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November 30 Permalink
Schneider, Church Dealt for Milledge. I'll go with the conventional wisdom here. Church may have as good a 2008 as Milledge, but Lastings has the upside. Schneider's fading bat and $9.8 million salary over two years are someone else's problem. In addition, Flores won't languish in Columbus.
Several Nats fans have noted the outrage, not just from Mets fans, but from fans of other teams were perfectly willing to give up their lousy starting catcher and fourth outfielder for Milledge.
Still, I'll miss the sacred cow. In many ways, he was a Moneyball-type guy with a high on-base percentage, good power, high strikeouts and mediocre batting average. I'll miss complaining about his lack of playing time and the poor treatment he was getting from the front office. I wish him well as long as it's not against the Nats.
Schneider and Wilkerson were the first to make public appearances in Washington at a health expo. He seemed to be a fan favorite, but there's no doubt he was declining. At this point, you start to see his future as a coach or manager.
November 29 Permalink
Watched the Bones episode "The Secret in the Soil". Natural foods supermarket mogul Franklin Curtis is found dead near a popular lovers lane, his body at a temperature of 127°. Evidence leads to a Virginia co-operative compost dump where Curtis' body was for a while, explaining the high body temperature.
In addition, a female body is found at the compost site. She died before Curtis of blunt force trauma and inept CPR. Identified as Emma Bollings, a cashier one of Curtis' New Jersey stores, she came down to Maryland to escape a stalker.
Curtis' daughter Kat believed she was another of her father's lovers and confronted her. In the struggle, Kat accidentally killed her when she bumped her head on a coffee table. She unsuccessfully attempted CPR and had her ex-boyfriend Charlie Rogan dispose of the body in compost heap.
Charlie confronted Curtis and killed him with a pitchfork. His body was dumped at the lovers lane so it could be found and Curtis' wife could collect the insurance. It turns out Emma Bollings was Curtis' daughter.
November 28 Permalink
Watched the Numb3rs episode "In Security". Charlie has run through the most ridiculously quick publishing cycle in history. He's gone from being offered a book contract for his friendship metrics theory to actual publication in just a week. In real life this would take six to twelve months, minimum. The only books printed that quickly take advantage of some news event.
Anyway in the actual criminal plot, Don is out at dinner with Leah Wexford and after he drops her off, someone shoots her but her teenage son survives. He admits to having an affair with her back when she helped break Alfred McGurn's Albuquerque mob. The killer is quickly identified as Benny Natale who killed Leah's husband as well a number of years back. Natale himself is under witness protection for helping put McGurn away.
Now for some reason, Natale has remained in Los Angeles to deal drug with African-American gangs rather than stay return to Seattle where he was relocated. Commander Chris Frederickson with the LAPD gang task force has Natale under surveillance and wants to wait until he makes a sale with Zeke Gibbs of the AP-47 crew before making the arrest. In the exchange, Gibbs kills Natale, believing he would be double-crossed.
While in custody, Gibbs passes a sheet of gang art revealing the location of the safe house where Frederickson is holding him. Frederickson had given Natale so that Gibbs would give up the rest of his gang. However, Don double-crosses Frederickson by telling Gibbs that Frederickson might turn on him. So Gibbs had his crew rescue him, but they were stopped by the FBI.
November 27 Permalink
Neil Diamond reveals Sweet Caroline was about Caroline Kennedy. I think that's kind of creepy. Still, it's not a baseball song like "Take Me Out to Ballgame", "Centerfield" or "Heart". It's definitely not a Washington baseball song.
November 26 Permalink
Marlins may play in Puerto Rico in '08. That stunt isn't going to work twice. The Marlins are not going to move to Northern Virginia and likely not to San Antonio or Las Vegas either.
November 25 Permalink
Bill Conlin got himself into a firestorm with Crashburn Alley,"The only positive thing I can think of about Hitlerís time on earth-Iím sure he would have eliminated all bloggers."
November 24 Permalink
Watched the Battlestar Galactica episode "Unfinished Business". It appears that right around Baltar's groundbreaking ceremony for the government building on New Caprica, Roslin and Adama may have had sex. Apollo and Starbuck definitely did, but the next morning Starbuck married Anders anyway.
A boxing tournament is held to let off steam. Adama fights Tyrol and Starbuck fights Apollo.
Went on to the Battlestar Galactica episode "The Passage". Food stores are getting low, but there is an algae planet on the other side of a radioactive star cluster. A raptor must guide individually guide a civilian ship through.
Louanne "Kat" Katraine is revealed to be actually a smuggler named Sascha. The real Katraine died two days before the Cylon attack and Sascha assumed her identity. Kat loses the Carina in the star cluster and her radiation badge has gone black from over-exposure. On another trip she disobeys orders to guide another ship, the Faru Sadin, through. Kat returns to a standing ovation aboard Galactica, then falls over, dying from radiation sickness.
Meanwhile, back in the Basestar, D'Anna is obsessed with dying, ordering a centurion to kill her until she sees the final five humanoid Cylon faces.
Next up the CSI episode "The Chick Chop Flick Shop". At a studio that specializes in adult, but not sexually pornographic, horror movies, star actress Weatherly Adams is found with an axe through her back among props of her body parts. The first obvious suspect is Oliver Zarco, a stalker who's been leaving flowers in her dressing room.
When Zarco is questioned, he explained he was a prop man and Weatherly's girlfriend. However, a fire disfigured his face and she left him. In addition, producer Stanley Vespucci convinced him not to file for workmen's compensation.
Evidence point to Vincent LaFoon, one of the brothers owning the studio building, framing Zarco, but a closer look at the surveillance video reveals his brother Mason framed Vincent who framed Zarco. Eventually Mason confesses that he and Vespucci saw Weatherly trip over her high heel onto an exposed pipe which lodged into her spine. For some strange reason, Vespucci wanted to plant her and the axe among the props and stage her death as a murder instead of having the production closed down for so many workplace accidents.
Dwarf actor Dickie Jones discovers this secret and blackmails Vespucci. When Ronnie Lake returns to the studio, she finds Dickie strung up. She hears two gunshots and sees director Zach Putrid bleeding from a bullet wound.
