December 2, 2009

Ski Charity event at Cannon Mountain to benefit Boston Medical Center

Skiing is my passion; my parents were somewhat the flower children type when I was born and when I was in kindergarten, we moved to Vermont and my dad worked at Killington, and so it began...

Now, I'm managing corporate partnerships for cause marketing at Boston Medical Center and we have a great charity ski race event coming up this March, 2010. It's at Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire & is possibly the easiest mountain in New England to get to – it sits right on route 93 in Franconia Notch. It will be Saturday, March 6, 2010 and it benefits the Boston Medical Center, in honor of Bill Cunningham, a man who ran the ski school there for decades and succumbed to Amyloid. BMC specializes in treatment and research in this disease and tried to help Mr. Cunningham in his battle. Carol Cunningham started this event to benefit the BMC Amyloid treatment and reasearch center in his name.

Here are some quick basics:

- Cannon Mountain/NH Parks Dept. is fully on board and supportive of the event, so gives us great access to on-mountain space and in-lodge space.
- Sampling/Exposure to all skiers, not just those partaking in the event will be possible
- Signage opps include T-Shirts, banners, website, event promo…
- Cannon Mtn is the ‘official’ home mountain of US Ski Team’s most highly decorated skier, Bode Miller
- Raffles, prizes & auctions will be in-lodge on day of the event

Ski Magazine on Cannon Mountain ( 2010...

"There simply might not be a more soulful, less spoiled or more beautiful place to ski than Cannon. No condos, no mansions, no boutiques—just skiing the way God intended.

Readers rank it No. 4 for Overall Satisfaction and No. 1 for Value. (Last year’s top lift ticket price: $39.) It’s No. 2 for Scenery and No. 3 for both Challenge and Accessibility. Readers acknowledge the drawbacks (nightlife, dining, lodging, etc.), but generally rave: “Kicks my butt every time”; “spectacular scenery”; “awesome staff.”"

October 27, 2009

Passing on the corners

I'm a terrible runner endurance-wise, I can go maybe 3 miles and that'll do me just fine for any jog. Speed-wise? Ahhh..... no so much. Faster than a few, slower than a few. Sometimes I felt like I played sports in high school in spite of, rather than because of, any running proclivities.

However, my dad ran track in high school and he was always running when I was a kid. I remember when I was little and my mom worked during the weekend, he'd take me to the local high school track and he'd run laps and play with me on the football field... letting me 'outrun him' while I carried a football almost half my size down the field. Sometimes he'd want me to run a lap with him as he slowed enough to allow me to keep up (which, in retrospect, must've resulted in a semi-fast walk for him, actually). I'd always tried to get past him running fast down the long stretching straight-aways. It was at this point, my dad - whether he knew it or not - gave me apice of advice that in many ways has helped shape much of my attitude towards work and competing in general.

It's funny when you're grown up what you remember in moments as a young kids in retrospect. I cannot remember a single conversation word for word except one sentence which my dad told me in an almost off-hand way: "When you're racing around the track, do your best on the corners, look to pass others there, because everyone tries to pass each other on the straightaways..."; meaning, go your fastest, focus on passing at that point, bear down just as much then. He said his track coach always told him that in was in the corners that a race can be won (or lost, I see now). Everyone focuses and bears down on the straight-aways; the corners can be mistaken for places to 'get by' on the way to the straight away.

Now, I have no idea as far as track & field whether this is true, false, or just made-up. But it sure-as-shootin' seems to me this is dead-on for competing. In track and in all-else. The corners are your moment for differentiation.

Think of your job requirements as your straight away; you know what you have to do and you go out there and do it. It's not always easy and not everyone does it, but most can and do walk the line they see in front of them. Then there are the corners; the moments when others may rest, or may get distracted, or, even, may simply say to themselves & others, "That's not my job, I don't have to do that...". And, of course they are right. But those are the corners, and believe it or not, the corners can be the easiest place in the world. Where you may find others trying to just get to the next straight-away (job requirements), you will will be proving yourself invaluable to your team (company).

And, you know what else? Your company, or even another company, will end up seeing that there are others who can do what you do and you should be ahead of them, because you can do more. Then... you've won the race. Wash, rinse and repeat.

(Oh, and by the way, still push yourself during the straight-aways)

October 2, 2009

J. D. Drew

There's a sports writer I read quite a bit, whose opinion and writing style I truly enjoy. Recently, he threw out the idea that because J.D. Drew does not play all the time - and because everyone thinks he is overpaid, Mr. Drew should donate $2 million to a local Boston charity. Hmmm... I thought for a second what my opinion on it was, and realized it was along the lines of....

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Ha. Ha. Yeah, he needs to placate fans by donating $2 mill somewhere. Right, Sure. Don’t get me wrong, there is no better & more deserving charity than the Jimmy Fund, but just the thought that someone needs to do it to silence critisicm is a faulty premise perched at the top of a slippery slope while simultaneously tilting at windmills and refusing to knock on wood.

So, then, when he’s out ‘x’ number of games he should donate ‘y’ dollars more? Paps should donate a couple of thou when he blows a save?

I cry uncle on the fact he’s overpaid, because we all would’ve had our AGENT say, “whoa there, let’s just stop at $13 mill, don’t get all crazy on us”.

Since the Sox acquired Drew, please don’t tell me that they’ve not signed anyone else because they had too much $ tied up w/ Drew; they are a big market team that decides their own purse restrictions. As fans, we have never suffered due to his salary - the money & the injuries are both straw man arguments; the debate is about performance, and it is there. Pretending its our money or that we KNOW his injuries (or lack thereof) is a (fabricated) debate I will always concede.

