December 31, 2008

Pats game weird-lights

Okay, besides the whole dealio of the Pats not making the playoffs or the Cassel/Brady thingy (Brady mend delayed? Cassel franchised? By the way, I say franchise and trade for value - but that's a longer issue), how 'bout the weather conditions in that game? I mean, whaddafu?...

A lot of crazy stuff -- like the almost emtire lack of passing in the first half, especially against the wind, a 13 yard Bills punt, the Pats extra point almnost being blown directly back out of the uprights after passing through it (after the ball passed thru the middle of the uprights, 15 yards above the crossbar, the wind caught it and blew it back, landing inches past the crossbar -- the announcers first called it no-good, only to be corrected by the officials).

1. The Bills first field goal attempt -- never,... never have I seen a 36 yard FG attempt start 3 to 5 yards left of the the left upright, only to miss by 10 yards right of the right vertical pole. The ball travelled almost as far left to right as it did from the line of scrimmage to the end zone.

2. The Cassel 3rd down quick punt -- just wacko. Wacky in and of itself, and awesome that Cassel's punt went farther than Brady's 03 kick, but I kept thinking how cool it could have been if he had kicked it from a line o scrimmage that was farther back. his punt was 57 yards, but because of the insane wind, that ball was never gonna stop -- granted, given the oblong shape of the ball it likely would have eventually wobbled out of bounds, but he could have kicked from his own 10 yard line and lobbied fort a 90 yard punt. That ball was gaining steam when it was downed at the 1 yard line -- as mentioned during the broadcast, it wasn't gonna stop until it hit a wall. Loved that play from beginning to end.

December 16, 2008

2009 Patriots

Just a quick, nice-to-have-to-worry about question. And by the way, all things being equal, obviously Brady over Cassel, but:

- Brady already had an infection after surgery, and the typical prognosis is around 10 months for his procedure... and this is a question I don't know the answer to: How much playing time - practice, pre-season etc., are the Pats going to see Brady in to see if he's back in Brady-form? What is their contingency plan... or what are they starting to think?...

- That Pats defeinitely need to add to their secondary in the off-season -- which will take some extra Spilocoli-dinero, after he pays for the pizza while learning about Cuba. But, if all that money is allotted to shoring up the secondary - and linebackers really, if Brady goes down or has lingering deficiancies, do we really want a 70% Brady or even 100% O'Connell -- a man who wasn't allowed one snap in last week's game? Even in the 4th quarter when it was an untouchable win?

- By the way, that lack of pulling Cassel... when you try to decipher why that was, don't the answers all seem a bit... interesting?...
--- Wouldn't you want to save Cassel from a very physical team when the time was right?
--- wouldn't you want your back-up to get some snaps in the NFL in case Cassel ever has to sit out a couple set of downs; i.e. a non-season-ending injury, whereby O'Connell has to at least keep the shiop afloat.

- Do the Pats tie up about 25% of their salary cap on two QBs - keeping Cassel - and look to work some behind the scenes magic in the front office - to improve the somewhat porous D.

Heard on the radio this AM: Assante Samuel intercepted a pass in last night's game -- had me flashing to that last drive by Eli last Feb -- why couldn't he intercept then. Spilled milk.

Bottom line -- I think Cassel should go to some team that will pay him big bucks, but selfishly, I want him to lean back on. Brady is not quite old enough for the Pats to think Young for Montana - Brady is just too good. But everyone is human, and what if this injury has longer consequences? Do you franchise Cassel, let him go unencumbered to free agency, or somehow keep him?

As Dennis Hopper said to Keanu Reeves: What Do You Do?...

Celtics and Lakers and Bulls (oh my!)

30.2% of the NBA season is in the rear-view mirror and the Celts are still on pace with the historic '95-'96 Bulls season (72-10), with a current record of 23-2, and have a 15 game winning stream going. The Green's streak record is 18. The Lakers are compiling a nice little season too, although at 20-3, its a little off Celtic-pace. Follow both teams' head to head match-up with Michael's Bulls at:
Next real test for Boston doesn't come until Christmas night, when they tip-off against L.A. If they can win all games up tot hat point, they will be going for 20 in a row against the Lakers -- a nice little Holiday Gift for New England (that, and the Pats winning out, the Jets & 'Phins going 1-1 or the Ravens losing and Fish losing... oh yeah, and the Bruins keeping the best record in the East... oops, and one more: Texiera wearing a Sox cap -- whether it's the new hanging Sox or not, we'll take it).

December 15, 2008

The 'K' in SKG

I'm going to see Jeffrey Katzenberg speak this afternoon -- he's in town giving a presentation highlighting some of the new 3D technology DreamWorks is rolling into their upcoming movies. He'll be showing some select footage, so that's always kind of fun. I'm a sucker for gimmicks, even when they're done badly -- if Spielberg, Katzenberg, & Geffen are putting their name behind it, I'm thinking this 3D is probably pretty much must-see technology.

(I heard there were some glitches during the National Football League's 3D broadcast two Thursdays ago -- much of it because it was being broadcast live. I can't even imagine the cameras and technology that has to go into that one... Now if DreamWorks and the NFL got together, we could watch the Raiders vs. the Raiders of the Lost Ark in 3D).

December 11, 2008

Big Man Big City

Yanks with Sabathia -- I read recently that with all the money coming off the books the Yankees could sign every big free agent and be at 215 mill next year - since they were at 207 this year, that's not too far-fetched (especially since the coffers are even bigger with the new stadium). I could see Burnett and d-Lowe going there -- although I's fear Lowe more than Burnett.

Funny though with C.C. on two fronts --

1. given that the Yanks record was 8-1 against him, and that the Sox have a winning record as well (but not as lop-sided), Hank could have been happy if the Sox had pusued him too - a thought probably not lost on the Yawkey Way offices, and,...

2. With Moose retiring and C.C. coming in - and a look at both of their first eight years in the league - it looks as if bringing C.C. on board is a wash, rather than an upgrade. He certainly isn't any better than Moose was while he pitched in Baltimore, and I'd throw out that Moose was actually better than C.C. over the same periods in their career (and later as well), although I'd stop short to say they will be worse off with C.C. than they were with Mussina in his prime, since that's unpredictable.

{Of course, I have no illusions that the Yankees are done in Vegas}

December 9, 2008

Terms on the other side of their half-life

Now, this is going to be a continually updated post, so don't let the original post-date fool you into thinking it's dated...

Catch-phrases, terminology, and slang terms that have, in essence, 'Jumped the Shark' (the non-specific criteria for making this list is as follows: If the word or phrase makes me think that this is said way too much by way too many people in a verbal catch-all, then it's use is self-defeating -- by the way, that's not to say I don't find myself using all of these terms too... I just wish I didn't):

- At the end of the day... I used to like this one for a new way of saying 'After all is said and done', until it was said 14 times during an 11 minute conversation with a former boss.

- Jumped the shark (See? I told you I use these) this was more hip when not everyone knew what it meant... say, circa 1981, when some cable boxes were actually boxes that had a dial that you had to manually (the horror!) turn to one of the hundred or so channels -- which, incidently, is also the equivalent of my walking through the snow to school both ways for my kids: "When I was your age, I had to get up and change my own channels!".

- Bee-och Ummmm... no. Just no.

- Media Whore Seems to me the people who call someone this term are scouring all media for the current flavor of the day and when someone keeps popping up they are this (wait, that sounds uncomfortable familiar... oh well). As a term, it should've died when the X-Files was cancelled.

- Crackberry Term is actually not quite at its half-life yet, but it's fast approaching its own event horizon. I find it somewhat inversely proportional to saying 'text me', but not totally.

- 'Roid Rage Thankfully, this is reaching it's own end... seems to have died down ever since Clemen's curious press conferences following the Mitchell Report

- Wing Nut & Moon Bat Often used (at least in these parts) to decribe political leanings to the far right and extreme left, respectively. So old and stale they now sound almost mainstream for a term that is used to describe the fringe.

- Google it Another that hasn't lost it's touch yet -- I'm giving it halfway through Obama's first term though...

