However, on the whole, this is a fantastic album. All the songs are from that early 90s mold, which are right in my wheelhouse, as they remind me of the teenage angst I formed listening to these in my formative years, eventually leading to an addiction to anti-depressants, ratty jeans, and not getting laid. As an added benefit, check out the liner notes about why Bronson chose the particular songs he did; they read like a cross between an 8-year-old's postcard home from camp and the note accompanying a mix tape that a boy gives a girl in the 8th grade. I love it. Seriously, though, the album is worth it just for his versions of "Slide", "The Freshman", and "Best I've Ever Had".

2) Now that I am done product hawking, I would like to issue an official apology. You see, I have not been putting forth an entirely legitimate weblog. It pains me to say, I have used performance enhancers to reach the level of quality that you all have come to expect from me. The pressure and the daily grind of trying to post something every day that nearly 3 people will read, well, it weighs down on you. After a while, I got to a point where, when I tried to do a day post after a night post, I could barely get out of bed and face the keyboard. And when I did start typing, I found that my word choice suffered, my metaphors were thin, and my subject matter was trite. I was not able to naturally put forth the product expected by my loyal reader. So, faced with my own writing limitations and fearing a loss of production, I cheated. I starting using a thesaurus. You know, at first, I only did it when I felt like my writing needed that little extra kick, a little more pizzazz, dazzle, appeal, allure, flash, or glamour. I would only do it once in a while. But by the end, I was using it every day; my vocabulary had swollen to the size of Jennifer Lopez's ass. But, I'm sorry to say, it didn't stop there. I started using spell-checker and eventually the grammar-check as well. Oh, by the end, I was inserting "thats" for "which", eliminating the passive voice, and injecting reformatted texts into my posts like so many hepatitis needles into Tommy Lee's arm; I mean, there were days when I would look at my old posts, so young and innocent and budding with lithe promise, then look at these new hulking posts and feel the shame that came from knowing I had ruined all that was good an innocent about the internet. And I want to say, to all those budding webloggers out there, don't do what I did. Write the way you want to, don't worry about what your audience might think if your quality dips occasionally, and just be the weblogger that God intended you to be. Thank you, and God bless.

3) So, after 98 games of 8.5 or 9 innings, the Sox finally had their first extra innings game of the year. This was the longest a team has ever gone to start the season without playing an extra inning game, so I guess that is of note. I think, really, it is just indicative of the fact that the Sox have a) a really good offense that prevents deadlocks at certain scores and b) a brutal bullpen that also does the same. Oh, and they lost the game, to Tampa Bay. The two killer blows were when, in the top of the ninth, Adam Stern allowed himself to be tagged out between 3rd and home, leading to Manny popping out with the bases loaded. The second was in the tenth when, with Trot at second base, Olerud smoked a grounder up the middle and hit Trot in the basepath, making it a man on at 1st with two outs instead of 1st and 3rd with one out (or possibly even a run in, though I doubt it). Regardless, those are the kind of things that you see happen, and you can just feel a team deflate. Oh well. At least I didn't have to listen to the game with the White Sox announcers.

4) Two housekeeping notes on the form of the weblog. As some of you have already taken advantage of, there is now an "email Fletcher" link in the "links" section, as well as two other blogs that I have found amusing (one who I found, and one who apparently found me). So feel free to email me. Also, when I do the numerical posts now, since I've lost large sections of posts into the internet nether-regions, I've decided to throw them up in piecemeal. So, if you are reading the post and the post time is relatively recent, there very well may be more sections coming. Just an FYI.

5) Greatest line ever in tonight's game preview on
TB: LHP Mark Hendrickson
4-7, 6.82 ERA in 2005
0-1, infinity ERA against BOS in 2005

Hendrickson gave up 6 earned runs the only time he faced us all year, without recording an out.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Statistics, they show that there are more children in the world today. That's China's fault.

Feeling unoriginal and incredibly stupid today when it comes to being original, so I thought I would include excerpts from a 3-way email session between myself, A. Sean Fedish, and Sung-Ho Mpenze O'Shea while discussing the plight of women and relationships.

Sung-Ho wrote in reference to A. Sean Feddish's Asian fetish:
Well, personally, I say more power to you. God devised many flavors of Jolly Ranchers, my friend, because he knew not everyone likes the same kinds. You just happen to enjoy those of the lemon persuasion, even if you happen to be a translucent Jolly Rancher that turns red when left out in the sun for too long. Meanwhile, I made the mistake of falling for the flavor of Jolly Rancher that expands exponentially as it ages then sleeps with your best friend a month before the wedding. Now I just dig through the variety pack indiscriminantly, but am always forced to enjoy them with a wrapper on. Oh well, as long as they keep finding out how many licks it takes to get to the center of our tootsie pops, who gives a damn, right? Wait, I think I just mixed metaphors...

A. Sean replied:
Fair enough, but when all the kids in my elementary school class were trading up for the sour apple ones, I had just discovered that the tropical fruits variety came with lychee.

Fletcher wrote:
What a minute. Sean, are you saying you have herpes?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Warning! Written while not wearing pants!

Disclaimer: I just finished two hours on the exercise bike, so I am currently high as a kite on endorphines and my ass hasn't been this sore since I went camping with Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds.

1) So that was short lived. After having internet for nearly 10 hours, it shit the bed. Throw in a technician who forgot to splice the cable line (so we could only use internet or cable, but not both at the same time) and a ridiculously rude guy on the phone, and all I can say is fuck Comcast. Fuck Comcast right in the ear. The bastards. And you all should join me in my condemnation, as I have since lost two (that's right, two!) posts that I wrote which both disappeared into the electronic ether.

2) I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Jared from Subway is getting fat again. And speaking of self-righteous pricks, I get the pleasure of, for the second time this weekend, listening to the White Sox local WGN Sports broadcasters. First, just a side note, it is guaranteed whenever you hear another crew do a game with Wakefield pitching, all they will talk about in his half of the innings is a) how hard it is to hit/catch/umpire a knuckleball, b) how few knuckleballers there are and why not many people teach it anymore, or c) have them make fun of how slow Wakefield's fastball is. Guaranteed.

However, as I suffer through the White Sox assholes bantering back and forth on the broadcast, I've got to say I am pleased this is the last game in the series. If you gave me the choice between sliding icepicks under my fingernails for three hours or listening to these pompous fuckheads call another game, at this point I'm not sure which I would take. I mean, say what you want to about Don Orsillo and the fact that NESN has become a 24-hour infomercial hawking Jerry Remy merchandise, but at least those guys pretend to be impartial. Seriously, this crew's insistence on referring to the White Sox as "we" is bad enough, but ejaculating "yes!" or "get foul!", "get out", or "stay fair!" while calling the game, and rooting for their guys while calling the game is at best unprofessional and at worst homo-erotic. Seriously, saying things like "good guys coming to bat" is just a little too homeboyish for me, and reffering to the players by their nicknames is infuriating (if I never hear about "Pauly" and "Scotty" again, it will be too freaking soon). Saying "Thank you" on Svuem not sending a runner home. Seriously, these guys must be shaved, sterilized, and destroyed, and I mean soon. Throw in that the play-by-play man's catchphrases, "he gone" for a strikeout and "put it on the board" for a homerun sound like something Joe Buck would say in a Budweiser commercial, and is there any doubt that these two should be chained to a cement mixer and pushed off a bridge? These two sperm-swilling donkey-rammers should form a bowling team with Tim McCarver and Joe Morgan as the worst broadcasters in baseball. Just absolutely brutal. I mean, on Friday night, one of them actually said, "you know, if you throw out statistics and all that stuff and just go spot by spot through the order, I don't think you could even argue this is the best lineup out there this year." I wish I could have written down the actual quotation when he said it, but unfortunately when he did say it, it caused blood to start shooting out of my nose uncontrollably, and I had to deal with that before I started seizing. Okay, so let's throw out the presumption in that comment, suggesting that nobody could argue, but essentially what the guys said was, "If you throw out statistics and every other form of objective analysis, and just go with my completely biased opinion, then these guys are the cat's whiskers." Now, granted, that is a true statement, but why the hell would you say it?