Ronnie sees a blonde in an evening gown and high heels in the distance, resembling Weatherly. Putrid says Vespucci hung Dickie and shot him. As Vespucci arrives to finish off Putrid, as well as kill Ronnie, someone stabs Vespucci fron behind. It's Zarco, wearing Weatherly's wig and high heels.
The Criminal Minds episode "Seven Seconds" is set in Potomac Mills. Six-year-old Katie Jacobs has disappeared and Jessica Davis, a girl of similar age was found dead recently in the area. The BAU suspect the same serial killer.
The episode was obviously not shot in the real Potomac Mills. The mall shown has at least three levels and the real Potomac Mills has only one. Also, reference is made to doors between the individual stores and the hall. The real mall has only grates, otherwise, there are no barriers.
Anyway, a necklace is a trash can reveals that the culprit is a little closer. Katie's doll shows serious evidence of abuse to Katie. Her uncle Richard was the abuser and he'd been separated from his wife Susan. Susan knew about the recent abduction and worked in the mall in the past. She kidnapped Katie and hoped to frame the serial killer. Katie is found, duct taped in a closet, barely alive and suffering from asthma.
Finished up with the CSI:NY episode "Down the Rabbit Hole". A janitor finds a green-haired woman dead from a gunshot wound to the forehead amidst department store mannequins. She is Cheryl Miller, a Second Life celebrity known as Venus. However, she's awfully cute for a mouse potato.
Miller/Venus was going to meet Jonathan O'Dell AKA Don Juan 2-3 at a nightclub next door to the department store where she was found. O'Dell said he bailed out at the last minute and is dying of acute multiple sclerosis. Taylor enters second life and finds Venus still being used. A "Griefer" character shoots at Venus, knowing that Venus is dead. Since the death of Venus is largely a secret, Taylor gets Adam to track down the Griefer. When Taylor catches up to the Griefer, it stops dead like a dead computer.
The police raid the apartment where the Griefer is traced to. There, O'Dell is shot dead at his computer from the same gun that killed Miller. The gun was also used in the unsolved death of a judge in the New Jersey woods. That also confirmed the lyme disease found on Miller.
Eventually, they realize they're dealing with a hired killer. The death of the judge is unrelated to Second Lifers Miller and O'Dell. Cheryl was killed only for her Second Life account and Jonathan because he knew of her death. The killer was really trying to get to Congressman Devane who also played Second Life.
The police are too late to save the Congressman. Taylor finds the hitwoman in the hall holding a man hostage. She eventually escapes down a trash chute.
November 23 Permalink
Watched the CSI: Miami episode "Inside Out". Bank robbers Julio Renteria, Trevor Battle and Oscar Monahan are arraigned and while they are led away, Renteria, the ringleader, promises a large reward for anyone who busts them out. Kyle Harmon, Horatio's son, is mysteriously tried as an adult for kidnapping and is transported on the same bus as the bank robbers.
No surprise, another vehicle comes along to cause the jail bus to overturn. Renteria beats up Frank Tripp as they make their escape. Tripp is woozy in the chaos and believes he has shot a deaf woman named Veronica Eckland.
Witnesses saw the prisoners escaping in an SUV which is traced to Will Bedford. He admits to transporting the criminals away because he needed the money to pay for his brother's medical care. Unfortunately, Renteria paid him in heroin.
The heroin is traced to drug lord Joe LeBrock who is already in prison. LeBrock, however, kidnaps Kyle, keeping him in a pipe in the jail. Oscar Monahan was just a driver and Horatio gets him to protect Kyle while he is jail.
It turns out Veronica Eckland was Renteria's fiancée. He read Horatio and Tripp's lips and passed on that information to Julio. She was shot by someone else in the breakout confusion by someone else who wanted to score by freeing the prisoners.
Went on to the Cold Case episode "Devil Music". In 1953, Bingo Zohar was found dead behind a blues club. He was an orphan who went to live with his father Ed Valentine who owned a department store.
Bingo's cousin and Ed's son J.P. led a vocal group while Bingo was pre-Elvis guitar player who played black music for white people. On the night Bingo died, he was in the department store studio booth recording a song for American Bandstand. J.P. hated the way Bingo had turned his world upside-down and shot him.
November 22 Permalink
Watched the Battlestar Galactica episode "A Measure of Salvation". Colonials board the baseship with five humanoid Cylons aboard who are infected with the deadly virus. Cottle discovers a vaccine that can keep the disease at bay but not cure it.
They Colonials hatch a plan to get near a resurrection ship, then execute the Cylon prisoners. This way, they will be downloaded and infect the healthy Cyclons. Athena is immune because of her pregnancy and even she supports this genocide.
Back in Cylon territory, they torture Baltar for information but he knows nothing. He suggests D'Anna is afraid there isn't a God if she really dies.
When the Cylon prisoners are about to be executed, they are already dead. Helo had sabotaged their air supply far from the Resurrection ship. The infection is a simple cold from the 13th colony that may not even have been created on purpose.
Went on to the CSI:NY episode "Time's Up". Naked and bloodied, reknown physicist Martin Browning stumbles into the police station claiming he will Kevin Murray tomorrow at 9:45 am. Murray is brought in and when he doesn't give any useful information, the police release him. Darned if the next day he doesn't come crashing down onto a Columbus Day parade at 9:45.
Turns out Browning had a sweing needle lodged in his brain from childhood to make him think he had traveled through time. Somehow he had convinced a small-time criminal and gambler Lew Tyler that he'd actually been to the future. Tyler wanted horse race winners from the next day, but Browning knew he was "time machine" was dangerous and refused to use it again, so Tyler killed him. Murray was a student assistant of Browning so Tyler turned to him to get back to the machine. When it malfunctioned, Murray was propelled into the street.
In the other lot, coed Robin Graham dies of an apparent orgasm in a diner. She was a virgin and one of her sorority sisters spike her inhaler with an experimental sexual enhancer. Of course, when Graham didn't get her medication when she was supposed to, she died.
Next up the Everybody Hates Chris episode "Everybody Hates Dirty Jokes". Chris gets up out of bed to hear his parents and their adult friends listening to a Redd Foxx record. So when nobody else is in the house, he listens to the record.
At school, Chris repeats the jokes and becomes a bit more popular for it. Supposedly, this was the beginning of Chris Rock the comedian, but most of them start being funny way earlier than this. Later on, he hears George Carli's "Class Clown" and the seven words you can't say on television. Chris repeats them in school and gets in trouble although I can't imagine any junior high kid not knowing those words.
