Friday, October 31, 2008

Money Well Spent

At least one Dodger knows how to use his money for a good cause.

According to a press release:

The 2008 National League West Division Champion Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that right-hander Hiroki Kuroda will donate $100,000 to the Dodgers Dream Foundation, including a portion that will benefit the team’s official charity, ThinkCure!

Nice job, Kuroda.

In other news, here's a good "No on Prop 8" commercial, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson:



Californians, please, please vote no on Prop 8. Please. I'm begging, I know, but I don't care. I will continue to do it through Tuesday. Please vote no.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

To Jeff Kent and His Kind

This was sent to me an email, and I rather enjoyed it. Don't know how solid the stats are, but they seem about right. And they're funny.

I want to keep Texas, though. Bush gave it a bad name, despite having grown up in the northeast. Don't believe the accent he taught himself; the man is not a Texan.


Dear Red States:

We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country and we're taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren't aware that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast.

We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly:

You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.

We get stem cell research and the best beaches.

We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand.

We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.

We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.

We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama.

We get two-thirds of the tax revenue. You get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro choice and anti war and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home.

We wish you success in Iraq and hope that the WMDs turn up but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand we will have firm control of 80% of the country's fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92% of the nation's fresh fruit, 95% of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90% of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the US low sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States you will have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans and their projected health care costs, 92% of all US mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

We're taking the good pot too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Sincerely,

Author Unknown in New California.

Still Have An Inkling of Love for Jeff Kent?

I hope this news story will change your mind. Jeff Kent apparently donated only once to any sort of political campaign this year. Which one did he choose, you ask? Why, the one that would impact his family the greatest, of course.

Jeff Kent Supports Proposition 8, Hates Gay People

Thank god you put that money in the right place to save your marriage, Kent. My fiancé still liked you up until about five minutes ago, but now she's over that notion. I've always thought you were an asshat, but this just pushes it over the top. I keep hearing stories about the number of people actually planning to vote yes on Prop 8, but it still surprises me every time I hear a new one. And this surely takes the cake.

Oh, and still dreaming about the Hall of Fame, buddy? You know it's filled with a bunch of other dudes, right? Sounds kinda queer if you ask me. Be careful what you wish for, you dumb redneck.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2008 Baseball Is Over

Last post for the day, I swear.

picture stolen from ESPN.com


The Phillies just won the World Series. I don't really give a crap about their team (though I do truly hate Brett Myers) one way or the other, but I'll admit that I teared up a little bit when they won. This sport just gets to me, you know?

Helping to lessen my excitement for them: according to Brad Lidge, Jesus Christ played a big part in his perfect season. I guess Christ was a Phillies' fan (phan?) this season.

Facebook Friends

I hate Facebook.  But I'm on it because all my friends are, so I figured I might as well have my blog represented, too.  A couple of you had become my "friend" on Facebook, but I had to change a few things, so the page you originally befriended no longer exists.

So, over to the right, click where it says, "Be My Fan!" (under "Got Something to Say?") and, if you're on Facebook, become a fan.

Thank you.

This Is A Stupid Commercial...

...and not only because I absolutely hate two of the people involved.




Seriously, Risky Business came out in 1983. To give you a better frame of reference, when the movie was released, Michael Phelps was still two years from existence. Based on this ad, I have no idea what Guitar Hero thinks is its target demographic.

Plus, it's just a dumb commercial.

A Resolution...Sort Of

This may be somewhat anticlimactic for you all, but it's time for me to tell you what the conclusion is to my rants against security at Dodger Stadium.

Josh Rawitch, VP of Communications for the Dodgers, called me last Thursday afternoon. First of all, I have to be honest. 90% of this conversation was off the record, which means I got to hear some things I wanted to hear (and some I didn't), but you guys can't know about them. Trying to maintain that whole journalistic integrity thing, you know?

The gist of what I can tell you is this--the Dodgers go over all kinds of things in the postseason to see what they've done well, what they can improve upon, etc. A year in review kind of thing. Security is always a top priority, and this year is no different. The organization wants Dodger Stadium to be a safe place to visit, plain and simple. No one is saying it isn't a safe place overall (and according to Rawitch, on-field incidents and arrests have gone down considerably over the last several years), but the team still takes stories like mine very seriously, even if they are rare.

