Sunday, December 30, 2007
My Top 10:
1. Elisabeth Shue - Cocktail, Adventures in Babysitting, Back to the Future, Leaving Las Vegas, The Saint
2. Amber Valletta - Transporter 2
3. Reese Witherspoon - Sweet Home Alabama, Legally Blonde, Walk the Line
4. Diane Lane - Under the Tuscan Sun,The Perfect Storm, The Outsiders
5. Jessica Simpson - mainly a singer, Dukes of Hazzard
6. Julia Stiles - Save the Last Dance, Bourne Identity, Down to You, Mona Lisa Smile, 10 Things I Hate About You
7. Lindsay Lohan - Parent Trap (ok, that was weird), Georgia Rules
8. Jessica Biel - Summer Catch
9. Isla Fisher - Wedding Crashers
10. Tea Leoni - Fun with Dick & Jane, Bad Boys
Updated on 6/3/09 - added Amber Valletta, deleted Angie Harmon
Updated on 9/5/08 - added Isla Fisher
Dropped out - Melanie Griffith, Marg Helgenberger
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Flows about 156cfs, water was slightly off color, morning was cold (40's) and the late morning was 60 degrees or so.
Chad and I did a quick half day trip to Deckers. Met hom at the last lot down the dirt road to Wigwam at about 6:30. As I was gearing up Chad already hooked into a pig. I hurried down and snapped a coupel pics for him.
He was oof to a good start. I did manage one fish in that stretch and you'll just have to believe me when I say it was 6 inches. Not much to brag about. Chad hooked another pig that I helped net and photgraph again.
There was another pig in the same spot, but we couldn't entice him to bite. I moved down a bit and hooked a dink. We tried the mini canyon with little luck. It started getting a bit crowded and hot, so we hiked back to the trucks and moved down river to right by the Deckers stores. Chad was into fish immediately and I worked the downed logs. The river has changed a bit down there. I managed two more dinks. Chad disappeared and soon returned in his truck, he was on his way out. I fished for about 10 minutes more and finally hooked a nice fish - a colorful 17 inch or so rainbow.
After that I was done - back to the truck and drove home - I was home by 12:20!
Funny thing happened while we were on the river. This silver Chevy Malibu stopped next to us while we were fishing the big rock and told Chad that they were hunting ducks. Three guys crammed into this little car on the back roads. Well, we went back to fishing - thinking nothing of it. Well, suddenly there was a shot - scared the poop out of us, even though we knew it was coming. Just one shot, that was it. Then, we saw the car drive back out about 5 minutes later. That just seemed funny - not exactly the hunting car I was expecting. And I thought we'd hear more than one shot - or that the guys would camp out there or something. I guess it was just a shoot and run.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
That said, I'm very happy for the Colorado Rockies who accomplished something amazing. I'm happy for the young kids on this team, and I'm happy for the wiley veterans who deserved a second one. I'm happy for the fans who stuck with this team and loved it like it should be loved.
This thing was a foregone conclusion after the Sox beat the Indians. And again, not as sweet as waiting 86 years and being the terrible underdog for many many years. The announcers just didn't have the bounce in their voices, actually quite the opposite. Most announcers were busy ball washing the Rockies and ignoring the Red Sox. Aaron Cook was having a terrific game holding the Red Sox offense to 2 hits and 1 run - huh? Before this series you were talking about how great the Rockies offense was - now Jon Lester has given up 2 hits and NO runs and you don't even mention it. That's crap.
Now that the WS is over, we have a lot of work to do. Mike Lowell, Curt Schilling, Tim Wakefield, Mike Timlin, finding a spot for Ellsbury, the minor league system, adding a younger SP, adding some RP, is there a way to trade a Lugo or Drew?, finding a young catcher in the minors or somewhere. We do have our share of question marks. It will still be a fun offseason.
Even more fun will be seeing the Yankees in demise. ARod gone, Posada/Rivera next? Clemens gone, Abreau staying. Pettitte gone? Damon sucking. Mussina aging. All the coaching in NY gone! No bullpen, no young pitching (except Hughes). No young position players. The will overpay for someone - Andruw Jones? Who else? Good times. Team is totally in disarray.
Who will step up next season? Blue Jays? Orioles? Probably not. Should be a fun offseason.
The Red Sox are World Series champs, let's now move on to building a dynasty.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Now, I really would like to see this game go back to Fenway so Boston fans can see them win it at home - but I really don't want that to happen - I want them to end it tonight.
I wouldn't mind this thing going to game 5 either - the Rockies winning one (instead of getting embarrassed) and the state of Colorado getting another few million dollars worth of fans money would be a VERY good thing - but I'd rather end it tonight.
As for a sweep - I think it is possible - the Rockies have been pummelled and have no mental edge and have been reduced to infants. Jon Lester is an unknown - although he is more of a known than Aaron Cook. Lester pitched in the ALCS and did well - Cook hasn't pitched in months. The Sox are going to feast on Cook - that is a given. Lester could either get shelled or throw a perfect game tonight. I could see the crafty kid really putting the screws to the Rockies - and that would be just fine with me.
Pedroia and Ellsbury were spectacular tonight and I think Pedroia is 2 hits away from wrapping up MVP. Of course, if Ellsbury gets 2 doubles tonight we might be splitting the award - which is something I am definitely hoping for. 2 rookies leading off the top of the order is unheard of and certainly without precedent. To think this is the future of the organization (with Youks, Paps, Buchholz, Lester, MDC) is amazing. This could very well be the start of a dynasty.
I look forward to the offseason - just like everyone else, but it all comes down to tonights game - win it all tonight and it makes it a very very special year. Win it for all of us. Win it like everyone knows you can.
Friday, October 26, 2007
- Sox have 15 walks in 2 games.
- Sox scored 13 runs in game 1.
- Sox have scored 15 runs in 2 games.
- Sox bullpen is on fire.
- Schilling had a decent game.
- The top of the order is on fire - but Ortiz and Manny are getting pitched around.
- Mike Lowell is pushing for MVP.
- Dustin Pedroia hit the second pitch of the WS into the Monster seats.
- It was completely silent at work on Thursday and Friday after the Rockies lost both games.
- Everyone here in CO is blaming the 8 day layoff for the Rockies losses.
- It took only one loss for some sports writer in Denver to write about the Sox payroll and how the Rockies can't compete.
- Helton looks horrible. Brad Hawpe is getting exposed.
- Matt Holliday is an MVP candidate for the next 10 years.
- The Rockies can't hit Red Sox pitching.
- Clint Hurdle is an idiot.
- The NL is just ten classes below the AL.
- This series will end before the series goes back to Fenway.
Sad, but true. The Sox are just putting up baserunners, and scoring just enough to win. The bullpen is en fuego and no one in the other 49 states is surprised. The lack of a DH will take out one good hitter out of the lineup - but that means when DiceK goes 5 innings tomorrow night you have Youkilis coming off the bench. The Rockies don't have as good a PH as the last guy (Alex Cora) on the Sox bench. So where is the edge? The Sox still have a better lineup and much better pitching.
And how the hell is Josh Fogg pitching in the World Series? Let's be reminded of Josh Fogg's career stats: 60 wins 60 losses 4.90 era 1.46 whip .286 baa. ouch. did I mention that he's never won more than 12 games in a full season? he's had era's of over 5.00 in 3 of his full 6 seasons. in 2006 his era was 5.49. he has a 6.06 era lifetime in Coors Field. going down the order this is what our line up has done to him:
Pedroia: not faced
Youks: 2/3 2B
Lowell: 6/16 2B HR
Drew: 4/21 2B 2 HR
Ellsbury: never faced
Lugo: 4/19 2B
Cora: 6/11 2B HR
The Rockies on the other hadn haven't faced Matsuzaka. Edge has to go to DiceK. And all this talk about the curveball not working in Coors? So? DiceK has 5 pitches. Josh Fogg has 2? Advantage DiceK.
There is just no way in hell the Rockies get out of Coors Field alive.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Now, let's break down everything the Rockies aren't:
-They played in the NL West - which is the crappiest division in all of baseball - period.
-Beating the Padres, Phillies and Diamondbacks would be like beating the Mariners, A's and Twins in the American League. That was hardly an impressive resume to hang your hat on. The American League is by far superior.
-You can't win with one ace pitcher - and the Rockies relying on Jiminez and Morales is going to turn out badly against the Red Sox. The Sox kill rookies, and they crush good pitching.
-A month and a half ago there wasn't a single Rockies fan out there - no one cared about this team! On September 16th (a Sunday) in a 13-0 win against the Marlins, the Rockies drew 19,161 fans - and their park holds 50,000+! That is an embarrassment.
-I was at the Giants game on eptember 3rd, and the Rockies drew 30,000 on Labor Day. And there really wasn't even that many fans there as the entire upper deck was empty.