- ... degrees to Kevin Bacon Because I think I'm pretty good at doing this, my sense is that this is something I should not actually bring up in conversation and, as such, is somewhat self-defining for this list ;).

December 4, 2008

December observations...

- Rajon on the Rise. (Just is)

- The perfect Holiday Gift for those of you with scary man-crushes on certain ballplayers:

- Interesting take on the state of the rivalry -- one I actually don't really buy (I actually think Mazz is trying to show up on the NYC-readers radar); in my mind, it's just the way the wind is currently blowing before the final agreements have come down:

- With about 16 pine trees I'm thinking of excising from my property, I've been wondering why I'd have to pay for someone to take 'em down, when there should be tons of wood stove owners clamoring for my untapped fuel.

- Very sad - Longmeadow Lancer Football's winning streak came to a halt at 47 (state record is Acton-Boxborough's 54) on thanksgiving. On a rainy, sloggy field the Lancers drove to the 15 with no time -- since it was so crappy, they couldn't go for a FG and had an endzone pass tapped away, to lose 16-13 to East Longmeadow (see Insert farmboy epithet here:_____. But, hats off to East Longmeadow.

- Check this link:
It was set up to follow the Celts pursuit last year of the Bulls' historic season record, but it's working again this year (with the Lakers added in too)... and who knows...

- Only from Larry Bird: Interesting to note that the Pacers account for 50% of both the Celts and the Lakers losses so far this year. I do think the Green will beat last year's regular season record.

November 24, 2008

24 - Patriots - 24...

Pretty entertaining episode of 24 last night, with the following observations...

- Took awhile to get going; if you weren't a 24-phile, it would not have been unheard of to bail after the first 15 minutes.

- Tough subject, that recruiting kids to fight thing in Africa; so much so that even at the end when Jack completes his mission, with shades of fleeing Saigon, tough to see the thousands of innocents who remain in peril.

- Since 24 was cancelled due to the writer's strike last yr - but the show was already half-written, I wonder if the female president was more in line with what the handwriting on the wall was at the time of the strike -- not clear Republican leader and hilary the Dem frontrunner.

- Heard on D & C this AM on WEEI - late in the show, when the helicopter was chasing Jack and the kids along the river, you can clearly see a cameraman dressed in black next to Jack and the kids. Anyone who still has it on DVR will see it (I didn't see it, but it was a D&C emailer who alerted them to it, then they replayed it and saw the 24-cameraman).


* By the way how about Matt Cassel? They still have their fate a little out of their hands & may not even make the playoffs, but watching these games are a ton more exciting than last year -- watching Cassel's Game get better and better is incredible. Totally different offense & personnel, so it's not an equal comparison, but Cassel's 1st season is shaping up better than Brady's first foray (Brady never threw for over 300 yards the first season and now we have the Pat-precedent setting two consecutive games of 400 from Cassel -- that said, even last year, Brady never had consecutive games of 400).

And, the one thing I've heard from analysts (and seen with my eyes) is that Cassel is undoubtedly a better runner. I love when he goes for it -- as we all know from last week, it's no small thing being the only QB in NFL history to throw for 400 and run for 60 (although, for the purposese of that stat, I'd only go back to, say, '96, as rules and the game have changed significantly to promote the pass and offense in general -- as well as protect the Cube).

I won't do the ridiculous thing of talking about a QB controversy, because Brady is cool-as-the-other-side-of-the-pillow, Joe-Montana-Brady, but how difficult will it be before Brady's new knee is tested to let Cassel go?


- Interesting how last night's 24 is a prologue to the season. It flowed in real time, but you can't tell me on Jan 11, when the season starts, it picks up from Jack's 'copter ride -- just the air-travel to the states would take up half of the 24 hrs.

- Interesting how the UN-guy is painted as not just uninformed and ineffective, but such a back-biting two-timing scoundrel. Love his UN-baby-blue outfits too ;).

- I'll bet the burn on Jack's face (ear?) becomes a non-factor in the new season -- even last night... seriously, could you imagine the huge puss-filled bubble that would have resulted from that torture burn. I kept pictured Jack lancing that thing and wrapping his face in gauze for the rest of the show -- but I am just fine suspending my disbelief too.

- Jon Voight as the bad guy -- tons of corruption wiothin the US gov't itself - although this isn't too unique to 24 storylines

- Looking at the new President's son, I think he could be groomed to be a carry-over character in other 24 seasons.

- In the previews for the new season... five words -- A Very Bad Tony Almeida (and, Jack's line to him in the previews, "Tell me what I need to know, or else I'll kill you and this time you'll stay dead).


Go Pats

November 7, 2008

Hopefully we all win

Obama wins -- it's the outcome I voted for, but there's a lot to do. However, the following story was found on today, and in and of itself, it's an incredible story. And I'd hazard a guess that this is not unique to this one classroom. I don't kid myself that the follow-through is not going to be a tough task, but the potential under-pinnings of what we have right now - socially, economically, and internationally - is the biggest in my lifetime, and even I can feel it...

In her own words: Teacher moved by students' joy over Obama win
November 7, 2008 11:57 AM

By Felicia Kazer

Boston teacher Felicia Kazer tells how Barack Obama's election transformed McCormack Middle School in Dorchester the day after the historic vote, stirring excitement, a sense of possibility, and unbridled joy in her students.

Wednesday was a great day to be a teacher.

The excitement started as soon as I entered the school in the morning. It turns out that a small group of students arrived before classes started to decorate our hallways with Barack Obama posters.

They had photocopied pictures of Obama's face. Under it they had written one word: "President."

By the time the rest of the student body arrived, our whole school had been plastered with these signs.

At 7:14 a.m., the hallways at my school looked very familiar: crowded, hectic and loud. Only on this morning, students weren't ignoring their teacher's requests to get to their homerooms because they were too busy gossiping about shoes or TV last night or one another.

Instead, they were simply too busy to get to class on time because they were all talking politics with their friends. It was stunning to overhear conversations between eighth-graders that included words like: electoral votes, democracy, and ballots. And it wasn't just a few kids -- it was all of them.

Felix, the tallest and coolest eighth-grade boy in homeroom 8F, came into our room with six Obama buttons on his sweatshirt. And as if this wasn't enough, he set the school trend for wearing the Obama posters that were once hanging all over the hallways. One minute he was asking to borrow some tape and the next minute the Obama printouts were all over his (and then all the other boys') torsos.

Meanwhile, I looked around my homeroom and had a shocking realization: This is a room filled with 13-year-olds, and all of them are in a good mood. But knowing how much their moods fluctuate during the course of a day, I was sure that by last class block the excitement would have subsided.

I was wrong.

I picked up 8C from lunch and on the way back to class I had to remind Lexxi that it wasn't appropriate hallway behavior to chant, "Obama,Obama, Obama" as loudly as she could.
By now, I had realized that my lesson on chemical formulas would be a hard-sell for such an over-stimulated and over-tired afternoon crew, so I decided to make them a deal.
"If we get all our work done this afternoon, we will spend the last 20 minutes of the day watching Obama's victory speech,'' I told them. "However, if we don't work efficiently, we won't have enough time."

When else would this be a successful incentive for adolescent children: Ifyou work hard, I'll let you listen silently to a grown-up give a long speech about our political process.

I couldn't believe it worked, but it did. The class only got off track a couple of times and I was easily able to re-focus them by providing one simple reminder: "President Obama would want us to get our work done."

As promised, at the end of the period we closed our chemistry books and tuned in to hear our next president give his victory speech. The first bell even rang and no one packed up their things.

Not only did they listen to Obama's speech intently, but a few times they began cheering so loudly I had to pause the speech and remind them that a class was taking place next door.
You remember this part of Obama's speech Tuesday night: "This victory is not my victory. This is your victory.''

To this, Vianca (one of my most chatty girls) said out loud: "Yeah, it's my victory!"
I looked around at the room of 28 students -- all of whom are people of color -- and I saw the future teachers, doctors, artists and presidents of this country. I almost started crying all over again.