So, forgetting about money, unless the fans are paying it, Drew is the best RF out there, bar none.

September 21, 2009

AL East is still out there....

Hey, the the Wild Card team has won MLB's World Series enough for us to know it's not a matter of winning your division. The postseason is The Postseason and all-reguilar season bets are off, regarding homefield advantage. Yet, if the division is attainable, at no extra expense to rested & healthy players, and you hail from Boston or New York, well, to quote Boston's other big coach, it is what it is...

Sox have 14 games against KC, NY, Tor, & Cle (1 team over .500, and it's dem Yankees) — NY has 12 games against LA, Bos, KC, & TB (1 team under .500, and its the Red Sox). Sox are 4 games behind in the loss column, almost controlling own destiny w/ 3 to go in Gotham. Pettitte coming off tired arm, Joba shelled in 3 innings against Seattle, #5 starter for NY going in LA tonight (where NY has not won this yr). NY is on the second city of a west coast trip. I’m just saying I like what’s lined up...

August 31, 2009

Free as a Byrd now...

By way of family agreement, Paul Byrd took off the first half of the seaon to be with his family, especially his sons who had time to be in school and play baseball, with Byrd himself the coach.

Then, once June hit and he was ready to play, offers didn't exactly come flooding in, leading to the thought that mayvbe this was it... but it wasn't. The Sox picked him up at the beginning of August and yesterday paid dividends to that frugal investment. What Byrd said in the postgame has made him a but of a hero for his team-first, just-happy-to-be-here attitude...

“Any way I can help this team get that, if they need me to clean toilets, I’ll go do that,’’ Byrd said. “I’m excited. Whatever they needed me to do, I’ll do. I told that to Tito. I said, ‘I’ll help you out any way I can. I’ll get ready. Whatever you need me to do, I’ll do.’ ’’

Other Red Sox up notes: Drew continues to have his best month of the season, Victor Martinez has been proving what a great offensive force he is, while adding positive chemistry in the dugout -- he gets along great with Ortiz and I partially credit Papi's resurgence to the fact he likes Martinez and is inspired to some extent by him. Oh yeah, recent edition Billy Wagner struck out the side in relief yesterday...

June 12, 2009

Let's just call them the Highlanders until they win

- Did I mention my fondness for Nick Green honing in on his former employer in this series? Lead-off 8th inning single off CC & then the insane spin throw to first… that was a pretty big calculated risk… if he didn’t spin, he wouldn’t have had the zip on the ball to get Jeter, but he loses acuracy — Youk made a solid play reaching for the ball.

- Caption in NY Post article on Yankees — Fools in the Rain (glad THEY said it)

- Nick Swisher doubled off second in a truly idiotic running gaffe; overall he had a deplorable series with miscues and misthoughts… at the end of the game he sat in the dugout looking truly dejected — he was only half an onion away from Freddie Patek

- Looks like the Sox have a thinking 3rd base coach in DeMarlo Hale… yes Pedey could’ve scored, but it was far from given and bases loaded with no outs was perfect, then having Drew tag on the still-shallow sac fly was awesome

- Speaking of which, while Brett Muney did his best Damon impersonation on that 8th inning throw, the Yanks can’t hide Damon’s ineffeciancies anywhere in the OF (yeesh)

- I say Torre would’ve brought in Rivera for 6 outs, given the albatross of being winless against the Sox circling their heads

- He’s probably not out of the woods yet, but doubling his HR total in one series - against the Yankees - sure has to help the Papi psyche

- Trading Penny after that performance is now even easier and more difficult (do you really want him to go away?)

- If Nick Green can play 90% of what he did this series, the talk will be of SS controversy

- Also speaking of which, I do not expect to see Lugo come into a game unless the Sox are in the process of BLOWING OUT a team

- (Sorry… little long, but hey, how often are we 8-0 against the Yankees.. or any team)

- Which leads me to my final question (also first question actually): What is the worst winless streak that the Highlanders/Yankees have ever had against ANY team since 1912? Is this it?

June 10, 2009

Sox Great Pitching Beats Yanks Great Hitting

- Lowell was a trooper to even slide, given his hip… 2-1 count on Tek that was a missed hit & run; when Tek came in after scoring you could see him talking in explanation mode, along the lines of, ‘Sorry man, I totally missed that’

- Great pick-up by Orsillo last night of throwing at Jeter, Eck somewhat agreeing, then back from commercial & having time to think about it, saying “Ohmigeez, of course they were” — love the honesty from Eck

- Love Nick Green dialing himself in against the pinstripes after being let go by the Yankees last year

- Kotsay stepped in for Ellsbury and caught a tough liner to center after getting twisted & turned tracking it down

- Interesting pitch-calling over the game for Beckett: early part of the game he was a majority of breaking balls, followed up by pounding them on the corners with heat — looked like a well-orchestrated plan to get them off their timing - loved the three straight curves to A-Rod

- Strike zone seemed pretty wide for both sides through the first six innings — I’d guess there was a little inner-mandate to get-this-game-in, due to the weather

- When Delcarmen came in, he was initially squeezed - many pitches that were called strikes for Beckett were balls for Manny. Great that he kept his head, bore down, and started knockin' 'em down

- Great Pitching beats Great Hitting

May 13, 2009

Shhhh... don't tell anyone, but the Celts can win

Look, I know the Celts still need to beat The Magic, and that IS NOT a given. But, if they do beat them, just by virtue of that and other variables that have shaken out through this series, I hafta throw this out there:

This Celts team would win a series against the regular season Celts with KG -- not necessarily because they are better per se, but because they are all being utilized. In all these battles, they have become a compleat team. Rondo and Allen were pretty average last night -- if I told you at the beginning of the game that Rajon would have a triple single would you have thought we'd win? Allen's 3 pointer at the end was awesome, but he was nowhere to be found most of the game.

