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Thursday Tidbits - November 17, 2011 Issue

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The Penn State tragedy just keeps getting more and more toxic. I don't know who I can believe but I have a long list of people I don't believe and it is getting longer by the day. I don't believe any official or employee at Penn State, including Mike McQueary, and I don't believe the campus police. Basically, I'm not believing anyone who is in imminent danger of prosecution or dismissal.

So much for the small ball the Astros are built for if they have to switch to the American League. For what it's worth, I love everything about National League baseball.

Today's QOTD is a start. The law needs to cover public AND private institutions.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Come Back Home - Chris Pureka - Dryland
  2. Games People Play - Lissie - Covered Up With Flowers
  3. One More Dollar - Gillian Welch - Revival
  4. Caught Up In You - .38 Special - .38 Special: Anthology
  5. Past The Point Of Rescue - Hal Ketchum - Past The Point Of Rescue

Quote of the Day

Jindal's order requires anyone working at a public Louisiana college who has witnessed child abuse or neglect to report it to law enforcement within 24 hours.
wwltv.com

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I've not yet met a person who hasn't been totally floored by Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. It is--in one word--extraordinary, and Amazon customers agree. The novel currently has more the 1,000 five-star reviews."

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What a series

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Better writers than me will be writing about the 2011 World Champion St Louis Cardinals. At some point during this incredible season, at least one team realized that getting up and going to the ballpark to play baseball every day for a living beats the hell out of whatever is in second place. These guys were a lot of fun.

Tip o the cap to the Rangers, too. This has to be tough on them.

The non-fun side of baseball couldn't even wait a day to get started. Not even a day.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Breathe - Pink Floyd - Pulse
  2. Wormboy - Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Superstar
  3. Stone Cold Crazy - Queen - Sheer Heart Attack
  4. Mama Told Me (Not To Come) - Three Dog Night - The Best Of Three Dog Night
  5. Mississippi Queen - Mountain - Hard N' Heavy: 70's Greatest Rock Hits, Vol. 1

Quote of the Day

Keep fighting until they finally put you away. But nobody could put us away. And that's why we're standing here.
Lance Berkman, St Louis Cardinals

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I'm just sorry you couldn't get it done."

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Down to Game 7

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Game 6 to the Cards, 10-9, or as Zak Schmoll rightly predicted, "There will be a lot of runs scored during this World Series unless strong pitching is able to triumph". A lot of runs. Schmoll is 6 for 6. There must be something about a Game 6. That was a fantastic game last night. Card fans and baseball fans have a Game 7. The entire season is boiled down to one game and it has a tough act to follow Can this World Series get any better than it's been? We'll just have to tune in and find out. I'm in.

Would love to be in St Louis right now. Would take in the World Series tonight, kill tomorrow reacquainting myself with that great city, and go to the Ram-Saints game Sunday.

The BOTD is for Texas Rangers fans. I'm enjoying the comments. Not sure what makes someone go to a message board and vent after a tough loss. Think they realize their comments stay there?

GEAUX Cards

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Morning Morgantown - Joni Mitchell - Ladies Of The Canyon
  2. Empty Spaces - Pink Floyd - The Wall
  3. Maria Maria - Santana Featuring Product G&B - Supernatural
  4. London Calling - The Clash - Rock: The Train Kept A Rollin'
  5. Love And Happiness - Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - All The Roadrunning

Quote of the Day

I'm just glad I had a chance after I looked like an idiot on that popup
David Freese, St Louis Cardinals

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Cardinals tie series with a nightmare"

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Tuesday Tidbits - October 25, 2011 Issue

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Game 5 to the Rangers, 4-2, or as Zak Schmoll rightly predicted, "There will be a lot of runs scored during this World Series unless strong pitching is able to triumph". Strong pitching. Schmoll is 5 for 5. Cards on the brink and its their own doing. Left too many on base, made too many really bad baserunning decisions, and didn't get nearly enough hitting with men in scoring position. Tip your cap to the Rangers for that. If the Cards lose the Series, they can point to Game 5 for the many opportunities they squandered. I will never understand running with Pujols at the plate. Yeah, it probably will catch most teams by surprise but it's also kinda dumb. When you open up first base, you're taking the bat right out of his hands.

From the My-Wife-Married-A-Dummy Department: Asked her to get me shave cream when she went to the store because I was almost out. She did. It fit nicely next to the unopened can I had that was hiding in plain sight.

Why did Moammar have to be buried in a secret location? Who makes the rules, who has to follow them, and who gets to be outraged?

Tuesday Morning Quarterback

Sad anniversary. 8 years and I still think of him every day.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Just Like This Train - Joni Mitchell - Court And Spark
  2. Spaced - Aerosmith - Get Your Wings
  3. Space Truckin' - Deep Purple - Machine Head 25th Anniversary Edition
  4. Trampled Under Foot - Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
  5. Drowned - The Who - Quadrophenia

Quote of the Day

A night that exposed the Cardinals' suddenly enigmatic offense underside left the Rangers one win from the first World Series championship in 40 seasons since moving to the Metroplex. The AL champs did so by exploiting their one opportunity to take control of the game after the Cardinals had declined at least five similar chances.
Joe Strauss, St Louis Post-Dispatch

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness."

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The Morning After

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Game 4 to the Rangers, 4-0, or as Zak Schmoll rightly predicted, "There will be a lot of runs scored during this World Series unless strong pitching is able to triumph". Strong pitching. Schmoll is 4 for 4. He's psychotic. He has ESPN. Should be another good one tonight.

About today's QOTD: It's true. The hapless Colts were out of this game early in the 2nd quarter. I and most Saints fans felt bad for them. The Saints have been on the other side of that more times than we care to remember and we know exactly what it's like. For what it's worth, the Saints took the second half kickoff in for the score that put the game out of reach and spent the rest of the game just trying to kill the clock. They pulled Drew Brees in the 3rd quarter and started substituting liberally. Chris Collinsworth mentioned that Sproles was still in the game in the 4th quarter but if it wasn't him, it would have been Pierre Thomas or Mark Ingram. The Saints don't have any reserve running backs. They use them all. I disagree with the BOTD, though. The game last night is on the players, not the coaches.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star Playlist:

  1. Burn - Deep Purple - Burn
  2. Total Eclipse Of The Heart - Bonnie Tyler - Love Bites: More Romantic Power Ballads
  3. The World - Earlimart - Mentor Tormentor
  4. Music Box Dancer - The London Pops Orchestra - 14 Fantastic Hits Of The 70's
  5. Paranoid - Black Sabbath - Paranoid/li>

Quote of the Day

Man, they scored so much, their fans got tired of cheering
Robert Mathis, Indianapolis Colts

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "After watching tonight however, it seems Caldwell may have finally lost the locker room."

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CrabAppleLane Sunday - October 23, 2011 Issue

Game 3 to the Cards, 16-7, or as Zak Schmoll rightly predicted, "There will be a lot of runs scored during this World Series unless strong pitching is able to triumph". A lot of runs. Schmoll is 3 for 3. It was the Albert Pujols Show and baseball fans will be talking about it for years. If you didn't see that first home run he hit, this is it and you don't see many like that. After Game 1, Lance Berkman said he didn't think the Cards wanted to get into a gorilla ball game with the Rangers. The Cards have the biggest, baddest gorilla in baseball. Why not? I see tonight as a must win for the Rangers. If they go down 3-1 and have to face Chris Carpenter in Game 5, it's going to be very tough.

GEAUX Cards

The LSU Tigers dispatched the Auburn Tigers yesterday easily and set up one of the most anticipated games in college football history. This is Nebraska - Oklahoma 1971 or Michigan State - Notre Dame 1966. It is LSU-Alabama. Both teams are 8-0. Both teams have two weeks to prepare. For the fans, the wait will be almost unbearable.

GEAUX Tigers


Saints take on the Colts tonight in a rematch of Super Bowl XLIV. The game has no luster without Peyton Manning. It's a shame that Peyton's last chance to play in his hometown will only come if he gets the Colts to the Super Bowl next year. I don't see it. That team is much better when he is quarterbacking them but I don't see them as a Super Bowl contender.

GEAUX Saints


The CrabAppleLane TV will mostly watch the Saints tonight but will also keep an eye on the Cards. This is what a DVR is all about.

About today's QOTD: 26 for 26 is amazing. I don't think many people can go 26 for 26 playing catch in their backyard. Doing it with a pass rush in your face and tacklers being near the receivers is phenomenal. Quite an achievement.

I offer one from the CrabAppleLane backyard.

CrabAppleLane Titmouse - October 23, 2011
A little privacy, please?

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Tusk - Fleetwood Mac - Tusk
  2. Eagle - ABBA - The Album
  3. 2112 - Rush - 2112
  4. Caleb Meyer - Gillian Welch - Hell Among The Yearlings
  5. Blowin' Free - Wishbone Ash - Live Dates [1973]

Quote of the Day

In one of the more amazing statistical performances you’ll ever see, East Carolina quarterback Dominique Davis completed all 26 of his pass attempts for 251 yards in the first half against Navy.
CollegeFootballTalk

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Pontchartrain Beach"

Pontchartrain Beach was a landmark and institution on the New Orleans lakefront for a long time. Cool pictures of Elvis. -Rob

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Saturday Stuff - October 22, 2011 Issue

About football techniques. Shoe polish is acceptable. Charcoal is acceptable. Stickers? NEVER. Not even on cheerleaders.

World Series moves to Arlington tonight.

GEAUX Cards


The Tigers of the SEC play each other in Baton Rouge today. Naturally, we're pulling for the LSU species. Today's QOTD is referring to Auburn not being able to decide whether they're Tigers, Plainsmen, or War Eagles. Got a new one for them. DEAD MEAT.

GEAUX Tigers

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star Playlist:

  1. Polk Salad Annie - Tony Jo White - Download
  2. Wind Up - Jethro Tull - Aqualung
  3. Warrior - Wishbone Ash - Live Dates [1973]
  4. Waitin' for the Bus - ZZ Top - The Best of ZZ Top
  5. Son Of A Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield - Women In Rock, Vol.1: 1953-1971

Quote of the Day

It’s GameTime: LSU vs. Auburn in Tiger Stadium. Having three mascots won’t help them. GEAUX!!! TIGERS!!! #LSUAU
LSU Facebook Page

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "The Charcoal Project is now officially up and running in Rubaare, Uganda, thanks to the generous contributions from donors who answered our call for support in August!"

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The Little Boy

The Little Boy via Marie.

Excellent read.

Friday fuss

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We're doing the relief refinance thing. We didn't really need to and weren't looking into it but the offer was too good to pass up. We're lowering our monthly AND shortening the remaining term. No brainer.

My problem is this: Why do financial institutions insist on person-to-person communication when email, snail mail, or web form can accomplish the exact same thing, only more privately and conveniently to the consumer? This started by mail. Why can't it continue there? Instead of sending me correspondence that says "call me", why not send me correspondence that asks for all of the information you want?

I don't have a private office during working hours. I can't be the only person in that situation. A title company wants to tie me up for 7-10 minutes asking me some routine questions but also some very personal questions. Why does that have to be done by phone or in person? Also, why do financial institutions need documents from me that they should have already? My mortgage company would like a copy of my homeowner's insurance declaration page. They paid the premium out of my escrow account. Didn't they keep a copy?

Game 2 to the Texans, 2-1, or as Zak Schmoll rightly predicted, "There will be a lot of runs scored during this World Series unless strong pitching is able to triumph". Strong pitching again. Schmoll is 2 for 2. It was another well-pitched, well-played game.

Cool collage of World Series moments. I'm disappointed they left out one of the biggest moments I remember from all of the World Series I've seen. It was 1978. I was disinterested in the World Series that year. It was Dodgers-Yankees. Yeah, seeing the Yankees in the World Series was tiresome then, too. Rather than watch the game at home, I went out that night. I had no intention of watching it but I was at a bar and they had the game on. The Yankees were trying to rally in the ninth when Reggie Jackson came to the plate with two outs and two on. OK, that's interesting. Bob Welch was on the mound for the Dodgers. He was a 21-year-old rookie and he was a hard thrower. He threw nothing but fastballs. Even more interesting. When it got to strike 2, Reggie started fouling those fastballs off trying to wear the kid down or hoping he makes a mistake. It was really tense. When Welch blew a high fastball strike 3 past Jackson, he nonchalantly walked toward the dugout as if THAT was routine. The stands erupted so violently that the center field camera focused on Welch was shaking. His ecstatic teammates ran to him. He either didn't know what he had done or he is the world's best actor. It is one of my favorite memories.

Today's QOTD is pretty rich if they are his dying words ... and, if it's true. I have my doubts but I can live with them.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Rock Music - Jefferson Starship - At Their Best
  2. Your Latest Trick - Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms
  3. I Have A Dream - ABBA - Gold
  4. Atomic Punk - Van Halen - Van Halen
  5. The Beautiful People - Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Superstar

Quote of the Day

Do you know right from wrong?
Moammar Gadhafi

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "For whatever reason, some observers seem so focused on counting HARP loans they've paid little attention to the large number of borrowers who have strengthened their household balance sheets and improved their monthly cash flow by refinancing at historically low mortgage rates."

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Thursday Tidbits - October 20, 2011 Issue

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Game 1 to the Cards, 3-2, or as Zak Schmoll rightly predicted, "There will be a lot of runs scored during this World Series unless strong pitching is able to triumph". Strong pitching.

GEAUX Cards

I hope every state is re-examining their laws and regulations regarding exotic animal ownership after that horrific tragedy in Ohio. Breaks my heart that a lot of frightened and innocent animals had to die because one jackass had a bad day. Exotic animal ownership can go the way of dogfighting and cockfighting as far as I'm concerned. Out of existence. No good ever comes from it. This one is especially sad. Usually, you only see malnourished animals in need of veterinary attention and exercise.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Down In Flames - Blackhawk - BlackHawk
  2. High Voltage - AC/DC - High Voltage
  3. Solid Rock - Dire Straits - Making Movies
  4. Seventh Son - Johnny Rivers - Johnny Rivers - Anthology 1964-1977
  5. Beyond My Wildest Dreams - Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - All The Roadrunning

Quote of the Day

Sheriff's deputies shot nearly 50 wild animals — including 18 rare Bengal tigers and 17 lions — in a big-game hunt across the state's countryside Wednesday after the owner of an exotic-animal park threw their cages open and committed suicide in what may have been one last act of spite against his neighbors and police.
Andy Brownfield and Kantele Franko, Associated Press

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "You know how, sometimes, when you get to your destination, it takes you a bit to unwind and take it all in?"

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World Series 2011

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The Rangers are hot and confident. They should be. They rolled over the Rays and Tigers and are back in the Series. The Cards are playing with house money. They don't belong in the World Series. They shouldn't have been in the playoffs at all. The pressure is entirely on the Rangers. No predictions here except that the Cards are going to give those guys a run for their money. What do they have to lose?

GEAUX Cards

About today's QOTD: A professional journalist wrote that.

Saints Tight End Jimmy Graham

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Patty's Place - Danny Elfman - The Frighteners
  2. Don't Make Me Dream About You - Chris Isaak - Heart Shaped World
  3. Walking On The Moon - The Police - The Police Greatest Hits
  4. Theme From A Summer Place - Percy Faith - The Ultimate Rock & Roll Collection: The 60's
  5. Mood For A Day - Yes - Fragile

Quote of the Day

There will be a lot of runs scored during this World Series unless strong pitching is able to triumph.
Zak Schmoll, Arlington Star-Telegram

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler was philosophical on the Cardinals getting the home-field for the Series (thanks to the NL's win in the All-Star game) instead of a division winner like the Rangers."

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Up and down Monday Morning

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Should be a great World Series. The Cards are lined up to have their best pitcher on the mound for Game 1. They are in as good a position as they can be in. Whether it's enough to beat the red hot Rangers remains to be seen. There are some who are sorry to see the Phillies, Tigers, Yankees and all of those golden arms staying home but I'm not one of them. :) Play Ball.

GEAUX Cards

R.I.P., Dan Wheldon.

I'm not taking anything away from the Bucs in their victory over the Saints yesterday because they surely deserved to win but I do wonder what might have been had Head Coach Sean Payton not gotten injured. He is such an integral part of the Saints sideline on game days. Roaming back and forth, talking up his players and coaches, and just taking in the ebb and flow of the game, I'm certain he'd have made a difference. He's having surgery this morning to repair a torn MCL and a broken knee and that hurts just typing it. Good Luck, Sean, and get well soon.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. On The Run - Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon
  2. Should, Woulda, Coulda - Wishbone Ash - Bona Fide
  3. Winter's Come and Gone - Gillian Welch - Hell Among the Yearlings
  4. Black Betty - Ram Jam - Hard N' Heavy: 70's Greatest Rock Hits, Vol. 1
  5. A Song Simply Remixed - Elijah Bossenbroek - Carpe Lumen

Quote of the Day

Dan Wheldon, the 2011 Indianapolis 500 winner and one of the most popular drivers in open-wheel racing, died Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a horrific multi-car crash on Lap 11 of the IndyCar Series season finale.
ESPN.com news services

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "This one is pretty easy. Of course, I am talking about Bob Gibson and Chris Carpenter."

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Some Saturday Stuff

Marvinthemartain.jpgTweet from Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts owner:

No,the trade rumors aren't true...I'm negotiating 2 buy Mars though..so I can ensure inter-galactic,NFL dominance for the 25th century

Never was a big fan of the Irsays but more quotes like that can win me over. Like my friend, Marvin, though, I'd like to know just who he's negotiating with. The Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator is not to be trifled with.

Hated to see all of those Milwaukee Brewer errors last night. Yeah, right. Those hurt but the game wasn't lost because of them. The game was lost because they could only muster one run against Cardinal pitching. If the Cards can close the Brewers out in six, they'll have Chris Carpenter on the mound to open the World Series in St Louis.

GEAUX Cards

When I was a kid growing up watching and listening to LSU and Tulane football on TV and radio, LSU was the one who would get fired up to play the visiting NCAA heavyweights like Alabama, USC, Notre Dame, and Texas. Now, LSU is one of the heavyweights. They're playing Tennessee in Knoxville this afternoon. The Vols will definitely be fired up. They cannot beat the Tigers without significant help FROM the Tigers. Memo to Tigers: Just don't give them any help.

GEAUX Tigers


About today's QOTD: Not sure who issued that t-shirt. It could be just about any member of the SEC, including UT.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Raising Steam - Jethro Tull - Crest Of A Knave
  2. Do You Like The Way - Santana Featuring Lauryn Hill & Cee-Lo - Supernatural
  3. Anno Domine - Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Lost Christmas Eve
  4. Sweet Thing (Reprise) - David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
  5. Yeager's Triumph - Bill Conti - The Right Stuff

Quote of the Day

You can't spell slut without UT
SEC T-Shirt

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I'm trying not to be too negative about this game, I really am, but asking questions that are realistic is sort of at odds with that, so forgive me for the following Guessing Game questions for tomorrow:"

Pretty negative if you ask me :) -Rob

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Baseball, basketball, football

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Baseball: If any of this is true, it's disgraceful. I suspect ALL of it is. They deserve every bit of criticism they get. See today's QOTD about three of baseball's best pitchers and the BOTD for more, if interested.

Basketball: I don't know how the NBA lockout gets resolved. Unlike their big brother NFL, there actually ARE franchises in the NBA that are losing money or cannot compete. None of the labor disputes that come before the professional sports leagues have much to do with labor. The issues are always big markets versus small markets or new owners versus old owners. You have New York City competing with Kansas City. You have new owners, who bought their teams at a premium, and you have old owners, who inherited their teams. Those are the real issues.

Football: What is the underlying goal of having more NFL games in London, especially since this year's game probably won't sell out? It's a pretty nice payday for the NFL. I get that. It's very hard on the teams involved, though, isn't it? Are they really gauging interest and logistics of placing a team there permanently?

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Blue Jeans - Lana Del Rey - Video Games - EP
  2. The Scar [Instrumental] - Carly Simon - Working Girl
  3. I Gotta Go - Robert Earl Keen - I Gotta Go
  4. Cry Like A Baby - The Box Tops - Rock 'n Roll Relix 1968-1969
  5. Evening Falls - Enya - Watermark

Quote of the Day

The indifference of Beckett, Lester, and Lackey in a time of crisis can be seen in what team sources say became their habit of drinking beer, eating fast-food fried chicken, and playing video games in the clubhouse during games while their teammates tried to salvage a once-promising season.
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "To sum up, according to the article the team's best player in Ellsbury hates them. Yay! Francona was a pill popping recluse. Beckett, Lester, Lackey and to a lesser extent Buchholz are worthless do-nothings who held up in the clubhouse drinking beer, eating ice cream, mainlining lard, and playing stupid video games while the city burned. Tim Wakefield only cares about reaching the team's all time win mark, nothing more, including eating and breathing air. The team took advantage of Francona's trust and John Henry's largess all the while the strength coach occasionally tapped one of the pitchers on the shoulder to say, "Um, excuse me, kind sir, but might I inquire if you've done your conditioning work today?" to which the pitchers replied, "Back off, Dork. Why don't you make like a tree and get out of here or I'll stuff you back into your locker again!""

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GEAUX Cards - GEAUX National League

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Two fantastic games last night in major league baseball. Only caught the tail end of the Brewers-Diamondbacks. It went to extra innings and, because it did, the Cards-Phillies broadcast started here "in progress". The problem with that was I missed the top of the first inning of that game. I missed the only run that was scored. What a fantastic game it was. Carpenter v Halladay. Once again, MLB shot itself in the foot by having these dramatic playoff games on cable/satellite. Last year, Roy Halladay's no-hitter languished on cable/satellite in a late-afternoon game. This Carpenter-Halladay pitching duel was amazing. It was pins and needles, stomach-churning baseball throughout. More people should have seen it. Baseball with no room for error. Amazing to me that those guys can even function with that much at stake and with the other guy not making any mistakes. Kudos to both of them.

This is the second year in a row Ryan Howard made the last out for the Phillies and he looked really bad doing it both times. Last year, he watched strike three go by. This year, he twisted his ankle in the box while hitting a weak infield grounder and couldn't make it to first base. I feel bad for the guy.

Fox is undoubtedly crying. Good baseball is secondary. They want big markets. They wanted the Phillies and Yankees. I don't feel bad for them, though. Baseball has been stacking the deck in favor of the big market teams for years. The networks have helped them along in that effort. If I wasn't a Cardinal fan, I'd be rooting for a Texas-Milwaukee World Series but not because I want to hurt Fox. I would just like them to put as much effort and money into promoting other teams as they do for the Yankees, Mets, and Red Sox.

The QOTD is an ad that was running on the Philadelphia Inquirer last night when I went to check on what happened to Howard after the Phillies were eliminated. Surprisingly, it's still running this morning.

Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge is the scene of another big event on the CrabAppleLane weekend. It's the LSU-Florida game this afternoon. It's lost some of its luster because of the trouncing Alabama put on the Gators last week and because Florida lost their starting quarterback in that game. Some will be looking for a comparison trouncing today. I'm just hoping for a Tiger win.

GEAUX Tigers

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Stay - Jackson Browne - Running On Empty
  2. Where Is Love? - Lily Frost - Situation
  3. Promises - Eric Clapton - The Cream Of Clapton
  4. Your Wildest Dreams - The Moody Blues - Moody Blues Greatest Hits
  5. Sample And Hold - Neil Young - Trans

Quote of the Day

Attention Cardinals
Our fans have been known to flip a few birds
And after we win the world series ...
Maybe a couple of cars too
Which is probably a good time to check out
THE ALL NEW 2012 CAMRY
Philadelphia Inquirer, Toyota Ad

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "like taking pleasure in a sunny October day, half the joy in this tightrope baseball is knowing that it will soon be gone. and yet, enjoying the sun's warmth one day more makes that one day, that little warmth much sweeter."

Yes, yes it does. -Rob

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We're talking baseball

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Ballpark Prices Infographic
"Ballpark Prices" infographic courtesy of WEBstaurant Restaurant Supplies

I don't find any of those prices outrageous. They're only offering hot dog, beer, and ticket prices, though. Those baseball concessions look to be a little cheaper than the same football concessions, especially beer. The SuperDome had $8 "Super" beers 30 years ago. I think a regular-sized beer was $6 last time I went to a game but I wouldn't be surprised if it was more in places like Dallas, New York, and San Francisco.

Island Girl with a little baseball and football

Marie alerted me to the story of Island Girl this morning. Quite an amazing story and I think it's a real treat that she was spotted on the Illinois Capitol. The tracking map shows a quite amazing journey. If you click on any one of the dates it will show you the coordinates and time of where she was at that moment. UTC time is 5 hours ahead of me here (CDT). You can just copy&paste the coordinates into a Google window and a map will come up showing you where she was if you're not familiar with coordinates. Cool stuff. GEAUX Island Girl.

Terry Francona is one of the good guys in baseball. I suppose it was mutually beneficial for him and the Red Sox to depart the way he did but I think most Sox fans are going to miss him two or three years from now. There is not much difference between the way the Red Sox and Yankees do business any more and that breaks my heart. Francona will land on his feet and he'll get offers to manage again. He was the smallest part of the problem. The Red Sox will have to blow that team up and clean house if they want to avoid seasons like this past one and that's fairly easy to do in Major League Baseball, especially in a place like Boston. All one needs do is open the checkbook.

LSU is off to a slow start against Kentucky this morning. It's 7-0 Tigers at the end of the first quarter. They're favored by 27½. Not watching it. Just kinda following along on the internet while I procrastinate from doing way overdue yardwork.

GEAUX Tigers

In today's QOTD, Rob Ryan is stating that the Dallas Cowboys receivers are better than the Lions' Calvin Johnson. Not true but nice of him to say.