Now, Rawitch didn't tell me that they're going to fire the security guard in question. Even if they were going to, that wouldn't be his call to make. And while that was the request I made in the first post on this matter, I always knew it was a pretty unlikely ending to this saga. What I wanted was to be heard, and I think I accomplished that. I'm ending this knowing that my story was discussed at the highest levels of the Dodger organization, up to and including the McCourts. I don't think I was blown off; my blog doesn't get so many readers that the Dodgers have to worry about some PR nightmare due to my story, so, to me, the level of response I got makes me feel that this is an issue about which the team is genuinely concerned.

Yeah, so I'll be going back to Dodger Stadium next year. I'm making a 2009 season ticket deposit this week (not for a full season; I haven't decided how many games yet, but I want to make the deposit now) and I'll be there next year, rooting on the team. Because the bottom line is that I love Dodger Stadium. I love the team, I love going to the games. I have my issues with it, many of which I have discussed here, but I still love the place. And that means the organization and I have at least one thing in common. That's a start. Call me a sellout if you must; I'm fully expecting some more racist wisdom from some readers. That's cool. If you want to think I'm a hypocrite, you're welcome to that opinion. But I'm comfortable with what I've said and done here, so nothing you say will change my mind on that.

The thing is, someone is listening. And now they really know I'm paying attention. At the end of the conversation, Rawitch said, "Keep policing us," and I intend to do just that.

The picture of the security guard will stay up for a while longer, just because I still think the guy is a total asshat.

Oh, and I made a list today of all the things I want to write about on the blog, so be prepared for an onslaught of posts in the coming days. I am all over this mother.

You Shouldn't Bully With Improper Grammar

So, sometimes I watch poker on television. I like to play the game, and I like to see how others play it, too, even though I hate the machismo and, at the same time (though they don't know it), nerdiness (exemplified perfectly here) of most of the players. Ever watch Phil Hellmuth lose a hand? No? Head on down to your local playground, steal a toy from a two-year old, and see what happens. There. You've just seen Hellmuth in action.

They've been airing the World Series of Poker main event for the last few weeks on ESPN, which will culminate with the final table on November 11. A couple episodes ago, this one kid, Nick Sliwinski, felt like he was being bullied by another player. Sliwinski made a tough call that turned out to be the correct move, and then his sister (who he sure likes to hug and kiss a lot) started yelling, "who's the bully now?" And Sliwinski liked that, so he said it, too. This is not surprising, since the guy liked to yell the results of every hand over to his family and friends. Not annoying at all to the rest of the players, I'm sure.

Cut to the episode that aired last night. Sliwinski ended up being knocked out in twelfth place or so, and he went over to get hugs from his family. At some point during the few days that had passed since the "bully" incident, these people had gone out and had t-shirts made. I suppose you can guess what they said on the back. That's right:

"Whose the bully now?"

Sigh. Sliwinski won somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000. My only hope is that he will spend just a tiny portion of that on some English language books for his family.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yeah, My Hole Is Busy, Too

I recently joined this website called Sitemeter, which allows me to see details on who is visiting my blog. I get info like location, time of visit, which pages said visitor viewed, etc. I've become addicted to checking this data, which means that I spend more time obsessing over who's coming to my blog than I do actually updating the blog. Which would explain the decrease in readers over the last few months.

The best part about this is to see how people find my site. Most are directed here from other Dodger/sports blogs, but some find me through a Google search. I like to know what people are looking for when they end up on my page, because I can then imagine how disappointed they are when they find a cartoon robot and a chick with a grudge against baseball stadium security.

Some people seem to be genuinely interested in learning about how robots are used in the field of medicine. But there are stranger searches, to be sure. For instance, what in the world could the person in Bangalore, India, have been hoping to find when he/she searched "my hole is busy"? He/she was directed to this post, but didn't stick around long. It certainly must have been a letdown.

In fact, many of my readers (the last eleven, to be precise), according to Sitemeter, stay for approximately zero seconds. I would really like to know how that's even possible. If you come to my site, doesn't it at least take a second or two to look at it, realize that you would never in your life spend any time reading such a ridiculous blog, and then click away? Surely it's not possible to only spend zero seconds, and yet I'd say the majority of my "readers" do just that.