October 8, 2008

Looking for a President for the current climate

Ignoring the fact that It's the economy Stupid! (and that in every oppressively down economic time the U.S. has elected a Dem, to its benefit)...

McCain, and Palin for that matter, telling everyone who will listen that he is a 'Maverick', sadly sounds like an umemployed 24 year-old looking for a job and telling everyone how cool he used to be in high school. I got new for you - you ain't a 'Maverick' when you call yourself one.
McCain is a good soldier and a great American, of this there is no doubt. Unfortunatley, he is not a good leader -- never has been.

No one, not a single person, understood how to wage a battle against terrorists... they kept using traditonal warfare strategies and analyses that were equivalent to trying to project the seven day forecast by sitting in your office and holding a finger to your air conditioner...

I hold more against McCain for invading Irag than I do against Obama for being against the Surge. We opened an entire country - for hiding, pillaging, and as a new front-line to kill American soldiers, up to the very terrorists we were hunting (and, up until opening Iraq up to them, cornering) in Afganistan.

And, split as many hairs as you like, but of the following there can be no dispute: we entered Iraq to take down Saddam Hussein because the US Executive Office and its Cabinet, saw this as an opening to take him out. For an unjustified - and unproven - reason. If we want to take out despots across the world as policy, there's a lot worse - and at the time - less crippled, than Hussein. This was vendetta time. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong outcome. Cut off the head of an enemicserpent and allow a million venoumous spiders to take over.

Think of how many lives we'd have, how many funds could be spent in the U.S., and how World Opinion would still be pitted against Hussein had we not gone in. Whether you like World Opinion or not, it matters not, because in a Global Economy, at some levels of your daily life, you and yours will be subject to it.

Democrats are not the end all, and neither is Obama, for me. But, I don't hold his minister, or his tenuous Ayers connection against him. In the same way I don't think of the Keating five or McCain's chumminess with the Machiavellian manifestation known as G. gordon Liddy against him. But in economic turmoil, it is a Democratic Executive that understands how to employ the government to help lift the country. The Republican Platform is based on less government and asking them to step up some leveles of our gov't is akin to having credit card companies coach people on how to charge less -- it's the antithesis to their existence.

June 5, 2008

Two undeniable reasons to feel good about the Celts

2008 - About the NBA finals:
1. Robert Parrish - 1986
2. Johnny Quest - 1987
Let me expound...

1. Robert Parrish was one of the Celts' Bid Three in '86. Then he won his last Championship with in '97 with the Bulls. He shared his place on that team with Tony Kukoc. The same Tony Kukoc that ended up playing '02-'06 with the Milwaukee Bucks. In '02 and '03 he played with a certain strong three-point shooter named Ray Allen. Our Ray Allen. So, 21 years later, with only two players in between, we connect our old Big Three to our new Big Three. (Of course, it may have been a little easier to just say that Parrish is a player consultant for the current Celts, but where's the Karma in that?)

2. At the prompting of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, P.J. Brown joined the Green at the end of February this year. From 1996-2000 P.J. was coached by Pat Riley at the Heat. Riley also coached Kareem Abdul Jabbar of the winning Lakers team in '87. Kareem starred with, among others, Barbara Billingsley in the movie 'Airplane' (you'll remember, she spoke jive). Barbara Billingsley was best known as Mrs, Cleaver in Leave it to Beaver. A young actor know as Tim Matheson appeared in two episodes of the show as a friend of the Beav. Tim Matheson voiced the character of the original Johnny Quest.

Johnny Quest never loses a battle.

April 30, 2008

Two new reasons for the Barack

If you're a McCain-ite, then this isn't meant to persuade you. If you're a Clintonian, perhaps it's too late for switching allegiances... but if you're undecided? How can't you be all over the O Man.

1. The man who advised him, married him and baptized his kids goes mentally AWOL. After trying to maintain relations, Barack painstakingly breaks all ties with this man. He was his spiritual council, not his political advisor; after learning how disparate their politics are, he has broken - and alienated - the man he once looked to for spiritual guidance. Granted, he had to do it to stay viable, but it can't be understated how big a step this was.

2. The gas tax gimmick -- if what Hillary & McCain threw out there doesn't just reek of a D.C. make me look good in the short term jury-rigging attempt, I don't know what does. I honestly don't think clinton or McCain had a second thought about what this would do, other than make them look good in front of the populace. And if what they wanted top do was look like they are being led by the common poll, rather than their heads, they won. But this gas tax freeze is a boondoggle of epic proportions because every economist worth his/her salt has come out against it!

Think of how easy it would have been for the 'inexperienced' Barack to fall in line - without having to appear he was falling in line - and support the freeze. Instead, he comes out against it. Why? Because he's a smart man who has both foresight and the quality of a candidate that is doing what is right, not what is necessarily popular on first blush.

Why is the freeze a bad thing? I'll quote the common consensus that you can find from any number of sources of economists, not 'crazy left-wingers'. From Alister Bull of Reuters:

Economists said that since refineries cannot increase their supply of gasoline in the space of a few summer months, lower prices will just boost demand and the benefits will flow to oil companies, not consumers.

"You are just going to push up the price of gas by almost the size of the tax cut," said Eric Toder, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center in Washington.

Obama criticized the plan as pure politics and said the only way to lower the price of gas is to use less oil.

"It would last for three months and it would save you on average half a tank of gas, $25 to $30. That's what Senator Clinton and Senator McCain are proposing to deal with the gas crisis," he said on Tuesday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

"This isn't an idea designed to get you through the summer, it's an idea designed to get them through an election."

Clinton followed up by saying this shows how out of touch he is with the common person. First of all regarding elitism, those in glass houses, second of all, I'll take someone who thinks an idea through 10 times out of 10 any day.

Yeah.. I want my tax freeze going to Big Oil, because that will show how 'in touch' I am... yeesh.

April 29, 2008

Five Game Skid, Celts lose again, but Glass Half-full (of lemonade)

Couple of team lemon-like perfomances these days, but drink down these cool Paps-stats from Rob Bradford/Herald for some refreshing lemonade:

"...while pointing to the fact that he (Paps) might actually be better this year thanks to improved command. He hasn’t walked a batter since the first hitter he faced this season. But within the story are also tidbits supplied from our man, Gary from Chapel Hill, who sent along this stuff, which is truly amazing.

So here it is:
Strikeout % Yearly Leaders (8th Inn or Later, Ahead by 1 or 2 Runs; min. 50 such batters faced in ‘06/’07 and 15 in ‘08):
2006: Nathan 43.5%; F Rodriguez 41.0%; Saito 39.4%; Papelbon 30.3% (13th).
2007: Papelbon 41.8%; F Cordero 35.6%; Myers 35.4%.
2008: Papelbon 41.4%; Neshek 40.0%; Rivera 36.0%;

Three Up / Three Down Innings With 2+ Strikeouts, 8th inning or later
(2006 – 2008): Papelbon, 31; Saito 30; Nathan 24; Putz 23; Five tied with 19.

Strikeout % of all batters once count reaches 2 strikes (min. 100 BF in ‘06/’07 and 25 BF in ‘08):
2006: Nathan 59.4%; Putz 57.8; Jenks 56.3%; Papelbon 49.3% (18th).
2007: Putz 59.4%; Marmol 58.5%; Papelbon 57.1%.
2008: Papelbon 72.0%; Billingsley 60.4%; Affeldt 60.0%; Jesse Carlson 60.0%

Batting average allowed with 2 strikes
(since beginning of ‘07, min. 150 BF): Papelbon .082 (13 for 159); Soriano Rafael .085; Turnbow .087;

OBP Allowed Since Beginning of 2006 (min. 300 BF):
Papelbon .216; Soria .232; Putz .235*
Since becoming a closer (beginning of 2006), in road games Papelbon has allowed a .197 OBP (best in MLB),
allowed a .248 slugging percentage (best in MLB),
and has struck out 36.2% of batters faced (best in MLB).
Minimum 150 BF on the road.

