Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Link of the Moment

Today’s Link of the Moment is brought to you by the Baltimore Ravens. QB Joe Flacco (of the University of Delaware) gets the snap, hands it off to fellow QB Troy Smith, and then Smith throws a 43 yard pass to Flacco! A great play!




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Back at School

As I transition back to Delaware, posts on the blog will be relatively sparse until I get settled into a routine.

Thanks for stopping by.

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On Vacation!

Hey there folks,

I’m on vacation!

There will be no new posts until August 30th at the earliest.

Thanks for reading, whoever has found this, because I still haven’t told anyone about this blog yet… at least until August 29th at 8:01pm, when, little does he know right now, Max Jacobson will find out!


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The Mike and the Mad Dog radio program, an afternoon drive show on WFAN 660AM, which was also simulcasted on the YES Network, had its final show on Friday afternoon, a day after it was announced that Chris “Mad Dog” Russo was leaving the show. On this solemn Friday, Mike Francesa hosted the show by himself, while the Mad Dog called in during a segment to say his last few words. A few thoughts.

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I don’t read many books. However, if there is one setting where I read a lot, it’s on the beach. There are a number of books that I have read some of or would like to read sometime soon, and with a beach trip coming up, I might be able to get a lot of reading done. Without further adieu, here’s a list of books that I may or may not finish or read sometime soon with some descriptions that I’ve taken from Amazon.

Books to Finish
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
FreakonomicsAward-winning economist Levitt and journalist Dubner join forces to strip a layer or two from the surface of modern life and see what is happening underneath. The authors’ worldview as they explore the hidden side of many issues is based on a few fundamentals–among them, incentives are the cornerstone of modern life, and conventional wisdom is often wrong. They look at many different scenarios in a treasure-hunt approach, employing the best economic analytical tools but also following any freakish curiosities that they encounter–hence the study of Freakonomics. They evaluate intriguing questions such as “What do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common?” “How is the Ku Klux Klan Like a Group of Real Estate Agents?” “Where Have All the Criminals Gone?” and “What Makes a Perfect Parent?” We are counseled to think sensibly about how people behave in the real world and to ask a lot of questions.

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
Breakfast of ChampionsBreakfast Of Champions is vintage Vonnegut. One of his favorite characters, aging writer Kilgore Trout, finds to his horror that a Midwest car dealer is taking his fiction as truth. The result is murderously funny satire as Vonnegut looks at war, sex, racism, success, politics, and pollution in America and reminds us how to see the truth.
–From the publisher.
Also, the copy I am reading is Max’s book. I’ve been borrowing it since senior year of high school. I’ll get this back to you soon, Max!

Books to Read
Fantasyland by Sam Walker
FantasylandWhen Walker, a senior writer for the Wall Street Journal, enters his first fantasy baseball tournament, he aims high: Tout Wars, a competition for guys who make a career out of analyzing stats to find the best Major League hitters and pitchers. He figures that because he can get to the ballparks in his journalistic capacity and talk to the players and coaches, he’ll be in a better position to judge the intangibles and pull one over the pure numbers crunchers. But even with the help of a young research assistant and a NASA scientist, things quickly head south. This hilarious diary of the 2004 season includes several encounters with the players Walker has picked; from Jacque Jones’s struggle to refute predictions of mediocrity to David Ortiz’s razzing Walker for trading him away. Along the way there are mini-profiles of the Tout Wars competition, as well as explorations of the origins of fantasy baseball (predating even the famed Rotisserie League) and the shaky relationship between dedicated statistical analysts and Major League executives.
–Publishers Weekly

Living on the Black: Two Pitchers, Two Teams, One Season to Remember by John Feinstein
Living on the BlackPitchers are the heart of baseball, and John Feinstein tells the story of the game today through one season and two great pitchers working in the crucible of the New York media market. Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina have seen it all in the Major Leagues and both entered 2007 in search of individual milestones and one more shot at The World Series-Glavine with the Mets, Mussina five miles away with the Yankees. The two veterans experience very different seasons–one on a team dealing with the pressure to get to a World Series for the first time in seven years, the other with a team expected to be there every year. Taking the reader through contract negotiations, spring training, the ups of wins and losses, and the people in their lives-family, managers, pitching coaches, agents, catchers, other pitchers–John Feinstein provides a true insider’s look at the pressure cooker of sports at the highest level.
–Amazon.com product description