Although I will say one thing impressed me about the announcing crew, and that was their ability to annunciate with all of the starting nine's penises securely lodged on their tonsils. Of course, the irony is that the bigger jackass of the two played for the Red Sox in '67. Go figure.

3) I'm sick of "creepy kid" movies. At the Resident Female's insistence, I saw Dark Water on Friday night. I've come to the point with these movies that I am bored about 10 minutes in, thinking "here we go again. Another freaking scene that is just creepy for the sake of being creepy and has no bearing on the movie. Just get to the reason they freaking killed whoever it was and let me go home." I guess I'm bitter just because I liked Dark Water a lot more the first time I saw it, when it was called The Ring. Although, I am once again shocked at Hollywood's inability to be unoriginal (which is really my problem, as you can never lose money underestimating Hollywood's creativity). But here is the plot of every movie that seems to come these days:

A. Single parent struggling with the responsibility that comes with being an adult is thrust into a new and unsettling situation where we are supposed to feel sorry for them not being able to be selfish and only think of themselves.

B. Weird and creepy "mood" gags start happening all around them. The other characters are supposed to be questioning the lead character's sanity and/or ability to lead a life.

C. More creepy things happen with greater regularity, until the main character has some sort of breakdown/emotional outburst/panicked and furious search through a deskful of papers.

D. We find out that all this was happening because a {dead person/evil spirit/alien race} was {accidentally killed/brutally murder/just plain evil}. We think everything is okay, but then something sad happens to one of the main characters. We are supposed to feel a little creepy and saddened, and the writers have left themselves open for a sequel. The end.

4) Congratulations to Lance on officially completing his 7th tour victory. I was watching the tour while riding on the exercise bike, which made the rather attractive woman on the bike next to me both smile and (correctly) assume that she was a much better person than me. However, as he was on the podium, they let him give an extemporaneous speech where he thanked everyone and just sort of talked about his future and the future of the tour. Now, apparently this was the first time anyone had been allowed to do this, and I don't doubt that it will also be the last. Look, Lance, I think what you did was great, it's incredible that you did something nobody else has ever done, even moreso that it was done while coming back from cancer and turning a crappy piece of plastic into a fashion icon. But that speech was pretty worthless. I mean, I'm not trying to call you out or anything, but there was probably a reason that the Tour up until now had not provided a forum to the people who had just spent the last 3 weeks emptying their energy into a 2000-mile journey and constantly exhausting themselves to the point of oxygen deficiet. Those are not conditions for being particularly eloquent. That said, hell of a job with the tour, man. And congrats to the other American racers, who had 3 in the top 10, 5 in the top 20, and held onto the yellow jersey for all but one of the tour stages (Dave Zabriskie also wore it for the first few days before Armstrong got it).

5) As all the professional sports writers start putting out their NFL previews, and making their preseason predictions, we will inevitably see pretty much the same playoff lineup from last year with the same good teams littered throughout their boards, with maybe one or two "non-reach reach" picks snuck in of teams that were good at the end of last year but just missed the playoffs (think KC two years ago and Jacksonville this past year), even though history the last few years says that about half of the teams in the playoffs next year will not have been there last year. Especially with the general weakness of the NFC, we should expect to see a ton of teams rise up and another slew fall off. In that spirit, I'm predicting that this will be the first year we see a home team host the superbowl, with the Lions hosting the Bengals in superbowl XL (and yes, I realize that Cinnci may well be this year's consensus "non-reach reach", but whatever). How confident am I in this prediction? Well, not at all. But I think that it is more likely to happen than the plethora of "Eagles vs Patriots redux" predicitions that the Mediots are about to unleash.

6) Well, Millar did it again. He turned what should have been a standup double for anyone with speed, but a single for him, into an outfield assist. Of course, on the next pitch, Varitek hit a homer. Well, whatever, he is Manny's Monkey so he deserves a spot on the roster (although if he thinks he is so good for the team, why wouldn't he accept just being a pinch hitter, I don't know). I wish somebody actually had interest in trading for him.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Hello Dispatch? Send more paramedics...

Sucess! I now have internet at home! My world has just opened up to ordering movies, posting posts for my readers, reading up on the news, ordering consumer items, and masturbating furiously to internet porn. Needless to say I am pleased.

Also Success! I am currently on vacation, burning two years worth of stored up vacation before I prepare to embark on my graduate school career. Today being my first day of laziness, I of course spent it running errands.

A triumvirate of successes! I also finally saw an awful movie I have wanted to see for a couple years. I finally saw Return of the Living Dead (also see amazon link on the side). It was about as fantastic as I was led to believe. Take one part cheesy 80s, stir in one part crappy horror, a dash of excessive and random nudity, and we have a comedic horror movie that stands up well to Evil Dead 2. Now, I'm not going to say it was quite that good, but the thing was absolutely hilarious. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

In a High Fidelity kind of mood

Seeing as how it is my last real day on the job (I will be back in 4 weeks, but only to clear out my office and finish up paperwork), I'm feeling in a rebellious yet thoughtful kind of mood. So, of course, it's time for a bunch of top 5 style lists:

5 people I would most like to have a beer with:

5) Bill Clinton. Love him or hate him, the guy is charismatic. And you just know that whatever he is going to talk about over a beer is going to enthralling. Also, as an added bonus, probably a good chance of swinging by a titty bar afterwards.
4) Bill Belichick. Possibly the best combined football strategist and sports economist in the world. Plus, he has an incredibly dry and witty sense of humor when he lets it out. What's not to like?
3) Matt Stone & Trey Parker. Probably the most intelligent and clever satirists alive, I'd love to hear them just rip into celebrities and politicians all night.
2) Alan Greenspan. I'm gunning for his job the second I get out of grad school, so I'd like to know what he thinks about a whole slew of issues, and steal those opinions for my own.
1) Jon Stewart. Runs a great show, and he is funny, self-deprecating, and informative. Like a less cool version of Matt & Trey, but probably with more substance. Also, I've always wanted to go onto his show and be one of those interviewees who tries to play off one of his joke, but fails miserably in every attempt. This would probably be the closest I could get to that.

