Saturday, December 31, 2005

happy new years

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Gambling on my demise

So, Fletcher is about to embark on a long road trip to Maine, planning to hit the slopes and lose some of the stone-and-a-half that I have tacked onto my midsection this holiday season. In the sporting spirit, I have devised the following odds which people can bet on:

Fletcher breaks his leg skiing- 4:1

Fletcher goes snowblind- 11:1

Fletcher skiis into the woods- 2:1

Fletcher skiis into the woods and is sodomized by a polar bear- 15:1

Fletcher falls, gets concussed, and finds Jesus- 7:1

Fletcher falls, gets concussed, and finds Satan- 8:1

Fletcher goes too fast, flails his arms, and blinds someone with his ski pole- 1:1

Fletcher goes too fast, flails his arms, and blinds himself with his ski pole- Oh, no, I'm not doing that again

Fletcher gets his tongue stuck to the ski lift while licking frost- 9:1

Fletcher sees an attractive snow-bunny and loses control of his bowels- 3:1

The Resident Female finds out about this and breaks up with Fletcher- 2:1

Fletcher falls, get depantsed by the snow, and a skier mistakes his bare, white ass for a hairy mogul leading to possibly the most painful injury in the history of skiing- 18:1

So, wish me luck!

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 23, 2005


1. Having listened to Johnny Damon's Yankee press conference on the drive back to Big Watts, I had to find something that makes me feel better, and this did it. Basically, the whole thing keys off on the fact that, as I mentioned a few times last season, Damon pushed up his numbers last year by hitting a lot more singles while reducing his power and walk rate. Ostensibly, the three stats that people tend to look at in OBP, BA, and OPS all weight singles, so singles tend to be valued a lot more than walks, even though statistically a single is creates about .03 more runs than a walk. Further, the hitters who tend to get their value from singles and not walks or slugging, all tend to be very fast guys. Damon is hitting his mid-thirties, his steals have already started dropping significantly, and he is only going to get slower. And this article uses fairly established, albeit esoteric, sabermetric statistics.

Basically, even if we had resigned Damon and his wife, Kianna, we wouldn't be getting the Johnny Jesus of the 2004 mold. Good to know.

2. Seriously, though, if anyone else heard the press conference, the man brutalized the Sox, and even the fans. I was actually not all that surprised or pissed about the whole thing, but that press conference was just infuriating. It's one thing to take potshots at the organization, or as he called it, the dismantling organization, but a little freaking humility, man. Well, his transitition into a pinstripped monkey is nearly complete. All that remains is for Steinbrenner to tell him to 1) cut his hair again, and 2) beligerently screams at him, "Mattingly, I thought I told you to get rid of those sideburns!" And, just for posterities sake, he took a few swipes at the holiest shrine in baseball by deriding the Catherdral at the Fens. I can't wait until he is shocked and surprised when he finds out what kind of "hazing rituals" a-ROD and Jeter have in store for him. 2 AM at the Blue Oyster, this Saturday night. Recommended pre-gaming: a bottle of tequila, two percadin, and a lube-suppository. And consider investing some money in one of those round rubber donuts for afterwards.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Dusting off an old friend

It's time for another rendition of "Skip Bayless Says!"

All quotations come from this article.

Skip Bayless Says: Seeing Joe Paterno open one coach-of-the-year present after another is better than watching "It's a Wonderful Life" meets "A Christmas Carol."
Skip Bayless Means: Because I have enough trouble following the plot of one movie, much less two at the same time. I like simple things, especially when they are shiney.

SB says: What a rebirth for a terribly criticized, occasionally irascible, but ultimately good man who turned 79 on Wednesday.
SB means: The main reason the criticism was so terrible was because I wrote most of it, but that is neither here nor there.

SB says: Oh, come all ye unfaithful.
SB means: And for no reason, I felt like breaking out into song.

SB says: Surely many of the media members who gave Paterno 45 of the 65 votes in the Associated Press poll feel like modern-day Scrooges. How many times over the last three or four years have they spat out cold, heartless "Joe must go" sentiments? Now, they've been visited by the high-topped ghosts of Penn State past. Now they've seen the light: The game has not passed JoePa by after all!
SB means: Do you think I've beaten the Dickensian references to death, yet?

