Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Well, that's it, it's over...

A sad day for Red Sox nation. Truly, I am so inconsolable that I can barely type this. Craig Hansen, the uber-stud prospect who was called up last September after being drafted in that same summer and been tearing up the minor leagues, has given up. A run. He has given up a run. He gave up his first minor league run, and he did it last night. So, counting last year, he went 22 2/3 innings before giving up a run in the minors. His line for the season is now an atrocious 11ip, 4 hits, 0.82 ERA, a 13/4 K/BB rate, and a 14/7 GB/FB rate. I mean, what do we do now? I guess we just group together and try to console each other.

Also, since Hansen gave up a run before Papelbon, does this mean Jonathan's wife will be surprised to find him sporting the Landing Strip? Or maybe the Playboy Bunny would be funnier, and I heard Charlie Sheen actually did that to himself once, so it keeps with the tradition. Hey, Papi, does this look like a Q to you? How 'bout now?

Schilling goes tonight against one hell of a Cleveland lineup and Jake Westbook with one hell of an ERA (I wish my CDs earned his ERA% interest, I'll tell ya). Make it happen, Curt.

Monday, April 24, 2006

It's nice to be right...

I said it a few weeks ago...

I'm holding it for another quarter, then selling after the next announcements of profits.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

My life on a Saturday morning

Red Sox game last night: How can you go 7 innings on 78 pitches, give up only 3 hits, have a 4 run lead, and somehow get a no-decision that ends up a bullpen-depleting loss? That sucked.
South Park episode last week: Swing and a miss. It sucked.
My Saturday class: Feel like hell and don't want to go. This sucks.
My Macro exam coming up: Will suck.
My broken vacuum: Will not suck.
Weather outside: super sucks.
This post so far: totally sucks. The fact that none of my three job offers for the summer don't pay: royally sucks The fact that I have to move again because of I can't afford the apartment: doesn't that suck?
So, to sum up my mood at the moment: pretty good, actually.

Bonus stupidity:
A man and a woman are talking at a bar:
Man: I'm a pachydermist.
Woman: Oh, so you stuff all kinds of animals?
Man: No, no, I work with elephants.
Woman: I didn't realize there was enough demand to specialize.

Two friends are talking at a bar:
Friend 1: So I just signed the lease on a new apartment.
Friend 2: Oh yeah? Carpet or hardwood?
Friend 1: Brick, actually.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Finally! Somebody gets it!

After reading quite a few vapid and horrendous news articles talking about last week's South Park episode that entirely missed the point of the show (can we say, "context"?), it is nice to see that at least one member of the media actually got it. Of course, still no mention of the self-referential allegory to the pulled Scientology episode. Also, I really don't understand why people still pay attention to a single word that William Donohue says, and I am surprised he hasn't gone away yet.
Also of note is that I actually tracked down an unedited version of the show that actually had the same flame-thrower character handing the thing over. This, of course, blows my theory out of the water that Matt & Trey put the "Comedy Central refuses" sign up because it was the only payoff to that lead up that might be funny. Too bad, because I think it would have gotten their point across, been funny, and deftly skirted the whole issue of actually show the image without crossing the line just for the sake of crossing the line. And, actually, if it had been their idea, it would have lampooned Comedy Central that much more. Oh well.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Oh, right, and this:

Just in case I don't get around to posting before Sunday, as I will be in Ocean City, here is a little seasonal cheer:

Sex is my game! Updated!

1) So, what I saw on a frigid and wet Saturday night at Camden yards is that I love this team. Schilling and Papelbon are unbelievable. I'm at a loss for how good they look, and between those two, Beckett, Ortiz, and the shocker that Lowell has a pulse, I'm still feeling very optimistic about the season. Now all we need is Wells to get into shape and not shit the bed every fifth day and we will have a solid team. Clement goes tonight, and he could further strengthen my feelings with a second solid outing.

2) So I was confused by South Park last night. I'm pretty sure that was just the Trey & Matt show screwing with us, suggesting that even though they could show Mohammed if they wanted to, they didn't have to in order to get their point across. I guess I was also hoping for something a little funnier than Manatees. Eh, too much build up will never deliver. See also: Seinfeld finale. See also: the latter Matrices. See also: losing one's virginity.