5 crazy organizations I would like to see disappear from America:

5) The NRA (the National Rifle Association). They are always hemming and hawing over gun rights and screaming out that the 2nd amendment says that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." This is true. My problem is they always leave out the first part of the 2nd amendment, which states that "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state," is the reason for the second part. So, basically, registering guns, forcing people to have wait periods, proper gun training, and other measures of control on them is actually called for. I mean, hell, the damn thing pretty much says that people ought to be "well-regulation"; seriously, it would be perfectly legal if the government suggested that to own a gun, you had to participate in gun training and militia training one weekend out of every month. Throw in the ambiguity of the word "arms", and I don't think these guys have nearly as much leverage as they think they do. So long as the government still permits swords, then really, the 2nd amendment is being upheld.
4) Greenpeace. Now, I'm kind of in the middle over this one, as I think they do a lot of good and that there is a need for vigilance when it comes to protecting the environment. But I also agree with Patrick Moore (one of the founders of Greenpeace back in the day) when he points out that a lot of the environmental groups, including Greenpeace, overstate evidence and manipulate data to support an anti-corporate and anti-globalization agenda. There often is a decided political veil on the issues they attack and will often ignore serious issues that aren't within their framework. For example, their steadfast lobbying against genetically modified crops that were going to be used to ease famine conditions in Africa comes to mind (starving people rejecting food on Greenpeace's advice, causing thousands to starve to death. Great job!).
3) The religious right. Don't get me wrong, I hate my share of democratic subsets (what am I saying, the democratic party is just a loose affiliation of singular issue subsets), but the religious right is worse at the moment because they are better organized. Look, I know you all think that the country is going to hell and has lost it's moral compass and is just a bunch of sinners and heathens and blah blah blah blah blah. My response is threefold: a) your religious beliefs, no matter how well intended, have no place in government. Church, State, never the twain shall meet. B) Your ideas on what is right and what is not can be different from other people. Part of being American is having the right to decide how to live our lives, including deciding what is moral and what is not (to an extent). Just because you don't like a video game or a movie or whatever doesn't mean other people shouldn't be allowed to like it. Get over yourselves, and stop being idea fascists. C) I also would respect your opinion on divorce, teenage pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases more if the states in your stronghold (that is, the Bible Belt) didn't lead the nation in all those categories, while those states that oppose your ideas (mainly, the northeast corridor) have the lowest rates of it.
2) PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Seriously, fighting for animal rights was the best thing you could come up with when you decided what to do with your life? And not just fight for them, but hold them above helping humans? I don't necessarily have a problem with crazy, just look at my ex-girlfriends, but these people are fucking nutbaggers. They want nobody to own pets (an irony, since most of their donations are from pet owners), the end to medical testing on animals, and the end to using animal products for anything (even though their vice president is a diabetic and live in buildings that use insulation which has animal products in it). I might remotely care what they thought about if they came up with any sort of viable alternatives to the "atrocities" they say we do instead of just bankrolling legal defenses for firebombers (see where the funding for Animal Liberation Front comes from) and running add campaigns comparing Jews in concentration camps to animals in farms.
1) The Center for Science and Culture and other "Intelligent Design" hawkers who pretend are so fucking deluded that they think they have a place in biology classrooms. I realize I've covered the whole "Intelligent Design"/Creationism flapdoodle that is going on, but it seriously chaffes my nipples when I even think about these assholes. I'm about ready to take these self-righteous ninnies out back and throttle them with a hose every time they get involved in bringing this garbage before a school board. Screw up your own children, but don't waste our tax dollars and our legislatures' time by muddling an issue that is pretty clearly settled amongst all mainstream and judicious academic organization.

I have a few more lists, but I'll post these for now, as I need food.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Notes and Ire

Quick notes on the Sox:
1) That piece from yesterday that I put up, which had been sitting in draft form for about a week, seems to have given Theo a nice little kick in the ass. Embree gets DFA not 12 hours after I post it, plus he trades for a 2nd baseman and a redux of a righty 4th outfield (temporary). Also, they traded for a 2nd baseman with a better bat than Alex Cora. Nice to know I could be of service.

2) Millar continued his futility at the plate, getting an 0-fer. He did draw a walk, but he also got thrown out trying to steal. Fantastic. The man has the pick-up of an Abrahms tank, and I get queasy when he tries to go from 1st to 3rd on a triple, yet he tried to steal a base. Granted, I didn't see the play (as I still don't have internet at home, thus necessitating a $30 bar bill to watch games), but there is no reason to see him even attempt. Granted, I am one of the few people living to see Millar actually be successful stealing a base (in '04 at Fenway, against Texas), but really, I think that should be a once in a lifetime thing for the Monkey.

3) Also sounds like Schilling is pushing off more and regaining his form. Good stuff. If this is true, then I retract my desire to see him go back to the minors until he gets his leg drive back.

4) Moot and off topic, but an interesting phenomena is the number of people emailing me/posting on the internet suggesting Embree needed to go, but that they would like to buy him a beer for his troubles and past actions. In fact, it has also been my experience that in practice these guys really don't have to pay for beer whenever they go out, as fans usually will pick up their tab. Now, it's not that I don't agree with the phenomena, and goodness knows I'd line up at the bar for the privledge, but this whole "let me buy you a beer" thing is a little confusing when looked at critically. The bulk of the general populous earns between $25-$65k a year, whereas a bad major leaguer earns at least a few hundred K. Of course, the anonymous slubberdegullion shells out the $6 for a microbrew and gives it to the rich guy, who coincidentally is only rich because he draws his salary from the beer-buyer and a few million more fans who feel the same way. In it's simplest form: Rich Guy is rich because he gets money from Poor Man. Poor Man buys Rich Guy a beer, and is happy for the experience. I feel like if I were more of a pessimist there would be a great metaphor for capitalism hidden somwhere in there.

Quick notes on other things:
1) So I figured out what those convoys of dudes in SWAT outfits are that seem to buzz around the capital every morning on my way to work. It's the president (or the VP, or someone else high up in the government). Today, as the damn buses and cars with their sirens went buzzing by, assuring I would have a blaring headache for the rest of the day, the guy doing the colors for the DOL stopped and saluted as they drove past. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the number of times I see these convoys (3-4 times per week, either walking to work or going home) would suggest that these aren't drills, as they are too regular. So, if indeed it was The Big Tomato today and he was having a cup of coffee in the van this morning, I can say that I had a brief meeting over coffee with the President.

2) Yeah, I know, I'm really reaching.

3) Watched Outbreak over the weekend with the Resident Female. I've always enjoyed this movie, because it has a great cast and an unabashed political agenda that it advances by making an absolutely mockery of biology. Throw in Dustin Hoffman's incredibly over-the-top performance, and we have a winner. I mean, he is launching into one of his soliloquoys about the virus and the bureaucracy or whatever, and I just want one of the characters to say, "I'm sorry, Sam, I know you are saying something very important about a random supervirus, but I see you're lips moving and all I hear is 'DRAMA!!!'" Forget the fact that it considers a happy ending (uh, spoiler?) having half a town dead and the other half relegated to dialysis machines for the rest of their lives. Forget that the "bad guys" are the ones that make the only arguments that make any sense throughout the entire movie. Even disregard J.T. Walsh's "my speech would have been fantastic if I hadn't drank 12 cups of coffee before filming" scene as the president's chief of staff. I love this movie for the way they take an incredibly mundane idea ("hey, let's make a movie about ebola!") and somehow twist it to suggest that the army/government is stockpiling biological weapons and we will all be saved by a Cassandra faith.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A guy can dream, right?

