Thursday, April 23, 2009


Another beautiful day here in sunny Naples, FL. It was 88 degrees and it will be 89 tomorrow. No week ever goes by faster than a week in Florida. The days pile up fast and next thing you know, it's almost time to leave. No time in the world goes by faster than time spent parked in a lounge chair on the beach.

Naples is my kind of vacation - beach, beer, and dining at some of the hundreds of restaurants available to dine at in Naples. What a place! Exactly why did my family decide it would be best to settle in the Northeast as opposed to down here where every day is sunny and 80?

Congratulations to the Boston Bruins on their first playoff series victory in ten years. There's a Cup Bruin in Boston this year! This team is loaded and deep. They play defense and Tim Thomas had the best regular season of any NHL goaltender. What's not to like about their chances for Lord Stanley's Cup?

I caught a moment of Lindsay Lohan on the Ellen show this morning. I may be wrong, but I swore I heard her say she doesn't party when she's working on a film. Really? As a faithful reader of the NY Post's Page Six section, if that were truly the case, why can't she get work in Hollywood? It's because she's a one person Barnum and Bailey's Circus. For goodness sakes, kid, go move to Wyoming, get your life together, and stay out of the the public eye for a year. California and NYC are not good places for her to be. Then again, she doesn't strike me as being all that bright.

Just about done reading Marc Levin's Liberty and Tyranny - A Conservative Manifesto. Levin makes many great points in the book, however it does get redundant after a while. A worthy read, nonetheless, because you really find out how clueless liberals , or as Levin calls them "Statists" really are.

I think it is greatness that there are all those empty seats at the new Yankee Stadium in the front rows behind home plate. Who can justify $2500 per seat to watch them get bombed 22-4 by the Indians in this economy?

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Until yesterday, the Red Sox bats have been underwhelming. Despite finally breaking out, I'm concerned with Big Papi. Reggie Jackson once described himself as, "The Straw that Stirs the Drink", much to the irritation of his late 70's Yankee teammates. David Ortiz can rightfully proclaim that he IS the straw that stirs the drink on the 2009 Boston Red Sox. If he's not at least the 2007 version of himself, the Sox have no thunder from the left side. J.D. Drew provides punch, but he can't consistently stay healthy.

As much as I bash Tim Wakefield, he put in a masterful performance yesterday and provided the team exactly what it needed. That was Wake's first victory in Oakland since 1999.

The Bruins and Canadiens meet tonight for the umpteenth time in the playoffs, in a best of seven series. Montreal has emerged the victor in most of these playoff series meetings, but this time the Bruins clearly have a better team and should win the series in six games. Under Claude Julien, the Bruins have put an emphasis on defense, and have been solid in that regard in front of Tim Thomas all year. As long as Manny Fernandez doesn't make an appearance between the pipes, the Bruins should advance and win their first playoff series in TEN years.

Considering it was tax day, I forgot to post this yesterday. Here are the first few verses, in which George Harrison's lyrics are still timely 43 years later:

Taxman - George Harrison (performed by the Beatles)
Let me tell you how it will be
There’s one for you, nineteen for me
’cause I’m the taxman
Yeah, I’m the taxman

Should five percent appear too small
Be thankful I don’t take it all
’cause I’m the taxman
Yeah, I’m the taxman

(if you drive a car) I’ll tax the street
(if you try to sit) I’ll tax your seat
(if you get too cold) I’ll tax the heat
(if you take a walk I’ll tax your feet

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Red Sox Game - Live Blog

Live blog today with entries from each inning. Brad Penny vs. Joe Saunders. This game has the potential to be a good pitchers duel. Penny is the Sox winter signing that excited me the most. If he's healthy, he's an All Star; a #2 starter. I'm more enthusiastic about Penny than Smoltz, because Smoltz is 43 years old. Anyway, here we go...

Pregame - What is that dead animal on TV analyst Eric Karros' head?

1st inning - I abhor the Red Sox new uniforms. First of all, the team name is the RED SOX, why do they now have navy blue socks? Second, why are they emulating the NY Yankees? These new away uniforms look EXACTLY like the Yankees road threads. AWFUL!

Angels manufacture a run with a walk, stolen base and two ground outs. Textbook. Well done.

2nd inning
- Brad Penny was only hitting 88-89 mph on the radar gun in the first inning, but as of the second inning, he loosened up and has been consistently hitting 93 on the radar gun.

It drives me crazy when the Red Sox get guys in scoring position and no one out and can't capitalize. This is the second time in two innings they've done this.

3rd inning - Jason Varitek moves his front foot too much in the batters box. He takes 2-3 steps with his front foot per swing. The last Sox player who moved his feet that much in the batters box was Troy O'Leary.

How did Mike Napoli get on top of that high fastball and blast it over the CF fence? 2-0 Halos.

4th inning - Papi just doesn't look like the same hitter to me. I know it's early in the season, but I'm starting to wonder about this offense. It looks good on paper, but can they hit good pitching?

On that crazy juggling catch Jason Bay just made, I think Angels manager Mike Scioscia has a good case that the ball bounced off the wall while it was being juggled.