Entries here from September 3 through September 16 and all of their comments are being restored slowly but surely. 19 entries total. Invest in ibuprofen.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Bad To The Bone - George Thorogood & The Destroyers - The Baddest Of George Thorogood & The Destroyers
  2. Fly By Night - Rush - Hard N' Heavy: 70's Greatest Rock Hits, Vol. 1
  3. Suicide Solution - Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard Of Ozz
  4. Come Back When You Grow Up - Bobby Vee - Super Hits 1967
  5. Smackwater Jack - Carole King - Tapestry

Quote of the Day

We work against better receivers with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant
Rob Ryan, Dallas Cowboys

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "These are the 10 best movies in which Reese Witherspoon, Renee Zellweger, Sandra Bullock or Holly Hunter appear."

Not true. The Man in the Moon, her first, was the best movie Reese Witherspoon ever did.

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Thursday Tidbits - September 29, 2011 Issue

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That was playoff baseball last night. Anxious to see how it plays out now with the epic collapses in Boston and Atlanta. Even though both teams lost gigantic wildcard leads in the last month, they also both controlled their own destiny as late as last night. Going to be a very long and very unpleasant offseason for the Red Sox and Braves and they richly deserve it. Go Cards. Place the BOTD firmly in the can-dish-it-out category.

R.I.P., Archbishop Hannan.

Entries here from August 25 through September 16 and all of their comments are being restored slowly but surely. 28 entries total. Invest in ibuprofen.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Your Warm And Tender Love - Chris Rea - The Road To Hell
  2. Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye - Steam - AM Gold: The '60s Generation
  3. Dang Me [Stereo] - Roger Miller - AM Gold: The Mid-'60s
  4. Little Blue One - Cowboy Mouth - Mercyland
  5. Locomotive Breath - Jethro Tull - Aqualung

Quote of the Day

Old Charlie stole the handle
And the train
It won't stop going
No way to slow down
Jethro Tull, Locomotive Breath

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "DRaysBay posters, sorry, but even if you don't mean anything by it, you're kill-on-sight for now."

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Wild baseball finish

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Two dead-heat wildcard races in the majors tonight. Not only does it give the four teams vying for those two playoff berths great motivation but it gives the four teams they're playing a little extra, too. The Braves and Red Sox both lost gigantic wildcard leads in the last month. They can both still back into the playoffs but they will have to win at least one more game and maybe two. The Cards and Rays have made up a lot of ground in the last month. This is fun stuff.

Entries here from August 21 through September 16 and all of their comments are being restored slowly but surely. 33 entries total. Invest in ibuprofen.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. Wizards In Winter - Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Lost Christmas Eve
  2. Lightning Crashes - Live - Live At The Paradiso
  3. Fat Bottomed Girls - Queen - Jazz
  4. In The Light - Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
  5. Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress) - The Hollies - Rock Of The 70's

Quote of the Day

161 games down. One to go. And we have ties for the Wild Card in both the American League and National League. Is this fun or what?
D.J. Short, HardBall Talk

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "It's a phrase that Tony La Russa likes to use a lot. He may not want to say that Player A is the best, but he'll say he's "tied for first." Personally, if there's anyone out there that wants to start a Cardinal blog, "Tied For First" is a great title for it, in my opinion. Now, at least when it comes to the wild card, we can finally say that the Cards are tied for first."

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Major League Surprise

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I'm a Cardinals baseball fan but I really don't mind seeing the Pirates in first place. If they don't have the lowest payroll in MLB, it's gotta be close to it. I don't think they'll hold up but to see them in contention this late in the season is heartwarming. That it will also give the rich clubs the cover they want to continue doing what they're doing is not as heartwarming. They like to say things like "Baseball doesn't need revenue sharing. Look at the Pirates, look at the Indians, look at the Brewers". Sorry, baseball still needs revenue sharing if they want to maintain 30+ competitive teams. There is no way the Pittsburghs can compete with the New Yorks or the Bostons year after year without it.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. As Tears Go By - The Rolling Stones - Hot Rocks, 1964-1971
  2. Stop - Pink Floyd - The Wall
  3. Ballad of the Beacon - Wishbone Ash - Wishbone Four
  4. Night Flight - Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
  5. Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Poison - Love Bites: More Romantic Power Ballads

Quote of the Day

If I would have made the pitch I wanted he would have fouled it off or blooped it over somebody's head or something. It just worked out where it was so bad he couldn't do anything with it.
Joe Beimel, Pittsburgh Pirates

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "And another nice thing about taking the first two from the Reds is that it bumps Cincinnati to five games out of first. The Reds are still in the race, but anything the Pirates can do to make this more of a three-team fight than a four-team fight increases their chances."

All-Star Game - 2011

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Congrats to Robinson Cano on winning the Home Run Derby last night. The participants really put on a show but Cano was clearly the star. What made it even more fun was that it was his father who pitched to him. Father pitching to son. Where have we seen that before? Just about every backyard in America. Apparently, they do that in the Dominican Republic, too. Good. Happy to see baseball is in good hands.

16 players backed out of the game. Some of them were Sunday starting pitchers and some are on the disabled list. Fair enough. Pitchers are always iffy. Managers shouldn't be expected to shuffle their rotation to accommodate the ASG. The uninjured position players backed out because they just didn't feel like playing. 4 of the 9 players skipping out in the American League are Yankees. That's fine by me. The only fans they're disappointing are their own.

I'll watch a few innings but I'm almost certain I won't be able to stay with it until the end. The game starts too late and takes too long. They could shorten it quite a bit by not broadcasting the introductions. That could be an exclusive treat for the fans in the stadium. That's my problem, though. I want a game. MLB wants a spectacle.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. My Sweet Annette - Drive-By Truckers - Decoration Day
  2. Stagefright - Def Leppard - Pyromania
  3. Old Man - Neil Young - Harvest
  4. Tyrant - Judas Priest - Sad Wings Of Destiny
  5. Rock The Nation - Montrose - Montrose

Quote of the Day

Keith Carmickle and his friends had already caught three balls during Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby Monday night and wanted more.

He nearly got a lot more: a headfirst fall to a pool deck about 20 feet below.
Associated Press via ESPN

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Robinson Cano was the next batter up for the American League, with his dad pitching, and he put on a display. 8 home runs, average length of 449 feet, according to ESPN. Gonzalez may have hit more home runs, but Cano hit more impressive, towering shots."

Two for the road

R.I.P., Dick Williams and John Mackey.

Baseball and football both lost Hall-Of-Famers Thursday. It was a very sad day for both sports.

Dick Williams was a terrific manager. To me, the best baseball managers win with what they have. Williams was one of those. His teams played gorilla ball in Oakland and small ball in Montreal. He gets extra credit from me for putting up with Charlie Finley as long as he did. Finley was easily the most meddlesome owner in professional sports. The Cowboys Jerry Jones and the Yankees deceased George Steinbrenner don't hold a candle to him.

When I was a kid, the Baltimore Colts and St Louis Cardinals played an exhibition game in City Park Stadium in New Orleans. My dad took me and some friends to that game. He wanted to see LSU's Jerry Stovall, who was a cornerback for the Cardinals. We saw a lot of great players that day. Johnny Unitas, Ray Berry, Jimmy Orr, Lenny Moore, and John Mackey of the Colts and Johnny Roland and Larry Smith of the Cardinals. John Mackey was a fantastic tight end and a playmaker back in the days when tight ends were mostly just blockers. That he got in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on his last year of eligibility is obscene. From Wikipedia:

It has been speculated that Mackey's actions as a high-ranking member of the players' union may have led to the delay in his election.

I don't know about that. Why would sportswriters care about his union activities? There must have been a non-football reason, though, and I would surely like to talk to some of those selection committee members. If you ever saw that guy play and, presumably, they did, you could never say he wasn't one of the best ever. He could run and break tackles better than the tight ends of today and he played in an era of much better tackling defenses. There is no excuse from any of those sportswriters that I could accept. He should have been voted in the first time his name appeared on the ballot.

About today's QOTD: It would be maybe the coolest thing ever if they did. :)

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. After Erasmus - Al Reingold - After Erasmus
  2. Rosealia - Better Than Ezra - Deluxe
  3. Going To Work - Martina McBride - The Way That I Am
  4. Eyes Without A Face - Billy Idol - Rebel Yell
  5. Witchy Woman - The Eagles - Their Greatest Hits

Quote of the Day

It doesn't mean that we're one day going to find a skull with a hole in its head from the stone that David slung at him, but it nevertheless tells that this reflects a cultural milieu that was actually there at the time
Aren Maeir, Bar-Ilan University

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "He is considered by many to be the first truly modern tight end, and by some to be the greatest ever at his position."

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Just a few things to start the week

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I was very sorry to hear of Clarence Clemons untimely death and more than a little surprised. I thought I had read somewhere that he had no plans to stop touring with the band and I thought that was after his stroke. We are moderate Bruce fans here. Patsy has Born to Run from before we were married. I've bought the live boxed set, Born in the USA, and The Rising since. I still don't know their catalog all that well. Except for a memorable solo on Born to Run and some backing vocals, I don't know what else he contributed to the band. R.I.P., Clarence.

If the runner at second base is relaying which pitch is coming to the batter, he is not "stealing" your signs. He's reading them. Change your signs, dummies.

Interesting cartoon. Not so much if you're traveling abroad for vacation, though.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Child In Time [Live] - Deep Purple - Made In Japan
  2. Only You Can Rock Me - UFO Essential - UFO
  3. My Sweet Annette - Drive-By Truckers - Decoration Day
  4. Reach Out Of The Darkness - Friend & Lover - Rock 'n Roll Relix 1968-1969
  5. Dead Horse - Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion I

Quote of the Day

They are fighting Quakers; they are Quakers with a vengeance.
Ishmael, Moby Dick

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "It's a strange but very good feeling to see one of the real, "official" Moby-Dick drawings finally beautifully framed and hanging in someone else's home. I've already sold the handful of alternate illustrations I did, but I've been holding on so tightly to all the of book illustrations for so very long now that, even though I didn't think it would, it feels very good to let them go to new homes now."

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Delight all around as I watching the Cubs and Cards play yesterday. Good to see two former LSU Tiger National Champions again in the Cards' Ryan Theriot and the Cubs' DJ Lemahieu. Ryan scored the winning run in the bottom of the 9th against Stanford in the 2000 College World Series and DJ hit a two out, two run double in the bottom of the ninth to send Game One into extra innings against Texas in the 2009 College World Series. The Tigers won that game in the 12th and won the CWS. DJ was in the middle of just about everything in that series. Besides the LSU stuff, it was a great game won by the Cards with a walk-off homer by Albert Pujols in the 12th inning.

From yesterday's inbox:

This year we're going to experience four unusual dates. 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11 and that's not all. Take the last two digits of the year in which you were born - now add the age you will be this year. The results will be 111 for everyone in the whole world. (Snopes explains it as basic math, which I assumed to be the case - but it's still neat.)

About today's QOTD: I've been listening to The White Stripes a lot lately. I knew of Jack White mainly through the trailers for It Might Get Loud. I never bothered to check at the time why he was chosen as the third generation guitarist. I downloaded a few of their songs last weekend. I know now why he was chosen. He is an enormous talent. The White Stripes are no more and that kinda sucks for someone who is way behind the music scene and just discovered them. I love that old New York Times review. If you ask me, "rude and unhinged" is high praise for any rock band.

I offer a few for a lazy, hot CrabAppleLane Sunday afternoon. It should be noted that Patsy will adulterate her share of the lunch fixins with bologna or liver cheese, oatnut bread, and mustard while I will glorify my share with rotisserie turkey, swiss cheese, and toasted french bread. Two more below the jump.

CrabAppleLane Early Tomatoes - June 5, 2011
CrabAppleLane Early Tomatoes - June 5, 2011

CrabAppleLane Lunch Fixins' - June 5, 2011
CrabAppleLane Lunch Fixins' - June 5, 2011

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Offend In Every Way - The White Stripes - White Blood Cells
  2. Treat Her Right - George Thorogood & The Destroyers - The Baddest Of George Thorogood & The Destroyers
  3. I Ain't Superstitious - Jeff Beck - Rock: The Train Kept A Rollin'
  4. Limelight - Rush - Moving Pictures
  5. The Fuse - Bruce Springsteen - The Rising

Quote of the Day

They still sound as rude and as unhinged as ever, especially compared with the emo and alternative bands with whom they share the modern-rock radio airwaves.
Kelefa Sanneh, New York Times

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Based on personal experience (many instances of eating watermelon and drinking beer), I can attest that I’ve never experienced any ill effects from combining these two delicious barbeque staples."

I'd surely be dead if that was true. -Rob

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Wonder how the subject even came up. His movie, Melancholia, has nothing to do with NAZI Germany or Hitler as far as I can tell. Anything short of "Hitler was a monster" is not going to be well-received publicly in civilized society. Von Trier was well short of that. Dumb.

The selected quote from the BOTD is correct and its criminal. Baseball has more than its share of purist twits. They're responsible for the fourth ballot nonsense. Killebrew's problem in their eyes was his low (In their eyes) batting average and no gold gloves. I have news for them. There are a lot of one-dimensional players in the HoF. In fact, most of them are. Ozzie Smith isn't in because of his hitting and Hank Aaron isn't in for his fielding. FWIW, Bob Gibson was the only player elected in 1981, Gibson's and Killebrew's first year on the ballot. Gibson was named on 84% of the ballots, which tells me that 16% of the voters were just stupid. Gibson was NOT one-dimensional. He could hit, pitch, and field. Easily one of the best players I ever saw. 16% saw fit not to name him on their ballots.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Your Time Is Gonna Come - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin I
  2. Highway Star - Deep Purple - Machine Head 25th Anniversary Edition
  3. The Ragpicker's Dream - Mark Knopfler - The Ragpicker's Dream
  4. Too Far Gone - Neil Young - Freedom
  5. Driving The Last Spike - Genesis - We Can't Dance

Quote of the Day

“Frank House was the catcher. When I came to the plate, he said, ‘Kid, we’re going to throw you a fastball.’ I didn’t know whether to believe him or not. I hit it out. It was one of the longest home runs I ever hit. As I crossed the plate, House said, ‘That’s the last time I ever tell you what pitch is coming.’ ”
Harmon Killebrew, Minnesota Twins

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "One thing that has stuck out to me about Killebrew’s career as that he didn’t get into the Baseball Hall of Fame until his fourth try. I’m left wondering, “How can that be?” He played in a deadball era – at least in modern times – and hit over 500 homers. Doesn’t seem right."

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Disrespect

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Surely, "respect" and "disrespect" are the two most overused words in sports. The latest example is the New York Yankees Jorge Posada. His manager, Joe Girardi, moved him to the 9 spot in the batting order for Saturday's game with the Red Sox. He's batting .165 and struggling. The move makes perfect baseball sense. Posada didn't think so. He felt it was a sign of disrespect and took himself out of the lineup. Never mind that he "disrespected" every 9 hitter in the game by doing so. Hey Posada, there's no crying in baseball. Want out of the 9 spot? Hit your way out of it. That's what any kid just up from the minors would be told.

The Yankees, of course, turned up the dinner theater. No team in professional sports does it like they do. They had themselves a pow wow with a few execs and team captain, Derek Jeter, and then announced that everyone was on the same page, whatever that means. Those guys are all wimps. The old George Steinbrenner of the 70s and 80s would have fired someone by now. Speaking of Steinbrenners, today's QOTD is from the late George's son. He sounds like his old man there.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. The Buford Stick - Drive-By Truckers - The Dirty South
  2. Something's Going on in My Head - Status Quo - STATUS QUO The Collection
  3. The Letter - Bachman-Turner Overdrive - The Anthology
  4. Sunny - Bobby Hebb - AM Gold 1966
  5. Slip Away - The Commitments - The Commitments

Quote of the Day

We've got too much talent to be swept by anybody at Yankee Stadium, even if we're playing the '27 Yankees. It's not acceptable. We need to start doing what I know we can do.
Hank Steinbrenner, New York Yankees

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "And after 16 years of complete loyalty, he deserves some respect."

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Friday Fluff

From MSNBC:

A Texas man sent his ex-girlfriend a cell phone photo showing their infant and toddler sons with a "goodbye" message and then a graphic photo that appeared to show the baby dead — a day before authorities found the youngsters' bodies, two of the mother's friends said Thursday.

Shouldn't this be a "held without bond" case? I don't know what this guy's chances are of raising the $1.5 million for bail but why give him a chance at all?

I'm becoming more convinced than ever that almost no one knows how to cook big shrimp. Got some grilled shrimp last night. Couldn't eat them. Too chewy.

Thoroughly ridiculous. Correct it immediately.

Would be a surprise to this Hornets fan if they won a single game against the Lakers in the upcoming playoff series. They're overmatched.

114 ... I'd say he had a good run.

The QOTD is talking about Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, which I always thought was one of the most relaxed stadiums in all of Major League Baseball.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Shame The Devil - Robin Trower - Essential
  2. Mony Mony - Tommy James & The Shondells - Rock 'n Roll Relix 1968-1969
  3. Dodo - David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
  4. Fee Fi Fo - The Cranberries - Bury The Hatchet
  5. Downed - Cheap Trick - Cheap Trick/In Color/Heaven Tonight (3 Pak)

Quote of the Day

The attack provoked a torrent of anger from fans who complained that in recent years the stadium has become a dangerous den of drunken hooliganism where fights regularly break out in the stands and anyone who dares wear a rival team's jersey, as Stow did, is subjected to profane verbal abuse and threats of violence.
John Rogers, Associated Press Sports

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I shuttered right when she said it. No one else was around. We were safe from other ears but I still was taken back by her comment as innocent as it was. But she meant it. My grandma is a famous shit talker and proud chizmosa anyway. I tried to justify was she said. Internally, within a second I came to the conclusion that they were both the same age so she was just talking bad about her peer, Vinny. She was actually picking a favorite of her own."

I like Rick Monday, too. -Rob

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Another Day At The Box - LSU v Ole Miss

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Brother-in-law, nephew, and I took in a game yesterday at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge. It was a perfect day for baseball. To top it off, the Tigers won, 8-2, behind Ben Alsup's strong pitching, a decent outing by the Tiger offense, and a few costly errors by Ole Miss. The wind was blowing out to left and we were in the left field bleachers. Tiger left fielder, Alex Edward, hit a homer in the 4th that landed a few rows below us. That was fun. Rebel right fielder, Matt Smith, hit a homer that cleared the stands and hit the scoreboard behind us. There was never any doubt about that one. :) More pics below the jump.

LSU v Ole Miss - April 3, 2011
LSU v Ole Miss - April 3, 2011

Alex Box Stadium - Baton Rouge, LA - April 3, 2011
Alex Box Stadium - Baton Rouge, LA - April 3, 2011 - There were only five flags flying the last time I was here. Hope there are seven next time.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Traces - Classics IV - AM Gold 1969
  2. Danny's Song - Anne Murray - The Best .... So Far
  3. Ride Across The River - Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms
  4. Carry Out Feelings - Nazareth - Close Enough For Rock 'N' Roll
  5. Street Fighting Man - The Rolling Stones - Hot Rocks, 1964-1971

Quote of the Day

You got a lotta nerve
To say you got a helping hand to lend
You just want to be on
The side that’s winning
Bob Dylan, Positively 4th Street

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Matt Smith went 3-for-3 with a home run, but it wasn’t enough to overcome two errors that led to an early deficit on Sunday as Ole Miss (19-10, 4-5 SEC) fell to No. 17 LSU (20-8, 3-6 SEC) by a score of 8-2."

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CrabAppleLane Sunday - April 3, 2011

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Short one today because I have plans.

The LSU Tigers and Ole Miss Rebels split the first two games of the weekend series. LSU winning a tight one, 7-6, Friday night and Ole Miss winning a laugher, 16-3, last night. Game 3 today. GEAUX Tigers.

About today's QOTD: First, read it. Then, go to the link and see what the quote is about.

I offer three from the yard today. Love when the Irises bloom. We have two shades of purple that bloom first. The dark reds we have will bloom later. No idea why.

CrabAppleLane Pond - April 3, 2011
CrabAppleLane Pond - April 3, 2011

CrabAppleLane Iris - April 3, 2011
CrabAppleLane Iris - April 3, 2011

CrabAppleLane Vegetable Garden - April 3, 2011
CrabAppleLane Vegetable Garden - April 3, 2011

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. A Song of Simplicity - Elijah Bossenbroek - Harmony in Disarray
  2. Scarborough Fair/Canticle - Simon & Garfunkel - Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits
  3. The Fool And Me - Robin Trower - Bridge Of Sighs
  4. Bron-Yr-Aur - Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
  5. Beggars Day - Nazareth - Hair Of The Dog

Quote of the Day

Geoff Rezek, 69, flew in from New York to see what he believed was going to be "history in the making."
msnbc.com staff and news service reports

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "If you're a website or blog owner, you'll need to increase traffic volume to your webpages."

This website and blog owner has never been interested in increasing traffic artificially. The only traffic I want is that which finds its way here on its own. -Rob

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Play Ball

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Baseball opens today with a half-slate of games around the league. Not wild about the way baseball goes about Opening Day any more. They should open with more fanfare. They should open with one game on National TV even if they have to give the broadcast rights to some network instead of selling them. It should be a big deal. There are a million and one ways to lose fans and baseball knows at least a million of them. Enough of that. Says here the Rays, Tigers, and Angels win American League divisions and Yankees will be the wildcard. In the senior league, Phillies, Giants, and Reds win divisions and Cardinals take the wildcard. World Series has a rematch of Phillies and Rays ... with the same result. Phillies win it all. Bet any house you have to lose.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Just What The Doctor Ordered - Ted Nugent - Ted Nugent
  2. Oh Baby, Don't You Loose Your Lip On Me - James Taylor - Sweet Baby James
  3. Dub Driving - Angelo Badalamenti - Lost Highway
  4. Down In Mississippi - Ry Cooder - Crossroads
  5. Centerfield - John Fogerty - Centerfield

Quote of the Day

Got a beat-up glove
A homemade bat
And a brand-new pair of shoes
You know I think it’s time to give this game a ride
Just to hit the ball and touch ’em all
A moment in the sun
It’s gone and you can tell that one goodbye
John Fogerty, Centerfield

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I don’t understand why MLB doesn’t let Cincinnati go first. For years, they always played the first game of the season, as Cincy was the birthplace of professional baseball."

I agree. They should have let Cincinnati maintain that tradition or they should have started a new one. Opening with a half-slate of games in both leagues is nothing special. -Rob

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Whatever Wednesday

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There are people who have very serious privacy concerns about blogging and the internet in general but are very active on FaceBook. I know at least two of them. It mystifies me.

During his playing days, I thought Barry Bonds was a great player but mostly a jackass off the field. That's not a new phenomenon to sports in general or to baseball specifically. Ty Cobb was ten times worse. I digress. Now that his playing days are over (I think he could have played a couple of more years), our government has managed to make Barry Bonds a sympathetic figure. Nice going. I'm rooting for him. The taint is there forever regardless of the outcome of his trial. I have no desire to see him in jail or to see him spend most of his baseball earnings defending himself. If he is acquitted, though, he has my blessing to sue the Baseball Hall of Fame if he's not voted in. He has HoF numbers even if you remove every year he is suspected of using performance enhancing drugs. They're overwhelming numbers if you don't remove those years.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. I Drink Alone - George Thorogood & The Destroyers - The Baddest Of George Thorogood & The Destroyers
  2. The Grand Finale - Styx - The Grand Illusion
  3. Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen - The Andrews Sisters - 50th Anniversary Collection Volume One
  4. For Sentimental Reasons - Sam Cooke - The Best Of Sam Cooke
  5. Just My Imagination - The Cranberries - Bury The Hatchet

Quote of the Day

If he died, we will have to bear the burden for the rest of our lives that an innocent man died because of us, because of wrong choices that we made, for an article that was never worth dying for.
Anthony Shadid, Lynsey Addario, Stephen Farrell and Tyler Hicks, New York Times

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "The "digitization" of so many printed books in recent years has given us easy access to titles we would otherwise never have seen: rare books, weird books, books whose very existence we might never have suspected in those pre-google days of card catalogues."

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I was listening to the LSU-SLU game last night on the way home. In the top of the first inning, a single and a two-base error on the LSU pitcher put a SLU runner on third with no outs. With no outs, the infield played at regular depth for the 2 hitter. They were conceding the run. It's the first inning and you don't want them to have a big inning so you swap the run for an out. That makes sense to me. LSU got the out and they were also able to hold the runner. They then brought the infield in with one out for the 3 hitter. Why? I would have thought the same strategy applied to one out as to no outs at that time of the game. No one will ever ask me to manage a ball club and maybe it's because I don't understand these things. :) LSU won and they are now 8-0.

On another baseball note: I love the Tigers but their schedule is stacked way too much in their favor. They play 20 of their first 21 games at home, 37 of their 56 at home, and 4 of their 19 road games are in Louisiana against in-state rivals where Tiger fans will outnumber their opponent substantially. No doubt they have a strong team but if I was a voter in any of the polls, their scheduling would weigh on me. It's not all on LSU, though. The Tigers lead the nation in baseball attendance every year and a game at The Box is a nice payday for some of those schools that really need it.

The Saints signed Shaun Rogers yesterday. It's a one-year deal, which seems appropriate. If he returns to near Pro Bowl form, the Saints will have upgraded their defense and he'll have earned himself a nice payday by season's end. If he has another injury-plagued-can't-stay-on-the-field season, he'll have to move on. The Saints are now one of the teams in the NFL that can ask for and get something out of these kinds of players at a reasonable price and that's a delightful development to this Saints fan. They used to have to throw a ton of money at them to keep them away from the Patriots, Redskins, Cowboys, or 49ers.