First off, please notice that I have now ventured into the world of advertising along the side of my blog (a special thanks to A. Sean Feddish and Chad Finn). So, if you need to buy something from Amazon, especially if it is something I have up there (and I will periodically put up new and/or mentioned item) please just click on one of the links when you head over there, and part of your purchase goes to little ol' me instead of some imperialistic corporate war chest. Also, if you need to search for anything, please feel free to swing by my site and click one of the google links or at the top of the page or use the search bar. Now, on with the entry:

Here are the things I would like to see the Sox do as an organization, specifically this year, but with the future in mind as well. While I'm sure I might be accused of being a bad fan for saying this , but I have come to the conclusion that the moves needed to win the world series with this team would cost too much and probably still have a ton of question marks. Mind you, I am not saying we should punt (far from it), but I do think we can make some moves that will both be helpful in the long run and also this year without emptying the farm system or collecting a dozen bad contracts. However, here is what I think the team needs to do to be a better postseason team, even if it means we might not make the postseason (catch that? A little confusing, I know, but it is a question how much short-term stuff will be detrimental that is really a boon in the long run):


1B: Trade Millar to Houston for Qualls if remotely possible (probably a BS rumor), if not, ship him to whomever will take him for a B or B+ prospect. Failing that, trade him to Japan for a can of Sapporo and a spicy tuna roll. Manny's Monkey has been killing the team. No defense, no speed on the basepaths, and poor instincts are acceptable if the person is a good influence in the clubhouse. When you add in poor hitting from a power position, however, that just doesn't cut it. When you hit 6th behind Papi and Tek/Nixon, you need to have more than 33 RBI and 4 HRs. I don't care that they are somewhat redundant, but Olerud and Patagine have to be a better option, especially if Youks can work his way back to a roster spot (which he will), though Petagine should slide into Millar's 25-man roster spot. Again, I realize most of the vitriol of the fandom has been aimed at Bellhorn (and not undeservedly), but at least Horny contributes defensively and bats 9th. Millar is supposed to be protection for the big guns with his only asset, his bat. Sorry to say it, but Millar needs to be gone (unless he accepts a reduced role, which we already know will not happen).

2B: Say what you will about Horny being a dead spot in the lineup, but Alex Cora isn't much better. I don't think Pedroia is ready to come up (how is his wrist?), and Hanley definitely isn't ready. This spot is the puzzler, because the easy answer is to bring up Hanley (who is already on the 40-man roster), which I don't think is a good idea. However, Mueller isn't durable or rangey enough to play 2nd on a full-time basis. Machado at AAA is probably the best short-term idea.

3B: Mueller is solid, though I would like to have Youkilis backing him up rather than taking out his frustration on the ball at Pawtucket. I would say we don't need to carry 12 pitchers and bring back Youks, but I actually think we do need to carry 12 pitchers (just not the 12 we have).

C: Fine


Not too much to write about out here, as the outfield is doing what it needs to be. With Kapler on the horizon (likely to fill the 12th pitcher's spot), we will have the righty platoon for Nixon and with Stern filling the role of "speed/defense". They'll be fine. I also remember seeing somewhere that Kapler tooks some time at 3B in spring training, though I doubt that will be necessary.


Ah, now for the fun part. If I can bust out my cliche booklet, "You can never have enough pitching", and man, the Sox sure don't. Let's start with the easy part.


Not as solid as one would hope, but then again, whose is? This is a rotation occupied by about 5 #3s, in that you get some fantastic performances from any one of them on a given day (except maybe Miller), but they also have the possibility of exploding. Personally, I think we can survive with the rotation as is. I've heard mention that we are in talks to give up Arroyo, Shoppach, Abe Alvarez, and xxxx for AJ Burnett. Thanks but no thanks, I don't want a 2-month rental whose numbers come from a pitcher-friendly ballpark and a very solid defense behind him, especially when he will likely be injured the moment he steps foot on a new mound. Jason Schmidt intrigues me, but I still think you are giving up too much. I think the Sox have made their bed as far as the rotation goes, and they have to toss and turn in it from here on out.


Embree? Um, see ya'. Halama? Take your six o'clock shadow with you. I realize DFAing these guys is hard to swallow, and getting nothing back for two major league contracts is tough; however, their roster spots are needed immediately. Bring up two of the following: Paplebon, Lester, Dinardo, Delcarmen, or even Alvarez. Use the two roster spots to figure out who will help the club as a reliever down the stretch to compliment Schilling, Timlin, and Bradford/Myers. Gonzalez gets the long-man position. If one of those guys can be more useful than Alan "My fastball is on a zip-line" Embree or John "If I weren't left-handed I would be the burger-flipper Foulke was talking about" Halama, then so be it. Whichever of those prospects proves their salt stays up as the 6th reliever until Foulke comes back. And again, count me in the group who thinks Schilling isn't starting until April '06.

I realize I am suggesting burning a few option years and just scrapping a few major leaguers, but you know what? So be it. This is how I want it done. Now, here is what I ultimately want the 25-man roster to look like the day before we make the playoffs:

CF Damon
SS Renteria
DH Ortiz
LF Manny
RF Trot
C Varitek
1B Patagine
3B Mueller
2B Cora/Bellhorn

Bench: Cora/Machado, Kapler, Stern, Youklis, Mirabelli


9th Foulke
8th Schilling
7th Timlin
Matchups- Bradford/Myers
Longman- Gonzalez

In case Foulke doesn't make it back or one of the other pitchers goes down, whomever was successfully called up into the bullpen before would be the 25th man.

Alright, now that that is settled, rip away!

Monday, July 18, 2005

And the counter returns to zero

1) With 71 games left for the Sox, and 72 for the Yankees, both teams face the same prospect down the stretch: lose fewer games than the other. Both teams currently have 41 losses, with the (h)Os at 42, and only one game seperates the three teams. Well, this should be fun. The Sox have dropped 6 of 8 against their two pursuers, officially wasting a golden opportunity to bury the two teams and instead made a race of it. Sigh. Of those games, at least two should have been wins if we had a bullpen that didn't suck. Regardless, I still can't believe that Al Leiter will be the savior for the Yanks, even if he did totally screw the Sox last night (how the hell did that happen?). I also don't believe that the Orioles can survive with the pitching they have. However, I have finally started to get a little uncomfortable with the Sox. They just can't seem to put anyone away that plays in the AL east this year, as is evidenced by their 18-24 record against the division. Hopefully, they can destroy Kazmir tonight and sweep the hapless Devil Rays. Of course, now that I've typed that, there is a good possibility that they get swept. Crap.

2) I'm too befuddled to write anything else. Go away.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

And on Sunday, Flethcer Rested

Just like to point out that I now have included an email link in the "links" section on the right, in case a public comment is too impersonal. I will check the email fairly frequently.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Quick hits for a Saturday

1) Wow. Trot Nixon with an inside the park home run. That doesn't happen very often. Yanks just have a truly terrible defense and no depth (though I will say the poor play on the ball wasn't necessarily that terrible). Regardless, very fun game last night.

2) The former neighbor whom we broke while moving has apparently asked us to boycott any moving out chores with her. I'm not sure whether I should be offended that she deemed my help to be counterproductive, or pleased that I don't have to do any physical labor on a Saturday. Actually, scratch that. I'm pretty sure.