3) Would like to thank The Friendly Neighborhood ColOmbian and The Friendly Neighborhood ColOmbianette (I need to get a better name for her) for putting up with me and all my drunken behavior on Saturday night, and the only revenge exacted upon me was writing the title of this post on my hand (along with some gibberish with only one identifiable word: dickhole). Granted, I can't remember who wrote that on my hand, so it is possible that somebody else did it, but I plumb forgot. That, and I forgot where I left my cell phone, which apparently was a gutter, according to the guy who found it. However, the rest of the night is crystal clear and was a hoot, late-night resurrections and all.

4) Speaking of dickholes, a term frequently used by South Park, the discussion of that night will be opened to the general public. When one is called a dick-hole, does that mean the affronted is a urethra or a vagina? Discuss.

5) Random crappy/corny joke of the week that for some reason I found funny: Where do people who don't like to curse go to college? GDU.

6) Craig Hansen has still not given up a run in his minor league career. Just saying, is all.

7) Our man Coco has signed on for another 3+ years at about $5 mil per (note: contract does not start until next year). That's a pretty good deal for the guy, with an $8 mil option for what would be the guy's 5th year in Boston. Of course, by that point I fully hope that Jacoby Ellsbury will be playing all-star calibur center field, with Crisp having slid over to either left or possibly right (he has the speed, but may not have the arm). We'll see.

8) Get well, Trot and Riske.

9)In response to Steady B's comment and interesting article about Ortiz and his projected rapid decline, I think that the issue with the article is that it looks for historical comparisons for The Man Who Would Be Papi. By doing so, this essentially ignores three things fundamental to this specific case (I hope). The article assumes that i) Ortiz is so dreadful defensively that he can't play the field, as evidence by the string of crap that has played 1B for the Sox of late, ii) It compares Ortiz to a bunch of guys that are driven to DHing because of physical breakdowns, and iii) Ortiz is a refugee to the DH, and as soon as he drops at the plate, he loses all value to the club (as he is slow and bad at defense). Of course, the truth of the matter is that Ortiz, while not spectacular in the field, is somewhat passable as a 1B according to UZR, zone rating, and a few other defensive metrics. Granted, he never would be a late-inning defensive replacement for anyone, but the problem he faced for most of his career was that he had Doug "Eye Chart" Mankiewiezcheastenheist, back when he could hit, pushing him in an organization that valued speed and defense. Essentially, Ortiz developed into the power hitter he is during his time in Boston. Really, the Red Sox were the first team to give him opportunities to get regular at bats over the course of a season, and his ability as a hitter has improved monotonically with each half-season since the Hillenbrand trade in the 2003 season.

Secondly, Papi himself has attributed a good portion of his maturation as a hitter to the fact that he doesn't have to play defense. He comes to the ballpark, and all he has to work on is his hitting and cracking jokes. This, as he said, has contributed greatly to his success, and also has significantly reduced the wear and tear on his body that fielding creates (and very well might slow his decline from age). Sure, he occasionally gets dinged up, and even missed winter ball because of a tight shoulder (damn you Dale Sveum!), but his physical debilitation is likely to be postponed by the fact that he is a DH.

I guess my main problem with the article is that the author is trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole. The comparables to he uses all were DHs because they were refugees from the field due to injury and inability, and thus were already poised to start their decline. The DH merely postponed the end of their careers that were already being cut short. For Ortiz, on the other hand, the DH launched his, yet will also likely postpone the decline as well. The DH allowed Ortiz to become better, not slow his getting worse.

If anything, what I take from this article is a lot of hope. I see from these stats and statistics what I already had a suspicion of: there has never been anyone like Ortiz. In the history of Major League Baseball, there has never been an elite power hitter that has been allowed to avoid the daily grind of playing in the field; there has never been a player that could make their living just off the bat, and possibly avoid the physical stress that comes from the other facets of the games. So what this suggests to me is, that while he may follow a normal decline like the careers of so many other players, there is also a chance that because he is only a DH he just might be able to avoid the inevitable decline from age for a few more years than any other player in the past.

Hey, I'll take it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Just to chew on...

What are the chances that part two of the "animated muhammed" episode will just be a re-run of the "super best friends" episode from 5 years ago, where there was already an animated muhammed?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The dog did not bark...

Mish-mash of random thoughts time!