Hey, I know Orlando snatched defeat from the jaws of vistory, but the Celts had to do their part -- having the bench (which is really the third string in many ways) score 26 points is huge. What if Stephon is just finally getting warm? What if the whole team is truly feeling what's happening? How can't they?

Look, everyone in Boston is saying that just making the Eastern Conference Finals is a victory, given the injuries. Lebron is too much of a Monster to get past. And to that I'd say that everyone agrees with them, except a few guys wearing white and green. What if these guys don't think they're supposed to lose? What if no one tells them?

Think about it: are they tired? Sure -- but without being put through the paces and galvinizing themselves and each other against their opponents, these Celts wouldn't stand a chance. But now, everyone has played a part -- better yet, everyone now knows they need to and can play a part. They may prove more valuable than a team that has come to rely on the stellar defense of one man.

The Celts right now have more options to create a win in any given game than they did at the beginning of the playoffs. Pierce, Allen, Davis, Perkins, House, Rondo, Marbury,... alone no match for Lebron, but - while I wouldn't bet the house they would win - I also can actually see it happening.

May 6, 2009

Red Sox & Celtics & Bears (okay, Bruins)... Oh my!

I like how the Sox are doing, but the crazy thing is that between closing, mid-relief and the starting front 3, the front three have hurt them the most. I do think that will change for the positive as the season progresses.

Love Wake just being there for the team -- love that he's older than me and in the MLB.

Can't wait for Smoltz -- or for Tiger to come to Fenway to watch his buddy pitch.

Wake & Smoltz should open a New England Golf Open for charity up here.

Joba should be suspended, but probaly won't. He dings Back-Back Bay after the HR -- Beckett was suspended for coming close to Abreu. Bay was body, Abreu was near head, but still feels funky.

Joba has the physical attributes, cap-wearing demeanor of a Lambeer-playing-baseball. Love that flat brim pulled down look -- makes him appear the villain before he goes out and proves it w/ his behavior.

That said, he pitched awesome after the 1st - looks like he'll figger out the starting job to our detriment.

I think the Sox brought back Lugo early not because they wanted him to so much replace Green ASAP, but because they wanted to start showing him off to other teams ASAP -- kind of blew up in their faces.

Which actually leads me to another thought I can't elaborate on now, but it is this: I do not think Epstein is a wunderkind of a GM, picking players-wise; now within the org as a whole he may bring more to the table than others, but even in the crapshoot that is topnotch players and their respective rise and falls, I don't think Theo is truly more than above average (and, that said, I'd also posit that Cashman is significantly below average bordering on terrible).

When you have a chance, please comment on your thoughts of Theo, and I'll go into why my thoughts are as they are.

Celts w/out KG have a very slim chance of anything, but still:

- Powe just had surgery on his knee -- KG's injury calls for surgery, yet he hasn't done it and he still plays a little in practices -- Whuddup wid dat?

- Even if KG doesn't play, the Celts will be in the role of under-dog and this second string squad had a trial by fire with the bulls -- I belive they geled together a bit.

- Marbury stepped up, while Rajon stepped back in Game 1 w/ Orlando. Scal stepped up too; given the amount put on the shoulders of Rondo, can we fault him for having a let down after the big Bulls series? What if he steps back up, just as the rest everyone else really learnes to step in. There is just about no way getting past Lebron et al, but this is sports, and I'm not carving the Celts name in the tombstone quite yet.

- B's vs. the former Whalers -- I don't see it going past five fromeverything I've seen and heard, but I am largely hockey illiterate/ignorant

May 5, 2009

The Curious Case of Zack Greinke

Okay, I haven't seen the movie, nor does this man age backwards -- although I do belive Brad Pitt originally hailed from Missouri, land of Kansas City, Missouri, of course.

Greinke is 25 and won't be 26 until October of this year.

He's been in the majors since 2004.

He has the microscopic ERA of 0.40.

He has started 6 games.

He has won 6 games.

He has pitched 3 complete games, or, 50% of his starts.

No other team in MLB has three complete games.

Greinke left the Royals in 2006 and was thinking he would leave baseball -- the Royals soft-talked him back.

By the way, the Royals locked up Geinke for four years this past January for $38 million; he gets $3.75 million this year, $7.25 million in 2010 and $13.5 million in each of the final two seasons of the deal.

From the AP (1/26/09): Greinke, "Each year we've improved and it looks like we're going to continue to," he said. "And that's pretty exciting for me because like I said, three or four years ago I didn't see it coming. It's really taken a good turn for the better.

"Three years ago I was in the minor leagues, two years ago I was in the bullpen not capable of getting hitters out as a starter. Just coming from being so low in those situations to being, after one good year, a really good deal and the chance to stay with Kansas City for four more years. ... It's just really neat to look back at it."

This will be a fun story to watch... (except if & when he's lined up to face your Boston Red Sox)

April 29, 2009

The Streak ends at 11

Give Penny one more start, if no changes, look for a trade for any good role player; I’m in favor of a light-out bunter (I know how ridiculous that statement is, I’m not sure ‘lights out’ and ‘bunter’ have ever been juxtaposed) with solid D in the OF. If nobody wants a Penny for our thoughts, waiver the guy and bring up Bowden (yes, overBucholz).

I CANNOT wait for Smoltz.

I declared the playing of Lugo yesterday a sign of the Apocalypse, as his error proved, but y’know… he DID hit. He may be showing signs of life, even in contributing to the death of The Streak.

