Friday, September 30, 2011

Baseball Playoff Predictions

Phi over STL - Phi over Mil
Mil over Ari

NYY over Det - NYY over TB
TB over Tex

World Series
Phi 4-2 NYY

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The 2011 Nats

Though the Nats came up one game short from having a .500 record, it was a great year. The young players especially showed promise, though things were not always rosy. Danny Espinosa had 17 hrs and 52 rbis at the all star break. With a late season surge, he finished with 21 and 66, with a .236 average. Wilson Ramos captured the Nats records for homers by a catcher with 15. He had 52 rbis and hit .267, but his defense was the most impressive. Ian Desmond raised his average to .253 by the end and briefly hit well in the leadoff role.

Michael Morse had a breakout year hitting .303 with 31 hrs 95 rbis. He played a good first base, but the team might keep him in left next season, a position where he struggled. Ryan Zimmerman was hurt for the early part of the year and posted subpar numbers as a result, but still hit for .289 average. Jayson Werth did not have a good year after signing a huge free agent contract. He did finish with 20 hrs and 19 sbs.

Ivan Rodriguez didn't play much fo the year, but was a fan favorite on his continuing quest for 3,000 hits. The hitters, save for a few stretches, struggled this year. The lack of offense cost the team a winning record for the first time in Nats history. The defense, however, was much improved. So was the pitching.

Stephen Strasburg recovered from Tommy John surgery and in 5 starts at the end of the season and posted a 1.50 ERA. Tommy Milone was impressive in his 5 starts with a 3.81 ERA. Brad Peacock shoed signs in his 3 games. While the future looks bright, the present wasn't bad either.

John Lannan reached 10 wins, lost 13, with a 3.70 ERA. Livan Hernandez, a crowd favorite, was 8-13 with a 4.47 ERA because of a poor stretch during the dog days of summer. Jordan Zimmermann, coming off of Tommy John surgery was 8-11 with a 3.18 ERA and should be a staple of the rotation for years to come. Jason Marquis was 8-5 before he was traded and Chien Min Wang ironed things out after a shaky start to his comeback from injury.

The real story was the bullpen, particularly Drew Storen (6-3, 2.75 ERA, 43 saves) and Tyler Clippard (3-0, 1.83 ERA). Henry "MPH Rod" Rodriguez is a young powerful arm that hasn't yet learned to pitch.

The team battled through the bizarre resignation of their manager, Jim Riggleman, and endured the outdated philosophies of their "new" manager, Davey Johnson. The team managed to pull out a number of victories that appeared set to add to the loss column. The Nats were easy to root for in 2011. They're not a finished project, but with talent in the minors and a willingness to spend on free agents, expectations for the coming years are high.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Week into Los Animales de los Diez Milliones

Well, my fellow citizens, it's been a week since we implemented the program, Los Animales de los Diez Milliones, and it has not gone well. Instead of doing their jobs, our citizens have roamed the land in search of animals to pet and feed. They've done a great job too. But in an ironic trick of the gods, the better our citizens do with the task at hand, the worse shape the economy is in.

Within one week, our economy has disintegrated. Roads and buildings are crumbling. Sick people are not able to find a adequate health care as doctors and nurses scour the countryside for squirrels to give nuts to. The banking system has collapsed. The military has vanished. Grungy people can be seen all over slowly walking in a zombie-like daze muttering to themselves, "Here kitty kitty. Nice kitty."

As your leader, I have the unique ability to recognize when something is not working. Los Animales de los Diez Milliones is not working; not because it was a stupid idea, but because you, the citizenry, have not handled it well. As your leader, I feel it my job to get our country back on track. I will do everything in my power to turn things around.

Today's decrees
It's about time for a long vacation with my hot Tajik nurse Delruba. I'm going to my ranch to clear some brush and plow some land and yes I'm still talking about Delruba.

Lonely Planet has rated us as one of the top 10 nicest hellscapes to visit! I decree that you all give yourselves a pat on the back, you deserve it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Bills are 3-0

Many doubted the Bills. Even with an undefeated record and playing at home, the odds makers made the Bills a decided underdog. But the odds makers don't know football. They look at the draft position of the Bills stars. They focus on "potential."

Down 21-0 in the first half, it looked like the naysayers were right. Sure, the Bills had come back from down 21-3 to the Raiders, but this was the Patriots. The Bills hadn't beaten them in about 8 years. The Patriots were undefeated too.

Ryan Fitzpatrick was determined to prove the doubters wrong. The Bills had cut the lead to 21-10 by the half. Tom Brady was struggling. The Bills scored again. Then again. The Bills had the lead!

