Saturday, July 06, 2002

Norwegians are smart and funny!
At least, this one is.
Something odd about my favorite baseball players list
I'll tell my grandchildren about getting to watch Barry Bonds play. I doubt I'll tell my grandchildren about seeing Ryan Klesko because they won't know who Klesko was, even if he went on a late-career tear of Luis Gonzalez proportions. Even at that, I don't think I'll tell my grandchildren about Gonzalez.

By all rights, given how much awe I hold for him, Bonds should be my favorite player. The paradox is just how wrong it feels to put him at #1. He's too good to be my favorite -- the inflection is, he's too good to be my favorite. An individual fan can have an irrational attachment to a quirky pretty good player. But beyond a certain level of greatness, one fan's idolization is pointless. Who am I to be tooting the Barry Bonds horn? He doesn't need that.

Past a certain level of achievement, you can't be loved by just one fan. You're either loved by all of them or none of them.
Four Great Things Written About Ted Williams
1. The obvious one, John Updike's Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu, part of The Best American Sports Writing of the Century. You must buy this book.

2. My own takeoff on that piece, really more about Bonds than about Williams, though I bet it's gotten a fair amount of traffic lately from googlers in search of Updike. Mr. Barker for one.

3. Cooch's World (July 5, 2002)
Here I'll state three things for the record:
1. With Ted's passing, the title of Greatest Living Ballplayer passes from him to Barry Bonds. (Joe DiMaggio used to insist on being introduced with that moniker, which is an outrage and a fraud given that DiMaggio was no better than fifth behind Williams, Mays, Mantle, and Aaron.)
2. When Barry Bonds dies, which I hope is many decades from now, his death will also be front page news nationwide.
3. This is partly because Bonds, like Williams, will see his image rehabilitated. History will remember his greatness rather than petty squabbles with sportswriters.

4. From Ball Four (entry of June 25, 1969)

In the bullpen tonight Jim Pagliaroni was telling us how Ted Williams, when he was still playing, would psyche himself up for a game during batting practice, usually early practice before the fans or reporters got there.

He'd go into the cage, wave his bat at the pitcher and start screaming at the top of his voice, "My name is TED FUCKING WILLLIAMS and I'm the greatest hitter in baseball."

He'd swing and hit a line drive.

"Jesus H. Christ Himself couldn't get me out."

And he'd hit another.

Then he'd say, "Here comes Jim Bunning. Jim Fucking Bunning and that little shit slider of his."

Wham!

"He doesn't really think he's gonna get me out with that shit."

Blam!

"I'm Ted Fucking Williams."

Sock!


After suddenly remembering that quote I took two hours finding it. Time well spent though.
False Optimization
This story illustrates a fundamental difference between me and the Slashdot community, really between just about any normal person and the Slashdot community.

(Yeah yeah, I rail against "normal" people myself. Objection so noted.)

Whether or not the QWERTY keyboard is the best of all possible configurations, it happens to be the industry standard. If I go to some other computer, at work or in a public kiosk or wherever, I can be pretty confident that the QWERTY I type on here will be the same QWERTY I find there. This saves a tremendous amount of overhead, the kind of overhead that the false optimizers of the world never seem to realize they're squandering.

Likewise, while I'll readily admit that MS Word and MS Excel probably both have far bigger footprints than they really need, they both get the job done and are both almost universally available.

I anxiously await an anti-trust suit related to QWERTY's market share dominance and its effect on squashing superior alternatives.
In non-movie news
On the local news, the scroll at the bottom of the screen kept saying "A's trade Carlos Pena for Ted Lilly." I was crushed! I really really can't think of Pena as a Yankee.

Then the sportscaster mentioned that it was actually a three-team deal and that Pena was bound for Detroit. All the way home in the car I wonder who went from the Tigers to the Yankees, when in fact it should have been obvious.
Why Cellphones Are Useful
(plus, two movies I'll no longer have to lie about having seen)

Got a call today from my friend saying that she'd come down with a cold and couldn't go to the A's game with me. Actually she left me two messages during the afternoon, messages that I finally saw and returned shortly after 5 (gametime at 6). She asked if I'd like to come to her place and watch movies. I asked if I could come after the game.