-Lots of bandwagon fans and very little heart. These are the types of fans who envy the Sox fans, who wish they could feel the passion and enjoy the sweetness of a World Series win. Not gonna happen.
-The Rockies think they have overcome pressure - the World Series is a stage that eats up young teams. Veterans of these games come prepared, and the Red Sox have hardened veterans.
-The Sox have 2 aces and you'll have to face them twice in this series (but probably not). Aces win World Series.
-Half of the Rockies pitchers wouldn't even make the Red Sox roster.
-Boston fans are the best fans in the world - if this goes 6 or 7 games, you have no prayer - ask the Indians. Better win in Colorado or never.
-You don't have the middle of the order that the Red Sox do. Helton has little power, Holliday is great, Atkins will be average. You have a potential 2 run homer everytime Papi steps to the plate because Youks and Pedroia are always on ahead of him. Walk Papi and Manny will make you bleed. Lowell is an RBI machine - go ahead, pitch to him...
-You want heart and soul from a rookie? Pedroia and Ellsbury bleed Red Sox red.
-Enjoy Holliday, because the minute he's a FA he'll RUN away from Colorado.
-You don't have enough pitching. 21st in the league in WHIP was Aaron Cook, Francis was 23rd. If your pitchers even think about giving up baserunners, the Sox will kill them. They wear out arms, led the league in walks and pitches per AB.
-Yes, you are on a roll - but don't you think the Sox might be on a bigger roll? Coming back from a 3-1 game deficit, pounding the Indians 30-5 in the last 3 games. Winning the last two games by 9 runs or more. Yeah, that might be momentum.
Let's list the Rockies excuses when they get pummeled:
The Red Sox had the second highest payroll in baseball!
An 8 day layoff was just too much.
The umpires were against the Rockies (this is the old Denver Broncos excuse!).
The Rockies weren't used to using the DH. Damn AL rules.
As much as I'd like to join all my friends in Colorado and be all optimistic about the Rockies chances against the Red Sox, let's be realistic here! Take your emotions out of it and it is obvious that this Red Sox team is superior. All the wishful thinking you can muster won't make the Rockies stand up to the Sox.
I hate to say it, but I think the Sox could win this thing in 6 games - I'll give the Rockies the benefit of the doubt and say they can win 2 games. (I honestly think it will be a 5 game series).
Let the games begin!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
The big news is the Yankees - who appear to be downsizing from their payroll. They topped out 2007 at $200M+ which is $195.2M for the players and $7M for the manager - but that appears to be a bloated number for 2008. I know you are asking - when was the last time the Yankees downsized? Well, I don't know. But I do know that they could knock off almost 1/3 off that payroll with just players leaving.
The big news lately is that Joe Torre has rejected a 1 year incentive laiden contract offer. That alone will save $7M next year (before a replacement). But, let's do the math on the rest of the players that could be leaving:
$202.2M 2007 Payroll
-$27.7M ARod (could opt out)
-$10.5M Mo Rivera
-$16M Pettitte (can opt out)
=$113.7M 2008 payroll before replacement costs
Holes that would remain = manager, C, 3B, RF, LHP, SP, bullpen, closer. So how will they fill these holes? If I was a betting man, I'd say the new owners (Georgies sons) will spend even more than they did in 2007 to make a splash, and why shouldn't they? They are the Yankees after all.
I'd have to guess they resign ARod at $30M, sign a manager at $1.5M (Girardi), go after Andruw Jones ($17M), resign Posada ($12M), Pettitte picks up his option ($16M) - that is $76M of the $89M reduction - and they would still have the bullpen (assuming Chamberlain becomes the closer) issues, and need a starting pitcher.
Bullpen help could be had for around $8M for 2 guys. The strater is a bigger issue. Rumor has it they are after John Santana - and he won't come cheap at all. I think he could get $15M a year in the long term. So - $76M + $8M + $15M = $99M or a $10M increase over 2007.
That would be quite an All Star team as well. Of course a lot of things have to happen for that to come true. If the Yankees continue to ignore the bullpen and the starting pitching, all the money in the world on Offense won't help.
I still like the Red Sox chances next season!
Edit: After the fact I remembered that Clemens in a FA also and will save the Yankees $17M of his pro-rated $25M. They will still find a way to spend it!
Friday, October 12, 2007
The Sox will dominate this series because of a couple of things - strong veteran starters, veteran hitters, and the ability to chew up opposing teams bullpens. The Indians don't do anything special. Their starters are ok, but they aren't dominating. CC Sabathia has been pedestrian in prior years - so why is he so Cy worthy this season? If Beckett doesn't win the Cy it will be a shame. The Indians had two rookies in their lineup who were barely mediocre (Cabrera and Gutierrez), aged veteran hitters who honestly aren't that good anymore (Blake, Lofton, Nixon), two kids who have no playoff experience whatsoever (Garko & Sizemore) - the only stars they have are Hafner and Martinez (and maybe Peralta). I'm sorry, but that lineup is not very deep and not very experienced. Of course all Indians fans are going to throw out there that the Sox have loads more money than the Tribe, but that's not the point.
The Sox lineup has these kinds of guys down the order:
Dirt dog/high OBP
Line drive/RBI machine
Line drive hitting captain
Singles hitting defense whiz
Low avg slap hitter
Each one of these hitters is amazing at taking pitches and not swinging at balls. They wear pitchers down and make long ABs endless for opposing pitchers. This kills bullpens. So what the Yankees where shut out by the Indians bullpen. The Yankees had to swing the bats - the Sox don't! They will kill you with OBP like no other team in the league.
The Indians looked like joke tonight - CC Sabathia, who I have never been impressed with (and I have followed him for 4 years now since he has been on my fantasy team most of the time), looked horrible. One good inning and then the Sox stopped swinging at the slider - he was done after that. Carmona tomorrow night is basically a rookie - and he will get shelled as well - why? Because the Sox will make him throw 100 pitches by the 6th inning even if he hasn't given up a run yet. That bullpen will come in and get trounced.
Sox hitters will continue to poke at him. Papi and Manny will average 3 walks a game, Youks will probably get a couple hits or walks, andwith all those bodies on all we need is a hit or two from Lowell and Drew and that is 3 or 4 runs right there. Any production from the bottom of the order and that is gravy. Schilling can and will shut down the Indians lineup. He won't over power like Beckett, but he's smart - and will throw good out pitches. Young guys like Gutierrez and Cabrera will be up there looking to hit and not patient. The Indians will be pressing after an embarrassing loss the previous night. It's just going to be ugly.
If the Indians seriously think they can contend against this team, they need to get more out of their starters, get on base more and work pitchers, and do the little things that got them here - steal bases, hit HR's - something!
The Sox seem to be peeking at the right time - we are now 7 wins away from our second championship in 3 years and I like our chances.
Has anyone seen the NL teams starting Top 3? Webb, Davis & Hernandez or Francis, Jiminez & Fogg. Are you kidding me? How the hell did these teams make the playoffs. Your starting 3 is what wins you World Series. The Sox easily have the best Top 3 in the game. And the bullpens (which are less important when your top 3 os good) easily are even or in favor of the Sox. Again, I don't think the NL can compete - even with the Indians Top 3 and bullpen.
I want to talk about Mike Lowell and what his future is. A Lowell quote came out today saying:
"I love it here and would love to re-sign here," Lowell said. "I’m making that clear. I’m happy with the year I had, and I know that’s going to set a certain thought to what’s going to happen in the offseason."
Of course this is a pretty wide open and politically correct statement - and he could change his tune after the WS and go to the highest bidder (which no one would blame him for doing).
I have been digging to try and find Lowell's value in the marketplace and on the Red Sox team. First, let's explore the marketplace.
Top FA this off season will be:
Mike Lowell (.324/21/120) - GG 3B
Alex Rodriguez (.314/54/156) (if he opts out) - GG 3B/SS - projected to go for $27-30M/yr
Aaron Rowand (.309/27/89) - GG OF - projected to be asking for $14M/yr
Torii Hunter (.287/28/107) - GG OF - projected to be asking for $15M/yr
Adam Dunn (.264/40/106) (club option) - 1B/OF - $13M/yr club option
Andruw Jones (.222/26/94) - GG CF - projected to want $20M/yr
Bobby Abreau (.283/16/101) - GG RF - making $15.6M/yr
Obviously there is only one 3B here, who is somehow in a pay class of his own, but you can see the astronomical asking prices of some other guys on this list how are comparable to Lowell. Lowell and ARod are coming off the best years. Jones/Dunn/Rowand/Hunter are the youngest. Dunn/Jones/Abreau had off years from their averages.
The Rowand projected salary is off base - the guy is great on D and has decent avg and pop, but he's not a game changer. He's more of a 5th hitter than a 3rd or 4th hitter on most teams.