Finished off with the Battlestar Galactica episode "Hero". Danny Novacek AKA Bulldog, returns in a captured Cylon Raider. He disappeared three years ago while investigating an illegal Tauron mining operation.
Actually, even Novacek didn't know the mission was actually to spy on the Cylons. They captured and Adama, in command of the Valkyrie, left him for dead. Adama is afraid that operation may have provoked the Cyclons into their genocidal attack.
Obviously, the Cylons let Bulldog escape in order to let this secret out. Meanwhile, D'Anna keeps dreaming of her death.
November 21 Permalink
Watched the Numb3rs episode "Robin Hood". A small private bank has their safety deposit boxes robbed. One man is caught, but he's a pro who won't talk.
Not long afterwards, $500,000 is donated to youth charities. The robber goes on to take money from people in nefarious business - such as a drug dealer and a merchant in Iraqi antiquities - and contribute them to youth charities. It turns out the thief was a South African mercenary who made himself the first victim. His brother was a firefighter who died fighting an arson that burned down a youth center. Don doesn't have enough evidence to convict the mercenary, so he lets him leave the country.
Assuming Bonds can find a team, will be available to play baseball in 2008?
Yes. Unless Bonds takes a deal, his case wonít go to trial before the end of the 2008 season. It can take several months-often more than a year-to bring a relatively simple case to trial in federal criminal court. Even when both parties expect that the case will eventually end in a plea, it can take that long to get to it.
Why will his case take so long? Weíre sick of it already.
As a media event it has grown tedious, but as a legal event itís just getting started. In Bondsí case, there are likely to be tens of thousands of pages of documents-lab reports, bank records, phone records, emails, and so on-and it will take the defense months to analyze them. There might also be wire recordings and transcripts, and other kinds of non-documentary evidence, and it will have to be analyzed. In addition to the time it will take to review the governmentís evidence, you can expect many months of pretrial motions, contested hearings, status hearings, and scheduling delays. The defense is going to be very aggressive, especially since this case, win or lose, is as much about rehabilitating Bondsís public image as it is about defending the case.
If the case ever gets to a contested trial, it will involve all those documents, plus numerous lay and expert witnesses, and several more motion hearings. Once the trial is over, if Bonds has been convicted the court will take some time before holding the sentencing hearing. There is almost no chance this case will be resolved before the end of the 2008 season, so if a team wants to use Bonds, heíll be available.
Back in the late '80s, I was wandering through a mall in suburban Chicago. I passed a book store (remember those?) and saw an author sitting in the window at a desk. I did a double take; it totally looked like Saul Bellow. There was absolutely nobody in line. Sure enough it was. I rushed in, bought a book, and asked him to sign it. Then I did something I am not totally proud of, but how often do you get a chance to meet a Nobel laureate? I asked if I could shake his hand; he graciously did so.
A few years later I was in the same mall passing the same bookstore. There was a line a hundred people long. I was wondering who the frig would be in a bookstore that so many folks would want to meet: Stephen King? Dave Barry? Cindy Crawford? Nope, nope, and (sadly) nopers. It was John Inman. Yup, the actor who played the fruity little floorwalker on the lowbrow Britcom "Are You Being Served?".
November 20 Permalink
There was some consternation in the BBWAA over Curt Schilling getting a million-dollar bonus for a single Cy Young vote. The temptation is huge for a writer to give him a third place vote in exchange for a share of the bonus. There was this posting on Joe Posnanski's blog:
Take the major awards and increase the number of people that vote on them. Start with the BBWAA, then add a couple television sportscasters from each city/team, two or three bloggers per team, and throw in a pile of writers that work for national publications and sports networks. (If you think this is my way of getting Bob Costas _and_ Aaron Gleeman a vote, youíre right) The more voters, the better. Letís get that number up there - if we could assemble a list of a thousand people, that would be great. Each voter fills out their ballot and sends it in.
The accounting firm that handles the vote randomly selects fifty ballots from the original thousand and uses those ballots to determine the winner. These randomly selected ballots are never identified, so the process remains a secret ballot.
With this structure, each voter cannot be entirely sure that their ballot was one of the fifty that counted. In fact, the odds are 20 to 1 against it. So if a vote for Schilling did come up, no one will know who voted for him. Even if you wanted to vote for him, and assured Schilling you would help him out, your ballot only has a 5 percent chance of counting, so your assurance doesnít really count for much. If Schilling got that single vote, it might have come from somebody elseís selected ballot, while yours sat in the rejected pile.
Itís the old firing squad technique of not telling the squad who has the live bullet, so if there was any lingering guilt, it would be easier to deal with, because chances are that you fired a blank.
November 19 Permalink
Watched the Battlestar Galactica episode "Torn". Baltar keeps himself alive by telling the Cylons what he knows about the location of the 13th tribe. It has something to do with red and blue pulsars in a lion constellation.
Basestars are controlled by hybrids, non-metallic humans who babble incoherently, but remind me of the void pilots from The Void Captain's Tale. An infection has wiped out an entire baseship. When Baltar investigates, he does not report back that a beacon left behind by the 13th Tribe may be the agent of infection.
Starbuck's "daughter" Kacey was atcually the daughter of Julia Prynne. Julia and Kacey try to befriend Starbuck, but Kara roughly breaks off the relationship. Both Starbuck and Tige sit in the pliots' rec room getting drunk and badmouthing Adama. William reads them both the riot act. Starbuck cuts her hair and meets again with Kacey. Tige returns to his room and resumes drinking.
Sharon picks up the new call sign Athena.
It turns out he was part of bizarre fetish where people acted like horses and were ridden by people who performed as riders. "Mr. Ed" was killed by his rider, "Annie Oakley", when she realized he wouldn't leave his wife.
Bacsik became the best ambassador that baseball could have sent to AT&T Park. After the home run, he tipped his cap to Bonds. And after he was removed from the game, he went to the Giants' clubhouse to congratulate Bonds in person. Also inside were Willie McCovey and Willie Mays. "I did not belong in that room," Bacsik said.
To the contrary, baseball needed him in that room, in that stadium, on that night. For all sorts of reasons, Bonds is not the ideal home-run king. But Bacsik was the ideal foil. He turned a point of humiliation into a point of pride, and turned himself from a No. 5 starter into the Sportsman of the Year.
