Son of Yhency

Friday, December 30, 2005

Come Sail Away

I’m sailing away
Set an open course for the virgin sea
I’ve got to be free
Free to face the life that’s ahead of me
On board, I’m the captain, so climb aboard
We’ll search for tomorrow on every shore
And I’ll try, oh lord, I’ll try to carry on
I look to the sea, reflections in the waves spark my memory
Some happy, some sad
I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had
We live happily forever, so the story goes
But somehow we missed out on that pot of gold
But we’ll try best that we can to carry on
A gathering of angels appeared above my head
They sang to me this song of hope
And this is what they said
They said come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me
I thought that they were angels, but to my surprise
They climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies
Singing come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Still alive

Kind of. Today sucks. Raining. Work. Yuck.

Fantasy basketball is starting to pick up. Current standings:
Darko's Disciples (in "Year 2" league) - 8th of 11 teams
The Jello's Jigglin' (in Yahoo winner's league) - 8th of 12 teams

Both standings will improve within the next two weeks. That's a Namath/Chad Johnson guarantee.

I'm currently working on a side project that I think has the potential to shock the world. Stay tuned for all the details.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The wall

I knew it would happen. And I've hit it. I don't know what to write about. There are so many things, but nothing's getting me going. For example...

The MTA strike? It sucks, but I support the workers' right (illegal or not) to do so. Not sure how to elaborate beyond that.

The Sox re-signing Rudy Seanez? Eh.

The Dodgers signing Nomar? Too bad this isn't 2001.

The latest Kwame Brown update? Just finished sitting for two weeks with a strained hammy and currently is averaging a pathetic 6.6 points and 5.8 boards.

My fantasy basketball teams? Never been worse.

I guess I just gotta wait it out. Stay tuned...

Friday, December 16, 2005

Who's got two thumbs and has a hangover?

This guy.

A few thoughts on this unseasonably warm, sunny, non-MTA strike day in New York:

  • Beer is good. Lychee martinis are good. But a Jameson on the rocks? Consistently fantabulous.
  • Twelve hours after having all of these drinks in one evening? Ummm, the opposite of fantabulous.
  • Roger Clemens is a douchebag. I think it would be great for him to pitch for the Sox again. I think. But this fact is undeniable.
  • An actual email from my dad this morning: "Will the 2006 Dodgers be known as the Red Sox West?"
  • In my two and a half years with my ad agency, I've worked in four offices and sat in six different locations. Now we're moving... again. And I couldn't be less excited. Just thought I'd share that with you.
  • The GMRPX is coming back with a vengeance.
  • I beg you to view this video. File this along with the videos for "Let's Go Mets Go" and "Super Bowl Shuffle" under the "What the hell was wrong with people in the 80s?" file.
  • If the NBA playoffs started today, the Clippers would be a two seed. Let me repeat that -- a TWO seed! I have nothing else to add here, although this actually frightens me.

Office happy hour starts at 3:30 today. Yep, this is shaping up to be a lost weekend.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Some sort of inbreeding

Being the Red Sox/Dodgers fan that I am, I feel like the two teams are always dealing with each other. Grady Little goes from Sox to Dodgers (ugh), Hideo Nomo threw a no-hitter for each team, Theo Epstein was recently pursued by the Dodgers after declining to re-sign with the Sox, Dave Roberts came to Sox via the Dodgers (and now holds the award for Greatest Stolen Base Ever), Frank McCourt bought the Dodgers after his attempt to buy the Sox failed, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Maybe they don't swap players as much as I'd like to imagine, but at least to me, that's the way it feels.

Now it looks like Bill Mueller is going to the Dodgers after playing with the Sox for the last three years, thus further breaking apart the Miller/Mueller/Millar trifecta the Sox had going on last year. And while it's sad to see him leave, I'm excited that he's going to the Dodgers. Yes, Mueller peaked in 2003 when he won the ALCS batting title, but he's a solid, serviceable player. Good hitter, very underrated defensively at third base and a big time gamer. And it looks like he'll be batting behind the drunkard in the number two spot for the Dodgers.