Mid relief bullpen is just starting to really get used to the pattern & habit of being used. Once these guys drop into a groove, I see greater things ahead.

My connection to the ‘Canes — if I remember correctly, this is the old Whalers franchise — I grew up in a town right next to Springfield and watched Gordie play for the New England Whalers in Springfield after the Hartford Civic Center’s roof collapsed.

Go B’s, go Celts, go Sox

April 15, 2009

Sox and stuff

Beckett: Here’s what the home plate ump said, “Did he throw it up and in? Yeah,” umpire crew chief Joe West said Sunday. “Do we believe he threw it at Abreu? No. Would we have warned him had both benches not emptied? Probably not, but because both benches emptied, we did issue a warning.
“The Angels were the aggressors. That’s why they were ejected.”

Is the ump probably wrong? Sure. Guess what — it is his call. Watson can fine Beckett for approaching the plate, but he is substituting his own judgement for that of the ump’s. Let’s see him do that for balls & strikes then.

No other ump on the field told West that Beckett was headhunting (even though, I’m sure he meant to throw in his direction).

That ump likely knew how bush-league it was for Abreu to call time that late, and didn’t care how close the pitch came. Who knows? But until we can overturn all their bad calls after the fact, a suspension is contrary to MLB’s own support of umps.

Little talked about fact is that great pitchers are great at control — when they are throwing to areas they practice throwing to — even inside pitches are regularly practiced. It’s skill and muscle memory. However, when taken out of their delivery habit AND he decides to throw in Abreu’s direction in a pitch he knows doesn’t count for a ball or strike, it’s like when pitchers throw to first base and mess up — it’s a whole new ball game. Also, that was not a fastball - there was an actual arc the the throw.

(All that said, I do think he purposely threw in Abreu’s direction)

Interesting to think if he had hit him, Abreu wouldn’t have been able to take a base since time was out — although Beckett would’ve likely been gone.

Bubble Yum is the Coke to Bubbalicious’ Pepsi.

Would’ve loved to have picked up Orlando Cabrera when he was available.

Sleaze-Stack Enick had a hidden agenda.

March 18, 2009

30 Ways to know you're Irish

What it Means to Be Irish

1) You will never play professional basketball.

2) You swear very well.

3) At least one of your cousins is a fireman, cop, bar owner, funeral
home owner or holds political office. And you have at least one aunt who is
a nun, or uncle who's a priest.

4) You think you sing very well.

5) You have no idea how to make a long story short!

6) There isn't a big difference between you losing your temper or
killing someone.

7) Much of your childhood meals were boiled. Instant potatoes were a
mortal sin.

8) You have never hit your head on a ceiling.

9) You spent a good portion of your childhood kneeling in prayer
(Catholic guilt forever!).

10) You're strangely poetic after a few beers.

11) You are, therefore, poetic a lot.

12) You will be punched for no good reason...a lot.

13) Some punches directed at you are from legacies of past

14) Many of your sisters and/or cousins are named Mary, Catherine, or
Eileen... and there is at least one member of your family with the
full name of Mary Catherine Eileen.

15) Someone in your family is very generous. It is more than likely

16) You may not know the words, but that doesn't stop you from

17) You can't wait for the other guy to stop talking before you start

18) You're not nearly as funny as you think you are ... but what you
lack in talent, you make up for in frequency.

19) There wasn't a huge difference between your last wake and your
last keg party.

20) You are, or know someone, named Murph.

21) If you don't know Murph then you know Mac. If you don't know Murph
or Mac then you know Sully. It's conceivable you know Sully MacMurphy.

22) You are genetically incapable of keeping a secret.

23) You have Irish Alzheimer's... you forget everything but the

24) You met your husband/wife/significant
other/accountant/lawyer/landscaper/etc.. in a bar.

25) All of your losses are alcohol-related (loss of... virginity,
driver's license, money, job, significant other, teeth from punch...) but this
never stops you from drinking.

26) Your skin's ability to tan.... not so much.

27) At this very moment, you have at least two relatives who are not
speaking to each other (not fighting, mind you, just not speaking to
each other).

28) Childhood remedies for the common cold often included whiskey.

29) There's no leaving a family party without saying goodbye for at
least 45 minutes.

30) You long ago learnt that 'Irish Stew' is a euphemism for 'boiled

March 16, 2009

And another thing...

- I'm getting a little nervous with all the coverage of Brady & Giselle... reminds me of The Natural when Roy Hobbs' game flags as he kanoodles with Kim Basinger (poor Hobbs - he had no luck with the fairer sex - one shoots him and one gets him in The Slump). I'm sure Brady is rehabbing to the utmost, but I just get a feeling that at the exact moment he needs to focus & concentrate on regaining his game, he's not. If this were a movie, I'd just have to say most of the audience would be expecting a large downfall this season. Of course, life is never like the movies...

- There is no way I see the Tampa Bay Rays coming close to what they did last year. Hey, they are chock full of talent, but last year, it all came together -- I think that was a star-crossing rather than a permanent alignment -- I'm calling for the Kansas City Royals to have a better end of season record.

- Red Sox have the best 1-7 hitters in the game, as long at Pedey makes it back unscathed from the WBC.

- WBC will be moved or eliminated by 2012 -- I think we'll see MLB player antipathy rachet up next year and even more the following year. I'm pretty sure the U.S. is the most imporatant demo in this exhibityion contest and NOBODY CARES.

- AIG execs getting mega-bonuses for retention. Retention? Shouldn't a retention bonus be predicated on a performance bonus? I.e., if you perform well & get a bonus, they sure as heck want to retain your services, but if you don't qualify for a bonus per your performance, why would a company want to retain you by virtue of paying you more money? We needed Toto to pull back the curtain earlier, since learning about all the financial goings-ons at these companies is akin to watching them all line up at the slot machines with our bail-out/stimulous money.