After we got off the phone I realized that this probably wasn't the most chivalrous thing to do and that, even with fireworks and everything, the situation would greatly take away from my enjoyment of the game. So, on the highway en route to the Coliseum I called my best friend for advice. He and his fiancee both insisted that I skip the game, especially when they heard that the opponent was the Royals(!). So I called my date back and said I was on my way.

Sign that a movie is so good that I really need to see it: My suddenly feeling compelled to lie in random public situations and claim that I've already seen it. Most movies I'd have no shame about skipping. I have absolutely no remorse about never having seen Star Wars Episode One or Men in Black or especially Titanic. There are just a bunch of movie-related pop cultural moments that I'm proud not to have shared, or more often just benignly apathetic about.

There are exceptions of course, and my two biggest exceptions were actually both on DVD at my date's apartment.

First, and best, Shrek got right everything that The Princess Bride got wrong.

Then came The Matrix. I thoroughly enjoyed The Matrix, and yet every worthwhile thing I have to say about it will give you the false impression that I didn't like it.

Laurence Fishburne starred in the Matrix. Not bad considering that he was second on the marquee or that The Matrix is a Keanu Reeves movie in much the way that Happy Gilmore is an Adam Sandler movie.

Reeves, almost as much as Sandler, has made exactly one movie in his career. He just happens to play marginally different characters in marginally different retellings of that movie.

The Matrix might have the best special effects ever, pleasing everyone who likes a good action shoot-em-up while leaving out the gore that offends people who hate that genre.

I have a question that I really can't ask well without spoilers. The closest I can come is: If you live in a world that you deeply enjoy, then is failing to be cynical about that world a good thing or a bad thing?

Speaking of spoilers, now that I really have seen Shrek and The Matrix, the "best movie I've never seen" almost certainly becomes The Sixth Sense. Unfortunately, I've had this movie so spoiled by now that I might as well have already seen it.
Make that 3-2 in Five Straight Games
Read about it here and note the attendance. I got close to face value for my tickets; in hindsight I got far less for them than I could have. More to come on why I didn't actually go to the game despite driving out to the Coliseum.

Friday, July 05, 2002

Suppan
It's a Friday night in July, the Royals are in town, and Jeff Suppan takes the hill. Last time this happened, Mark Mulder pitched a masterful game against him. This time we'll see what Tim Hudson does.

In other A's news, they've now gone into the bottom of the ninth down exactly one run in four straight games, but gone 2-2 in those games, rallying on Tuesday and Thursday.
Sounds more like alchemy to me
The Cubs jettisoned veterans Eric Young, Ricky Gutierrez and Michael Tucker from the 2001 team, but the team this year never duplicated the chemistry that had made the team a playoff contender.
--ESPN on the firing of Don Baylor

I never realized that it was chemistry that resulted in runs scored and runs prevented. Unless... well yeah, there's the usual slander, but we all know Sammy's drug of choice is Flintstone vitamins.
I dream about the weirdest things
The Family Circus: The Movie!

Live action, of course, which means that the big question is who plays whom. In my dream, I knew who played Bil and who played Jeffy. Thel didn't seem to come up in the dream but the other kids were all previously anonymous child actors making their film debuts. Now that I've woken up I forget who Bil and Jeffy were but they were famous actors. Maybe they were famous in my dream world but don't actually correspond to real people.

In my waking state I'd peg one of the Malcolm in the Middle kids for Billy, not sure about the rest.

What makes it weird, though: What kind of a movie would you expect The Family Circus to result in? Would you believe action adventure, in which Bil is kidnapped by terrorists and held for ransom? I'd tell you to stay away from this movie but it seems not to exist in real life. Whatever I ate last night, I should eat less of.
This paragraph just made my head spin.
"I met my fiance through Match.com. I was using a fake name. He pretended he was a millionaire. After numerous online chats, we met and really hit it off. One night, I said, 'I have a confession to make before we go any further.' He said, 'What?' I answered 'I'm really Amy Fisher.' He responded, 'I'm not really a millionaire.' "
--Amy Fisher's dating advice column, as reprinted by CNN

Thursday, July 04, 2002

Singlehandedly guaranteeing my Het-Boy cred here...
I don't care how good asparagirl or anybody else says it was, there's just no way I can abide by a "Buffy" musical. It's Just Wrong.