There's no point to any of this. But I'm going to try to post everyday now, mostly so that my friend Lee, who is in Iraq, has something to read (though I will say that Sitemeter hasn't shown me any visits from anyone in Anbar Province, so I have to wonder if Lee is even really reading) while stuck in the desert. Perhaps the more frequent posting will make people want to stay for at least one second the next time.

Want an update on the Dodger Stadium security situation? I talked to Josh Rawitch last Thursday. Come back tomorrow to find out more.

Oh, and please notice the new feature on the site. Look in the sidebar on the right, and you can see what I'm reading, and what I just finished reading. The excitement never ends around here.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Odds and Ends


It's really damn hot in Los Angeles right now. According to weather.com, it got to about 96 degrees in my neighborhood today. On October 22. That's just effed up. Not cool. It is 5:35pm right now, and apparently still 90 degrees outside. Yikes.

On to other matters. With regard to the issue involving the security guard at Dodger Stadium (you can read subsequent posts here and here), I'm seeing a little progress. Josh Rawitch, Vice President of Communications for the Dodgers, will be calling me either tomorrow or Friday to discuss the issue over the phone. According to Rawitch's most recent email, he has brought up the incident at the "highest levels of the team." That sounds good to me. I'll let you know how the phone call goes as soon as it happens.

Next. If you read the comment on my last post, you'd likely think that my father and I have big problems with each other. We don't. We do, however, disagree politically. Here's what I have to say on the matter--I'm not stupid. I don't believe that Obama will be the savior of the world. I recognize that, as much as George W. Bush has tried to persuade us to the contrary in the last eight years, the president does not hold all the power in the government. One man can't make all the difference.

That said, I do believe that Obama has a better shot at making appreciable change than does McCain. In fact, I don't believe McCain really cares about change at all. I'm not sure what he cares about, other than perhaps flying into rages and learning how to smile in a less creepy fashion (those experiments have obviously failed), but I don't think that the welfare of the regular citizens of this nation are high on his priority list. So, I would rather vote for the guy who actually seems to give a crap. And I'd also like to vote for the guy who doesn't want to make me a second class citizen. That's kind of important to me, as I tend to find myself as important as any other person in this nation, even if that other person happens to be a straight, white male. It's bad enough that Proposition 8 has a very good chance of passing here in California. If McCain wins on top of that, I really don't know what to do. When discrimination is written into state (and possibly federal) constitutions, does that count as grounds for political asylum in other nations?

Okay, on to the Hilary Duff PSA (one featuring Wanda Sykes is also out there) I posted last week. Bruce Paine asked how I feel about the topic in general. To begin, I can refer you to a fun little argument I had over at Tremendous Upside Potential. The post (and comments) that caused my rage can be found here, and my response on my own blog can be found here (after the baseball updates). In general, I think that people who use the word "gay" in a derogatory way may not believe they are causing harm, but they are. So once they know that, maybe they'll stop using the word. I can't say that I've never used the word in exactly this same manner, but I do my best to avoid it whenever possible. I just think there is already so much discrimination against gay people that every little bit we can get rid of is bound to help in the long run.

Oh yeah, there might have been some baseball played last week. What am I supposed to say about it? It was awesome to see the Red Sox put up a fight (something the Dodgers couldn't manage), and it was sad to see them go down to the Rays on Sunday. I was busy sitting in the audience for the final L.A. show of 9 to 5: The Musical, which, I must say, lessened the pain of Boston's loss quite a bit. Turns out Dolly Parton and Allison Janney can work magic together. If you find yourself in New York in April, check out the show on Broadway. It's worth it.

Anyway, baseball. The Rays were the better team--younger, fresher, and featuring far fewer injured players. They played better on Sunday when it mattered, and now they're losing to the Phillies in Game One of the World Series. I don't actually care who wins. I'll admit that it's on in the background right now, but I'll be changing the channel soon enough. ESPN will tell me the results later.

That's it for now, right? Have I missed something? Look for an update very soon on my conversation with Josh Rawitch.