When his duty was done, he left the ballpark, met up with a childhood friend, and hit the bars in San Francisco. And he drank for free.
Given a weekend, Stan Kasten is saying 50% of season ticket holders got their first choice and 90% got their third choice. I didn't get my SIXTH choice! It seems that season ticket holders avoided the $300 Presidential Seats and the $150 PNC Diamond Seats for the $60 Diamond Boxes. That left me, a full season ticket holder since November 2004 with a wonderful view of the planes landing at National Airport. I also specifically asked to be under cover, protected from the rain and the sun. My seats just happen to be under the only gap in the upper deck. It will make a lovely Arctic wind tunnel in April and October. So I give the Nats a big fat F for their relocation process.
November 18 Permalink
Watched the Battlestar Galactica episode "Collaborators". I missed the second half of the episode "Exodus" so the humans have been rescued from New Caprica. Tom Zerek has authorized secret tribunals to capture then space collaborators.
We see Jammer spaced in a launch tube. Anders refuses to convict Gaeta and he resigns, replaced by Starbuck. In the rec room, Gaeta pleads with Starbuck, explaining that he was the informant within the government to the insurgency. Gaeta's life is spared in the launch tube.
Zarek selects Roslin as his Vice-President, then resigns. Roslin in turn names him as her Vice-President. At her inauguration, she declares a general amnesty.
November 17 Permalink
Watched the Battlestar Galactica episode "Exodus". Tyrol goes out to save Cally and the other humans scheduled for execution at Pergamus Flats, but Tige sends him out with the admonition,"The last thing your son needs is me and Ellen for parents." This is the first time I've heard the humanoid Cylons referred to as "skinjobs", just like the derogatory term for replicants in Blade Runner.
The rendezvous between Sharon's military group and Anders' insurgents are ambushed by collaborators at Breeder's Canyon. A map found on one of the dead collaborators is found to be the one Ellen was going to destroy for Saul, but she kept it for the Cylons. The insurgents successfully disrupt the executions and torture a Brother Cavil before killing him.
D'Anna gets a dream to meet with a psychic named Dodonna Selloi who tells her Hera, Sharon and Helo's child is still alive. Hera is living under the name Isis and her adoptive mother Maya. Roslin considers protecting the baby of the highest priority.
D'Anna catches Sharon breaking into the vaults where the key codes for the raptors are stored, but Sharon shoots her anyway. Apollo is to accompany the civilian ships in the journey to Earth while the Galactica goes back to rescue the humans on New Caprica.
Watched the How I Met Your Mother episode "How I Met Everyone". Old Ted tells the story of a girl he met online, but can't remember her name so he tells his children her name was Blah-Blah. She's a bit embarrassed about meeting online so she concocts a story about meeting in a cooking class.
So they tell stories of how they met everyone else. Barney challenged Marshall to pick up Lily, not realizing who she was. For a week Barney thought Marshall was a pick-up god. Marshall first met Lily as the goth chick who wandered to his door. I would have preferred putting a red wig on her rather than this retcon.
The funnier bit was using the euphemism of "eating a sandwich" for smoking marijuana. Marshall is "eating a sandwich" when he meets Ted, whom he believes is a dean. Blah-Blah gets crazy when she realizes Robin and Ted had a relationship.
Blah-Blah learns that Ted believes Lily was girl he made out with before she met Marshall. Eventually Blah-Blah gets very angry and storms out and we learn they met on World of Warcraft. At their 20th college reunion, Ted and Lily confirm they weren't making out with each other.
Finished up with the Criminal Minds episode "Children of the Dark". Denver area pair, Gary, a white guy, and Ervin, a Hispanic have an MO where they select a family where it looks like child abuse is taking place. Ervin gives the children a lethal does of baribiturates while Gary tortures the parents.
In one case, Ervin allows young Carrie Ortiz to survive and escape. Garcia figures out Ervin works at an animal shelter and he is arrested from there. Carrie is brought into the interrogation room to soften Ervin.
We meet Mrs. Manwaring, the abusive foster mother for Gary and Ervin. Gary briefly kidnaps Tyler, one of Mrs. Manwaring's current charges. Gary let's Tyler go, but with a gun to kill Mrs. Manwaring. Tyler shoots the happy family pictures in the house, but not Mrs. Manwaring.
November 16 Permalink
Barry Bonds has been indicted for perjury. This draws a yawn from me. He hasn't broken a baseball rule or been caught breaking one. Perjury is something else entirely. If he lied under oath, he should be punished like everyone else. This is no reason to ban or suspend him from baseball unless it can be proved he took a banned substance when it was banned. You realize what a height of arrogance Bonds practiced. He had immunity under federal law and chose to lie anyway.
Mark Purdy ranks Bonds seventh among Bay Area icons. But he has no Athletics except for Finley? Not Reggie? Not Canseco? Not McGwire? Not Beane?
Tim Marchman questions why whether charges against Bonds are necessary:
If this is a potentially difficult and essentially meaningless case, it's hard to see why it should be prosecuted. After all, if Bonds were a crack user who denied smoking crack, while testifying before a grand jury weighing an indictment against a crack dealer, no one would care. What separates Bonds is that he's famous. Any claims that this prosecution is justified as a means of showing that the powerful are held to the same laws as the powerless are laughable: Bonds is no captain of industry or war profiteer or cigar-smoking machine boss. He's not even especially wealthy, by Bay Area standards.
Not only do I understand the impulse to laugh at Bonds's disgrace, but I share it. Still, there's no reason to pretend this looks like anything other than a badly conceived public relations ploy on the part of a Department of Justice that, in my opinion, has absolutely no credibility with anyone not directly employed by it. If prosecutors were interested in justice, rather than making an example out of a laughingstock and salvaging an expensive drugs investigation that served absolutely no purpose, they would have been contented by the fact that Bonds's lies have already ruined his reputation.
Though I understand his point, Bonds is still big enough to be made an example of.
So which one did I get? None of them. I didn't even get my sixth choice! I'm way down the first base line in the right field baseline. I'm not happy, but I'm going to wait the weekend before I say anymore.
November 15 Permalink
Everyone believes Barry Bonds will play for the Athletics next year, but the Washington Wild Things have alread offered him a contract.