It’s that time again. I’m asking for guest blogger volunteers for the week of March 7-11. If you’ve never blogged before, here’s your chance to see what it is all about. If you use different blogging software, here’s your chance to see what Movable Type does. If you already blog, here’s a chance to do something different and shamelessly plug your own blog to maybe some different readers. If you’re interested, email me for details. If you don’t already have my email address, leave a comment here and I’ll respond with the details. I’m not going anywhere. I’m just taking a break from daily blogging. I’ll be around to lend technical support for anyone who wants it.

About today's QOTD: I think it safe to say he means the last man or woman not named Gadhafi. I know he's loony but you would think even he can see this uprising and the attendent international reaction is too strong for him to quell. If he can't, someone very near him can and will either convince him to leave with as much loot as he can take or will take matters into their own hands and end it, probably quite unpleasantly.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Wild Is The Wind - David Bowie - Station To Station
  2. You Were on My Mind - We Five - AM Gold: 1965
  3. MISS Mistreated - Rainbow - Straight Between The Eyes
  4. Carefree Highway - Gordon Lightfoot - Complete Greatest Hits
  5. Midnight Special - Johnny Rivers - Johnny Rivers - Anthology 1964-1977

Quote of the Day

We will fight until the last man and woman. We will defend Libya from the north to the south.
Moammar Gadhafi

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "U.S. warships arrive get closer to Libya"

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Nothing doing

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GEAUX Tigers. Nice sweep this weekend over Wake Forest. Tiger fans gave a well-deserved standing ovation to the Demon Deacons Head Coach Tom Walter when he was announced in Friday's opener. Coach Walter donated a kidney to one of his players. The kindness ended with the ovation. The Tigers scored 6 runs in the first inning, 6 more in the second, and coasted home for a 15-4 win in the opener. A close win Saturday and another blowout yesterday completed the sweep. It's still early but the Tigers are off to a good start and that's always a good thing.

A one for nine trade. Wish I'd gotten to see him play although it would mean I'd have to be quite a bit older. R.I.P, Ollie.

While compiling the iTunes shuffle this morning, I discovered that I have three totally different songs in my iTunes library with the same title. Three Dog Night, Queen, and The Cranberries all recorded a song called Liar. Queen's Liar off of their first album is one of my all time faves. Three Dog Night's Liar is very good, too. The Cranberry's Liar was on the Empire Records soundtrack and is the only reason I have it.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Going Home - Theme From 'Local Hero' - Dire Straits - Alchemy: Dire Straits Live
  2. Not The Only One - Bonnie Raitt - Luck Of The Draw
  3. Robin & Marian - Nickel Creek - Nickel Creek
  4. I'll Be The One - Badfinger - The Very Best Of Badfinger
  5. Liar - The Cranberries - Empire Records

Quote of the Day

The weather is warmer, the sun is brighter and Alex Box Stadium will soon be packed. It's baseball season in Baton Rouge.
Rowan Kavner, The Daily Reveille

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin said Monday that collective bargaining cost his state money and reiterated that he would not stand down in a budget face-off that has become national news."

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A little baseball

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R.I.P., Chuck Tanner. He managed the last great Pittsburgh Pirates team. That team executed the best defensive play I ever saw. Wish I could find a video of it. With a runner on first, the hitter blasted a pitch to deep right center field. Center fielder Omar Moreno and right fielder Dave Parker converged on it. Left-handed Moreno caught it on the first bounce with his right glove hand. He flipped the ball with his glove to Parker. Parker wheeled and fired the ball to the cutoff man (Phil Garner, I think) who then wheeled and fired to the plate to nail the runner. It is not that unusual to see a guy make a great defensive play in Major League Baseball but to see four guys dazzle you on one play, well, that's baseball. Those Tanner Pirate teams were a lot of fun. Thanks, Chuck.

I have to wonder what the St Louis Cardinals are thinking about Albert Pujols. They're trying to negotiate a new contract with him because his contract expires after this season. Their offer to him was characterized recently as "in baseball's top 10 in salary, but not in the top five in average annual salary". If that's true, it is ludicrous. I'd have to think long and hard about who the other top four players are but Pujols is the best player in baseball in my opinion. The gold standard are contracts given to Alex Rodriguez and Joe Mauer. Albert is more valuable to his team than those two are to theirs. A lesser offer is not a starting point. It's just a waste of everyone's time. If Pujols doesn't get a comparable contract from the Cardinals, he'll get it somewhere else.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Lord Of The Thighs - Aerosmith - Get Your Wings
  2. Eclipse - Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon
  3. Ramblin' Man - The Allman Brothers Band - Brothers And Sisters
  4. Boys Of The Lough - Drowsey Maggie - Maggie Sansone - Music In The Great Hall - Instrumental Music From The Ancient Celtic Lands
  5. Let 'Em Whirl - Blackhawk - BlackHawk

Quote of the Day

Sports tend to make otherwise intelligent and thoughtful people turn into blithering gooneybirds

Gary Roberts, Dean of the Indiana University School of Law

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I realize intellectually that it doesn't work like that, but it'll be hard to think that when the Cardinals find themselves in need of a third baseman and the trade deadline and take on half of Mike Young's salary, or just set $5 million on fire to keep David Freese's body temperature from falling after that vampire bites him."

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Baseball and football

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Can't say I saw that coming. I haven't been keeping up but I thought the Rangers and Yankees were the only clubs in the running for star pitcher, Cliff Lee. Putting Lee on the staff with Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, and Roy Halladay gives the Phillies four aces. In poker, four aces is not unbeatable but it's pretty good. Same in baseball. Doesn't quite solve their Giants problem, though. The Giants not only eliminated the Phillies last year, they beat Lee twice in the World Series. There's your two favorites in the National League. When is spring training?

Didn't get to see any of the Vikings-Giants game last night. It wasn't shown here. Dave has a summary from a Viking fan perspective. There are a few storylines to the game but the main one will be the rather unceremonious end to Brett Favre's most famous record (297 consecutive games started) and, quite possibly, his career. There is no reason for him to play now. The Vikings are eliminated from postseason contention and they need to start looking for some answers for the future. Brett cannot be in their future. I like Brett and I'll remember him as the battered and bloodied warrior from last year's NFC Championship game. Unfortunately, this normally forgettable season will be remembered for all of the wrong reasons: The Childress firing, the Randy Moss trade and release, and the Sterger mess. Vikings fans deserved better.

Didn't see much of the Ravens-Texans game last night. The Saints travel to Baltimore this Sunday to take on the Ravens. I'm encouraged that the vaunted Ravens defense gave up 28 points and almost 500 yards. Still figures to be a tough game. Bring the wood, Saints.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. C'mon Everybody - Humble Pie - Smokin'
  2. The "In" Crowd - Ramsey Lewis Trio - AM Gold 1965
  3. Storm Of Worry-(w Eric Clapton) - Sonny Landreth - From The Reach
  4. Shotgun In My Soul - Cowboy Mouth - Mercyland
  5. We Hide & Seek - Alison Krauss & Union Station - Live
Quote of the Day
If ya got a lady and ya want her gone
But you aint got the guts
She keeps naggin at ya night and day
Enough to drive you nuts
Pick up the phone
Leave her alone
It's time you made a stand
For a fee
I'm happy to be
Your back door man
Ac/DC, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "It's going to be an intense week in Owings Mills with the New Orleans Saints coming to town. I don't see how the Ravens defense is going to slow down Drew Brees, and all the balls the Texans were dropping in the first half, the Saints will likely be catching next week."

I'd like to think that, too, but the Saints have had their share of drops and Drew is throwing untimely interceptions. They'll need to play better this week. -Rob

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The endodontist

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Yesterday's trip to the endodontist went better than I expected. For those who don't know, an endodontist is a root canal specialist. I was referred by my regular dentist, who had performed the original root canal procedure on this tooth. Yesterday's "re-treatment" wasn't particularly painful, except in the wallet, and I didn't spend an unusually long time in the chair. It was about the same as having a cavity filled. If you've ever had a root canal, you know that's not normally the case. I felt a little shaky but otherwise fine when it was over. Feel a little weird this morning, though. Hopefully, it's just the antibiotics and other residual medicine in my system. My last bout with antibiotics cleared up the infection but did a number on the rest of my system.

I would also like to correct an oversight on my part the other day.

Congratulations
to
the

World Champion
San Francisco Giants

With little names on their roster like Cody Ross, Freddy Sanchez, and Juan Uribe, they were able to do something in San Francisco that they were never able to do with big names on their roster like Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Joe Morgan, or Barry Bonds. There may be hope for Major League Baseball after all.

About today's QOTD: He's talking about Randy Moss's unexpectedly brief stint with the Minnesota Vikings. I was telling my friend, Dave, the other day that I still think the Vikings can turn things around but it is uphill. They have the talent. The NFC leaders and their division leaders aren't likely to run run away from them in the standings but they're not going to wait on them any longer, either. It would be best to send the circus on its way, though. It has overstayed its welcome.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. If You Could Read My Mind - Gordon Lightfoot - Complete Greatest Hits
  2. Throw Down The Sword - Wishbone Ash - Live Dates [1973]
  3. Jumpin' Jack Flash - The Rolling Stones - Hot Rocks, 1964-1971
  4. Paranoid - Black Sabbath - Paranoid
  5. Get Lucky - Mark Knopfler - Get Lucky
Quote of the Day
This ride didn't last much longer than an inexperienced cowboy atop a prized rodeo bull, and it may have inflicted just as much damage.
Jon Krawczynski, Associated Press

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "We hope these grants will help new ideas blossom and encourage experimentation. As Thomas Edison once said, "When there's no experimenting, there's no progress. Stop experimenting and you go backward." We look forward to working with the journalism community to help digital news move forward."

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Thursday Tidbits - October 28, 2010 Issue

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There was a time when Bill Cosby was just a stand-up comedian. I had some of his records, including the one the cut above was taken from. It has always been my favorite. Something reminded me of this bit the other day and I absolutely cannot remember what it was.

Game 1 to the Giants. Both ace pitchers struggled last night and it looks like both teams brought the lumber for the series. I like that. Some of the Giants hitters are really dialed in. The hottest one provides today's QOTD. When you're going like that, the next at bat can't come soon enough. I like how the Rangers kept fighting even when they were way down. Those three runs they put up in the ninth didn't help them much last night but I think it will help them tonight. This World Series figures to be fun.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Limelight - Rush - Chronicles
  2. Sunshine Of Your Love - Cream - The Cream Of Clapton
  3. Slipstream - Jethro Tull - Aqualung
  4. Temptation Eyes - The Grass Roots - 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best Of The Grass Roots
  5. The Clown - Status Quo - STATUS QUO The Collection
Quote of the Day
I think it's just baseball. That's the only thing you can say. This is a crazy game.
Freddy Sanchez, San Francisco Giants

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Italian roots in Clerkenwell go back to the early 1800’s. In the early days, the Italian ‘colony’ in this area was mainly employed in trades such as organ grinding, knife grinding, mosaic and terrazzo craftsmanship. From these early days, the Italian community spread into catering and ice cream selling. Italian restaurants, cafes and shops are now a firmly established part of current London."

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World Series - 2010

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The World Series gets underway tonight with Cliff Lee pitching against Tim Lincecum. Excellent pitchers both. When the playoffs started, I'm guessing not many people figured the last two standing would be the Rangers and Giants. This baseball fan likes seeing a different set of teams in the Series now and again. MLB and The Fox Network would prefer at least one of the teams to be the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, or Dodgers. I expect this World Series to deliver on the drama. Both teams are fighters and they seem evenly matched. I like the Giants in seven.

About today's QOTD: I know the names of a handful of assistant coaches around the NFL. I know Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer because his son, Adam, coached for the Saints and because his wife, Vicki, died suddenly last year and it was in the news. When his wife died, he continued to coach that week and was awarded the game ball when the Bengals beat the Ravens. The NFL Network aired that moment on their Sound FX show. When he took the game ball and told his players that his wife loved all of them, it was pretty special. In the QOTD, he's talking about Bobby Petrino, the former head coach for the Atlanta Falcons and his former boss, who walked off the job in the middle of his first season and took the head coaching position at Arkansas. Didn't breathe a word of it to his staff or his players. You assemble a staff and a team, ask them to leave their jobs or pass up other opportunities, ask them to believe in you and your methods, and then abandon them a few weeks in because you don't like it any more? Yeah, that's gutless.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Telegraph Road - Mark Knopfler - Live From The Ryman
  2. I'm Still Standing - Elton John - Greatest Hits 1970-2002
  3. I Shot The Sheriff - Eric Clapton - The Cream Of Clapton
  4. Day After Day - Badfinger - The Very Best Of Badfinger
  5. Lions - Dire Straits - Dire Straits
Quote of the Day
He's a gutless bastard. Quote that.
Mike Zimmer, Cincinnati Enquirer

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "During the American League Championship Series games in New York between the Yankees and Rangers, fans were extremely rude to Kristen Lee, spitting and throwing beer in her direction and shouting obscenities."

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So much for what I think. LSU was lucky to be in that game at all. Cam Newton had his way with the LSU defense. He ran on them and he passed on them. LSU had no answer for him. Nothing fancy about it, either. They had good defenses called most of the time. He just broke the tackles. He's this year's Heisman Trophy winner. They can start engraving his name now.

Congratulations to the

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

On their way to World Series to face the Texas Rangers. The networks weep. Good. :)

Oh, and Ryan Howard, how do you not swing at that pitch? Down to your last strike for the season, you have to protect the plate. I don't think it was a strike, either, but the "swing at anything close with two strikes" philosophy applies to the big leagues, too.

On paper, the Saints-Browns game today in the SuperDome should be no contest. They don't play the game on paper, though. The Saints will be playing without their two starting cornerbacks and their two starting running backs. They'll be OK at running back because of Chris Ivory. Don't know what to expect at cornerback (Update: It has already cost the Saints a touchdown). The Browns play decent defense and I'm not sure what to expect out of Colt McCoy. Last year's Saints players, Scott Fujita and Mike Bell, will be on the field today for the Browns. I hope they get a warm reception. They contributed their share to the Super Bowl team last year. As usual ... if the Saints take care of the ball, they'll take care of the Browns (Saints are down, 0-10 already. I hate slow starts.).

GEAUX Saints

I offer one on this mild CrabAppleLane Sunday.

CrabAppleLane Grilling - October 24, 2010
CrabAppleLane Grilling - October 24, 2010
A lot of people don't like chicken thighs. We have discovered this about them: If you buy boneless, skinless thighs AND if you place them on the grill on the lowest possible setting AND if you turn them regularly AND and if you move the ones that are browning faster to the lowest heat on the grill and the ones browning slower to the hotter part of the grill AND if you add NOTHING to them (Not even salt or pepper), AND if you grill them until they are brown and crispy, there probably won't be enough of them for you to eat and it doesn't much matter how many you start out with. :) There is just enough drip from the chicken to hit the open flame and cause spectacular smoke. The smoke and the chicken's natural flavor are enough.

About today's QOTD: Are the photos now going to be compared to the ... oh, never mind. There's no way this isn't going to be a distraction for him or his football team. It may have had a chance to go away at one time but not now.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. Poison - Alice Cooper - Alice Cooper Classicks
  2. Live Wire - Starz - Starz
  3. My Parties - Dire Straits - On Every Street
  4. Because The Night - 10,000 Maniacs - MTV Unplugged
  5. Already Gone - The Eagles - Their Greatest Hits
Quote of the Day
Brett Favre admitted to the NFL this week that he did leave voicemails for Jenn Sterger, but denied sending the former sideline hostess any lewd photographs when he was a member of the New York Jets, Fox Sports reported Sunday.
ESPN

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "They estimate that 66 million pounds of sheep’s cheeses are imported to this country every year, yet very little sheep cheese is produced in the United States."

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Whatever Wednesday

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Congratulations to Drew and Brittany Brees. The New Orleans Royal Family has a new member. :)

At 10:20AM and 10:20PM today, it will be 10:20 10/20 2010. At 8:10PM tonight, you can go military and it will be 20:10 20/10 2010. Pretty cool. I like tens and twenties. I don't get to see nearly enough of them. :)

My neighbor read on the blog that I was having trouble finding Brussel sprouts plants and seeds the other day. In our mailbox yesterday was a pack of Brussel sprouts seeds. No idea where they found them but I am eternally grateful. Hopefully, the rabbits will leave them alone. I am optimistic on that because they have left the lone surviving Brussel sprout plant untouched. They devoured the broccoli and cauliflower plants. Thanks again, neighbor. :)

What I know about Major League Baseball: Going into the playoffs, I thought the Texas Rangers were the least imposing of the four American League teams. They got by the Rays in a close series, which was kind of surprising but not that surprising. They are just mauling the Yankees and I don't think anyone saw that coming. Crazy things can happen in baseball and teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit but the Rangers and Yankees I saw last night are heading in opposite directions. I think only one team will be heading back to Texas tonight ( NTTAWWT:) ) .

The talk of the NFL this week is the league's get tough policy on what they call "devastating hits". There were four hits that were deemed "devastating" this week, two by James Harrison and one each by Dunta Robinson and Brandon Meriweather. All of the players were fined. I've seen all of the hits. In my view, only the Meriweather hit deserved a fine. The others looked clean to me or, at least, unintentional. And, then, there is this. What a twit.

A little background is in order for today's QOTD: NFL Films saw fit to rank the top 100 football players of all time. Naturally, such a list is highly subjective. Deion Sanders is miffed at his ranking. I think it's about right. I digress. In a letter to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, Joe F from Canton, Ohio mentions another list. I couldn't find the list that he mentions and its rules for inclusion. Since it was compiled last year according to him, I will guess that they only considered players that were retired a certain number of years. I can't imagine a top all-time list in the NFL that doesn't include Jerry Rice. He's probably the best football player I ever saw. He made touchdowns.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. Enter Sandman - Metallica - Black Album
  2. For Your Love - The Yardbirds - Heart Full Of Soul And Other Hits
  3. Temptation Eyes - The Grass Roots - 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best Of The Grass Roots
  4. Wind Up - Jethro Tull - Aqualung
  5. Piper To The End - Mark Knopfler - Get Lucky
Quote of the Day
The Canton (Ohio) Repository did a good job last year ranking its top 50 Hall of Famers of all-time, and while Deion would not have been eligible for that list (neither would Jerry Rice and some others), I would have a hard time putting Deion in the top 40.
Joe F - Canton, Ohio

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Obviously, it’s a bit too soon to anoint rookie Colt McCoy as the long-awaited quarterback messiah for the Cleveland Browns, but man did he turn in a promising debut on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers."

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Trick or Treat - 2010 silliness

There is a movement afoot to move Trick-or-Treat in New Orleans to October 30 so as to not compete/conflict with the Saints/Steelers game on Halloween night. It's a ridiculous idea. The game starts at 7:20PM or so. If you must be home in time for the kickoff, why can't you have your Halloween activities with your kids completed by then? Naturally, there is some opposition to moving it.

Opposition to moving Trick-or-Treat is equally ridiculous. Where is the harm? Here's one of those rare occasions where people can have their cake candy and eat it, too. The kids don't care about tradition. All they care about is wearing their costume ... and the CANDY. Here's an idea: Take your kids out on both nights and let them wear their costumes two nights in a row. Double Trick-or-Treat. Hit the movers on Saturday night and hit the traditionalists on Sunday night. If people who don't want to be disturbed during the game are "ruining" Halloween for you, it is you who is screwed up, not them. I don't get Trick-or-Treaters at CrabAppleLane but, if I did, I would have candy available both nights. It is really not that big a deal one way or the other.

The QOTD refers to tonight's National League Championship Series Game 1. It's Giants v Phillies and Tim Lincecum v Roy Halladay. You will not find a better pitching matchup than that in the postseason. If those guys are on their game, runs will be scarce tonight.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. Happy Home - Garbage - Bleed Like Me
  2. Stealin' - Uriah Heap - Sweet Freedom
  3. Down To The River To Pray - Alison Krauss & Union Station - Live [Disc 2]
  4. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
  5. Long Hard Road Out Of Hell - Marilyn Manson & The Sneaker Pimps - Spawn
Quote of the Day
The Halladay-Lincecum matchup is the marquee pitching duel in a series that features a handful of aces.
ESPN Preview

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "At long last, and after an initial “no”, North Korea has agreed to a concession. Members of families that have been torn apart during the Korean War will be allowed to meet. Undoubtedly, the capitalistic and therefore inhuman regime of the South, where according to the North pauperism and exploitation prevails, will have to pay dearly for the humanitarian gesture. As you know, the People’s Republic needs money more than it does additional doses of Marx - or Whiskey for the “Dear Leader”. That is because you cannot buy or generate food with Marx. But for dollars –may they be cursed if in the pocket of others- you sure can."

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Accountability

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Accountability Behind the Plate? If the steady wailing on umpires this season brings a bigger role for instant replay to the game, it will have served a useful purpose. Instant replay can make a wrong call right and I'm for getting it right these days mainly because it can be done without a major disruption to the game. I'm not for trashing umpires to bring it about, though. Most umpires do their job better than anyone on the field or in the dugout does theirs and they do it for a fraction of the salary. Most of them get 99% of their calls exactly right. What's your batting average, A-Rod?

About today's QOTD: It's about last year's playoff game between the Vikings and Cowboys. If you've forgotten what happened or don't know, you can read more about it at the link. The thing that I really enjoy about it still is that everyone is right. The Cowboys are right in that the Vikings DID run up the score and the Vikings are right by telling the Cowboys to quit whining about it. This aint Little League.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. Silvertown Blues - Mark Knopfler - Sailing To Philadelphia
  2. Flick Of The Wrist - Queen - Sheer Heart Attack
  3. Because The Night - 10,000 Maniacs - MTV Unplugged
  4. Pigs (Three Different Ones) - Pink Floyd - Animals
  5. Day Of The Eagle - Robin Trower - Bridge Of Sighs
Quote of the Day
That's all we're trying to do is get a first down. We happened to score. It would probably be a good idea to cover the guy. Generally on defense you have to cover the deep plays.
Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings Head Coach

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "But for all that, I say this. Give me the win, but you can keep the rest of that nonsense."

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About attendance

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Today's QOTD comes from an article in the Tampa Tribune. Neither of the area's professional sports franchises can fill their stadiums. That wasn't the only quote that caught my eye. Here's another:

The league blames it foremost on the economy, he said. But the growth of fantasy football is having an impact, too, because many fans are more interested in what happens to the players on their fantasy teams — who could be on any of the 32 teams — than on their home team.

It's unclear to me who is saying this, the NFL or the reporter. Whoever it is knows nothing about fantasy football, though. I've been playing fantasy football a long time. It has zero impact on attendance. "I'd go to the game today but my fantasy football team needs my attention?" No, that's not even a blip in this discussion. Assuming there is a decent product as is the case in Tampa Bay, it's the other factors that are keeping people away ... ticket prices, concession prices, and parking prices, which the league rightly blames on the economy. The NFL is built for good times and a robust economy. Taking a cheap shot at an activity that has no bearing on the matter serves no purpose.

About the quote from today's BOTD: I just cannot quite wrap my head around "featuring an overwhelming multitude of choices, along with pre-set dishes that remove stress for the chronically indecisive."

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Running On Faith - Eric Clapton - Unplugged
  2. Eye Of The Tiger - Survivor - Greatest Hits
  3. House Of Love - Page & Plant - Walking Into Clarksdale
  4. Let It Ride - Bachman-Turner Overdrive - The Anthology [Disc 1]
  5. Don't Damn Me - Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion I
Quote of the Day
I don't think you can shame residents into spending their unemployment checks on watching Price pitch.
Vince Gennaro, Columbia University

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Not so at Fresh. Here, cereal is just one part of a greater formula involving sandwiches and salads, featuring an overwhelming multitude of choices, along with pre-set dishes that remove stress for the chronically indecisive."

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Memorable

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Memorable sports day yesterday.

First, the Major League Baseball playoffs got underway yesterday afternoon with the Rangers slapping the Rays around pretty good.

We also had some sporting events between Minnesota and New York get underway yesterday. Part One has the Yankees and Twins playing this week in baseball. Part Two has the Vikings and Jets playing Monday night in football. The Twins lost yet another heartbreaker to the Yankees last night even with the benefit of an extra out in the ninth inning. The Vikings completed a blockbuster trade for Randy Moss yesterday morning to enliven an already lively matchup for Monday night.

All of that aside, this memorable evening belonged to Roy Halladay, who tossed a spectacular no-hitter. Because of the odd starting time and baseball's decision to put the game on TBS, not nearly enough people got to see that historic performance in his first-ever playoff appearance. I only made it home for the last two innings. Watching it was a treat and it's a shame more people didn't get to see it at all. It should have been on one of the networks instead of a cable station. It was pure baseball magic. It gave a very good Phillies team a lift and some momentum in a series they were already expected to win handily. It's only one game but it sure seemed like more than that to me. The Reds are fighting uphill now. There are a lot of quotes to choose from this morning. Thanks, Roy. The one below from Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the QOTD are my favorites.

If a no-hitter in his playoff debut is what Roy Halladay was saving up all those years when he missed out on the postseason, then it seems as if the postseason has been missing out on a lot too.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. (Don't Fear) The Reaper - Blue Öyster Cult - Agents of Fortune
  2. You're The One - Maire Brennan & Shane McGowan - Circle of Friends Soundtrack
  3. Fever - Peggy Lee - iTunes Download
  4. Working Man - Rush - Rush
  5. '39 - Queen - A Night At The Opera
Quote of the Day
That was great managing
Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia Phillies Manager

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "The man puts together one for the record books, with the use of his right arm, and all he can think about is the guy behind the plate putting down the fingers. It not only makes him a fantastic pitcher, but also gives a lesson in how to be the perfect teammate."