But, as was the case against the Raiders, the opponent came back. Tied at 24, the Bills scored another TD. The Pats answered. At the end of the game, Fred Jackson nearly scored a leading TD. Instead, the TD was called back and the Bills kicked the winning FG.

To beat the Patriots is sweet. A 3-0 record, the only undefeated AFC team, is great. Shutting up people who have dogged the team is wonderful. But it's a long season. This was a statement game, but there are still 13 games left. Let's not get carried away.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


This is my 2011th post. In 2011, I hope we are able to have empathy for our fellow human beings. Instead of justifying our actions at the expense of others, we should act in the interest of others. I hope that people no longer take up arms for the sake of power. Instead, they try to be a part of something greater and learn to share power.

I hope that we are able to focus on the positive. Nothing is objective in the world. We have the ability to perceive everything in anyway. It is up to us to shape the world. We can do it through a determined vision. Giving up faith in our fellow humans will never help anything.

I believe that things will continue to move in a positive direction. There is so much that is great about the world. And there is much that can be greater. We simply need to dream of it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Superfluous Pound-for-Pound Best

Here is an updated version of my obnoxiously unnecessary and utterly superfluous list of the top 10 pound-for-pound boxers. The previous list was posted on June 22.

1) Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs), [Previous Rank: 1]
2) Floyd Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs), [PR: 2]
3) Sergio Martinez (47-2-2, 26 KOs), [PR: 3]
4) Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs), [PR: 4]
5) Vitali Klitschko (43-2, 40 KOs), [PR: 6]
6) Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs), [PR: 5]
7) Timothy Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs) [PR: 7]
8) Nonito Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs) [PR: 8]
9) Bernard Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs) [PR: 9]
10) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (82-3-1, 44 KOs), [PR: 10]

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Nats Announcers

I read that the Nats didn't pick up Bob Carpenter's option for next season. That's a shame. I sincerely hope the Nats bring him back. He's been with the club since 2006 and that first hand knowledge of the team's history is not something you can replace.

Carpenter is very professional and experienced. After all these years, he's comfortable to listen to. Sure, over six 162 game seasons, he's said some wacky things. But most of those wacky thigns came in during the Dibble era. His homer attitude has also largely eroded since Dibble left. The Nats should sign him for next year.

I like F.P. Santangelo and value consistency in the broadcast booth (unless an announcer is really terrible; for example, Rob Dibble or Ray Knight). Santangelo has trouble when a play-by-play guy challenges something he says. He flipped out when Carpenter tried to avoid the subject of Michael Morse winning a batting title and scolded Dave Jageler when the latter didn't accept that the Phillies clinching the division against the Nats for the fifth time was somehow a good thing. But if he can get past that, I like F.P.

I also really like the radio guys, Jageler and Charlie Slowes, so let's not change them. But Ray Knight has got to go. His analysis is so convoluted, everything relates to his playing days somehow, and he makes outlandish statements (such as Danny Espinosa is one of the best second basemen ever).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Los Animales de los Diez Milliones

My fellow citizens, my hot Tajik nurse Delruba made a great suggestion recently as she was rubbing her bare breasts against my face. She always seems to have the best ideas when that happens. I wonder what that's about.

Today's decrees
Delruba loves animals so I decree that every citizen must take part in a new government program. This project will be called Los Animales de los Diez Milliones because our goal is to help ten million animals.

Every citizen must take off from work one week every month to care for animals. Each citizen must roam the city streets and the countryside in search of cats to pet, dogs to play fetch with, hamsters to feed those little pellets to, cows to milk, monkeys to mock, pigs to clean, snakes to avoid, and minks to not make fur coats out of.

Once we've helped 10 million animals, Delruba has assured me that our nation's economy will be strong and we will be able to invade and defeat her native Tajikistan, the nation that harbors the most notorious terrorist, Taylor Jonathan Thomas.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Bills are 2-0

Down 21-3 in the second half, things bleak for the Bills. But this isn't your older brother's Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick would throw for 3 touchdowns and Fred Jackson would run for two more when it was all said and done. Superstar Stevie Jackson nearly had 100 yards receiving and Jackson had more rushing.

The Bills managed to take the lead 24-21 early int he fourth. It seemed as if momentum was completely on Buffalo's side and the Bills might even cruise to an "easy" victory. But the Raiders came back to take the lead. The Bills answered. The Raiders scored another touchdown. On 4th down with only a few seconds remaining, Fitzpatrick threw the ball to a wide open Nelson for the 38-35 win.

The Bills are 2-0 now. They didn't win their second game last season until November 21. Coincidentally, that was also a stunning comeback; down 28-7 to the Bengals, the Bills won 49-31. You have to think all of those close losses to good teams last season helped. It also showed that Buffalo wasn't too far off last season from being a good team.