- Of the U.S. Big Three, Ford seems to be on the right track -- it's not asking for more money from the government, it has a deal with the unions, it trimming down and focusing on what will make them money. I don't want anyone to lose their jobs, but it sure would be nice to have one U.S. automaker -- U.S. citizens who want to support the American economy could go to one company for their auto needs, thereby not dilluting the purchases, and the american carmaker wouls look to innovators like Toyota & Honda as the direct competition and actually start acting, instead of merely reacting.

- Its taken awhile, but I no know what kind of sports talk radio I like: I like a lot of facts (including ocassional irrelevant factoids for fun), a little attitude, and a lot of callers from which a least one relevant point is fished for by the hosts.

March 2, 2009

The good & bad of talk radio

As a moderate Democrat, I hafta say, I love tuning in to Rush Limbaugh every day. Listening to him and his listeners talk is like reading Lewis Carroll - a mix-mash of words that are so implausible or made up they are hilarious! I could listen to this guy all day, because I know he knows that things such as true-socialism is not even a remote possibility.

And the people who throw around the terms Socialism and Communism are latching on to and giving preference to traditional fear-words over trying to understand. This economical melt-down doesn't have a singular demon, as 9/11 did, but make no mistake, it's in every way as serious. This country lined up behind Bush and gave him the benefit of the doubt for over four years. Heck, I'd be content with letting the Obama get two years -- he is surrounding himself with economic advisers who are both beyond reproach and have been tried and true during the U.S.'s great economic times. United we stand divided we fall doesn't have to just steeling ourself against seen enemies -- how about teaming up in the bad times as well?

Economy-wise, these are near-disastrous times -- guess what? The country elected Obama as our President. The President is employing the platform of his party, as well as all the ideas he said he stood for. Overtly and in full view, may I add. Ummm... where's the mystery, other than thje mystery in the fact that some people actually expected the Dow to go up (?) within his first 100 days?!... this tide has been ebbing for too long and it is a full moon. It'll turn, just maybe not the way you want it to, but it will turn.

This country will forever go back and forth -- I count on it. I'm not crazy enough to think my idealogy has all the right answers, just what I perceive as more of them. I'll always want GOPers in the mix -- I like some of their ideas a lot. I want both parties forever together to keep things balanced.

So anyway, Rush is funny because he's a zealot who, if he spoke in anapestic tetrameter, may give Dr. Seuss a run for his money in the ways of whimsy.

February 18, 2009

Sox with A-Rod

A buddy emailed a group of buddies and me the fact that the Sox are psyched they never got A-Rod, since all the recent fun has come to pass. Well, I agree of course, but I agreed on my joy of being A-Rod-less a long time ago...

I'll be honest - I've been glad ever since we won the 04 WS that we bagged the trade (or rather, the trade got bagged) - although the mental shift began with the Tek/A-Rod confrontation of that summer. Then the Slap-happy A-Rod down the first base line (notice the extra strength his wrist flexor muscles had, so as to knock the ball from the glove ;) in the playoffs helped confirm my tilt.

All things being equal, we sure would have a distraction right now -- but let's backtrack & say all things were equal... say A-Rod sucked his dog's anal cavity in the playoffs as he has in NY... then he and Boras pulled that stunt during a NY Yank-WS game. I say he would have never come back last year, due to Theo and the trio's playoffs-first & team-first mentality. And the fact that they would at that point have been getting negativce value from A-Rod in the playoffs (all things being equal).

Or, all things not being equal, let's say that Magglio Ordonez (remember he was in the deal to replace Manny) & A-Rod & the Sox had a different chemistry and the Sox brought in at least two WS, as they have already -- if great chemistry, maybe three. Then, things may very well be oooo-gly. Or, since he was on the Sox, and the Sox seem to have a better relationship with Bud Selig, Mitchell (obviously, being part of the team) and the inner circles machinations in MLB, whoever dropped A-Rod's name may not have dropped that name. At this point, there's no telling if it was done just as much to drop the bomb on Hank & Hal, as it was to make A-Rod invent cousins. If that was even a slight component of the dropping of the A-Rod dime, we still may be touting him as The Savior in these drug-riddled times.

I do think every team has a cadre of players from 98 to at least 06, that juiced -- much of the league has skated.

Funny too, because while I backslapped you, SGC, for the fact that the heavy-juicing stars of the Yankees haven't been able to bring it home this decade, they did win in 2000, and that team definitely had a contingent of injectors in their midst. Clemens, Grimsley, Giambi, etc. But, I don't take that WS away from them -- because while I think steroids does affect a player's individual numbers, I also think that the fact that much of the league as a whole was pumped full PEDs - across all teams - the literal and figuarative playing field was relatively level, i.e., the bar was raised bi-laterally.

P.S. - I think A-Rod lied worse yesterday in many ways than the first time, but it is what it is... A-Rod cramming his face in uniquely rank orafices and asking us to smell him.

P.P.S. - How's Jose Canseco looking now? I swear if this guy told me he injected the Pope, I'd be forced the believe him, while noticing that the fabled pontiff has bulked up a bit under those robes, that funny hat does look a bit smaller on the noggin, and he sure can deliver longer sermons these days.

February 9, 2009


A-Rod just about completes the cycle (pun intended). Just about anyone that is good to great over the last decade has his name tainted by at least the suspicion. You know who is the greatest living ballplayer since '96 - Derek Jeter; for his 'o', his 'd', and for his team-first at all costs demeanor, coupled with his someone slkinny look, and his now-dropping numbers (at an age all the 'roids freaks kicked into gear), he is the new genuine Yankee Clipper...