It's less than two weeks until the election. The weekend after, I'm heading to Vegas for the weekend. I would like to get drunk and play craps to celebrate the election of our first African-American president. The beers just won't taste as good if I'm drinking because I'm wallowing in self-pity and the thought of a potential move to Canada. See what you can do about that, Obama.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's About Time...

...that some Republicans figured it out. This came on the heels of Christopher Buckley's resignation from the National Review, which makes it all the more awesome.

I'm sure you've seen this video clip by now, but just in case, here it is. I've always respected Colin Powell, and now I have even more reason to do so. Excellent job, sir.



Friday, October 17, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Did That Really Just Happen?

I'm going to be honest here, folks. I stopped watching this one. Turns out I stopped watching just minutes before the big comeback began, and, yes, I am kicking myself. I was always planning to tune back in for the bottom of the ninth, just to see my boys one last time. But I happened to go to ESPN.com, and saw the headline, "Here Comes Boston," and ran to my television in time to see the last three pitches of Coco Crisp's amazing two-out game-tying single in the eighth.

I'm not proud of walking away, but we were down 7-0. We'd shown no signs of life until that seventh inning, in which we scored four runs. Perhaps if the Dodgers hadn't broken my heart this week, I would have been more inclined to stick around and see if the Sox could pull off the comeback. But I didn't want to watch any more disappointment. So I changed the channel. But I came back. And I saw that Crisp hit, and I prayed my way through the bottom of the ninth (thanks, Longoria, for the error that put Youkilis in scoring position!). I saw Jason Bay intentionally walked to get to J.D. Drew, so that J.P. Howell could face a left. But Drew was 4-7 against this particular lefty, and he made it 5-8 tonight with a hit that went just over the right fielder's head. Youkilis scored, and it was pandemonium at Fenway (don't believe the broadcasters--sure as hell looks to me like a ton of people were still in those stands).

I know it's just one game. I know we still have to win two more, on their turf, with our two ace starting pitchers who have been beaten (badly) in this series. But this team did not give up tonight, and I don't expect them to go without a fight down in Tampa Bay, either. And the Rays will now have to wonder if any lead is safe. At the very least, my team showed me something tonight. And if it doesn't go our way down south, I'll have this win to look back on during the offseason.

But, for the record, I'm still expecting a little magic in Florida.

(I have spent the last twenty minutes or so saying again and again, to my fiance but also to no one in particular, "I can't believe that just happened." And so I had to come write something, even if it's rushed and not exactly the most well written thing you've ever read.)

What a friggin' game, huh?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Here We Go Dodgers, Here We Go

It begins tonight, boys. Forget the rest of the series. Tonight is the one that matters. One game at a time (as if it were ever possible to take it two or three at a time). Don't give up, don't give in, but do give the Dodger Stadium crowd tonight.

If it's inspiration you need, consider that it's the 20th anniversary of the biggest home run in Dodgers' history. What better way to honor that than by going out and getting a win tonight?

Please.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Would You Watch a Phillies/Rays World Series?

Seriously, would you? I mean, I'm a pretty big baseball fan. I went to a few games this year involving teams I did not care about in the least (Cubs/Giants in spring training, Pirates/Cubs at Wrigley, Indians/White Sox at U.S. Cellular). I can watch a game for the pure entertainment of the sport itself, but I'm not sure even if I will be interested in a Philadelphia/Tampa World Series.

I mean, yes, the Rays are a great story. And I'll check the highlights, and maybe tune in for an inning or two here and there. But that match-up will hardly make for must-see or "event" television. Nevertheless, with the Dodgers coughing up a two-run eighth inning lead last night, and the Sox currently losing 5-1 to the Rays in the fourth, both Philadelphia is, and Tampa Bay likely soon will be, one win away from that outcome.

There's always hope, of course. The Sox came back from a 3-1 deficit to the Indians last year, just three years after coming back from a 3-0 hole against the Yankees. So I know it can be done. So it's plausible. But it's just not all that probable.