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Baseball and football

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Baseball playoffs start today. Wish I could watch all of them. Clearly, the marquee matchup is Twins-Yankees. I think the winner of this one will take the pennant. I'm a Twins fan and a Yankee hater. GEAUX Twins.

In the other American League series, I think the Rays will handle the Rangers in five. In the National League, I like the Giants over the Braves in seven and the Phillies over the Reds in five. Overall, I think the Phillies are the team to beat.

About today's QOTD: With the ingredient they're about to add to an already volatile mix, the Vikings will land in the Super Bowl or on the moon. Assuming they make the trade today with the Patriots, signing Randy Moss to a gigantic contract beyond this season just doesn't make any sense to me. I think he'll play for Brett Favre and Brad Childress this season but will he play for Tavaris Jackson, a rookie draft pick, or some other NFL journeyman retread and maybe even a new head coach next season? He's a great player when he's on a great team that's doing well. He's a cancer on a team that is struggling.

In unrelated matters, don't you hate when you see a mistake you can correct ... if only the internet was working?

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Four Star (Out of five) playlist:

  1. Time - Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon
  2. Station To Station - David Bowie - Station To Station
  3. Ailein Duinn (Dark Alan) - Meav - Méav
  4. All For You - Sister Hazel - ...Somewhere More Familiar
  5. Mistreated - Deep Purple - Burn
Quote of the Day
Moss would be the absolute perfect fit
Mark Craig, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "While surfing youtube for Twins commercials, I came across some classic spots for the 1991 team. These are so early-nineties and just too unintentionally hilarious not to share, and since that season ended pretty well, I thought they might provide some inspiration for our boys."

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Old time baseball justice and an anniversary

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Celebrating 25 years smoke-free today. I've told the story of how I did it before. Cold turkey. I didn't tell anyone so there was no one encouraging me or asking me about it and there was no pressure on me that I might fail. After a while, I just stopped thinking about it. It was surprisingly easy for me. What I don't remember is how I handled all of the people who used to bum cigarettes off of me. There were a lot of them. I'm guessing they had to quit, too. :)

Some old time baseball played last night between the Twins and White Sox. I came across the game while channel-surfing. Veteran Twins pitcher Carl Pavano had a pitch get away from him that hit a batter in the face. It was not as bad as it looked and not nearly as bad as it could have been but it was surely scary. Remarkably, the batter, Paul KonerkoIt, stayed in the game. The pitch looked unintentional to me but the White Sox apparently didn't see it that way or perhaps some frustration was starting to seep in because their season was slipping away. In the next inning, veteran White Sox left-hander, Mark Buehrle, a very good pitcher with good control, hit the first Twins batter, right-hander Michael Cuddyer, in the middle of the back with his very first pitch. Nothing unintentional about that one. Cuddyer headed to first without even looking at Buehrle, came around to score the first run in a three run inning, and went on to have a good night at the plate. That's always the best response. A little surprised to see Buehrle admit that he was told to hit the batter. What he said according to the Associated Press via ESPN:

When I'm told to do something I try to go out there and do it to the best of my ability. Obviously you got to protect your guys.

And some football for a Friday: Back in the old NFC West days, the 49ers were often world champions and the Saints were often in disarray. Times have changed. I'm OK with that. :)

I present today's QOTD without further comment. :)

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Top Of The World - Trevor Jones - The Last Of The Mohicans
  2. We Got The Beat - The Go-Go's - The Rolling Stone Women In Rock Collection [Disc 2]
  3. Smokestack Lightning - The Yardbirds - Heart Full Of Soul And Other Hits
  4. A Passage To Bangkok [Live] - Rush - Chronicles [Disc 2]
  5. Daddy's Gone To KnoXVIlle - Mark Knopfler - The Ragpicker's Dream
Quote of the Day
Does anyone honestly watch the Superbowl halftime show? That's the opportunity to go outside with the guys and smoke a cigar and perhaps enjoy a nice scotch while the womenfolk cackle back and forth about shoes and the newest vacuum cleaner and whatnot.
MSNBC comment

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "The lasting impression of that play, however, won't be the baseball threads imprinted on Konerko's cheek Friday morning, it will be Konerko pulling himself up off the dirt and literally trying to pull his arm away from the trainer so he could take first base."

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Unnecessary footage and righteousness

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I'm a big fan of Ken Burns documentary about the Civil War. It is the best documentary I ever saw. I'm not as big a fan of his documentary about baseball. It's a personal thing. The storytelling was fine but some of the interviews bugged me. There's an element to baseball that has always bothered me. They are the purists, the snobs, the asterisk crowd. They were a little too prominent in that film for my tastes. I digress. Burns is going into extra innings now and it looks like his new documentary will be mostly about what some are now calling "the steroids era". I'll pass.

Today's QOTD is about Reggie Bush, USC, and the NCAA. Reggie Bush is forfeiting his Heisman Trophy. He's basically telling everyone to go away. He wants to move on. If he was not as contrite as some would have liked, I would say too bad. His less-than-contrite posture was appropriate to USC's indignant posture and Mark Saxon's and the NCAA's sanctimonious posture. The sanctimonious NCAA took scholarships, bowl trips, and other lollies away from the indignant USC. That punishment does not befit the crime. It is horribly wrong to punish the kids in school today for something that happened five years ago. They're NOT GUILTY.

If the NCAA really wanted to clean up this problem, if indeed it is a problem, they need to be a little more serious about it. First, police this stuff while they're in school, not five years later. If caught, revoke their scholarship and eligibility and only theirs. If the school is involved, fine them a proportionate amount of their athletic revenue. Second, the rules need to make sense and be fair. Why can't a student athlete talk to an agent while he's in school? A drama student can talk to an agent without repercussion. A law student can take a summer job at a law firm. Military recruiters are on campus recruiting students for their life after university. The NCAA should at least bring their rules in line with other fields. A student athlete should have all of the same rights and opportunities that other students have and they shouldn't have to wait until they get out of school. I'll now step away from the soapbox.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist starting with "B”:

  1. Bleed Like Me - Garbage - Bleed Like Me
  2. Back On The Road Again - REO Speedwagon - Arch Allies: Live at Riverport
  3. Beachcombing - Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - All The Roadrunning
  4. Both Sides Now - Judy Collins - Wildflowers
  5. Because The Night - 10,000 Maniacs - MTV Unplugged
Quote of the Day
The 2010 and 2011 USC teams won't be able to compete for a BCS title or even enjoy a bowl game. Because of scholarship limitations, the BCS dreams might be out of reach for a decade or so. The Trojans are under probation through 2013.
Mark Saxon, ESPNLosAngeles.com

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I completely balked at the idea that I, Sab-not-yet-Mad, the free-spirited girl, was a control freak."

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Saturday Stuff --- August 21, 2010 Issue

Breaks my heart to see what has happened to one of sports most storied franchises, the Pittsburgh Pirates. I can't even remember the last time they finished in the upper half of their division. 18 straight losing seasons? The Saints endured 21 consecutive non-winning seasons but that was due to total ineptitude across the board. I don't believe that to be the case in Pittsburgh. The Pirates have made their share of mistakes in those 18 years but they are also being seriously outspent by their competitors. No matter how well they manage themselves, a well-managed team with more revenue has a distinct advantage. Baseball is a great game but they have serious problems.

For better or worse, undoubtedly worse, the CrabAppleLane Fantasy Football 2010 Cheat Sheet in Microsoft Excel. Finished just this morning. It's the one I'll use tomorrow at my first auction. Only seem to be a handful of rookies this season. Most of the good teams are loaded with veteran skill players. Rookie starters on bad teams usually don't fare well so I'd probably stay away from them anyway although rookie Sam Bradford figures to be throwing the ball a lot this year and that could give him decent fantasy numbers. His team figures to be playing from behind quite a bit. Anxious to see if he can last a whole season in the NFL.

The Saints take on the Houston Texans tonight in the SuperDome. It will be their first game in the Dome since the NFC Championship game back in January. I'd like to see better pass protection from the first unit tonight than they offered last week against the Patriots. I don't need to see #9 knocked around again.

19 days until football season ...

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Killer Queen - Queen - Sheer Heart Attack [Bonus Track]
  2. Trouble Child - Joni Mitchell - Court And Spark
  3. Back Off Bitch - Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion I
  4. Wanted It To Be - Sister Hazel - ...Somewhere More Familiar
  5. Help Yourself - Sad Brad Smith - Up In The Air
Quote of the Day
A rape charge carries a possible prison sentence, while a molestation charge would not, Rosander said. In Sweden, a crime of molestation is not limited to child victims.
CNN.com

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Yeh, it's real.LA knows how to market baseball. No marketing dorks in charge of sales. The Dodgers do it right, sales runs marketing. Ahh, what a concept."

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Tuesday Tidbits - August 10, 2010 Issue

Today's QOTD refers to the ratings disparity Sunday night between a meaningless exhibition football game and baseball's oldest and most-storied rivalry. I'm thinking baseball wouldn't mind a football lockout next year. Baseball is a fantastic game. How did they ever let this happen?

Saints are practicing today and tomorrow against the New England Patriots in Foxboro, MA. Both teams and their fans are pretty jazzed about it. Wonder if the Patriots will be able to get Sean Payton to do his Belichick impression. Hear it's right on. :)

30 days until football season ...

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Highway To Hell - AC/DC - AC/DC Live
  2. No Can Do - Mark Knopfler - Golden Heart
  3. I Can't Quit You Baby - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin I
  4. Paint It Black - The Rolling Stones - Hot Rocks, 1964-1971 [Disc 1]
  5. City To City - Gerry Rafferty - City To City
Quote of the Day
Not only did the Hall of Fame game crush Red Sox-Yankees as expected, it should wind up being the highest rated show on all of television all week.
Gregg Rosenthal, Pro Football Talk

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Members of the NFL's officiating crews will be on hand to work the joint practices."

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About health care

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We spent yesterday afternoon at the emergency room. Patsy has a 2-millimeter kidney stone. She was in a lot of pain. They gave her morphine before we left. She's resting now and still hasn't passed it. Hopefully, that will happen sometime today.

Speaking of health care, the tables were turned for me not too long ago. Not sure where this person worked or what she did but she wore a uniform and a name tag that indicated she worked in that industry. I was doing something for one person on the phone and had another person waiting who was ahead of her. I excused myself to the man who was next to go into the next room to finish up the phone conversation. I told him I'd be right with him. At this time, the woman, who was put out all of 20 seconds by now, launched into a tirade about our service. The person ahead of her was so uncomfortable that he graciously told her she could go ahead of him. She refused. By the time I got to her, she had been in the building less than five minutes and it took me less than a minute to answer all of her questions at no charge.

The scorecards read like this: She entered my building, was in no pain whatsoever, had two people in front of her, was served and on her way in about five minutes, and did not have to pay a cent to see anyone. We entered a building in her industry yesterday, it's hard to tell if or how many people were ahead of us, was in excruciating pain for a good portion of the time, saw various people at 5 to 20 minute intervals, was on our way in just four hours, and I can only imagine what the final bill will be.

Is it any wonder why EVERYONE wants to tinker with that industry?

Now that about 100 games have been played, these are my thoughts on Major League Baseball after one glance at the current standings (Bet any house you have to lose): The wildcards will come out of the east in the American League and out of the west in the National League. The central division in both leagues will provide the best races. I also don't think the Rangers' 7-game lead is safe or that the Braves' 5-game lead is safe.

Speaking of baseball, how bout the headline below?

Padres Grounds Crew Dims Stadium's Lights For Romantic Night Game

Everyone who follows and writes about the NFL is convinced there will be a lockout by the owners next spring. Can I simply ask what good it does to lock out players making millions AFTER you've given them at least a year's notice at their current salaries? This is a game of brinkmanship with no brink. With apologies to Nike, JUST DON'T DO IT.

45 days until football season ...

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Four Star playlist:

  1. Woodstock - Joni Mitchell - Ladies Of The Canyon (Remastered)
  2. I Don't Wanna Know - Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
  3. King Of Pain - The Police - The Police Greatest Hits
  4. Mustang Sally - The Commitments - The Commitments
  5. Bring It On Home - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II
Quote of the Day
Went to the men's room in center field about 75 minutes before the game. In the middle of the empty place: a naked man washing himself, his pile of clothes off to the side. I did a double-take, and he was quickly soaping up his armpits with the hand soap out of the dispenser, then using a cup to rinse off. On a weirdness scale of 1-10, this was a 46.
Peter King, CNN/SI

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Boo. Tonight was officially hat-tip worthy."

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Steinbrenner

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Anyone who loves Major League Baseball and has been watching it for a while knows of and has an opinion of George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees. He passed away yesterday. How he ran his ball club was of little concern to me. I didn't care how many managers he fired, I didn't care if he ranted to the media about his under-performing players. As a long-time Yankee hater, I considered it screwball comedy. My only issue with him was how he brought all of his and his market's financial advantages to bear into the competitive arena. He "unleveled" the playing field. It's no secret how he did it. In most years, the Yankees have the highest payroll in baseball. They drive the market. That said, I've softened on him over the years. Once free agency came into existence, Steinbrenner magnified the big market / small market dilemma that MLB has but it was there all along. He didn't create the problem. He just made it worse and baseball was powerless to stop him. I read someone somewhere yesterday who went on and on about how Steinbrenner's free spending revolutionized the game but I forget whether he was praising or detracting. He used his money to get what he wanted. That one is fairly tried and true. Nothing revolutionary about it. R.I.P., George.

Congratulations to the National League All Stars on their 3-1 win last night over the American League All Stars. About damned time.

If you're really concerned or if someone asks, the chicken came first.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. Time Stand Still - Rush - Chronicles [Disc 2]
  2. One More Tomorrow - Henry Gross - One More Tomorrow The Best Of Henry Gross
  3. Further On (Up The Road) - Bruce Springsteen - The Rising
  4. I Hear Them All - Old Crow Medicine Show - Big Iron World
  5. Layla - Eric Clapton - Time Pieces - The Best Of Eric Clapton
Quote of the Day
Don't talk to me about aesthetics or tradition. Talk to me about what sells and what's good right now. And what the American people like is to think the underdog still has a chance.
George Steinbrenner, 1930-2010

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "He was a force of nature, a completely unique individual. He changed how baseball goes about its business."

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Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day, Dad - Miss you

Just a few tidbits on a hot CrabAppleLane Sunday.

  • The CrabAppleLane Award for the kid who had to have had one of the most awful times in school goes to Clement von Franckenstein. Do you think there are any Frankenstein jokes he hasn't heard? He was in a movie we watched yesterday.
  • Just say NO to a longer NFL season. There ought to be a "No Tinker" rule in the NFL. They should only be able to tinker with the game, except for issues regarding player safety, at 10 year intervals. Let the game evolve naturally.
  • 16381 spam comments on this blog have been blocked since I activated TypePad AntiSpam (June 2008). That's a ridiculous number for an obscure place such as this, don't you think?
  • When I close an ad on Facebook as "uninteresting", I get the following response:
    Thanks for your feedback. Over time, this information helps us deliver more relevant ads to you.
    For the record, I don't find that to be a particularly desirable result, either. I suppose I should just ignore them.
  • What ever happened to those "Baseball Fever: Catch It" commercials? I used to love those. This play by Minnesota Twins catcher, Joe Mauer, would definitely make a good one. I meant to link that awesome play last week but I forgot. I saw it on a show I've been recording off of the MLB channel called the Plays of the Week. If you love baseball, I highly recommend it. They count down the 100 best plays of the week. It's nothing but clutch hits and defensive gems. That they can find 100 in every week's worth of games is part of baseball's magic
.
  • About today's QOTD: I commented on that when I read about it but I didn't add the great zinger. I have serious issues with the Irsay family for moving that team out of Baltimore and I have issues with the way Bill Polian runs the team but those 53 players deserve better fans than they've got considering what that team has done not only in the last 8-10 years but pretty much the majority of their time in Indianapolis. The Saints would have had more than 11 fans welcoming them home even if they'd have lost the Super Bowl by a hundred. One other thing on that. A Colts fan had this to say in the Indianapolis Star:
    But we were so out-numbered in the stands by these "poor down-troddened'' New Orleans Saints fans that we could not even be heard. It seemed to be that the Saints fans either were given more tickets or given better deals that kept all of us hard-working, middle class true-blue Colts fans home.

    Setting aside the silly notion that ALL Saints fans are "down-troddened'', what she's saying is not an indictment of New Orleans. It's an indictment of Indianapolis. Colts fans had the exact same opportunities for tickets Saints fans had and, still, the "down-troddened" outnumbered the "hard-working, middle class true-blue". It wasn't better deals. It was better fans.

I offer two from the same area of the CrabAppleLane backyard six months apart. Love the contrast between drab January and sunny June. Prefer the weather in drab January, though. It is miserably hot outside.

The Clearing Project - January 2, 2010
The Clearing Project - January 2, 2010

CrabAppleLane Clearing Project - June 20, 2010
CrabAppleLane Clearing Project - June 20, 2010

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist starting with "H":

  1. Happy Home - Garbage - Bleed Like Me
  2. Highway Star - Deep Purple - Machine Head 25th Anniversary Edition [Disc 2]
  3. Headlong - Queen - Innuendo
  4. Hocus Pocus - Focus - Moving Waves
  5. How Many More Times - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin I
Quote of the Day
While New Orleans residents may never stop celebrating the Saints' Super Bowl victory, Colts fans jumped off the bandwagon quicker than it took Tracy Porter to return a Peyton Manning interception for the final touchdown.

Eleven fans greeted the Colts at Indianapolis International Airport on Monday afternoon.
Chicago Breaking Sports

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "He remotely activated the software, which grabbed screen shots of the thief’s online activities, while the Mac’s built-in camera shot pictures of him. After eight months of activity on the Mac, the software had given police enough information to identify the thief and put the MacBook back in Mr. Sienna’s hands."

8 months? -Rob

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MLB Extra Innings

There are times I wish I had MLB Extra Innings. It was sacrificed at the budget altar a few years ago along with the NFL Sunday Ticket. Would kinda like to see these kids' debuts tomorrow night. I knew about Stephen Strasburg. Mike Stanton is someone I did not know about. Love seeing young guys come up.

Monday Missives

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I know summer doesn't officially start until June 20-21 but I just about fainted yesterday afternoon in the sweltering heat at CrabAppleLane and the sun wasn't even shining most of that time. The high 80s temps are manageable so I'm thinking the 100% humidity might have been the culprit. I don't know how these guys were doing what they were doing. You'd think someone (Me) who has lived here his entire life would be used to the heat and humidity by now. I don't think you ever get used to it.

There will be a new NCAA Baseball National Champion. The LSU Tigers were sent home yesterday by UC-Irvine. All of the problems they were having prior to the SEC Tournament showed up again during the regional. Slow starts in the last two games doomed them. Except for the four games they played in the SEC Tournament, they have not played very well this season considering the level of talent and experience on that team. Disappointing but they are where they belong today ... at home watching.

94 days until football season ...

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Enter Sandman - Metallica - Black Album
  2. Snakeskin Cowboys - Ted Nugent - Ted Nugent
  3. Love, Reign O'er Me - The Who - Quadrophenia [Disc 2]
  4. The Jean Genie - David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
  5. Supernaut - Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath Vol. 4 (Remaster)
Quote of the Day
I want to reach out
And touch the sky
I want to touch the stuff
But I don't need to fly
Black Sabbath, Supernaut

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Mom, when you wear your hat--from a distance--you look like Sandra Bullock."

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A little infamy

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Looks like the commissioner of baseball is digging in on overturning Wednesday's infamous call. From ESPN:

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said he would not reverse the call, but would examine expanding instant replay in baseball.

Why not reverse the call? Pitcher Armando Galarraga's name deserves a place alongside Catfish Hunter, Don Larsen, and Sandy Koufax. No one disputes that. Bud wouldn't be giving him anything. He earned it. Umpire Jim Joyce and his family shouldn't have his honest mistake haunt them the rest of their lives. Let's not hear that "integrity of the game" crap. There's no integrity, no sanctity, no purity to be preserved here. If the purists had their way, players would still leave their gloves in the field, there would be no designated hitter, no divisional playoffs, no interleague play, no night baseball. Why give in to those twits, Bud? You're not one of them. It's their lot in life to complain about everything so let them complain. The only thing being preserved here is injustice. Fixable injustice. Baseball gains nothing by letting it stand. Nothing. Don't dig in, Bud. Dig out.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Paranoid - Black Sabbath - Paranoid
  2. Peaceful Easy Feeling - The Eagles - Their Greatest Hits
  3. Pigs (Three Different Ones) - Pink Floyd - Animals
  4. Perfect Strangers - Deep Purple - Perfect Strangers [Bonus Track]
  5. Praan - Garry Schyman & Palbasha Siddique - Where The Hell Is Matt?
Quote of the Day
I'm glad Galarraga behaved with the class of five British butlers, shaking off the most egregious baseball call of the 21st Century by saying, "Nobody's perfect."
Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Baseball commissioner Bud Selig responded to the Armando Galarraga/Jim Joyce situation. Sort of. It took him 18 hours to issue a statement that said little. Instead his decision to not reverse the call came out through “anonymous source with knowledge of the situation.” Why Selig couldn’t do this himself is beyond me."

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Put me on board for having Commissioner Bud Selig overturn this horrible call. I'm not normally a fan of selective intervention but baseball did overturn the call against George Brett and the Royals in the pine tar game. Precedent is there. That decision changed a result, wasn't the end of the world, and didn't lead baseball down the slippery slope to whatever is at the bottom of that slippery slope. This one would only change a box score and would have zero impact on the standings or anything else except that which only matters to baseball's purists. Perfect games just don't come along all that often ... except for this year. Took over a hundred years to record the first 18. Took two months, actually just three weeks since the first one came on Mother's Day, to record the last 3 this season. This error is fixable. Give the perfect game to Armando Galarraga because he earned it and fix the scoring on the last two batters. It's really not as big a deal to do as you'll make it out to be so don't wait months or years to do it. Get it done before his next start.

I think maybe the Sex and the City franchise may have finally run its course. I never really got it but that's another story. Most of the reviews I've seen are like this one, only not as funny.

98 days until football season ...

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Make It Last - Montrose - Montrose
  2. Sorrow [Live] - Pink Floyd - Delicate Sound Of Thunder [Disc 1]
  3. Solid Rock - Dire Straits - Making Movies
  4. Never Forget - Fleetwood Mac - Tusk
  5. Heaven Is In Your Mind - Three Dog Night - Captured Live At The Forum
Quote of the Day
I just cost the kid a perfect game.
Jim Joyce, MLB Umpire

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "This should be a proud moment for baseball."

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I was sad to hear about Dennis Hopper yesterday. He had an enormous body of work. There is a little something there for everyone, I suppose. I liked him in most of the movies I saw that had him in it. Like a few other excellent actors, though, I just wish he had done more movies I cared to see. His signature film, Easy Rider, seemed a bit amateurish to me when I finally saw it and I thought one of his other famous movies, Blue Velvet, was awful. He was easily the best thing in both of them so there's that. He was fantastic in Waterworld, True Romance, and Speed ... all CME that I liked. Yes, I liked Waterworld. R.I.P., Dennis.

The LSU Tigers, who stumbled played their way into the SEC Tournament on the last weekend of the regular season, have turned in three excellent games and are playing for the SEC Championship today. Because they're playing in Alabama against Alabama and because both teams have great fans, there figures to be a very large crowd. GEAUX Tigers.

I offer a few from around the house on this hot and muggy CrabAppleLane Sunday and then we're off to a barbecue.

CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010
CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010

CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010
CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010

CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010
CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010

CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010
CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Hide In Your Shell - Supertramp - The Autobiography Of Supertramp
  2. 20th Century Boy - Placebo - Velvet Goldmine
  3. Gotta Get To Know You - Foghat - Foghat
  4. Heartbreaker [Live] - Grand Funk Railroad - Caught In The Act
  5. Never Before - Deep Purple - Machine Head (Roger Glover Remixes) [Disc 2]

About today's QOTD: Welcome to the NFL, rookie.

Quote of the Day
The first-round pick, Florida State cornerback Patrick Robinson, got torched on the first route he defended Thursday
James Varney, The Times-Picayune

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Dennis Hopper, whose portrayals of drug-addled, often deranged misfits in the landmark films “Easy Rider,” “Apocalypse Now” and “Blue Velvet” drew on his early out-of-control experiences as part of a new generation of Hollywood rebel, died at his home in Venice, Calif., on Saturday. He was 74."

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Friday Fluff - May 28, 2010 Issue

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The Tigers took another game in the SEC Tournament last night over yet another ranked opponent, Vanderbilt. LSU got a good outing out of their starter last night and that's going to be key for how far they go. Their pitching has been suspect and inconsistent all season. Their bats have come to life, though. They rang up 15 hits last night and 19 the night before. It's a good sign but it's still only two games. The Tigers are now a safe bet to be in the NCAA Tournament. I'm fairly sure they'll have to hit the road as a Number 2 or Number 3 seed, though.

On another note, Mike Yastrzemski, grandson of Carl, plays for Vandy. Carl is one of my all-time favorite players. Loved the way he played the wall in Fenway.

Darren Sharper of the Saints and Visanthe Shiancoe of the Vikings, a candidate for the all-name team at tight end, are tweeting trash talk at each other. Better material is available at most kindergarten schoolyards. Although this kind of silliness will have no bearing on opening night, it is fairly safe to say that both teams will be wound up pretty good by kickoff.

104 days until football season ...

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Somebody To Roll - Nazareth - Play 'N' The Game
  2. Beds Are Burning - Midnight Oil - Rock: The Train Kept A Rollin' [Disc 2]
  3. Shambala - Three Dog Night - The Best Of Three Dog Night
  4. White, Clean and Neat - Robert Plant - Now And Zen
  5. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) [Live] - Simon & Garfunkel - Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits
Quote of the Day
Hello lamp post
Whatcha knowin'
I've come to watch your flowers growin'
Simon & Garfunkel, The 59th Street Bridge Song

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "And now Al’s gung-ho on organizing the closets and pantry and trying to set up systems all over the place that will help our future selves avoid getting buried under heaps of clutter and I’ll Deal With It Later boxes, so if you don’t hear from me, it is probably because I will be cleaning this fucking apartment FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE."