Well, maybe I should be a little more tolerant... doesn't mean I have to like it, or even bother to ever watch what I'm railing against.

YTVIOKIJNMTV

Pluswhich the original broadcast went head-to-head with an all-new Treehouse of Horror. If you're skipping a new Treehouse of Horror for some other show then TVwise you and I just don't have much to talk about.
How I spent my afternoon
So you'd think I'd be at home savoring the ESPN baseball triple-header, except that I had a project to take care of involving colleges and universities and contact info. Also, I had enough ESPN baseball on last night's replay of the Battle of Fat Soutpaws, namely David Wells vs. C.C. Sabathia.

In any case, three oddities I found on college web sites:
1. You can contact the College of the Ozarks for "Product Information (except Fruitcakes)" or for "Fruitcake Information."

2. At the College of Charleston, the Message from the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs begins with an extended golfing metaphor.

3. You can play checkers in the Iowa Central Community College gamelounge. Try it!

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Dating
So this Friday I'll actually bring a female guest to an A's game. The very next morning, involving completely different people, I might have a blind double-date at Great America. None of this is nearly as exciting as the latest For Better Or For Worse storylines. I hope Liz and April are both about to find fulfillment. I really like how she's interweaving the storylines.
Yahoo! Internet Life
Did anyone actually subscribe to this? If I needed a guide to online content why would I look on paper for it?
USA: Land That Does Things Right
Inspired mainly by Peggy Noonan, I have to heap praise on this country for all of the work that we somehow manage to pull off.

For a freedom-loving democracy, we're astonishingly good at logistics of all things. Production happens, goods and services and overall quality of life are better than ever.

Contrast to a place that has democracy but is still a little new at doing things well: Brazil, where a slow-moving soccer parade resulted in riots. In the U.S., we do our championship celebrations right. Everything moves along more-or-less on schedule, Mark Madsen does his white-boy dance and everyone goes home safe and sound.

Then again, I'll take what happened in Brazil a hundred times before I'd take what used to happen in Iron Curtain countries. Read P.J. O'Rourke's, Holiday's In Hell, especially the chapter about Nicaragua.
There may be a correlation here
Joanne Jacobs is not only the "celebrity" weblogger whose content I think would be of most interest to my mom. She's also the one who most reminds me of my mom, especially when she was so active in the Oklahoma state PTA.
The Holy Grail of Hair Metal!
Remember the video for Pour Some Sugar On Me? I can, frame by frame. Shot live at Wembley Stadium if I remember right.

The song does not begin with "Step inside, walk this way," but rather with a little soundcheck. "Livin' like a bum..." [echo] and then a lot of guitar jangling.

And this is the version that RealOne plays! I'm so happy!
Granting that I'm just not a happy camper today anyway,
this about clinches it.

(Don't even try registering for the L.A. Times unless you want to spill a buttload of personal info. The Jacobs block quote suffices.)
In 15-20 years this country will be full of assholes,
all of whom got away with it by spending their childhoods in special ed.

And of all those people, I'll be the relatively well-adjusted one.
Music to dance by...
This song is priceless. Far better in hindsight than I remember thinking it to be at the time.

I wonder if anyone's ever actually tried to 'make love' to it. I think at some point I'd just be laughing to hard to keep trying.
Today we'll hit the "I hate people" trifecta
between this post, the one right below it, and a political rant still to come.

What follows is an actual e-mail I just received(some names changed for obfuscation). There's nothing I can put my finger on and say, "HERE, that's offensive." Just the whole package I suppose. Disclaimer: I'm well aware that this probably says far far more about me than about anyone else. Still, of all the various reasons I'm here, without meaning to offend anyone, nobody's baby is very high on the list.

I think there's exactly one person I know who could completely identify with my reaction here. Ironically, she was named after a flower.


-----Original Message-----
From: [my co-worker]
Sent: Wednesday, July 03, 2002 11:41 AM
To: [all employees]
Subject: [person who works for our customer] @ [customer] - new baby [girl's name] --TOO CUTE!!!


fyi - don't forget why we are all here - and what is most important - for us and our clients. People prefer to do business with friends.

[signature and headers from forwarded messages]


(See attached file: First Nap.jpg)(See attached file: Proud Sister.jpg)(See attached file: [name] & [name].jpg)

Hell is other sports fans
(Sadly, the Onion seems not to have archived the "Hell is other French people" article)

Was there any doubt who'd be #1 on this readers list? And here I'd been pretty impressed when ESPN's editors had the good sense not to put him in the top ten.