The Dodgers have had the lead in three of the four games in the NLCS. They should have won last night, and if they had, things would be looking much brighter today. There's a big difference between 2-2 and 3-1, isn't there? Now they have to win three in a row, two of which will be in Philadelphia, where they haven't won once this season. And before doing they can even get to that point, they have to win one game at home, against Cole Hamels, who was great in the first game of the series.

The Red Sox might have an even rougher road. Tampa Bay is friggin' tough. The Sox pitchers are seemingly unable to keep the ball in the ballpark, which is not the best way to go about winning games. With every inning under their belts, the Rays get more and more confident. And if things keep going this way, in a few weeks, we might be talking about the World Champion Tampa Bay Rays (if it ends up Phillies/Rays, I'd be picking the Rays). Think about that for a minute. It's a good story for baseball, but it will take a while for me to enjoy it, since I'll be mourning my own two teams' respective demises for a bit first.

Anyway, we continue to play the games. Anything is possible, and I haven't given up hope yet. Like Barack Obama says (and, for the record, I've been wearing my Obama "hope" shirt and/or my No on Prop 8 shirt for 14 days straight now, and will continue to do so until the election; and, yes, they are being washed periodically), "there has never been anything false about hope." Can we come back from these big deficits? Yes we can. Obama wasn't exactly talking about baseball, but I think it still applies. So, until it's over, I'll still believe. And that's all I can do.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Paging the Sore Losers

Is it possible for John Lackey to whine any more than this? From Amy Nelson's ESPN column...

"We are way better than they are. We lost to a team not as good as us...[On Sunday] they scored on a pop fly they called a hit, which is a joke," said Lackey, referring to a popup that was misplayed into three runs. "[On Monday], they score on a broken-bat ground ball and a fly ball anywhere else in America [except in Fenway Park]. And [Pedroia's] fist-pumping on second like he did something great."

A few points for Mr. Lackey:

1) Your regular reason record was better than the Sox's record. Kudos to you on that one. But saying you lost to a team not as good as you is possibly the whiniest thing I've ever heard from an athlete. You were outplayed in pretty much every facet of the game. It doesn't matter that you guys had a chance to win every one of the three games you lost. It matters that you didn't win any of those three games. And you were the starting pitcher in two of those games. Yeah, you pitched well. But you didn't pitch better than Jon Lester. The thing is, your boys had their chances to give you some run support, especially in Monday night's game. They stranded two runners in both the second and third innings, then again in the fifth. Every time, Lester wriggled out of the jam, aided in large part by the complete ineffectiveness of the hitters on your team.

2) The "joke" about the pop fly on Sunday was your defense's inability to field a routine pop-up. The Red Sox didn't call it a hit, the official scorer did, but who cares if that was the ruling? Your defense sucked big-time, but you won that game anyway. What's your point?

3) "A broken-bat ground ball and a fly ball anywhere else in America." That's exactly how the Red Sox scored. The broken-bat ground ball was bobbled by your second baseman, which led to the first run. That's probably Boston's fault, though. But think about it: your team was playing in the same park, right? So perhaps they could have taken advantage of the dimensions of Fenway the same way the Red Sox did. The hits would have counted if the Angels had hit one off the wall, too. But your guys couldn't even manage that. Your team blew it when it mattered most. Your team was 8-40 with RISP in the series. Your coach called a squeeze in the ninth, and the batter at the plate couldn't get the bunt down, so your runner at third was tagged out. That would have happened anywhere else in America, too, don't you think?

4) Pedroia did do something great. He came through with a runner in scoring position. I can understand how that might be a foreign concept to you, given that your team couldn't manage much of that in the four games. Would you be asking the umps to not allow a run that your team scored, just because the hit that drove it in happened to bounce off the Green Monster? Doubtful. Pedroia was excited because, regardless of where and how it happened, his team scored two runs off of you in that inning. They don't give style points in this game, sir. The rules say the run counts the same whether you hit it over the wall or just push a guy across the plate on a broken-bat hit. In the end, what matters is the final score. And in this case, it said 3-2, Red Sox.


When the playoffs started, I secretly thought the Dodgers had a better chance of advancing than the Red Sox did, a fact my Angels/Cubs World Series prediction only partially indicates. I just wasn't sure, with all the injuries, and facing a tough Angels' team, that the Red Sox would be able to pull it off, yet again. But they did, didn't they? They were 1-8 against the Angels in the regular season, but 3-1 against them when it mattered most. I'll take those numbers any year.