SB says: God bless them, every one.
SB means: Eh, just to be sure.

SB says: And forgive them for letting their yuletide emotions run away with them and for voting for the wrong coach of the year. Touchdown Jesus forgives them.
SB means: Yea, I now shall move from the writer of trash into the realm of a religious guru, like L. Ron Hubbard before me.

SB says: Many of the same media members who voted for Paterno believed Notre Doom wouldn't win more than a couple games under a first-year coach who hadn't been a head coach beyond high school.
SB means: Wasn't The Rock exceptional in Dame?

SB says: Quarterback Brady Quinn had turned into the next Ron Powlus-style overhyped bust.
SB means: My editor had me use Ron Powlus; I wanted to use "Teri Hatcher's overhyped bust." See what I mean? We're in fried eggs nailed to a wall territory here. "They're real, and they're spectaculur": yeah, spectacular failures.

SB says: Some receiver named Jeff Samardzija had been just another bench-warming Rudy under former coach Ty Willingham.
SB means: Yes, it's true, Ty Willingham used to sit on him on top of the bench to keep his rear end warm. Fortunately, Weis has not sat on any of his players. Have you seen him? He's huge! The results would be devastating.

SB says: The cupboard looked as bare as the Indiana plains in winter.
SB means: I swear this isn't a joke about how Weis ate all the food in the house. I'm just trying to give a shout out to my peeps in Indiana. French Lick, baby! Can I get a "whoop whoop"? Oh, I can't? Oh, well, whatever.

SB says: And Charlie Weis, who deserves to be named coach of the year, led the Fighting Irish to a 10-1 record, and in his game-of-the-year centerpiece, upset what some experts consider the greatest college team ever: USC.
SB means: I am a senile old man. USC beat them.

SB says: OK, USC survived, 34-31, and the Irish really went 9-2. But Notre Dame was robbed.
SB means: Ha Ha! I made you all go and double check their records on the ESPN college football site to see that they also lost to Michigan State! Advertisers pay by the click! Those fools! Everything is falling into place!

SB says: In fact, Weis' high-road reaction after that loss was one reason he received only three AP Coach of the Year votes, which tied him for third with USC's Pete Carroll behind Texas' Mack Brown, who finished second with eight.
SB means: The other reason was that people voted for other candidates.

SB says: Weis had every right to raise holy heck about a series of late officiating blunders that cost his team that game.
SB means: Which is much less creepy than raising the dead. You know, because holy heck isn't all gnarly and decomposed, and seldom tries to gain sustenence by feasting on the flesh of the living.

SB says: Yet Weis, bless him, believes in sportsmanship as much as he believes in his alma mater, his heaven on Earth, his Notre Dame.
SB means: His Purgatory on Earth? The DMV.

SB says: When Weis provided no irate ammo for reporters, the officiating dissolved into a non-issue.
SB means: If you act like a man instead of bitching, we have less to write about, so we won't vote for you. We're mature like that.

SB says: To me, that was as shocking as the season-saving pass USC's Matt Leinart completed on fourth-and-9 from his 26 to set up USC's game-winning, rule-breaking touchdown.
SB means: Ah, Matty -- not only is he a dream-boat, he's also a bad-boy rule breaker.

SB says: With time running out and USC at Notre Dame's 2-yard line, Leinart rolled left, decided to run for it and got blasted near the goal line.
SB means: He wasn't blasted quite as bad as the people in War of the Worlds, but it was still pretty dramatic.

SB says: That's when the eventual Heisman winner, Reggie Bush, went low for max leverage and power-shoved Leinart past tacklers into the end zone.
SB means: Though it does beg the question, was that power-shove run on AC or DC?

SB says: That, of course, is against the rules. No flag.
SB means: You know, I'm such a good reporter that I bet I could recap a game that was played months ago and nobody would even notice.

SB says: Only blind-eyed chaos.
SB means: Like the bathroom in a men's bathouse when they switch off the lights.

SB says: But the point is, Charlie Weis outcoached Pete Carroll.
SB means: So, judging from Carroll's NFL tenure, Weis is at least as talented as a dyslexic six-year-old gril. And yes, I misspelled "girl" for the irony. THoughI mispelled "mispelled" by accident. Typing is hardd.