Look, it's a very simple question: Are the Rangers more profitable with A-Rod than without him? All things considered, they probably are. Or would be if they hadn't screwed the pooch when it comes to how the rest of the team (say, pitching staff) operates. More to the point, you'd better hope they are because if every franchise operated the way the late 1990s Expos (very very profitable!) did, we'd have no sport worth watching.

Then again, maybe that would be a good thing, given all the bitter, frustrated, untalented, think-they're-underpaid people who wrote letters in support of choice #4. This is probably really unbecoming, and it especially undercuts the degree to which you, the reader, would support my politics, but I have to say I really can't stand these people. They don't seem to have realized that all those star entertainers make tons of money because their presence brings in tons of money.

Nothing that you, Joe Schmoe, will ever do will have that kind of economic impact and that's just how it is. That doesn't make you any worse a person, unless you sit around bitching about it.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

I know a lot of you are Red Sox fans and all but
that spot belonged to Thome
Night of the Home Run
We didn't hear about the home run record until the drive back from the game.

Mike H-L has a habit of saying, loudly and incredulously, the names of marginal basketball players. Turns out Joon does the same thing when it comes to baseball, specifically the players who had multi-homer games tonight.

"Dmitri Young, hmm."

"Sandy Alomar?!?"

"SHINJO!?!"

"RAUL IBANEZ!?!?!"
My conspiracy theory surrounding Barry Zito's game log
(Information courtesy ESPN, nights of the week added by me.)

Thursday, June 6: vs. SEA
Tuesday, June 11: vs. MIL
Sunday, June 16: at SF
Saturday, June 22: at Cin
Thursday, June 27: at Sea
Tuesday, July 2: vs. MIN

The conspiracy is this: Tuesday night is one of the toughest draws on the schedule. Weekends get decent turnout. Thursdays don't but it's getaway day so you're not going to make much headway there. There's Dollar Wednesday, and some family-based Monday promotion that I'm forgetting. That leaves Tuesday. And who is Oakland's most popular pitcher?

So... Zito pitches a Tuesday night home game. The next two Tuesdays, Oakland is on the road. Then Zito pitches another Tuesday night home game. And next Tuesday he'll probably even pitch in the All-Star game.

Actually he'll probably be Torre's emergency backup guy, the one who doesn't get to play, seeing as how he's on track to pitch Sunday.
OLMEDO!

MIN 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 - 3 8 1
OAK 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 - 4 9 0

WP-Bradford (4-2)
LP-Guardado (1-2)

HR-LeCroy(3), Ellis(2), Saenz(4)
T-2:50
Att: 15,317
Weather: 66, clear

Box Score | Recap | Game Log

Olmedo Saenz helped me look really good twice tonight.

"Would you bat Saenz for Mabry?" I asked Joon as Eric Chavez batted to lead off the ninth inning. Mabry was due up third in the inning and actually pretty hot; batting Saenz for him would be strictly left-righty, given that Twins' closer Eddie Guardado is a southpaw.

Chavez doubled but Jermaine Dye struck out after a long battle. As Dye's at-bat ran into Saenz's, Joon and I talked about rally montages. Last night Oakland showed the "tough get going!" scene from Animal House but tonight it was the "We Will Rock You" scene from Cheers. I mentioned my uncanny ability to see the A's go into the ninth inning down a run or two, not unlike my ability to see the Giants go into the ninth up just one or two runs.

Joon noted that when he saw Oakland play at San Francisco, it was the A's who led by a run into the ninth. I asked him if they did the Network rallying montage. He seemed unfamiliar with it.

As I paraphrased it: "I want you to open the window, stick your head out, and yell, 'home run Olmedo Saenz'!"

Saenz went deep on the very next pitch.

All in all, tonight was unofficially "lefty mashers' night," between the Saenz game-winner and a great performance by Twins' cleanup hitter Matthew LeCroy.
Get me drunk, high, or both...
What mind-altering substances should I partake of before going to see The Powerpuff Girls Movie? Whoever sends me the suggestion I like best, your reward is the knowledge that I either actually took you up on it, or at least strongly considered it.