I wish the Sox could have held onto Bill, especially because he was quite the Yankees and Mariano Rivera killer (he drove in Roberts after that stolen base in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS and also hit the game winning home run in that infamous 2004 game where both teams brawled after Arroyo hit Fruit-Rod), but with Lowell and Youkilis holding down the corner infield spots next year, they couldn't afford him anymore.

Thankfully, he's ended up with Los Doggers.

(Why am I writing all these homages to players? This is it, I'm stopping after this.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Hot Stove insanity

I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I first read the report on this, but the Mets have offered 47-year old Julio Franco a two-year contract. That's not one, but two years!! Now, I know baseball is in a bit of a spending frenzy right now, but how can anyone offer a contract that obligates them to pay a 47-year old for two years? Unless Tim Wakefield decides to play until he's that old, there isn't anyone in baseball who should get such a deal at that age.

Then the crazy Tigers sign crazy, 41-year old Kenny Rogers to two-year, $16 million contract. I know this is the same organization that signed Magglio Ordonez to a ridiculous contract last year, but how do you offer this guy two years at $16 million? Not only is he ancient and not only was his performance last year an anomaly (when compared to the last decade) and not only did he significantly fade in the second half (2.54 ERA in first half vs. 4.72 in the second), but weren't the Tigers watching the news last year?? Pardon my French, but this guy's an asshole! An asshole! Great PR, boys.

Just to further prove the Tigers' management incompetence, there's more. Because at the back of the Tigers' bullpen, we have newly-signed, 37-year old Todd Jones (two years, $11 million), who's coming off of a suspiciously freakish good year (2.10 ERA in a pitcher-friendly park vs. 5.21 in the previous five years), and 36-year old Troy Percival (5.76 ERA in 25 innings last year), who's halfway through his own two-year, $12 million contract. Would it be too obvious to insert some nursing home-related, geriatric joke here? Let's just say they're more than welcome to give Liberty a call.

Moving away from the old farts, but never wavering from our theme of insanity, I'd like to talk about A.J. Burnett. Because when the Jays signed him at five years and $55 million, SportsCenter compared him to Darren Dreifort at the time when he signed his own five-year contract at $55 million in 2000. (May Kevin Malone rest in hell for that.) Here's the breakdown:

Dreifort (through 2000)2839-457.863.804.29
Burnett (through 2005)2849-507.943.983.73

For those who have had the luxury of not living through the Darren Dreifort era on the Dodgers -- believe me, you're better off for it -- let me fill you in on how he performed over that five year contract:

Games startedW-LERAPissed off fans
Dreifort (2001-2005)

26 (!!!)




If I'm a Jays fan looking at this, I'm a little nervous. Hey, Burnett may round into the pitcher everyone thinks he can be. But there's that chance that he can also become a Dreifort, and I wouldn't wish another Darren Dreifort era on anyone.

With the ink on these ridiculous contracts already dry, I can't imagine what other levels of sanity some GM is willing to pass. But along with all the other free agents out there, I think it's clear that the moral of this story is that you can't build a team through free agency because it (a) will cost you a shitload of money and (b) won't net you many young players (almost all free agents are at least 30). You can fill in holes here and there, but shelling out these massive contracts to big risks won't work in the long run.

The way you win is the old fashion way: build your farm system, develop players and make smart trades for other young players. I hate to use this example, but that's how the Yankees won in the 90s, that's why they stopped winning in the early part of this decade (when they spent far too much on free agent ex-All Stars), and why, if Brian Cashman gets his way (as it looks like he is), they will soon be another juggernaut with young, talented players like Bubba Crosby, Robinson Cano and that Wang dude.

Now please excuse me while I mangle my foot with a jack hammer.

Friday, December 09, 2005

No more Millar Time

Acknowledging what Kevin Millar has meant to the Red Sox and their fans for the last few years, Boston Dirt Dogs has compiled a great montage of Millar photos. Lots of good stuff in there.

I kind of alluded to this in my post yesterday, but I don't know if I've ever witnessed a player leave a sports team where:
(a) everyone knew it was time to part ways and
(b) there was no bad will among any of the parties, yet
(c) most fans were still emotional about it.