Dunn is obviously a clean up hitter - but he strikes out so often, that $13M sounds about right for his 40 HRs and 200 K's.
Abreau at $15M is stupid too - especially since his OBP and SB's have decreased at his age. I could see him settling in the $12-13M range for 2 or 3 years.
Hunter has had a quiet bat for many years, although some of that is made up by his GG and game changing ability. But $15M/yr? No way. I'd give him $13M maybe.
Andruw Jones is a great player on a down year - but $20M? That is Manny type money - and Manny is overpaid as well. I could see Andruw getting $16M/yr max. He is a prototypical #4 hitter and would be a great addition in a difficult position.
ARod gets to name his own price after the year he just had. Clubs will try desparately to point at his production in the post season, but come on - its a team game. He will get more than the $25M he is making now. Will it be $30M? I hope not - that is just bad for the game. Will ARod take the highest bidder? I doubt it. I think he will choose his situation better this time. The ownership thing was intriguing in Chicago, but maybe ARod wants to BE the franchise at his next stop. In chicago he would be the headliner, but I can't see him playing in a cold weather city. I could see him settling in a city that is warm and forgiving. Would the Giants pay for him? Would Seattle try and get him back? Would the Astros be a good fit? Maybe the Brewers? Who knows. I think the Cubs will be his landing spot - not sure why.
That brings us back to Lowell. The guy is making $11M/yr now - he probably didn't earn that $11M the previous 2 seasons, but he certainly did this season. I would estimate that he was probably worth $13M or so - which would probably make up for the mediocre season the year before. Which is why he "might" sign for a slight discount (in dollars or years) with the Sox.
Lowell is getting up there in age, so when we think of years of a contract, we have to take that into consideration. Either he gets more dollars and a shorter contract, or less dollars and a slightly longer contract. His value to the Red Sox is huge - the Sox will have a corner infield hole next season without him, and looking at the FA market, filling that hole would have to be via trade. There are few good corner infielders out there - and the couple that are (Kotchman and Miggy Cabrera) would cost an arm and leg in a trade. And the Sox will not trade Buchholz or Ellsbury, so those trading pawns are off limits and one or both would have to be included for Miggy.
So that leaves dollars available - thus a FA would have to be signed. So that means the SOx would have to seem interested in Lowell a lot - which will slightly drive up his price. The Sox went out and signed Drew at $14M/yr last year - so I would think that would be a starting point. Drew is younger than Lowell and has a slightly better offensive track record, but is more injury prone. Lowell and Drew are GG caliber players at their positions.
I see Lowell asking for $14M and settling for a $12.5M/yr 3 year deal with the Sox.
I hope I am right.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Flows about 420, water was tinted green, but the day was a gorgeous blue sky and about 70 degrees in the canyon.
Decided to fish with Chad early in the morning and do a half day. Took Cabo along to keep me company and get her out of the house and away from the constant tormenting by Avelyn. I think she enjoyed it, but she whined the whole time.
Got to the Gill Trail lot at 5:45 - I was the second car there, Chad's was the first! The hike in was very dary as the trees are close together and leaves still out. I used a headlamp to see my way, which was good because then I could track Cabo's glowing eyes as she always stayed up ahead. Dropped down the first path to the family hole and found Chad - we moved below the waterfall and I started fishing. I used a big olive bugger and a size 18 czech nymph in green. I hooked a fish in the shallow stuff, but never got to land him - I did see him though - he was a silvery rainbow about 14 inches. He went after the czech - so we stuck with them for a while. The light started breaking and it became easier to see. I moved up - hopping above the family pool completely to big rock. Chad was in this spot, so I kept moving. I moved into the long long rifle with the big rock on the left. I hooked and landed a nice thick rainbow about 17 or 18 inches. He didn't fight overly hard, but he wouldn't come directly to the net. He took a size 20 red PT. While I was fighting him, another fish about the same size came and swam between me and the fish - about 18 inches away from my foot. He just hung out as I landed the fish. Cabo enjoyed seeing the piggy and gave it a "kiss" before it's release.
Chad and I kept leapfrogging each other - I moved up to the next flat area and as I was walking on the bank I spooked a fish, but noticed two others that hadn't spooked - one was a 17 inch rainbow that was litterally 2 feet away from my leg right up close to the bank, but with grass over hanging and a slow slow drift I had no clue how to get a fly to him. This fish acted very weird however - he was attacking clumbs of weeds that were floating by, he would bite it and shake his head and do it three or four times to the same clump. It looked like he was eating the weeds. He did it a few times too. I fished to him for about 20 mins, and finally hooked him (on a size 20 red and silver wire striped zebra) - but when I tried to back down river to not spook a few other fish, he popped off - although went right back to his spot. Every fish this morning seemed to be inches from the bank. When you walked the bank you would spook fish after fish - some were pretty large too.
The water seemed to get more and more off color as the day went by. Not much more to tell you about the day - I caught a small 13 inch brown (on a soft hackle size 20 black zebra with a gold bead) that was the most fiesty fish if the day - other than that nothing. We only fished until noon and then headed out of the canyon. I was home by about 1:30. It was a beautiful day and I was glad to get fishing again.
EDIT: I forgot to mention that as I was hiking back towards the canyon opening after the day, I stopped at the same spot that I saw the first next to shore - there wasn't a fish to be seen. I did see tons of huge - 4 inches long in some cases - grasshoppers, but they would only jump once and then lose their energy. They were either on their last legs or they were still chilled from the chilly night. I grabbed a few and tossed them in - I watched to see if they faught or if they just floated away. They seemed to be floating away with no fight. I didn't think anything of it and continued my walk down the bank. I immediately saw a fish down river about 20 feet away - about 12 inches off the bank and feeding. I walked back upstream to see if I could find another grasshopper - I tossed it in about 18 inches off the bank and it slowly drifted down river. The fish came up and slurped in the huge bug - the fish was probably only about 13 inches - so that must have been a HUGE mean! So I grabbed another and tossed it in again - this time I tossed it about two feet out to see if the fish would give chase - and he did - slurped that sucker up as fast as possible. 8 inches of grashoppers has to be enough protein to feed a fish for a day that is twice that size. But he stuck in his spot, waiting for more. I wanted to tie on a hopper, but didn't want to cut off my nymphs when I'd be leaving soon. I tried to wade out to the middle and cast back, but when I got out there, Cabo decided to come down the bank and spook the fish. Oh, well.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
I'm currently watching the Sox/Angels game - Ortiz and Manny just went back to back and you could hear the air come right out of the stadium. Weaver was pitching well - striking out 5 in the first 3 innings, but you knew the veteran hitters would get to him - and they did. Man, I hope Schilling and pen can hold this 2-0 lead up. Youks is up now, 2 on, 1 out.
I'm also watching the Broncos/Chargers game and man, do the Broncos suck. I think it is hilarious to hear Bronco fans talk about how the team is good when they have squeaked out two games by last second FGs to crappy teams, and then got their asses handed to them by two other teams. The best thing is that the Rockies are playing, so Bronco fans will have something to distract them. I guarantee that tomorrow at work there will be no talk of the Broncos and all talk about Rockies. Do you think anyone will admit Shanahan is the problem? Hell no.
Chargers are up 14-0 and just caused a fumble as the Broncos were inside the Chargers 15 yard line. Broncos fans were already starting to leave the stadium, sad because half probably just got finished parking their cars! Wait until the Steelers defense comes in in two weeks and cleans up. Travis Henry will be suspended for a year by then - he'll have plenty of time to smoke pot then.
This San Diego team is much better than their record - they have so many weapons and their D is good. Broncos fans always point at a record when making their arguments - which is fine in week 16 but not week 5. I bet Tomlinson goes for 175 yards today.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
The Rockies won tonight too - clinching a berth to the NLCS - which is amazing. I'm really really happy for the team and all their fans. Although not your most dedicated fans, the people here in Denver seem to be very sincere - and EVERYONE is watching them. They have some good young kids, but I'm not sure they can handle truly dominant veteran teams. And the AL is so strong, I have to belive that if they make it to the WS they would get crushed. The DBacks however are just as young as they are and it is anyones guess. If the Rockies make the WS, this place will go NUTS!
I fished today for the first time in a while - if interested, check out my blog on www.rockymtnfly.com.
Steelers play Seattle tomorrow - and I am nervous as hell. Hopefully without Ward/Troy/Hampton we can make something happen. We need to shut down the run game, put pressure on the QB and not turn the ball over. Capitalizing on Seattle's mistakes will be helpful too. Go Steelers!
Friday, September 28, 2007
Looks like we will get LAA - which scares the hell out of me. The Angels have a good hitting lineup and they have a good bullpen. Their lineup plays better than it is, with OCab always hitting well against us, Garrett Anderson is on a tear, Chone Figgins is smacking the crap out of the ball, even Kendrick is doing well, and of course Vlad. They have 7 out of 8 guys who have played over 100 games hitting .290 or better - that is scary.