SB says: Notre Dame did so by controlling the clock, posting a 38:40 to 21:20 advantage in time of possession, and keeping Leinart and Bush off the runway.
SB means: Apparently, the game was played on the tarmac of the South Bend Airport.

SB says: The Bills had the ball for almost two minutes less than USC did at Notre Dame.
SB means: And also, it seems it was a three-way conest between the Buffalo Bills, USC, and Notre Dame.

SB says: Weis could be every bit the head coach Parcells has been.
SB means: And how. Hell, Weis may be even fatter than the tuna.

SB says: ESPN's Michael Smith reported that Weis, the Patriots' ex-coordinator, visited the New England coaches' booth during Saturday's game at Gillette Stadium and made a few suggestions. During his visit, Tom Brady's offense scored two touchdowns.
SB means: Also, several hot dogs that were lying around the booth mysteriously disappeared.

SB says: So is it any surprise that Weis turned Brady Quinn into a collegiate Tom Brady?
SB means: The answer, of course, is no, because Brady Quinn already was a collegian, and his name was already halfway there. Still, nice job.

SB says: The point is, Weis did more with much less than Paterno.
SB means: I wholeheartedly believe that if you replaced every Notre Dame player with Joe Paternos, they would have won the national title.

SB says: Weis immediately turned a bunch of kids who had learned to lose back into winners.
SB means: Ah, yes, I remember I got an "A" in my "losing" class when I attended Notre Dame.

SB says: Weis repeatedly coached rings -- New England championship rings -- around college opposition.
SB means: And he repeatedly cleaned rings -- scummy bathtub rings -- around his shower.

SB says: This clearly is Notre Dame's best hire since Ara.
SB means: Who, of course, was the best hire since Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun.

SB says: Yes, the 9-2 Irish lost a home overtime game to Michigan State -- which Penn State beat, 31-22. Yes, the same day Notre Dame was robbed against USC, Paterno's team came within one second of an undefeated season. At Michigan, quarterback Chad Henne threw a final-play touchdown pass to stun the Nittany Lions.
SB means: So, actually, I guess Penn State is a better team, isn't it? Wait, what was my point again?

SB says: Still, Weis had the higher degree of difficulty. Paterno's cupboard was not bare.
SB means: Must... resist... making... another... fat joke...

SB says: Recruiting hasn't been nearly as big a problem as coaching.
SB means: Or termite infestations, for that matter.

SB says: But for the first time under Paterno, two stud freshmen were allowed to play.
SB means: As compared to their usual role of being put to pasture to impregnate other freshman. They only do that at Colorado now.

SB says: Derrick Williams and Justin King gave this team some new life and wow factor.
SB means: Ah, yes, "wow"- the most dominant of all factors.

SB says: So did Paterno really coach that much better this season?
SB means: Yes, because I admitted that he did a few paragraphs ago. Oh, wait, or did I mean he coached better than Weis? That's pretty ambiguous. Man, I am a terrible writer...

SB says: Did he coach 45-votes-to-3 better than Weis?
SB means: Shouldn't it have been more like 44.86-votes-to-pi better than Weis?

SB says: Sorry, this Scrooge says.
SB means: Oh, right, I had been doing a "Christmas Carol" theme at the beginning. Well, if I wedge this in here, maybe no one will notice I abandoned it halfway through the article because it was really annoying and tedious.

SB says: God bless JoePa, who was a wonderful coach-of-the-year choice.
SB means: And Satan bless YoMa, who was a wonderful harlot-of-the-year choice. That's right. I went to the mother jokes. Count it.

SB says: But Weis was a better one.
SB means: Yeah, I know that the last line is meant to leave you with a poignant and hard-driven-home point that makes you go, "Wow! What a great article", and I know this is a horribly piss-poor line in that capacity, but I'm tired. I've been writing this damn article for nearly two hours, it's about three times longer than it needs to be, the arthritis in my hands is killing me, I've had seven egg-nogs and bourbon, and I didn't really make any strong arguments one way or the other, so I say fuck it. This is the last line. It isn't Oscar Wilde worthy. It isn't even Danielle Steele worthy. But, you know what, you read all the way to the end of the article to get to it, so I guess the joke is on you.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Just for kicks

Courtesy of hilarious.