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Thursday Tidbits - May 27, 2010 Issue

Picked three cherry tomatoes yesterday. They passed under the faucet and went straight into the two salads Patsy was making last night. Three is a totally unsatisfactory serving for two people even in a full-sized salad but they were too red to save for another day. These are a variety called "Sweet 100 Hybrid Cherry Tomato". I'll look for them again next year. I've only picked a total of 4 so far but they are a perfect size and quite tasty. The bushes are ridiculous, though. I have two of them and they are a full two feet taller than the other 18. I think I'm still another 7-10 days out from picking the larger varieties.

The sleeping Tigers woke up yesterday. It remains to be seen whether they'll stay awake for long but there is enough talent and experience on the team for them to make some noise if they're so inclined. Maybe having their backs to the wall is what they needed. Or not. It may be just a one off. This is baseball we're talking about.

RIP, Art Linkletter.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Hells Bells - AC/DC - AC/DC Live
  2. Another Brick In The Wall (Part 1) - Pink Floyd - The Wall [Disc 1]
  3. Sugarhigh - Coyote Shivers - Shivers, Coyote
  4. Winter - Joshua Radin - We Were Here
  5. You Fool No One - Deep Purple - Burn
Quote of the Day
In a couple of months Art Linkletter would have been 98 years old, a full life of fun and goodness, an orphan who made it to the top. What a guy.
Phyllis Diller

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Linkletter would ask several children their thoughts on various topics; their responses were often hilariously absurd. A collection of the children’s sayings eventually became one of the best-selling books of the era."

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First things first. Only an idiot would spend over an hour in the stifling Bush heat this morning tying off tomato bushes ... and not finish. He's soaked and more than a little irritated. They reacted to the rain last week like Popeye reacts to spinach. They're starting to get bushy and also starting to outgrow their stakes. I'll be picking soon.

CAN NOT WAIT

The LSU Tigers barely made the SEC tournament this year after winning a National Championship last season. They were playing OK early in the season but they disintegrated once SEC play got underway. They lost a few important players from last year's squad but everyone thought they had enough talent and experience to make another deep postseason run. They have been a major disappointment. If they get invited to the NCAA tournament, they'll have to hit the road. I suppose anything can happen in baseball once everyone is 0-0 again but the Tigers look more like the team that will go quietly into the good night than one that will make any noise.

We know New Jersey is going to get the Super Bowl in 2014. The commissioner wants it. There are some fans who want it, too. The new home stadium of the Giants and Jets is an open air stadium. There is a potential for really bad weather for the most important game of the season. The few regular readers here know that I prefer perfect conditions. The only thing the teams should have to contend with is their opponent. I want to remember the game for the onside kick, the interception return, the touchdown pass in the corner of the endzone, the hook and trailer play, etc. I don't want to remember it for the weather. During Super Bowl week, the focus should be on football and football only. That game, in particular, should be about football and football only. This is a bad idea.

On a different note and for the record, I have nothing but contempt for Floyd Landis and anyone who gives him a microphone. He's a cheat, a liar, and a gold digger. His image and reputation cannot be restored so he is trying to take down as many people as he can with him. He's a loser. Go away, Floyd.

Inspired by the iTunes Shuffle, the incomparable Alison Krauss & Union Station. I have the DVD this performance is on. I can't recommend it highly enough. Phenomenal musicians, particularly Jerry Douglas on the dobro.


I offer three images from the CrabAppleLane Backyard on a very hot and humid Sunday in Bush, LA and I'm off for a cool shower and lunch.

CrabAppleLane Hydrangeas - May 23, 2010
CrabAppleLane Hydrangeas - May 23, 2010 - Chose this morning to explode

CrabAppleLane Tomato Garden - May 23, 2010
CrabAppleLane Tomato Garden - May 23, 2010 - Cherry tomatoes

CrabAppleLane Tomato Garden - May 23, 2010
CrabAppleLane Tomato Garden - May 23, 2010 - Starting to outgrow the stakes

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Choctaw Hayride - Alison Krauss & Union Station - Live [Disc 1]
  2. Gone, Gone, Gone - Bad Company - Desolation Angels
  3. Locked Within the Crystal Ball - Blackmore's Night - Secret Voyage
  4. All Mixed Up - The Cars - The Cars
  5. Little Green Bag - George Baker Selection - Little Green Bag
Quote of the Day

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "i became a
pro shoplifter

once i realized
unassuming white women

are
invisible.
"

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12,228

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12,228 was the paid attendance at the baseball game in Oakland yesterday. That sparse crowd got to witness some of baseball's magic. A's fans saw their young pitcher, Dallas Braden, pitch a perfect game. Major League Baseball schedules 162 games per year per team and has been doing so for over 100 years. It was 156 games per team for a long time and there were fewer teams early in their history but it's still a very large number of total games. It's not the rarest feat in baseball, though. You're less likely to see an unassisted triple play. There have only been 15 of those. I learned that this morning. You're also less likely to see a player hit four home runs in a game. 15 of those, also, but only two since the turn of the 20th century. In those hundred plus years and all those games, there have been 19 perfect games, 13 in my lifetime, which is disturbing to me for a number of reasons. They're all special but I think this one has a little extra oomph. Braden did it against a red hot first place team on Mother's Day with his grandmother in attendance. Perfect. Good Job, Dallas.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star Playlist today:

  1. Now I'm Here - Queen - Sheer Heart Attack [Bonus Track]
  2. Oh Well - Fleetwood Mac - Then Play On
  3. Silvertown Blues - Mark Knopfler - Sailing To Philadelphia
  4. Diamond Dogs - David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
  5. Lick Your Fingers Clean - Jethro Tull - Aqualung
Quote of the Day
In the bullpen, I'm damn near perfect every day.
Dallas Braden, Oakland Athletics

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Big freakin’ props to Dallas Braden for pitching the 19th perfect game in MLB history and the first time in 20 years that an Oakland pitcher accomplished this feat."

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To tase or not to tase

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A "fan" ran onto the field the other night in Philadelphia during a major league baseball game. When he didn't surrender immediately, a security official tased him. There is some debate over whether the tasing constituted excessive force. Craig Calcaterra makes the case against tasing. Mike Celizic makes the case for.

I think I'm with Celizic on this one. People running onto the field or into the arena has been a longtime problem for all of professional sports. The vast majority of those incidents have been mostly harmless disruptions if you consider the delay of a game harmless but there have been others that were not so harmless, too. Both articles cite a few examples of the not harmless kind, including the Monica Seles tennis match where a "fan" got on the court and stabbed her in the neck.

Getting back to the Philadelphia incident, it's easy to say the fan meant no harm now that he's been subdued, arrested, and interviewed. Insert your favorite hindsight cliché here while I cite the new standard security concern. September 11 changed our view of hijackers. The Monica Seles incident and others like it should have changed our view of "fans" getting into the arena.

Finally, the use of a taser is not excessive force in my view but it is certainly not pleasant, either. The person who uses it knows exactly how much force it is because before you're allowed to carry one and tase others, you must first experience being tased. For the people who carry tasers, being tased is unavoidable. In the movie, Liar, Liar, Jim Carrey played an attorney who couldn't lie any more. When he was told that a client was on the phone, had been arrested yet again, and wanted to know what to do, he grabbed the phone and shouted, "STOP BREAKING THE LAW, ASSHOLE". Unsolicited, free advice from CrabAppleLane: If you'd like to avoid being tased at a sporting event, STAY OFF OF THE FIELD.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Mother's Daughter - Santana - Abraxas
  2. I Love You ... I'll Kill You - Enigma - The Cross Of Changes
  3. Bannister Fight - RZA - Kill Bill, Vol. 1 Soundtrack
  4. Lift The Lid - Nazareth - Close Enough For Rock 'N' Roll
  5. Lay Down Sally - Eric Clapton - Time Pieces - The Best Of Eric Clapton

Today's QOTD is from Ernie Harwell, longtime announcer for the Detroit Tigers, who passed yesterday. R.I.P., Ernie.

Quote of the Day
Baseball is the president tossing out the first ball of the season. And a scrubby schoolboy playing catch with his dad on a Mississippi farm. …
Ernie Harwell, January 25, 1918 — May 4, 2010

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Back 'in the day'
when I worked in restaurants,
we had a term
"in the weeds"...
which pretty much meant..
we were 'buried' with orders
and the food wasn't coming up as fast
as the customers orders were going in.
"

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News and sports - April 7, 2010

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The BOTD is talking about a video that was posted on a site called WikiLeaks.org. I saw it yesterday. There is not nearly enough context and I can't imagine that I'd ever pass judgment on the banter between soldiers in combat ... especially from the comfort of home 10,000 miles away. Unless there is more, I view this as a tragedy of war.

About the QOTD: I suppose it's a fair question but it's also absurd for anyone to expect teams struggling to meet their $85 million payroll to compete with teams paying their $200 million payroll with ease. They can't compete on the field or on the ledger.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond [Live] - Pink Floyd - Delicate Sound Of Thunder [Disc 1]
  2. Broadway - Alison Krauss & Union Station - Live [Disc 1]
  3. Ticket To Heaven - Dire Straits - On Every Street
  4. Speed King - Deep Purple - Deep Purple In Rock
  5. Tall Cool One - Robert Plant - Now And Zen
Quote of the Day
The question that should be asked is: Where has the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue sharing gone?
Randy Levine, NY Yankees President

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Sure enough, WikiLeaks' presentation of the material is heavy-handed at times (to set the tone, it starts off with a George Orwell quote). But is it actually wrong to call the killings indiscriminate? At this point, that's still a good question. Mediaite rightly points out that there is clearly some sort of military protocol that's being followed, what with the shooter identifying weapons and asking for permission to fire."

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Boys of Summer - April 5, 2010

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Major League Baseball should do what the NFL does. The World Series Champion should open the baseball season at home every year. If you're going to take the traditional opening game away from the Cincinnati Reds, do it by starting a new and better tradition. You'll get no argument from me that Yankees - Red Sox is a great rivalry, very good for baseball, and last night's opener lived up to its billing. It should have been at Yankee Stadium, though. There is no logic or motive in having the opening game at Fenway other than money. On second thought, money is a fine NFL motive, too. Never mind.

The rest of the majors get underway today. Says here the Phillies are the team to beat in the National League. The junior league is harder to predict but if you put a gun to my head, I'd say the Yankees will be in the World Series again, too.

The buzz around yesterday's trade of the Eagles quarterback, Donovan McNabb, to the Redskins centered around the Eagles and what they plan to do at quarterback for the 2010 season. My guess is Michael Vick is still on the trading block. There was also some buzz around trading McNabb to a team that they'll have to play twice a year. What I don't get is what the Redskins want with him. To me, he is not much more than a more experienced version of the guy they already had, Jason Campbell. He's also a more brittle, less mobile version of Campbell and he'll be playing behind an offensive line that had a lot of problems last season. I think the Eagles came out on top here.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. The Song Is Over - The Who - Who's Next
  2. 2HB - The Venus In Furs - Velvet Goldmine
  3. Make It Good - A1 - A1
  4. He's The Man - A Shot At Glory Soundtrack/Mark Knopfler - A Shot At Glory: A Mark Knopfler Soundtrack
  5. Stay With Me - Rod Stewart - Unplugged... And Seated (LIVE)
Quote of the Day
That was a tough game to win. I thought we were very resilient tonight. We get down, then tie it up then get back down quick but we did some very good things offensively. We kept at them and put pressure on them.
Terry Francona, Boston Red Sox

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "That's a helluva way to start the 2010 season."

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Baseball already?

LSU opens their baseball season tonight against Centenary at Alex Box Stadium. They won the national championship last season and are ranked 2nd this year in one poll, 3rd in another. They're loaded with talented athletes in the field and at the plate. They have one stud starting pitcher who figures to be a top five draft pick this season and they also have a stud closer. They need a second and third starter to emerge. I would like to have seen them play someone a little more prominent this opening weekend but they try to play most of the Louisiana universities in baseball. LSU does it mostly as a good will gesture and also to keep the criticism that they get too much attention at bay. Those schools do it for the money. In a sport where most universities lose money, playing LSU is their best pay day. The danger, of course, is that even a small school could have a pitcher who can pitch out of his mind for one game and that lofty ranking will tumble. I plan to go to at least one game this season at The Box but it will be an SEC game this year.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. The Last Day On Earth - Marilyn Manson - Mechanical Animals
  2. All Of Them! - Hans Zimmer - King Arthur Soundtrack
  3. Speedway At Nazareth - Mark Knopfler - Sailing To Philadelphia
  4. Sookie, Sookie - Steppenwolf - All Time Greatest Hits
  5. Easy To Be Hard (Live At The Forum) - Three Dog Night - Captured Live At The Forum (Reissue)
Quote of the Day
New England, Ontario we died in the dirt
Those walls from mid-Ohio to Toronto they hurt
So we came to Road America where we burned up the lake
But at the speedway at Nazareth I made no mistake
Mark Knopfler, Speedway at Nazareth

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Jim Bibby passed away yesterday in Virginia."

Sorry to hear about Jim Bibby. One of the best games I ever saw was a Pirates-Phillies game where he was pitching against Steve Carlton. There were future Hall-of-Famers all over that field that night. R.I.P., Jim. -Rob

Tuesday Tidbits - January 12, 2010

| 3 Comments

R.I.P, Miep Gies. I read Anne Frank's Diary as a teenager. Most teenagers my age did. It's powerful in every sense of that word. Saddens me that Miep has passed on. Have always loved that unusual name.

Also a sad day for Mark McGwire and baseball yesterday. It's not nearly up there with "Say it aint so, Joe" because I can't think of anything in baseball sadder than that. Baseball's legion of purist snobs and their attendant asterisks are jumping for joy, though. I find that sad, too.

A laugh from the Minneapolis Star Tribune saves my morning news stroll:

Realizing they have no chance, Vikings forfeit divisional playoff game to Cowboys

Thank you, Paul Glynn. Excellent.

Finally, we have Arizona Cardinal Antrel Rolle on Aaron Rodgers:

I don't ever want to face him again in my life. I am dead serious. I'll face Drew Brees any day of the week before I face him again.

He's getting his wish this week. The NFL is generous that way.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Lights Out 4:32 UFO Essential UFO
  2. Red Barchetta 6:10 Rush Chronicles [Disc 2]
  3. Carefree Highway 3:44 Gordon Lightfoot Complete Greatest Hits
  4. Pony Boy 5:51 The Allman Brothers Band Brothers And Sisters
  5. Cat Scratch Fever 3:38 Ted Nugent Harley-Davidson Cycles: Road Songs [Disc 2]
Quote of the Day
Wind blows back
And the batons charging
Winds all the way
Right to the butt
Of my gun
Maybe now your time has come
UFO, Lights Out

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "With that, I just wanted to thank the guys for all of their hard work and for the victory so Cowboys fans like myself won't have to listen to the usual BS for another year. But, I like this team's makeup and this team's attitude. So let's come into Minnesota, play with intensity and play smart and we'll stack up our talent against any other team's talent."

Randy Johnson

| 6 Comments

Randy Johnson is calling it quits. I remember Randy when he came up. He was a left-handed version of Nolan Ryan. 1) He had a very live fastball in the high 90s. That's pretty intimidating to most hitters. 2) He was an imposing figure at six feet ten inches tall. Also intimidating. 3) He was very wild when he came up and he never really reigned that in. For most pitchers, that's a career-breaker. It made Johnson. The hitters faced a guy who was big, threw very hard, and was almost as likely to hit them as he was to throw a strike. Not easy to dig in against a guy like that, particularly for left-handed batters.

Randy is notable to me for another reason, though. I was channel-surfing one summer night when I ran across an Atlanta Braves game on TBS. Johnson was pitching for the Diamondbacks that night against the Braves. My plan was to catch the score and then surf on. It was the 5th or 6th inning and the announcers were jabber, jabber, jabbering but not giving a score. Johnson struck out the side and they showed the box score. All zeroes for the Braves. Randy was working on a perfect game. I stuck with it to see how far he could go. When the ninth inning arrived, Braves fans were cheering him, too. He was still throwing 99mph. That's simply not fair. He finished the perfect game and it's the only one I've ever seen. I count it even though I didn't see it in its entirety. It was amazing and I am so glad I stuck it out. Perfect games are so rare that I may never see one again. Thanks and Good Luck, Randy.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. This Train Don't Stop There Anymore 4:41 Elton John Greatest Hits 1970-2002 [Disc 2]
  2. The Revenge Of Vera Gemini 3:51 Blue Öyster Cult Agents of Fortune
  3. Principles Of Lust [(A) Sadeness, (B) Find Love, (C) Sadeness (Reprise)] 11:44 Enigma MCMXC a.D.
  4. Anyone's Daughter 4:45 Deep Purple Fireball
  5. Prettiest Star 3:31 David Bowie Aladdin Sane
Quote of the Day
I'll see you at the weighing in
When your life's sum total's made
And you set your wealth in godly deeds
Against the sins you've laid
Jethro Tull, Lick Your Fingers Clean

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "
Bears May Hire the Naked Fast Food Drive-Thru Coach
"

CrabAppleLane Sunday - First of 2010

| 4 Comments

The Saints are in Charlotte today for a game that means absolutely nothing. The Panthers will try to win but I don't know why. Maybe to lower their draft position and save the owner a little money? The Saints will try to win with mostly second, third, and fourth stringers on the field. Both teams will say lots of silly things about how much the game means. Saints fans are more concerned about who their first playoff opponent will be and the team probably will have advance scouts at the Packers-Cardinals game, the Eagles-Cowboys game, and the Vikings-Giants game. The Eagles, Cowboys, and Vikings figure to be playing hard. Not so sure about the Packers and Cardinals, though. If the Vikings beat the Giants in the early game as expected, the Packers and Cardinals will know they'll be playing each other in the playoffs next week. Why play hard or show anything this week? One other thing:

GEAUX Saints

I offer one today that was taken on yesterday afternoon's bike ride.

Whippoorwill Grove near CrabAppleLane - January 2, 2010
Whippoorwill Grove near CrabAppleLane - January 2, 2010

Pulp Fiction was on the Independent Film Channel last night and I found myself watching it while Patsy was doing something on her laptop. I love that movie. Dusty Springfield's Son of a Preacher Man is on the soundtrack. As soon as it came on, Patsy sang right along with it. I don't think she could resist if she had to. I wish we had gotten to see Dusty live in concert. She's one of our faves.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Son Of A Preacher Man 2:28 Dusty Springfield Pulp Fiction Soundtrack
  2. Crazy Train 4:56 Ozzy Osbourne Blizzard Of Ozz
  3. Terminal Frost 6:17 Pink Floyd A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
  4. Rock Is Dead 3:10 Marilyn Manson Mechanical Animals
  5. Tvc15 5:34 David Bowie Station To Station [Bonus Tracks]
Quote of the Day
Being good isn't always easy
No matter how hard I tried
When he started sweet talking to me
He'd come and tell me everything is alright
He'd kiss and tell me everything is alright
Can I get away again tonight?
Dusty Springfield, Son of a Preacher Man

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Blue Cornbread with Pineapple Ingredient List"

Yankees did what was expected

| 4 Comments

Congratulations to the Yankees.

A paragraph from ESPN's Jayson Stark in a somewhat contradictory article says everything about Major League Baseball that concerns everyone not from New York, Boston, or Los Angeles about the game.

We understand this is no tale of some plucky underdog battling to this place against all odds. This was a $208-million baseball team we're talking about. This was a team that paid its four infielders alone more money ($81.225 million) than 16 of the other 29 franchises paid their WHOLE TEAM. This was a team that had spent nearly $1.8 billion hard-earned Steinbrenner-family dollars in between trips to the Canyon of Heroes.

That they can spend that kind of money on players AND still make a huge profit gives them an unfair advantage. That isn't a startling revelation, I know. That baseball can do nothing about it is eventually going to kill the goose that lays the Yankees Golden Eggs.

Later in the article, Stark says this:

But contrary to popular belief, it's never dollars alone that make that happen. You need talent. You need brains. And you need people -- people who understand what winning is all about, what leadership is all about, what being a teammate is all about.

What a silly thing to say. It's the dollars that gets the talent, that gets the brains, that gets the people, that gets the leaders, that builds the stadium, that buys the championship for the franchise that George built. It starts and ends with the money. In a true free market, competitors go out of business when they no longer can compete. In professional sports, they move to another city. Cities don't have the money to welcome those franchises like they once did and I think most of them are a little tired of being used that way. Baseball has issues that aren't going away any time soon but I suppose it's good to be a Yankee fan.

Quote of the Day
We play the game the right way.
Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Fox's Little Voice: I will never again call for a forward pass."

Thursday Tidbits - October 29, 2009 Issue

| 1 Comment

Cliff Lee --- WOW. He looked all that Yankee mystique right in the eye ... and spit. Watch the video at that link if you didn't see the game. Guy's got ice water in his veins.

The first paragraph of a Sporting News piece:

The NFL has no reason to fear anything Major League Baseball does. Ever. Even a World Series that features MLB's most popular team can't put a significant dent in football's audience. Yet for some reason the NFL is caving by not scheduling a Sunday night game this week to go against Game Four of the World Series.

They're right, of course, but I like that the NFL is yielding the stage.

I don't know that Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker article started it but the concern over NFL players with significant head trauma has picked up considerably. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell testified before Congress yesterday. Some of the testimony heard yesterday doesn't make any sense. From the MSNBC article:

Gay Culverhouse, former president of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said NFL team doctors are not advocates for the players and called for an independent neurologist to be on the sidelines.

The problem isn't the doctors in those instances. It's the players. Doctors need truthful information from their patients. The patients/players know there is a guy on the bench just waiting for a chance to take his job. He is likely to say or do whatever he thinks will keep him in the game. An independent doctor isn't likely to get any more truthful information than the team doctor but I'm not opposed to having more than one doctor, a specialist in concussions, on the sidelines. A second opinion is always valuable. I'm all for making the game safer. More study and more data is needed. Congress should perhaps tone down their wrath. Threats from Maxine Waters aren't helping. Want wrath? Outlaw football.

Today's QOTD is about the Cincinnati Bengals Carson Palmer. He completed 20 of 24 passes and had 5 touchdowns. Four incomplete passes, five touchdowns. Man, what happened to the Bears?

Quote of the Day
If your QB has a game where he throws for more touchdowns than incompletions, he's had a good day.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Which is the more impressive victory, the Saints' 48-27 over the New York Giants, who had the NFL's No. 1 defense going into last week's game, or this Sunday's win over the Dolphins? New Orleans has now scored 46 or more points three times in six games."

I like 'em both but the win versus the Dolphins was awesome. -Rob

Other stuff

While the talk of the town here is the Saints, there are other sports being played. The New Orleans Hornets open their season tonight in San Antonio. The Hornets were fairly quiet in the ridiculously short offseason and I doubt they gained any ground on the top teams. They figure to be in the second tier of playoff teams again.

I just don't know what Major League Baseball is thinking by starting a World Series this late in October. A lot of their cities start getting get cold, rainy, and even snowy this time of year. Did you see that football game in New England (Foxboro, MA), a few weeks ago? Shortening their season would probably mean shortening their revenue stream. I get that but, still, their showcase event should be played in better conditions than these two very deserving teams and all baseball fans will get. That's too bad. And

GEAUX Phillies
Quote of the Day
But the Saints this season aren't that team, the one that knows how to prosper only when the wind is at its back and the opponent has been doubled over by a gut punch.
John DeShazier, Times-Picayune

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "But while the dopey Wrangler jeans spokesman's career won't come to its end in Green Bay, it didn't start there, either: He entered the league way back in 1991 as a second-round draft pick of the Falcons. Apparently their coach, Jerry Glanville, had been in the bathroom or something when it was time for them to pick, and he hated the guy so much that he declared the only way Favre would see the field was if now-forgotten starter Chris Miller died in a plane crash."

Repeat? - Hope so

Congratulations to the Phillies

CrabAppleLane will be rooting for you in the World Series. Very happy for blog friend, Kate.

Three Dog Night at the Washington Parish Fair tonight. Might try to make it although it's supposed to rain.

Not liking the comparisons I'm seeing between the 2009 Saints and 2007 Patriots. It's only 5 games, there are too many other teams playing very well (Colts, Falcons, Patriots, Vikings, Broncos), and that 2007 Patriots team didn't finish the job. The goal is a championship, not 18-1. We like what we've seen so far here at CrabAppleLane but it's a long season and we're not even a third of the way through. There are way too many land mines still out there. The focus this week is and should be on the very tough Dolphins in Miami this Sunday. Best to follow Head Coach Sean Payton's advice: "Don't eat the cheese".

Quote of the Day
L.A. doesn't have a traffic problem. They have a douche bag problem.
Craig Ferguson

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "During a Wednesday conference call with the South Florida media, it's hard to tell what seemed to annoy New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees more -- this week's subplots of how the Dolphins could have had him in free agency in 2006 or in the 2001 NFL Draft's first round or that the team spurned him both times."

From a lawyer quoted in an AP article that I find kinda sad:

I'm stunned by the verdict

Nothing like family, I suppose.

MSNBC's Mike Celizic on the ideal World Series:

What it needs is the Yankees and the Dodgers in the World Series.

That may be good for ratings but it's not good for baseball. The big market teams already have enormous economic advantages. One only need look at the Pirates and the Royals to see what economics is doing to competition. Yankees and Dodgers don't need the media cheering them on.

