Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Day After

There's nothing like waking up with a fresh mind and getting a second look at who you drafted.
I hate to blame it on one thing, but having my JAVA program lock up really screwed with my mojo. Still it's not awful, but it could have been a heck of a lot better. I need to scrounge up another closer, and pray that Taveras not only clears waivers but actually gets a decent amount of playing time till Berkman comes back in May. My best pick was probably Sanders simply because I got him so late in the draft. My worse was clearly Morris. I have no idea what I was thinking when I drafted him. Things I need to happen for this year to be successful are Dubois to prove to Dusty he deserves to play fulltime, Wood stays healthy, Berkman comes back lighting it up, and Hampton pitches like the second half rather than the first half of last season. Of course whether you like it or not, I will keep you updated.

Twilight Swingers

P Kerry Wood, ChC
P Tim Hudson, Atl
P Al Leiter, Fla
P Matt Morris, StL
P Mike Adams, Mil
P Mike Hampton, Atl
P Chin-hui Tsao, Col
P Yhency Brazoban, LA
P Zach Day, Was
Bench Rheal Cormier, Phi
Bench Chris Hammond, SD
C Michael Barrett, ChC
1B Brad Wilkerson, Was
2B Mark Loretta, SD
3B Aramis Ramirez, ChC
SS Cristian Guzman, Was
OF Corey Patterson, ChC
OF Willy Taveras, Hou
OF Larry Walker, StL
OF Reggie Sanders, StL
OF Terrmel Sledge, Was
2B/SS Chase Utley, Phi
1B/3B Nick Johnson, Was
Util J.D. Closser, Col
Bench Jason Dubois, ChC
IR Lance Berkman* , Hou

4 Days till Opening Day!

Simmons (The Sport's Guy) wrote this nice little column to Cubs fans (He's a Red Sox fan). I actually got slightly misty eyed and have no idea. Trying to picture what it'd be like to watch the Cubs in the World Series I actually cringed. Not the idea of the Cubs in the World Series, but because of Fox's coverage. Just like the Red Sox fans had endure a historical retelling of Babe Ruth every commercial break, Cubs fans will have to deal with goat pictures, that damn black cat, the ball through Leon's legs in '84, and probably a shot of Bartman everytime a foul ball is hit. I shudder. I wish there was a way that Bartman could charge for everytime his image is shown, he deserves better than this.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

So Much for that idea

Well, that didn't work so well. Only half our league was there so the draft flew by in just an hour. An hour! So much for a running commentary. Now we're stuck with my stupid recap. My first pick was Mark Loretta. Then I was all set for Jason Bay to be my next pick, when the damn system locked up. I got stuck with Berkman, which meant I had to go for another pick to fill his spot till he gets back. It was pretty much all downhill from there. I got some decent players, but completely missed the run on closers. I had to clean that barrel to still get two. I go into more detail, but I'm simply frustrating myself. I think my team is in the crapper, but only the season will tell. I need a drink. Goodnight.

8:55 Jeez I'm getting nervous. It's just a game. It's just a game. It's just a game. Posted by Hello

9:00 pm

And we're off. Carlos Delgado is the first pick. Man my draft position blows.

8:45 pm 3/30/05

Fifteen minutes and counting till the draft. I'm seventh in line to pick, which is one reason it sucks to come in fourth. Right now it looks like Larry Walker, David Wright, or Lance Berkman will be available. Berkman is tempting but he will miss the first part of the season because he tore up his knee playing flag football on a chruch retreat. Now I realize you should still be able to have fun doing other athletic activities as a baseball player, but if you're bringing in a multi-million dollar contract then I'd want nothing to do with anything that might take away my chance to play professional ball. Of course that could just be the hypochondriac in me.

8:30 pm Jersey on. Bobbleheads setup. Tunes on. Almost ready for the draft Posted by Hello

Crunch Time!

For all three of my readers on this blog I’m going to be trying something new tonight. As you all may know I have a fantasy baseball team called the Twilight Swingers. I am only doing one team this season well because I dropped $250 on a PSP. Tonight at 9 pm west coast time I have my live draft. In order to give those that may wonder an idea of what happens during a draft I’m going to be doing a running blog during my draft. I don’t know what is going to happen or what I’m going to write, but there is a chance it might be slightly entertaining. It could also be a horrendous disaster, but that can still be entertaining, right?

