Tag: baseball

Evening roundup

I just finished watching the first inning of the Mets/Cardinals game, which is the first official baseball game of the 2007 baseball season. My TiVo is set to record the opening day Yankees game tomorrow so I can skim through it when I get home from work.

I celebrated some good news this evening by having four (4) Reeses Peanut Butter CupsTM. strausmouse and I used to eat Reeses and a Coke (or Pepsi) during lunch in high school. It really is a great combination, but I had to forgo the Coke (or Pepsi) tonight because I was out of the caffeine-free stuff. I had grape soda instead.

Locus has finally posted it’s annual April Fools Day articles which are amusing as always.

I got my hair cut this evening. I was the last person they took and I felt like they were rushing, but it still came out alright in the end so no big deal. I spoke briefly on the phone with jen_ashlock who for reasons of National Security has changed her name tohe11o_sunshine. I also spoke on the phone with strausmouse.

I was lazy again this afternoon, dozing for a few hours on the couch. I don’t know why.

I’m off to bed now. I’m 365 pages through I. Asimov and plan to get a little more reading done before lights out. Nice spring weather the next couple days, windy, but highs in the upper 70s. And I have to work…

Baseball season starts this evening

It’s finally spring with the baseball season opening this evening with a game on ESPN between the Mets and the Cardinals. I’m sure strausmouse will try and stay up to watch the game, but I will only catch the first 25 minutes or so because I have to get to bed early. I am planning on TiVoing the Yankees season opener against Tampa Bay tomorrow at 1:05 PM. I’m not making this into a regular habit, especially since I plan on doing away with TV, but I do want to see how Carl Pavano does after 2-1/2 years of being on the disabled list.

Killin’ time

I’m done with work for the day, but hanging around until happy hour, which will begin around 5:30, so I have some time to kill.

I talked to Doug on the phone earlier today and it was good to hear from him. He sounded like he was as ready to get out of the office for the week as I am, although I have to say this week went by surprisingly fast.

Ah, the weekend! What to do? Reading, certainly. Spring cleaning, too. I still have the guest room closet to finish cleaning out. The kitchen floor could use some mopping, and I need to clean the bathroom. The entire house could use a good vacuuming. And the yard is starting to look like it could use some work too. I’d like to, perhaps, squeeze in a little bit of writing this weekend if I can. And there’s the Italian lessons. But I don’t want to overdo it. I need some time to just relax.

Baseball season starts up next week and I’m looking forward to that, although I’ve opted out of ordering the MLB package this year. If I ordered it, I’d just stay up late watching Yankee games and I have to get to bed at a decent hour, old man that I’ve become. Besides, I’m looking for some ways to cut back on my spending and the two hundred dollars or so that I save by forgoing the games is a step in that direction.

As part of the spring cleaning, I’m thinking about reorganizing my LJ tags, which have proliferated wildly out of control. To do this efficiently, I’d need to wrote a little PHP program, but I already have the PHP-LJ library so it’s just a matter of writing code and remapping tags. I haven’t decided yet.

Spring cleaning, part 1

Okay, so technically, we are still several weeks from spring, but I woke up this morning feeling like a wanted to make a substantial dent in some spring cleaning that have been putting off for a few years now. I have a closet full of stuff in the guest room that is just waiting for someone to pour through it and get rid of anything that I don’t use anymore. I get into these moods every once in a while. It’s an interesting mood because I completely shut off any sentimentality that I might have for the objects I am getting rid of. It might be something I have kept for years simply because it reminds me of something. But in one whimsical day like today: gone. We’ll see how it goes, how much I actually get rid of, and how much I cave on.

I got home from happy hour at about midnight last night. There was a package from FedEx waiting for me. Our season tickets to the Orioles had arrived! They didn’t come in the big fancy folders that they have come in in the past. Instead, each set came in a ticket book, kind of like the books that raffle tickets come in. At first glance, it looks like I’ll be able to make 11 of the 13 games that I have tickets for.

I’ve been listening to my 80s box set since last night. I don’t listen to it straight through very much (141 80s songs!) but it’s been fun to revisit that era this morning.

It hit 62 degrees here yesterday and it looks like it might get close to the same today. The sky was a deep blue when I headed out for breakfast this morning, but it’s smooth blueness has been interrupted by an occasional white cloud. Still, it’s a nice change of pace after so much cold weather.

MVP: Too depressing

I don’t know what the sports writers were thinking when they voted for Justin Morneau over Derek Jeter for MVP. It couldn’t have been a strictly numbers thing. Jeter came in second for the batting title. He got his 3rd Golden Glove in a row and he also got he Silver Slugger for short stop. And yet Morneau beat him out. Well, congrat, Justin, but I really don’t know how you did it.