November 14 Permalink
The GMs voted last week for a limited form of instant replay on home runs. I'll believe when I see it. I'd also be in favor of wiping out the appeal play. If a runner left early or didn't touch a base, he should be out as soon as as he's tagged out.
November 13 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Jason Simontacchi. He went 6-7 for the Nats with a 6.37 ERA. He was actually hurt by RFK with 7.81 ERA there and 4.45 on the road. He lasted 6 innings, allowing one run on June 24 vs. Cleveland. That immediately followed the disastrous start against Detroit with 10 runs in three innings.
November 12 Permalink
Watched the Battlestar Galactica episode "Precipice". Roslin and Zarek have been arrested as well Galen Tyrol's wife Cally who is roused from bed, leaving their son Nick behind. Former pilot Jammer is part of the police force, but all are masked while on duty so they will not be target for reprisals.
Leoben produces Kacey, a girl he claims is the union of his sperm and Starbuck's ovaries when she returned to Caprica for the Arrow of Apollo. Kacey falls from a spiral staircase, seriopusly hurting herself and Starbuck's maternal instincts suddenly take over.
Adama appoints Sharon as the liaison to the insurgency. Cavil demands Ellen arrange a meeting of the leaders of the insurgency or else he'll arrest Saul and he'll lose more than an eye.
The Cylons draw up an execution order that Baltar refuses to sign until they kill Six before his eyes. Gaeta, as Baltar's assistant, is the anonymous contact the insurgency has within the government.
Roslin, Zarek and Cally, among others about to be executed, are brought to Pergamus Flats. Jammer releases Cally to run away in the confusion. Cyclon Centurions come over the hill and sounds of gunfire are heard.
Went on to the Cold Case episode "Running Around". In July 2006, 16-year-old Amish girl Anna Gunden goes on Rumspringa to Philadelphia and winds up stabbed to death in the basement of a Kensington apartment in September. In the fall of 2007, her sister Sarah on her own Rumspringa comes to Philadelphia to ask homicide to re-open the case.
Anna's primary contact with the English world was the former Amish Jakob Beachy. Her mother Miriam comes to visit and Anna discover he's under "Bann," a form excommunication meaning Amish may not communicate with him. Anna is leaning towards returning to the Amish, but Miriam want her to give the wider word a chance. Jakob cannot return to the Amish and is so upset Anna can and that's why he stabbed her.
Next up the Everybody Hates Chris episode "Everybody Hates Gambling". Chris' expertise in the NBA has made him a favorite with local gamblers. His fame is so well known, people are calling him Chrissy the Black, in the manner of Jimmy the Greek. Chris even attracts the interest of what appear to Jewish or Italian mob bookies.
There's a funny sequence where we learn Rochelle hates gambling because her late father, played by Jimmy Walker, was a gambling addict. He bet on fights (Rockem Sockem Robots) and races (kids riding their Big Wheels down the street).
Finished up with the CSI episode "The Case of the Cross-Dressing Carp". Brian Towne is found hanged by a reservoir. He appears to have breasts, elevated female hormones and other characteristics of a pre-operational trans-sexual, but there's no medical record of him preparing for a sex change operation. Perhaps this was a do-it-yourself operation and the murder was a hate crime.
Brian had grown up without a father and befriended neighbor and retired biochemist Paul Cyden, played by John Billingsley. The police discuss with Brian's mother Lynn the possibility of Brian's homemade sex change and his involvement with Brian. Cyden turns up shot to death by someone he knew.
Brian worked at the waste treatment plant on the reservoir with Larry Ludwig, whose truck tracks were found at the murder scene. Ludwig said he, a male friends and two female friends found Brian alone by the reservoir. All five dived into the water, jumping from a rope. When Brian was wet he as embarassed when the girls laughed at his breasts. Warwick concludes from the evidence that Brian climbed up the tree and hung himself.
Meanwhile, Cyden had discovered that pharmaceuticals had leached out from the lake, through improper filters, into the groundwater of Cyden and Towne's neighorhood. Treatment planty head Jonah Quinn made an offer to buy Cyden's house which was rejected. Although Towne had motive and admitted to the offer, he said he had no intention of killing and Cyden and intended to fight him off with lawyers. It turned out Lynn Towne had misinterpreted Cyden's relationship with Brian and shot him.
In the other plot, excavation for the new Eclipse casino on the rubble of the old Rampart reveals what appears to be a Native American skeleton. Dating reveals the skeleton dates from the 1960s, but there is also a roll of film near his body. Catherine's mother Lily Flynn provides the background for what happened.
The victim was Lee George, a Native American reporter and photographer recently returned from an assignment in Vietnam. He attended festivities at the partially completed Rampart in an American Indian costume. He also photographed ledgers showing gaming commissioner Melvin Fergus was on the take. Sam's strongman Benny Dunbar took care of George, shoving him down a shaft, presumably an elevator shaft, where he was buried for sixty years.
November 11 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Mike Bacsik. He went 5-8 last year with a 5.11 ERA. His best game was July 21 when he blanked the Rockies through 6 2/3 innings. Not surprisingly, his home ERA was 3.46 vs. 6.54 on the road.
Of course he will always be remembered for giving up Barry Bonds' 756th home run, and having quite a bit of dignity in the press conferences that followed. I've heard him with Phil Wood on Saturday mornings and he'd be miles better than Knight or Baylor. Unfortunately, he's a marginally productive left-hander who can last forever.
The picture is from 2002 when the Mets wore 1980s throwback uniforms from the days of Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Gary Carter and Davey Johnson.
After finishing Doctor Who so far I started up the backlogs of Battlestar Galactica with "Occupation". Ellen Tige sleeps with Brother Cavil in order to free Saul from prison where he's grown a beard and lost an eye. Starbuck is in an apartment in a prison where she regularly kills Leoben and he keeps downloading back. Duck infiltrates the academy where humans are trained to be police officers for the Cylons. He blows himself up in a suicide bombing at the graduation. Racetrack makes radio contact with the insurgency.
November 10 Permalink
Watched the How I Met Your Mother episode "Little Boys". Robin dates a man whose 5-year-old son Doug is in Lily's kindergarten class. Robin is flabbergasted when Lily shows her Doug's drawing of "My New Mommy" who resembles Robin. Turns out he was depicting another woman his father was dating.