To begin thing off let me give you a little background and info on my fantasy team. I go through ESPN’s fantasy website to play. I am in a National League only 5x5 rotisserie keeper league. In a keeper league, at the end of the season each owner selects five players from their roster that they want to keep for the upcoming season. This year I kept:

Kerry Wood - Pitcher
Aramis Ramirez – 3rd baseman
Tim Hudson - Pitcher
Corey Patterson - Outfielder
Brad Wilkerson - Outfielder

Yes, I know three out the five are Cubs. My game plan tonight is to stock up on hitters in the early rounds. With Wood and Hudson as my pitchers I can wait a bit to think about drafting another pitcher. Ramirez is my only true slugger so I have to get some bats early on. We’ll see how that goes. So come back every now and then and see what happens. Or just wait till tomorrow and read it all at once. Or just wait awhile till a non-baseball post shows up. But, I hope to see you tonight.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Ramble On!

So, I'm figuring this is probably going to be the format of the blog. I wanted it to be something a little more concrete than random topics. But as any of my friends will tell you, I'm all random all the time. So enjoy. I'm still working on a new title for the blog. I kind of like the current title. But I think it makes me look like more of an asshole than I really am. Any ideas?

You have 10-1 chance of enjoying this post. Wait. Now it’s 20-1.

I came to the realization that the world would be a better place if we were given odds on everything. In case you haven’t noticed gambling is huge. It has been for the last few years. You can gamble on anything at anytime. But the aspect of odds should be fully implemented into our lives. I think it would help us all make better decisions. The first obvious implementation would be in the drug industry. You know all the commercials where they tell you that there is a chance you could grow a third arm? Why don’t they give you odds? Are my odds 5-1 or 50-1 that I will get a bloody nose and heart arrhythmia? Do I get a 100-1 on the probability of having a 4 hour hard on? This is of course on obvious implementation. But odds could be given in all aspects of life. The uses are limitless. See that attractive girl across the way? Wouldn’t you be more willing to take a chance if you knew there were 6-2 odds that she would like you? This can break down into different tiers as well. You would get odds on: second date, getting laid, marriage, and laughing at your favorite joke. This doesn’t take away the element of surprise. The Butler’s and the Vermont’s of the world still win sometimes. Like they say it’s not about making the safe bet but the smart bet. What concerns me is the criminal element. There is a possibility that it could deter crime. If somebody saw that the odds on robbing a bank were 2-1 that they would spend 20 years in a prison being some sumo size junkie’s bitch, they would think twice. Wouldn’t they? Though I assume that since the criminal element has a gambling streak running through them, they may not care. Also, what happens when someone comes across 3-1 to one odds of getting away with a robbery? 3-1 on getting over $100,000? How do the criminals or desperate walk away from that? I have not fully thought out the implementation of getting odds on everything you do, but I’m leaning towards something along the lines of the Terminator’s where it could ID people and then locate targets within its vision. That way there is no stupid gadget to wear, just a simple implant into the brain, and probably some new kind of eyeball that would show you the odds. Brilliant isn’t it?

Make kids eat their vegetables

A discussion came up at the office on the topic of awful candy. My top five worst candies are:

6. Razzles: It is supposed to be candy and then gum. In reality it’s neither.
5. Root beer candy: I love rootbeer, and that’s not root beer.
4. Jujubes: When I was a kid I got these at the movie theater. They were awful the first time, but I thought that was because they were stale. So, I got a box the next time with the same result. It wasn’t till my third disgusting box that I realized the five hour chew time was intentional. One could easily last you a whole movie so why buy a box?
3. Wax Bottles: Is there anything more disappointing than chewing through tasteless wax in order to drink crappy kool-aid?
2. Good N Plenty: I chose this over all black licorice candy because of its deceptive advertising. Growing up as a kid you know how to avoid the black licorice. It’s black! Black jelly beans being the perfect example. I knew not to eat those. But when Good N Plenty came in their purple and white colors I was suckered into eating black licorice. Bastards! Also, I’m pretty sure black licorice candy wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the Sambuca industry. The only way you could be a Sambuca drinker is if you ate black licorice as a kid. So please stop trying to sell me on Sambuca. I hated it as a kid. I’m going to hate it now.
1. Circus Peanuts: This pale orange marshmallow(?) candy is clearly the worst candy ever made. I know people who actually like the previously mentioned candies, but I know of not one single person who actually enjoys these. On a whole, when you take in consistency, taste, color, odor, and ability to survive nuclear fallout this is easily the worst candy I’ve ever eaten.