3) Interesting conversation about Edgar Renteria last night, where I once again pointed out my theory on his signing. Basically, we didn't have a choice but to go long money. I know a lot of people have been very disappointed by his play this year (despite switching leagues and facing all new pitchers), and that they really wanted someone else. However, there really wasn't anyone else to sign. Essentially, we had the option of Edgar, Cabrera (who hasn't exactly lit it up in Anaheim), or a stop-gap for a year or two until one of our prospects comes to the major. Personally, I think we got the only one of the three that was really acceptable. Sure, we probably paid a bit more than a lot of people would have liked and were forced to tack on an extra year. However, looking at the free agent classes at SS last year, this year, and next year: who could we have got? Nobody, except maybe Nomar, but I think we can all agree that wouldn't have really worked out. I mean, look at the contract Jimmy Rollins (who is no whiz with the bat) just signed in Philly. There is a premium at the shortstop position on guys who can hit, and none of them were coming up for free agency for quite some time. Sure, we could have gone with a stop-gap until highly touted prospect Hanley Ramirez is ready, but looking at it now that doesn't seem like he will be ready until late 2006 at the earliest. Would we really be happy with a corpse like Barry Larkin or a hole in the order like Pokey Reese for this time? I don't think so. Let Edgar be. He is adjusting to a new crop of pitchers, half of the double plays he hit into came in the first two weeks (so yes, he leads the team with 10, but has had only 5 since the middle of April), and his defense has been coming on of late.

4) For the record, yesterday's post was inspired by illness as compared to a hangover. Still feel like I have a throatful of Liza Minelli pills stuck in my throat.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Oh man

7:34 AM - Stimulants. Need stimulants. Coffee, coke, doctor pepper, methamphetamines, what ever. Need stimulants. Can't function. Can't write proper sentences. Please help. Energy shortage. Dying. Only half hour past, nine more to go. Can't do it. Only morning? Does the english language provide anything stronger than profanity to show disgust? Should have employed a poet. Damn.
7:57 AM - Can't do work, must type into weblog to waste more time at work. I knew I shouldn't have done crack off that hooker's ass-crack. Irony too great, causing ridiculous hangover/system malfunction next morning. Oh, wait, didn't actually do that. Must be some reason. Going to the bathroom to cough up phlegm.
8:15 AM - Must be funny so as to make readers happy. Must survive long enough to get into grad school. Get degree. Get cushy research post at small liberal arts college and sleep with co-eds. Lose house in divorce. Mathematically prove that tequila is evil and recieve Nobel Prize. Sleep with more students. When will end of day come?
8:26 AM - Getting up for more coffee. Hoping this rambling isn't as psychotic as it probably is. Oversaturation of caffiene making a dervish in the center of my chest. Is it too early in the morning to us a word like "dervish"? Yes. Oh well. More caffiene!
8:31 AM - Screw it. I'm going to Krispy Kreme.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

2 things on

1) Now that they have made chats, Peter Gammons, Jason Stark, and everyone else "Insider", I'm convinced that there are only 6 weeks left until boxscores cost $40 per year as well. I guess it's for me.

2) Look at the title of this article. I realize his last name is pronounced "wahng" with a long "a" instead of a schwah (you know, the upsidedown e), and I also understand the pun by playing off "rise" with "sinker", but there is no way this wasn't intentional. With the possible exceptions of "Dick Butkus' late penetration saves the day" and "Dick Pole slams it home", this is the most suggestive copy I've ever read. And I like it.

Fighting through the plague

Fighting through the plague today, and I'm struggling at work, as my body feels like the inside of Tara Reid's mouth on a Sunday morning. Here are some quick hits that I can give before I pass out and my head hits the keyboard:

1) Sox bullpen, infield backups changed. Chad Bradford for Payton now officially unofficial, as it was announced on and Youks was sent down. Also, Schilling was activated and forced Scott Cassidy to be outrighted to Pawtucket. So now the bullpen breaks down as follows:
Closer/setup: Schilling/Timlin (not sure of the order, though they say Schill is getting more of the closer role)
righty/lefty tandem: Bradford/Myers, allowing Tito to murder another team's lineup in the 6th or 7th
Longman: Jeremi Gonzalez
Non-LOOGY left: Embree
White Flag: Halama

So, hopefully, an important game will look something like this:
Innings 1-6: Starter
Inning 7: Myers/Bradford platoon on matchups
Inning 8: Timlin
Inning 9: Schilling
Final score Sox 3, Other team 2

2) Condolences to Bill Belichick, who apparently has been separated from his wife for over a year (but is just news now). Hope things turn out alright for you.

3) Like to give a wink and a nod to Bell Labs in New Jersey. The former employer of McGuffin the Elder has a workforce that is second to none, one with a good taste in weblogs.

4) Happy Bastille Day to all, especially to the only known brother of your humble weblogger, who turns 29 today. May your new home in Florida welcome you, and your special day be... well... special. Happy Birthday, Bro. Enjoy the leopard skin couch.

5) 678978yy87oy8o7yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Hockey is back! Now they just have to deal with the clusterfuck that is a league half-full (half empty?) of free agents and a few teams already over the cap (Rangers, I'm looking at you). This should be fun. Regardless, I'm excited to see my Bs back in action, watching Raycroft and Bergeron shaping the youth movement as the team hoists Lord Stanley next June.

Arise Chicken!

1) How are you feeling today, sir?
Better get me a bucket, I think I'm gonna' throw up!

So for the past few days the Resident Female has been struck down with a fairly awful case of the plague, and I believe I have now contracted it. Fantastic. And I can't really call in sick because I have too much crap to finish before I take my 4 week vacation starting next week. Bah! Hooray for phlegm.

2) Throw-away joke of the day that I'm surprised hasn't been in a movie yet:
Two men enter a private Hollywood bar called "2001", where there are several celebrities sitting around. One turns to the other and says, "My God! It's full of stars!" Ba-dum-bum

3) I still think it is incredibly stupid for home-field in the playoffs to be determined by the All-Star game. Sure, it's nice that the Sox are set up to have it for the second year in a row if they make it back, but there has to be another way. I understand the argument that an AL record isn't really comparable to an NL, so how about this: go by seeding. If the wild card team (4th seed) faces a division winner, then the division winner gets home-field. If the division winner with the 3rd best record faces the division winner with the 2nd best in their league, it goes to the #2 seed. In the event of the same seeds making the world series, only then does it go to the team with the most wins. Or hell, they could have the managers arm-wrestle for it, or have a sack race around the bases, or something. Just make the teams that get there have more of a say than the strength of the top players in the league.

4) More and more I've been thinking about this, and I don't get a lot of alien movies. Basically, when these aliens invade and blow up the place, there never seems to be an apt motive. For example, Independence Day suggested that the aliens came to strip earth of it's resources for their own use, and they went about acquiring these resources by blowing the shit out of everything. Unless the resources they were looking for was charcoal or insane ways to be defeated, they seem to have incinerated whatever it was they came for. Or how about War of the Worlds? If they really wanted to use us as fertilizer (or food, or whatever), then why did they start out disintigrating us? Or if the idea was just incineration, couldn't they just have dropped bombs on us? Okay, maybe they went the Predator route (about the only one that makes sense) and just wanted to hunt us for sport, but again, it didn't really make that much sense the way they went about it. Now, I realize I'm probably overthinking this (probably?), but wouldn't you expect that a civilization of creatures capable of mastering interstellar flight and highly evolved weapon systems would have at least some sort of well-thought-out motive behind exterminating an entire race? Or are we supposed to believe that a bunch of masochistic war-mongers somehow managed to stumble upon our planet and randomly decide, "Hey, I've got some weapons! Let's fire 'em!" I mean, there probably were easier places to test out the new military technologies than trekking across the galaxy to Earth, is all I'm saying.

5) So about 4 times in the past two weeks, either walking to or from work, I have seen a convoy of police cars/suburbans/buses filled with SWAT dudes flying around the capitol. This morning, I actually saw two buses loaded with the guys pass right by me, sirens blaring (and of course, I was underneath the department of labor at the time, so the echoes are still ringing). I'm not sure whether these huge response should make me feel safer or terrified.