How about Jon Lester? The kid is nails, and with Josh Beckett seemingly not quite up to ace status so far this postseason, Lester has really filled the role admirably. In fourteen innings so far in the playoffs, he has allowed ten hits, three walks, and one run (zero earned), while striking out eleven. He has pitched out of trouble when necessary, but in most of those innings, he never let the trouble begin. He never let an Angels' leadoff man reach base. Let me just say that again: no Angels' leadoff hitter, in any inning, ever got on base. Fourteen up, fourteen down. That's insane, especially because the Angels pride themselves on their "small ball" capabilities. Get a guy on, get him over, and drive him home. That's harder to do when the first guy in the inning is a sure out, and that's why Lester's handling of the leadoff hitters in this series may be the most important thing to look at when judging his performance.

The Angels have tough pitchers. No one expected the Red Sox to score a bunch of runs, particularly with parts of the offense in doubt thanks to current injuries (Mike Lowell) and injuries in the recent past (David Ortiz). These were not hugely offensive games. Game One was 2-1 until the Sox tacked on two more in the ninth. Game Two is the exception, with the Sox getting a two-run shot in the ninth to make it 7-5. Game three was a nail-biter that lasted twelve innings, and the Sox lost 5-4. And Game Four was a 2-0 lead until the eighth, and the Sox scored in the bottom of the ninth to win 3-2.

But the Red Sox scored when they needed to. And despite Lackey's proclamations, the Red Sox did not get lucky with broken-bat bleeders in every game. In the first game, with a 1-0 lead, Lackey himself left a fastball up in the zone, and Jason Bay did not miss. In the second game, the Sox jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, then saw the Angels tie the game at five, then got Francisco Rodriguez to give up a two-run shot off the bat of J.D. Drew to make it 7-5, Sox. In game three, yes, the Sox got lucky with a bloop that should have been caught by someone on the Angels. Boston should have lost that game in nine innings, instead of twelve, but they lost nonetheless.

So, really, the only game the Angels won was one they almost gave away anyway. Without that Ellsbury three-run pop-up, the Angels win that game 4-1 in nine innings. With the shoddy defense, everyone had to stay up late watching twelve innings of baseball. But in Game Four, against a very good pitcher, the Sox found a way to get it done.

In the ninth inning, Kotsay missed a double on a screaming liner only because of a spectacular play by Mark Teixiera. Then Jason Bay lost out on a triple (or possibly inside-the-park home run) because the ball took a bounce into the seats. He settled for a one-out double. But if Willits hadn't slid for a ball he never had a chance to catch, he keeps that in front of him and there's a good chance Bay has to stay at first with a single. Regardless, Lowrie came up next. Lowrie, who had struck out on three consecutive curveballs against Scot Shields on Sunday night. So Lowrie was looking for that curve. He got it on the first pitch, and hit it just well enough to scoot it past Howie Kendrick (who was probably playing too far in on the dirt anyway) into right field, allowing Jason Bay to score from second.

The Angels hurt themselves a lot in this series, but the measure of a good team is their ability to take advantage of the opponent's mistakes. The Red Sox did that. That, along with the series victory that means they'll keep playing baseball, instead of golf, this October, makes them the better team.

Just some food for thought, Lackey.

Before We Talk Baseball...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Am I A Hypocrite?

I started this as a comment in response to another anonymous comment on the last post, but it got too long. So, here you go.

(in response to "anonymous #2")

I don't know why I'm even bothering, but here goes...

Times are not "desperate." Once again, in the original post, I said I wouldn't spend any more money on the Dodgers this season until the situation was resolved, and I meant it. The last thing I bought was my Division Champs hat, and that was about two hours before the security incident. The playoff tickets were purchased a few days before the incident. I'll show you the StubHub receipt if you'd like.

None of this means I can't still be a fan. The players weren't a part of the security problem, and I still love my team. But I have issues with the way the stadium is being run, and I'm taking a stand.