And, now that that is out of the way, and hopefully got you in a good mood, here is the blow I am trying to soften: DOUCHE!!!

Well, he sure felt like our own, but suggesting he betrayed us Sox fans is wrong, considering he was a mercenary when he came to us via Oakland and Kansas City. Nice knowing you, ya' quirky bastard. May you enjoy your new haircut and shave, your arm continue to physically rot right off your body, your speed and range become Bernie-esque, and perhaps have a prolonged four-year hitting slump.

Remember: you had a market that loved you and basked in your personality, and you decided to go to the place that 1) resents you as the death nail of their greatest depantsing in history, 2) will view your foebles and philandering skeptically both because the people suck and are skeptical of your last home, and 3) is overpaying for your mid/late-thirties, making you likely to spend the last three years of your contract in media hell. Well, it's official: You are an idiot...

My word it has been a while...

1. Time may heal all wounds, but it doesn't stop douche-bags from being douche-baggy. Has there ever been someone you hate, I mean absolutely detest, that was featured in your life somewhat prominantly? Then, for whatever reason, you do not see them again? Strange things begin to happen. Whether it is a function of the absence, the potential for growth and muturation, or just merely that your vitriol has been shifted to other sources, have you ever felt yourself easing up on your hatred? Suddenly, that son-of-a-bitch that you hate with every ounce of your being has slowly morphed into that person you had trouble with so long ago, until enough time has passed that eventually you almost laugh at yourself for being so caught up in that hatred. Your anger eases, your emotions ebb, and your desire to see the offending party rot in the deepest pits of hell while being sodomized by a pitchfork no longer exists. Have you ever had that happen? Well, I realized something similar recently happened to me, and I assume this has happened to other people, too. Anyway, has this ever happened to any of you, and then you bump into that person again? And what always happens? Of course, they are still as huge a douchebag as they ever were, if not more so. You want to just put your hands around their neck and squeeze while pushing their face into a toilet bowl until the bubbles stop. Has this ever happened to any of you?

You may be wondering why I am bringing something like this up, and I'm sure many of you have guessed something similar happened to me recently. Well, you would be right. Just yesterday, I ran into my old nemesis, and he is worse than I ever remembered. That's right, it is officially time to put the State of Connecticut back atop the "Enemies of Fletcher" list, officially replacing the tie that was there between genital herpes and Walt Whitman. I hate Connecticut. I fucking hate it. Seriously, it serves no purpose in this world other than annoying people. Sure, most people will say that New Jersey is the worst state in the nation, but that's because they don't know. What is the common criticism of New Jersey? Obnoxious people, it's only good to drive through, it smells, whatever. Well, Connecticut is only there to drive through, as well, but at least New Jersey has two roads to do it on, and they are actually well constructed. How is it possible that Connecticut can have bumper to bumper traffic, fucked in the head drivers, and construction every 6 miles at any time, day or night? Or how about the fact that 95 has a McDonald's rest step every 12-15 feet through the first half of the state, then nothing the entire rest of the way? Didn't they ever think to sprinkle them out a bit more evenly?

And don't get me started on the sports fans. I saw a car with connecticut plates that had a Patriots bumper sticker, and a Yankees bumper sticker. I mean, come on, can we all just admit that Connecticut fans are the Mormans of sports? And we already know that Mormans are the LA Clippers of religion, so we know how much the People of Connecticut smoke pole. The obnoxious pricks, take the New Jersey archetype and add a haughty and disdainful few of "the peasant", and that is your average Connecticut bile-bitter. Man, I freaking hate that state, and I never want to drive through it again.

And the Merritt Parkway needs to be dynamited. They don't even know how to spell Merit correctly.