Career Batting Average Allowed - 7th inning or later, leading, on the road, with RISP: Papelbon .000 (0 for 32, 1 BB, 1 HBP)"

It's going to be O-K

April 22, 2008

Obama likely to get the numbers before Convention

Here's what I just don't get: Obama willl win the majority of the delegates, even if the following H-friendly primary numbers come to pass:
H% O%
PA 60 40
IN 53 47
WV 42 58
OR 50 50
SD 54 46
Guam 50 50
NC 52 48 (no way H wins NC)
KY 46 54
MT 47 53
PRico 50 50

If Hilary gets 51% of the superdelegates, she'll have 159 and Obama will have 152.

While somewhat arbitrary, all those numbers are even optimistic for Clinton and guess what? If it breaks down that way Obama is likely to have 2066 delgates (need 2025 to win) -- employing a neat little delegate counter found on the politics page of CNN. Stop telling me he can't land this fish before the Convention -- he can and in all likelihood, he will.

Make my CF a Jake

Thank the Tito gods that Jacoby ‘Jake’ Ellsbury is consistently in at this point. I kind of think management had this ease-him-in plan from the very start… kind of how they platooned in Pedroia (I know, Pedroia for April stunk up the joint, but who knows here). Either that, or they are happy with the Coco sampling size — hitting well enough for other teams to say ‘hmmmm…’. ‘Course, doesn’t hurt that Coco is…, well… hurt.

But, besides what our eyes tell us, here are some Jake stats that stand out as what should be our everyday CF (and keep in mind his mostly split/time w/ Coco):

- His 16 Runs scored is tops on the team

- Has not only drawn the most walks (13) but has the best walk/at bat ratio on the team by far, at better than 1 in every four at bats

- Has the highest OBP -- pretty much the main stat I'd want to look at -- at .444, eclipsing Youk's .433, which would be 4th in the entire AL if he had enough at bats. ________ (fill in your counter-point regarding sample size here) (Oh, and Coco’s is the second lowest OBP before ‘Tek’s)

- Only Sean Casey has fewer K’s (3 to Jake’s 5)

- Only Manny & Youk have at least one double triple or homer on the Sox, like Jake. I’ll betcha he hits more triples than homers this year.

Make my lead-off CF a Jake

April 15, 2008

Other items found next to Big Papi's Jersey in the new Yankee Stadium...

- Jimmy Hoffa's teeth, which, by an obscure New York City law, any new major stadium in the metropolitan area being built must have the former Teamster's President's remains

- Roger Clemen's testes and, ironically, a rat's ass

- Britney Spears' can't-miss business plan

- Phil Hughes control on his fastball

- Another fly-ball out by Wang the Magnificent

- A-Rod's Girl Scout Manual on how-to-slap-a-ball-out-of-a-glove

- The consistency of Dice-K

- Girardi's coaching acumen that tells him when to walk a batter

- The only smidgen of Manny than isn't in dead-on regular season form

- A hidden video of Theo Epstein standing in the mirror late Sunday night screaming at a make-believe press conference,... "So, J.D. Drew was a bad deal huh?!! Won't be good once his family stuff is done, huh?!!! Waste of Sox salary smart guy?!!!!! How you feeling now... sucka!!!!!!"

- The numbskull Boston fans who still exist cica, 2002, yelling 'Yankees Suck' at home games

- Mo Vaughn's healthy foot/ankle

- Hank Steinbrenner's convictions (Jinx?, What jinx?, There's no jinxes... just to be sure we'll dig it up to show you)

April 4, 2008

What is Starbucks planning on April 8th, 2008?

This is currently on the Starbucks website:

We're planning something big at Starbucks. Like Venti big. We can't tell you what it is because that'll ruin the surprise. Just come to any Starbucks on Tuesday, April 8, at noon Eastern to find out what it is.

Cool... I like be promotional events from major companies - especially companies that are already thriving in a strong 'cool' niche. But, I'll tell you this right now... I think I have the answer. (Spoiler alert -- stop reading if you don't want to know the answer). I'm throwing this down just in case you wanna know what it is -- maybe you can't make it to a Starbucks and you hate to be the last to know. For whatever reason, this article appeared in on Feb 1st, '08:

(don't page down if you don't want to know)

Top Pot Doughnuts goes nationwide


Top Pot Doughnuts, a small Seattle chain that caught the attention of Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz more than four years ago, is going national thanks to its growing relationship with the coffee company.

On April 8, Top Pot is slated to be in all company-owned Starbucks Corp. stores in 50 states, the companies said Thursday.

"This is a big, big leap for us and something we are really proud of," said Mark Klebeck, one of Top Pot's three co-founders.

Go to for the rest of the article.

Starbucks' mission seems somewhat adrift - or at least their plans for maintaining, or even growing, market share. Granted coffee doesn't have a rep for being all that healthy, per se, but as an entity, it seems to feel healthy. It going to be stopping the breakfast sandwiches it had going for awhile, stopping any kind of pushback it may have been attempting against Dunkin' Donuts or, more likely McDonalds (as Mickey-D's is making coffee inroads with more in the future).

Starbucks has had - and does have - pastries, donuts, etc. so, now there will be better ones? Lower margin on costs? I'd guess it's easier to outsource excellence in donut technology, but overall, it's still just interesting. It's not necessarily healthy (although they are trans-fat free), but it is providing something to eat in the AM. I'll have to wait to pass judgement 'til I try one, but it seems kind of like 'bucks is throwing stuff against the wall right now.

March 18, 2008

Obama steps to the plate

Like him or leave him, I can easily understand why people want to, and don't want to, vote for Barack Obama. Wherever you stand, I would hope that you wouldn't deny that what Barack (and admittedly, likely a stable or writers) put together and vocally delivered at Independence Hall today puts him both in the middle of America and all its foibles, as well as above the fray in his natural eloquence. This blurb from today is my take-away:

"We have a choice in this country . . .," Obama said. "We can tackle race only as spectacle – as we did in the OJ trial – or in the wake of tragedy . . . We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card . . .Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time."

Who knows what will happen down the road, but this guy works pretty well for me. Well enough in fact, that I believe the intellect, empathy, and just the overall individual reflected in this speech has what I'm looking for inmy next president. That said, I also understand why there are those that don't share those ideas.

March 13, 2008

Watching renewable energy pass us by...

I sure wish the businesses/lobbyists/government coalition/antagonists would stop getting in each others way, virtually insuring an outside-looking-in scenario regarding the forefront of what-is-next. My educated guess is that it ain't fossil fuel (although, lifting from the global warming vernacular to extend a metaphor, I think any true exit from fossil fuel will happen at a glacial pace).

Right now China is one of the high-fullutin' pollutin'-ist, raw coal burning placed in the world. No doubt. However, what incremental small steps are they taking to change that so they can achieve at least what we have here?...

In one city in China, they have a Solar cell making factory that manufactures more photovoltaic panels than is made in all of the U.S. And, 90% of it is exported to the U.S., U.K., Spain, and France. The handwriting is on the wall... they're looking to jump the chasm that we - in essence - are in. We're in it scratching to get to the other side.

Scary part is that while we bemoan the idea of relying on the Middle East for oil, we'll end up relying on outside sources for the tools for renewable energy, until we get up and running again. Heck, we invented PV cells, I just want to lead in the industry too.

Some info (with some stuff in bold; notice the growth of the solar industry and the U.S.'s businesses investment in it are couter-intuitively - and tragically - inversely proportional)...

January 10, 2008 Volume 15, No. 1
U.S. Is Virtually A Non-Player In The Solar Power Production Business
The United States invented photovoltaics -- the direct conversion of sunlight to electricity -- but its industry is falling far behind the rest of the world in production and in installations, according to the Earth Policy Institute. In 2006, U.S. producers manufactured only 154 megawatts of PV systems, or 8 percent of total world production of 2,521 megawatts. That percentage is expected to decrease in 2007, as production throughout the world, especially in China, surged by more than 50 percent to 3,800 megawatts.