Guy (quiz-bowl Guy, not Vectiv co-worker Guy) and I were going to do that for Spice World but never had time.
Outrage of the month (so far). I'm dumbfounded that things like this still happen, much less that people ever try to claim that societies like this are on an equal moral footing to ours. It's worth remembering that the people who believe that this sort of "justice" is laudable are the same people who want to kill us all.
Someone at the Tate Gallery is missing the point
If I knew these art buyers, I'd be tempted to mention to them that the word "gullible" isn't in the Oxford English Dictionary.
For the record, most of the time when I quote your weblog it's because I like what you wrote
If I pass the quote on without comment, then that almost certainly means I got a kick out of it.

Even if I'm making fun of you, my hope is that it's both obvious and gentle.

For that matter, if I quote your weblog basically every time you update it, that probably means I'm in awe of you. (That or you don't write as much as you should.)

With all those disclaimers out of the way, now I'd like to be the first to say that Mike D. (no relation to either Mike H-L or Mike H-L's own friend Mike) is not a girl, not yet a woman.

Seriously, as cynical as this sounds, I'm pretty sure Mike is one of those people whose age you can tell (within no more than a year or so) from his weblog, even without any dated pop cultural references.
I didn't remember Whitney being such a shameless hussy!
I never thought about it but Saving All My Love is pretty blatantly an "other woman" scenario. Did this always just go over my head when I was a kid?
That's one way to...
Save Karyn
(I don't know who Karyn is, it was just forwarded to me)

Monday, July 01, 2002

New blog!
Welcome to Mr. Matthew Boggie, sometimes also referred to here as "Captain Fancy" (by himself) or "my Accenture friend" (by me). Matt lives in Manhattan, a computer geek wed to a publicist, in a world of... I was about to say something about Broadway musicals but his July 1 entry shows you better than I can tell you.
The Final Line on Harang Tonight

Harang 5 9 3 3 1 3 0


So not as bad as it could have been. Nine hits and a walk is "only" two baserunners an inning. Fantasy baseball junkies: They call it "WHIP" because it stings so much sometimes.

Oh one other thing: Arli$$ threw out the ceremonial first pitch. No really, Robert Wuhl was there. They filmed a scene for his TV show, in which he was supposed to throw out the first pitch but be lustily booed.
Toriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

MIN 1 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 - 5 14 0
OAK 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 - 4 11 1

WP-Romero (1-0)
LP-Venafro (2-2)
S-Guardado (25)

HR-Mabry (3)
Time- 3:37
Att- 13,503
Weather- 73 degrees, clear

Box Score | Recap | Game Log

As beautifully as the phrase "slam-saving catch" rolls off the tongue (ESPN is currently choosing it for its recap hyperlink text), I have to admit that Torii Hunter's leaping grab with two out in the third inning prevented "only" a three-run double, maybe a three-run triple. The ball looked like it would hit an inch below the top of the wall; instead it settled into the airborne Hunter's glove. Another day, another circus catch, and I got my money's worth, aside from its negative effect on the home team.

Given the state of Major League Baseball in the Bay Area, it's a shame I don't drink coffee. For night games at Pacific Bell Park, coffee would help with the cold and bluster; for night games at the Coliseum, it's all about the length and the magnitude of the drama.

Game-turning moments:
Second inning, John Mabry batting. A's trail 1-0 but are lucky to be down only a run given that Aaron Harang (yes, my new favorite!) has allowed five hits through two innings. With two men on, Mabry launches a ball 400 feet to dead center. Hunter races back, leaps... and falls about five feet short of Mabry's home run. Quite a little dent he made in the outfield wall though.

Mabry was also Harang's secret weapon in the field, since the closest thing the rookie had to an "out" pitch tonight was a high fastball that induced scorching line drives right at Mabry, or else would-be gappers that Mabry had to dive for. Oh sure, Terrence Long could have dived for some of those but... how to say it nicely?

1. Nobody can compare to Torii Hunter, least of all T-Long. It's just too lopsided to ponder.

2. After tonight, Long's "zone rating" won't be very good. It's unclear how many of those balls were catchable even by Hunter (maybe by Andruw Jones) but T-Long couldn't even come close to them.