I would say that everything I said other than my correction of the other guy's spelling is what defends me. I think I "got him" by showing that his argument doesn't make any sense. The spelling correction was just icing on the cake. The guy made a bunch of bogus points that prove he didn't actually read what I had written, and here you come to agree and prove your own stupidity. Excellent job all around.

Anyway, yeah. I picked the Cubs and Angels. And I also said that I hoped to be wrong. Turns out I will be at least 50% wrong on that one. And thank God. I think you'll find I wasn't the only one in the world who picked the Cubs. You're really getting in a zinger by bashing a playoff prediction that I made reluctantly. You sure got me there, buddy. But I'm sure you had the Dodgers sweeping Chicago. You seem like the type who is always right.

I allow anonymous comments on this site because I don't want to force people to register. But it seems the only ones coming through without names are the cowards saying asinine things. So maybe I'll be rethinking my position on that.

Thanks for stopping by everyone. I guess I should be grateful for the readers, even if many of you seem to not be doing any actual reading before going on a rampage against me. But I like the page counts nonetheless. Keep 'em coming.

Anyone out there (besides Orel, maybe) on my side on this? Do I seem hypocritical because I went to a game after I had already spent $225 on tickets? Should I have just given Frank McCourt that money and watched the game from my living room? I'll admit I had to pay for parking at the game (though the money technically didn't come from my bank account), but that was a necessity in order to not waste the other $225. I haven't purchased another ticket, and as much as I would kill to go to the World Series, should there be one played at Dodger Stadium, I won't be ponying up for one of those tickets. And I won't be buying tickets for next season. So I think I'm sticking to my guns pretty well here, don't you?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pretty Much the Most Awesome Thing Ever

I don't think I'm prepared to write about Saturday night's Dodger victory. I was there, the whole place was rocking, and it was a seriously great time to be a Dodger fan. I took 170 pictures, nineteen of which I will show you in the slide show below. More to follow, when I can get my wits about me and write something down. More pictures, too.

For now, since it's an hour and a half until game time, I have to say: Go Red Sox!!!

Oh, and bring on the Phillies!!

(click on the slideshow and it will take you to a site where you can view larger pictures)


Friday, October 03, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

This Makes It Harder

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

What A Nice Night for Baseball

Dodgers win.



Damn, this feels good.  Just one day, but it sure is nice when both of my teams can win.  Things looked a little off for the Dodgers in the beginning, as they kept blowing opportunities handed to them by Ryan Dempster.  But with Dodgers down 2-0, and the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the fifth, after he looked really awful swinging at the first two pitches and barely fouling off another (this after Dempster had walked all three men on base), James Loney hit a ball to deep center.  I didn't know if it had the distance, and Edmonds kept racing back like he could make a play.  But he ran out of room, and the ball landed a couple of rows deep.  And the Dodgers were suddenly on top, 4-2.

Ramirez hit a home run later, on a ball that was at his shoetops and didn't even look like it could be hit for a single, let alone a pretty deep bomb.  Martin added another home run for good measure, and the Dodgers won 7-2 behind seven strong innings from Derek Lowe (who must have been breathing a sigh of relief after finally getting some run support this season).

Very few picked the Dodgers in this series, but they showed in this game why they shouldn't be so easily discounted.  They're going to put up a fight.  They'll take on Zambrano tomorrow, and he'll make it difficult, but things look a little brighter here in southern California tonight.

That is, of course, unless you live in Orange County.  White Republicans (have I mentioned I strongly dislike Angels' fans, mostly because they're the types to ask me if the "B" on Manny's helmet stands for "Bloods"?) everywhere are weeping into their Coors Lights tonight, thanks to Boston's 4-1 victory over the Angels.  Lackey was on the mound for Anaheim, and he looked to be pretty locked in for most of his 6.2 innings.  He was staked to a 1-0 lead, thanks to a third inning error that led to a run.  He was dominating the Red Sox, allowing a few hits here and there, but nothing major.

But in the sixth inning, he walked Youkilis with one out, then struck out J.D. Drew.  Jason Bay, in his first postseason game, came to the plate.  Lackey left a ball up over the plate, and Bay did not miss.  There was no question the ball was gone as soon as it left his bat, and the Red Sox were up, 2-1.