Over that period of time, who's the man everyone laughed at, ridiculed, and comes out 100% vindicated? Canseco -- when he tried to publish the second tome, calling out A-Rod, he said he was gonna do it in the 2nd book because of the passes A-Rod made at his wife. Everyone dismissed it as payback with no basis in reality. But he said he wasn't lying....

A-Rod later divorced his wife -- noone can think Madonna was his first time astray, just his highest profile lady in waiting (ok, Madonna waits for noone, but whatever).

So, I take Jose at his word in both instances.

I actually think Manny may be clean -- but a revilesome person; although Ortiz was cut by Minne, only to perk up in Boston, right? That'll be the scuttlebutt anyway. Nomar definitely did (remember when the best SS debate was Jeter, Nomar, or Tejada-also tainted in Mitchell Report -- we know it was Jeter now).

There should be some pitchers in there big-time, but just by body type, I'd wager the Yankees soft stuff will continue to assault the fan -- some of those mid-relievers of the last 10 yrs are stereotypical Roid-bodies. If they didn't do it, who's fault is our thinking that they did... it's those players who never said a thing... it's themselves (more on that below). Who wouldn't note that in his later years, surreal Mariano Rivera's fastball picked up 6 to 8 mph.

In a way, it's so obviously widespread, it's fodder for endless debate and conversation, but the only ones that will suffer will be the kids that aren't tested in HS & college who start using.

As for MLB, here's what I think...

It made everyone - without exception, a ton of money. Selig made more than Jeter last year. Top players offensive numbers went nuts, raising the popular interest in the sport. Vendors flourished, owners won fans and advertising, players gained sponsorships. Middle tier players & those just not using did not say a word because they were in it for their money. They may not be be the best players in the game because of the Roid freaks, but because of the gargantuann payscale, middle-tier still guaraned easy street financially. I guess the other loser in the equation are men who would've just made the majors, but didn't because the bar had been set so high.

But, to me, this is a blip on the game; a big blip, but a blip (blip, blip, blip, blip -- sounds so funny, no? Sorry,.. anyway). Who gets in tthe HOF? All? Noone from this era? To me, it's the judgement ofthe writer -- tis isn't a court of law... if they think the numbers were affected by PEDs, then no-go Coops. If they feel the person was clean, hello Big Hall. Why more difficult? Sure there will be debates on some people that were rumored, but let's leave that to debate at that time.

Some may say that's unfair to tie players that were clean and I'd say tough noogies -- they should have figured out a way to come forward when it was going on, instead of cashing those annual 9 mill checks as a mid to high tier player.

Besides, even though football has been testing much longer, there is no way it has the same stigma as that in baseball. Shawn Merriman is an incredible player, was caught, and suspended for 4 games -- or one quarter of his entire season. He still ended up coming in third in MVP voting. Third. I don't see the writers holding PEDs too strongly against him.

But, it's all about the numbers inbaseball -- once you start putting up the big stat numbers, you start getting the big dollar numbers, and everybody else does too. The public can't help but love the numbers -- we'd know if it wasn't on the up and up -- a clean player would tell, right?... and every player looks at each other and puts a finger on the side of their nose and says not it.

(And by the way, love him or hate him, the Shill has never said not it on this topic.)


January 28, 2009

Vote early & often (okay, just vote once, please ;)

YOUR VOTE CAN HELP BMC’S SPARK CENTER WIN $25,000 (and enter to win plane tickets)

The SPARK Center is a Boston Medical Center program that helps impoverished children with HIV/AIDS and other debilitating diseases. Virgin America will be launching in Boston soon and as part of their promotion, the SPARK Center is one of the charities that can win $25,000 if it receives the most votes. By voting, you are entered to win Virgin airline tickets around the world!

The charity that gets the most votes will receive $25,000 from Virgin America on their launch day of Feb 11th. Please take 2 minutes to help BMC’s SPARK Center win $25,000: -

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January 24, 2009

On paper different than execution, but...

But, I'm looking at the Sox and Yankees from a half-full kinda way these days, and I'm pretty happy with the ways things're setting up. I'm also curious to see the outcome of a few things, among them:

- Who will have a better season, Smoltz with the Sox or Lowe with the Braves -- not absolute numbers, because /Smoltz may not be in there right away, but on average. And, at least accordng to Simmons, Atlanta is a Mecca for hooking up - think D-Lowe will fall back on his rumored older ways (I was going to put 'self-destructing', but he still ddoes well either way)?

- Very strange the Sox & Tek haven't just said okay, 12 mill, 2 years, plus incentives (and, as we all know Tek could've had 11 for 1 yr if he accepted arbitration, but he's gotta just lookit that as spilt milk). I heard the Sox aren't budging ffrom a 1 yr deal on the radio, so who knows? I would not be stunned if, at the 11th hour, they pull a Salty Teagarden Montiero outa the terible new hanging Sox hat (to be seen at select away games at a theatre near you, rated 'V', fo vomit) .

- As it is right now, the Sox bullpen looks about 20 feet taller and a whole lot scarier than any Green Monsters. Think about a lot of the losses last year... they happened in games where the connection fom the starter to Paps dropped the ball -- while ramping Masterson up, going w/ on again off again Delcarmen, etc., something tells me Bill James and the Jamesettes sang a song at Yawkey way about the statistical possibilities with a team of strong mid-relievers.