In the other plot, Ted and Barney compete to see who can sleep with Stacey, a random blonde at the bar. Barney claims he slept with her a year ago and when Ted gets close, all he sees are little tiny Barneys on her body parts. Then Barney reveals he was lying and when he gets close, all he sees are little tiny Teds on her body parts.
November 9 Permalink
Watched the Doctor Who episode "Last of the Time Lords". One year has passed and Martha has been wandering the world as legendary figure rumored to be able to defeat the Master. She arrives in England and secretly meets with Professor Docherty to examine a deactivated Toclafane sphere. Inside is a human that had traveled to Utopia. The Master allowed them to kill their own ancestors through the pardox machine.
On the Valiant, the Doctor is an aged prisoner and Lucy Saxon looks less like a political wife than a healthier Squeaky Fromme. Jack is kept in chains, occassionally killed every now and then, while Martha's family (except for Brother Leo) serve as the Master's housekeepers. The Master has spent the last year directing the entire productive capacity of the Earth towards weapons of destruction to take over the universe.
Professor Docherty betrays Martha to the Master. Martha is brought onboard the Valiant for execution when the weapons are launched. She reveals she had no plan for destroying the Master, except for everyone to think of the Doctor when the rockets were primed. The entire psychic energy of the Earth returns the Doctor to his normal form and he forgives the Master.
The paradox machine returns everything back to before the Toclafane arrived. Lucy shoots and her husband and the Master refuses to regenerate. Like Darth Vader, the Doctor destroys his body in a funeral pyre, while like Ming the Merciless, another hand recovers his ring from the ashes.
Jack returns to Torchwood and hints that he is the Face of Boe. Martha returns to her family and while Doctor heads off for his next adventure, the Titanic crashes through the walls of the TARDIS.
Went on to the Numb3rs episode "Thirteen". A serial killer is targeting men in their 30s with torture. The murderer is going through the apostles, killing men with similar names in the manner of their namesake apostle. There are mysterious Da Vinci Code-style writings near the victims along with a recording of Mozart's Requiem. The culprit turned out to be a tatoo parlor owner. THis guy was pretty crazed, organized and irrational for leaving weird hints in web sites.
Finished up with the CSI:NY episode "You Only Die Once". Flack is at his date's apartment when he sees someone climbing out the window and down the side of the high-rise apartment. He gives chase but his foiled by the high-tech car with James Bond-style evasive equipment. Turns out to be a band of high-tech thieves who use a special jacket with electronics embedded in the lining that downloads passwords from passing computers and PDAs.
November 8 Permalink
Watched the Doctor Who episode "The Sound of Drums". The Doctor, Martha and Jack arrive in 2st Century England using Jack, the human time machine, just after Harold Saxon's election as Prime Minister. Saxon is in fact the Master.
Saxon holds his first cabinet meeting which consists of defectors from the other parties. He puts on a gas mask and kills them. Journalist Vivien Rook, in an interview with Mrs. Lucy Saxon, provides evidence that Harry Saxon did not exist eighteen months before. The Master enters and four floating spheres kill Rook.
At Martha's apartment, the Doctor learns that Saxon's rise coincides with his corporation, the Archangel satellite and mobile phone network. Saxon appears on television promising First Contact the next day with the alien race known as the Toclafane. The Doctor scoffs at this for the Toclafane are fictional Gallifreyan fairy tale villains. The trio flee the apartment just seconds before a bomb behind the television explodes.
Martha desperately wants to know if her mother is safe so she drives to her house. The police are already there and fire on Martha's vehicle. The trio go into hiding with the Doctor adding a perception filter to the TARDIS keys they all bear, allowing them to move about unnoticed.
The Time Lords resurrected the Master to fight the Daleks in the Time War, but he ran away in fear, hiding as Professor Yana. When the Master was eight, he was brought to the Time Vortex, as all Time Lords are at that age, and it drove him mad. With the Archangel Network, Saxon transmitted a drumbeat rhythm to convince people to vote for him.
U.S. President Arthur Winters moves the First Contact meeting to the Valiant, an airborne aircraft carrier. The Doctor, Martha and Jack teleport aboard and find the Master have turned the TARDIS into a paradox machine. The Toclafane arrive, do not recognize the President as their Master and kill him.
The Master kills Jack once and ages the Doctor 100 years. Saxon orders the Toclafane to kill one-tenth of the world's population. The episode ends with Martha taking the vortex manipulator to teleport away.
The deal is so good neither FSN nor the Mariners want to comment publicly on the amount. But sources in the sports and broadcast industries say the total value is more than $450 million.
The current FSN deal, which was scheduled to expire in 2010, was worth about $300 million, which in 2000 was considered a breathtaking number. The new deal pretty much sucks the rest of the air out of the room.
"We continue to be amazed by it," Mariners president Chuck Armstrong said Thursday. "We were one of the last teams in baseball to have a cable TV deal (in '94). Our biggest worry then was that the TV games would take away from home attendance."
Executives have been saying this for sixty years. The only older repeated falsehood is that players from the past were better and tougher than the players of today. Teams are always going to gain more attendance from the casual fan developing an interest on television, than they will lose from an attending fan staying home.
In the midst of an altogether mundane dream last night, the viewing pane suddenly shrank to a rectangle in the upper right quadrant, and a text message appeared: "THIS IS A FICTIONALIZED ACCOUNT. EVENTS DEPICTED MAY NOT HAVE ACTUALLY OCCURRED." In 18pt. font, slightly Italic, red characters. The screen then reverted to full size and dream action continued the entire time, uninterrupted.
I swear and/or affirm the forgoing is true.
I have two questions directed to your career counseling/medical diagnostic service.
1. You think maybe I've been practicing law too long?
2. After 33 years doing nothing else, what are the chances I have any useful skills? I mean "fictionalized"?!?
This was a marriage destined for issues from the very beginning. Jeter, in my opinion, has a lot of Cal Ripken's 'prima donna leadership' in him - an undercurrent of 'it's-all-about-me-while-I'm-acting-all-humble-and-clutch-and-blue-collar'. When Jeter chose to administer the Manny Alexander Treatment to A-Rod, there were turbulent days ahead indeed in the Bronx.
Based on the things A-Rod had said about Jeter in the unfortunate Esquire article the winter before he moved to the Bronx, it's not hard to see why Jeter was a bit cool and churlish towards his newfound teammate; but if he wanted things to max out in Yankeeland, he could have been a better teammate and spoken out more to help his fragile third baseman.