Their pitching is pretty good too - Lackey won 18 games and has a 3.11 era, Escobar has shown signs of brilliance, and Weaver was decent. I think their #3 starter will hurt them. KRod is a damn good closer, and their bullpen is very decent with guys like Speier/Oliver/Bootcheck/Shields. And they have a wildcard in Ervin Santana, who is a young gun. A few years ago Santana was being compared to Pedro!
So, I'm a little nervous, especially if we don't have Manny being Manny at the plate. I think with Pedroia and Ellsbury we can match their speed though, which is something that the Angels have taken advantage of in the past.
In comparing stats, the Angels were pretty even with the Sox, but LA had the edge in avg, h and sb (by 45). The Sox surprisingly lead in HR by a ton (42 - even without a full year of Manny), runs, rbi's and obp. Our ERA was also .38 runs lower than LA. Interesting.
I also think that the Yankees can beat the Indians - and pretty easily. Cleveland is ranked 14th in avg and the Yankees ranked #1. The Yankees blow the Indians away in EVERY stat (but walks and saves) by A LOT! In some cases by more than 15% more! Yikes.
Red Sox vs Yankees in the ALCS makes me nervous, but I guess I have some time to think about that - and we need to focus on the first round first.
Buchholz was shut down today due to arm fatigue - he will not be pitching another inning the rest of the year - which sucks, but hell, that is the best for him. He's young, and he's our future. I'm still pissed they made him pitch all 9 innings in the no-hitter - that could have jeopardized his future. This was the right move though.
The Boston Red Sox are AL East Champions in 2007...I just like saying that!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Sox beat the A's 7-3 and the Yankees lose dramatically in the 10th on a Dioner Navarro HR for TB. That cut 2 games off the magic number and added 1 game to the lead in the East. It was a good night.
The other good thing is that the magic number for eliminating the Tigers is 1. I can't stand the Tigers - mainly because an old frined of mine use to tell me how great they were and how their WS appearance wasn't a fluke. Basically the Tigers were lucky to get to the playoffs last year, as they had a monumental collapse at the end of the season and lost the Central lead the last two days of the season to the Twins. It was embarrassing for them. To their credit the Tigers did make it to the WS, but again got embarrassed by a Cardinals team that was 5 games over .500 with 83 wins. So for him to say the Tigers were great was a joke, and this season just proves it - again. The Tigers are horrendous and they aren't made for the long haul.
But anyways. The Sox have the A's for 1 game and the Twins for 4 left. 2 wins is all we need and 1 Yankee loss. I think that is do-able. Yanks have 2 against TB and 3 against O's.
Last night Manny made an appearance - going 1-2 with a single and walk. It was good to have him back - and he is playing tonight (he's 2-2 2 singles). The heroes last night were Schilling (6 IP 1 ER), Ellsbury (2 RBI) , Lowell (RBI), Ortiz (HR 33 & 2 RBI) and Drew (3-4). Paps pitched for .1 IP, so that is interesting. I'm wondering if he is ok. Schilling looked good going into the playoffs - which is very very important.
The last 5 games will be interesting - I hope the Sox can get things settled by tomorrow so they can rest their players for a couple games.
The gusy on ESPN think Barry Bonds will end up in Oakland next season in place of Piazza. That is the perfect place for him, but again, when the Yanks lose ARod they will panic and sign Bonds. I don't like them signing him, because he will definitely hurt the Red Sox.
Barry Bonds 756 HR ball will be branded with an asterik before being sent to Cooperstown - there is a God! That is the absolute best possible thing that can happen for baseball.
Another thing I did last night is referee for the first time. It went very well, but I have a new appreciation for the zebras. Man, I have no idea how they see everything. I still need to train myself not to watch the puck, but rather watch my zone. I had a good time and the teams were very well behaved. Nothing too chippy, and no real complaints. John Walker was my co-ref and he taught me tons of stuff. I called the first penalty of the night, then didn't call another the rest of the time. I guess I was a bit bashful. I will definitely treat the refs better now though.
That's all I got - hockey tonight at 8pm.
Monday, September 24, 2007
I make my debut tomorrow night (all 4 games) and I'm actually a bit nervous. Not so much because I don't think I can do it, but rather I want to be good at it and respected for being good at it. That is probably asking way too much. I do think that one or two refs in particular have been HORRIBLE. And the refs do seem to make a lot of mistakes. Hopefully I won't be "that" ref.
I'm not exactly a saint, I have abused a ref here or there in my career. And I do get my share of penalties, and I do dive once in a while - so I guess I am the perfect ref. It will be interesting and I'm freaking out just thinking about it. I went to Sports Authority and bought a whistle and ref jersey - so I guess I have to do it now. Damn do I hate refs.
Tuesday leagues are the worst too - because these are the guys who can't skate at all and they hang all over each other. Half the time you can't tell if it is a penalty or just too newbs hugging each other. This should be quite a treat for a first time. Luckily I'm refereeing with another guy who I think is a very decent ref. That should take much of the pressure off me.
I wonder what it will be like to not want to go after the puck, and can I stay out of the way? I'm guessing I wear a cup (just in case), but do I wear shins? So many questions.Plus, I don't remember all those obscure rules like if a team has only 4 guys and there is a matching penalty, it is ok to to skate 4 on 3 and consider it full strength. So weird. Plus, I don't want guys screaming at me if I call a face off at the wrong dot or if I miss a tip that goes out of play and I want to face off on the wrong dot. Well, whatever. I've played more games than most of these guys on Tuesday nights have watched!
I just talked to Chris - a goalie buddy of mine, and he said something pretty cool - he said at least he knows the game will be called fairly. That means a lot. Of course I play on Wednesday nights - so that league is out. And, I've played on multiple teams on Thursday nights too - and technically I am subbing on Thursday nights too - so I'm not sure I can ref then either. Conflict-o-interest!
Damn, I need to go fishing. I have no clue what I am doing this weekend, and I'm bored. Went to Old Chicago last night and had a decent meal. Avi turned into a little wise guy last night at the restaurant, probably because she hadn't taken a long nap. She was kind fo funny - she knew she was pushing my buttons and loving it. Kids.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Check this out - and it really works - download sopcast.com, then go to this link and click on the game you want. http://streamednfl.blogspot.com/
This worked perfectly and it saved my Sunday - as my wife had to work and the baby was napping. I wish I had known about this last week - but luckily we are 3-0 BABY! Go STEELERS!
Ok, Sox lost tonight, Yankees won - 1.5 game lead, and the Sox get Monday off.
The Steelers played well - very well - and looked like a top 3 team in the league. Colts and Pats will be tops until they prove otherwise - although the Colts don't look all that impressive against the Titans and Texans - but still, that offense is explosive.
The 49ers played well too on Defense, but the Steelers pounding was just too much. 133 yards rushing for FWP and Ben made all the right throws. I want to focus on one player that just makes me tick and is probably going to be one of the Steeler greats before he's done. His name is Hin..........Heath Miller, TE, #83. Damn, the guy is automatic. I wish I saw the stat for dropped passes and third down thrown too and completions for TEs. He's so automatic and when he gets the ball he turns up field and PUNISHES someone. I used to think Shockey was a punisher, but this guy let's three guys jump on his back and he keeps chugging. I don't think I've ever seen 1 guy straight up tackle him. He has only one weakness - the sidelines, that's the only thing he can't avoid when he is pushed out of bounds! He caught 3 balls tonight that were huge! One was out of bounds after a review, but he caught the ball as a LB was pushing him out of bounds so he didn't get both feet down. It was truly an amazing catch.
Hines Ward hurt his shoulder today, and that is a huge concern - but honestly Ben doesn't really need WRs except on third downs - which he doesn't get into a whole lot. I heard the Steelers were losing for the first time this season - for 12 seconds! After a first possession FG by the 49ers, Allen Rossum ran back the kickoff 98 yards for a TD. Amazing! That is called rising to adversity! Rossum was a great pick up - and he filled a huge weakness in this team. Another great sign was seeing our punter on the hands team on an onside kick. That's riht, Dan Sepulveda, a former walk on LB at Baylor University, was on the hands team and collected an onside kick and laid down nicely. You will NEVER see that in a game again. Crazy.
The defense looked great today - there was more pressure on the QB than the stats showed. Woodley got another sack and looked very good. The defense hit hard as usual - Frank Gore had 35 yards rushing and was pummeled every time he got the ball. Vernon Davis may be hesitant to catch a ball over the middle again - as he caught a ball and was planting his leg to turn upfield he got a helmet to the hip and was flipped over, landing on his head and coughing up the football right into Ryan clark's hands. The play was reviewed incomplete, but Davis was seen counting fingers on the sidelines. Lots of heavy hits - just the way we love it.