"Recent growth in China is astonishing," says the Earth Policy Institute. "After almost tripling its PV production in 2006, it is believed to have more than doubled output in 2007. With more than 400 PV companies, China's market share has exploded from 1 percent in 2003 to over 18 percent today. Having eclipsed Germany in 2007 to take the number two spot, China is now on track to become the number one PV producer in 2008. The United States, which gave the world the solar cell, has dropped from third to fifth place as a solar cell manufacturer since 2005, overtaken by China in 2006 and Taiwan in 2007."

The global market for PV systems is expected to be worth $12.9 billion in 2007, according to a market study from BCC Research. That should increase to more than $32 billion by 2012, a compound average annual growth rate of 15 percent. Shipments of PV systems should total 13,724 megawatts by 2013, says BCC.

China will export more than 90 percent of its production in 2007. It will install only 25 megawatts of PV, but it is planning to build a 100-megawatt-photovoltaics farm in Dunhaung City, "which would have five times the capacity of the largest PV power plant in the world today," says Earth Policy Institute.

Germany lays claim to being the world's largest market for installations, despite its cloudy skies. The country added 1,050 megawatts of capacity in 2006, becoming the first country in the world to install more than one gigawatt of solar power in one year. "Driven by a feed-in tariff that guarantees the price a utility must pay homeowners or private firms for PV-generated electricity, annual installations in Germany alone have exceeded those in all other countries combined since 2004," according to Earth Policy Institute. There are now more than 300,000 buildings in Germany with PV systems, triple the German government's goal of its 100,000 Roofs Program launched in 1998.

The United States is almost bereft of companies that produce photovoltaic panels. Only one of the top 10 companies worldwide in PV production is American owned: First Solar, which ranks in eighth place globally, with 61 megawatts of production during the first six months of 2007. First Solar's output of PV cells was about one-quarter of the production from world leader Sharp of Japan (225 megawatts). The other top 10 producers for the first half of 2007 were Q-Cells of Germany (160 megawatts) in second place; Suntech of China (145 megawatts); Kyocera of Japan (108 megawatts); Sanyo of Japan (87 megawatts); Motech of Taiwan (85 megawatts) Deutsche Solar/Shell of Germany (66 megawatts), Mitsubishi of Japan (55 megawatts) and, in tenth place, SunPower of the Philippines (54 megawatts).

[Silver lining alert] First Solar is capitalizing on the global shortage of silicon, which is used in both the making of PV panels and in semiconductor chips. First Solar is using cadmium telluride thin films for its PV panels, allowing it to "leap" into the top 10 list of global PV producers, says Earth Policy Institute. It is the fastest growing PV manufacturing company in the world.

"The average price for a PV module, excluding installation and other system costs, has dropped from almost $100 per watt in 1975 to less than $4 per watt at the end of 2006," says the Earth Policy Institute. "With expanding polysilicon supplies, average PV prices are projected to drop to $2 per watt in 2010. For thin-film PV, production costs are expected to reach $1 per watt in 2010, at which point, solar PV will become competitive with coal-fired electricity.

Germany is a heavily cloudy country and they are on top of solar...Japan, China,... something's wrong with this picture...

February 19, 2008

The first winner this year is....

Blu-Ray DVD players!! With Warner and NetFlix both pledging their respective allegiance to Blu-Ray, it's over in a landslide. Toshiba has pulled the plug on HD DVD (just too many letters for a good name anyway), and you can go out and spend that impending economic stimulus check from the government on Blu-Ray -- safe in the knowledge that there won't be any new formats for the foreseeable future (likely a minor victory, since, in my limited understanding of technobabble these days, the foreseeable future amounts to just over 1.3 years). Don't think Toshiba -- along with everyone else -- isn't behind the scenes funding an even higher high definition DVD platform. I'm holding out until they can do 3D without the glasses.

February 15, 2008

Why Congress has to be involved in the steroid controversy

I think Congress has to be in on the steroids issue, because all major sports operate under the good graces of Congress, which has given them anti-trust exemptions. Anti-trust exemption is all but unheard of as a general rule; it's like a Willie Wonka ticket -- if whatever business gets this anti-trust exemption executes their trade correctly, it's like your own monetary printing press. It guarantees you rights that have been essentially outlawed in the U.S to protect against monopolies and the graft that can ensue. When a sport - in these cases businesses that has been given a green light to run their businesses unchecked by any competition in their category - looks to be unable to self-rule, it falls upon Congress to slap them around.

All pro sports could learn a lesson from Stan 'the Man' Lee's Spider-man -- With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.

February 14, 2008

Camelot? Maybe... and then some....

It's great to see not everyone falls in line with what Obama is doing & saying. A buddy of mine said everyone is drinking the Kool-Aid.

Truth is, I feel like I poured and stirred the Kool-Aid. I've been making the call for him as the Dem candidate since our first threads went out (when Hillary was the presumptive favorite). Methinks Republicans prefer the Hill for two resaons: 1. As I've mentioned, she will galvinize Republicans to get out the vote against her,... 2. She voted for the Iraq invasion (and I'm not here to quibble/debate that one, just my guess). Besides those two points the two are Platform-wise almost identical. Except for two things... 1. Hill wants Universal health care, while Obama wants to make it affordable enough that anyone can do it 2. Say what you want for how he'll do it, but if your gut doesn't tell you that given the exact same agenda, Barack won't get things done faster, than that's a genuine surprise.

I do not think experience counts for much in the presidency... I just don't. I think that fallacy is perpetrated by the man behind the curtain. Reagan was a governor (no nat'l office), Clinton was a governor (no nat'l office); Barack is a one-term Senator. Those congressmen in yesterday's Clemens fun only supported that idea. I wouldn't trust some of them to mow my lawn. I think it takes hard work, common sense, and the ability to build a consensus from a divergent audience to get 85% of the presidency done well. That last 15% is what makes stars or makes Nixons (although, even that is not totally fair, given his excellent foreign policy abilities that will forever be overshadowed by his later exploits).

Some have said that Barack is formulating the new Camelot. This is potentially better - and more real - than any Arthurian legend. I think Barack is bigger than Camelot, because there was no way near the amount of scrutiny then that there is now -- to that point, something could come to light eventually that dispels some of the O Myth, but even that is unlikely. JFK overcame being Catholic... oh, and his dad Joe may have bought him the nomination at the Dem Convention. Barack is where he is, despite the following obstacles:

- He's biracial
- His name sounds similar to the worst terrorist known in the U.S.
- His dad was Muslim - see above
- He has three years in nat'l office
- He is pitted against a modern political family dynasty - the Clintons
- If nominated, he'll face a war hero, (who he's currently polling better than)
- He has admitted not only to smoking pot... but inhaling
- What he's hoping to do has never been done

To most other candidates any one of those points would make it tough to win in states from every corner of the country -- he has 'em all and he's won in everywhere.

Crazy point? If you were 20 years old today, you've been voting for two years and the only last name for any president in your lifetime has been either Clinton or Bush. And whether that's happenstance or true laziness within each party, I'm happy rebooting the electoral process.

Winners, losers, losers, and losers

Focus should be on president, but it still is -- for good or bad, we're a multi-tasking society that places as much emphasis on our advocations as our vocations. All the sports with all the examples they place out there to kids - warranted or not - should answer to a higher authority. However, we do need a Kenesaw Mountain Landis in baseball (granted, I think he screwed Shoeless Joe, but there is not enough fear within the players right now). Selig is a toothless Paper Tiger for the owners -- word is starting to spread that he knew about steroids well before he has said he did; if Massachusetts' Dan Lynch stepped into that role tomorrow, he'd be more up to date and carry a heavier hand within a fortnight.

Biggest winners - Dan Lynch, John Tierney, Waxman, & Cummings - they brought new things to the table (Lynch's MRI or Clems butt), were diligent in questioning both men; tierney broke thru the Clem stonewall on never talking to Mac about HGH; Waxman was impartial and reverent to both men, and Cummings thought on his feet - asking relevant Follow Up questions, upon Roger's answers.

Biggest loser yesterday was Clemens; baseball will go on as it always has through ups and downs, there will be other spectacles and bumps in the road. Eevryone knew at this point of Mac's crappy rep -- if anything, he practically redeemed himself through his admissions of guilt throughout (I did say practically).