Sox fans loved Millosh... nonetheless, it was just time to cut ties with the guy. Everyone knew it, no one stopped it from happening, but it was still tough.

Then again, I'm just some dude living in New York, so I guess I can't profess to have my finger on the pulse of New England. But from what I've read, that's kinda been what it's like. If nothing else, I know it has been for me.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

So long, cowboy

With the Red Sox opting not to offer Kevin Millar arbitration, his time as a Red Sox is essentially over. And that's sad. Not because the Sox are losing a potent bat or a great defensive player or anything like that, but because they're losing one of their greatest clubhouse presences from the last few years. Starting with his Cowboy Up and Karaoke Bruce Springsteen antics in the 2003 playoffs (I beg you to click on that second link), Millar was a huge favorite of the fans as well as his teammates. And affectionately nicknamed "Millosh" (pronounced MEE-lōsh) by myself, my roommate Dave, and, uhhhh, no one else, he was probably my favorite player on the team.

Anyway, Millar basically rode the coattails of his 2003 season in 2004, playing up the whole "Idiots" thing and having a good time. Unfortunately for him, 2005 turned out to be a bit of a sobering year, as his numbers for the season ended up being gawd awful. Which sadly brings us to the Sox not offering him arbitration.

Kevin, you know we love you. It's been a great run, I wish you nothing but success for the rest of your career.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The nightmare becomes reality

Watching the 6pm SportsCenter last night, Dan Patrick comes on and says, "Breaking news for the Dodgers. They have scheduled a news conference for 8pm and are set to announce that their new manager will be..."

Hearing these words, I become fully alert and begin to feverishly sweat, not really knowing what to expect. This process has been so drawn out that Patrick could have said that Wilford Brimley would be renamed as manager and I wouldn't have been surprised. But as covered in my post last week, I was fearing that he'd be uttering the name of a certain Grady Little. Not that he's any worse than some of the other candidates we've been hearing about, but just because of the place he holds in my heart. Anyway, back to Patrick:


I'm screaming. Seriously, that's all it took. Didn't even have to hear the rest of it.

Now I'm laughing. Because, really, it's just funny at this point. Why even care about this team if this is the path they're headed down? So I took a good minute or two to laugh.

But the laughing is now over. And the horror has set in. So I'm smothering my face with a pillow. Oh, the HORROR!!

With a night to sleep on it, I'm not really sure what to say. In the great words of George Costanza, I'm speechless. I am without speech. For Frank McCourt, who is from Boston (!!), to allow this guy to be signed (let alone considered), is just beyond anything comprehensible to me. Then again, McCourt has proven himself to be quite the douchebag in his two years as Dodgers owner, so I guess there's no reason to expect any less of him.

Besides the Pedro gaffe, why is Grady so awful? Let us count the ways...

1. Premature defensive replacements - Grady has this penchant for making ridiculously early defensive replacements, which is probably best illustrated by Game 5 of the 2003 ALDS, when he put Damian Jackson in for Todd Walker in the sixth inning. Not only did that take Walker's much more potent bat out of the lineup, but it also horrifically backfired when Jackson collided head to head with Johnny Damon on a blooper into short center field, thus forcing Damon to miss the first two games of the ALCS.

2. Lack of respect for his peers - Grady has this habit of not listening to those around him, even the ones he's hired to consult him. For example, during Game 7 of the ALCS, pitching coach Dave Wallace actually suggested that Grady take Pedro out. We all know how that ended up.

3. Complete lack of reliance on statistics/scouting - In the last few years, two factions in baseball have been battling over what's more important in creating a successful team -- stats or scouting. Grady has somehow actually managed to spurn both sides. For example, midway through the 2003 season, a scouting report had been issued that Nick Johnson had altered his swing because of a wrist injury. Grady didn't relay that info on to his staff or pitchers, and Johnson went 4 for 5 against the Sox in their next game.

But Andy, you say, your third point only covers scouting. How did he ignore the stats? Glad you asked. Because that leads me to my number one reason for why Grady is completely inept and doesn't have the character that should warrant him getting another job for the rest of his life, for a baseball club or otherwise.