Jeff Reed was automatic tonight - I hope he saves some for when we need them. A garbage TD by the 49ers late brought them within 9. The Steelers came back and kicked a FG, then the next possession for the 49ers Alex Smith throws a pick 6 to Bryant McFadden for 50 yards. That sealed it - but Najeh Davenport ripped off a 40 yard TD to clinch it. Great game and our first real test by a decent defense. Arizona is next, then Seattle (in Pittsburgh).
Some games of note today - Cleveland has a FG try blocked with no time left to lose to Oakland (ugh). Those are truly the worst teams in the league. Sad. Denver sucked as usual - losing to Jacksonville 23-14. The game looked like it was going to go Denver's way as they made Jacksonville fumble on Denver's 4 yard line. On 4th and 6 from the 10 yard line, Shanahan went for it with 4 minutes left and Denver choked. Instead of letting their defense get the ball back (which I think it could have), he made a very bad bad decision. Again, Shanahan costs the Broncos a game. The last two weeks he has gotten gifts, and this week, against an equally crappy team, he choked. Completely. Of course all the Bronco fans will continue to ballwash him as usual.
NE looked good as usual. Dallas killed the Bears. GB trounced SD (amazingly - I guess Norv Turner really does kill the best offense in the game!). TB surprised St. Louis - by 21 points. Seattle barely beat Cincy. I'm thinking we can beat the hell out of AZ and Seattle and have fun doing it.
Man, I need to go camping for the weekend - I need to get some fishing in and get up to the mtns. Problem is that this is quarter close, and I'll need internet and cell phone access. I'm thinking maybe Breckenridge - this cool place called Tiger Run is a ritzy place and the family would have a good time.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Some cause for concern was DiceK's pitching performance - he gave up 5 runs tonight and those stat lines never look good. If the guy could stop walking people and giving up free baserunners, that would help his ERA and performance tremendously. I can not see the SOx using him in a the playoffs - although after what they spent on him, they will probably be forced to.
The Yankees pulled out a win tongiht in extra innings over the BJs. They used 10 pitchers tonight - 7 for less than a full inning. Philip Hughes again did not look impressive - both teams scored plenty of runs though - as both bulpens got over used 12-11. Sox are still up 2.5 games.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Papi blasted a HR, Lowell and Varitek had one also - which is huge since the power outage has lasted way too long. Beckett won game #20 - which is a huge accomplishment in a much better American League than National League (where there seem to be more 20 game winners).
Ellsbury got himself on ESPN with the #1 webgem - falling into the LF bullpen and managing to make a crazy catch. Of course the "bullpen" in the Trop is ON the field and the little mole hill for a pitchers mound is fully exposed (which is just begging for an injury). He also had a couple of hits and both he and Pedroia raised hell on the bases again - both scoring on an error or a wild pitch.
The bottom of the order continues to be useless - Tek (although he hit a HR tonight), Coco, Lugo, Hinske, Kielty - throw Drew in there and you have the potential for a no hitter any night. Brandon Moss actually pinch hit for Coco and had a hit. Sad. No production from that part of the order will kill us in the playoffs. Man, we need Manny back in a huge way - but we need Manny to come back and hit. He's had a LONG time off to recoop from a strained oblique. I know what a strained oblique feels like - I used to laugh at them, I just assumed it was an excuse for something else. But, they are humbling injuries - doing weird things like tying shoes is impossible - and turning side to side sends sharp pains up your whole side. But my injury was over in about 3 or 4 weeks. Hell, I was back playing hockey in 2 weeks. Manny better come back at his best or wait until the playoffs - although a couple games to shake the cobwebs off would be nice. Luckily we can beat the DRays without him.
News out today is that the SF Giants will not bring back Barry Bonds. Well, of course they won't! They raped him for the publicity and ticket sales of the HR record and now they tell him to F off. Couldn't happen to a better guy either. Whatever. Some stupid organization with no humility will pick him up next year. Hell - the Rangers picked up Sammy Sosa off the scrap heap and he leads that team in RBIs this season. (Which is sad considering the power hitters on that club.)
So who will sign him next season? Let's work backwards on this - who won't sign him? Well, no National League team is paying $12-15M for an 85 game a year defensive liability who is better suited for the AL. An American League team will likely sign him to play DH, but young teams and teams that are too concerned with chemistry won't sign him either - so let's subtract the Sox (DH is Ortiz), Toronto (Big Hurt), Cleveland (too good - too young), Detroit (Sheffield), Minnesota (too good and too young), Chicago (Thome), Angels (too smart), Texas (Sosa), Seattle (they are old enough). That leaves NYY, Baltimore, TB, KC, and the A's. TB won't spend $12M on a player, Bonds won't go to KC, and Baltimore doesn't need anymore bad press. That leaves NYY and the A's.
The NYY are about to lose ARod and could use the DH and PH power potential off their bench. Of course Giambi takes that roll - but something tells me they could find room for both. Not to mention that the Yankees can outbid anyone and Bonds jerseys could actually sell in NY City (but not in San Fran - weird). Plus, having the HR king* play on the Yankees might make Georgie boy cream his pants.
The A's are interesting, Billy Beane favors the OBP, and Piazza is on the way out. Oakland is very close to San Fran, and Barry could continue to live in his current home in CA, not to mention I think SF and Oakland play each other in Interleague play every season, so he has a chance to get back at SF. The A's also have a lot of young guys to fill the OF (instead of DH), and team chemistry really has interested Beane that much. He's been known to keep cancers too long (Terrance Long and Jay Payton) and cut good clubhouse guys (Keilty). So basically if he could get Bonds for like $8-10M, he'd do it in a second.
There are a couple of places he could land in the NL, places like Washington, San Diego or maybe LA, but the likelihood of them outbidding the Yankees and Barry passing on the next best thing of lots of time off and not being away from the family with the A's will be too much to pass up. So, no chance he stays in the NL.
My prediction, although the Yankees offer Bonds $12M - which is $4M more than the A's offer, Bonds chooses the A's, but then Georgie comes back and offers $15M and Bonds signs with the Yankees. Everyone has a price - and if you can buy a HR title, you can buy your happiness in NYC.
Oh, but right after Bonds signs with NYY, even before he gets to play a game for them, he gets indicted in this whole steroids scandal and we realize there is a God and Barry Bonds - the HR leader* - goes to jail. Don't feel bad for him, he has earned it. After he is convicted, MLB will wipe his records from the books to cleanse themselves of an ugly lie that they knew all along. Yes, the fan will be cheated, and MLB will be tainted - until another Red Sox/Yankee show down in September brings the fans back in 2008.
(My rebuttle comments in bold).
The sky is falling on Red Sox nation - again.
The Boston Red Sox celebrated their first World Series title in 86 years in 2004. Just three years later, they are conjuring up memories of another historic campaign - 1978.
The Red Sox have lost five of their last six games - many in excruciating fashion - to see what was a 14 1/2-game lead on May 29 shrink to just 1 1/2 over the rival New York Yankees in the American League East.
Boston squandered a 14-game advantage to New York in late July 1978 en route to the Yankees' second straight championship. Granted, this campaign, the Red Sox have the wild card to fall back on. Um, last time I knew, the Sox were a wildcard team when they won the WS in 2004. It doesn't matter how you get there - just get to the playoffs.
But as the noose tightens in New England nearly 30 years later, here are 10 reasons why it will be deja vu - all over again. What noose? I don't get that joke. Is he trying to say we are choking?
10. Big Papi's health - David Ortiz has been limping around with a myriad of injuries to his shoulder, knee, quadriceps and hamstring. With his team needing a lift, the clutch slugger may not be able to provide it. Ortiz had his chance to knock out the Yankees with the bases loaded in the ninth inning against Mariano Rivera on Sunday, but the aching All-Star just could not get around on the fastball. First of all, Papi is the only one with any power on this team, and he's doing it hurt. Why is this going to change over the next month? And second, he popped out to CF - when you can "not get around on the fastball" you pop out to LF (for lefty hitters) because you are late on the swing. I'm not sure you understand that concept or much about baseball at all.
9. Earth to Manny - Manny Ramirez is a surefire Hall-of-Famer, an RBI machine and one of the best pure hitters in baseball. But his space-cadet routine finally may be wearing thin in Beantown. He has a strained left oblique muscle, which has sidelined him since August 28. But prior to the injury, the 35-year-old Ramirez was in a fog. Without him in the lineup or with his head in the clouds, Boston's lineup becomes easier to attack. Manny has been an absolute great employee this season - no talk of being traded, no weird days off, he is injured however. Sure he had a down season, but so has Papi. Since when has Manny's head been in a fog or the clouds effected his performance? The guy has been one of the most consistent hitter over the past decade. But yes, without him the Sox lineup is less potent, unless he plays like he has all this season, then this lineup is better with Ellsbury in it - since Ellsbury strikes out less, hits into less DPs, steals more bases, plays better defense and gets on base more - not to mention hits for a higher average. But after all that, I see your point (I think).