Seond biggest loser (or tie for first) was the American public, but not because of anything that has to do with Clemens or the 'roids, but because a majority (thank God, not all) of congressmen and women yesterday were shining examples of the dumbest people pretending to do what they are paid to do by their constituents. This wasn't a hearing that just popped up on them, this was something they could have had their pages and interns prepare them for. The lack or preparedness - or even impartiality - scared the living crap out of me that these are the same people who represent this country every day as they work on our domestic and foreign policies, programs, and law-making. Lobbyists must laugh their ass to the bank everyday they meet with some of these pudding-like mental midgets. We always joke about politicians, but then to actually see person after person either ask the same irrelevant question, or make comments/questions like "What uniform are you going to wear in the HOF?" blew me away. there are way too many gaffs and misreads to detail, but how about Clemens always saying how hard he works out, and some of the congresspeople taking that as proof he didn't cheat? PEOPLE! After taking steroids, you have to work out to realize its benefits. The lack of preparedness on the knowledge associated with what was at hand in this hearing underlined, italicized, and put in great big bold letters that these people - that share the driver's seat of our very country - are the dumbest people on earth.

Third biggest losers - The scores of people Roger blamed beside himself for his predicament:
Pettitte - 'misremembered'
Mrs. Pettitte - also... misremembered
Hendricks Agents - never told him what the Report said
Selig - should have tracked him down re: the Report (which he couldn't, in fact, do - he had to go thru the Player's Union)
The Players Union/Gene Orza - didn't tell him what the Mitchell Report said
McNamee - told the truth on everyone else but him, somehow
Debbie Clemens - never even talked to him prior to having McNamee inject her derriere

News flash - Osama bin Laden was supposedly caught & brought behind a closed door U.S. Congressional hearing recently, but unfortunately, while the entire room stood slack-jawed/open mouthed during the time Dan Burton was praising bin Laden for being a 'Titan of the Middle East', Osama was able to slip away.

February 13, 2008

Rolling, rolling, rolling down the river

Obama rolling along -- in a strategic move, Hillary didn't push too hard in the MD, VA, D.C., Primary trifecta, pushing harder in TX & OH, where she holds leads (and which have high delegate counts. The catch with that is that the 'O' Man has now won 20 states to her 8 (his catch of course, is that the states she has won had many delegates), and has won the last seven consecutive states. (Other catch is that TX has both a primary & a caucus format, which could still funnel many delegates to Obama, whether he wins outright or not.)

Does no one find it telling that the Obama/Clinton race is the close, yet, it was Obama who annihilated his opponent, while Huckabee gave McCain a run for his money?

Small or not, Hill's traction in every voter base is becoming less & less by the day. With numerous geographically diverse wins in ME, CT, WA, NE, & MO, & MT, among others, showing a nationwide push for the Barack, Hillary is no longer even looking for a geographic mandate to lead. She's just trying to cobble together the largest states as is possible for a delegate win.

My prediction is that Clinton will lose Ohio and not win enough of Texas to take away Obama's lead, or his eventual nomination.

February 11, 2008

More and more, it's going Blu-ray way

Blu-Ray is the VHS to HD DVD's Betamax - it may not be fair, but it is what it is and someone has to lose this format fight. From today's Boston Globe...

Netflix opts for Blu-ray high-def DVDs

February 11, 2008

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.—Netflix Inc., the online movie rental company, said Monday it is switching exclusively to the Blu-ray format for high-definition DVDs, following four major movie studios in selecting the Sony technology over one pushed by Toshiba Corp.

Toshiba and Sony have been vying to set the standard for high-definition DVDs for several years. The stakes are high because the winner will also get a boost in sales of DVD players needed to read the new format.

The Walt Disney Co., Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures, News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer have endorsed Blu-ray. Paramount and Universal Studios publish their high-definition DVDs in Toshiba's HD DVD format.

Netflix has stocked both formats since they became available in 2006, but said the decision of four of the six major studios to issue films only in Blu-ray format made it likely that the Sony format will prevail.

"From the Netflix perspective, focusing on one format will enable us to create the best experience for subscribers," the company said, adding that not many customers order high-def DVDs.

Many consumers have held off on buying a high-def DVD player until the dominant format is decided.
(I think it may be decided at this point)

Two Cents on Ten Topics

- Koby's the next one on the docket - About three months ago, I heard Felger on ESPN radio (Boston-local guy) only half-kiddingly throw out Mrs. Rocket for HGH ideas - given her magazine spread with Roger... everything about this dark comedy is becoming prophecy
- He keeps going, and going, and going... - Pro Bowl (didn't watch, but heard talking points on the radio drive this AM) - with the no Blitz rule in eefect, the Giants lineman was still getting to the QB with semi-regularity.
- Yoooooooooouuuuuk - Youk is signed on for a 1 yr, 3 million dollar season. That's Goooooooood.
- "'...and Toto too?' 'And Toto too.'" - Huckabee won the Dorothy vote by taking the Kansas primary.
- I like the Condy for VP idea, but - whether perceived or real - with no elected office on her resume, she won't help.
- It's been dismissed, but Romney should be the VP guy; to reel in the Right side of the Republican party (even though he cultivated and has carefully projected that image, more than he embodies it); besides with McCain's age, Romney should be happy to be in the very-close-to-the-plate on deck circle.
- FYI - In Vietnam, McCain ejected from his plane, breaking both arms and one leg -- his captor approached him and stabbed him with a bayonet, once in the leg & once in the groin. He has a limited diet due to the stones he was forced to eat in captivity. Love him or hate him, he is a tough guy.
- The Big Mo' Part I - Clinton fired her campaign manager - that instills confidence.
- Dems would do better with Obama as the candidate, because Hillary would galvenize Repubs to actually get out the vote.
- The Big Mo' Part II - Obama beat Hill and Bill: his spoken album won a Grammy over Bill's and he beat Hillary in the Maine Democratic caucases.

February 7, 2008

LA Times endorses Barack Obama, followed by my take

Barack Obama for Democratic nominee
Endorsements for president 2008
February 3, 2008

Democrats preparing to vote in Tuesday's California primary can mark their ballots with confidence, knowing that either candidate would make a strong nominee and, if elected, a groundbreaking leader and capable president. But just because the ballot features two strong candidates does not mean that it is difficult to choose between them. We urge voters to make the most of this historic moment by choosing the Democrat most focused on steering the nation toward constructive change: We strongly endorse Barack Obama.The U.S. senator from Illinois distinguishes himself as an inspiring leader who cuts through typical internecine campaign bickering and appeals to Americans long weary of divisive and destructive politics. He electrifies young voters, not because he is young but because he embodies the desire to move to the next chapter of the American story. He brings with him deep knowledge of foreign relations and of this nation's particular struggles with identity and opportunity. His flair for expression, both in print and on the stump, too easily leads observers to forget that Obama is a man not just of style but of substance. He's a thoughtful student of the Constitution and an experienced lawmaker in his home state and, for the last three years, in the Senate.

On policy, Obama and his rival Democratic candidate, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, are a hairsbreadth apart. Both vow to pull troops from Iraq. Both are committed to healthcare reform. Both offer candid critiques of the failed George W. Bush presidency, its blustering adventurism, its alienating stance toward other countries and its cavalier disregard for sacred American values such as individual liberty and due process of law.

With two candidates so closely aligned on the issues, we look to their abilities and potential as leaders, and their record of action in service of their stated ideals. Clinton is an accomplished public servant whose election would provide familiarity and, most important, competence in the White House, when for seven years it has been lacking. But experience has value only if it is accompanied by courage and leads to judgment.

Nowhere was that judgment more needed than in 2003, when Congress was called upon to accept or reject the disastrous Iraq invasion. Clinton faced a test and failed, joining the stampede as Congress voted to authorize war. At last week's debate and in previous such sessions, Clinton blamed Bush for abusing the authority she helped to give him, and she has made much of the fact that Obama was not yet in the Senate and didn't face the same test. But Obama was in public life, saw the danger of the invasion and the consequences of occupation, and he said so. He was right.