But, just as Teflon Cal glided through one dysfunctional splintered clubhouse after another during the second half of his O's tenure while the press fawned over his Leadership By Example, Jeter is above reproach in New York. He muttered under his breath (and sometimes not so under his breath) about the New Yankees not Ďdoing whatís necessary to winí season after season while maintaining his own image as Captain Clutch, but little was made of it. Instead, most of the press agreed.
I never heard of Cal Ripken spreading herpes among starlets. Granted, Cal is not the saint painted by his P.R. I've heard first-hand accounts of his cruelty. Still, Ripken fumed at moving to third for Manny Alexander, not Alex Rodriguez. That's comparing Justin Maxwell to Willie Mays. Ripken knew the Manny Alexander experiment was all about a power struggle between himself and Davey Johnson/Pat Gillick.
Jeter should have moved to center field when A-Rod arrived. The line "past a diving Jeter" is a cliche. However, his most spectacular plays have been running under pop-ups, a skill much more useful in center field. Maybe the Yankees have failed to win a World Series, not because Rodriguez is not a clutch hitter, but because of the defense given up by continuing to play Jeter at short.
November 7 Permalink
Watched the Doctor Who episode "Utopia". The Doctor and Martha briefly refuel the TARDIS over the dimensional rift in Cardiff before shooting forward to the heat death of the Universe. Captain Jack Harkness has been tracking the Doctor and survives the time journey just by hanging on to the outside of the TARDIS.
Jack explain that when channeled the energy of the TARDIS to save the life of Christopher Eccleston's Doctor, it also brought Jack back to life and rendered him effectively immortal. He has a vortex manipulator installed inside his body, making him a living time machine. The planet Malcassairo where they land is home to a degenerate human evolutionary form called Futurekind who have pointed canines. The Doctor, Martha and Jack gain entrance to a fenced-in compound and prove their humanity by showing their teeth.
Derek Jacobi plays Professor Yana who is helped by his companion, a female alien named Chantho. She must start all sentences with the word "chan" and end them with the word "tho". With the help of the Doctor, the five of them are able to send humanity off on a rocket to some distant place call Utopia.
Meanwhile, Yana complains about a constant sound of drums in his head. He shows a broken watch to Martha that looks exactly like the watch the Doctor used in Human Nature to hide his Time Lord identity. Martha runs to the Doctor and Jack while Yana opens the watch.
Yana closes the doors to the laboratory and opens the doors to the Futurekind. He reveals himself to be the Master. The Master electrocutes Chantho who shoots him before she dies. He gains entrance to the TARDIS while carrying the Doctor's severed hand and regenerates into a younger body. He dematerializes while the Futurekind come rushing in.
Went on to the CSI: Miami episode "Cyber-lebrity". High school swim star Candace Walker is an internet celebrity. As she begins a race, her watches her boyfriend shot with an arrow. The murderer was her rival Miranda.
As Horatio is photographed with Candance, a member of a grand jury identifies him as the one who put mob arsonist Argento in jail. Damon Argento, the mobster's son, breaks into Horatio's Hummer, stealing his gun. Horatio allows his position to be known and Damon tries to shoot him, but the stolen gun has not bullets.
This story was certainly inspired by Allison Stokke, but unlike this character Candace, is not worshipped by women and is not mobbed by fans except for individual internet stalkers. She is not followed by GPS the way real celebrities are and not even local television stations would find her worthy of a story, except as a parent-scaring feature. But that has never stopped this show from capitalizing on non-existent technological trends.
November 6 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Justin Maxwell. An alumnus of Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring and graduate of the University of Maryland in animal science, his first major league hit was a grand slam homer. At their most optimistic, fans see the Nats center fielder of the future. Why bother chase after Andruw Jones, Torii Hunter, Aaron Rowand or Kosuke Fukudome? On other hand, I initially saw another Doug Glanville, although that mya be playing into the stereotype of a smart, black outfielder. I'm willing to revise that projection to serviceable regular. At this point, Maxwell is targeted for AA and he won't be playing everyday if the current fourth and fifth outfielder choices are between him, Langerhans, Logan and Watson. Given that choice, I put Maxwell in Harrisburg, Langerhans in Columbus and Logan and Watson with the big club.
Watched the Bones episode "The Soccer Mom in the Minivan". Amy Nash is blown up in her minivan as she pulls away from a park. She was going to deliver clothes and pictures to her daughter Celia at college. The techs find Amy had a tatoo of the National Liberation Army, radical group of the 1960s and 1970s. She was actually fugitive June Harris, wanted in the death of a police offer during the botched robbery of a defense executive.
The usual suspects are her accomplice Neal Watkins, Sam Reilly the FBI agent who'd been working the case for 30 years and Danny Valenti, the son of the murdered police officer. Amy Nash/June Harris was days away from turning herself in for a plea agreement. Watkins wouldn't want to be ratted out while Reilly and Valenti may not feel justice was done.
Harris' bullet wounds indicate she stood between Watkins and Valenti, taking a non-serious bullet wound from Watkins. It turns out her husband Jeremy Nash killed her and Watkins, angry that she kept her past secret from him. The show glosses over how he managed to duplicate Watkins' pipe bomb signature without specialized training.
November 5 Permalink
Watched the Doctor Who episode "Blink". Sally Sparrow goes to an abandoned estate called Wester Drumlins and finds a mysterious message addressed directly to her from the Doctor, telling her to beware of the Weeping Angels, possibly referring to statues on the premises.
She returns with her friends Kathy Nightingale. While Kathy wanders the premises, Sally answers a knock on the door from Kathy's grandson with a note from her. The items in the envelope say Kathy was transported back to 1920 by the Weeping Angels. Kathy tells Sally to see Kathy's brother Larry who runs a DVD store. She takes a key clutched in one of the angels' hands.
Larry shows Sally a list of DVDs that all have mysterious Easter Eggs with the Doctor talking on them. As some of the DVDs play, they seem to be answering back to Sally. She goes to the police and detective Billy Shipton flirts with her. He takes her to the parking garage where there are vehicles that all have been abandoned at Wester Drumlins. There was also an abandoned police box that they can't get into. Sally gives Billy her name and phone number and sets off.