ESPN's John Clayton on the "Brady Rule" and other rules and intents designed to protect marquis NFL quarterbacks:

As much as fans love the thrill of a good hit on a quarterback, the league rightfully feels its shouldn't subject fans to a season of backups. As good as the quarterback play is at the top, few teams have backups capable of playing at a high level.

Former backup, Tom Brady, for whom the rule is kinda jokingly named after, might have never had his Hall-of-Fame career if not for an injury to Drew Bledsoe. For what it's worth, I have no problem with the NFL trying to protect quarterbacks standing in the pocket. They're vulnerable there. If they start scrambling or running, they should not be protected any more than any other ball carrier. Also for what it's worth, I think Tom Brady might be the only guy to have two rules instituted for plays he was involved in. The "tuck" rule came about after his fumble against the Raiders in a playoff game was ruled an incomplete forward pass.

And, finally, the QOTD is a pronouncement from USA Today about whether you should get the H1N1 vaccine. I'll bite, I suppose. Where can we find the definitive "facts and science" on H1N1? I've seen nothing but conflicting opinions on it not to mention a good deal of hysteria.

Quote of the Day
The decision whether to get it, for yourself or your children, should be driven by facts and science, not advice from people who play doctors on TV or the Internet.
USA Today

Blog of the day via Kim is here.

Quote from said blog: "The pork chop was huge and had a dollop of blue cheese butter and a lime on top. The waitress explained the anatomy of the pork chop."

Go see that pork chop. OK, I'm hungry. -Rob

Mid-week meanderings

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Fantastic account of yesterday's Twins-Tigers game at the Detroit Free Press. Not often you see a line like the QOTD or one like this:

Two dozen plays could have decided this epic. We still don't know which one did.

Tip of the cap to the Twins and Tigers on delivering a game worthy of its stakes. The experts say the Twins are cannon fodder for the imposing Yankees tonight and maybe they are but the pressure in that series is squarely on the Yankees. The Twins are playing with house money.

A little vaccine hysteria courtesy of Dan.

The "new conservative Bible". There are a few cheap shots in there, of course, but some of them are good for a laugh. The one about the fishes and loaves still has me laughing this morning.

Can I just say that ranking NFL teams is irrelevant. The NFL HAS a playoff system. They have Number One right, though. The Colts are playing fantastic right now mainly due to the presence of Peyton Manning, who is playing some of the best football I have ever seen. He is a great player by any standard and it looks like he wants a few more championship rings.

Quote of the Day
If you had to make a list of the remarkable events in the Twins' extra-inning, extra-game, extra-painful elimination of the Tigers on Tuesday, the indoor rain would be ... what, 47th on the list?
Michael Rosenberg, Detroit Free Press

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It took the entire team to win this division and it took the entire team to win this game."

Saturday Sport

LSU faces the Georgia Bulldogs "Between the Hedges" in Athens today. It's the first time this season they're facing a ranked opponent. The Bulldogs have had trouble with turnovers this year. I like the Tigers chances if that trend continues. It's a tough game.

The Twins and Tigers are still at it with two games left. The Tigers have the easier assignment. They're a game up and the Twins face Zack Greinke tonight. He is the odds on Cy Young winner and deservedly so. He's having a great year. A 2.06 ERA in the American League is ridiculous.

Unrelated to sport: I love popups that have no "Close" button anywhere on them and are strategically covering what I'm trying to read. I didn't read your ad. I reloaded the page.

The CrabAppleLane weekend big event is tomorrow when the Saints and Jets square off. More on that tomorrow.

Quote of the Day
He must roll to and from work in a giant, government-provided hamster ball.
John Sinteur, The Daily Irrelevant

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Saints' RB Pierre Thomas did a fantastic job filling in for the still injured Mike Bell, and will look to build off his huge second half last week where he ran for 126 yards with two touchdowns on 14 carries (9.0 avg)."

Minor quibble. Bell did a good job filling in for Pierre Thomas in Weeks 1 & 2. When they're both healthy, Thomas is the starter, not Bell. -Rob

October Already

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Patsy called out just now. "You know you have hummingbirds at the feeder this morning already? One of them is peeking in the door.". It's still dark outside but they're starting to gear up for their southern migration and are swarming the feeders. This is the only time of year where more than one will be at said feeders. They still squabble a little but they're much more tolerant of each other now. The BOTD has a bit more on that.

After a few clicks this morning, I think Jets fans are a more confident bunch than the Eagles fans were a couple of weeks ago. I like that. They should be. Their team is playing very well.

Today's QOTD is from Frank Deford of Sports Illustrated but the the real heart of it is the quote from Detroit Tigers Announcer Ernie Harwell. I can't imagine how there was a dry eye in the house.

Quote of the Day
For his valedictory, when he retired in 2002, Harwell thanked his listeners for "taking me to the cottage up north, to the beach, to the picnic, your workplace and your backyard."

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It is the time of year for hummingbirds, especially the ruby-throated species, to head south, and if you have a feeder you are likely to see clusters of them as they fuel up for the long trip."

Long-timers

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We're starting to lose some of the great long-time baseball play-by-play announcers. There aren't too many guys looking to stay in that business with one team for any length of time. They're all looking to move upwards and onwards these days and, soon, they either make it big like Joe Buck, or they disappear altogether but there was a time when guys could make it on the strength of their ability and not so much on how they looked on camera. In the last few years, we've lost father and son Harry and Skip Caray, Jack Buck (Joe's dad), Harry Kalas, and now, Ernie Harwell is battling incurable cancer. None of those guys were/are particularly photogenic but they knew their stuff. These guys, who have called 150-160+ games per year for 30-40-50 years, are under-appreciated for what they do. Somehow, they manage to fill 3-4 hours of air time with fresh insight, humor, and fantastic stories almost every night. Those broadcasting jobs are easily the best ones around but only the best announcers can do it. AllTheBest, Ernie.

On the other end of the class spectrum, we have The Buffalo News giving Terrell Owens the full-bore coddle treatment. They have a section on the front page of their Buffalo Bills section called "T.O. Today". The first headline there is

DiCesare: Bills can't let T.O. lose patience, or they'll lose him

In other news from western New York, aspirin sales are way up. No explanation offered.

Quote of the Day
There's been too much attention paid to me, and people get tired of reading about an old guy. My mom used to say, 'Don't wear out your welcome.' And I don't want to wear out my welcome
Ernie Harwell

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The Bills showed a lot of heart in bouncing back from last week's loss to the Patriots improving to 1-1 on the season."

Friday, at last --- September 18, 2009

If you haven't seen the Phillies' fan who caught the foul ball, you may be the only one. I've seen it a few times now. Lovely and sweet. Nothing at all like the Phillies/Eagles fans I've come to know over the years. May have to soften my stance on them ... after Sunday's Saints/Eagles game. :)

The BOTD is from the UK. Very interesting and refreshing take on the NFL. He has a point about the Saints' Reggie Bush. Bush is a unique player in the NFL. He's a game changer. Unfortunately for him and us Saints fans, there are 10-15 so-so plays and a bad play for every one of those highlights. He's starting to hear the criticism from fans and the media and maybe realizing what it will cost him if he doesn't pick it up. He seemed pretty down after his poor performance last Sunday. His contract will be up soon. If he wants the big bucks ...

Quote of the Day
I just wanted her to know it was OK.
Steve Monforto, Phillies fan

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Bush was booed by Saints fans as his contribution consisted of seven runs for 14 yards and two lost fumbles. I know Bush has been working hard this week to make amends for that display, but I cannot see him playing a larger role in the immediate future."

Monday missives - August 3, 2009

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Been seeing these databases at just about every online newspaper. I know government salaries are a matter of public record but shouldn't a person have to at least put in a request and have a reason to see how much his neighbor makes? Something really prurient about making that information so readily and easily available for the general public, don't you think? I can save you the trouble if you're inclined. Very, very few of them make as much as they might in the private sector.

If you're a baseball fan and can't get enough of the Red Sox and Yankees, this is your week. They open a four game series Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. There are four tickets available for the Friday night matchup of Josh Beckett and A.J. Burnett on the first base side for only $3938.00/ea. Better act fast, though. I'm not sure how they arrived at that asking price. Why not $3950.00 or $4000.00? To be sure, you can find tickets to any of those games cheaper than that but none of them will be cheap. I tend to think this rivalry is sometimes over-hyped but not this time. They're in first and second place and it's August.

About the QOTD: I had Kevin Costner on the mind today. Field of Dreams was on the other night and I sat through it again. Always, always gets misty in our house about 5 minutes from the end. Not sure why. Ray Kinsella was on my mind along with Roy 'Tin Cup' McAvoy. Quotes were NOT hard to come by.

38 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
I'm saying? What's in it for me?
Ray Kinsella, Field of Dreams

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I have decided to become a bitch. You read that right. Some of you are wondering, "But why, Sue? You're so nice and everything!" The rest of you are laughing at the first bunch."

Slow Saturday - August 1, 2009

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R.I.P., Corazon Aquino. Ferdinand Marcos or one of that thug's henchman once said she was "just a woman" who belongs in the bedroom. The quote below is hers and I couldn't agree more.

It is not I who have been consigned to the bedroom of history.

Plan to do yard work and see Harry Potter some time this weekend. Got some house reorganization to do, too.

Today's QOTD is about the latest names popping up from an "anonymous" list of baseball players who tested positive in a drug survey MLB conducted in 2003. I wonder if anyone on the list who hasn't been named yet thinks he'll remain anonymous for the rest of his current career and the entirety of his post career. See, there's this bridge I know ...

40 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
At this point, the only person I'm entirely certain never used steroids is my hero, Duane Kuiper, who hit one home run in his lengthy career, and that one homer was wind-blown.
Joe Posnanski, Sports Illustrated

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball's 2003 "survey" testing according to the New York Times' Michael Schmidt."

Bothersome news

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There are two things I am really sick of reading about or hearing about: Murder/suicides and babies/pets dying in hot, parked cars. They're both just happening too often. Not much to be said about the former. It's as old as time. I think the latter can be alleviated through technology, although it shouldn't have to be. There are sensors in most vehicles today that can detect if a person is sitting in the passenger seat. You'll get a warning that they're not buckled in. Technology and programming can make it so that the ignition can't be turned off until all sensors are cleared. If the driver gets out and wants to remove the keys, everyone will have to get out. Just a thought.

Congrats to Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox on a perfect game yesterday. For those who don't know what a perfect game is, it is one where no one from the opposing team gets on base. It is a no-hitter with no walks or bases on error. Aptly named, it is the best a pitcher can do. It's like a 300 score in bowling but much harder.

48 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
I was going to run through the wall to try to catch that ball
DeWayne Wise, Chicago White Sox

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Perfect"

Wednesday whittles

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I drive approximately two thirds of my commute every day on 55-mph highways. People live along them and their driveways exit right on to said highways. You would think people who pull out of their driveway daily on to such a 55-mph highway would have some idea of how fast the traffic is bearing down on them and how dangerous it is for both them and the oncoming traffic to mosey out in front of it. Yes, I think you would think that. You'd be wrong. People pull right out in front of me on to the highway at 5-10mph like they're trying not to spill their coffee.

The Pirates Jack Wilson is turning in some great plays. The first play is one I mentioned last week but the next two are pretty good, too. He started a triple play earlier in the year. Unfortunately for the fans of the last place Pirates, the team is having their nearly annual fire sale and he'll probably be traded to a contender for a prospect or two ... and the seasons, they go round and round.

I always thought the people who just stood in line to get an iPhone were at least a tad obsessive. A guy who lost a prototype of the next iPhone committed suicide. It is certainly a sad event but that's not what got me about that story. What got me was this:

His friends said company security guards searched his apartment, detained him and beat him, the paper reported.
That's appalling, if true.

Today's QOTD is a reference to the people who claim the President is not a U.S. citizen.

50 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
President Obama is right to ignore these losers. They are right up there with Holocaust deniers like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the people who insist that the landing on the moon was done in a television studio.
Roland S. Martin, CNN.com

Blog of the day here

Quote from said blog: "And despite some Bucs players (ahem, Jack Wilson) being critical of the front office's shrewd moves, more might be coming."

You can call it "shrewd moves" or you can call it "making the best of a bad situation" but a baseball fire sale is nothing more to me than the white flag of surrender. May be necessary on occasion but it's still sad and the players, particularly the veterans, whose names are mentioned as trade bait or are left behind on a team whose management gave up on, have every right to be critical and angry. -Rob

Scan Saturday

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R.I.P., Walter Cronkite. I think we were more of a Huntley-Brinkley household when I was growing up because I have almost no recollections of Walter Cronkite on the air until I was quite a bit older. Still, saddened to see him pass.

I offer a couple of scans from an old photo album today ... because I have nothing else.

A night at Fenway - September 1986
A night at Fenway - September 30, 1986
I bought our tickets to this Sox-Orioles game in March of that year. It was my first major league ball game. As luck would have it, the Red Sox clinched the division the night before. The Sox scratched their scheduled starter to rest him for the playoffs and the starters in the field only played a couple of innings each. Dwight Evans, who roamed right field at Fenway for a long time, started but then gave way to Mike Greenwell, who also had a stellar career. Not quite Joe DiMaggio to Mickey Mantle or Ted Williams to Carl Yastrzemski but not too shabby, either. I think Greenwell ultimately made his living in left field, though. In Little League and sandlot, your weakest outfielder goes in right field. In the bigs, your weakest outfielder goes in left field ... except at Fenway. Because of that wall in left, there is no room in Boston for weak outfielders. Catcher Rick Dempsey of the Orioles hit a towering home run over the green monster that night. Don't remember much else except the usher who showed us to our seats. She took out her handkerchief and wiped them for us. Never before, never since.
Vacation Pics - 1986
Vacation Pics - 1986
We had two weeks in New England scheduled. The second week was booked at a motel on Cape Cod. We figured we'd just go where the roads took us and just wing it the first week. The two photos on the left were taken in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The two on the right are of the place where we stayed. It was a brand new ski resort and the cottages had never been used. It was off-season for them and they had a vacancy for $24. We loved the cottage, loved the area, and asked if we could stay another night. It was booked but they had a deluxe two bedroom cottage available.

Us: How much is that one?
Them: $26 per night
Us: We'll take it.

I'm thinking the photo of the cottage at the upper right is from the place we stayed the first night but I'm not certain and, like so many of my photo albums, I didn't write it in the album. I thought I'd always remember.

54 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
That's the way it is
Walter Cronkite, 1916-2009

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Greenwell also touches on a few other topics, including his runner-up finish to Jose Canseco in the MVP voting back in 1988 and whether or not he thinks Roger Clemens took steroids."

Midweek junk - July 15, 2009

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I think we'll miss the Harry Potter premiers today but we'll probably go next weekend. We liked the books and the films have been even better. Some may disagree.

A little fun from The New Yorker:

Condemned souls who have to lie on their backs chained to a flat rock while a white-hot sheet of iron is lowered to within inches of their faces have stated that the rise in Hell's ambient temperature now makes the iron seem much closer to their faces than it actually is.

I'll try to read the rest of it later. The quote is from the first paragraph and I stopped there.

The Astronomy Picture of the Day for Monday. WOW.

After last year's one-run, 15-inning, exciting All-Star game, Major League Baseball offered up perhaps the dullest one-run game I ever saw last night and I watched all nine innings. On to the second half ...

57 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
a law dating back to 1942 in Switzerland permits foreigners to come and kill themselves. Cost for services: About $9200.00.
USA Today

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "As Olympic was leaving Southampton water on 20 September 1911 at the start of her fifth voyage to New York and back, still under the command of Captain Smith but with Trinity House pilot George William Bowyer effectively in control, she was rammed in the starboard quarter by the Royal Navy's old 7,350 ton armoured cruiser HMS Hawke . Both vessels were badly damaged in the collision."

Really cool-looking blog although I find the topic a tad tiresome. -Rob

Tuesday Tidbits - July 14, 2009 Issue

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I'd like to watch the MLB All-Star game tonight from St Louis but I won't be staying up past midnight to see the conclusion. I'll be pulling for the National League, as always.

From USA Today on health care legislation:

And while a majority say controlling costs should be the legislation's top goal, more than nine in 10 oppose limits on getting whatever tests or treatments they and their doctors think are necessary.

We get what we deserve, don't we?

About today's QOTD: Well, at least, they responded and I suppose they think that's better than ignoring me. I think I figured out what they were trying to say but I also think I'd want someone else doing feedback if it were my company.

58 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
You may want to got modify account an adjust information if someone other then yourself is picking up the order.
Feedback response

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Talk about pressure. Sure, the All-Star Game determines which league gets home-field advantage in the World Series, but about an hour before the first pitch on Tuesday night, players in both clubhouses will find themselves face-to-face with a certain baseball nut named Barack Obama."

The plan today is to get out in the road-buckling heat and work on the John Deere. I'm hoping that just changing the hydraulic fluid and filling it to the proper level will solve my problems. If not, to the shop it goes. I'd be out there in the heat and humidity right now if this stuff didn't have to be thought up and typed. I'm all about the sacrifice for my two readers.

Great news for LSU baseball fans. The Tigers already figured to be a national contender in 2010 but Blake Dean coming back for his senior season moves them up a peg. Somewhat risky move on his part, though. Major League Baseball knows he can hit. The only way for him to improve his draft stock is to show that he can play somewhere in the field. A shoulder injury has mostly kept him out of the field the last two seasons. He plans to get himself right and his head coach has committed to giving him that chance (See QOTD). A chance is all any ball player should want.

61 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
We'll find room for Blake Dean somewhere on the field if he comes back. We're committed to that. That kid has earned that from me.
Paul Mainieri, LSU Head Baseball Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "He's not just "some guy"? He's some guy with a cool quote!"

There is a profound quote there but I don't know that I would characterize it as cool. I think I'd lean more towards sad but true. -Rob

9 weeks

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With Major League Baseball in full swing and coming up on their All Star game, I naturally turn to football. We're still about three weeks from the first NFL training camp opening but we're only 9 weeks now from Opening Day.

About today's QOTD: Not sure what the outrage is about unless it's pure theater, tilt at windmills, fight the good fight nonsense for public consumption. Did someone think that process was going to be completely painless?

63 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
GM and Chrysler have come under withering criticism in Congress for their plans to close dealers.
David Shepardson, Detroit News Washington Bureau

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The termination of the dealer franchise agreements would be effective this week if G.M. is allowed to cut free of the holdout dealerships."

DVD Collections

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We were big DVD collectors for a time. When I say big, I mean we'd buy one or two per month. We would never rent them. Still don't. That practice has ceased due to economics and convenience. We've not only stopped buying them, we've stopped watching them except for the occasional music/concert DVD. The DVR has pretty much become our favored way to watch ANYTHING. It is infinitely more convenient. You can stop a movie any time and resume a month later right where you left off. You can keep it recorded as long as you like and it never gathers dust. My only concern with our DVR right now is storage. They just don't store enough content. I am certain that concern is being addressed with the next generation DVR as I type. It's just like a computer in some ways. Even though you can store files offline on a CD or DVD, you'd rather have them on your hard drive available to you any time. I don't think the future is all that bright for DVD sales or rentals any more.

65 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Nothing wrong with college baseball, especially at the level LSU plays.
Dave E, Fish Fear Me

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "A friend of mine once suggested a movie's greatness can be measured by how much you think about it after seeing it, along with the way it lingers in your memory over time."

Albert Pujols

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Watched the last two innings of the Cardinals-Giants game last night. The Cards are a game out of first place in their division. If they don't have Albert Pujols, they're in dead last. He is the only player in that lineup that matters. He's a legitimate triple crown contender this season. From his ESPN player profile:

Pujols is clearly the game's current best hitter, and it remains a mystery why he isn't pitched around more like Barry Bonds was. Pujols now has 30 homers and 77 RBI on the season.

No idea who wrote that but he isn't watching the same games I'm watching. I've seen Pujols play 50-60 times over the last two seasons or so. Everyone pitches around him. Everyone is careful with him. The Giants walked him intentionally last night ... twice. He was on deck when Rasmus ended the game with a homer. Rasmus saw nothing but fastball strikes because the Giants didn't want to walk him and face Pujols with a runner on base. How Pujols is hitting the way he is with the pitches he sees is amazing. If he saw half of the juicy pitches the guy batting in front of him sees, he'd break every hitting record on the books. He's the best player in baseball.

Need a laugh?

70 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
The agreement was at my father's insistence as he wanted to protect my inheritance - this is perfectly normal in our countries of origin, France and Germany. My father taught me the value of hard work and family values.
Katrin Radmacher

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Not sure what that means exactly, but I'm reading a lot of Sylvia Plath and watching some Japanese game shows in search of fresh ideas."

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

I mentioned I had started Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End in yesterday's entry. I finished this third installment in the franchise yesterday afternoon. I suppose I let too much time lapse since I saw the second (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest) because I had forgotten a lot of what had happened previously. I was lost at times. There is some fun sprinkled throughout the film but it is almost exclusively limited to the Johnny Depp scenes. No one else is particularly interesting and the film is entirely too long. Hopefully, the filmmakers find their way again and have a decent wrap up to the franchise with the next one.

Speaking of allowing too much time to lapse, I started The X Files: I Want to Believe yesterday. I'm a little past the halfway point. There was a lot I didn't know about the characters or remember from the show. To add to my confusion, I wasn't a devotee of the show. I've only seen a little more than a handful of episodes.

73 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
The Omaha Chamber of Commerce and the NCAA aren't supposed to play favorites. But I can guarantee you that when LSU makes the Series, a big cheer goes up downtown. Their fans come by the thousands and spend lots of money. When we open the box office every morning to sell just-released tickets, the parking lot is a sea of purple and gold.
Eddie Sobczyk, CWS ticket manager

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Considering that I live in a house that was built in 1913, I was pleasantly surprised that turning it on tripped no breakers."

I'd be pleasantly surprised that it HAD breakers. -Rob

Add another banner to "The Box"

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Congratulations to the LSU Tigers on their National Championship.

Things have evolved since that day in March when we saw the LSU Tigers play. For one thing, Coach Paul Mainieri discovered Chad Jones, pictured below playing right field in front of five National Championship banners, could pitch. He was used last night to great effect. Freshman Mikie Mahtook, a pinch runner in that Illinois game, is now the starting center fielder. Ryan Schimpf, playing second base, was moved to left field and first base depending on the pitcher. D J LeMahieu, who should have been CWS MVP over Jared Mitchell, was playing SS then but 2B now. Jared Mitchell, CWS MVP and first round pick of the White Sox, didn't play that day in March. I don't think he was playing every day yet. Coleman was still the closer then but Matty Ott also pitched two scoreless innings in relief. Ott moved into the closer role and Coleman went on to be SEC Pitcher of the Year and All-America in the starting rotation. He was on the mound last night for the 8th and 9th inning. He gave up five solo home runs in the Monday night game but didn't give up any runs in the National Championship game last night. He struck out the side in the 9th. Good coaches learn about their teams constantly and I think they learn more from their mistakes and losses than they do from their wins. Illinois won that day. Lessons learned. Great job, coach.

Alex Box Stadium - March 8, 2009
Right fielder Chad Jones ... and the banners

And a tip of the cap to the Texas Longhorns, who played their asses off. They were one out from a Game One win, which would have probably altered this outcome. It had to be a devastating loss. Instead of folding up, they fought back yesterday and forced last night's deciding game. The Horns didn't win but they never stopped battling. Someone had to lose.

About today's QOTD and BOTD: LSU and Texas are two of the proudest athletic programs in the country with two of the most rabid fan bases. There's been a lot of trash talk back and forth between the two sides this week and they've also been beating up their own coaches and players when things didn't work out. Most of it was good fun but some of it, on both sides, was like the QOTD and the BOTD. Too bad.

77 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Then at the press conference he says how proud he is to finish 2nd. What a loser! How did this guy ever win 5 National titles with that attitude? If the coach doesnt care then the players wont either and thats what we watched tonight.
bob, Comment in the Austin Statesman

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Texas Longhorn fans, despite their tremendous education being from that illustrious school, say some stupid things. For instance, when stacking up Texas and LSU, they talk all day long about how their pitching is better. The best, they say. They won't shut up about it. And then they trot out the great pitching beats great hitting, smirk and smugly expect us to say yessah you Texas boys sho know everything."

Just one game left now

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Tip of the cap to the Texas Longhorns and Taylor Jungmann on a terrific performance last night in Game 2 of the College World Series. The freshman pitcher was brilliant. The 3rd and deciding game is tonight.

LSU Tigers v Texas Longhorns for the National Championship
Tonight in the College World Series Finals
At Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha

GEAUX Tigers

78 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Saving it for the end, man
Taylor Jungmann, Texas Longhorns

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Today, facing financial constraints and extreme internal budget-tightening, New York City Transit has been faced with a maintenance reality. The agency no longer has the money to support expanding the cleaning programs and in fact has had to cut back. Stations are, as Heather Haddon reported this morning, dirtier, and Transit's cleaning staff is down by 100 workers."

Game 2

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If you saw last night's fantastic 11-inning game, you saw how evenly matched these two teams are. If you didn't and you like nail biting, edge-of-your-seat baseball, you missed one of the best you'll ever see in that genre. The teams reversed roles last night. Texas brought the power in the form of 5 home runs. LSU's much-maligned (In every analysis I saw) bullpen pitched 5 innings of scoreless relief. Texas Coach Garido said the other day, "But if it's about drama, we've got that.". The Tigers have it, too, but they need to win another one. Garido is quite quotable. He has the QOTD. Not sure what "the wrath of baseball" is but I like the turn of phrase. Again, Good Luck to the Horns, Kim. :)

LSU Tigers v Texas Longhorns - Game 2
Tonight in the College World Series Finals
At Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha

GEAUX Tigers

79 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
It was two teams that were doing unbelievable things in an effort to win. The team that lost that game was gonna feel the wrath of baseball and have to deal with the difficulties of so many great things happening that there had to be a loser.
Augie Garido, Texas Head Baseball Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Texas looked like the better team for much of the night, taking a 6-4 lead into the top of the 9th.

