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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Heed the disclaimer

Disclaimer: I don’t like A-Rod. I think he has no soul. But here’s the case for the Red Sox going for him.

Performance: The Red Sox didn’t make the playoffs in 2006. They only won the division this year by 2 games and only tied for best record in baseball. Sure, they went on a tear and blew out the playoffs. And even the national media is now predicting the Red Sox to win 165 regular season games for the next four or five years. But being able to land a player who puts up 50 HR and 130 RBI with a batting average over .300, while playing a key defensive position (SS or 3B, take your pick), makes the regular season a bit more comfortable.

Clutch performance: Before getting on A-Rod’s post season failures and assuming it will always be such, we should consider that our own franchise went 86 years without a title. John Elway, Steve Young and Mike Krzwklsikslieksi (the basketball coach from Duke) are other examples of guys that “couldn’t win the big one”…until they did. Remember, they used to call Jeter Mr. November and say all he does is win. Things change.

Character: First: if Ortiz is friends with him, that’s gotta say something. Second: A-Rod and Randy Moss. Compare and contrast.

In addition to my disclaimer above, know that I can think of very few things my wife wants more than for the Red Sox to NOT acquire A-Rod. If they did acquire A-Rod, she might start rooting for him to suffer an immediate career-ending injury. No, I’m not kidding or exaggerating this. Not even a little bit.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Red Sox win. Tha-aa-aaa-aaaa Red Sox win!

Congratulations to the Red Sox. Twice in four years. Impressive. And the future looks bright as well. More on that at a future date, though. Comments on three other major sports stories from the weekend then I may try to post on something other than sports again.

A-Rod has no soul. The evidence continues to pile up.

--He leaves a fine situation in Seattle for money in Texas. Seattle was winning. The team was decently supported by the community and it’s always said that he and Sweet Lou had a good relationship.

--He leaves Texas for a chance to win. Why else only Boston and New York considered?

--He cheats on his wife in a way that publicly humiliates her.

--He leaves New York to save his psyche. If he had a soul he would’ve stayed there and proved himself. He didn’t even negotiate with them. They likely would’ve paid as much as anyone else. He’s running away from the challenge of overcoming his failure, even if it’s only perceived or limited failure.

--He and his agent try to steal the limelight from the World Series and a potential suitor, taking selfish “look at me” behavior to an entirely new level.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Patriots are playing by the rules. Next question.

The camera thing was a written rule they broke. And people questioned their previous accomplishments. So Belichick is going to play by the rules and leave no questions about this year’s accomplishments. There is no rule against running up the score. The rules state that each game is 60 minutes long. So the Patriots are going to play ALL 60 minutes, as the rules proscribe.

Is Belichick flipping the bird to the league? I think so. Do I have a problem with it? No. If there were no camera-gate, I would think it was bad form, especially to do it to a classy guy like Gibbs. But Bill and the team are making a point. An exclamation point.

The schpiel the players are putting out—if you go half speed you can get hurt—is B.S. You run just as much risk of getting hurt by leaving starters in a blowout when bitter opponents may resort to cheap shots. They may reveal the truth at the end of the season. To me, it goes without saying already.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

National reaction to Boston teams: As a Boston fan, I don’t really care what the rest of the country thinks of our teams. I root for our teams to win. Does it bother me if one of our teams or fans do something I don’t like? Yes. But I’m not worried with living up to the standards set by the national media or fans in another market.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Curses schmurses.

Tony Maz sums it up perfectly for me. The Red Sox are not a cursed franchise that chokes away victory. They are capable of anything at any time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

triple play!

1) Met a 9 week old bulldog puppy yesterday. Gorgeous. The owner said the breeder where he got him had three more left and that I should run down and get one. I don't know which would've caused greater heartburn at home; the $1600 or the fact that I brought a puppy home to a house where demand for attention is running well behind supply already.

2) Had Antelope chops for dinner. Took advantage of a rare occasion to dine alone to pull from the freezer some game my brother in law had brought me. Baked it wrapped in foil after marinating it in some mesquite bbq marinade for a few hours. It was tender and delicious!! I could've eaten myself into a coma it was so good.Need to have him bring me some more of that.

3) Red Sox win. Will return home for Game 6.

What a night!

pretty kitties

Zip on over to Ernie (Not Bert) for some great pictures of great big cats, up close. And make sure to click on your favorite pictures to see them full size. Very impressive.

He's even got some great notes so you can learn a little about this cat and that one.

Mental attitude, take 2

From espn.com before yesterday's game…
Teams have been known to go to extraordinary lengths to get an edge. But the Cleveland Indians swear Thursday night's choice of pre-game singer is not a piece of gamesmanship.
Danielle Peck, a country music singer who also happened to date Red Sox ace pitcher Josh Beckett, will sing the national anthem and "God Bless America" at tonight's Game 5 in Cleveland. Beckett is scheduled to start the game for Boston.
"It's an incredible coincidence. Honestly," said Indians spokesman Bob DiBiasio.
Taylor Swift was supposed to be the Game 5 vocalist, but when she couldn't attend, DiBiasio said a country music booker recommended the up-and-coming Peck. She is from Coshocton and her single "I Don't" is a hit.
"She's from Ohio. Her entire family are Indians fans. We did not know anything about her connections to Beckett. The next day, we find out the rest of the story," said DiBiasio of Peck. "How are we supposed to know who Josh Beckett dates?"
With a victory tonight, the Indians would close out the Red Sox and clinch their first spot in the World Series since 1997.