The Sox added two runs in the ninth.  Lowrie singled, Varitek sacrificed him to second, and Ellsbury hit a single to score Lowrie.  Ellsbury stole second, advanced to third on a Pedroia groundout, and then scored on an Ortiz single.

Jon Lester pitched seven great innings for the Sox, allowing six hits, walking one, and striking out seven.  Masterson pitched a scoreless eighth, despite allowing two hits, and Papelbon came in to pitch a one-hit ninth, getting the save.

I'm not counting my chickens before they're hatched, but I'll go to sleep with a smile on my face tonight.

Oh, and to answer Orel's question on my previous post, I don't think I'll be making it to Anaheim for the game on Friday night.  It's too bad, but I just don't think I can do it.  I'll be at the Dodger game on Saturday night.  That's the best I can do for now.  Talk to me when the next round starts.


Okay, I'll Predict

If you press me, right now I'd say we're looking at a Cubs/Angels World Series.  And if that's the case, go Cubbies!

Mind you, this is not in any way what I would prefer.  It's just the way I see it shaking out, but I would love, love, love to be wrong.


Dodgers Playoff Roster

Here is the playoff roster, according to the Dodgers' press release:

PITCHERS (11)
LHP Joe Beimel
RHP Chad Billingsley
RHP Jonathan Broxton
LHP Clayton Kershaw
RHP Hiroki Kuroda
RHP Derek Lowe
RHP Greg Maddux
RHP James McDonald
RHP Chan Ho Park
RHP Takashi Saito
RHP Cory Wade

Yesterday, Ramon Troncoso was on the list, but today it's James McDonald. Hope the kid can handle the pressure.

POSITION PLAYERS (14)
C Danny Ardoin
IF Angel Berroa
IF Casey Blake
IF Blake DeWitt
OF Andre Ethier
IF Rafael Furcal
IF Nomar Garciaparra
OF Matt Kemp
IF Jeff Kent
IF James Loney
C Russell Martin
IF Pablo Ozuna
OF Juan Pierre
OF Manny Ramirez

No surprises here. Thank the good lord Mark Sweeney is not on this list. I don't really like seeing Pablo Ozuna, but I guess Delwyn Young just hadn't proven his worth.

Oh, Right. The Playoffs

Holy crap, the playoffs start today. Guess I was too busy crying and being hysterical over this to notice, huh?

The playoffs have me a bit worried, and that anxiety is with regard to both of my teams. They both get started today, playing tough opponents who make me nervous. This won't be a long post breaking down each team's strengths and weaknesses. Others can (and have) done that better than I ever could. So let's just talk about how I feel, okay?

For the Dodgers, the Cubs really worry. The thing is, I've watched the Dodgers play all season. I know what they're capable of doing. Most of the time, I've been unconvinced that the men on Dodgers themselves understand their abilities. And that's a hindrance. But Manny Ramirez may have just swayed the team a little bit more to the confident side, and I can only hope that carries into the playoffs. This team can beat the Cubs (despite the fact that I was a witness to them losing three in a row at Wrigley). I'm just not able to completely believe it. Let's see which team shows up on the field today. Then I'll have a better idea about whether I'll be witnessing elimination when I go to the game on Saturday (I said I wouldn't buy any more tickets until that guard was fired, but I had already purchased these before that incident).

Okay, it's strange, but I actually feel like the Dodgers will get further into the postseason than will the Red Sox. I'm just not as sure about what the Sox will bring, what with the injuries to Lowell and Drew. Still, though, I do have faith in Jon Lester and Daisuke Matsuzaka, who are pitching games one and two. The hitters just have to get things going against a strong Angels' pitching staff. The Angels worry me every year, though, and every year they seem to fold. I wasn't a Dodger fan when Mike Scioscia played, so I have no allegiance to him, and I feel free to hate the guy, along with his team. Watching them lose, again, in the first round would be amazing, and it's doubly so that my team is the one that could do it.

This is all over the place, I know, but it would be ridiculous if I didn't at least post something about the playoffs, right? I have a feeling we'll be having a live blog, maybe tomorrow, even though I'm the only one who ever reads those things.

So, stay tuned. This won't be my last post of the 2008 season. I can't go out with a whimper like this.