Sally suddenly gets a phone call from Billy to meet him in the hospital. The Weeping Angels transported Billy to 1969 where he met the Doctor and Martha. They told him to put the Easter Eggs in the DVDs. He is now dying and she stays with him to the end.
Sally takes Larry to Wester Drumlins as they watch all the Doctor's Easter Eggs. He explains that the Weeping Angels turn to stone when observed, but move ridiculously fast when not watched, so they can't blink. The Angels feed off the potential energy of what people could have been, sending them back in time.
Larry and Sally escape into the basement where they enter the TARDIS. They put the DVD in a slot and the TARDIS dematerializes around them. Meanwhile, the Weeping Angels had surrounded the TARDIS and were tricked into seeing each when it disappeared, so they have turned to stone permanently.
November 4 Permalink
Watched the How I Met Your Mother episode "Third Wheel". Barney and Marshall are too busy with Wii to go to the bar so Ted ventures out alone. He meets Trudy, played by Danica McKellar, who he slept with in The Pineapple Incident. She's there with her sorority sister Rachel who seem intent having a threesome with Ted. Meanwhile, Robin is using not shaving her legs as a chistity belt. She goes out with a totally bitchin' British surgeon has to figure out a way to shave her legs before she goes home with him.
Went on to the Criminal Minds episode "Scared to Death". Michael O'Keefe plays psychiatrist Stan Howard who subjects people to their worse fears and lets it happen. Several bodies are found in a Portland, Oregon area grave.
All the victims were new to the area and had no local friends or family. All went to a place called the Goodman Institute to get over their fears. Garcia makes a crucial break when she discovers Dr. Stan Howard, listed with the Goodman Institute, lost his license a few months back. The FBI corner Howard who conveniently jumps from the top of his building.
November 3 Permalink
Watched the Doctor Who episode "The Family of Blood". In the previous episode cliffhanger, the family had guns pointed to both Martha and Joan. Far away, Latimer opens the watch housing the Doctor's alien essence, distracting the family, allowing Martha to take control, leaving all the humans to escape.
The boys set up a defense perimeter at the school. The students repel the first wave of scarecrows under control of the Family, but when the headmaster is killed, a retreat turns into a rout. John Smith, Martha and Joan go to the Cartwright family house, where the little girl possessed by the family had come from. Latimer arrives as well with the watch. John Snith is given the chance to live a life with Joan or kill John Smith and become the Doctor.
John Smith stumbles into the Family spaceship and gives the watch, but the Doctor has already emerged from it. The Doctor pushes more buttons, disabling the spaceship. He imprison the Family in terrible torments, chaining the Father with metal from a dwarf star, the Mother at the event horizone of a black hole, the Son as a scarecrow and the Daughter trapped in every mirror in existence. The Doctor offers to take Joan as a companion but she refuses. He tells Latimer he will survive World War I and we see Martha and the Doctor some years later attending a Remembrance Day memorial with him.
Went on to the Everybody Hates Chris episode "Everybody Hates Eggs". It's the standard episode where kids take care of an egg like it was baby, except that Chris is a single father taking care of a brown egg. Rochelle makes sure the experience is even more realistic by waking Chris up in the middle of the night to take care of the baby. Tanya is sleeping with the light on at night because Drew told her a werewolf story.
Next up the Numb3rs episode "Velocity". A street racer crashes into a coffee shop killing one person. Charlie gets some help from engineering professor Raymond Galuska. The alleged driver has bean and stomped into a coma.
The grill from the crashed vehicle has DNA on it from the victims of an unsolved hit-and-run from four years earlier. Turns out the guy in a coma was only in the trunk and fell out. The guy responsible for the earlier hit and run is feeling guilt and is now an ex-street racer. He stomped the kid, as well as the driver who crashed into the cafe.
Finished up with the CSI episode "Go to Hell". Alvin and Girlie Macalino are shot to death in a motel on the bad side of town. Fluid on the bed indicates their daughter may have been raped. At their home, daughter Elizabeth has also been shot and daughter Amy is missing. Amy's room is upstairs in the attic, a less appetizing place infested with bees in the wall.
Reverend Alistair Rhodes is a preacher and registered sex offender. He has video tapes of him attempting to perform an exorcism on Amy. She turns up with her boyfriend Andrew Wolflynn.
Explicit e-mails between Andrew and Amy reveal she was a 12-year-old wild child. Desperate, the parents turn to exorcism which fails. The parents when home and Amy got busy with Andrew in the motel room. She lured her parents back and got him to kill the parents and the sister. When the police figure out what happened, the Reverend Exorcist Rhodes visits Amy in Child Services and throws her off a balcony to finish the exorcism.
In the other plot, Sara is training a new CSI named Ronnie Lake, who could have gone to Miami or New York, haha. They find a homeless man who died of exposure, but was roughed up a bit by the police.
The Macalinos are supposed to be Filipinos, but don't look like it very much. They also would have likely turned to a Filipino exorcist as well.
November 2 Permalink
Bonds would boycott Hall of Fame over asterisk. On the spectrum of most baseball fans, I've been in the general area of Bonds' support. If I had actually voted online, I would have still voted for the asterisk because it would be the smartass thing to do. This reverence over an ordinary ball is like the trade in holy relics in the middle ages. Seriously, Bonds could show a sense of humor by showing up at his Hall of Fame announcement press conference, not in a Giants or Pirates cap, but in an asterisk cap.
Watched the Cold Case episode "That Woman". In 1998, 15-year-old Carrie Swett is found dead in the woods. A jock was the prime suspect back then, but now a homeless person has turned up in a van with her shirt.
Carrie belonged to a Hearts Wait abstinence club. All the members of the club and the youth minister all had reason to kill her. Carrie knew a bit about all their secrets. She was surrounded by the four teens in the club who bludgeoned her to death in the woods.
November 1 Permalink
You can vote online for the Ford Frick Award. The past year's Nats broadcasters Charlie Slowes, Bob Carpenter and Don Sutton are on the ballot as well as last year's broadcaster Tom Paciorek. Only guys left out were Mel Proctor, Ron Darling, Dave Shea and Dave Jageler. I have no idea why Proctor isn't on the list. He's had plenty of previous time with the Orioles and Padres and he's better than a lot of bozos nominated.
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Last revised November 30, 2007
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