This all made me think that if this was all I knew of candy, vegetables weren’t really so bad. Halloween would have sucked. There would be no candy industry, if these products were all we knew of candy. See, these products exist under the assumtion that all candy is good. People wouldn't fall for Good N Plenty if all we knew of candy was black licorice.

It is official: I’m a gadget whore!

I have always had a fascination with electronics. I tried to be the kid that could build his own computer from a shoebox and an old hamster wheel, but I never had a patience for it. I took those Commodore 64 classes during summer when I was a kid. I even tried to program my own Zork adventure on my step-father’s computer. I was unsuccessful because of inability to plan ahead resulting in always getting the program stuck in a loop. I’ve always sat on the cusp of the geek and trendy worlds of electronics. And I will admit have secretly wished I had the geek know how to write programs and fool around with electronics. Again it comes down to patience. Even with my fascination of all things electronic I wasn’t really a gadget whore…till I could afford it. Yes I have an X-box, PS2, digital camera, Pocket PC, 2 MP3 Players, XM Radio, but I was never quick to jump onto the bandwagon. Heck it wasn’t till last Christmas that I got an Xbox. I was never an “early adopter.” That is till now. In case you haven’t heard a new handheld gaming system called the PSP came out last Thursday. And yes I was one of those who waited inline for the store to open to get one. I had planned on getting one. I even pre-ordered one for the second shipment. But patience lost out and I couldn’t wait an extra week. So I waited Thursday morning with my fellow gadget and gaming whores. I became an early adopter of a PSP. Yes it will go down in price as the days wane on, but for once I could afford to be an early adopter, and I am completely enthralled with my PSP. I can’t wait to find myself somewhere outside my house that I’m bored enough to play it.

Speaking of video games

With the horrible months of February and January behind us the month of March has brought us two “Game of the year” contenders. "Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory" you know of if you game. But I picked up "God of War" the other day, and it’s fantastic. First of all, I’m not much of a “story” involved gamer. I’m the guy who is thankful that there is a button to skip the cut scenes, but not with this game. I actually became involved and never thought once about skipping. The combat controls make for easy pick up and play. The learning curve of the game progresses well enough where you constantly feel challenged at some point on each level. There are some fixed camera issues but they are tolerable since if you had control of the camera you would miss out on some of the beautiful graphics this game has. It’s easily the best looking PS2 game made, and the loading times are fantastic too. One word of caution. The game is very, very, very bloody. There are also some strong adult situations involved. As they say in the movies. It’s a hard “M” rating.


With less than a week till baseball’s Opening Day, my spankin’ new Sandberg jersey came in the mail. It’s going to take awhile till I get comfortable enough to wear it without the fear of it getting dirty. It is a beautiful sight though. With baseball season so close, I should just let you few readers know that baseball posts will be popping up regularly. If I could warn you when such posts would happen I would. I apologize now for the inconvenience.

Monday, March 14, 2005


I know this is old news. I've been wanting to write something about this, but all my efforts still turned into fanboy ranting at the end. So, I will leave with just the link in case you haven't heard already. I feel my childhood curling up in the corner of my soul. I'm sorry. It's really not that bad. It's just a cartoon. That defined who I am today! Now they are taking it all and shredding up- See! I can't stop. I need to go lie down and watch the Looney Tunes Golden Collection to ease my old soul.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Uptown Lights Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

It’s All in the Preparation

It’s the beginning of Spring Training. And once again I am filled with anticipation for this upcoming baseball season. It is by far my favorite time of year. Hope springs eternal or at least till your team gets swept in late September by a sub .500 team, putting them out of the playoff race. Though even with the expectation of defeat, I begin every season with some rituals in preparation for Opening Day.