Obama demonstrates as well that he is open-eyed about the terrorist threat posed to the nation, and would not shrink from military action where it is warranted. He does not oppose all wars, he has famously stated, but rather "dumb wars." He also has the edge in economic policy, less because of particular planks in his platform than because of his understanding that some liberal orthodoxies developed during the last 40 years have been overtaken by history. He offers leadership on education, technology policy and environmental protection unfettered by the positions of previous administrations.

By contrast, Clinton's return to the White House that she occupied for eight years as first lady would resurrect some of the triumph and argument of that era. Yes, Bill Clinton's presidency was a period of growth and opportunity, and Democrats are justly nostalgic for it. But it also was a time of withering political fire, as the former president's recent comments on the campaign trail reminded the nation. Hillary Clinton's election also would drag into a third decade the post-Reagan political duel between two families, the Bushes and the Clintons. Obama is correct: It is time to turn the page.

An Obama presidency would present, as a distinctly American face, a man of African descent, born in the nation's youngest state, with a childhood spent partly in Asia, among Muslims. No public relations campaign could do more than Obama's mere presence in the White House to defuse anti-American passion around the world, nor could any political experience surpass Obama's life story in preparing a president to understand the American character. His candidacy offers Democrats the best hope of leading America into the future, and gives Californians the opportunity to cast their most exciting and consequential ballot in a generation.

In the language of metaphor, Clinton is an essay, solid and reasoned; Obama is a poem, lyric and filled with possibility. Clinton would be a valuable and competent executive, but Obama matches her in substance and adds something that the nation has been missing far too long -- a sense of aspiration.
T.H. take

Nice op-ed - not too thrilled with the poem metaphor (sounds kind of frilly), but the prose speaks well to the differences that have led to Barack's rise. His message - whether people believe in it or not - has been unwaveringly unchanged throughout. Clinton's spinmeisters have been shifting and adjusting to try to adjust to waht is seen as the publics' desires. It's about her experience, it's about her insider knowledge to effect change, throw Bill into the campaign, take Bill out...

The difference in Super Tuesday is telling, even though it was basically a draw, numbers-wise... with a few exceptions, Hillary won states that - in the General election - will likely go Dem this year, whether its Obama or Clinton (Mass, California, NY, NJ). Barack won states that would often go to a conservative Republican (bible belt,... ). In a contest against McCain, the Barack Movement will likely carry the states that would've gone to a true Reagan Republican -- I'm not so sure that's true of the Hillster.

Voters are stepping forward & are funding Obama to the tune of $30 mill a month right now; Hillary Clinton just loaned her campaign $5 million. Too early to call any momentum an unstoppable force, but the snowball is definitely still growing and gaining speed.

As the article mentioned, there are only nuanced differences between Hill & Barack, but what difference there is, tips in his favor. And, as scarily untangible as it is - he has an X factor that portends well. Not counting the Iraq Platform (a big issue that I'm not trying to belittle), McCain is probably farther left than some very right wing democrats.

But that's politics, the country swings back and forth around the middle.

February 4, 2008

Pats can't close the deal as the Giants are giants

Well, we had a very good sports-run from '01 to now - mentally skipping over the Grady Little-ism of '03. Brady has been the Pats best piece of attack and live by the sword, die by the sword. Giants played a great game too.

Moving on, not that this is top of mind at this point, but I'm not gonna dwell on the rear-view mirror after I just passed a bloody mess on the road (possibly the biggest upset ever - for what was on the line - constitutes my thinking of bloody...).

The Petty playlist
Petty - Four songs...
- American Girl
- I Won't Back Down
- Free Fallin'
- Running Down a Dream
Seems like the last three were prophetic for the Giants

No really outstanding ads, but I think I liked the concepts & executions the best -- that ring of fire & shrunken head guy were pretty darn funny.

Pitchers and catchers coming up soon...

January 31, 2008

80 weeks and counting

Jeez, really tough news... just when we thought all was going great for Brady and his healing ankle, the 80th straight week for that pesky Brady shoulder... I hope he plays.

Gotta love Belicheck listing the shoulder with not a whiff of ankle problems.

Here's my wish...

They've been working on a play that has Brady dumping the ball to Faulk (laterally)... since that has to be a huge part of the Jints preparation... keying on that winning Faulk out for a predictable 6-9 yard gain, NY closes as fast as possible on Faulk. As that happens, the supposedly gimpy Brady starts to jog downfield on the opposite sideline (I picture Faulk at this point about 6 yrds in back of the line o scrimmageon the opposite hash mark. With the 'O' line in run block, they buy Faulk just enough time to toss an 18 yard gain to Brady. Spectators' jaws across the nation have to picked up off the floor.

The two week 'ankle' serves two purposes... it distracts from all other superfluous media matters (Spyagte, Moss, etc.), and, with Coughlin insuring the 'D' is already on guard for any trick plays, this 'gimp' act will distract NY from Brady. I mean, this is the guy who was wearing an ankle boot, right?

All that said, this is a play that would likely never be used, but incorporating it their quiver of 'special' plays gives them a great weapon.

I know, I know, the ankle was 99% a real thing... but think about it: in all the questions to Belicheck, he never once actually even confirmed that the ankle was even hurting Brady, let alone an issue. When Brady was asked about it after that first practice, he said it felt 95% and that he only had one incompletion -- I thought it sounded funny that he put his practice in game terms... one incompletion... I mean, wouldn't you talk about it more in terms of how he ran, moved,... One incompletion may even support the continued phantom shoulder report, more than anything else.

I know some will say I'm conspiracy minded... or even paranoid... but I can assure you that just is not true... I rationally thought this whole thing out this morning while I was checking my toothpaste for explosives.

January 30, 2008

On to the NY..... Mets!

Let me hear you say yeaaaaah!! Santana is off to the NY and the signature on his paycheck will not say 'Steinbrenner'. Best of all possible options. We keep our cadre of high-potential prospects, most of which have dipped their toes in The Show and have essentially excelled under the spotlight. Lester, Bucholtz, Ellsbury (until I'm proven wrong, the second coming of Freddie),... all still wearing red socks. Add to that Masterson , Moss, and others that were mentioned as possible Twin-chum, I'm much, much happier to have who we have.

That said, I may have felt differently if Steinny II had been able to bring Santana to the new House that the Boss Built. So, seeing the Mets sweep in is a beautiful thing, from a Fenway perspective. I think santana should excel in the NL, as long as the larger market distractions don't have any traction with him.

January 21, 2008

Chargers a lightning rod for scrappy Pats

The Patriots of 01, 03, and 04 showed up for the AFC Championship game yetsterday. When the ever-building-legend-of-Brady took a bit of a day off (3 picks), the Red Zone Killer 'D' showed up, as did the running and short game. When Seau tackled the Bolts for a loss at the 7 yard-line, I had a flashback to the goal-line stand a few years back against the Colts, end of game. Bend but don't break indeed.

Looking at it another way, the Pats played the game that the Packers were expected to play. Relying on a strong defense and a very solid running game. While it's a shame New England won't face the last unique great team this year (Packers), I figure if they blew it against the Giants, then bring on NY. I'm looking for yesterday's defense and the offense of this season to make a simultaneous appearance on Feb 3rd. One nine and zero.

January 14, 2008


What jumped out to me of the Pats/Jag was:

Gotta love Del Rio starting & effectively establishing the game heavy on the pass after everyone said he'd stick to mostly a running game -- while used pretty effectively, the run looked to be used more to keep the secondary honest, rather than vice-versa.

Anytime Welker or Faulk touched the ball (of course that Welker drop was brutal, but it all worked out); that was a clinic in the short pass run game. Once the the Jags knew they had successfully shut down the deep Moss threat, they knew where it was going and they still couldn't stop the 2-4 yrd plop pass, followed with 3-8 yrds running after each reception.