Here’s the voting, for any one who is interesting

Player/Club                  1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Points

Justin Morneau, Minnesota     15   8   3   2   -   -   -   -   -    -    320
Derek Jeter, New York         12  14   -   1   -   1   -   -   -    -    306
David Ortiz, Boston            -   1  11   5   7   3   1   -   -    -    193
Frank Thomas, Oakland          -   3   4   7   7   4   1   -   -    -    174
Jermaine Dye, Chicago          -   1   2   6   5   7   4   2   1    -    156
Joe Mauer, Minnesota           -   -   3   6   1   2   5   3   2    1    116
Johan Santana, Minnesota       1   -   5   1   3   3   3   1   1    3    114
Travis Hafner, Cleveland       -   1   -   -   -   2   4   7   3    2     64
Vladimir Guerrero, Los Angeles -   -   -   -   -   2   3   4   6    -     46
Carlos Guillen, Detroit        -   -   -   -   1   -   3   3   2    3     34
Grady Sizemore, Cleveland      -   -   -   -   1   -   1   1   2    7     24
Jim Thome, Chicago             -   -   -   -   -   1   3   -   -    -     17
Alex Rodriguez, New York       -   -   -   -   1   -   -   2   -    1     13
Jason Giambi, New York         -   -   -   -   -   1   -   -   2    -      9
Johnny Damon, New York         -   -   -   -   1   -   -   -   -    1      7
Justin Verlander, Detroit      -   -   -   -   1   -   -   -   -    1      7
Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle         -   -   -   -   -   1   -   -   1    -      7
Joe Nathan, Minnesota          -   -   -   -   -   1   -   -   -    1      6
Manny Ramirez, Boston          -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1   1    1      6
Miguel Tejada, Baltimore       -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   2    1      5
Raul Ibanez, Seattle           -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1   -    1      4
Robinson Cano, New York        -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1   -    -      3
Paul Konerko, Chicago          -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1   -    -      3
Magglio Ordonez, Detroit       -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1   -    -      3
Vernon Wells, Toronto          -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1    1      3
Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay       -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1    -      2
Mariano Rivera, New York       -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1    -      2
Kenny Rogers, Detroit          -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1    -      2
Chien-Ming Wang, New York      -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1    -      2
Troy Glaus, Toronto            -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -    1      1
Gary Matthews Jr., Texas       -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -    1      1
A.J. Pierzynski, Chicago       -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -    1      1
Michael Young, Texas           -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -    1      1

You can call me Al

I got to Buffalo Bills exactly at 7 PM and naturally, I was the first person there. Denisse showed up about 10 minutes later and then her friends started arriving. AJ didn’t get there until almost an hour later. I spent time talking to Denisse and also to a friend of hers from Finland. Denisse kept challenging me to drink with her and I always finished before her. Finally, I ordered 2 Jaeger shots and we did those together. At that point, however, I started to slow down because I knew I had to head home in a few hours.

Around 9 PM we headed down P street through a driving rain to a Japanese bar with a Karaoke machine, you know, where people get up an sing the song while reading the lyrics off a TV screen. That went on for quite some time and it was a good thing I’d had something to drink or I might not have been able to withstand the screeching. I joked with AJ that he should get up there an do a rendition of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” because he had done that once at Corbin Bowl in L.A. about 5 years ago and it was hilarious. Turns out they had the song and so he got up there and did it, and somehow, dragged me with him so that I sang too. Together, our voices would have peeled wallpaper from the walls had there been any wallpaper. But it was fun.

I left shortly thereafter, saying goodbye to Denisse who is off to Switzerland to finish her Ph.D. It took over an hour to get home and it wasn’t until I finally did get home (close to 1 AM) that I found out that the Cardinals won the World Series and that strausmouse finally got his release.

I slept pretty well last night. It rained most of the night and the rain on the roof is always a pleasant sound. I was pretty hungry when I woke up and the two bowls of cereal, toast and juice really hit the spot. Today, I’m debating heading over to Silver Spring to go see The Prestige simply because it looks interesting.

Another reason the Yanks should not try to correlate payroll and championships

I have been thinking about this for a couple of days. I believe that there is another reason that the Yankees (or any team with large payroll) should not try and correlate payroll and the winning of championships. The fact is, while they might be a state goal, I think it is really just a “nice to have”.

I suspect (I have no evidence for this, just a gut feeling) that winning a championship does not increase the revenue (and profits) of a team with an already high payroll by very much. On the otherhand, gaining or losing a “marquee” player probably does have an impact on revenue. I imagine that when a marquee player arrives, more people tune in to see him play, regaredless of how well or poorly he performs. The same is true when a marquee player leaves. Fewer people tune in because he is no longer playing.

The argument can be made, therefore, that A-Rod’s $252 million contract is not an investment in championships, but instead, an investment in profits. A-Rod is one of those players that people will come to see whether he does well or poorly. (In the latter case, they come to boo him.) I suspect that revenues and profits are up in New York more because of the presence of Marquee player than they are brought down by the absence of world championships. After all, it’s a business.