Next week is a big game against the Patriots at home.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mayweather-Ortiz Preview

The thought is that Victor Ortiz has a shot to win against Floyd Mayweather because Ortiz is young, strong, and a southpaw. Mayweather hasn't faced anyone with two of those components in years, let alone all three. Mayweather is also stepping into the ring for the first time since May 2010 and he's 34 years old. Ortiz is 24. The theory goes that Mayweather, who relies on his reflexes, has to get old sometime and this could be it.

It's an interesting line of reasoning. Perhaps Ortiz's left-handed stance will throw off Mayweather, but that is his only chance. Sure, Ortiz has power, but is he going to find the target? I doubt it.

Mayweather is just a cut above Ortiz. Ortiz's win against Andre Berto, in a hard fought contest, was a big step for him. But Mayweather is on another level. His defense is light years ahead of the easily-hit Berto.

Ortiz is easy to hit as well. Mayweather's accuracy is incredible. That is not a good recipe for Ortiz. Ortiz is extremely mentally tough out of the ring. But in the ring, there are questions. His quitting in the Marcos Maidana fight has been well-documented. He redeemed himself to a degree, rising from the floor to win against Berto. But how will Ortiz react when he realizes he can't touch up Mayweather and he's receiving pot shots in return?

Mayweather is not willing to take the risks that would result in a KO. But I see an easy and uneventful unanimous decision win by a wide margin for Mayweather. Ortiz is a good up-and-coming fighter, but Mayweather is one of the two best fighters in the sport.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Am I a Dwarf?

Because I'm short, people sometimes ask me if I am a dwarf or a midget. My understanding is to be a dwarf, you not only have to short, you also need to be disproportionate in some way.

So, I guess I am a dwarf on account of my giant penis.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cheering Death

At the past two Republican debates, the audience has cheered for the death of their fellow man. Last week in California, the crowd hooted and hollered when the moderator, Brian Williams, mentioned that Rick Perry has been responsible for the most amount of executions of any governor in history. This week, some members in the audience yelled for a hypothetical 30-year old uninsured man who had faced a tragedy to die.

My instinct in both cases was to cringe in disgust. I wanted to distance myself from those who feel self-righteous enough to call for another human's death. That does not sync with my values.

But another urge soon struck me, a wish to understand. The death of over 200 people is a reason to cry for me, no matter how the justice system judges them. But not for this crowd of people. Perhaps they view the world in terms of good and bad. The good must be preserved; the bad must be extinguished. I can't relate. But I can try to understand.

When humans are suffering, I believe it the duty of all humans to help them. it doesn't matter if they've made mistakes in the past. The folks yelling in the last debate don't agree with me. Perhaps they feel that life is something that must be earned; we are all responsible only for our own. This is antithetical to my system of beliefs, but I know I don't have all the answers.

It's essential to listen to opposing points of view. Not all will be valid. But only through understanding a person's reasoning can we determine the validity of said viewpoint. By understanding other's beliefs we understand our own better.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Not Happy with Davey Johnson

When the Nats announced that Davey Johnson would be the new manager, I was pleased. He's been a great manager in the past. I'm not one to criticize managers, but Johnson's tenure has, for some reason, seen me wax nostalgic about the great Bobby Cox.

Before the Nats came to DC, I was a Braves fan. I didn't appreciate the greatness of Bobby Cox until the Nats moved to town. Johnson's time as manager has had me thinking about Bobby Cox often.

When Cox had a young potential star come up to the big leagues, he knew how to use him properly. At first, he put the player in positions that would give a greater chance for success. As the player succeeded in those situations, his role grew.

Johnson doesn't have the same strategy. While most starting pitchers, especially Stephen Strasburg, are being unnecessarily babied, Brad Peacock made his major league debut in an impossible situation. I don't believe that the number of pitches thrown increases the likelihood of re-injury for Jordan Zimmermann or Strasburg. If they're going to get injured, it could come on the next pitch or a million pitches from now. They’ve succeeded in the 5 or 6 innings and 1 or 2 runs role; they need to learn how to pitch in the 8th inning of a close game when they've faced the opponent's lineup three times already. They're not being prepped for that situation.

Cox understood that confidence was very important for a young player to have. Johnson misses this point completely. He criticized an unnamed manager for pinch hitting for a young player in a key situation recently, arguing that he would want to see what the player has. Peacock, a career starter in the minors, is supposed to be a future stalwart in the rotation, but made his debut with runners on base in a 3-1 game facing Matt Kemp. Of course, Peacock failed. Johnson had set him up to do so. Peacock makes his first start tomorrow. Hopefully, he has forgotten that first taste of the majors.