5th inning - After a Jason Bay walk, Mike Lowell ties it up with a rocket into the left field bleachers. 2-2 game. What Red Sox fan doesn't love Mike Lowell?

Penny just hit 95 on the gun. I've been impressed with him so far. Not bad for a 5th starter, huh? Eric Karros just agreed with me.

Spoke to soon. Napoli just crushed one that's now orbiting somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. 3-2 Angels.

6th inning - Sox go 1-2-3. Joe Saunders always pitches well vs. the Blue Sox.

Vladimir Guerrerro doesn't scare me anymore in the least. He swings at too many bad pitches and gets himself out too often.

Nice 1-2-3 outing for Penny. I'm guessing this will be it for him. Six innings, 3 runs is a nice start for a guy who only threw 12 spring training innings.

7th inning - Jason Bay jacks a line drive down the LF line, HOME RUN, driving in Rocco Baldelli, who singled to get on base. Sox ahead, 4-3. I was just thinking that Bay was due to break out.

Second hit of the day for the birthday boy, Jason Varitek. He's 37 today and has a single and a double.

Ramon Ramirez now on the hill for the Red Sox. He's sporting a really nice glove - a Spalding. You don't see too many Spalding gloves anymore. I remember having two as a kid - a kid model which was my first glove and a first baseman's mitt that I inherited from my cousin.

Two HR and a double today for Mike Napoli. When did he suddenly morph into Buddy Bell/Don Money/Junior Felix, the tri captains of the all time Red Sox killer team?

8th inning - Kevin Jepsen in the game to replace starter Joe Saunders for the Angels. Jepsen apparently attended the, "How To Wear a Baseball Cap and Not Bend the Bill 101" course taught by instructor Joba Chamberlain. He also attended the course taught by Chamberlain called, "How To Pitch the 8th and Get a 1-2-3 Inning".

Howie Kendrick hits a can of corn to the warning track. Jacoby has it all the way with a few feet to spare.

Kevin Youkilis may be "The Greek God of Walks", but I believe Bobby Abreu has the best batting eye in baseball.

NICE PLAY on a grounder to Youkilis, who dove and tipped it to Pedroia, who picked it up and zipped it to Ramirez covering 1B for the out. Well done. Two outs in the 8th and here comes Papelbon to face Vlad Guerrerro. Good job by Ramirez going 1 2/3 innings allowing 0 runs.

Guerrerro lines out to Bay in LF, and we head to the 9th inning, 4-3 ,Good Guys.

9th inning - Justin Speier in the game for the Angels in relief for Jepsen.

Another ding dong for Jason Bay. 5-3 Blue Sox!

Torii Hunter hits a bomb into the right center field bleachers off Papelbon. 5-4 S0x. I always liked Torii. He's a good player.

Kendry Morales ropes a double down the RF line. The speedy Reggie Willits is in to run for Morales with 0 outs. Papelbon is making an adventure out of this.

Rivera grounds out to SS. Willits stays at 2B.

The red hot Napoli at the plate. Napoli walks and represents the potential winning run at 1B.

Erick Aybar up. STRUCK HIM OUT! Two outs.

The pesky Chone Figgins could be the Angels last gasp. Walk. Bases loaded. Papelbon is putting forth a classic Load Em Up Lee Smith type closing adventure.

After an interminable AB, with 7 pitches fouled off, Howie Kendrick lines out to RF to end the game.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Crumbs on the Table

My new favorite TV show is Rock of Love Tour Bus with Bret Michaels. It is riveting televison. I know that brain cells are disintegrating in my head as I watch the show, but I can't shut it off. Sunday will be the season finale where Bret will pick his Rock of Love, as well as supposedly being the series finale. As much as I enjoyed the first two seasons, this Tour Bus season has been the best of them all. Poison frontman Michaels comes across as a fidelity challenged, yet very likeable star of the show.

On Tuesday, I was really looking forward to the first episode of the television show Rescue Me in almost two years. My wife and I are big Denis Leary fans and attend his Comics Come Home benefit every year. Before going off the air and skipping last season due to the Writer's Strike, Rescue Me was one of my favorite shows on TV. After watching Tuesday's season opener, I came away disappointed. I waited that long for THAT? The first episode reminded me of Seinfeld where nothing happened, except Seinfeld happened to be funny. I can't recall a worse episode of Rescue Me than this season opener. I found myself bored watching it.

I really enjoy playing golf and tennis. I find both sports to be great fun, and in the case of golf, addicting. However, I can't stand watching either on TV or listen to analysis about them on the radio. When a sports radio station starts talking about a golf tournament, nothing makes me reach for a car radio button to change the station faster. FLICK!

Exactly why do ten year old kids need a cellphone and what planet are these parents that give these kids cell phones at that age on?

I just finished reading "Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days And The Party Nights Of The Dallas Cowboys" by Jeff Pearlman. I found this to be the best sports book I've read since "Snake" by Ken Stabler. While Pearlman's prose is occasionally redundant (I believe he described Aikman as enjoying country music and cold beer three times in the book), his writing style is very readable and enjoyable. I couldn't put the book down. Extra credit is given to Pearlman for his two page thrashing of the loathsome ESPN "personality" Skip Bayless. The most fascinating part of the book is Pearlman's character sketch of Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Opening Day!