2. As to the MTA strike, well, screw those pansies. Why? Well, when it comes to organized labor, as and economist I am a lot like Farva, "Chief, you know I'm not a pro-union guy." Look, I understand that you are all upset that 1) you make shitty pay and 2) they are cracking down on the nepotism that thrived in your business, but if you think you aren't being paid enough, then find another line of work. I don't want to sound cruel, but it seems to me that, other than the issue of pay and benefits, you aren't being screwed by all that much. Quite frankly, your aren't asked to inhale toxic chemicals, your lives are not in constant danger, and your working conditions don't seem all that bad. Now, this isn't to suggest that I want your job, but it is to remind people about what the actual purposes of a union is. It is to protect the workers from being exposed to conditions and situations that are unlawful and ensure that employees are not exploited (well, technically, it is there to ensure that they are compensated appropriately for any exploitation in the form of externalities that exist in the line of work). Otherwise, when it comes to wage rates, the MTA should not be under any pretenses to pay more than what the market will bear. That is what the purpose of capitalism is for. If workers are overpaid, then 1) the MTA will hire fewer of them, 2) the consumer will have to overpay for the goods (whether that be with higher fares or government subsidies, the money is still coming from the consumers), and 3) there are deficiencies in the market. I know this sounds callous, but it is true, and that is half the reason why the US has been losing ground international: we are too focused on protectionist policies rather than accepting the idea that we must be innovating and willing to accept that we cannot afford to overpay for certain areas of the economy.

Of course, this doesn't change the fact that it probably sucks to be a bus driver. Then again, would an extra buck an hour help all that much? I hate strikes, because they pleas to consumers says, "Side with us, we are underpaid and not treated fairly!", but actually means "We want you to pay more for our product, and we want you to be glad to do so!" So, like I said, screw them.

3) Okay, I know that last one was a bit harsh, but I'm still pissed off about the whole Connecticut thing.

4) Thank God.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Responding to Anonymous

Anonymous said...
"Let's see how much of a whinny bitch he is if he is wearing a Boston Redsox uniform. "

I know. I see today that the Sox may
1) Trade Manny for Tejada and
2) Resign the Roger "The Kocket" Clemens and
3) Both very well could make the Sox kick ass.

I mean, I would seriously have re-assess my hatred scale if either (or both) of these deals goes down. Although I will be seriously pissed off if 1) occurs with us sending anything other than cash their way, as getting a hitter as good Manny (no matter who is coming back) should never require prospects to be included.

As for Clemens, the man most slighted in the history of the BDIU award, well, a rotation of Beckett, Schilling, The Morning Star, and two of Wakefield/Arroyo/Paplebon/Clement sinfully tempting. Although I imagine I would have to withhold the temptation to scream slews of hateful profanity at the screen everytime it showed Clemens for at least the first month of the season, and somehow learn to just do my normal slew of encouraging profanity. Well, it is all speculation at this point, so I can still think of him as the prick that he is.

Confirmation Bias or further evidence?

It's no secret that I have developed a working theory that, at his core, Miguel Tejada is a whiny bitch. Just thought I would throw a little I told you so to all the doubters. Not that his complaints aren't justified, but this article seems a whole lot like whining to me...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Birthdays, trades, and finals

1. Well, it worked when they traded Nomar, so maybe this will work, too. The strange thing is, the other day, I finally admitted that it might be time for him to go. Power, strength, speed, skill, and size, yet he never seemed to be going full bore. Seriously, a guy that big shouldn't play like a 105-lb anorexic waif on anti-depressants in front of the crease. Still, I was shocked to see the headline. See you in San Jose, Joe.

2. Fletcher is hitting the quarter century mark this weekend. Fun fun. Swing by the apartment Friday night and bring booze and appetizers, cause we are raging for a while then heading out on the town.

3. And I am swamped in homeworks this week, then finals next week. The posting drought will likely continue. My apologies.

4. Oh, yeah, and the Beckett, Lowell, and Mota deal? Fantastic. Unloaded Hanley when his value was a bit high for a guy that just spent a year not developing, a pitcher who was on the way up but was still a few years away, and some low minors guys for a decent relief guy, a good defensive 3B who very well might find his bat again, and a bona fide stud for the rotation who just happens to be less than a year older than me. How do you not make that trade?

5. And keep Manny. No way do you get value back for him. Manny is the stagflation of baseball; usually you are trying to unload a crippling contract or trading a great player to get several good ones/prospects back. Somehow, Manny is both, and that means he is untradable for good value. The Sox will never get back his production or any decent prospects because no team will give that stuff up with that contract. He is actually performing about as well as possible (name 5 right-handed sluggers better than him), yet he is weighing on the money side (is any player worth $20mm a year?). So keep him as protection for Ortiz. The devil you know, you know?