6) Apparently the worst kept secret around the water cooler, Gabe "World's Strongest Jew" Kapler is set to come back to the Sox once he clears waivers in Japan. This has been hinted at for about two months, since he told the Boston Globe that he was unhappy in Japan, and the Sox need a right-handed defensive replacement oufielder. While many people bemoan the fact that Kapler isn't nearly as good a player as Jay Payton was, I would argue that the team is better off with Kapler and Bradford (who Payton is supposedly bringing in trade) than with an unhappy Payton who at this point they can't get back even if they wanted him. Apparently, he is also considered one of the better clubhouse influences, what with his sterling sense of humor and his ability to absorb attacks from behind by pieces of white trash from Worcester. Anyhow, I guess I'm pleased that the WSJ (as is his SOSH nickname) is coming back, if for no other reason than it brings back memories of the 4th of July drunken exchange with my buddy Big Watts Bernie Noneck:

Him: "Kapler? We're getting back the WSJ? Like the Wall Street Journal, that's all the Jews that's fit to print!" cue self-referential laughter
Me: "Um, that's the New York Times."
Him: "Really? Well, whatever, it's a party. Dick."

7) To keep with the linking theme, I am pleased to note that I have no intention of ever running for political office (I think my college days pretty much preclude it, though maybe not considering the current administration's collegial gallavants), but it's nice to know that I was still smarter than a lot of people to at least use an ill-concieved and idiotic alias.

8) Um, didn't we already know this about 5 years ago? Yet it is leading the technology page at Well, whatever, it's a party.

9) This whole Karl Rove thing pisses me off, and not for the obvious reasons. Sure, claiming that Rove is the anti-Christ and parroting whatever it is the democrats are saying about him and his leak is easy enough; Bush's continued support despite his administration saying he would fire anyone implicated is also a fairly easy target. Really, though, I am just disappointed in Karl Rove. This guy, who successfully accused a crippled war veteran of being unpatriotic for voting against a pollution bill while electing president the alcoholic coke-snorting son of an embassador as he pretend to be a cowboy, somehow managed to get caught caught with his hand in the cookie jar over a little tiff with a guy who didn't do anything but mildly break rank. Really, who would have thought that an insignifant peaon would be the one to bring this guy down? Couldn't he have come up with a better way to get revenge than leaving a paper trail to a reporter? I mean, all he did was put the guy's wife in danger for about a half hour before letting them retire and live off the profits from their book while endangering his future. I would have thought Rove was more clever than that. Perhaps he could have come up with some sort of elaborate trap like in Saw, where the husband had to decide between keeping his balls or saving his wife with the anedote surgically inserted into his vas deferens. Or roll the guy up in a carpet and throw him off a bridge. I don't know. Come on, Karl. You could have done so much better.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Creativity is nothing more than the inability to conform

Sports stuff:

1) It is unfortunate that the Sox, scuffling lately, did not hammer the final nail in the coffin of the Yankees when they had a chance. I have been very confused by the AL East this year, as no team has really flexed any sort of muscle for more than a week at a time. Let's run down the list:

The Sox, though they might have help coming, have possibly the worst bullpen in the AL, with Timlin the only reliable reliever (and is in serious threat of being Quantrilled), but even then he has had trouble with inherited runners. They may well have help coming in the form of Schilling (who I think will be there a lot longer than most people seem to believe), as well as some combination of Cla Merideth, Craig Hansen, John Papelbon, and John Lester; plus, they also seem to have acquired Chad Bradford for Jay Payton, though I am concerned the As might reneg on the deal since they could very well have him on the open market (though they might trade for him so that they can dump Kotsay to the MFY). Regardless, the Sox are still essentially 2 games up on both the Yanks and the Os. They would be in much better position if they could just figure out how to beat the crap in our division consistently, namely the Orioles and Blue Jays, yet they seem to be befuddled by junkballers like Bruce Chen, Rodrigo Lopez, and Ted Lilly.

The Orioles need pitching in a bad way against any team not named the Red Sox. They may have Bedard coming back, which will help. They also have been hit by injuries pretty hard, but then again, you look at the age of most of the players who were injured and it is no surprise a few of them went down, and in fact I would expect the trend to continue throughout the season. I'm still trying to figure out why Brian Roberts is having such a great season, as the guy can't hit breaking stuff at all. I look at him bat, and I see a faster Kevin Millar with (in theory) less power. I still want to punch Miguel Tejada for looking like a girl I know, and doing that jaw-dropping arms-out disbelieving gesture every time a close call (like a strike down the middle, or a throw to first that is 3 seconds too late) goes against him. Apparently, they also don't have too many good trading chips in the stable, but can take on cash. However, pitching help is going to be so expensive that they would probably have to give up a major leaguer to get any semblance of a great starter; also, look for their starting pitching to get even worse down the stretch, as most of their young guys have never gone over 100 IP.

The MFY are Jekyll and Hyding their way through the year, with disappointing pitching and streaky hitting. All they need to fix their team is a center fielder, two starting pitchers, a first baseman, a catcher, the Angels' bullpen, and a calendar that says 1997. It is to their credit that they have slugged their way back into the race, and they could even be in first place come Monday. However, for the organization, this could be a little bit of a problem, as this year would be a perfect year for them to punt, unload some aging contracts, and get some youth. Of course, they have pretty much shackled Cashman from trading any of their farm chips, and none of their major leaguers really have manageably tradeable contracts for their value as players. Of course, now that I've said this, watch them finish July 15 games up in the division (note: statistically impossible). Regardless, I could still see them making the playoffs, but I don't see them going very far unless they are able to add a starter (or make one more effective) and about four relievers.

So, I have no idea what to expect from the second half in the division, as I could see any of these teams blow through to an easy win, or see a three-way tie. Best to wait and see what the trade deadline brings.

2) I'm starting to gear up for football season, as I had my first argument about the Patriots yesterday. Basically, at lunch, I had the "the 80s Skins were more of a dynasty than the Pats" argument thrown at me. Again. While I don't particularly want to get into that particular can of bullshit, I realize I've never stated my theory on the Pats run. With the help of Football Outsiders' (see link on the side of the page) statistic Defense-Adjust Value Over Average, we see that the first Patriots' Superbowl win was a bit of a fluke. They were not the best team that year, and I am fully prepared to admit it (hey, they still won, right?). If you look at the roster purge that continued to take place over the next two year, you can pretty much see that the Pats won the Superbowl with a bunch of stop-gaps and part-time replacements that were brought in for the short-term as Belichick shape the roster he wanted. I'm comfortable with that, and actually even more impressed at the job he did.

That said, the last two years, they have been as dominant as any team in my lifetime. I realize I may sound like a bit of a homer chest-thumper, but going 34-4 over two years is as good a two-year record in the history of the league. In addition, both years they had over 40 different starters due to injury and replacement, which suggests the organizational quality and depth. This isn't particularly news either. But what really stands out, when looking at the last two years, is their record against teams with winning records. In the 38 games the Pats have played in the past two season, 21 have been against teams that finished the year with a winning record, and they have gone 20-1 in those contests. The only loss, to Pittsburgh, occurred in a game where the Pats didn't have their starting running back, and lost their best corner and two starting offensive tackles early game, forcing them to (unsuccessfully) reshuffle their game plan. So, with one exception, the Pats have beaten every quality opponent they have faced over the past two, even though more than half their games have come against teams with winning records. Personally, I'm not sure how you can't consider that a dynasty.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Chicken... Gave me a bad coupon...