1) Buy stock in Boeing and Catepillar. Due to the record trade gap between the US and China, and with the dreaded "t" word (note: tariff) bandying about in DC, China decided it would be time to send over some emissaries and buy the shit out of American goods. They will likely do so by purchasing a lot of capital goods that are needed in the near future, and they plan to do this all at once to cook the trade numbers and shut up Washington. The most needed capital goods are airplanes and construction equipment. So, like I said, buy Boeing and Catepillar.

2) Speaking of China, here is another consequence of their rapid economic growth: they are running out of people. More specifically, they are running out of labor, and thus they are seeing a very strong rise in wages. What does this mean? Well, a few things.
i. Chinese goods aren't going to be quite so cheap any more. This will also reduce the trade gap
ii. Either China is going to start pulling more effective workers from agriculture (whereas before the workers were actually in surplus), which will require them to import food, or they will be forced to slow down expansion. Either of which points to a revaluation of the yuan, and a reduction in the trade gap.
iii. Some Chinese firms may start outsourcing work to Vietnam and the Phillipines. This will slow Chinese growth.

3) Ah, Roger. It's nice to know that, in addition to be a traitor, a liar, a cheater, and an asshole, he is also a bigot. Man, what a douche. I really hate this guy.

4) Pulled away for a few hours there. Back to the random thoughts

5) So far, South Park is 3 for 3 poking fun of Scientology at least once per episode, and I have a feeling this is not going to stop anytime soon. Regardless, their attacks on Family Guy last night were fantastic, although I am curious to know why they started picking on the show (besides obvious reasons)

6) A lot has been made of Papelbon getting the save situation instead of Foulke last night. While the consensus seems to be that it was a pretty smart move, I am curious as to if part of the issue might just have been that Paps had warmed up in the 8th when Timlin was in trouble and the boy was ready to go. While I don't necessarily think this is the case, it certainly is a possibility that nobody seems to be raising. Young arms shouldn't be overworked, and warming them up constantly creates the same wear and tear as actually pitching can. Maybe a part of Francona figured, "hey, he is already warm, and Foulke looked pretty bad on opening day, let's give the kid a go rather than warming up our other guy." Again, not saying this is definitively the case, but at the same time I'd be surprised if Francona thought before the game that Foulke wouldn't be the ninth inning answer.

7) Still love this guy, and he seems to be helping himself out on his own. Of course, it probably would have been better if hadn't allowed all those runs, but let's take what we can get.

8) I'd be curious to see if anyone actually go the allusion to Sherlock Holmes in the title. Too obscure? The key, dear Watson, is that...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Thoughts on opening day

1) Schilling? Good! Papelbon? Good! Foulke? Lucky!

2) To Alex Gonzalez: If you have a .500 batting average, you can make a mistake on the basepaths. Otherwise, make sure you tag up.

3) Ortiz is so good it makes me weep.

4) Look at Trot, being a beast against the lefty S(hit)house. Clever move to IBB Manny to prevent us seeing Wily Mo's first Sox AB, but it backfired, I guess (or not, since Tek grounded out)

5) Mark Loretta's ABs:
1st inning, 5 pitches, k.
4th inning, 3 pitches, fly out.
5th inning, 12 pitches, rbi double.
7th inning, 10 pitches, fly-out double play (AGON!).
9th inning, 5 pitches, ground out.

Total: 5 ABs, 35 pitches. Holy shit.

6) MLB package kicks ass. I watched the entire game in the library.

7) Lowell may have some life left in him after all.

8) Covelli is the fastest baserunner I have ever seen. I wouldn't be surprised if he could go first to third on a bunt.

9) Speaking of our new center fielder, I leave you and Foulkie with the following thought:

Monday, April 03, 2006

Opening day

Happy birthday to the friendly Redistricted ColOmbian, and happy opening day to everyone else (unless you are a White Sox or Twins fan). Go Sox!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Never underestimate the power of the internet to amuse

Okay, so currently the banner story for cnn.com that is given the "Developing Story" designation, is titled "Carroll 'deeply angry' with captors ". That's right, the journalist who was taken captive in Iraq and held for the better part of three months, was not happy with the people who did it. CNN then continues to be inciteful by suggesting that, rather than still being a hostage in Iraq, she is in fact 'happy' to be in Germany.

Well, I've gotta' tell you: I'm shocked.