Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Phillies win game 1

Good to see the Philadelphia Phillies win game 1 of the World Series. Even though the Tampa Bay Rays are the darling story of this season, we in Seattle have a vested interest in the Phillies. See, their GM, Pat Gillick, used to be the M's GM. Jamie Moyer, a beloved pitcher here in Seattle, was driven out of town for being washed up, only to win 16 games for Philadelphia this year, and would be on tap to get a World Series ring if the Phillies win.

The Phillies also have a player named Greg Dobbs who used to be with the Mariners, but was also driven out of town, but has been an important part of the Phillies run this year to the World Series.

So, I would like to see the Phillies win the pennant this year.

Besides, it would be a real shame if Tampa Bay won the World Series before the Mariners, who have 22 years on the Rays!

The Mariners pick a new GM

The Mariners baseball club today announced Jack Zduriencik (pronounced zur-EN-sik) as their new General Manager. This is a good hire, according to analysts, but I will hold my optimism for a bit.

Deciding whether this is indeed a good hire or not will depend mostly on the kind of autonomy that Z will be given (I will be referring to him as Z, much easier!). If team president, Chuck Armstrong, and CEO, Howard Lincoln, want to continue down the path of meddling and making sure that they sign off on anything that Z does, then this is going to be same old, same old for Seattle Mariners fans.

Also, Z is a very good talent appraiser, and has a good eye for not just acquiring talent, but developing it. But what that means is that in order to succeed, two other things need to happen:

1. The old guard throughout the organization needs to be let go. We need a clean slate to start from. Thank you notes need to be sent out to them, but they need to be informed that their services are no longer needed. How can you start off anew when that means that you need to make changes to personnel and roster, which means in a most direct way indicting the decisions made by the old guard regarding the same players and coaches that they acquired or hired. That's' why they need to go.

2. Z needs to get one or two of those highly intellectual Ivy League graduates who are good with the new statistical analysis that permeates the Major Leagues these days. Those have been proven to improve the odds dramatically in favor of the organizations that utilize those statistics, and don't rely solely on scouting. I believe a hybrid of the two, headed by a man with a keen eye for talent such as Z, with the power of statistical analysis can work even better than expected, and bring in the turnaround that all fans are craving for in a much shorter time.

Moving the M's forward will not be an easy task. A 100 million dollar roster needs to be reevaluated. Positioning of players needs to be reconsidered. Fresh talent needs to be infused. Smart, cheap free agents need to be brought in for leadership and stop gap measures. Coaches need to be hired. Front Office personnel need to be evaluated. And the most important thing, a fan base needs to be re-energized.

The good thing is that the resources are there. Now we need to see if the will is there as well.

Oh, that wacky Palin!

Yes, she is my favorite subject, why do you ask?

So, according to financial disclosure records, the Republican National Committee spent $150,000 on Palin's wardrobe. Clothes for her were bought from stores including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Barney's New York and Macy's. The entries also show a few purchases at Pacifier, a top notch baby store, and Steiniauf & Stroller Inc., and an additional $4,902.45 was spent in early September at Atelier, a high-class shopping destination for men.

Good to see the RNC putting clothes on the backs of the Palins! Now, here's the thing, based on the Federal Election Commission's rules, that kind of campaign spending, for personal use, is illegal. Which makes sense. However, those clever RNC spokespeople came out and said: "With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it’s remarkable that we’re spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses," said spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt. "It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign."

Didn't you know that? Those clothes were to be donated. Oh, silly us! Now I feel this small (you can't see it, but imagine my index finger and thumb are almost touching when you read this). And shame on us that we are talking about pantsuits and blouses. Didn't the Republican campaign just perfect the personal attack mode of operations during the elections? And this didn't come from the Democrats either. But I guess it's the elite liberal media, stirring controversy after controversy. Why do they do that, man?

The kicker in all of this is that all of the above expenses came out in the RNC’s September monthly financial disclosure report under “itemized coordinated expenditures,”which is a report that records expenses for things like direct mail, telephone calls and advertising. Those expenses do show up, but the report also has a new category of spending: “campaign accessories.” Does this mean that Palin is considered a campaign accessory?

Anyway, just in case you haven't heard, Palin the Alaska governor was in the habit of taking her kids along for state business, even if they weren't invited, and she just billed the state for their expenses. Conveniently, Palin just never bothered to point out that those expense reports she submitted included expenses incurred on her children and family. What a wonderful family woman. We should only hope to have more people like Sarah Palin.

You be the judge

Is the hit the referee put on the QB intentioanl or not? He claims it wasn't intentional, that he was protecting himself. I say it's obvious that it was intentional. He stalked the QB, got in the lane, and lowered his shoulder to deliver the tackle.

I'm not saying that he was trying to influence the outcome of the game. USC still scored on that drive, eventually (and still lost the game), but I think the referee just got caught up in the game action and it took him back to his glory days in college (the ref did play on defense as a linebacker when he was in college).

So, what do you think?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Palin on SNL

So, what did you all think? (I'm always assuming that I have a huge following!)

I thought that having Palin on SNL didn't really add anything. It just made the show kinda awkward, for her. Sure, she seemed to have a good sense of humor about it, but the whole show was about her being made fun of by other folks on the show. It was like the writers, Tina Fey, the cast, Lorne Michaels and even Alec Baldwin were in on the joke, and she was on the sideline watching. Usually when people come on the show, they make fun of themselves. Not this time.

Even during the Weekend Update rap by Amy Poehler, they made fun of everything that Palin has come to stand for: an inexperienced gun-toting Alaskan dimwit with a nimrod for a husband!

Don't get me wrong, it was freakin hilarious! But, I'm sorry Sarah, the joke's on you! You're not in on it.. you're it!