1) So the Resident Female and I threw a "moving in" party this weekend in conjunction with a send-off party for our former neighbor as she prepares to move back to Little Rhody. Part of the plan was to rent out my new building's party room and watch the Sox-Os game during the day. Unfortunately, because the entire Orioles organization sucks donkey-balls, the game was blacked out. Thus, we had several guests who planned to come specifically for the game (like they would actually come for my company), which we were unable to provide. The only saving grace of the whole thing was that nobody anywhere in DC was able to watch the game either, even though my correspondent in New York assured me he was in fact watching the game on television. Regardless, my irrational vitriol for the Os has continued to increase, and I can only hope that they all die terrible, terrible deaths as they are ripped apart by rabid dogs.

2) I finally went to the movies for the first time in a long time, trying out the theatre in the new neighborhood. The Resident Female and I attended a showing of War of the Worlds, and the reviews were a bit mixed. While I liked the special effects of the death ray, I was a little disappointed in how the story ended. Essentially, this was another case of the writers saying, "oops, we hit the 2-hour mark! Uh, the movie is over. Seriously. Go home. Oh, and thanks for the ten dollars." Also, as the Resident Female was not familiar with the original story (or, more to the point, the mechanism that defeated the aliens in the first one), the ending didn't make any sense to her because they just glossed over it. Also, the Spielberg's littering of random critiques on the senselessness of war and thinly veiled references to the US's current foreign policy snafus were very distracting and kind of got stuck in my craw, as they were over the top. Regardless, this felt like a movie that could have been done a lot better, and I will file it away as an official "Blue Ball" movie in the McGuffin Disappointing Movie Index.

3) Now is as good a time as any to chronicle a few entries in the McGuffin Disappointing Movie Index (MDMI). There are several recurring traps that I've noticed seem to take down movies. Here are some of the main categories that confound Hollywood, with more to come in later posts:

The "Blue Ball" - A movie is cruising along, seems to be firing on all cylinders, you're entertained and enjoying it, then WHAM!, the ending sucks ass. The resolution (or usually lack there of) is trite, sappy, forced, or just plain stupid. The movie worked so hard to keep you enthralled that they end up mailing in the ending, with a seemingly random assortment of events or character reactions. Perhaps the most frustrating of all the MDMI categories, this seems to be the modus operandi for comedies, in that most are funny until they are saddled with a plot. Examples of Blue Ball movies: War of the Worlds (2005), Collateral, DreamCatcher (though the ending started 30 minutes into the movie), Final Destination, The Forgotten, Dawn of the Dead (2004).

The "Mwa-ha-ha" - The lesbian cousin of the Blue Ball, the Mwa-ha-ha is when they try too hard to put on a spectacular ending. Essentially, this is the "hey, let's try and do something like the Usual Suspects or The Sixth Sense". Here we have a movie that is good, going along well, then all the sudden the filmmakers pulls the "ha ha, fooled you" move and we are supposed to be pleased. Also includes the movies were they defy expectations just for the sake of defying them ("everyone expects a happy/sappy ending, so let's just do the opposite for no apparent reason!"). Take a story that is moving along well, add an overly complicated/ridiculous/far-fetched ending, and you have a Mwa-ha-ha. Examples: Vanilla Sky, Hannibal, Puppet Masters, Dreamcatcher (one of the few movies to double up), Scream.

The "Oh man, I have to go to the bathroom! Why did I have all that beer and coffee and watermelon?" - Basically, this is a good movie that would have been better if it had been a lot shorter. There is so much extraneous stuff (usually artsy) that is thrown in that doesn't add anything to the plotline, the characters, or the action. This comes in a few forms, such as the "we have special effects and aren't afraid to use 'em", the "wait, we finished the movie but only have 35 minutes of film... how about we add a few more chase scenes and a dozen fight scene!", and the "gosh darn it, I want to win an oscar. We need more retarded homosexual slaves coming to grips with issues." Examples: Magnolia, the Aviator, Any Given Sunday, Return of the King (though still a great movie), House of the Dead (okay, this one just sucked).

The "Lucased" - see here. Examples: the Matrix sequels, the new Star Wars movies, everything Quentin Tarantino has done since the second half of Pulp Fiction.

4) As mentioned in the prior post's comment section, I had trouble signing into my account over the weekend, as the computer I was using refused to accept cookies. I apologize for leaving you all devoid of my wisdom, and can only hope that my heart-felt apology can ease the sting of rejection I'm sure you all felt when I abandoned you.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

She'll go 300 hectares on a single tank of kerosene...

Apparently, Schilling is going to the bullpen for the short-term, though possibly not until after the All-Star break. As I see it, this means one or several of the following:

a) Foulke is likely going to be down for a while. That Schilling wasn't activated immediately means he is probably going to take his spot on the active roster as soon as Foulke goes on the DL.
b) Schilling is inconsistent and won't start this year. This could be in response to his poor second outing and his prolonged lack of activity, making them fear that he would be getting stretched out for another month. They want to get some use from him this year (before August) without scrapping his season, and they will build up his strength in the offseason.
c) The trade blotter is littered with few pitchers the Sox are interested in, or they all are too expensive for their tastes. Since the bullpen needs the most help and they want to get the best arm they can in there, Schilling is the logical choice; Schilling is more effective against lefties than Arroyo while more consistent start-to-start than Wakefield (and that doesn't include the Mirabelli as catcher problem). Basically, starting pitching has gotten them 4 games (by the loss column) ahead in the division, even with a destructive bullpen. Fixing the pen helps out marginally more than upgrading the rotation and moving another pitcher to the pen.
d) His stuff is there, but he can't get back his feel without facing real hitters. This is just a wacky way to rehab and is not necessitated by anything else.
e) Schilling will never start again, or his stuff is permanently ruined. Hopefully, this isn't the case.
f) Somehow, Theo thinks this will help his negotiations with Boras and Hansen, the closer the Sox drafted who is thought to be close enough already to be a September call-up.
g) Schilling wants to pitch in the majors so bad he is willing to take a reduced role in lieu of continued rehab.

Email of the week

1) Cool website of the day comes from science magazine, chronicling the 25 biggest scientific questions out there right now. Each one has a mini write-up.

2) Email of the week, received over the weekend, chronicling his relations with his "mutual designated last resort", the girl that he seems to show up at the end of every night he has struck out, who happens to cry out other men's names constantly:

I know I shouldn't complain, sex is sex, and it is supposed to be pretty meaningless, but I'm just tired of it. Same thing, every time, it's like a machine, and I'm either Dustin or Bob or Teddy or Michael or whoever. Seriously, I'm betting next weekend she just starts shout "Oh God, yes! Anyone else! Yes!" I understand that stringfree sex is a great thing, and it sure beats the alternative, but is it asking too much for her to at least pretend that she likes me? If she does it again, I think I'm going to finish in her hair just to piss her off.

(note: prior approval was given. Edited for clarity and spelling).