Beckett's response, after his 8 inning beatdown on the Indians hitters...
"I don't get paid to make those f----n' decisions. Thanks for paying to have a friend of mine come out to watch the game."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A well coached player

Mike Reiss, a solid guy on the Patriots beat for the Globe, blogs in on a reaction comment by Ellis Hobbs. Demonstrates how Patriots players are so well coached on how to phycisally act on the field,but also how to think about the game.

FOXBOROUGH -- A few Patriots defenders were asked today about comments made by Cowboys receiver Patrick Crayton, as Crayton said the New England defense was "not the real deal".

"Next question," cornerback Ellis Hobbs said, before changing his mind and deciding to answer.

"Same story, man. We've heard it before. Whatever. That's why we have 60 minutes. You have 60 minutes to prove what you got out there, and bottom line, we won the game. We're worried about Week 7. It's over with. All the hype and all the hoopla, but like I said, at the end of the day you have to play the game between the white lines. The results are in, let's move on."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Now that's a fire!!

I started a fire in my kitchen last night. (insert cooking jokes here)

I was going to make some Mongolian beef when the wife got home. Thank god she was already home and watching the kids when I started. I put a little oil in the wok, turned on the electric stove and started slicing the beef. With my back to the stove.

All of a sudden (there has to be an all of a sudden) she tells me the pan is on fire. Sure enough, flames had consumed the entire wok and a large area above it. Thinking quickly, I headed for the cabinet under the counter and grabbed the cover for the wok (thank you fire safety lessons) so I could smother the fire.

It went out quick enough, but there was a ton of smoke generated. So the kids went to our bedroom and I turned on all fans and opened all the windows.

We stayed in the bedroom with the kids while the smoke cleared. The house still smelled a little this morning.

The wok and lid still sit in the backyard. I suspect there was some sort of residue on it that ignited the raging inferno because I had only put a small amount of oil in the pan and it hadn't been on that long.

I'm brave enough that I'll try to do the Mongolian beef again tonight, but I'm smart enough that I'll use another pan.

My anti-alter ego

My sister, in trying to find this blog, ended up on another blog.

Ernie (Not Bert).

Yin and Yang? "Density?" Nah. But fun and interesting.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Spell check!

UniWatch on espn.com is always an interesting and fun read. Current column is largely about uniform misspellings. Granted it's a tough spell, but by the end of his career you'd think they'd get Gretzky right, wouldn't you?

But it ends taking shots at two of my favorite targets.


... According to this article, LaDainian Tomlinson has a tattoo of his mother's face on his right arm, accompanied by the words "My Insperation."

It's worth noting, incidentally, that there's at least one team that's never had a uniform misspelling: the Yankees. With a simple logo on the front and no player names on the back, they're typo-proof. And that seems somehow appropriate, because uniform typos are fun, playful and human -- all things that the Yanks refuse to allow themselves to be.

Yes, I ran spell check on this.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb

Marion Jones will have to give back medals and Mike Shanahan will have to find another running back. Jones will take a huge hit to her reputation, but she's sitting on a fat stack of money from endorsment deals the 'roids helped her get.

No such luck for Travis Henry who, like Micheal Vick, may have to give money back for his bad behavior. Henry will lose his legal battle here. All these issues are worked out in collective bargaining and he's arguing a very small and insignificant point that has zero chance of changing anything, according to my razor sharp legal mind.


Denver Broncos tailback Travis Henry, the NFL's leading rusher through the first four weeks of the season, is facing a one-year suspension for a repeat violation of the substance abuse policy, multiple sources told ESPN.com on Thursday night.

But in a battle that has reached the federal court system, Henry is attempting to block the league from testing the so-called "B-sample" necessary to confirm the positive test, claiming that NFL officials would not allow his expert to be present for the testing of his specimen.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Microfinance

I heard about microfinancing in the last six months to a year. Organizations set up shop in poor nations of the world and provide very small loans to people in order to help them start a business, go to school, etc.

By small we're talking $50, $1,000. Stuff like that. But they're loaning to people with no collateral and often no credit history. But the repayment rate is usually in the high 90% range.

They use peer groups--like co-signers, I guess--in place of collateral and credit history. And the desire to make good on the loans so as not to disappoint the group leads to tremendous repayment success.

I just caught a link to a story about one--Por Mujer--that operates in several South America countries. Por Mujer--For Women--provides small loans to women. Their average loan balance is $192 and the repayment rate is 99%.

The first time I heard about microfinancing groups, I believe they were operating in impoverished African countries.

I'm sure there's bad stuff about microfinancing, but I haven't read it yet. Still, I'll refrain from advocating. But go learn more if it tickles your fancy. And feel free to let me know what you find out, if anything.

Let's get this straight

The people who sell homes and land are called realtors.

Not real-i-tors.

Realtors.

Say it with me...realtors.

Glad we got that settled.