Anyway, third inning, Mabry batting. Harang has allowed seven hits through three innings, yet Oakland leads, 3-2. Kyle Lohse has just walked the bases loaded but two are out. Mabry launches a ball about 380 feet just to the right of dead center. Hunter races back, leaps... and snags it.

Worth mentioning here that neither Harang nor Lohse had his best stuff tonight, though both were able to avoid the knockout punch. Men left on base all over the place. Also, the ghost of Harry Caray came to me early in the game to point out that, while both of them sound like they already have names spelled backwards, "Gnarah" sounds almost as exciting as "Eshol". ("ESS-hol!!!")

Bottom of the fourth. Game tied at three. Harang has allowed nine hits through four innings. (He'd actually pitch a perfect fifth! On that note, Howe pulled him with 87 pitches thrown and a 4-3 lead -- that is, he qualified for the win!) Lohse again walks the bases loaded and now has to face David Justice, who lines a pitch off his knee to literally knock him out.

Sign you're in it for the long haul: In the fourth inning, with the game already approaching two hours, you hear over the PA system that due to injury, this new relief pitcher will have as long as he needs to warm up.

In the fifth and sixth innings the game suddenly became quiet, and also became a battle of bullpens. (Going into tonight, Minnesota would enjoy a huge advantage in that category.)

Back to the turning points: Bottom of the sixth, two on and two out. J.C. Romero (whom many people believe was snubbed for All-Star balloting) faces Eric Chavez (who still has a chance to become the "30th man"), with Oakland ahead 4-3 but trying to get insurance. Chavez whiffs.

Top of the seventh, still 4-3. Venafro gives up a single and then Mark Ellis lets a ball eat him up at second base for an error. Runners first and third, nobody out, Jim Mecir comes on to attempt one of the most difficult "hold" situations possible. That's the tying run at third with nobody out, yet if he allows it to score it's a blown save.

First batter he faces is a pinch-hitter (whom he'd been brought on to face, all about platoon split), Matthew LeCroy for David Ortiz. I love LeCroy, partly because of his first name. Naturally he strikes out. Then Torii Hunter. I also wrote glowing things about him last night and he had the big catch under his belt. He too strikes out. So now two out and Mecir might even escape this thing, except that frickin' Doug Mientkiewicz pulls a ball two inches fair down the right field line and both runs score.

The A's had scoring chances in both the 8th and 9th innings. Chavez stole second with one out in the ninth but to no avail. This is the sort of game that leaves the fans feeling... for lack of a better word, drained.
Answering the basic questions
I read the first graph of this column but had no clue what the "Oklahoma Drill" is. Via Google, a story with an explanation, but still no way of knowing why it's called the "Oklahoma Drill" instead of say the "West Virginia Drill."
Somebody who knows better than me?
Is Diego Maradona the Pete Rose of soccer? Or is he just a crackhead f*ckhead?
Gator will--and should--lose this case
My robotic spoonfed law school alter ego (think of Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man) keeps muttering, "likelihood of confusion, yeah definitely likelihood of confusion."

That is, I somehow doubt that most people using the Gator software actually realize they're doing so. And so they'll mistakenly believe that the ads are coming from the sites they're looking at, which will cause all sorts of goodwill-related harm.

Have I mentioned that I loathe Gator? A PSA from me to you, not quite on the level of rolling down your car windows but still important:
Never download anything from Gator Software. Never trust them. When prompted by your browser, politely but firmly decline.
Drug Testing
Baseball is one thing. But now it's a big issue in chess circles, of all places. And as if to complete the "geeky things Matt likes" trifecta, it turns out that the girl whose case went to the Supreme Court had been required to take drug tests to play quiz-bowl.

God forbid we ever treat people like people.
Music heard on the Red Sox broadcast so far today...
Alice in Chains, No Excuses
Cake, Short Skirt Long Jacket

Whoever set up the bumper music for the Sox network has great taste.
I laughed, I cried, my mouth gaped in wonder...
God bless Joanne Jacobs, a relative babe in the woods. I remember when I learned what felching was. (Obviously not first-hand.)
Glory Be
"I'm still not sure why Grady Little tried to pinch hit with Tony Clark (who as a hitter is in more of a funk than Bootsy Collins) or why he left Ugie out to pitch a second inning."
--Coen on the Red Sox game
This is what I despise about either the Yankees or the New York media or both
Whether it's the best players or the flavor-of-the-month players, any time somebody gets noticed for being good next think you know the buzz will be the Yankees want that player, as though it's somehow self-evident that the best players can or should always end up being Yankees.