3) Manny is back, and he has the Iron Horse in his sights, moving within 3 of the all-time grand slam record by throttling his third of the year. Wakefield is looking really good as well, going deep into the game and giving up 4 runs in the band-box that is Ameriquest Field.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Statistics, travel, and independence postponement

1) Baseball stuff:

a) The Nationals are winning a lot, even though only recently did their "runs scored" total outstrip their "runs allowed" total. People are screaming that they will ultimately come back to earth, and their 21-7 mark in 1-run games will settle back into the .500 range. While it is true that historically most teams end up winning about as many 1-run games as they lose, this doesn't mean DC will. This is the one thing that annoys me, when people say that these things will even out. While they very well might end the season even in 1-run games, they are more likely to finish up 14 games above .500. Regression to the mean doesn't imply that they will kharmically come back to winning as many games as they lose in close contests (which, statistically, is the norm), but rather that from here on out they will play .500 ball in 1-run games. They already have won 14 more games than they have lost in these situations; statistically, they should stay at about this level, not get worse. Will they continue to win 2/3rds of their 1-run games? No, probably not. But they probably won't lose 2/3rds of them, either.

b) Bret "I smirk more than Derek Jeter" Boone was designated for assignment, as he sucks now. Thankfully, the worm has turned on the douchebag. Now we just need his brother to get DFA'd as well, and we'll be kharmically (though not statistically) realigned.

c) Sox are scuffling, and my "inside source" at the Red Sox suggested that Clement might be on the trading block. I'm not sure how this makes sense, but then again who really thought that we would trade Nomar? Meh, it's hard for me to have an opinion, as I haven't seen the games recently.

d) Roberto Patagine, destroying the ball in AAA Pawtucket, apparently has an option in his contract that allows him to become a free agent if he doesn't get called up to the big league before July 1st (note: it is July 5th), yet he continues to wallow in the minors. This makes me wonder if perhaps the logjam we have on the big league roster at 1B/DH isn't about to be cleared up in a trade. It would not surprise me at all if Theo promised Roberto that he would be called up as soon as he moves either Olerud or Millar (or god forbid Ortiz), and that the trade was pending. Of course, with the possible exception of the Mets, I can't think of a team that needs a 1B, and I have to think that there are better options out there than Smiley or Manny's Monkey. The only way I could see us moving either of those guys is if they were an add-on to a trade to make the salaries balance better (as Olerud is cheap and Millar is manageable/going to be a free agent), but I can't really figure what team that would be with. However, it is an interesting thought.

2) I hate fat people. I mean, I really hate them. My back and shoulders are killing me today, because of a manatee that tried to wedge himself into the seat next to me on the plane. I mean, this guy must have been approaching 400 pounds on a 6'6" frame. He was pouring over the seat, and the only way I could avoid being sucked into the void of his rolls was to lean off my seat into the aisle. Mind you, because I am probably (nay, likely) the most jacked person on the planet, I was hanging one scapula past the edge of my seat and getting bumped whenever anybody went by me. I had to do the shoulders forward maneuver for the entire flight, and the fat bastard was still edging into me. Seriously, people that fat need to be shipped inside crates in stowage. My shoulder was spasming all night because this jackass apparently never heard of portion control. I would sue the bastard for pain and suffering, but I fear that if I ever go near him again I wouldn't have the strength to escape his gravitational pull. Hopefully, he'll visit Africa one day and be shot by someone on Safari.

3) The number of pregnant women in my town was staggering. Apparently, breeding is this season's black.

4) The fireworks in Big Watts were cancelled because the truck "broke down", moving them from Saturday night to next Friday, when most people will have already left. Of course, this is the second time in the last five years that this has happened, both times coinciding with the bigger towns have had their celebrations rained-out the night before. Now, I'm not one to see black helicopters circling out the window, but this seems a bit too cute for my taste. The only remedy I see is for this is for the Big Wattians to bust out the torches and pitchforks, stroll on up to Smithfield, and show them what we do to firework thieves once and for all. It has been my experience that nothing gets a message across like full-fledged slaughter at the hands of an angry mob.

5) Random NFL predictions, as training camps open the end of the month:

a) Caponomics: teams that devote a lot of cap room to marquee personnel on the offensive lines, cornerback, or running back will be seriously deficient this year. Corollary: look for teams who invest disproportionately heavily in safeties over cornerback to rule the defense. Also, as offense seems to be trending upwards, look for those few good defensive teams to become even more successful than last year.
b) After last year's workload, Corey Dillon may very well fall off the cliff this year (either by injury or ineffectiveness). Curtis Martin almost certainly will.
c) The Steelers are going to come back to earth in a big way; I don't think they even make the playoffs.
d) Terrel Owens will play. I still won't care.
e) The NFC will have more than one good team this year, but I think it is a crapshoot who the others will be. I have no idea what to make of about a half dozen teams in the conference.
f) Wacky superbowl prediction: Detroit becomes the first team to ever host a home superbowl. Hey, they have to get good sometime, right?
g) The Pats will drop a couple of games early this year as the team struggles with the new coordinators. How they respond will let us know how the AFC will shake out. Regardless, I don't think they get a bye in the playoffs, even if they rebound well.
h) The Colts defense will be much better than expected. Their offense will be much worse. Especially if there are injuries.

6) For the first time since I threatened to do so, I've had to delete a comment. While I am never one to censor ideas, and I am fully aware that the internet functions primarily as a place for 14-year-olds to anonymously parrot insults gleaned from other message boards, I feel that I should be the only one on this website spewing psychotic insults in a random and haphazard manner.

Friday, July 01, 2005

God Schmod, I want my monkey-man!

1) Random movie of the day: Zero Effect. A detective/mystery with a hint of emotional issues. Bill Pullman is great as the lead character, who is a cross between Sam Spade and Napoleon Dynamite.

2) Random text message of the day comes from the Resident Female as she travels home to the Queen City: "Oh the humanity! One woman was so fat she couldn't walk and needed awheel chair but she didnt fit in it. Good lord." Despite the fact that she chose to put the space between "awheel" and "chair" instead of "a wheelchair", I was amused by this if for no other reason than I have finally got her to start Hindenberging.

3) Emails of the day come from my junk box. The following are two email subject lines (sans the ~s and _s they used to try and beat the filters), side by side, received on consecutive days:

"Fletcher, increase your penis by two inches in six weeks"
"Great deals on breast enhancement surgery are waiting for you in your area!"

I also received about a dozen mortgage/loan offers. I guess the question is, what neighborhood would really want someone with a cheap boobjob and a gigantic penis to move in?

4) Song of the day comes from Jennifer Lopez: "Taco Flavored Kisses". Of course, I am referring to the Jennifer Lopez that was Eric Cartman's hand in an episode of South Park. Personally, I think this episode is great because I can picture Trey and Matt and the other writers just sitting around, trying to come up with an idea for a new episode. I think it might have gone a little something like this:

Matt, Trey, and a few random stooges are sitting around a table, looking tired and despondent. One of them is doodling absentmindedly on a piece of paper, another has slumped down on the table and appears to be asleep. A radio is on in the background.
Matt: Come on you guys, doesn't anyone have an idea for the show?
Nobody even looks up. A few moments pass, then a Jennifer Lopez song comes on the radio
Stooge 1: Oh, man, change the channel. I hate Jennifer Lopez.
Stooge 2: Hey, I like this song. It has a good beat.
Matt: Jennifer Lopez sucks. I have more talent in my left hand than she has in her whole fat-assed body.
Trey: That's it! That's the show!

Now, whether it actually went down like this, I don't know. If anything, I'm pretty sure "left hand" was more than likely some other bodily appendage. Regardless, I don't think this is that far from what probably happened. Although I do find it serendipitous that two celebrities that they had made fun of in multiple episodes (Ben Affleck in the TPS episode, and the Jennifer Lopez doll frequently being melted/blown up by the children) started dating, thus combining their hatred into one unit and allowing Matt and Trey to come up with this brilliant episode.