Goodbye Mets, Hello Cards

What can I say, it was some game last night! I was pulling for the Mets, but they just couldn’t do it, although they made a mostly valiant effort there at the end. (I say “mostly” because I can’t understand why Beltran took that last pitch.) My condolences go out to Mom, Dad and Doug. Also vickyandnorm. This morning, I’m sure Norm is learning how to say things like, “There, there, Vicky, at least they made it to the NLCS. Look on the bright side, the Yankees didn’t even make it that far!”

And congratulations must go out to the only Cardinals fan that I personally know, strausmouse. It looks like Eric will finally have something to brag about his team. I don’t think the Cardinals have much of a chance against Detroit, but at least he will be happy for a few days. It seems like the last time the Cardinals got this far, Tim McCarver was still catching for them.

Band of Brothers

I’m in one of those reading dry spells where no matter what book I pick up, I can’t seem to get interested in it. So this evening, I lazed around and finally put on the HBO mini-series, Band of Brothers, which I have watched several times before. I watched the first two episodes tonight and now I’m getting ready for bed.

Mets are winning 1-0 in the bottom of the 4th inning. They need to win tonight to stay alive.

Fall of the House of Torre

Jen and I had a quick, late lunch at Jackson Hole and then met Jason back at the apartment just in time to watch game 4 of the ALDS, Yankees vs. Tigers. As you know by now, the Yankees lost badly and were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round. Chronologically, this all took place Saturday evening, but I write this on Monday evening, when all of the sports writers and commentators have once again released a barage of babble on the New York Yankees. So let me take this opportunity to say a few things about the Yankees loss to Detroit.

Almost every sports writer and commentator has said that they Yankees deserved to lose because they played so badly. To me, this is nonsense. Saying that the Yankees deserved to lose takes away from Detroit any credit for winning the series. The fact is, with the exception of Game 1, Detroit did a great job both offensively and especially their pitching. An unusually good performance from an aging Kenny Rogers on Friday night, followed by 6 perfect innings on Saturday says a lot more about Detroit’s skill then it does the Yankees lack thereof. Detroit earned the win by out-pitching and out-hitting the Yankees.

Next in line, is the fact that every commentator jumps on the fact that a nearly $200 million salary could not get the Yankees to the Championship. I have already discussed this at length, but I am annoyed by the fact that commentators don’t do their homework when it comes to the mathematics and economics of the game. On the otherhand, I admit that the Yankees goal of trying to win a World Championship every year is proposterous. The game would get boring after a while.

Should A-Rod be traded? Let’s set aside for a moment the fact that he has a no-trade clause in his contract. It seems to me that A-Rod is one of two scapegoats taking blame for what was otherwise a pretty remarkable season, considering the injuries they Yankees suffered through. But if a .290 batting average, 30+ home runs, and 110+ RBI’s are not good enough for New York City, then maybe A-Rod needs to go elsewhere. I would caution commentators and sports writers that, based on these statistics and comparable salaries, Derek Jeter might also have to be traded. Yes, he his .343, but he hit under 20 home runs and had under 100 RBI’s. This year, Jeter made about $1 million less than A-Rod. He didn’t make quite as many errors, but he’s also playing the same position he’s always played, whereas A-Rod has had to change up. I’m fine with bashing a player who deserves it. But like it or not, A-Rod is not one of them. He’s the player scapegoat of 2006.

The manager scapegoat of 2006, on the otherhand, is Joe Torre. Reports this morning are that Joe Torre is out and Lou Pinella is in. To me, this just shows the insanity of it all. Since Torre arrived in 1996, the Yankees have made it to the post season every year: 11 consecutive seasons. They have won a World Championship 4 times in those 11 years. Show me another team that comes close to that record. What has been consistent in all of that time is Joe Torre’s leadership. This season especially, Joe Torre demonstrated just how great a manager he was by getting the Yankees to a run-away division win, while navigating injuries to marque players throughout the year. The Red Sox had injuries too but didn’t make it to the post season. The difference, in my mind, was in large part due to the manager.

Finally, credit needs to be given to those players who played consistently well throughout the season. Derek Jeter is at the top of that list. Not only did Jeter have an MVP quality season, he hit over .500 in the post season and played his usual excellent defense. Jorge Posada was another player who had a good season, although somewhat under the radar. In the post season, he too stepped it up a notch, hitting almost .500. Bernie Williams had a great season, especially considering his was supposed to be a bench player. And of course Mariano Rivera turned in another stellar year. It’s more than a coincidence that these four guys, plus Joe Torre, have spent the last 11 years together. If the Yankees are going to rebuild, they should hold onto this group, and build around it.

Congratulations to the Detroit Tigers. At this point, I’m looking forward to a Tigers/Mets World Series, with the unlikely Tigers winning in 6.