The best team in the league will lose around 60 games a year. There are productive losses. Sometimes you sacrifice a starter or relief pitcher to rest the bullpen for tomorrow. This concept is totally lost on Johnson. He takes out Livan Hernandez if he's given up 3 or 4 runs in the 4th or 5th inning. It kills the bullpen, not just for today, but for the week. Cox knew how to play for today and tomorrow.

Oh Bobby Cox, any interest in taking the Nats job next season? Pretty please?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bills Win!

The Bills beat defending AFC West division champs on the road 41-7. Every facet of the game was working for Buffalo. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who the Bills sort of fell into, seems to be the short-term answer at QB. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller make up a great RB duo. Superstar Stevie Johnson made a customary spectacular catch. Special teams was dominant. The defense was effective.

Hopefully, this is the first of many great Sundays for the Bills.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years ago, nineteen men murdered nearly 3,000 people. This was not an American tragedy; it was human tragedy. The lesson of the day was to value all human life. Division leads to cyclical violence. Anger is one of the grieving steps, but to be consumed by anger is unhealthy and unproductive. Compassion in the face of pain is the way to peace.

Yet, we have not learned those lessons. Today, the American flag is waved even though the victims of that terrible day came from many different lands. We sing the national anthem with pride even though that same nation is responsible for multiple wars and countless killings in the name of vengeance. We lionize men and women who travel to other lands and kill people for the sake of freedom. Supposedly, the injustice done to us is justification for our own murdering.

The true heroes are not those who take lives for their country. The true heroes are those who risk their own lives to save others. The attacks of September 11 provided heroes. Those heroes were the emergency responders who, in the face of murder, attempted to, and did, save lives. Anger did not motivate these heroes; love did. Honor did. Duty did.

But we do not honor those heroes back. We have not provided them with the health care that every person deserves. Instead, we continue to cheer death. We cheer death because we feel the self-importance to judge others. We rationalize our support for murder by believing that we are good and they are bad.

We don't have to like everyone. We do need to value their lives. It is not for us to judge the past of others. On September 11, 2001, my life changed forever. I realized that if the terrorists had not died, I could not advocate their deaths. Yes, they were responsible for the death of thousands. But it is not for me to judge. It is only for me to love, have compassion, and try to understand.

Monday, September 05, 2011


This is my 2,000th post. The blog has provided me with an opportunity explore various sides of my personality and at times take them to extremes; hence, the unevenness of it. There have been moments where I haven't liked the result. In others, I have been immensely proud. This has been an important avenue to examine my development as a man.

The blog has been less a chance to share my voice and more of a personal creative outlet. There has been praise and there has been criticism. The blog has helped me to receive both with a grain of salt.

On the blog, I came up with the Evil Leaders League. I imagined myself as the dictator of a nation. I posted the results of the Jew Draft. I've become the place to go to if you want to know about neo-nazi Bill Riccio, find out the hidden meaning of YMCA, view pictures of ugly NBA players, and, recently, learn about Ricky Perry's vasectomy.

If this is the end of the blog, it has had a good life...

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Retard and Invalid

First of all, if a group of people want to be called a certain word (or not called one), it's important to respect that. But that doesn't change the fact that, today in our culture, people take offense illogically. Let's take two words: retard and invalid.

There is a push to ban the word retard and its accompanying versions. The preferred word of the day is a person with special needs. I won't be surprised when that phrase is deemed offensive in a few short years; I find it extremely condescending. The word retarded essentially mean slow. To call someone slow is surely not a compliment, but, it's not exactly offensive.

Meanwhile, a person who is sickly can be described as an invalid without offense. Invalid, in it's most basic sense means not valid, you just slightly change the pronunciation and that's supposed to make everything ok. Since you're not supposed to use the word in the definition, invalid also means lacking substance or not logical. So the person we describe as an invalid lack substance and their existence is illogical. But a word that means slow is offensive?

People often take offense independent of logic. Instead, offense is taken based on feeling. Invalid is acceptable, as far as I can tell, only because of the slight alteration in pronunciation from the word valid. Perhaps retarded is deemed offensive because of its harsh combination of consonants.

Retarded is like gay. It can be used offensively if spoken as slang to mean something is stupid. That retard is gay. That gay is retarded. Both are offensive. But there's nothing wrong with being gay or retarded. They're offensive only because one of the words in each sentence is slang for stupid. The other word is a descriptor of a certain group of people.

Let's take the word Jew. That man is a Jew. That's not offensive. I will jew that man. That is offensive because it is using a term for a particular group in a derogatory way. That's the difference. We need to need to look at the context before we get offended by certain words.