Just once I'd love to see the tabloid rumors float about a player going to the Yankees but have that player publicly recoil: Over my dead body would I play for that team -- f&ck you, Steinbrenner. That sort of thing.

By the way, Mia Hamm is really hot. Rumor has it that The Bruce wants to acquire her from Nomar for a Harvard alumna to be named later.

Can you see why this would be offensive?
Crack open your car windows
There really really should be a public service announcement campaign about this sort of thing. Instead of wasting airtime slandering tobacco companies, why not give people information that will directly save lives.

Incidents like this make me sad and angry.
Mmm... shake what the good Lord gave ya
Next year for Mardi Gras, I'm going to Idaho!
Good thing Roberto Alomar won't have to play in Fenway anytime soon
Spitting punishable by up to two-and-a-half years in jail.
Classic Rock That Doesn't Rock
Added a new station to the FM buttons on my car, inspired by the fact that my co-worker Luke listens to it and that people at the office Friday raved about it. The idea is lots of music and no DJ talk at all. Hence the name, "The Drive." Allegedly they also use the tag line, "It's not about the music you like -- it's about the music you love."

All I can say about that is that when I flipped over to it this morning, the song was Cat's In The Cradle. When I hit the website just now it said "now playing" was Steely Dan, Hey Nineteen. If this is "music you love" than your taste in music is even worse than my taste in women.

It's a shame, really, since "The Drive" could be such a great marketing hook for people who commute a lot. Note that Chicago already has such a station, at similar frequency and with probably the exact same playlist. Chicago's changed its format from classical music, to the outrage of more than a few classical music fans.
Matt Morris
Now that I think about it I guess the race for best namesake in baseball isn't even close. Not sure why I haven't really bonded with Morris as a fellow Matt or why I so frequently forget that we have the same name.
So I went and did it...
My favorite baseball players, ranked (extremely dubiously!) into a top 40 list. Note that they're so hard to compare that any given numerical ranking probably has an error bar of five or so.

Yet again a page that took nontrivial time to write and doesn't serve much of a useful purpose but maybe it will amuse or edify you.

Hmm, I don't think any Red Sox made the list. Slight preference to Pedro over Nomar but both are too "obvious." Current Boston players whom I'm most fond of include Frank Castillo, Derek Lowe, Jose Offerman, and Brian Daubach.

Oh, and I think Shea Hillenbrand ought to be cult hero but I still don't buy him as an All-Star. I'm still in disbelief (skepticism?) about his success. Based on common traits of other players I like a lot, you'd think I'd be a Trot kind of guy but I guess he too has enough limitations that I have trouble relying on him to blossom.

Nonetheless, a trade featuring Trot Nixon and Jeff Kent absolutely must happen. Listen to Skip.

Sunday, June 30, 2002

How does such a nice guy manage to make such consistently disgraceful All-Star picks?
The American League All-Star team is messed-up, again. I blew off Harold Reynolds when I listened to him complain that the five shortstops kept better candidates off the team, until I looked up how Jim Thome was doing.

Worse yet -- this one thanks in part to the voters -- of the three third basemen going for the AL, none are in the top three in the AL at that position. Troy Glaus and Eric Chavez and Eric Hinske form the trifecta of spurn.
What Your Weblog Tells You About The Future of Your Relationship
"There is one other thing we did this weekend that I haven't mentioned, and will later." --Mark Coen, October 29, 2001 (see also Coen, April 19, 2002

"What are your plans for this weekend? Planting my newly-purchased bok choy and chinese cabbage seeds in the garden, a friend's barbeque in the valley, and a girls-only clothing swap. Oh, and something else to be revealed later..." --Cindy, June 21, 2002

Last week I read Cindy's entry and thought that the something else to be revealed later sounded familiar. But I didn't follow the thought to its logical conclusion, and so I was just as surprised as anyone else Saturday. At Cindy's picnic I was sitting on a deck chair listening to other people's conversations when I heard her say something like, "we were waiting to see who noticed before telling anyone," then looked up and suddenly realized that a diamond ring was on her finger.