Picture a starting bullpen off Beckett/Lester/Dice-K (especially the Diceman!)/Wake/Penny-Smoltz having to only go 6 - and yes, maybe even 5 on occassion - to essentially lock up games. Less innings, less wear on the arms, and a bullpen that can be relied on to give up zero to 2 runs before handing the ball to Paps. Again, this is on paper, but this doesn't even take into account some other pitchers that are sure to get a call-up to Boston occassionally... Bucholtz - if he gets the slot right, Bowden who seems very likely to step in... The 'pen has been improved by a possible factor of ten (pulling that number from my posterior's orafice) and the starting five/six is definitely an improvement, with solid pitching in the wings.

I would posit that more games were lost last year by either a mid-relief staff that blew the game, or Tito letting a starter go farther in the gamer than he should have, as opposed to games not won, due to the offensive drop off from Manny Ramiewz to Jason Bay.

- Yankees picked up CC (2-9 vs Sox, o8), Burnett, Tex & Swisher (who, I can only think was their safety net/smokescreen? in case they didn't get Tex). Moose knocked down 20 teams last year -- not a lot of 20-game winners in baseball anymore. That's a big number to match up to. Pettitte didn't have a great season, but there's no doubt he's a workhorse that always seemed to give the Sox problems when we least could afford it. Burnett is a very good pitcher, but comes with almost the exact opposite reputation.

- Yanks snagged Tex from the Sox in such a way, to me it was reminscent of the World Series paint being started in Fenway Park in '03 before Grady-ball took place. Both times, the Yankees decided they were not going to lose. But I think Tex would've meant more to the Sox than he will to the Yankees, this year -- overall, Tex will be a great face of the franchise, especially with Jeter on the back nine (not saying his play has declined, just saying he's no longer a young Turk!) and A-Rod skipping Spring Training for Kabala tutotials. Tex would've replaced Lowell - gotta love the man, but Tex is flat out better. As far as I can tell, Tex & Swisher are replacing Giambi & Abreu -- I'll take the latter two for overall better numbers (at least last year, which saw Giambi actually crushing the ball again).

- Damon and Matsui will both be back, but they are putting on the 18th green at this point -- I will be surprised if they play more than a combined 200 games next year.

- There's always the chance that Cano will return to his former brialliance, but who knows?

- I'd expect Jeter & A-Rod to do more of the same this year

- I'd expect Bay to be about the same, with a mid-June slump

- Even though I would've said bye-bye to Ellsbury for Hanley Ramirez (and Clay for that matter), I think Ellsbury will beat his last season.

- Rocco Baldelli portends some interesting possibilities filling in for both Drew/Jacoby/Bay -- let's hope this new disgnosis gives him the energy he needs. With his hometown just past the late afternoon shadow of the Pru, he'll have a lot of support.

- So, I guess I'm just saying, on my paper, the Sox should do as least as well as last year, while the Yankees will be lucky to finish as well.

AL East prediction: Sox, Yanks, Jays, Rays, O's

January 15, 2009

Admit it - Boston is no longer Sports Town USA...

A buddy of mine from NYC emailed a bunch of us up here in Boston and mentioned that if the Eagles take the Superbowl, we will have to pass the title of Sports Town to Philadelphia. while posed as a serious email, we all know that he loves to just say stuff to see if he can get a rise out of us -- and it worked for a couple of emails... we catelogued this incredible decade, while pointing out that no other city has had nearly the same good fortune.

But, he wouldn't budge from his indefensible stand, which is when the, admittedly, very low watt light bulb went on over my head, and I realized how much he must laugh everytime he sees that we emailed back a retort to his position. Realizing we've been played, I decided we should just give in to his demands of reliquishing the title of Sports Town, USA...

"You know, you have a very good point, my leg-pulling New York friend. Before, I was always dying to have my teams just make the finals, let alone win it all. Now that we have so many wins under the belt, at a pace where teams are practically taking turns being the heroes of Boston every year, it's gotten kind of old.

I just don't care about it as much -- it's practically antiquated. Every time I see/hear Sportscenter talking about my teams in a disproportionate way, as compared to the rest of the entire universe, I find myself yawning and realizing that I've grown fond enough of SpongeBob Squarepants, that I can watch his clever quips with Patrick & Squidworth without the kids around. And so I do. Hearing about the day to day dealings of my teams on a national forum -- as if no other teams really mattered -- is frankly, a little bit embarassing. I've had to take a long hard look in the mirror -- and I just didn't like what I saw -- I saw a city that owns the best every league has to offer, and I saw a country that knows it. It was like looking into the sun. It hurt.

So, darn it, I think you're right, we should pass the torch on to some other needy city, as Zeus first touched Hercules and gave him back his qualities of the gods, once he had proven himself worthy. We now, as a city - nay, a region - must realize that we cannot crow about our dominance so unforgively. We must just let it exist as an entity. As a young high schooler, Peter Parker learned a valuable lesson when he let a thief pass him by without trying to stop him - a thief that would later kill his Uncle Ben... With great power comes great responsibility.

We wield a grossly disproportionate amount of power, almost too many championships across the spectrum of all imporatant major sports in these United States, and we have discussed it at length, lo' these many years. Even though there has been little ebb to this great tide of winning -- nay, it's actually gained ground on this lonely beachfront, considering the first half of the 21st Century's first decade was dominated by two sports, and we're now looking at four sport domination -- we must in fact lessen the stranglehold on the title Sports Town USA.

In letting the storied title purposely slip from our grasp - for there is of course no true contesting wannabe titan able to scale our slippery mount - we may in fact find that we have already reached the tanscendent state, that no city or region has ever held over such an extended period of time. Sports Mecca of the World. Philly, New York, LA, London for that matter... whoever... here... here is this title which has given us much happieness. In giving it to whomsoever among you can wrest the title from your bretheren, we look down upon you from our lofty perch with fondness. The game is, of course, on."