Baseball Movie Marathon: Throughout the month plus of Spring Training I will watch Sandlot, Bull Durham, The Natural and Field of Dreams in that order. As of a few years ago I tacked on The Rookie. The only one stipulation I really hold to in watching these movies is that I have to watch them alone, particularly the last three. I made the mistake of watching The Rookie with a friend of mine. When Quaid calls to tell his wife that he got called up and she hands the phone to their son. Oh boy. That moment is up there with the ballboy handing his own bat to Redford, and Costner asking his Dad to play catch. Dammit. My allergies are acting up already. Speaking of baseball movies, I caught a trailer of Fever Pitch. Some Red Sox fans I know were furious that Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore tainted the Red Sox celebration by running on the field to re-shoot the ending. I can understand their dislike for this apparent cashing in on the Red Sox, much like Dan Shaughnessy, and I share in their dislike of Jimmy Fallon. Who the hell likes the Red Sox and the Yankees? But no matter what, there is no way that this movie will even come close to the travesty that is Rookie of the Year. I will also admit that I’m slowly becoming disenfranchised with the Red Sox Nation.

Fantasy Baseball Draft: Like the real baseball season, much of the enjoyment of Fantasy Baseball is the preparation. I spend so many countless hours researching magazines, box scores, and online columns it’s amazing I ever get any work done. Though with so much information out there it’s nearly impossible to find a sleeper or comeback player that nobody else has heard of. It’s basically all come down to draft position and working the waiver wire. This is a big year for me in fantasy baseball. I’m in my final year of my keeper league. I came in fourth last year and I am going to need the Twilight Swingers to reclaim my rightful position of first from two years ago. I was killed last year by injuries and losing players traded to the AL, but I feel good about this year despite my terrible draft position. That could of course all change with a dislocated shoulder, bizarre nerve problem in the arm, or Achilles heel.

MVP Baseball: Early March is when the new baseball video games come out. For years the one thing I hated about baseball was the video games. I wasn’t just bad at them, I was horrendous. My armless niece could beat me I was so inept at those games. That is until EA came out with MVP Baseball. Thanks to their new fangled pitching system I can now at least compete. I still swing at everything. It’s still like watching Bad News Bears when I attempt to field anything. But I can at least pitch the lights out now. This year is EA’s final baseball title. This would normally be terrible news, if it wasn’t for the fact that this means I will eventually have to play more than one season. I would do a full review, but this review will be better. I do though have two gripes that Mr. Katcher doesn’t mention. First on the color coding of the pitches. The colors are all wrong. To help when batting they’ve now color coded the ball up to the point of release. If the ball is white that means a fastball is coming. A red ball means the pitch is gonna move like a curve or slider. Green means change up. Isn’t it obvious that fastball should be green, curve should be yellow, and the change up should be red? I can understand the fastball needing to stay white, but when I see green I think go, which is the wrong thing to be thinking on a change up. I know this aspect of the game is supposed to help with batting, but I still can’t hit. In fact I think it makes me worse. Secondly, in Owner Mode I played an 18 inning game at my home ballpark. I assumed that I should rake in on the concessions, but no. I brought in around the same amount as every other game. How can this be? Even if you split my attendance in half for those who went home, shouldn’t I be taking in at least a little more? Did nobody want anything to eat or drink for the last nine innings? For the record it was 0-0 till the 18th when the Pirates scored two on errors of course. But I was somehow able to score three runs in the bottom of the ninth. The last run involving a head on collision at home plate which knocked the ball free. How much do I love this game! Also, the fact that Nomar got injured in the fifth game of my season scares me to death.

Cub’s memorabilia: Usually I purchase a new Cubs hat for the new season. I still end up going back to my two Cooperstown replica hats, but I still buy one. This year I went a little large. I finally bought my own Ryne Sandberg jersey. I even went old school with simply the number and no name on the back. I also gave into the Cubs believe bracelets. I’m not usually a sucker for such things, but they caught me when I was easily persuadable. I bought five. At least they go to a good cause.

Baseball trip: While surfing the Cub’s website seeing when they are playing the Dodgers and Padres, I always plan a dream baseball trip. I try to fit as many games I can in a week. Twice it’s actually happened. I hit all the California teams with my father a few years ago, and my friend Bob and I hit the Northeast with a long ass drive to Wrigley in the middle. This year I might try to actually make trip #3 across the Mid-west. Thank God for hiatus.

Cub’s Media Programming: I’ve got my Tivo set for the Cubs games. I’ve programmed all the XM MLB stations into my presets. I’ve even signed up to get the Cubs games on my computer.

It’s a lot to cram in a month, but it all helps that month pass by a little faster. As of this writing there are 25 days 20 hours 26 minutes 22 seconds left till Opening Day. So I say screw January 1st. April 4th is really the beginning of the New Year.