In the antithesis to the Charger's game-clinching punter, the Jags and Pats punters were seen playing online chess on their respective sidelines against each other (although the Jag's punter did have to pause the game in a quick field visit); Hanson only stretched out his leg on field with 29 seconds left in the game -- I kind of wanted Brady to kneel and turn the ball over, regardless of the field position.

Pats scored every single time they touched the ball, minus the missed 35 yard FG, and the end of game punt.

Faking a Staue of Liberty Play - I've seen the fake jump of Brady worked to perfection in the past, and thought how well Brady executes it, especially when you have the goal line D breathing down your neck, literally right on top of you. That's why I was glad I DVR'ed the game. Watching the elaborate hike, fake hand-off, fake-jump for the phantom over-hiked ball, neatly tucking the ball against his thigh as he turned his back on a Jags D. And this is where he has to presume the Jags scouted this Pats Statue of Liberty Play and what it looked like, because at this point, Brady commits what would normally be suicide and calmly turns his back on the D for a full beat, then turns - with noone in his face - to fire his TD. It was a better surprise ending than the Usual Suspects; The Golden Globes Press Conference Awards should've created a category for Brady. He had to double sell; first he acts hard that they ball goes over his head, then he banks on the fact that the D knows this move & both sees and buys the running back barreling to the goal-line.

Stallworth's long play (longest pass play of the game and he was the second or third option). As Simms pointed out, Welker was the primary on that one & Brady waited long before shifting his eyes at a streaking Stallworth. The catch was incredible (one hand, bouncing off the face mask back into the bread basket), but the crazy part was when they showed the replay, you saw Stallworth looking up at the JumboTron at himself mid-play -- some said to see himself running for a perceived touchdown, others say it was to see how close his pursuit was. I'll opt for the latter opinion.

January 10, 2008

Barack drifting into the mainstream candidacy

Looks like Richardson is cutting his losses:

Kerry endorses Barack - talk about mixed blessings, but on balance that will help Obama. This coming the day after the largest union in Nevada endorses Barack will help keep the for-one-second-stalled-by-NH campaign on a growth trend. I'd say his inexperience is going to be spun into a baggage-less asset combined with his very-likely consensus-building magnetic personality. Remains to be seen if there are any scary skeletons lurking in a closet somewhere, but he's good at turning lemons into lemonade, so it'd have to be pretty bad.

Hillary & Barack have virtually identical platforms, but if they both had to enter a smoke-filled room with the establishment to get things done, my money is on on Barack to outperform Hillary 8 times out of 10. In my opinion, her experience - and the fact that others know her as they do - will hinder more than help her. Every time Barack has been dismissed, due to his perceived lack of experience and gravitas, he's more than bounced back.

My ideal match-up of McCain vs. Obama would be very curious indeed, given that it would not only hinge on the vote of the independent voter, but their respective nominations would also vie for the non-affiliated citizen. The Kerry endorsement may add mainstream Dem votes, helping to lessen the Obama camp's reliance on Independents.

January 8, 2008

"What do you want me to do?","Just tell the truth","What do you want me to do?","Just tell the truth",...

Here's what I got out of last night's peculiar Clemens drama...

We know Roger had lawyers with him, coaching and making sure he didn't sound like he was trying to push/intimidate the possible witness (Mac). But, it sounded like Mac was lawyered up too, although I've not only not heard that so far, I've mostly heard just the opposite. As stilted as Roger was talking because of his 'help', I felt like Mac was repeating his, 'What do you want me to do' mantra to get Roger to utter, 'Change your testimony', or say, 'Why did you tell them what I did? Change that'. To me, Mac was looking to get Roger to say, "Switch your testimony" to cover his own ass for civil or criminal litigation. He knew Roger was potentially going to be filing a lawsuit against him. Don't you think Mac has been hearing from the federal team that told him if he lies, he goes to jail? I think the story that is just as big right now is the firestorm that the government may be bringing on weasly Mac, on the chances that roger makes it look - or proves that - they got duped. Now, Roger got the bucks, so I think Mac was dribbling some doo-doo at this point, because often money - and not the truth - win. He lawyered up & they said to try to get Roger on tape. "What do you want me to do?" roger never even said, "Tell them the truth, that I didn't take steroids", because I think they were afraid Mac would say, "But, Roger, you did".

It was a comical tape really and I was surprised Roger's team played it as some kind of a vindication effort. The two danced around words that, I think, their lawyers told them not to say. When Mac was getting desperate for a new tact, he mentioned, "I'll go to jail for you", which to me, was him saying, "Look, ask me to lie and I will, even though I'll go to jail for it". You had Roger saying "Just Tell the truth" the whole time, and Mac practically chanting, "What do you want me to do?", as if he never heard Clemens. Again, to me, that was because he wanted Clemens to say, "Change your testimony", which would have helped Mac in any courtroom dramas.

It was as if they each had 14 words they could say & they kept trying to say them differently without blowing up. Mac played the victim card & Roger played the empathy card, but neither one won the hand.

By the way, Mac said he was on the East Coast -- I think he was probably in NY, because Roger's lawyer Rusty pointed out that NY & Texas both have one-party approval laws concerning taped conversations. to me the comedy was that both side's legal counsel were coaching and either taping or monitoring the conversations.

I have no idea how this will all end up, but to this point, last night's PR stunt has me further tilted towards the idea of Roger's guilt, which is too bad. The sliver of hope I was holding on to kind of disappeared.

January 7, 2008

Stoit is Ruler of Political Trivia / NH polls

Stoit gets the answer to the trivia question!! All hail Stoit!! Stoit rules all that is trivia!! (Sorry for the exclamation marks, but, well, it is a shout out) - he was dead on. I liked the question because, being open-ended, it wasn't really look-upable, or at least not that easily, on the Internet.

That's a pretty crazy stat -- neither the current President nor the VP are running in this election. Not since 1952 has the field been 100% fresh faces (well, fresh may not be quite the right word for some, but metaphorically speaking anywho).

'W' won Iowa but lost NH in 2000 -- however, I'm not saying Hucklebee Hound has even the slimmest chance to gain the nom. He has as much chance of winning as the fossilized remains of Adam, Eve, and a T Rex have of turning up in the same geologic strata.

Neither Iowa nor NH has proven a 100% bellweather in the past, however, winning both portends very well (on balance, of the candidates who got the nod & won just one of the two, more were in NH) -- but with Super Tuesday being so soon, the Big Mo' is going to mean a ton of... ummm.... Mo'. I'll go so far as to venture that if Obama wins NH, he wins the nom.

As mentioned earlier, at this point, Hilary has been focusing on new 'change' messages, while basically just rearranging deck chairs on her own sinking ship.

(Polls are only so good, but that's all we have now) From today's Zogby:

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (Reuters) - Democrat Barack Obama rocketed to a 10-point lead over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire one day before their showdown in the state's presidential primary, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Monday.
Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona also began to pull away from rival Mitt Romney, opening a five-point lead on the Massachusetts governor as what had been tight races in both parties began to open up.

I love a McCain-Barack match-up... I'm not sure it'll happen, but I think that pairing in battle may give us the best possible outcome from the current candidates... either way.

January 4, 2008

On to the Granite State....

Although it's not surprising that Huckabee won, I love that he did. Sure, it's early; basically still in the first half of the first inning, but hey, it is a caucus, & every run counts. Purely guessing, but I'd have to say that the middle of the Republican Party is getting a wake up call to make sure they are not defined by the Religious Right... funny that Huckabee is only two places away from Clinton as Governor (after Clinton's replacement, Tucker, stepped down due to his involvement in Whitewater, Huckabee acsended to the Arkansinian throne... is that an oxymoron?). Interesting is that Huckabee was advised in his run for Lt. Gov by Dick Morris, the former Clinton advisor.

Clinton may win NH, but she peaked about 3 months ago... she is going down, down, down.

Oprah put him in the mainstream, & Obama is very good at keeping himself there. I'm not sure the lack of experience will be a problem... it may even be cleverly spun to help the cause.

Quick quiz question:
You have to go back to 1952 to find a U.S. election that has this very significant element in common with the 2008 contest. What is this element?

Winner gets a shout out on The Junto (will use only nicknames)