8. Hideki Okajima's arm - Okajima was a Rookie of the Year candidate and one of the best relievers in the American League. His unorthodox delivery - specifically his head motion - confused hitters, making him the perfect bridge to star closer Jonathan Papelbon. But Okajima's arm is tired, and he will be shut down for five days. It's September, the AL East is on the line and one of your best relievers is not available? That's the real head-turner. Injuries happen - what are you gonna do? Okie must be tired or injured. I guess you got one point right.
7. The Smug Race - There is no doubt baseball fans in New York and Boston border on the intolerable, wearing cockiness on their sleeves. But Red Sox nation has taken it to a new level after the 2004 World Series title. However, the Red Sox have done nothing since their historic championship to warrant gloating - failing to make it past the division series in 2005 or even into the postseason last campaign. Maybe Boston's rabid following is getting just a bit ahead of itself. Could it be that the Red Sox just are not that good? Yes, we have been the best team all season - we still have the best record - but we aren't that good. It is all a mirage. And when can't the fans of the best two franchises in the sport do whatever the hell they want? Without the Yanks and Sox major league baseball would be a joke and no one would even care (see the steriod issues and the Bonds HR debacle). You should thank NY and Boston for the rivalry.
6. Fall of the Dice-K - Daisuke Matsuzaka has just two wins since July 29 and looks to be out of gas. If you listened to the hype machine prior to the season, the much-heralded former World Baseball Classic MVP was somewhere between Tom Seaver and a righthanded Sandy Koufax. In fact, he was supposed to be better than that. But in reality, he has been John Burkett with a little more velocity. In the final days of the season, Matsuzaka - and his golden arm - need to show what all the fuss was about. Amazing - I never heard a comparison to Seaver or Koufax - actually I remember everyone saying the Sox were stupid for investing so much in an unknown. How can an "unknown" be compared to Seaver or Koufax? I'd love to see the link with the comparisons. Yes, DiceK was overhyped before coming to the US, but no one was thinking that at the AllStar break. It's a long season, and even longer than the Japan Leagues baseball season. DiceK has never started more than 29 games - this season he has started 30 games and will probably get at least 2 more starts. Maybe he's tired. Can't blame him.
5. Papelbon - The luster is off one of the best young closers in baseball. There is no argument here that Papelbon will be a force in the AL for years to come. But in 2007, the mystique is lost - mainly against the rival Yankees. The 26-year-old has a miniscule 1.96 ERA and just 15 walks in 55 innings. But as Rivera's past exploits have shown us, a closer's season is defined by the big moments. Papelbon is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA and five walks in seven frames against New York this season. Yawn, what are Rivera's stats against the Red Sox? This could just as easily explain why the Yankees could choke. Papelbon has been pitching worse of late, but he could be even worse.
4. The Pink Hat Factor - The Red Sox always were the loveable losers, but not anymore. With a swelling fan base, they have become the chic club to root for with fans sprouting up all over the country. Red Sox nation has an immigration problem with most newcomers not knowing Johnny Pesky from Johnny Damon. All the good will built up from the baseball gods? Gone. Funny, ever notice Yankee hats in Africa? Because goodwill distributes clothing to Africa. Think there might be an exportation problem there? Sox fans sprouting up suddenly everywhere? Are you kidding me? I went to a Sox/Rox game in June 2004 (long before thoughts of a WS), and the stadium was 60% filled with Sox fans. There have been more true Sox fans around this country than bandwagon Yankee fans. Oh, and how do you expect the youth of America to know who Johnny Pesky was when he played 40 years before they were born? Hell, I bet you can't name the President 40 years ago.
3. Eric Gagne - The newly acquired reliever would be higher on the list, but his effect on the Red Sox will diminish - simply because he will no longer pitch in big spots. Or will he? General manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona seem insistent on throwing Gagne into the fire. He is responsible for at least five of Boston's losses since joining the club at the July 31 trade deadline. And Epstein may continue to try to prove Gagne's worth - and himself right - at the team's expense. Epstein was the one who told Francona to sit Gagne for almost two weeks, can you at least get your facts straight before writing up a big article on this?
2. The Yankees - Holding the best record in baseball since the All-Star break, it is all coming together for New York. The Yankees have steamrolled through the competition, including taking five of six from the rival Red Sox since late August. Boasting the league's most dangerous lineup, New York also has fixed its bullpen problems with the addition of rookie phenom Joba Chamberlain. Robinson Cano has broken out of his first-half slump, and Alex Rodriguez continues to post MVP-caliber numbers. If New York continues to play like this, Boston's play is irrelevant. One player fixes a bullpen? Amazing. If I remember correctly, the Yankees had the same lineup on opening day as they do now - so how are they suddenly dominant, but were less dominant then? There is always time for any team to choke. As long as the Red Sox are leading the division, their play is relevant. Any ideas how the Yanks will stack up against the Angels or Indians? Good pitching always beats good hitting - and the Yankees haven't proved their pitching is very good. Joba might pitch well against crappy hitters, but the Angels/Indians will eat up that 100 mph fastball.
1. Harsh Reality - Simply, they are the Red Sox and these things happen. History does not lie. As much as the 2004 World Series title was supposed to erase all the bad memories, 100-plus years of suffering just does not disappear. Ask any die-hard Sox fan. It is never easy. Get used to it, Boston. Passion is not created from easy victories. This is something non-Red Sox fans can't understand. Sure you might love your team, and you might root for them through thick and thin, but going through bad times over and over only makes us love every Sox team more. When we win, it makes it that much sweeter. Unlike say, Yankee fans, I've never seen a bandwagon quadruple in good times and be diminished to next to nothing in bad times. How many Yankee fans did you see when they were 14 games back? None, they were all bailing out. Great fans. I read once that after the 2003 loss in game 7 of the ALCS, one Sox fan couldn't help but get up the next day, grab his Sox hat and go off to work like it was any other day. It was like any other day - it's called passion, something you can't teach, something that can only be ingrained.
Nice try on an article - but your facts are not holding water, and like your reputaton after trying to write this "know it all" article you aren't getting anywhere.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
CIC*CE Credit Manager(Services and Merchandise) $9.95
If so, you too are signed up for a "free credit report" at www.freecreditreport.com. How? You got a free credit report and in the small print it says that you have agreed to a monthly membership for $9.95. So, you go to get a "free" credit report, and then get sucked into a membership that you didn't want, and you will never hear from them again - not an email, not anything through the mail, not a phone call. You can even try to log into freecreditreport.com and it won't recognize your username or password - because you don't have one. So what are you getting for this membership? Jackshit.
You need to call and cancel this thing ASAP at 877-481-6826 - don't give them your credit card number, or social security number, have them look you up by name. They will ask you for your mom's maiden name - don't give them that either - tell them to confirm your identity with other info (I used my DOB). Cancel the "membership" with the asshole customer service (they will try to do everything to convince you that you signed up for it), then ask to talk to the supervisor about the account. Don't give in - stay on hold and talk to the supervisor. Tell the supervisor that you think this is fraud and want to report it. Tell them you think you deserve a refund - that 1,400 other people on the web have gotten the same charge and are pissed - say you will report this, and that you expected more from one of the largest credit agencies out there. They will say that they can only refund 3 months worth of charges - which is better than nothing. They said it would take 7-10 business days to get the credit - we'll see how long it really takes.
I googled the charge above and found out that several people have gone through the same thing - check out these google search results.
Make sure you check your credit card statement next month to ensure that you are not charged again and that you get your refunds.
I hope you catch this sooner than I did - I thought this charge was Blockbuster.com (it was the same amount) and I was going to call them - but figured I'd google the charge first. Good luck.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Man, the usual suspects continue to lead this team. Lowell, Ortiz, Ellsbury & Pedroia. Coco had a good game and Hinske hit a homer. Youks went out after getting plunked in the wrist - xrays were negative, but this is never a good thing.
5.5 game lead over the Yanks, and more importantly it gives the Tigers a chance to catch up in the wildcard race. Although they started some kid tonight Bazardo. Should be interesting. That team has to be the biggest disappointment (besides maybe the White Sox) this season. For all the talented pitching they have they still rely on guys like Inge, Casey, Thames and a host of other marginal players to fill their roster. I'm not sure that is enough offensive talent to get them by teams like the Angels/Sox/Yanks.
But whatever, Sox win tonight - so I'm in a better mood. We have to take tomorrow's game to close the series and put all the pressure on the Yankees.
Can you imagine if the Yankees didn't make the playoffs? I wonder just how much that team would get blwon up?