With a smug smile I emailed my missive off -- only to open his reply and read in a straight-faced note that it looks like I'm agreeing with him. Whaddyagonnado?

Pittsburgh Mayor Changes Name From Ravenstahl To 'Steeler'stahl

PITTSBURGH -- Bye-bye Luke Ravenstahl and hello Luke Steelerstahl.

With the AFC Championship game between the Steelers and Ravens on Sunday, Mayor Luke “Raven”stahl doesn’t want to be mistaken for a Baltimore sympathizer.

Pittsburgh's mayor has modified his last name to honor the Steelers, who are vying for the AFC Championship.

Ravenstahl, er, "Steelerstahl" said he decided to remove raven from his name just as the Steelers will remove the hated Baltimore Ravens from contention on Sunday.

"They called the office, made the recommendation and of course, as soon as I heard it, I thought it was a great idea," said Steelerstahl. "Have a little fun with this weekend's AFC Championship game."

Ravenstahl made the ceremonious change on Wednesday and will keep it at least through Sunday.

Coincidentally, stahl is German for steel.

January 12, 2009

Steelers, Eagles, Cards, & Ravens...

... but this is what I've thinking about, as opposed to match-ups, when I hear the final four for SB possibilities.

Fitting that the Steelers and Ravens are playing each other for the SB appearance. One of them has to win the SB this year, it's just simple deductive reasoning.

Steelers are the only non-bird team (Eagles, Cardinals, Ravens), so they win
Ravens are the only team that was never part of the Steelers, so they win:
- Steelers are the Steelers
- In 1943 the Eagles & Steelers were combined for the season, due to the heavy loss of personnel in WWII; called the Steagles
- In 1944 the Cardinals (then in Chicago) & Steelers were combined for the same reason, called the Car-Pitts (pronounced carpets)

But, maybe the Ravens - When the original Browns moved to Baltimore they became the Ravens. So named after Poe's adopted town, Baltimore. However, Poe was in U.S. srevice and stationed at Fort Independence on Castle Island, in south boston, prior to his literary career.
although, there is a Boston tie-in for the Eagles...

But Bostonian Mark Wahlberg starred in the movie that chronicles a regular Philly joe who tried out and became an Eagles receiver.

Leaving the Cardinals - heck, it'd be great if they won, since the Pats shmushed their statisticians who dressed for the Pats/Cards December game.

January 2, 2009

Sox, Bruins, Celts, & Pats (sorry, no Blazers)

- Is Mark Teixiera better than Giambi in his prime (last yr w/ Ok. and first with Yankees up to, but not including, '04)? I don't think he is, even though he is a superior fielder -- that said, it'd be nice to have the Lowell/Tex conundrum, I'm just trying to look at the glass half-full. As of today, I'd trade Clay and Jake for Hanley in a heartbeat, if that is really an option, moving Ramirez to CF.

- Yanks are looking very very strong, but I'd wager the Sox pitching will outperform NY this season ~ which will be a cold comfort on which to hang my hat if they have no bats by the time they get to Spring Training. Will Cano rebound? Will Damon get through the season? If you had to answer the question of who will rebound from last season's injuries better, who would you pick, Matsui or Ortiz? I lean Kong-like while carrying Papi-wishes.

- Green going 1-3 on the West Coast ~ did they charter their flight through the NY Jets on some kind of package deal? Half-full: Kind of thought they may have a least a two-game skid after losing to the Lakers - splash of cold water now and again will keep them feeling hungry (still on pace to brwak the 68-win season).

- Bruins in a 10 game win streak - best since '73, with this continued pace, they may... or they can... well, someone will be able to... okay, okay... I know next to nothing about the NHL! But I like watching games live (been to a Bruins game in the last year), and they are the last Boston hold-out for success. I do love that we have two first place teams in our wintersports playing in the same building though. I wonder if the league champs of two different sports has ever been done in the same building in the same year?

- I think the Sox will break their sold-out streak this season. Can you believe that some scalpers were not able to resell some playoff tickets this season? Economy woes are what they are, and the Sox will need to add something to the party even after freezing ticket prices ~ a mid-August Royals match-up during a 6-day heat wave may spell sellout doom. (There are a lot of companies that buy up a lot of tickets that are not going to be spending that extra greet and gras dough this summer).

- I think the Rays are gonna have a sophmore slump.

- Pioli looks to be trading in the Red, Blue and Silver for Brown; if he can help turn them around he will be a God in Cleveland....

Bud-Lite hangs its hat on 'Drinkability'

Seriously… Drinkability? so they’re saying that their beer is definitely a semi-non-toxic liquid? (not counting the alcohol toxcity, which I’ll never really count ;). Wow! I guess they have a leg up on all the other brands of beer that can’t lay claim to such landmark feature. It's not just a beer, it's a beer you can drink!

I would pay money for a video of the presentation meeting of Arnoild, BBDO, FCB, or whatever agency presented this to A-B in St. Louis…

A-B: So… you’re saying that our multi-million dollar account is looking to own the ‘Drinkability’ reputation?

Agency: Exactly!… you’re following us… you see where we’re going… it’s so simple! Noone has ever staked a claim to this feature of beer — now anyone else who does looks like they’re copying us.

A-B: Ummmm, not too many people try to share stupidity.

Agency: Hmmmm…. good point. Okay, think of it another way… you just got bought out by a European beer company, who will be employing their own marketing staff, so you’ll likely be working at Sam Adams or Miller Lite, competing against Bud Lite — you’ll be stacking the deck!!

A-B: You know… ‘Drinkability’ speaks to us…