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Clockwork Orange
Told by the central character, Alex, this brilliant, hilarious, and disturbing novel creates an alarming futuristic vision of violence, high technology, and authoritarianism.Anthony Burgess’ 1963 classic stands alongside Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a classic of twentieth century post-industrial alienation, often shocking us into a thoughtful exploration of the meaning of free will and the conflict between good and evil. In this recording, the author’s voice lends an intoxicating lyrical dimension to the language he has so masterfully crafted.
“I do not know of any other writer who has done as much with language as Mr. Burgess has done [in A Clockwork Orange].” -William S. Burroughs

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Previously on this blog, back in the day when it was hosted on Blogspot.com, I wrote a very long post regarding the Yankees 5th starter position. I strongly supported the promotion of AAA pitcher Jeff Karstens over the signing of free agent Sidney Ponson. Unfortunately, I am not the GM of the Yankees, and Ponson was signed and has been a member of the Yankees rotation ever since that June 27 start against the Mets. So Ponson has been a Yankee for a month. As a Yankee, he is 2-1 with a 6.08 ERA and a WHIP of 1.88. Unfortunately, he’s still starting.

Meanwhile, Jeff Karstens has been traded to Pittsburgh in a six-player deal in which the Yankees acquired two important parts, outfielder Xavier Nady and lefty Damaso Marte. Nady is important because he provides the necessary right handed bat in the lineup, and he can also allow Johnny Damon to DH on a regular basis. He’ll bat in the lower half of the lineup and, hopefully, get some big hits in the next few months. His acquisition is also important because now the Yankees, if they want to shed payroll, aren’t obligated to sign Bobby Abreu for next year, as Nady is signed through 2009 and can shift over to right field and be paid considerably less than Abreu. Marte, it turns out, has been a crucial acquisition, not only because he’s the only lefty in the bullpen, and a good one at that, but this addition to an already overcrowded bullpen allowed some trading flexibility for GM Brian Cashman, and boy did he take advantage of this. Now with Nady on the team, it made even more sense for switch-hitting catcher Jorge Posada to have season ending surgery since the team got some right-handed power in a lefty-heavy lineup. But wait, there’s more!

In a trade, which was negotiated in mere hours, Cashman made one of his best moves as a GM, in my opinion, by selling high (if that was even possible) on the adventurous reliever Kyle Farnsworth, and trading him to Detroit for future hall-of-fame catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. This move would not have happened if Cashman didn’t acquire Marte less than a week before, as Marte can slide into the 8th inning role that Farnsworth had. Also, Brian Bruney is on his way back up to the majors after sustaining a foot injury earlier in the season, and he’ll be in the bullpen rotation as well. However, for now it seems that the seldom used Chris Britton will be called up to take Farnsworth’s spot on the roster. We’ll see how that works out, since Bruney is almost ready.

Pudge Rodriguez will start for the team, and take the roster spot of backup catcher Chad Moeller, who sparingly played since the beginning of June, while Jose Molina will slide to the backup catcher role that he originally signed for. Pudge has been batting 65 points higher than Molina, so he’ll be an upgrade at the plate, and behind the plate, he’ll be slightly worse than Molina; Pudge has thrown out 36% of potential base-stealers this year, which is good, but Molina has been throwing out 47% of base-stealers, which is exceptional. I’m sure Molina will get his share of games though; Mike Mussina likes him.

So the Yankees have solved a number of team issues, including a right handed bat in the outfield, a left handed pitcher in the bullpen, and a catcher to replace Jorge Posada for the rest of the year while he’s injured and recovering from surgery. The final issue? Get rid of Sidney Ponson!

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Previously on this seldom updated blog, I made a huge rant on why Sidney Ponson should not start a game on Friday against the Mets.

Since then, Dan Giese had an excellent start against the Cincinnatti Reds, pitching 6.2 innings allowing 3 runs, all unearned, lowering his ERA to 0.64. He’ll stay in the rotation and make a few more starts. However, there is still an opening for one of the games in the doubleheader against the Mets on Friday, June 27. In the minors, Jeff Karstens just got the International League Player of the Week award, mainly because of his excellent 11 strikeout performance against Toledo on Sunday. Because he started Sunday, he is lined up to pitch on Friday, like Ponson, who pitched the day before.

River Ave. Blues, a Yankees blog, makes the argument that Jeff Karstens should start over Ponson, in a much more concise manner, agreeing with Mike Ashmore, the Trenton Thunder (Yanks’ AA affiliate) beat writer for the Hunterdon County Democrat.

We’ll see what happens… but I sure hope that #58 is on the mound on Friday.

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