LSU v Texas

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Tigers and Longhorns. It's a great matchup. Both teams are rolling. Good Luck to the Horns, Kim. :)

LSU Tigers v Texas Longhorns
Tonight in the College World Series Finals
At Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha

GEAUX Tigers

Quote of the Day
Finishing second would be another disaster in a long line of disasters.
Augie Garrido, Texas Head Baseball Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "You're at the fish store and you can't remember which fish are endangered and should be avoided and which one are safe to buy?"

89 v 11 & more

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I'm sure you know about the pilot who died mid-flight on a Trans-Atlantic Brussels-to-Newark flight last week. According to UPI:

The co-pilot and a backup pilot who was part of the crew landed the plane at Newark Liberty Airport, the plane's destination.

That's explicitly why those guys are on the plane. They're like skilled, paid life preservers. They're there in case.

Further:

Schapira said he was glad the flight crew withheld the news during the eight-hour flight, explaining he feared panic would have ensued.

I tend to agree with that. As I was heading to work yesterday, one of our local radio stations was conducting an online poll whose question was: Would you want to be informed had you been on that flight?

At the time, 89% said no but 11% said yes. I don't know what the final tally was and they only leave it up for a day so I can't link to it. I'll just go with it as it was. Of the 11% who were not pilots that might have wanted to help, I'm wondering why they think that information would be useful to them. What would they do with that information? I just can't imagine. Put me ignorantly and blissfully amongst the 89%.

LSU had their way yesterday with arm-weary Arkansas. Having to play an extra game, an extra-inning, tense, do-or-die one at that, took a toll on the Razorback pitching staff. LSU now has two days off to prepare for the Texas Longhorns, who also have two days off to prepare for the Tigers. Both teams are rolling. This series figures to be pretty good. I'm a little concerned about the Longhorns, mainly because they wear orange. The Tigers lost two 3-game series this year, to Illinois and Tennessee, and both of them also wear orange. I'm not superstitious, though, no, not me.

LSU Tigers v Texas Longhorns
Monday night in the College World Series Finals
At Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha

GEAUX Tigers

82 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
I'll start off the press conference with the only way to describe this game. Wow.
Augie Garrido, Texas Longhorn Head Baseball Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Texas will be the home team in the first game. LSU will be home the second game and Texas will be the home team if a third game is necessary."

Friday Fluff - June 19, 2009

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It appears the US has been knocked off of one throne. From the London Times:

Iran's Supreme Leader today singled out Britain as the "most treacherous" Western power trying destabilise the Islamic Republic as he stood firm in the face of this week's massive street protests, hinting at even tougher repression if the unrest does not stop.

I thought we had a safe lead.

I don't usually have an ounce of sympathy for people tried for illegal downloads but this jury award seems excessive even to me. $80k per song? That jury must have really not liked her.

LSU will be the road team against Arkansas for the 5th time this season. I'm OK with that. They won three of the first four. I'm bummed that it's a day game, though. I'll try to follow along on the web but I'd rather be watching ... OR THERE. Would like to see the Tigers send the Hogs home today. On the other side, I'd like to see Arizona State beat Texas to force a third game. Extra innings would be OK, too.

LSU v Arkansas ... Again
Today in the College World Series
At Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha

GEAUX Tigers

Quote of the Day
A federal jury Thursday found a 32-year-old Minnesota woman guilty of illegally downloading music from the Internet and fined her $80,000 each -- a total of $1.9 million -- for 24 songs.
Elianne Friend, CNN.com

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "As I counted each finger out loud while I opened it from the tiny fist, I thought about the fact that he has probably never celebrated a birthday."

The magical place that is Omaha

I have two friends heading to Omaha today for Friday's LSU-Arkansas game. I couldn't be more jealous. The College World Series in Omaha is on my life list.

Tip of the cap to Arkansas and Virginia on playing a do-or-die game in the College World Series last night that actually looked like a do-or-die game. There were great nail-biting, butterfly-laden, emotionally exhausting moments through just about all 12 innings where any mistake could cost you the game. This is what an elimination game should be. Reading about it just doesn't do it justice but the highlight video almost does. For this LSU fan, I don't think this result could have been any better. It didn't matter that Arkansas won the game so much as that it mattered that they used up a lot of their pitching in those 12 tense innings, including their two best left-handers, and there won't be a lot of rest for those guys. They play the Tigers tomorrow at 1PM. I like LSU's chances to advance.

84 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
We have some guys. They might not be the guys that are pitching for us on Friday, Saturday or Sunday during the season, but they'll go out there and give us a shot. We'll just need to find a way to score some runs.
Dave Van Horn, Arkansas Razorbacks Head Baseball Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "So yes, Brian O'Connor knows. He knows that's how baseball goes sometimes. He knows it's a game rooted in many ways in failure. But he knows it hurts just the same. And that's the problem with seasons like this. While you can get to a 'happy with the season no matter what happens' stage, you're never going to be completely happy with the happenings. Not until some time passes anyway. Got too close for that. O'Connor and his team went to Omaha to win."

O'Connor is a super, young coach, who can do some great things at Virginia if the university doesn't hold him back and commits to him and his program. He'll have suitors lining up for him at traditional baseball powers, who have better facilities and more money. -Rob

In the College World Series, most of the teams seem to have decent starters and decent closers but not much in between. The majors are in the same predicament. There's no glory or money in middle relief. The Tigers opened last night's game against Arkansas with a leadoff single and then a walk after a 13-pitch at-bat. Announcers, coaches, and managers are obsessed with pitch counts these days. At that rate, LSU was going to get past the starter to the middle relievers pretty fast. The starter lasted just over an inning after giving up 4 runs and they were in command the rest of the way. The Tigers don't play again until Friday afternoon and it will be against a team they've already beaten in Omaha. Virginia and Arkansas play the elimination game tomorrow night. I think it will be Virginia that gets that chance against LSU on Friday. I like the Tigers' chances to advance but I love the scrap and hustle of that mostly freshman and sophomore Virginia team.

86 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
This makes the road a lot easier. Now we get to go to the zoo.
Louis Coleman, LSU pitcher

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "With the win No. 1 ranked LSU (53-16), the No. 3 national seed, remains undefeated in the bracket and will await the winner of an elimination game on Friday. Arkansas (40-22) saw its five-game postseason winning streak come to an end and will return to the diamond on Wednesday to play Virginia in an elimination game set for 6 p.m."

Flag Day 2009
Flag Day - June 14, 2009

Patsy and I lived in her childhood house in Metairie for 10 years from 1984 to 1994. Her parents had died when she was 5 and left it to her, her brother, and her sister. We bought the house from the other siblings. There was a pole swing in the backyard that Patsy's father had built. Patsy called it a "validor". I don't know the source of that word. If that's what they called it, that's what it was as far as I'm concerned. It was in some disrepair. It had a cross at the top and would have had four ropes hanging from it so kids could twirl around and swing. The ropes were long gone. I never saw it in action. At 28, I had no desire to repair it and no particular use for it, either, but there was no easy way of removing it. It had a solid concrete foundation deep into the ground that would have required heavy equipment to remove. Her dad meant for it to last. I had an idea. The pole was solid and straight and tall. I'll make a flagpole out of it. I bought a US flag, a Louisiana flag, a truck, a cleat, an ornament, a few snaps, and a gallon of white enamel and went to work. I also created a little garden around the base. It came out very nice and set me back about $100. Would have cost a lot more to remove that pole and you would not believe the number of comments I got on flying those flags. We lived on a main thoroughfare and a lot of people saw them. I don't think I have a picture of that flagpole with the flag flying but I have the one below.

Rob and Patsy's flag pole

You can see the bottom of the flagpole and its garden. I think this was a Fourth of July or Labor Day barbecue because there are no tomatoes and no flowers in the flagpole garden. I only had flowers in it during the spring and fall. That house and yard had a relentless, unmerciful western exposure and small flowers didn't have a chance in that garden in the summer months unless you constantly watered them. That's my nephew, Jimmy, who is now 20, I think, trying to carry the two balls. My niece, Amy, now 19, is in front of him. I used to grow tomatoes in box gardens when I lived in Metairie. That's them behind Jimmy. The bird bath in the back is still in use here at CrabAppleLane.

If back-and-forth, tense, nail-biting baseball is your thing, you'd have loved the LSU-Virginia College World Series game yesterday. I don't think there was a single three up three down inning and the game had a lot of everything. Neither team had any quit in them. There were bunts, home runs, runners thrown out stealing, and great plays in the field. LSU, the winning team, used 6 pitchers in those 9 innings. Tough loss for Virginia and tough draw in the losers bracket. They'll play Cal State Fullerton Monday morning in an elimination game while LSU and Arkansas renew old acquaintances Monday night.

San Fransisco at sunset, courtesy of Dan, the Infospigot. Fantastic.

The CrabAppleLane backyard is alive today. The sun is out, the wildlife is active, and almost everything is in bloom. I offer a few. More below the jump.

CrabAppleLane Toad - June 14, 2009
CrabAppleLane Toad - June 14, 2009
Love the tiny toads around here. This one is resting comfortably on a blade of grass.

Quote of the Day
You're happy for your kids, but as soon as the last out is made, you know your friend is hurting and you want to console him.
Paul Mainieri, LSU Head Baseball Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The Cavaliers sliced the lead in half when Valdes - one pitch after Hicks was thrown out attempting to steal second base - went opposite field with a home run to left. It was Valdes' sixth long ball this year."

The thrown-out-at-second was a big play. The homer would have tied the game ... again. -Rob

Casey, our first cat, who I found as a 3-4 week-old kitten and is now almost 16, was diagnosed with diabetes yesterday. She may also have a urinary infection still but the last antibiotic injection may have knocked that out. She's been losing weight for the last year or so but the vet didn't ever seem alarmed by the slight losses. When she'd lost substantial weight between the last two visits only a couple of weeks apart, it was time to look into it further. A urinalysis confirmed diabetes yesterday. All of our cats have special needs now. We give Priscilla, 20, periodic injections for arthritis and Crispin, almost 13, gets twice-daily oral medication for hyperthyroidism. We started Casey on Purina's Dietetic Management food last night. Thankfully, she eats it. That may be all the treatment she requires but Patsy and I both doubt it. We're just not that lucky about that sort of thing but we were lucky in another way. She'll be with us a while longer and we're thankful for that even though she's not the warmest or friendliest cat you'll ever see most of the time. Both of our female cats can switch from sweet to cantankerous in an instant. She's been with us longer than any other pet (Priscilla came to us when she was 8 years old) we've ever had and she has her moments. Over 16 years, even a few moments per day add up to a lot of good memories. Even the bites, scratches, and hisses will be missed some day.

As of midnight, all television signals in the US are digital. If you have no television reception this morning, somehow didn't know this was coming, and are reading this drivel here on the internet, then you are a DUMBASS because you would have had to go way out of your way or had some kind of comprehension problem to NOT know about this with both a television and the web at your disposal.

LSU v Virginia tonight in the College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha

GEAUX Tigers

Today's QOTD is about Rosenblatt Stadium.


Three quarterbacks well-known to fantasy football players are in the news these days even though we are well into baseball and basketball seasons: Trent Green retired this week. Trent was on my fantasy teams many times over the years. He was a steady performer. That's the kind I usually go for. He was rarely spectacular but also rarely bad. Brett Favre is always in the news during the offseason. He reportedly had arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder recently. He's being romanced (Mostly by the football media, I think) by the Minnesota Vikings into coming out of retirement yet again. I've had him on my teams many times over the years, too. Our leagues don't penalize for interceptions so he's always been a fantasy favorite. He's had spectacular games. Those that weren't spectacular were always at least average. And, now, we turn to Michael Vick. I've had him a few times, too. He was a monster in some games and a dud in others. Most leagues reward more to a player if they score a touchdown as opposed to throwing for one. We also reward more for rushing yardage than we do for passing yardage. Unlike most other QBs, Vick was a running and scoring threat. I think he'll be reinstated by the commissioner but will have to serve a suspension anywhere from 8 weeks to a full year and that's assuming the State of Virginia decides they're not going to press charges. I haven't read anything about the latter lately. I think he's going to have trouble finding a team willing to put up with everything that will come with his presence. I'm talking lost ticket sales, lost ad revenue, and protests at every turn. What does Vick have to offer a team and its fans, if and when he does finally get onto an NFL field, that will offset his ridiculously negative baggage? In my view, nothing.

89 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
The old ballpark has a date with the wrecking ball, sometime after the 2010 CWS. And Omaha has the longest championship-hosting contract in NCAA history. Score it a sacrifice, with an RBI, for Rosenblatt.
Christopher Burbach, Omaha World-Herald

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The safety of fans, coaches and players is priority. Like many sports and entertainment venues across the country, the College World Series has implemented tighter security policies. Please check our list of dos and dont's before you arrive at the stadium."

What a shame. -Rob

Saturday Stuff - June 6, 2009 Issue

D-Day - 65 years ago
D-Day - 65 years ago

Craig Ferguson was right. He's Just Not That Into You is a stereotypical "chick flick". I kinda knew that going in because of the trailers that have passed through CrabAppleLane's TV for the last year and a half. It is one of the longest-running promotional campaigns I can remember. Unfortunately, if you've seen the trailers, you've seen the best bits of the film. The film, itself, added nothing to the trailers. The movie had moments but I'm glad I didn't spend night in the theater money on it.

LSU surprised me last night. Rice did everything LSU opponents have had success with. The Owls' starting pitcher, Mike Ojala, threw mostly off-speed stuff. When I saw the Tigers play earlier in the year against Illinois, they just never adjusted to Ben Reeser's off-speed pitching. They adjusted to it this time and Ojala was gone in the 5th inning. The Owls then brought in a left-hander to face back-to-back Tiger left-handed hitters, Ryan Schimpf and Blake Dean. Left-handers have been tough on the Tigers. Schimpf planted the second pitch over the right center wall for a three run homer and Dean singled. Looks like the Tigers have learned quite a bit over the long season. I don't see Rice beating them now. One last thing: Rice's freshman sensation, Anthony Rendon, was the best player on the field if you ask me. He looks like a big league hitter right now.

Start rant: The LSU-Rice game featured 6 errors and 2 balks. LSU made 4 of the errors. One of them was a nonchalant one-handed stab at a lazy fly ball to center field that subsequently dropped to the ground. How many errors like that will it take before coaches and managers start insisting on two-handed catches in the outfield? It used to be the norm. Most infielders still do it. Errors make me crazy but I can forgive throwing errors or infielders not getting their gloves down on a hard-hit grounder. I cannot forgive dropped fly balls, especially those due to lack of effort. Outs are too precious. Never give your opponent more than they already get. Rant over.

96 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Golden polo rule #6: Hiding from the cameras never works. We will hunt you down and shoot you.
Tampen

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "A Day at the Beach -- Omaha Beach"

About the Rice Owls on their matchup this weekend with the LSU Tigers in the Baton Rouge Super Regional: That's a confident bunch coming into Alex Box Stadium tomorrow night. From Ryan Berry:

If we go out there focused and ready to play, I don't think there's another team out there that's as talented as us. And if we put a game together like we have the past three games, I don't think there's any team in the country that can stop us, to be honest with you.

I like that. Catch one of the games if you get a chance. The first two games will be on ESPN and the third, if necessary, will be on ESPN2. The weekend is sold out and there is almost always some magic at Alex Box Stadium, even the brand new one in its inaugural season.

Quote of the Day
The other name I don't know, of course, is the guy in the picture. Nobody knows who he was, or what happened to him, but I think in some ways it's better that way. I still think of him as the unknown soldier -- the faceless guy who represents all of us.
Jeff Widener, The Honolulu Advertiser

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "In fact, I would go as far as to say that OnStar, and turn-by-turn in particular, is such a superior way of getting from A to B that it trumps even GM's vehicles as a valuable asset."

We tried a restaurant we'd never been to last night. It's a restaurant that specializes in catfish and seafood pretty close to CrabAppleLane in a part of Covington called Barker's Corner. I've been disappointed with the seafood here on the north shore the last few years. On the south shore in New Orleans, the seafood is excellent and fairly consistent wherever you go. On the north shore, it is wildly inconsistent from one place to the next, one visit to the next. It is so frustrating that I usually don't bother and just get a burger or something from the non-seafood portion of the menu. It's called Rick's Catfish Cabin. I took a chance and got the seafood platter. It was excellent and there was a lot more on the plate than I expected. I love stuffed crabs but I especially love stuffed shrimp. The platter had both. It also had a healthy portion of very good fried catfish, fried shrimp, hush puppies, french fries, and fried oysters, which I gave to Patsy. It has earned a spot in the rotation.

Stick a fork in her. What a fabulous story of triumph over adversity. Get well soon, Darian.

Minnesota and Baylor square off today in Baton Rouge in an elimination game. The winner gets LSU and their All-American ace pitcher, Louis Coleman, a little bit afterward. I like the Tigers' chances to advance.

A tip of the cap to Texas and Boston College on their epic 25-inning baseball game last night. The Longhorns pulled out the victory, 3-2. A game like that allows for a sentence like this from the Associated Press:

Texas reliever Austin Wood pitched 13 innings, including 12 1-3 innings of no-hit ball before allowing a two-out single to Tony Sanchez in the 19th inning.

And this:

Tucker's hit came in his NCAA-record 12th at-bat to tie a mark he now shares with teammate Michael Torres, who also batted 12 times.

I doubt I will ever read anything like that again ... but I'm glad I didn't have to sit through it. Boston College faces Army today in an elimination game and there just can't be much left in the Eagles' tank. All I can say is WOW.

I offer three from the CrabAppleLane backyard on this magnificent, but hot, Sunday:

CrabAppleLane Grape Tomatoes - May 31, 2009
CrabAppleLane Grape Tomatoes - May 31, 2009
The grape tomatoes are starting to ripen faster than I can pick them and eat them already but the full-sized Creole and Celebrity varieties are still about a week off.

CrabAppleLane Trails - May 31, 2009
CrabAppleLane Trails - May 31, 2009
Still working on The Clearing Project. People who are good with a chainsaw never get one stuck in a falling tree like I did yesterday. This pine tree had three branches on one side and none on the other. Thought I'd use the weight of the branches to my advantage and fell the tree to that side, where there was a clear path for it to fall. I made what I thought was a substantial pie cut on the side with the branches and started making the offside cut. Yeah, well it leaned to the off side anyway and my chainsaw was stuck. The tree was about a foot in diameter and it took me about 10 minutes to finish cutting it down by hand so that I could get the chainsaw out. I was not a happy camper.

CrabAppleLane Surprise - May 31, 2009
CrabAppleLane Surprise - May 31, 2009
Found: One blue balloon
Easily my favorite picture today. Thanks to Patsy for spotting it from our upstairs bathroom window. I'd like to think this balloon has traveled a great distance ... maybe an escaped Memorial Day balloon that has been traveling for a week ... or maybe even a balloon released by a child on his/her birthday in February. It's now in a tree in my yard and I'm reminded of Charlie Brown's kite-eating tree (One of the coolest Wikipedia articles I've ever read). The owner can pick it up any time. Bring your climbing shoes, though.

The QOTD is talking about Aliens. That is one of the most intense movies I ever saw. It's fantastic. It's very rare when the sequel tops the very good original.

Quote of the Day
Action thrillers assail but rarely test us; this is the tautest, most provoking, and altogether most draining example ever made.
Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It's annoying enough that the online SJ-R mixes in petty crime updates with their real stories, but this is ridiculous. Overexposing petty crime isn't good reporting and it promotes a distorted, unhealthy view of our community."

NCAA Baseball yesterday

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A glance at the 10-2 LSU win over Southern yesterday would make you think the Tigers had an easy time of it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Southern came out swinging and took a 2-0 lead in the first inning and it stayed that way until the sixth and more than a few of the 10,000+ Tiger fans in attendance had to be squirming. The Tigers scored a run in the sixth inning and tied the game with two outs in the seventh. At that point, Southern removed their starter, Chase Richard, who didn't allow an earned run until the seventh and turned in a terrific performance. The Jaguars, who had played extremely well until then, disintegrated. Their bullpen gave up hits and their defense contributed 4 errors and it was 8-2 before they got that last out in the 7th inning. With their top two starters well rested, the Tigers are in pretty good shape but baseball is a funny game. Baylor up next.

Kinda surprised at some of the comments in the Minneapolis Star Tribune this morning. The Gophers took a tough loss yesterday but they've had a pretty good season and they're not out yet. From larryhanson:

All 3 Big 10 baseball teams lost yesterday in blow outs. Maybe the 10 Big Ten baseball teams need to get a clue from Wisconsin and quit playing baseball.

Geez, lighten up. Northern college baseball teams are at an extreme disadvantage against southern and western teams. The college baseball season starts in late February. Northern teams are still shoveling snow in February. Southern and western teams get in more practice and get in more games. That's why they do better. The NCAA closed the gap a few years ago by limiting teams to 60 regular season games so you no longer see southern teams who have played 75 games playing against northern teams who have only played 40 but the scales still tip to the teams that have better baseball climates. The only real way to address it is for northern teams to travel to southern and western teams to play. That's expensive and it can only be done on weekends because of school. Baseball is an every day game. Still, don't give up.

Today's QOTD is from Stephen Strasburg of San Diego State University. He is expected to be the top pick in MLB's draft in a few weeks. He's apparently never heard of the University of Virginia. That team beat him. It was his first, and probably last, loss of the season.

Quote of the Day
I was pretty excited to be out there, but it's pretty tough to pitch against a team that you've never really heard of, you don't really have a good scouting report on them.
Stephen Strasburg, San Diego State

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Unless San Diego State can win their way out of the regional through the loser's bracket, Stephen Strasburg has likely pitched his final college game."

Wednesday stuff - April 22, 2009

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His name is Patrick Schuster and the only thing I find more awesome than a pitcher throwing a fourth straight no-hitter is that the record is actually six straight no-hitters. Admittedly, high school baseball is like playground baseball in that sometimes you have serious mismatches. The kid is a left-hander and has major league velocity now. He'll go in the first round in June but I hope someone will tell him the story of David Clyde.

Amazing debate on hiring and firing in the comments to this MSNBC article. Part of it that caught my eye:

Because of the state of the economy, there are a lot of qualified people out there looking for jobs. Multiple guests have said on "Your Business" that this is the time to swap out people. If you have someone on your team who is not performing as well as you think he should, replace that person. People are available right now, and they're going cheap.

Wow. Mr Potter would be proud. Not sure hiring qualified people cheap makes for better employees, though. There's a lot of selling going on in the hiring interviews. The potential employees are selling themselves and the employer is selling the position. Best for everyone involved to be as honest as possible. If you claim to be a good worker, be one. If you claim there will be sugar plums if a person does a good job, let there be sugar plums.

Quote of the Day
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan McGuire said Muse initially told a Somali interpreter on April 12, when he was first detained, that he was 16, then that he was 19, then that he was 26.
USA Today

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Prediction: there will be no significant newspapers printed on newsprint in the US by 2012. So, you've got two and a half years before the newspaper industry is going to be doing something else with the news and the ads, or not be there at all. Does that change what you do today if you work in this business?"

The suspension

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Josh Beckett's suspension was reduced from 6 games to 5. What kind of penalty is that for a player who only plays every 5 or 6 games anyway? If you didn't see the play, ESPN has it here. I don't think the pitch got away from him. I think it pretty much went exactly where Beckett wanted it to go. Josh Beckett is a great pitcher by any measure. He is also this generation's Bob Gibson in that he's a power pitcher with a nasty streak. This suspension is a joke. It cost Josh a few bucks but that's it. That said, I agree with this slap on the wrist. The Angels were doing a little gaming, too. They had a guy dancing around on second base and called a last-second timeout that annoys all pitchers. They were trying to get Beckett off of his game. It's within the rules but so is throwing up and in. The next penalty against Beckett will be more severe. This works.

Quote of the Day
I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do. Am I supposed to give him a hug? I wasn't really in a hugging mood right then.
Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Perhaps the timing is right for a return of RockCards?"

The Bird

Before Larry Bird took over the name, there was Mark "The Bird" Fidrych. ESPN Classic replayed a Tigers-Yankees baseball game from 1976 last night as a tribute to The Bird, who recently passed away. I wish I'd known they were going to do that. I only got to see a couple of innings. I got to see him play one time that year. It was on ABC's Monday Night Baseball. The game they replayed last night might very well have even been the game I saw. Fidrych is one of the players on a long list of baseball's colorful, eccentric characters. Football and basketball try to reign in eccentric behavior with their players and for good reason. Most of those players have never figured out the difference between colorful/eccentric and obnoxious/ugly. I digress. Some say the Bird's antics would wear thin in today's 24/7 ESPN/Internet sports world. I couldn't disagree more. Fidrych was just as much a joy to watch last night as he was 33 years ago. Man, did he ever have a motor. He'd get the ball from the catcher, say a few choice words to himself and the ball, and go into his windup. When the inning was over, he ran to the dugout at full speed. He was also known to get on his hands and knees to groom the pitcher's mound and chase errant food wrappers all over the infield between pitches. His career was too short. His life was too short. R.I.P., Mark.

148 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
That ball had a hit in it, so I want to get it back in the ball bag and goof around with the other balls there. Maybe it'll learn some sense and come out as a popup next time.
Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, Detroit Tigers

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I've seen nothing on my bike but Berber carpeting for about 5 months now."

Cutler to the Bears

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You won't get me to dispute that this was a big trade but how about this quote from ESPN's Len Pasquarelli:

But with the Denver Broncos trading quarterback Jay Cutler to Chicago on Thursday, such a deal could be considered among the most significant in NFL history.