According to Bill Simmons in his book, prior to Game 7 of the ALCS, "the owners and Theo Epstein had ordered Grady to remove Pedro either after the seventh inning or at 100 pitches, whatever came first." Yes, he was explicitly ordered. Based on hard, statistical evidence.

So what does Grady do, with the Sox up 5-3 in the eighth? He sends Pedro back in, thus defying his bosses. That, right there, is worthy of his dismissal. But just to add insult to injury, and to make sure no Sox fan would ever forget (or forgive) Grady, Pedro implodes five outs away from the World Series, thus sending the entire New England region into cardiac arrest.

Being the admitted baseball bigamist that I am (Dodgers and Red Sox), I will never forget Game 7. In a packed New York bar, being mercilessly heckled, having about three other Sox fans to cheer with, I couldn't believe it when Grady left Pedro in. With all the talk of Pedro hitting a certain wall late in games (this wasn't a secret or anything), here we are, with a two run lead, the bullpen has been lights out in the series (2 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings!!), and Grady leaves Pedro in?!? Pretty inexplicable. The inevitable meltdown and an Aaron Boone home run later, I was out the door and almost walked the entire distance home from Grand Central Station to the Upper East Side at 1am. The feeling I had, one which lasted straight through to the next day -- I will never forget that feeling.

With Grady now manager of the Titanic, it really isn't funny. But with Franky McCourt at the helm, there really is nothing to do but laugh.

Peter O'Malley, where are you?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My keyboard kryptonite

Maybe people thought there was a use for it when the personal computer was first invented, but one of the greatest mysteries to me today is why computer keyboards continue to be produced with the "Insert" key. Really, what's the point? Unless it's by accident, does anyone use it? I find that it only makes my life miserable, because when I do accidentally hit it without realizing it, I end up typing over all sorts of stuff I've already written, thus making me have to retype everything that's been bulldozed over. For God's sake, why is it there???

Monday, December 05, 2005

Borat v. Kazakhstan

I'm sure a lot of you have already heard about Kazakhstan's furious response to Ali G's Borat -- several years late, mind you -- but I had to link to this article anyway, just for hilarity's sake. What the hell are those Kazakhs (Kazakhis? Kazakhans? San Diegoians?) thinking? Don't they know that this will only create more publicity for Borat and his web site, And not to be rude, but don't they know that no one in the western hemisphere even cares about them? Before this whole thing went down, did you know that Kazakhstan was the fifth largest country in landmass in the world? I didn't. Could you point them out on a map? I couldn't.

Let's face it, Borat has brought Kazakhstan more publicity in the last two years than the country has seen in the last two centuries. And any sane person has to know that Borat is completely fictional and that the country didn't used to make women ride on the outside of buses, make homosexuals wear blue hats or that the legal age of consent has recently been raised to eight, right? Right? Ummmmm, right?

On second thought, the country may want to escalate its measures against this miscreant.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Life after Kiedis

When I found out that Flea, of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nazi nihilist fame, was a rabid Lakers fan, I wasn't surprised. Along with the rest of the band, he grew up in Los Angeles, went to Fairfax High School and performs the L.A. opus, "Under the Bridge", with his band. What did surprise me, however, is that he has a blog on about the Lakers. And it's hilarious, in the Unintentional Comedy Scale sense. I implore you to check it out. It's not updated often, but what he writes, in some sort of a strange, poetic prose, is genius. For example, here's what he has to say (entirely unedited, with original line breaks) about the Lakers' first round pick, Andrew Bynum:

andrew bynum seems great
i know he is doing very little
but i'm telling you he has the magic that the lakers need
it is an intangible presence on the court
it is an attitude, an earnestness. a humility
that creates good basketball
drafting him was smart
he will pay off big time
i wish he would play much more but i have faith in phil
when bynum steps on the court
my heart leaps with joy
he is my favorite laker

His heart leaps with joy??? What the heck? As much as I try to imagine it, I just can't see bad ass Flea sitting at home and jumping up and down saying "YAAAAYYY!" when Bynum comes into the game. Although I would definitely pay to see it.