What a beautiful day - party cloudy, decent breeze, 75 degrees or so in Idaho Springs. Got there at 9am, we chose a group of four of us and hit our stretch. Pretty tough climbimg along some of those ledges next to the water, but we managed. My group consisted of Cooper (a board member of West Denver TU), Dwight (Pagosa Springs retiree) and Mike. We split in half and headed down stream, Cooper and I hit the City Hall stretch and worked our way to the 70 bridge. We worked the stretch right under the big wheel there along I70 next to the water fall - the river was very fishy there and beautiful. We caught ourselves looking for fish sometimes, and we saw them by the bunches. There are a ton of fish in that creek.
But damn, is that corridor just the dirtiest thing. Tons of garbage was pulled out of there today - and Cooper and I did quite a bit of that. We managed 4 heavy bags in the ~1 mile stretch.
It was a good turn out this year, a few more than last, and a younger group this year too. There was a group from the rafting company that was a young bunch and they added some fresh blood to an otherwise aging group. A big thanks to all the donors who donated gift certs as prizes - including Charlie's Flybox, Anglers All, Blue Quill, Golden Angler, Discount Tackle and a couple others (sorry if I left your gift cert out). The food was good too. I was out of there by about 1 and home by 1:30pm. It was a nice day. I didn't hang out to long - but met Cooper and Dwight and hopefully they will be frequenting this board.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Yankees lost to the Blue Jays 2-1 and have dropped the Sox magic number to 11 and the East lead to 5.5 games. More importantly if the Sox get swept over the weekend they will still have a 2.5 game lead. We need magic this weekend - pure power and dominance.
For the record, I'm not overly excited about this team going all the way. Granted, I like our chances in the playoffs with a three man rotation of Schilling, Beckett, DiceK with Buchholz/Lester as our long men and a bullpen of Lopez/Timlin/Okajima/MDC/Paps. The pitching staff has to easily be the best. Our offense is not clicking yet though - and those players that are might not be playing that much in the playoffs (Ellsbury) or possibly slumping again (Lugo/Drew). Yes, we do have some amazing offensive potential when everyone is clicking - but I'm not counting on the stars to line up. Do I think we can beat the Indians or Tigers? Yes. Do I think we can beat the Angels? No. Do I think we can beat the Yankees? Maybe.
Honestly over the past couple of seasons the team that has been on a roll at the end of the season seems to win. Detroit quite possibly was the best team in MLB last season and the Cards took it. The White Sox may have been the best team in the league in 2005, but the Cards would argue because they had more wins. The WS took that series. Were the Sox the best team in 2004? Hell no - the Cards won 105 games, but we all know how that turned out. So, I guess I'll put my money on the team that ends the season the hottest and with the most momentum. If I chose right now, I'd have to say the Yankees or Angels.
Tomorrow is Friday and it will be war. May the Sox be the best team and win!
I'm not sure Manny helps us or hurts us. With Manny in we need to sit Drew or Ellsbury - Drew is starting to hit and provides good D. Ellsbury has been a true spark plug for this team the last few weeks. Taking him out of the lineup can only hurt. Manny also has a tendency to be an all or nothing type hitter - swinging for the long bomb or a K or a double play. The first time we see Manny become a rally killer the fans will let the manager know.
One thing about Manny, he usually comes back very very strong from time off - and he kills the Yankees - so these are very positive things. Elssbury as a late inning replacement on the basepaths and field is not a bad thing. The bigger question is - what are we going to do in 2008?
Should be a GREAT weekend - all 3 games are on TV.
My weekend is packed - a championship inline hockey game tonight (last night we won the first game and lost the championship game), Friday I have the Sox, Saturday I have the TU River Clean Up and the Sox on TV and Sunday I have the Fly Fishing Retailers Show, NFL Football and the Sox on TV. That will be crazy!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
This was one of those rollercoaster games where you just don't know the ending and are afraid to see who is pitching next for the Sox. I did come to realize that the Sox future is SOOOO bright - I mean think about it - Ellbury and Pedroia hitting #1 and #2 for the next 7+ years is very exciting. Seeing Buchholz and Lester in the rotation for 7 more years, with Paps closing games? That is a great core. We do need to find a catcher, but I think we have a great foundation for years to come.
Did I mention that Eric Gagne sucks. Well, there, now I have. He sounded horrible in his one inning of relief - giving up 2 hits and a run. Pathetic. The waste of space. I actually thought he might blow a 7 run lead. I considered it, really I did.
So, 13 is the magic number. 16 games remaining, and the Yankees can't win them all, so we only have to win 11 of them, or something like that.
The Sox win the East if:
If the Sox lose every game left (0-16), and the Yankees only win 5 games (5-13).
If the Sox win only 1 game (1-15), and the Yankees only win 6 games (6-12).
If the Sox win only 2 games (2-14), and the Yankees only win 7 games (7-11).
If the Sox win only 3 games (3-13), and the Yankees only win 8 games (8-10).
If the Sox win only 4 games (4-12), and the Yankees only win 9 games (9-9).
If the Sox win only 5 games (5-11), and the Yankees only win 10 games (10-8).
If the Sox win only 6 games (6-10), and the Yankees only win 11 games (11-7).
If the Sox win only 7 games (7-9), and the Yankees only win 12 games (12-6).
If the Sox win only 8 games (8-8), and the Yankees only win 13 games (13-5).
If the Sox win only 9 games (9-7), and the Yankees only win 14 games (14-4).
If the Sox win only 10 games (10-6), and the Yankees only win 15 games (15-3).
If the Sox win only 11 games (11-5), and the Yankees only win 16 games (16-2).
If the Sox win only 12 games (12-4), and the Yankees only win 17 games (17-1).
If the Sox win only 13 games (13-3), and the Yankees win all 18 games (18-0).
Second - magic number is 14 - which isn't shrinking as fast as I'd like. Sure, we are 5 games up on the Yankees for the division and 9 games up on the wild card, but COME ON! Losing to the DRays 1-0 to Scott Kazmir was not so bad - but the Yankees keep on winning. Sure, they beat KC and Seattle (which hasn't been too difficult), but some team needs to grow some nuts and step up and beat this team. Toronto may be that team. But with Glaus out, that leaves little power left. The weekend is going to be awesome as all 3 games are on TV. Man, we need to win at least 2 out of 3.
Last - the Steelers dominated and destroyed the Browns. Man, could there be a worst organization in football than the Browns? How sad are they? Their coach has no emotion, no control over his players, he's clueless on personell, and he looks apathetic. He doesn't know who his best players are - and he cuts his starting QB 2 days after opening day. What? He should resign this minute.
The Steelers were all business - back to discipline and smart plays. Coach Tomlin is the next dynasty in Pittsburgh - he is awesome. The game started out poorly for the Browns, forced to punt inside their 10 on the first possession, their punter fudged the snap and had to run sideways to kick the ball - all of 28 yards. On the play there was 4 penalties - all on Cleveland. That is sad. Pittsburgh moved a couple plays and threw a 5 yard TD pass. The next Cleveland possession the Browns fumbled inside their 20 and the Steelers kicked a FG. There was 10:30 left in the 1st quarter and already it was evident that the Browns were a joke. Sad.
My players of the game were Roethlisberger - 4 passing TDs (and a ton of drops by the WRs and RBs), Sepulveda (4 punts inside the 20 - deep inside the 20), the D Line (stopped Lewis for 35 yards) and Hines Ward (1 TD, best blocking WR of all time). We looked steady - sometimes sloppy, but our D slammed the door. Brady Quinn would have made this game more respectable, but teh Steelers would still have won by 21 points anyways.
Tomlin gets my game ball this week - he's truly a breathe of fresh air in Pittsburgh.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Tonight the Sox shutout the O's 4-0, every Sox regular except Lugo had one hit. Crisp actually scored on a balk in the game and the Cabrera went nuts and tried killing Pedroia. A shouting match ensued between Francona and I think the O's catcher, and then the O's manager got tossed. Finally a pitcher got up in the O's bullpen after about 10 minutes of arguing and the game was delayed a while. Veyr strange.
Some things I noticed lately:
Tonight the Sox rested their bullpen - Lester pitched well, then Lopez for and inning and then MDC for an inning. Thank GOD that Paps didn't come on.
Okajima is struggling - something like a 6 ERA in his last 10 outings - not good.
Ellsbury led off tongiht - we should expect this for the next 7 years at least.
The Sox keep winning without Manny Ramirez - which is quite a feat. The Yankees couldn't ask for a better opportunity than for Manny to be out for most of the rest of the final month. Let's hope he's back in 100% shape for the playoffs. He can carry this team for long stretchs.