I would like to think there have been bigger, more important trades than this one but I can't think of one. Trades in the NFL tend to serve the team giving up the player and wreck the team giving up the draft picks. This one looks like that to me. Sorta like the Saints giving up a 1, 2, and 3 for Steve Walsh, giving up their entire draft and a 1 & 3 the following year to move up and draft Ricky Williams, or what the Vikings gave up for Herschel Walker. Cutler is a decent quarterback but the Bears are a running team. Their best receiver is Devin Hester and he still needs a lot of work. The Broncos got a QB a notch below Cutler in Kyle Orton and some quality draft picks. If the Broncos don't squander those picks, they come out of this much better than the Bears. As for Cutler, his whining didn't go over well in Denver and I expect it's even less welcome in Chicago.

About the QOTD: The writer is talking about the new Yankee Stadium. I don't see myself going to a game there any time soon. That said, I think something must be missing. I think even the new Yankee Stadium must have some bleacher seats in the $10-$50 range.

160 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
The most expensive individual-game seats go for $2,625 and the cheapest ticket in the lower deck between the bases is $350.
Associated Press

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "So how will you treat Cutler when he runs out of the tunnel at Mile High that day. Applaud? Boo? What about when he throws a touchdown, or if he lowers his shoulder to try to run over a Denver defensive back (Champ?)? Will you wear your blue or orange No. 6 jersey?"

The other sports

The Super Bowl was just two months ago, March Madness comes to a head this weekend, the endless NBA season is still in swing, and Major League Baseball is about to get underway. Therefore, the Sporting News is already picking the final four for the 2009 NFL season. Those other sports are nice but football pays their bills. That they list the Saints as one of the teams is not all that silly but I wouldn't bet a dime on it. The potential is there but they can't seem to play well every week. I don't think they've even won more than three in a row since Sean Payton got here.

About the QOTD: Rasual Butler hit a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer last night to beat the Sacramento Kings.

162 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
The Butler did, in fact ,do it.
Jim Basquil, ESPN.com

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Ok, the good news is that the library will be getting a new roof top this summer! The bad news is that this means our summer reading series will not be held on the rooftop."

We're talking baseball

Fabulous interview with Tom Seaver. Love the Hall of Fame talk. He mentions Bob Gibson and how they weren't friends during their playing days but are now. He and Gibson had a lot of games against each other. The Mets and Cardinals were in the same division in the same league and they were both their teams ace. The one aspect of pitching that has changed that he doesn't talk about is that pitchers then were expected to protect their teammates. Bob Gibson was a great pitcher by any standard and, like a lot of great ballplayers, he had a nasty streak in him. If a batter was crowding the plate or had too much success against him, he wouldn't hesitate to brush him back. Seaver wasn't as nasty but Gibson could always bring that out in him. When Gibson knocked a Met down, Seaver would knock a Cardinal down. Baseball doesn't tolerate that any more but I think that might have been more effective than the piddling fines they hand out to these multi-millionaire players.

Quote of the Day
Mr Sarkozy, who blames the "Anglo-Saxons" for causing the economic crisis, told his ministers last week that he would leave Mr Brown's summit "if it does not work out".
Charles Bremner in Paris and Philip Webster, TimesOnline

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Hello everyone. I know that a lot of you were watching FastLane today to see if we have anything to say about what's happened in the last 24 hours. That's totally fair and expected. To be honest with you, it's been as much of a whirlwind for us as for anyone on the outside, and we were trying to communicate to a whole slew of audiences at once. But I hope that you'll understand that the audience we felt we needed to talk with first was our employees inside the GM family."

A Day at "The Box"

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Patsy and I took in a baseball game today at brand new Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA. Alex Box Stadium, affectionately known as "The Box", is the Home of the LSU Fighting Tigers. They took on the Illini from the University of Illinois in the third game of a series that was tied at one game each. It was a very colorful game. Not only is The Box brightly colored and just magnificent but the Tigers and Illini both wear very bright and colorful uniforms. The Illini took the game, 6-2, and the series, 2-1.

A tip of the cap to Illinois on a great win. Their pitcher, Ben Reeser, pitched a fantastic game. He had the Tigers off balance and looking like chumps all day. They also took advantage of LSU mistakes in the field and on the base paths. This was a good licking for the Tigers. They have a young team and didn't fare well against the cagey senior pitcher. They'll have to learn how to adjust to off-speed pitching quickly. I expect them to see a lot of it until they do.

I'm a little disappointed they had no programs for today's game and I'm also disappointed they ran out of souvenir cups. I got two but I would have liked two more. It's a spectacular facility. If you're in the area, take in a game. Lots of pictures below the jump.

Alex Box Stadium - March 8, 2009
Right fielder Chad Jones ... and the banners

Around the horn - March 5, 2009 Issue

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Looking forward to seeing the brand new Alex Box Stadium this weekend. Number One LSU takes on Illinois. I'll be there for one of those games and I hope to have pictures. Haven't been to Baton Rouge in a while. That will be fun.

The Saints signed a cornerback and re-signed Devery Henderson yesterday. Devery has been hot and cold since his LSU days. Saints fans have wanted 1st round pick Robert Meachem to either take his job or light a fire under him the last two years but it hasn't really happened. The Saints are very deep at that position and having Devery around a few more years will keep it that way. I know nothing about cornerback Jabari Greer.

The Dallas Cowboys gave Terrell Owens a big contract last year. Released him yesterday. Dumb. Would have been dumber to keep him, though. I think he'll get one more chance somewhere. Maybe he can join Randy Moss in New England.

I offer one for my friend, Andrea, this morning. Seen on a black Chevrolet SSR yesterday in a parking lot. The Steelers have great fans.

The Steelers and me - March 4, 2009
The Steelers and me - March 4, 2009

Quote of the Day
Guy killed me, Mal
Killed me with a sword
How weird is that?
Mr Universe, Serenity

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The "Kiwis" are very athletic, and it was great to see them excited about baseball."

LSU in Baton Rouge

The top-ranked LSU Tigers opened their brand new state-of-the-art baseball stadium in Baton Rouge this weekend with a sweep of Villanova. It's named for Alex Box ... same as the old stadium. It was a tough ticket. Season tickets ate up most of the 9200 seats and most of the single-game tickets went to students, former players, and other assorted VIPs. The few left over from that were gobbled up quickly. I settled on tickets to one of the LSU-Illinois games in a few weeks. I really wanted to go see Ole Miss but the games I could make were sold out. Most of the early-season SEC games are sold out. Say what you will about big-time college athletics but it works at LSU. Many of LSU's athletic programs make money. Football makes the most, by far, but basketball (Men and women) and baseball contribute, too. The baseball team almost always leads the nation in attendance. 9200+ fans this weekend doesn't sound like a lot if you're used to football or MLB numbers but two ranked teams (Florida and Louisville) only attracted 3483 fans at Florida's McKethan Stadium Saturday. Done right, athletics benefits not just itself, it benefits the university and it surely benefits the mostly homegrown student-athletes at LSU. There is almost always a surplus in Baton Rouge. In a state where money doesn't grow on trees, it's not a bad thing. And the joy the teams bring to the citizens ... what's that worth?

Quote of the Day
This game is all about hustle.
Leon Landry, LSU Tigers

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "No. 23 Florida (2-0) clinched its weekend series with a 10-4 triumph over eighth-ranked Louisville (0-2) on Saturday afternoon in front of 3,483 fans at McKethan Stadium."

A little baseball before spring training

I'm finding the hoopla surrounding the Alex Rodriguez scandal a bit boring already. ESPN's Jayson Stark's headline reads

A-Rod has destroyed game's history

A mite too strong there, Jayson. Ease up on the caffeine.

The outrage is coming from my favorite people in all of sports: Baseball's snobs purists. Yes, those paragons of baseball's virtue who put an asterisk on the Roger Maris home run record, who never fail to mention how many more at bats it took Hank Aaron to pass Babe Ruth, who have no problem with ridiculously dirty, nasty players like Ty Cobb and Enos Slaughter, who oppose the designated hitter and interleague play (I was one of these. I've changed my mind about interleague play but not the DH). Baseball players have been trying to get an edge since the game was invented and some will do anything to win. That goes for every level of the game all the way down to Little League. Owners encourage it, managers encourage it, parents encourage it, players encourage it, and fans encourage it. That's a lot of pressure. There will always be some who succumb to it. It's disappointing that players as talented as Rodriguez gave in. By all means, report it, frown on it, and take action to prevent it but stop acting like the world is coming to an end. The real danger to baseball is a work stoppage but that only applies to the Major League game. Enough of this crap. Play ball.

About today's QOTD: I couldn't agree more. I'm not a big fan of baseball's fascination with stats anyway. It is impossible to compare players over a career and even more so over an era. Some played the majority of their career in a park that was suited to their game, some never played at night, some played most of their games on turf, etc.

Quote of the Day
Bonds set his records under the rules baseball handed him. So did McGwire and Clemens and A-Rod. The numbers are absolute, accomplished with the approval and applause of all. To go back and decide you no longer approve is worse than wrong. It's hypocritical.
Mike Celizic, MSNBC

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "There are 63 players due in Yankees camp, only one named Alex Rodriguez."

Whatever Wednesday - February 4, 2009

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The ESPN headline says:

Retested Bonds sample positive

Just keep testing it until you get it the way you want, guys. Barry Bonds is an easy guy to not like. He's been a jackass since he got to San Francisco. I liked him in Pittsburgh but that was before he became mega monster home run hitter. Still, I like him way more than the prosecutors and judges that have handled this matter. I don't know if I believe Bonds when he says he didn't "knowingly" take steroids but if the prosecutors are relying on tested and retested samples and testimony from scumbag witnesses who have deals to save their own asses, they don't want me on their jury.

About the somewhat ironic QOTD: Someone really gets paid to keep track of that ... in this economy?

Quote of the Day
Eva Longoria wore elements of the same outfit twice. She was spotted the morning of Jan. 27 sporting the same jeans, bag and scarf she'd worn to dinner in Hollywood the night before.
Courtney Hazlett, MSNBC - The Scoop

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Last week, the always present and oft self-promoting Curt Schilling showed some rare humility over the Boston radio waves and downplayed his chances at one day ending up in baseball's Hall of Fame. Now some will believe that Schilling only understated his case in order for talking heads (and typing hands) to do what I'm doing right now: make a pitch on Schilling's behalf."

Obama Quote

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My favorite Obama quote is not about politics. It's about baseball. Who would he root for in a Cubs - White Sox World Series?

Oh, that's easy. White Sox. I'm not one of these fair-weather fans. You go to Wrigley Field, you have a beer; beautiful people up there. People aren't watching the game. It's not serious. White Sox, that's baseball. South Side.

He's a fan. Most politicians go to great lengths to NOT take sides. I guess the thinking is that votes could be lost. That may even be so. To those, I say Go Sox. Good Morning, Mr President.

With apologies to Monty Python ... and, now, for something completely different: Wing suits. Insane, but it looks like the coolest thing ever. I love what one of the Norwegians said. "and now it's getting boring so we play around." Yeah, that's the word I was looking for. Boring.


wingsuit base jumping from Ali on Vimeo.
Quote of the Day
We are stewards of the revolutionary impulse toward what Washington called "the sacred fire of liberty," but freedom is not a buy-and-hold proposition. When we have been at our best, we have redefined and rethought what freedom means, and what it signifies to say something--or someone--is American.
Jon Meacham, Newsweek

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "A colon is not just something that precedes a list."

Wednesday stuff- January 14, 2009

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From today's Times-Picayune and AP:

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) -- A Houma man has been booked with cruelty to a juvenile for allegedly leaving his 3-month-old child strapped in a car as he gambled at a casino in Larose.

< Insert temperance tirade here >

Today's QOTD is about newly elected Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson. I remember that stance. He was a great player by anyone's measure but he also played for 9 teams in his 25 years. He was a tad difficult.

Quote of the Day
Why did Rickey fold himself into a wizened gum ball, an arthritic Yoda, while standing up at the plate?
Roger Angell, The New Yorker

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I wonder if I'm not drinking too much: the pig appears to be on the move."

Wednesday Last Minute

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Snowzilla has supporters and detractors. Maybe this should have been the QOTD:

And before dawn Tuesday, in downtown Anchorage, someone erected a small, misshapen snowman at the entrance to Anchorage City Hall: A crude mini Snowzilla brandishing a protest sign that read "Snowmen of the world unite!"

Love Snowzilla, glad I don't live in the neighborhood.

An over-hyped Super Bowl is a bit of a redundancy. A Jets-Giants Super Bowl might have raised the bar on hype. That matchup seems very unlikely now. However, a new one has taken its place. An Eli-Peyton Super Bowl, Manning on Manning, brother against brother, the last two Super Bowl MVPs, blah, blah, blah. That one could happen and even seems likely from here. The Colts and Giants are playing very well. That game, hyped like nothing before, wouldn't bother me as much and is surely preferable to a Jets-Giants Super Bowl.

Today's QOTD inspired by the New York Yankees. According to ESPN.com:

New York has committed $423.5 million in salary in the past month, with $161 million going to left-handed pitcher CC Sabathia ($23 million per over seven years) and $82.5 million to right-hander A.J. Burnett ($18.5 million per over five) last week alone.

Here we go again. The Major League Baseball Players Association, easily the most powerful union left in America, is against a salary cap. If the small market teams try to impose one or tries to pass any other measure that reigns in the free market, there's going to be a strike. Another baseball strike on the heels of the steroid scandal is probably not in anyone's best interest. Maybe the Brewers can ask for a bridge loan from the government.

Quote of the Day
Frankly, the sport might need a salary cap.
Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "In a surprise move. the Yanks have swooped in and signed Mark Teixiera"

Sorry, I'm not at all surprised. The Yankees can sign anyone they want. No one in the game can compete with them. -Rob

Baseball History

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Congratulations to the World Series Champions

Philadelphia Phillies

The suspended game added drama to a series that was truly lacking it. This series was almost identical to the Cardinals/Tigers series in 2006. The younger, probably more talented Rays were thoroughly outplayed by an inspired Phillies team much like the young and talented Tigers were outplayed by the Cards. It's not terribly surprising that the Phillies won but the ease with which they did it is. That 2006 Tigers team has fallen apart since their World Series. Hope that doesn't happen to the Rays because it was surely nice to hear sportscasters talking about someone other than Yankees and Red Sox in that division.

Some pictures from my blog friends:

Right out of a film noir. Gaslight maybe?

If fast food doesn't bust your waistline, it will surely bust your budget.

Some face on Stella.

Sammy the Wonder Dog is an old pro at her chosen profession.

I love the one of features of this Brother HL-1440 laser printer.

Miles and miles of corn. Reminds me of our yearly summer trips through Iowa on our way to Minneapolis.

A garden space I like.

Quote of the Day
The teams arrived four to five hours before the game, as usual, and took their normal batting practice. Then they "started'' the game the same as they always had, except the home team was at-bat, the visiting team was in the field, the relievers were already warming up in the bullpen and the scoreboard said it was the bottom of the sixth inning.
Jim Caple, ESPN.com

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "We are about to witness baseball history tonight when Game 5 is resumed. A suspended game in the World Series has never happened. We will start a game without a National Anthem, first ball ceremony, introduction of starting lineups, etc. Very bizarre."

With temps expected to drop into the 30s overnight, we tried something new last night in an effort to reduce our high propane bills. Our new wood pellet stove is thermostatically controlled so it comes on and goes off by itself. The old one had to be turned on and off manually. I turned the two heaters off to see if the stove would keep the house warm enough overnight by itself. There was a little chill in the house this morning but turning the stove up knocked it out. I think we'll be doing this all winter.

Speaking of chilly, hope my new friend is OK this morning. She'll have fresh nectar if she is.

About the QOTD: I agree with Selig just like I agreed with Bowie Kuhn when he did it during the Cardinals/Brewers series. Rain-shortened games should never be part of a World Series. That said, the game should have been suspended long before it was. And, for those rules sticklers who need exact written wording for every possible contingency, please find another sport to watch.

Quote of the Day
I have to use my judgment. The game would have been in a rain delay until weather conditions allowed us to continue. And that might have been 24 hours or 48 hours or who knows?
Bud Selig, Major League Baseball Commissioner

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Frankly, this is a black eye for baseball, and especially for Selig, who has once again proved incompetent as leader of this organization. The game should've been stopped before the sixth. Throw out the rulebook. This is the World Series. And it's ridiculous -- absolutely freakin' ridiculous that this whole charade took place so late."

Tuesday Tidbits - October 21, 2008

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Dying to see Quantum of Solace mainly because of the first trailer released for the film but I think I need to see Daniel Craig's Casino Royale first. Since it's playing only on a pay station I don't get, looks like a rare trip to the video store is in order. Looks like Craig is continuing in the vein of Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan ... breathing life back into the franchise that Roger Moore almost killed. I like bigger-than-life adventure films best but a good spy thriller is a close second. Bond, except for the Moore years, has been pretty reliable in that regard for almost my whole life.

The Saints are in London this week for a "home" game with the Chargers. I'm thinking there won't be much of a home field advantage. After watching a little bit of the Pats' pummeling of the Broncos last night one week after they laid an egg in San Diego and watching Carolina do the same to the Saints over the weekend one week after they laid an egg in Tampa, I'm thinking that anyone that can find some consistency this season might find themselves in the Super Bowl.

One from lunch yesterday:

Bogue Falaya Wayside Park - October 20, 2008
Bogue Falaya Wayside Park - October 20, 2008

About today's QOTD: It's from Philadelphia Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel's recently deceased mother, June, on Charlie becoming manager of the Phillies. R.I.P., Mrs Manuel.

Quote of the Day
That's all well and fine. But somebody's got to take this trash out.
June Manuel

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It's a team you don't play very often. The preparation from that standpoint, you have to zero in on them. It'll be a fun week, and hopefully it ends on a high note on Sunday."

Monday morning musings - October 20, 2008

Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on their great series win over the defending champ Red Sox. When they blew that big lead in Game 5, I thought sure the Red Sox had them. Bring on the Phillies for the World Series that the network didn't want.

More on today's QOTD from the article:

This is the second time Winslow was diagnosed with staph, and it's at least the sixth known case with the Browns in the past several years.

Cleveland Browns: "We think Cleveland is the place for you. Come visit our facilities."
Hot free agent: "Ugh, no thanks"

According to the early ratings, SNL was a winner Saturday night. Not sure what Sarah Palin gained by showing up. She showed she was a good sport but I don't see how that helps the ticket.

Quote of the Day
They didn't even want me going to the Cleveland Browns' facility because they didn't want me to get re-infected. Something is wrong up there. It needs to be fixed.
Kellen Winslow, Cleveland Browns

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Tight end Kellen Winslow was back with the Browns on Thursday, but as far as what the illness was that landed him in the Cleveland Clinic for three days, it's not being talked about."

The times --- October 17, 2008

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Man, how times have changed. When Dad had an option to buy a Super Bowl IV ticket in 1970 as a season ticket holder of the host city's team, the price was $15. He bought it but I honestly don't know what he was going to do with it. It was only one ticket. He didn't know who was going to be in the game but he was CERTAIN it wasn't going to be the Saints. We ended up with 3 more FREE tickets on the day of the game and Mom, my sister, and I got to go, too. We got those free tickets even though the game was blacked out locally because it wasn't sold out. They're going for $1000/ea this year and that's only face value. If the Cowboys, Giants, Jets, or Saints are in it, they will go for considerably more.

Again, how times have changed. There was a time you could turn off a Red Sox baseball game or get a head start out of the stadium and say good night to them. A good many of their fans left the game last night to beat the traffic thinking the game and the season was over. The Rays still have the upper hand but they've got a fight on their hands now. Love the QOTD. How many get that reference?

Quote of the Day
The Red Sox, who had looked flat, outmanned and almost bereft of energy, had just chopped their way out of the coffin, Uma Thurman-style.
Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Click on my Twitter (heh, that sounds kinky), and follow the conversation."

Lovable losers not so lovable

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About today's QOTD: The days of the lovable losers are over and not just in Chicago. There are a few reasons for that. Owners are always wanting to raise ticket prices and asking taxpayers to build new stadiums (Correct or not, I just can't type stadia). Fans want something in return. Add to that our kindred spirits in Boston, with the recent dazzling success of the Red Sox, Celtics, and Patriots, and in Tampa, with the Super Bowl winning Buccaneers, have broken through and out of their lovable losing ways. Fans in Chicago, Cleveland, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Houston, San Diego, Seattle, and a few other places want in. I'm a Saints fan, win or lose, but I want to live to see a championship in New Orleans. I was at their first game and, now, 40 years later, still nothing ...

Quote of the Day
These are passionate, yet impatient and increasingly bitter, fans who desperately want a payoff for their decades of devotion.
Jim Caple, ESPN.com

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Monday night, facing the New Orleans Saints, the Vikings have another golden opportunity to beat an opponent that they should be very capable of beating."

Friday Sports Fluff - September 26, 2008

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Go Twins. Played their way into contention. There will be some regular season drama in the American League after all.

The Evil Empire is down and the manager they didn't want any more is up. Sometimes, there is justice. There is also a possibility that NO New York team will play in the postseason. I'd like to think that the baseball sportscasters and pundits wouldn't know what to say during the playoffs but I'm sure they're working up their laments while pleading for the Mets to win out and save them.

Go Beavers. A lot can still happen but USC didn't help themselves. I think it guarantees that a one loss SEC team will play in the BCS Championship Game. What I mean by that is that I think the SEC Champ can afford one loss. An undefeated SEC Champ is a lock for that game.

Quote of the Day
I'm beside myself
Pete Carroll, USC Head Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It's mayhem in Corvallis tonight. The Beavers had USC on the ropes the entire night."

About Adult Supervision

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He's decent. And if you or Bruce or anyone else tries to beat that out of him, I swear to God I'll take him away.

I'm watching the last little league game I attended. It was about 25 years ago and I want to say the kids were 6 or maybe 7. They're told to stay on the baseline, stay on the baseline, stay on the baseline. The batter hits a grounder to 3rd base. The 3rd baseman scoops it up when it gets to him and throws to the first baseman. His throw is woefully short and up the line. The first baseman goes up the line to wait on the dribbling throw. The runner approaches him and stops. He won't go out of the baseline. The ball finally gets to the first baseman and he tags the runner out. I turned to the person next to me and said I thought the runner should have been awarded first base because the base was blocked. She turns to me and says, "The runner should have run over the first baseman.". Alrighty then.

There's no crying in baseball.

The one I bring to you today features forfeits, resignations, and lawyers involved over ... a 9-year-old pitcher. Strike One: League officials issued a directive to a coach to replace 9-year-old pitcher Jericho Scott because he throws "so hard, fast and accurate that it might frighten or discourage other players". Duh, that's baseball, folks. It's perfectly natural to have some fear in you when you face a hard thrower. The thing is the "parents and coaches, not players, expressed a fear of Jericho's pitches". Strike Two: The other team walked off of the field and forfeited when Jericho was seen throwing warmup pitches. Yeah, those kids are learning a valuable life lesson from that. Strike Three: The league and Jericho's parents have both hired lawyers to sort this out. Incredible. Truthfully, I don't have a solution, either. Well, not a legal one...

The only problem with youth sports is

The Adults

9 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Jericho walked away from the mound in tears.
Pamela McLoughlin, NewHavenRegister.com

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "OMG, I thought. My landlord reads my blog. He's admitting it to me. I should acknowledge that. But how did he find it? Isn't that weird? That is weird. Should I... say something? "You know who I am?" Too weird."

A little baseball

Hats off to the Twins ... but let's keep them off of the field.

American League playoffs without the Red Sox or Yankees wouldn't surprise me this season. Tampa Bay is still atop the East, the Twins and White Sox are playing well, and the Angels, well, the Angels look like the best team in baseball right now.

Lots of interesting trades just before the deadline and lots of big names. I'd rate all of those trades even.

34 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
This cat's digging me
Face and all.
Louis Armstrong, The Five Pennies

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "So the latest innovation to keep the neighbors happy: valet parking for bikes."

Cool name for a blog. -Rob

All-Star Game

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After last night's chapter (Turned off here after the 11th inning), it looks like the Major League Baseball All-Star Game needs some tweaking ... again, and it's mainly because I'm mad I didn't get to see the whole thing. Did you?

Some unsolicited, unwanted advice from CrabAppleLane: First, start the game earlier. This is a no-brainer. Starting a game, particularly this game with all its announcements and curtain calls, at 8PM local time on a work night is ludicrous. Second and more important to me is this: Expand the rosters by 5 or 6 players each. Both managers feel obligated to get all their players into the game and are also scared to death to overuse anyone, particularly the pitchers. That's OK in a 9-inning game but it's a real problem if the game goes beyond 9 innings like last night's game did. To be fair, a 15-inning game is going to put a strain on any pitching staff. The American League was out of usable players by the 9th inning and used their entire 12-man pitching staff. Besides, everyone complains about who didn't make the roster. There would still surely be complaining but a little less I'd think.

One more thing: I have to give Major League Baseball some credit for steering their game from the brink of irrelevancy into a modern renaissance. They've done it with new ballparks, interleague play, and a generous infusion of young, enthusiastic, exciting players. The smile on Hanley Ramirez's face last night after his second all-star hit said it all. Baseball is doing something right for a change and the late, great Mel Allen would say, "How about that?". Shut up cynics (That includes me).

50 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Funniest rebuke I ever got - while we were still just dating, Ladybug nearly bought me an antique wooden soap box: "You can keep stuff in it when you're not standing on it!"
The Nightfly

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I've been packing up our apartment for the past six hours, and my body has transcended the point of ache and moved right on to total collapse. Some use smelling salts to revive; normally, I would probably head straight for the Pinot Grigio."

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