Despite the World Champion Phillies opening the season with a loss to America's Team (the Braves) last night, I'll declare today to be Opening Day with thirteen games scheduled today. After a few years of wise decisions by MLB where most of the Opening Day games being held in the warmer climates of the south, California, and dome stadiums, MLB inexplicably reverted back to scheduling Opening Day games in Chicago and Boston. Because of this decision, the Royals-White Sox game has already been postponed due to snow in Chicago today and the Rays-Red Sox game is in jeopardy of being postponed due to rain.

One of the biggest MLB disappointments of the last ten years has to be Nationals 1B Nick Johnson. He tore up the minor leagues back in his Yankee days and was ticketed to for superstardom. He's got power and has a great batting eye - .396 lifetime OBP. However, he just cannot stay on the field due to injuries and his numbers suffer for it. Some guys are made of glass and Johnson is one of those players.

I barely recognize anyone from the Nationals pitching staff.

The Yankees defense looks to be among the worst in MLB.

Looking at the Cincinnati Reds offense, they may only score about as often as an MLS soccer team. The days of the Big Red Machine seem like a century ago.

The worst free agency signing this past offseason is the Giants giving Edgar Renteria ridiculous money. How do GM's like the Giants Brian Sabean and the Padres Kevin Towers continue to hold onto jobs? The teams they construct are always either terrible or mediocre.

Perusing the St. Louis Cardinals roster, it's looks like it could be a long year for the Cardinals and their fans. That team that won the World Series in 2006, is completely dismantled. That's a shame, because that team has great fans, but owner Bill DeWitt has been on a penny pinching roll the last few years and it's hurting the product.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Quickie

Come on, Boston Red Sox. Can't you get someone better to throw out the first pitch than Ted Kennedy? Ted is as polarizing a public figure as anyone. It's going to be embarrassing when half the crowd boos him. Are the Red Sox really assuming that the Fenway crowd will conduct itself with class by giving Teddy a polite cheer? Remember, this is the same group of people that shout "Yankees Suck!" at games and wear T-shirts to the games that say, "Jeter Swallows".

The New York Times is threatening to shut down the Boston Globe, unless the unions make concessions which would strip or reduce benefits and promises made to the workers as part of their contracts. While I feel badly for the pressmen and the people that produce the paper, this is not a surprise to me. If you read both the Boston Herald and Globe on a daily basis, it is like reading about two separate worlds. The Globe has chosen to be chummy with Beacon Hill insiders. The Herald has become the paper of investigative record, constantly unearthing evidence of corruption and self serving behavior by politicians. To put it bluntly, the Globe has been getting its collective ass kicked in terms of news reporting by the Herald.

Here's where the Globe continues not to "get it". Their transparent liberalism is on display every day in the papers; so much so, that it permeates every non op ed political story they do. Yet, in today's article about the possibility of the Globe shutting down, one of the sentences from the story that is mind boggling says that critics say the paper is a victim of its liberal bias, but these critics don't provide specific eamples.

My responses to this silly sentence are the following:

1.) Who was the last Republican to run for Governor, U.S. Senate, or President that received a Globe endorsement in a general election?

2.) When Deval Patrick proposed a $0.29 gas tax hike, the Globe gleefully endorsed it saying that that responsible people sometimes need to make difficult decisons, as opposed to the Globe taking a moderate, prudent view of encouraging Beacon Hill to cut waste.

3.) They should go back and read their cheerleading coverage of the Obama Presidential campaign from the last 12 months.

While the Globe has revived its sports coverage in recent years with the addition of Mike Reiss and Chad Finn, the continued presence of lazy, entitled columnists Dan Shaughnessy and Nick Cafardo continue to be a drag on the sports page.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cutler Traded to Bears

After acting like a crybaby when word came out that the Denver Broncos were interested in QB Matt Cassel, the Broncos have jettisoned Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears. Cutler, seeming to forget that professional sports is a business, had his nose out of joint regarding the Cassel inquiries and refused to come to some sort of agreement/consensus with new head coach Josh McDaniels and owner Pat Bowlen.

The Broncos got a ransom of draft picks, along with QB Kyle Orton from the Bears who haven't had a good QB in 20 years, since Jim McMahon was there. Cutler made a big mistake by allegedly not returning phone calls from McDaniels and Bowlen. Denver has one of the most talented young offenses in the NFL and Josh McDaniels' system would certainly benefit his career. Now Cutler is in Chicago, with mediocre offensive talent, and best of all, he and Bears Offensive Coordinator Ron Turner, have some bad blood going back to when Cutler was being recruited for college.

I believe the Broncos got the best of the trade. With the two first rounders they received from the Bears, they can focus on fixing up a porous defense that was among the worst in the NFL last year. McDaniels proved last year that he can tailor a system to an inexperienced QB last year when he helped Matt Cassel become a top 10 QB in the NFL.