Where the hell is Gagne? The guy hasn't pitched since August 26th against the CWS. Wouldn't tonight have been a perfect opportunity to get him some work? Weird. Is Gagne hurt? Thanks for the draft pick buddy - let's hope he closes out the season strong so we get a Type A reimbursement.
What about Devern Hansack - he could have closed out the ninth.
I'm still nervous about Lester - he walks too many guys. 20 walks to 29 K's is not impressive. His walks ALWAYS come back to haunt him.
DiceK and Beckett for the next two games - nice. The O's offense is horrible.
My guess is Tuesday September 25th is when we clinch the East.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Man, I think Tito is having a brain freeze or something. We need a petition to sit Papelbon for about a week (or at least until the Yankee series). Paps doesn't need to close against teh O's or DRays. Sad. Smarten up Francona.
Oh yeah, 16 is our magic number. Which means with 22 games left for the Sox and 23 games left for the Yankees:
If the Sox lose every game left (0-22), the Yankees would only have to win 7 games (8-15).
If the Sox win only 1 game (1-21), the Yankees would only have to win 8 games (9-14).
If the Sox win only 2 games (2-20), the Yankees would only have to win 9 games (10-13).
If the Sox win only 3 games (3-19), the Yankees would only have to win 10 games (11-12).
If the Sox win only 4 games (4-18), the Yankees would only have to win 11 games (12-11).
If the Sox win only 5 games (5-17), the Yankees would only have to win 12 games (13-10).
If the Sox win only 6 games (6-16), the Yankees would only have to win 13 games (14-9).
If the Sox win only 7 games (7-15), the Yankees would only have to win 14 games (15-8).
If the Sox win only 8 games (8-14), the Yankees would only have to win 15 games (16-7).
If the Sox win only 9 games (9-13), the Yankees would only have to win 16 games (17-6).
If the Sox win only 10 games (10-12), the Yankees would only have to win 17 games (18-5).
I still like those odds.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
The usually suspects performed well tonight - Pedroia & Ellsbury - funny that I say USUAL, but these guys are really putting on a show and they are sooo much fun to watch. Ellsbury got dropped to the 9th hole tonight and proceeded to get a single, a homer (his 2nd of the season) and a triple (his first of the season) and he only got up 3 times! Give him 2 more RBIs and a SB and he is quickly making us forget that that Manny guy is out. Ortiz, Lowell, Tek and Crisp pulled 0-fers tonight - which is starting to get a little scary. I'm not worried about Lowell, but those other bums need to step it up. Youks managed to hit one out - is it possible taht he is starting to become a power guy - swinging for the fences or striking out - with nothing in the middle? Scary to think of.
The other really scary thing is Paps pitching for the 3rd straight night. I mean, come on - why the hell did we get Gagne? Timlin couldn't get 3 outs? Lopez could pull a cat out of the hat. If I hear that Paps needs 5 days off and he mysteriously isn't available after that, I'm going to kill Francona. Seriously. Did he not learn his lesson from last year.
With the win, the Sox decreased their magic number to 17 games - unfortunately the Yankees won tonight - moving ahead of Seattle by 2 games in the wild card. We really need to wish for one of those teams to get very very hot and knock off the Yanks out of the wild card. Missing the playoffs might cause Steinbrenner to commit suicide, and it would shut every Yankee fan up for at least a year. How nice would that be? Yes, just think about it. Now get it done.
Yanks have one more at home against Seattle then off to KC after a days rest. You want to think that KC will be a pushover, but they have played relatively well against the Twins (took 2 of 4), the Tigers (took 2 of 3) and the Rangers (took game 1 - losing 1 one run in game 2). Hopefully they can carry that momentum forward. Their offense has been clicking - so that is a good sign.
The Sox have Schilling going tomorrow night against Shawn Marcum (who happens to be 12-5 with a 3.75 ERA), so let's not get our hopes up for a sweep - although I guess it could happen. The Sox are headed to Baltimore for 4 games - where 2 of 4 is not unheard of. We'll have 2 of Tavarez, Lester, Buchholz starting - so those games are no gimme's. DiceK and Beckett should round out the order. Having a couple of blow outs will help - it will give our call ups some filler innings and keep our regulars in the bullpen fresh. Bryan Corey and Devern Hansack were called up and they provide decent filler. Hansack needs to prove himself as he has not been spectacular at the MLB level.
139 games in the books - 84-55, exactly 23 games left. Magic number at 17.
I thought of a crazy thing last night - the Yankees could actually sweep the Sox 3 in Yankee Stadium and 3 in Fenway (coming up) and still not capture the AL East. That is absolutely amazing. Luckily the Sox have TB 6 times left and they could very well could clinch later in the month against TB. Let's look at it this way, for the Yankees to win the division:
If the Sox lose every game left (0-23), the Yankees would only have to win 7 games (7-16).
If the Sox win only 1 game (1-22), the Yankees would only have to win 8 games (8-15).
If the Sox win only 2 games (2-21), the Yankees would only have to win 9 games (9-14).
If the Sox win only 3 games (3-20), the Yankees would only have to win 10 games (10-13).
If the Sox win only 4 games (4-19), the Yankees would only have to win 11 games (11-12).
If the Sox win only 5 games (5-18), the Yankees would only have to win 12 games (12-11).
If the Sox win only 6 games (6-17), the Yankees would only have to win 13 games (13-10).
If the Sox win only 7 games (7-16), the Yankees would only have to win 14 games (14-9).
If the Sox win only 8 games (8-15), the Yankees would only have to win 15 games (15-8).
If the Sox win only 9 games (9-14), the Yankees would only have to win 16 games (16-7).
If the Sox win only 10 games (10-13), the Yankees would only have to win 17 games (17-6).
If the Sox win only 11 games (11-12), the Yankees would only have to win 18 games (18-5).
I like those odds.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
The second half of the day was the Yankees getting stomped by the Devil Rays - after a close game until the 7th the DRays broke it open with a Carlos Pena (from, Northeastern University) homerun that helped him break the TB all time single season mark of 34. Congrats to Carlos, he is easily comeback player of the year and making Northeastern proud!
That brings the magic number down to 20 - and the Red Sox lead in the East to 6 games. We are in no way "out of the woods" or being handed the division, but we are controlling our own destiny and we could slam the door with a strong 10 games before we meet the Yankees in Fenway - and then beat out the Yankees at home. That would leave the Yanks backs against the wall and they'd have to be perfect the rest of the way to beat us out in the division.
I'm actually not worried - Beckett, DiceK and Schilling will not be as bad as they were against the Yankees - and no way Clemens does as well next time against the Sox. The 3 game sweep was a perfect storm for the Yankees and will not happen again. Man, it is going to be an exciting ending to the season. Let's all hope Manny gets better soon!
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Well, I slept until Avi woke up, then played with her all day until her nap time and I fell asleep on the couch around noon. I was woken up at 1pm by the wife and I headed to the airport. I met my mom and dad and we were home by about 3pm. It is great seeing them - they haven't been out here in over 2 years.
Well, the Steelers made their cuts today cutting Verron Haynes and Chuckie Okobi - keeping Carey Davis and Gary Russell - which is great. Our O-line still scares teh hell out of me. Oh, and the Steelers traded for punt returner Allen Rossum - which is a HUGE upgrade over what they have. That will make the special teams very exciting.
Oh, and one other little thing happened today - Clay Buchholz, the rookie pitcher for the Sox pitched a no hitter - absolutley amazing. Not only was it a great achievement by Clay, but it was the shot in the ass that the Red Sox need SOOOOOOOO badly. Scoring 10 runs was also nice with Jacoby Ellsbury and Brandon Moss chipping in on the offense. Of course Youks with a 3 run homer and Ortiz with a 3 run double helped too - and Pedrioa had some offense too - and an amazing defensive play that saved the no hitter in the 7th of Miggy Tejada. So, the magic number is now 22 - which seems like a lot - but with 26 games left, it seems very achievable. We have 11 games until we meet the Yankees at Fenway - ultimately I'd like to win 7 of those and have the Yankees lose at least 4 - which would drive the magic number in half with 15 games left. Of course 3 of those games are against the Yankees and those would be the telling games of the season. I BELIEVE!
I do miss fishing - this is a holiday weekend and normally I'd be camping with the family or finding some time to get away and fishing - but I'm not sure I'm going to get so lucky over the next week or so - with the family here, I can't get away. I need to find some kind of festival or fair to go to to keep everyone busy.
Opening game is 8 days away - Steelers vs Browns, man, that game will give us some great self confidence with a big win. My guess is 10-6 in a tough division - and I think we either win the division or get the wild card. Colts/Pats/Chargers/Bengals/Steelers/Broncos - I'm not sure if we are a SB team with the Colts and Pats in our conference - but I think we are close.
Lots of cuts hitting the waiver wire tonight - this is a tough time of year to be on the bubble. Lots of veterans and draft picks getting the boot - crazy.